The Final Call UK/International Edition Vol. 29-10 (FinalCall.com)

The Cover of The Final Call UK/International Edition Volume 29-10

Here are some brief UK/International news items of relevance.

Anti-Muslim graffiti found on French mosque

CASTRES, France—Police say assailants have scrawled a Nazi slogan and hung pig feet on a mosque in southern France.

Interior Minister Brice Hortefeux has denounced the “vile and racist desecration” of the mosque in the town of Castres. Police say the swastika in black paint and slogans including Hitler salute “Sieg Heil” in German, “France to the French” in French, and “White Power” in English were scrawled on the mosque.

Hortefeux said any person found responsible for the overnight desecration should be “severely punished.”
Assailants sporadically scrawl anti-Muslim or anti-Semitic graffiti on religious sites, cultural centers and cemeteries in France—home to western Europe’s largest populations of both Muslims and Jews.


UK’s Ministry of Defense plans helicopter purchase

LONDONBritain will buy 22 new Chinook helicopters from Boeing Co. to help troops in Afghanistan, the Ministry of Defense said Dec. 15.

The announcement comes before Defense Secretary Bob Ainsworth is set to outline cuts in other parts of the military’s budget to make concessions for Afghan operations.

“Our forces on the frontline in Afghanistan repeatedly tell me that Chinook are indispensable on operations,” Ainsworth said. “I am therefore delighted to announce plans to deliver more of these robust, effective and proven battle-winning helicopters.”

Britain’s military has been dogged by critics complaining that the nation’s troops have been deployed without adequate equipment. That criticism has been particularly sharp over helicopters, which give troops mobility and allow them to avoid the risk of roadside bombs.

The purchase will increase the size of Britain’s fleet of the heavy-lift helicopters from 48 to 70.

The Chinook purchase was announced just ahead of a sweeping series of cutbacks aimed at shifting resources to Afghanistan. At least one Royal Air Force base is reportedly set for closure, among administrative and military police cutbacks.


Swiss deny entry to controversial Muslim preacher

BASEL, SwitzerlandSwiss border control say they have refused entry to a controversial Muslim preacher because he poses a public security risk.

Pierre Vogel intended to speak at a demonstration in the Swiss capital Bern that organizers say is in response to a “hate campaign” against Muslims in Switzerland.

The German former professional boxer who converted to Islam is known for his conservative positions.

Frontier corps spokesman Markus Zumbach says Vogel was turned back as he tried to cross into Switzerland by car from Germany last week.


Poll: UK Labour party narrowing oppositions lead

LONDONAn opinion poll indicates that Britain’s ruling Labour party is gaining ground on the main opposition Conservatives.

An ICM poll for the Guardian newspaper published Dec. 15 puts Prime Minister Gordon Brown’s Labour party at 31 percent, nine points behind the Conservative party.

A poll released last month by another firm, Ipsos Mori, put Labour just six points behind the Conservatives—though most other recent polls have shown a Conservative lead with about 14 points.

Britain must hold a national election by June. British newspapers speculate Brown will call an election in March to take advantage of his increasing popularity.

(Compiled from Associated Press reports.)

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