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A study has found that Germans are increasingly hostile toward asylum-seekers, whereas prejudices toward other minorities such as homeless or gay people have declined.

The Friedrich Ebert Foundation, which commissioned the survey, said Thursday that 54.1% of respondents expressed negative opinions about asylum-seekers, up from 49.5% in 2016 and 44% in 2014.

Germany saw a significant increase in migrant arrivals in 2016, with almost 746,000 people seeking asylum that year. Numbers have since declined again, with about 186,000 asylum requests last year.

The representative telephone survey, which is conducted every two years, involved 1,890 respondents and took place between September and February.

The study also examined for the first time how receptive Germans are to conspiracy theories. It found about that 46% of respondents believed secret organizations influence political decision-making.

Source: Fox News World

Ukrainian lawmakers have approved a language law that seeks to increase the use of Ukrainian in a country where Russian is also widely used.

The Supreme Rada on Thursday voted overwhelmingly to support the bill which will force increased use of Ukrainian in the media and in public administration.

The office of the U.N. Human Rights Commissioner as well as the Council of Europe has expressed its concern over the previous draft of the bill, saying that it could infringe the rights of language minorities.

Most Ukrainians switch between Ukrainian and Russian effortlessly but generations of Ukrainian politicians have exploited and encouraged the language divide in this country of 45 million.

The language issue became a major point of discontent in 2014 when separatists took control of parts of eastern Ukraine after Russian officials and media fanned fears that the new pro-Western government in Kiev would be forcing the Ukrainian language on the residents in that predominantly Russian-speaking region.

The language bill was passed a day after the Kremlin said that it would be offering fast-track Russian citizenship to Ukrainians living in the areas under separatist control. President Vladimir Putin on Thursday defended his decision, saying it will help people stranded in areas where Ukrainian government services are not available.

Ukraine’s president-elect Volodymyr Zelenskiy, a Russian speaker, said he favors Ukrainian as the official language but has spoken in favor of encouraging the use of Ukrainian rather than forcing it on people. He won a whopping 73% of the vote, including in the Ukrainian-speaking west of the country.

Outgoing President Petro Poroshenko who stays in office until next month said he would sign it into law.

Source: Fox News World

Rwanda’s Supreme Court has upheld a law that says defaming the president is illegal, but it says drawing cartoons or producing writing that “humiliates” a government official is no longer a crime.

The Rwanda Journalists Association had challenged parts of the penal code that criminalized the publishing of such cartoons with punishment of up to four years in prison.

A three-judge panel decided the provisions contravene freedom of expression.

The association’s executive secretary, Gonza Muganwa, welcomed the ruling, telling The Associated Press it removes a major obstacle to press freedom in the East African nation.

Defaming the president remains illegal, with a punishment of five to seven years in prison and a fine.

Source: Fox News World

China says it has complained to France after one of its warships entered Chinese territorial waters while passing through the Taiwan Strait this month.

The April 7 incident marks a rare occasion of military friction between the two countries, which have held joint search and rescue exercises before.

Ren said the navy dispatched ships to identify, warn and escort the French ship and would remain “highly alert to firmly safeguard China’s sovereignty and security.”

The 160-kilometer (100-mile)-wide Taiwan Strait divides mainland China from the island Beijing claims as its territory. It is considered an international waterway heavily trafficked by ships from all nations, many of them bound for Chinese ports.

China is highly sensitive to operations by foreign warships near areas it claims, such as the South China Sea.

Source: Fox News World

Italian leaders are holding observances on Liberation Day, which celebrates the end of the country’s fascist dictatorship during World War II, with appeals against glorifying dictator Benito Mussolini.

The celebrations Thursday comes after fans of the Lazio soccer club performed fascist salutes and hung a banner that read “Honor to Benito Mussolini” before a match in Milan on Wednesday.

President Sergio Mattarella visited the memorial to the Unknown Soldier in Rome on Thursday after making an appeal against re-writing history.

Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte visited the Ardeatine Caves, the site in Rome’s outskirts where 335 people were shot to death in 1944 by occupying German forces as a reprisal for an attack by partisans that killed 33 Nazi soldiers.

Deputy Premier Luigi Di Maio visited a synagogue.

Source: Fox News World

A parrot trained as a lookout for Brazilian drug dealers is keeping its beak shut after it was taken by police Monday following a raid on a local couple, according to reports.

The bird was taught to alert criminals to the presence of police in a low-income community in the Piaui state in northern Brazil, the Guardian reported. It reportedly shouted “Mum, the police!” whenever it spotted authorities in the area.

“He must have been trained for this,” one officer involved in the operation said, according to the paper. “As soon as the police got close he started shouting.”

A Brazilian journalist who came in contact with the bird described it as “super obedient” and has kept it beak shut in the presence of cops, the paper reported. A local veterinarian confirmed the bird is no stool pigeon, saying “lots of police officers have come by and he’s said nothing.”


The parrot was handed over to a local zoo where it will spend three months learning to fly before it is released.

Source: Fox News World

COLOMBO, Sri Lanka — The Latest on the Easter attacks in Sri Lanka:

12:45 p.m.

Businesses in Colombo are advising staff to stay indoors until 2 p.m. because of a possible security threat and an ongoing search operation in the capital.

John Keells Holdings, the parent company of the Cinnamon Grand hotel, one of the sites stricken in the Easter Sunday bombings, sent an email to its staff on Thursday about the unspecified threat.

It was not immediately clear where the warning originated. A police spokesman was not available for comment.

A series of coordinated suicide bombings at churches and hotels in and around Colombo killed 359 people on Sunday. Police say a local extremist group was behind the attack.

10:20 a.m.

Australia’s prime minister said one of the suicide bombers in the Sri Lanka Easter attacks had been in Australia years earlier.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison said the person had been in Australia on a student and a graduate skilled visa with a spouse and child visa as well. The individual left in early 2013.

Morrison told reporters Thursday the person’s Australian link was part of an ongoing investigation and wouldn’t comment further.


Separately, a British security official has confirmed one of the bombers was believed to have studied in the U.K. between 2006 and 2007. The security official, who spoke on condition of anonymity because of the sensitive nature of the investigation, said British intelligence was not watching Abdul Lathief Jameel Mohamed during his stay in the country. His name was first reported by Sky News.

10 a.m.

Sri Lanka has banned drones and unmanned aircraft as authorities continue controlled detonations of suspicious items four days after a series of suicide bombing attacks killed more than 350 people in and around the capital of Colombo.

Sri Lankan navy soldiers perform security checks on motorists at a road in Colombo, Sri Lanka on Thursday. (AP Photo/Eranga Jayawardena)

Sri Lankan navy soldiers perform security checks on motorists at a road in Colombo, Sri Lanka on Thursday. (AP Photo/Eranga Jayawardena)

Sri Lanka’s civil aviation authority said Thursday that it was taking the measure “in view of the existing security situation in the country.”

Hobby drones have been used by militants in the past to carry explosives.

Iraqi forces learned that they are difficult to shoot down while driving out the Islamic State group from northern Iraq, where the extremists loaded drones with grenades or simple explosives to target their forces.


Also Thursday Sri Lankan authorities detonated a suspicious item in a garbage dump in Pugoda, about 35 kilometers (22 miles) east of Colombo.

6 a.m.

Japan’s Foreign Ministry has confirmed one Japanese national was killed and four others injured in the Easter bombings in Sri Lanka.

The body of the person who died was returned to Japan early Thursday.

Officials at Narita airport near Tokyo lowered their heads as the coffin, covered with blue tarp and a bouquet of white flowers on top, came out of the plane.


Japanese media have identified the victim as 39-year-old Kaori Takahashi. The reports say she was having breakfast with her family at the Shangri-La hotel when she was killed and that her husband and a daughter were injured in the attack.

The Foreign Ministry has not released the identities of the dead and injured.

Sri Lankan police have said at least 359 people were killed and more than 500 wounded in Sunday’s bombings, which mainly targeted churches and hotels. Most of the victims were Sri Lankan but more than 30 of the dead were foreigners.

Source: Fox News World

London-based Barclays bank says it may cut costs if “challenging” economic conditions persists throughout the year.

The warning came as the bank said Thursday that revenue dropped 2% to 5.25 billion pounds ($6.77 billion) in the first quarter of 2019. Pre-tax profit from Barclays’ corporate and investment banking business fell 30%.

Barclays says the “income environment in the quarter was challenging” and it will reduce spending “if this were to persist for the remainder of the year.”

The bank says it has already cut bonus and compensation payouts across the corporate and investment bank to reflect the division’s poor performance.

Barclays reported quarterly net income of 1.04 billion pounds, compared with a year-earlier loss of 764 million pounds, when the bank set aside 2 billion pounds to cover misconduct.

Source: Fox News World

The ambiance was friendly. Nice, comfy seats. An exchange of polite welcomes.

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un even managed to match Russian President Vladimir Putin’s manspreading — the two sat with knees spread wide apart as they chatted before the start of their first summit, which began Thursday in the Far East port city of Vladivostok.

With so little else to go on, it’s a common practice for North Korea watchers to pay extremely close attention to Kim’s every word and gesture when he makes public appearances. Summits are no exception, and there’s always lots of analytical commentary, insightful and silly.

What caught the attention of many outside observers Thursday wasn’t the scene, but the sound — of Kim’s loud breathing.

Clips of the introductory encounter were quickly tweeted around the world, many with comments about the leader’s audible breathlessness. South Korea’s media, meanwhile, speculated that it could be a sign of Kim’s poor health. He is, after all, overweight and a notoriously heavy smoker.

But when the two delivered their opening comments to start the actual talks, Kim seemed to have gotten over whatever the problem was.

Experts have noted that when Kim met President Donald Trump for the first time, they nearly lunged at each other with hands outstretched for a handshake. They vied several times to lead the other with an alpha male hand on the back. Gazes were carefully not averted, lest that appear to suggest submission.

The impression from their second encounter, in Hanoi two months ago, was more measured. The two tended to mirror each other more closely, which is a sign of respect and cooperation rather than aggression.

Kim’s first greeting with Putin was more like his performance in Hanoi.

He and Putin approached each other with smiles and held an extended handshake for the cameras. It’s often an awkward moment, even for the most experienced politicians. But they appeared relaxed, as they also did during the initial part of the talks, which were broadcast live.

Unlike the much taller Trump, Putin is roughly the same height as Kim, which probably helped.

The health of the North Korean leader has been the topic of speculation before.

During his first summit with South Korean President Moon Jae-in, last April, he appeared to be out of breath as he signed a guestbook after a short walk. He was also shown on TV red-faced at a banquet, likely from the ample beverages available.

But Kim has managed to make it through nearly a dozen summits now.

It remains to be seen how effective he will be in getting out from under the sanctions that have been imposed on his country for its nuclear weapons programs. But if nothing else, he has demonstrated a surprising air of confidence alongside some of the biggest players on the world stage.

Source: Fox News World

The organizers of the protests that drove Sudan’s President Omar al-Bashir from power are delaying their announcement of a transitional civilian government as they hold new negotiations with the ruling military council.

The protesters suspended talks with the military last weekend, saying key figures in the council were too close to al-Bashir. But on Wednesday they resumed negotiations, and three members of the council resigned from their posts, apparently in response the protesters’ demands.

The Sudanese Professionals Association, which spearheaded the protests, had planned to announce a transitional civilian government at a mass rally on Thursday. But Ahmed Rabie, a senior member of the group, says it will delay the announcement and instead focus on forming different committees to hold talks with the military.

Source: Fox News World

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