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7/3/15

European Weather: The Netherlands swelters as temperatures hit record levels

The temperature tipped 37.3 degrees in Maastricht on Thursday, making it the warmest July day ever recorded in the Netherlands, broadcaster Nos said. Last night was also the warmest evening since formal records began in 1901. In Arcen, in Limburg, the temperature did not dip below 24.1 degrees. In coastal regions, however, a sea breeze means the temperature is being kept below 28 degrees. In addition, there may be some localised thunderstorms on Thursday evening, weather forecasters say. The heatwave has led Dutch railway company NS to reduce services on some routes to head off the risk of the rails buckling. A number of events, such as fun runs and shows involving animals, have also been cancelled or brought forward this weekend because of the heat.

Read more at DutchNews.nl: The Netherlands swelters as temperatures hit record levels http://www.dutchnews.nl/news/archives/2015/07/the-netherlands-swelters-as-temperatures-hit-record-levels/
The temperature tipped 37.3 degrees in Maastricht on Thursday, making it the warmest July day ever recorded in the Netherlands, broadcaster Nos said. Last night was also the warmest evening since formal records began in 1901.

 In Arcen, in Limburg, the temperature did not dip below 24.1 degrees. In coastal regions, however, a sea breeze means the temperature is being kept below 28 degrees. In addition, there may be some localised thunderstorms on Thursday evening, weather forecasters say.

The heatwave has led Dutch railway company NS to reduce services on some routes to head off the risk of the rails buckling. A number of events, such as fun runs and shows involving animals, have also been cancelled or brought forward this weekend because of the heat.

Read more: The Netherlands swelters as temperatures hit record levels - DutchNews.nl

Democracy: Extremism and Censorship - by Samuel Westrop

  • There are obvious shortcomings in the British government's demand that all "beliefs" deserve "mutual respect." While it is important in a free society to tolerate beliefs we dislike, we should not be required to "respect" them.
  • If the government would stop funding and backing religious separatism, and start using existing laws to prosecute preachers who incite violence and promote terrorism, these measures would go a long way to preventing extremists from operating with impunity. Censorship, on the other hand, will harm everyone.
On May 27, a few weeks after the elections, Queen Elizabeth II addressed the British parliament with a speech that laid out a number of important proposed bills, including changes to immigration and the welfare system; a referendum on Britain's membership of the European Union, and, most importantly, a series of new measures to tackle Islamic extremism.

The "Extremism Bill," the government has announced, will "unite our country and keep you and your family safe by tackling all forms of extremism." It will also "combat groups and individuals who reject our values and promote messages of hate."

To achieve this, the government is attempting to establish a number of new proscriptive powers. "Banning Orders" would allow the Home Secretary to outlaw designated "extremist groups." "Extremism Disruption Orders" would restrict the activities of individual, designated "extremists." They would be prohibited from appearing on television, and would have to submit any publications, including social media posts, to the police for prior approval. "Closure Orders" would allow the government to shut down institutions, including mosques, used to promote extremism.

In addition, the government has announced plans to take "tough measures against [television] channels that broadcast extremist content."

Changes to background checks would also mean that companies could find out whether a potential employee is an extremist. If so, they would be barred from working with children.

Read more: Extremism and Censorship

7/2/15

Greek Referendum on Bailout Too Close to Call, Poll Shows - by Nikos Chrysoloras

Greek voters are almost evenly split heading into a referendum in three days that European leaders said could plunge the country into economic darkness.

A GPO poll cited by euro2day.gr said 47 percent leaned toward a “yes” vote, an endorsement of austerity and the international bailout.

The “no” camp, the government’s position rejecting those terms, was 43 percent. The margin of error in the survey of 1,000 people was 3.1 percentage points.

The battle lines ahead of the vote appeared immovable after a day of posturing in the wake of the expiry of Greece’s bailout deal and its missing a payment to the International Monetary Fund. Politicians across Europe poured scorn on Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras’s strategy; he said the “no” vote would improve his leverage.

Greece is facing a “terrifying” economic freefall, Spanish Finance Minister Luis de Guindos said.

“We can’t have an accord with someone who says ‘no,’” his French counterpart, Michel Sapin, said.

Read more: Greek Referendum on Bailout Too Close to Call, Poll Shows - Bloomberg Business

7/1/15

Greece debt crisis: IMF payment missed as bailout expires

Greece has missed the deadline for a €1.5bn (£1.1bn) payment to the International Monetary Fund (IMF), hours after eurozone ministers refused to extend its bailout.

But the ministers say they will discuss a last-minute request from Greece for a new two-year bailout on Wednesday.

Greece is the first European Union country to fail to repay a loan to the IMF and is now formally in arrears.

There are fears that this could put Greece at risk of leaving the euro.

The IMF confirmed that Greece had failed to make the payment, shortly after 22:00 GMT on Tuesday.
"We have informed our Executive Board that Greece is now in arrears and can only receive IMF financing once the arrears are cleared," said IMF spokesman Gerry Rice.

 Read more click here