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Germany investigates 30,000 suspects as online paedophilia probe widens

Issued on: 29/06/2020 – 16:50Modified: 29/06/2020 – 16:51

Germany is investigating 30,000 suspects..

Issued on: 29/06/2020 – 16:50Modified: 29/06/2020 – 16:51

Germany is investigating 30,000 suspects as part of a probe into an online paedophile network, the latest in a series of child sex abuse scandals that prompted authorities to promise a crackdown.

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The probe began last October with the arrest of a suspected perpetrator in Bergisch Gladbach, near Cologne.

But investigators digging into the case have turned up a far bigger paedophile network than expected.

"I did not expect, not even remotely, the extent of child abuse on the internet," North Rhine-Westphalia's justice minister Peter Beisenbach told reporters on Monday.

What the investigation team had uncovered was "deeply disturbing", he said.

"We must recognise that child abuse on the internet is more widespread than we had previously thought."

The cyber crime office in North Rhine-Westphalia is now "investigating 30,000 unknown suspects" in the case linked to the city of Bergisch Gladbach, said Beisenbach.

"We want to drag perpetrators and supporters of child abuse out of the anonymity of the internet," he added.

Those being investigated are suspected of sharing "child and youth pornographic content" including "fictitious and/or real acts of abuse" in anonymous online discussion forums and chat groups, the cyber crime office ZAC NRW said in a statement.

To date, just over 70 suspects have been identified throughout Germany.

In May, the first offender — a 27-year-old soldier — was sentenced to 10 years in prison and placed in a psychiatric hospital for an indefinite period.

'Emotional murder'

Germany has been shocked at the discovery of several serious cases of child sex abuse over the past 18 months.

In early June, 11 people were arrested on suspicion of sexually abusing children and filming their actions after videos and photos were seized from the cellar of a 27-year-old man from the city of Muenster, also in North Rhine-Westphalia state.

Investigators said they had identified at least three victims, aged five, 10 and 12 years old.

Officials said then that investigative capacities on child abuse had been increased, which would likely lead to the discovery of more cases.

The case triggered calls from politicians to crack down on those using and sharing child pornography, with calls for it to be classed as a crime rather than just an offence.

"Child abuse cannot be punished like shoplifting. It is murder. Not physically but emotionally. Anyone who molests childrRead More – Source

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Green, left-wing Michèle Rubirola becomes Marseilles first woman mayor

Issued on: 05/07/2020 – 11:00Modified: 05/07/2020 – 11:01

Marseille became the latest French munic..

Issued on: 05/07/2020 – 11:00Modified: 05/07/2020 – 11:01

Marseille became the latest French municipality to elect a Green mayor on Saturday, in a wave that has swept the country since local elections at the end of last month.

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Michèle Rubirola, the first female leader of Frances second city, won the most votes from city councillors, ending almost a week of suspense after the June 28 poll that failed to give her slate an absolute majority.

Rubirola, of the Read More – Source

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Italy could transfer migrants from Ocean Viking rescue ship on Monday

Issued on: 05/07/2020 – 10:07Modified: 05/07/2020 – 10:16

Italy is carrying out tests on 180 migra..

Issued on: Modified:

Italy is carrying out tests on 180 migrants rescued in the Mediterranean with a view to transferring them to a quarantine vessel in Sicily, an interior ministry source said Saturday.

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The migrants have been on the Ocean Viking ship operated by SOS Mediterranee for over a week, with fights and suicide attempts on board prompting the charity to declare a state of emergency on Friday.

A medical team sent by authorities in Pozzallo, Sicily “ascertained the absence of particular health problems and also reported that some tensions that had been registered on the ship are being overcome”, the ministry source said.

The medical team is testing the migrants for the Covid-19 virus after which they will be transferred to a quarantine ship currently in Porto Empedocle, also in Sicily.

“The situation is carefully monitored in view of the transhipment of migrants, scheduled for Monday 6 July, on the Moby Zaza ship,” the source said.

The Ocean Viking, which has been in limbo in the Mediterranean south of Sicily, has been waiting for permission from Italy or Malta to offload the migrants at a safe port.

Italy could transfer migrants from Ocean Viking rescue ship on Monday

Tensions have risen in the past week, as witnessed by an AFP reporter aboard the boat, as migrants have become increasingly desperate to reach land. Others have become distraught at not being able to telephone their families to let them know they were safe.

SOS Mediteranee said in a statement on Saturday that “the only assistance proposed has been a visit by a medical doctor and a cultural mediator who spoke to the survivors but are not in a position to present a solution for their disembarkation.”

The migrants, which include Pakistanis, North Africans, Eritreans, Nigerians and others, were picked up after fleeing Libya in four separate rescues by the Ocean Viking on June 25 and 30.

"How long Read More – Source

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Air France to cut 7,580 jobs at French flagship carrier and regional unit Hop!

Issued on: 03/07/2020 – 20:16Modified: 03/07/2020 – 20:16

Air France confirmed plans to cut some 7..

Issued on: 03/07/2020 – 20:16Modified: 03/07/2020 – 20:16

Air France confirmed plans to cut some 7,500 jobs including 1,000 at sister airline Hop! on Friday, as staff protested over its response to the collapse in travel due to the coronavirus pandemic.

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The French flag carrier, part of Franco-Dutch group Air France-KLM, said it had lost €15 million a day during the worst part of the crisis, which also saw its revenues plunge by 95 percent. It did not see traffic returning to 2019 levels before 2024.

As a result, Air France plans to cut 6,560 or 16 percent of jobs at the main airline by the end of 2022, more than 3,500 of which will come through natural departures, it said after union talks.

Another 1,020 jobs will go over the next three years at Hop!, representing 42 percent of staff at the regional carrier based in the coastal city of Nantes, which has also been hit by job cuts at plane manufacturer Airbus.

The French government – which granted Air France €7 billion ($7.9 billion) in aid, including state-backed loans, to help it to survive – has urged the airline to avoid compulsory layoffs, though it has conceded Air France is "on the edge”.

"A successful labour reorganisation is one where there are no forced departures," junior economy minister Agnes Pannier-Runacher told Sud Radio on Friday.

In its statement, Air France said it would give priority to voluntary departures, early retirement and staff mobility. It did not rule out compulsory redundancies, however.

The reconstruction plan will be presented at the end of July, together with a plan for the wider Air France-KLM Group.

This is not how I wanted to leave

Some 100 union members and employees, from cleaning staff to check-in assistants, demonstrated earlier outside the airline's base at Charles de Gaulle airport outside Paris against plans to cut staff after receiving state aid to absorb the pandemic fallout.

Air France employees gather to protest a restructuring plan that includes thousands of job cuts in the wake of the Covid-19 crisis outside the French airline's headquarters in Roissy-en-France near Paris on July 3, 2020. The sign at right reads, "Not born to end up in the dumpster.” © Gonzalo Fuentes, Reuters

"It's scandalous. The government is putting in €7 billion and the compRead More – Source

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