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Flanders region of Belgium bans halal and kosher animal slaughter

Ritual animal slaughter has been banned in part of Belgium despite outcry from leaders in the Jewish and Muslim communities.

The northern Flanders region finally imposed the law on New Year’s Day after passing the measure back in July 2017, having faced significant objections.

Some have claimed that the ban amounts to nothing more than antisemitism and Islamophobia, but animal rights campaigners have long asserted that the Jewish kosher and Muslim halal rituals are inhumane.

Kosher and halal meat is served in takeaways, shops and restaurants across Europe

Kosher and halal meat is served in takeaways, shops and restaurants across Europe

Islam and Judaism both preach that animals should be in perfect health when they are slaughtered and halal and kosher methods see them killed with a single slash to the neck.

In Flanders, animals now have to be stunned electronically before they are killed – a law that will also be introduced in the southern French-speaking Wallonia region in September.

Once imposed there, the Brussels region – which has a large Muslim population – will be the only part of the country to still allow ritual slaughter methods to be used.

Belgium is home to about 500,000 Muslims and more than 30,000 Jews, who are worried that the ban will lead to higher prices and possible food shortages.

Subway is one of many food outlets in the UK to serve halal meat
Muslim leader Saatci Bayram told The New York Times: “The government asked for our advice on the ban, we responded negatively, but the advice wasn’t taken.

“This ban is presented as a revelation by animal rights activists, but the debate on animal welfare in Islam has been going on for 1,500 years. Our way of ritual slaughtering is painless.”

Yaakov David Schmahl, a senior rabbi in Antwerp, told the paper: “It definitely brings to mind similar situations before the Second World War, when these laws were introduced in Germany.”

Ben Weyts is the Flemish minister for animal welfare

Ben Weyts is the Flemish minister for animal welfare
The ban comes four years after right-wing Belgian nationalist Ben Weyts was appointed as the minister responsible for animal welfare in Flanders.

He first proposed the ban upon taking his role and hailed its parliamentary approval at the time, tweeting: “Proud animal minister. Proud to be Flemish.”

On Monday he retweeted a post by Paul Joseph Watson, the British editor-at-large of controversial American alt-right website infowars.com, calling for the ban to be imposed “in every European country”.

While there are already regulations in place across Europe that require animals be rendered insensitive to pain before being killed, exceptions are made in many countries to accommodate religious beliefs.

Kebab shops in the UK serve halal meat, as do fast food outlets like Nando’s and Subway.

UK government rules state that halal and kosher killings must take place in a Food Standards Agency-approved slaughterhouse, must be intended for consumption and can only be carried out by Jews or Muslims.

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Swastikas painted on Jewish graves in French cemetery

Swastikas and antisemitic slogans have been smeared on about 90 graves in a Jewish cemetery in France, local officials said.

The graffiti appeared in the cemetery in Quatzenheim, near Strasbourg, overnight on Tuesday – hours before planned nationwide marches against a rise in antisemitic attacks.

French president Emmanuel Macron visited the graveyard on Tuesday, walking through a gate with a swastika sprayed onto it.

He paid his respects at one of the desecrated graves and told Jewish community members and local leaders: “It’s important for me to be here with you today.”

Emmanuel Macron made a sombre visit to the cemetery in Quatzenheim near Strasbourg

Emmanuel Macron made a sombre visit to the cemetery in Quatzenheim near Strasbourg
Many French political leaders are due to join Tuesday evening’s march in Paris against antisemitism, although Mr Macron will not be there.

There were more than 500 antisemitic attacks across France in 2018, a 74% increase from 2017, figures released last week revealed.

After a series of antisemitic attacks last January Mr Macron urged the whole of France to “rise up” against “disgusting attacks” on the country’s Jewish community.

More from Emmanuel Macron

Incidents in recent days included yellow vest protesters on Saturday abusing Alain Finkielkraut, a well-known Jewish writer and son of a Holocaust survivor.

Emmanuel Macron paid his respects at a gravestone daubed with a swastika

Emmanuel Macron paid his respects at a gravestone daubed with a swastika
With about 550,00 Jews living in France, the country has the largest Jewish community in Europe.

It has grown by about half since the Second World War, but antisemitic attacks remain common.

Earlier this month a bagel shop was sprayed with the word Juden – German for Jews – in yellow letters.

Swastikas were painted on about 90 gravestones

Swastikas were painted on about 90 gravestones
And artwork on two Paris post boxes with the image of Holocaust survivor and former magistrate Simone Veil on were defaced with swastikas.

A Jewish cemetery in Herrlisheim, north of Strasbourg, also had many of its gravestones daubed with swastikas in December last year.

In 2015 four Jews in a Kosher supermarket in Paris were among 17 killed across the city by Islamist militants.

Earlier this month mailboxes with Holocaust survivor and politician Simone Veil on were vandalised

Earlier this month mailboxes with Holocaust survivor and politician Simone Veil on were vandalised
In 2012 an Islamist gunman killed a rabbi and three children at a Jewish school in Toulouse.

“These acts are disgusting,” Prime Minister Edouard Philippe told parliament last week.

“We need to educate and remind people about our history, to talk about the horrors that hide behind those criminal acts.

“We also need to punish (more) and we know that we can’t be hesitant on that.”

Mr Macron will host a dinner on Wednesday with the head of Crif, the overarching body that represents the Jewish community in France.

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Nijar ta samu tallafi maganin malaria daga Amurka

Sauro ne ke haddasa cutar malaria

Hakkin mallakar hoto
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Gwamnatin Amurka ta tallafa wa jamhuriyar Nijar da magungunan zazzabin cizon sauro wato malaria na milyoyin CFA.

Tallafin dai ya hada da magungunan rigakafin zazzabin cizon sauro dama na magance cutar da zarar an kamu da ita.

Kazalika daga cikin tallafin da Amurkan ta ba wa Nijar, akwai gidajen sauro.

Amurka dai ta bayar da wannan taimako ne ga Nijar da zimmar rage yaduwar cutar ta malaria da akshi 50 cikin 100.

Wannan tallafi na Amurkan, na daga cikin wani tsari ne na kasar wajen tallafa wa kasashe masu tasowa.

Cutar zazzabin cizon sauro na daga cikin cututtukan da ke saurin kisan kananan yara da ma mata masu juna biyu a kasar.

Gwamnatin Nijar ta kasa yakin da take a kan yaduwar cutar zuwa gida uku da suka hada da neman tallafi da wadatar da al’ummar kasar da maganin rigakafin cutar da kuma tsaftace unguwanni.

Kasashen Afrika ne suka fi fama da cutar zazzabin cizon sauro, kuma yawancin wadanda ke mutuwa yara ne.

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Two dozen bodies recovered from flooded illegal Zimbabwe gold mine

The bodies of 24 illegal gold miners have been recovered from flooded tunnels in Zimbabwe after a dam wall collapsed following heavy rain.

Up to 70 may have been trapped in the mine and the search near Kadoma continues, the government said. It has declared a national disaster.

A relative of a deceased miner

Image:
A relative of a deceased miner wears a mask near the mine
Eight people were rescued, all but one of whom have been discharged from hospital.

Henrietta Rushwaya, who leads the country’s small-scale miners’ association, said 23 of the bodies had been identified.

According to the government’s deputy chief mining engineer, “it doesn’t seem likely” that there are any other survivors.

Only eight of the estimated 70 trapped miners are thought to have survived

Only eight of the estimated 70 trapped miners are thought to have survived
The disaster happened in Battlefields – a small settlement 110 miles west of Harare that is rich in gold deposits and popular with illegal miners.

Friends and relatives have broken police lines in an attempt to identify their loved ones.

Surviving miners were exhausted and muddied after being pulled out

Surviving miners were exhausted and muddied after being pulled out
The makeshift shafts and tunnels, some running as deep as 50m (164ft), can easily collapse in the rainy season when the ground is soft.

According to the Zimbabwean government, $200,000 (£155,000) is needed to complete the rescue effort – with a spokesman urging “well-wishers” to donate body bags, masks and gloves.

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