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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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Crime

Kidnappers kill British woman in Nigeria

Kidnappers in Nigeria have shot dead a British woman and a Nigerian man, and abducted three others, officials have said.

Police and the British High Commission have named the woman as Faye Mooney, 29, and said they were aware of an incident which took place at a holiday resort on Friday but added that they would not speculate on a motive.

Her next of kin have been informed.

The Briton was working in Nigeria as a communications specialist for aid group Mercy Corps and was one of 12 tourists travelling to the northern city of Kaduna from Lagos, police said.

Police said Ms Mooney, who worked in the west African nation for nearly two years, had been attending a party before the incident.

In a statement, Mercy Corps said it was “utterly heartbroken” by the killing.

Ms Mooney's employers said they were 'utterly heartbroken' at her death. Pic: LinkedIn

Image:
Ms Mooney’s employers said they were ‘utterly heartbroken’ by her death. Pic: LinkedIn

A Kaduna state police spokesman said: “Some suspected kidnappers armed with dangerous weapons gained entry into a recreational resort called Kajuru Castle in Kajuru local government area shooting sporadically and in the process shot dead two persons, including an expatriate lady, and took away three others.”

Officers have not yet named the other person killed in the incident.

No individuals or groups have said they are behind the killing and police are yet to identify the kidnappers.

Northern Nigeria has been dealing with a Boko Haram and Islamic State insurgency and clashes between farmers and herders, in which hundreds have died.

Kaduna has seen a spate of kidnappings by armed men in recent months.

In a statement, the British High Commission said: “We are engaging with the Nigerian authorities, and we understand an investigation is under way.”

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Crime

Hong Kong: Nigerian Woman Nabbed ‘With Cocaine In Condoms Hidden In Her Vagina’


Customs officials in Hong Kong have apprehended a Nigerian woman who arrived at the Hong Kong International Airport on Thursday with more than half a kilogramme of cocaine hidden in her body, South China Morning Post is reporting.

According to the Hong Kong-headquartered Asian paper, the 37-year-old, who claimed to be a businesswoman, arrived in the city on a flight from Lagos via Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.

She was said to be acting suspiciously, shortly after her arrival on Thursday, hence she was taken to hospital for a check-up that confirmed she had foreign objects in her body.

“She was taken to Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Yau Ma Tei for a check-up and confirmed to have foreign objects in her body,” the paper said.

“Officers first recovered 215 grams of cocaine contained in condoms and plastic bags found in her vagina. She later discharged 24 capsules of cocaine, each weighing 14 grams, from her body.

“The haul, weighing 550 grams in total, was estimated to be worth HK$522,000 (US$66,900). The authorities said the woman, who was detained for inquiries, may discharge more drugs.”

Under Hong Kong’s Dangerous Drugs Ordinance, the maximum penalty for drug trafficking is life imprisonment and a HK$5 million fine.

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Hausa

Masu zanga-zanga na jiran sanarwar mika mulki ga farar hula a Sudan

Protesters have continued to stage a sit-in in central Khartoum

Hakkin mallakar hoto
AFP

Image caption

Masu zanga-zanga a kasar Sudan na kokarin sanar da majalisar da farar hula za ta jagoranta da suke so ta jagoranci kasar wace za ta kasance a matsayin gwamamnatin rikon kwarya bayan hambarar da Omar al-Bashir.

Dubban masu zanga-zangar na ci gaba da haduwa a wajen shelkwatar rundunar sojojin kasar da ke birnin Khartoum.

Shugabannin da ke jagorantar zanga-zangar na ci gaba da tattaunawa da sojojin kasar tun bayan juyin mulkin da aka yi a kasar.

A ranar Lahadi ne dai sojojin suka bayyana aniyarsu ta ba farar hula mulki, amma suna kokarin kafa majalisar da farar hular za ta jagoranta da taimakon sojojin.

Me shugabannin masu zanga-zangar ke shiryawa?

Kungiyar Sudanese Professionals Association (SPA), ita ce kungiyar da ta jagoranci zanga-zangar da ta yi sanadiyar juyin mulkin hambarar da Omar al-Bashir kuma har a yanzu, ita ce gaba-gaba wajen gudanar da zanga-zanga da kuma tattaunawa da sojojin wajen ganin cewa mulki ya dawo ga farar hula.

Tun a baya dai, daya daga cikin jagoran kungiyar ta SPA ya bayyana cewa wannan zai iya kawo tsaiko wajen bayyana majalisar riko ta farar hula amma ya tabbatar da cewa sanarwar za a yi ta ne a ranar Lahadi a filin da ake gudanar da zanga-zangar.

Masu zanga-zangar na san majalisar rikon ta zamana ita ce za ta ci gaba da gudanar da harkokin gwamanti har zuwa lokacin da za a gudanar da zabe a kasar.

Me sojojin za su yi?

A ranar Lahadi, sojojin sun amsa da cewa za su amsa kiran da masu zanga-zangar suke yi na mulkin farar hula cikin mako daya inda suka bayyana ra’ayinsu na majalisar ta zamana ta hadaka tsakanin farar hula da sojojin.

Tun tuni dai sojojin ke nuna tirjiya wajen mika mulki ga farar hula inda suka ki bayar da kai domin bori ya hau.

Amma kuma sojojin sun saki wasu daga cikin ‘yan siyasar da ke gidan kaso inda kuma a wani bangaren kuma sojojin suka kama wasu daga cikin mukarraban Omar al-Bashir.

Duk da cewa sojojin sun yi alkawarin ba za su kori masu zanga-zangar daga filin da suke gudanar da ita ba, amma sun yi kira garesu da su bari a ci gaba da rayuwa cikin walwala.

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