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Circle closed: Merkel, Macron want EU border states to deal with refugees after quota system failure

With no end in sight to the EU refugee crisis, Berlin and Paris look to put the burden of dealing with asylum seekers on the countries where they first register. 
The seeming return to ‘old rules’ is poised to split Europe further.
During their meeting ahead of the EU summit, German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Emmanuel Macron pledged to “jointly and resolutely tackle” what they euphemistically called “secondary movements inside the EU.” 
An elusive wording used in the so-called Meseberg Declaration adopted by the two leaders effectively means one thing: Macron and Merkel want all the newly arrived asylum seekers and migrants to stay in the EU countries where they were first registered while their cases are being processed. 
This would leave the EU southern member states to deal with the new arrivals alone.
The problem, however, is that the same rules embodied in what is known as the ill-fated EU Dublin Regulation already proved to be dysfunctional at the height of the 201…
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‘We don’t need UN advice on how to govern ourselves’ – Trump’s key adviser Bolton

US National Security Adviser John Bolton said the US was right to ditch the UN Human Rights Council because Washington doesn’t need its opinion on how to govern itself.
“Getting off the council is an assertion of American determination to stick by its constitution and not to recognize that there is some higher authority at the UN, whether it’s the [Human Rights] Council or the High Commissioner for Human Rights, to judge our performance or to give us advice on how to implement the constitution,” Bolton said on Thursday. “We’re perfectly capable of doing that ourselves.”
Washington’s decision to leave the UN’s top human rights agency drew criticism from foreign partners, including some of America’s closest allies. Yet, speaking to the TV channel Fox News, Bolton confirmed that it was the right move, and the White House is fine in handling its own affairs, without an opinion from outside. 
“We don’t need advice by the UN or other international bodies on how to govern ourselves,” he reitera…

Pope’s Ireland visit threatens to evict 700 homeless families

More than 700 homeless families in Dublin could face eviction from temporary accommodation as the August visit of Pope Francis threatens to create a dire situation for the poor in the Irish capital.
In what could become a very unChristian scenario, homeless families residing in Dublin’s commercial hotels may be forced out to make room for the 600,000 expected to flock to the city for the papal visit.
Speaking to The Irish Independent, a spokesperson for the Dublin Regional Homeless Executive (DRHE) said it will help families put out by Pope Francis’s visit to find alternatives, but warned that some without confirmed bookings may be forced into hotels outside the city.
Homelessness campaigners rejected the DRHE’s claims that the influx would not impact those already installed in hotels in the city. Speaking to Irish broadcaster Newstalk, Fr Peter McVerry warned that families could be forced to live in police stations over the period of the pope’s visit.
Families are regularly told that the…

‘Residence Affair’: Israeli PM’s wife Sara Netanyahu charged with fraud over extravagant meals

The Israeli prime minister’s wife has been charged with fraud in connection with the misuse of state funds to order gourmet meals from a restaurant to the PM’s official residence in the so-called ‘Residence Affair.’
Sara Netanyahu, Israel’s first lady, was indicted on Thursday for having allegedly misused a total of 350,000 shekels (around $96,000) in official funds to order extravagant meals at the official residence in Jerusalem between 2010 and 2013.
The exorbitant spending on lavish meals took place despite the fact that the Netanyahus had a full-time chef at their disposal. Sara Netanyahu allegedly conspired with employees at the PM's official residence to hide the fact of the cook’s presence, which indicated her awareness that ordering meals from outside was a violation, the indictment sheet claims.
Lawyers for Sara Netanyahu firmly rejected the accusations, calling the indictment “absurd and delusional.”
“This is the first time in Israel and around the world that a leader’s wif…

‘Big as cats’: Huge rats flood Swedish city as authorities urge people to keep children indoors

A Swedish city is battling a merciless enemy, rats 'the size of cats', prompting authorities to call on residents to keep doors and windows closed and pre-schoolchildren inside during breaks.
"There aren't the normal rats you see in the forest. 
They're as big as cats," Benny Sagmo from the planning office of Sundsvall city in northern Sweden, explained to the national TT news agency.
The rats have already spread out towards a residential area, according to Sagmo. 
"If we don't put a stop to it, they can get bigger and bigger…
Those who live there can't even have their front doors or balcony doors open. I've told pest control that we're going all in!” he added.
Residents were told to keep doors and windows closed to prevent rats from getting access to food. 
They were also told to avoid having food for pets outdoors.
“Remember a rat can fit through a hole that is only 20 millimeters - a five-krone coin!” the warning from the city said.
In the mea…

Study reveals reason aliens may be snatching stars & caging them in megastructures

Alien civilizations may be forced to capture stars and harness their energy using ginormous structures – all to keep themselves alive in the cold, ever-expanding vastness of universe, a Fermilab cosmologist believes.
Expansion of the universe, thought to be further accelerated by dark energy, is flinging matter apart, while galaxies are being pushed away from each other. 
This is a challenge alien technologies will have to deal with in order for them to survive, Dan Hooper, a senior Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory scientist, writes in a new study.
The paper looks at the use of megastructures, popularly known as Dyson spheres, which may theoretically be built around stars to harvest their energy. 
But it goes further than that, arguing that the huge balls of gas will also have to be shifted in their course so as not to escape the energy-hungry aliens.
“In order to maximise its access to useable energy, a sufficiently advanced civilisation would chose to expand rapidly outward, build D…

Pistol-packing padres: Nearly 250 priests in Philippines seek gun-carry permits

More than 250 religious leaders in the Philippines want permits to carry guns amid a surge in the killings of priests. 
Top Catholic officials, however, urge the clergy to be ready to “face death and danger” without packing heat.
“We have received 246 requests for Permits to Carry Firearms Outside of Residence from 188 priests and 58 ministers, preachers and pastors,” Philippines National Police (PNP) Chief Oscar Albayalde said Wednesday.
The official said he supported the idea of arming the religious as long as they were qualified to hold a gun license. 
Albayalde said the police were ready to provide necessary training to the priests, seeking to improve their “marksmanship” skills.
Not all the applications have been assessed yet, the police chief said, and it remains unclear whether all of those who applied for licenses received death threats.
The Philippines has seen a surge in violence against religious figures recently, with three Catholic priests slain over the past six months. 
The la…