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16 Jul

News and Analyses, A Foreign Perspective

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An attempted coup was under way in Turkey on Friday night, with soldiers at Bosphorus Bridge in Istanbul and jets flying over the capital Ankara. President Recep Tayyip Erdo?an called for his supporters to take to the streets in support of the government, and to oppose the uprising

In Greece, our correspondent Helena Smith is being told that the eight Turkish military personnel who sought asylum in the northern Greek town of Alexandoupolis have removed all insignia from their uniforms, making it impossible to know their ranks. She reports:

“We are in the process of sending interpreters in order to be debriefed,” one insider said. “We are also in touch with the Turkish embassy. It is vital that we know what is going on.”

Another said it was highly unlikely that the eight men would be granted asylum.

Turkey and Greece, though Nato partners, are long-time adversaries, with Athens closely watching events in Ankara.

As such, a defence expert said, this was the first time a Turkish military asset had landed in Greece with a view to seeking asylum in the country.

The land borders between the neighbours have been reinforced but customs officials are clarifying that while the crossing between Greece and Turkey remains open (even if cross-border traffic has been reduced to a trickle), that between Turkey and Greece remains firmly closed……………

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At the Fondation Lenval hospital on the Promenade des Anglais, professionalism mixes with intense grief at the number of children caught up in Bastille Day carnage

Latest updates: Bastille Day attack

Flowers and soft toys are left near the site where a truck rammed into a crowd of revellers celebrating Bastille Day, killing at least 84 people.

Flowers and soft toys are left near the site where a truck rammed into a crowd of revellers celebrating Bastille Day, killing at least 84 people. Photograph: Abaca / Barcroft Images

At the children’s hospital in Nice’s Promenade des Anglais on Friday afternoon, parents were still looking for their children.

Amid the bloodshed and chaos of Thursday night’s attack – in which the suspect, Mohamed Lahouaiej-Bouhlel, had driven past the hospital at the start of his rampage – many families had been separated.

Hours after the truck drove at high speed into a crowd of people watching a Bastille Day fireworks display, one 10-year-old child in the intensive care unit at the Fondation Lenval still had not been identified.

One of the most harrowing aspects of the Nice attack was the devastating injuries of babies, children and teenagers, and the grief of their parents. French prosecutors said 10 children and teenagers had died in the attack…………………..

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Spain’s gleaning movement has grown rapidly in response to austerity, harvesting imperfect fruit and veg – that would otherwise be wasted – for food banks. Now its own line of jams, soups and sauces is taking off too

in Barcelona

Advocates of gleaning say that the movement could reduce pressure on land use, improve diets, feed the hungry and provide work for the socially excluded.

Advocates of gleaning say that the movement could reduce pressure on land use, improve diets, feed the hungry and provide work for the socially excluded. Photograph: Natalia Lázaro Prevost

Under a blazing Catalan sun, Abdelouahid wipes the sweat from his brow in a cabbage patch full with clouds of white butterflies. “It’s really not warm today,” he says. “It’s only hot if you stop working.”

Around him, unemployed workers and environmentalists squat in green bibs, black gloves and hats, plucking cabbages that would otherwise be threshed, to distribute at food banks around Barcelona.

A 39-year-old Moroccan emigré with two small children, Abdelouahid began “gleaning” – harvesting farmers’ unwanted crops – with the Espigoladors (gleaners) after losing his job in the construction industry four years ago. It is Ramadan and he is fasting but still smiling as he cuts at the green jewels.

“I don’t like to spend my days at home, sending CVs to employers, waiting for their rejection letters, or going around the restaurants trying to find food,” he says. “I prefer to do something positive. A lot of people need this food. It is better to collect it than to leave it.”

Europe wastes some 88m tonnes of food each year – around 173 kg per person – with costs estimated at €143bn (£113bn). Advocates of the new gleaning movements say that its collection could reduce pressure on land use, improve diets, feed the hungry and provide work for the socially excluded.

For now, most of its recovered foods go to food banks, but the Espigoladors social enterprise has launched an “Es Imperfect” (is imperfect) brand of jams, soups and sauces made from recovered produce.

The line is growing so fast that the day after the cabbage picking, the project’s founder, Mireia Barba, was called to a meeting of Cotec, King Felip VI’s national development foundation……………….

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Low-frequency sonar used for training and testing can injure whales and other marine life, and disrupt their feeding and mating

Dolphins in front of US Navy ship Benfold. Marine life will now be protected from Navy sonar.

Dolphins in front of US Navy ship Benfold. Marine life will now be protected from Navy sonar. Photograph: Mark Wilson/Reuters

A federal appeals court ruled on Friday that the US Navy was wrongly allowed to use sonar in the nation’s oceans that could harm whales and other marine life.

The ninth circuit court of appeals reversed a lower court decision upholding approval granted in 2012 for the Navy to use low-frequency sonar for training, testing and routine operations.

The five-year approval covered peacetime operations in the Pacific, Atlantic and Indian Oceans and the Mediterranean Sea.

The appellate panel sent the matter back to the lower court for further proceedings.
A message seeking comment from representatives of the US Pacific Fleet in Honolulu was not immediately returned.

Sonar, used to detect submarines, can injure whales, seals, dolphins and walruses and disrupt their feeding and mating.

The 2012 rules adopted by the National Marine Fisheries Service permitted Navy sonar use to affect about 30 whales and two dozen pinnipeds; marine mammals with front and rear flippers such as seals and sea lions, each year.

The Navy was required to shut down or delay sonar use if a marine mammal was detected near the ship. Loud sonar pulses also were banned near coastlines and in certain protected waters…………..

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Long-classified section of report raises questions about whether Saudi nationals who were in contact with the hijackers knew what they were planning

Lawmakers and relatives of the victims of the 9/11 attacks pushed for more than 13 years to get the ‘28 pages’ released.

Lawmakers and relatives of the victims of the 9/11 attacks pushed for more than 13 years to get the ‘28 pages’ released. Photograph: Andrew Burton/Getty Images

The Obama administration has released the long-classified 28 pages of the official congressional report on the 11 September 2001 terrorist attacks, which concerned the alleged ties of the Saudi Arabian government to the 9/11 hijackers.

Publishing the long-awaited pages 13 years after they were first classified, the White House insisted they show no link between Saudi Arabia and the hijackers who carried out the terrorist attacks. The pages put into the public domain the remaining unseen section of the 2002 report, from the joint congressional inquiry into intelligence community activities before and after the 9/11 attacks.

“This information does not change the assessment of the US government that there’s no evidence that the Saudi government or senior Saudi individuals funded al-Qaida,” said Josh Earnest, the White House press secretary. “The number one takeaway from this should be that this administration is committed to transparency even when it comes to sensitive information related to national security.”

The publication, awaited for 13 years, will not necessarily end speculation around Saudi influence, however.

The 28 pages show that, according to FBI documents, several numbers found in the phone book of Abu Zubaydah, a senior al-Qaida operative captured in Pakistan in March 2002 who is still being detained at Guantánamo Bay, could be linked, at least indirectly, to phone numbers in the US. Among them was a number “subscribed to” by a company in Aspen, Colorado, that managed the residence of the then Saudi ambassador, Bandar bin Sultan.

In addition, according to an FBI document, the phone number of a bodyguard at the Saudi embassy in Washington, “who some have alleged may be a” – several words have been redacted – “was also found in Abu Zubaida’s (sic) possession”…………..

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Sterling was selling CDs outside a Louisiana store when he was killed by two white officers responding to a call of a man threatening someone with a gun

Mourners visit the body of Alton Sterling.

Mourners visit the body of Alton Sterling. Photograph: Max Becherer/AP

A steady stream of mourners filed past the casket of Alton Sterling, the 37-year-old black man who was shot to death by two white police officers as he was pinned to the pavement outside a convenience store.

The grieving paused Friday in front of Sterling’s open casket, which was adorned with music notes and a smiling photo of the man. Sterling was selling CDs outside the store, as he had done for years, when he was killed by police responding to a call of a man threatening someone with a gun.

One mourner wore a T-shirt that said “No Justice, No Peace” on the back of it. Another carried a poster board sign saying: “Black America I’m Sorry!!”

Sterling’s death was captured on cellphone video and circulated widely on the internet. His death, along with another fatal police shooting in Minnesota last week, sparked protests over the treatment of black people by police.

Sterling’s death heightened tensions in Baton Rouge, where about 200 protesters were arrested over the weekend, and police said they had foiled a credible threat to attack officers. Authorities said they discovered the plot after a pawn shop burglary, and one of the suspects was to appear in court Friday.

Among the mourners was Darrell Jupiter, a landscaper and close friend of Sterling’s who came to the visitation inside the basketball arena at Southern University, a historically black college in north Baton Rouge……………

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