Our intention was to do a public/private partnership and present and create a synergy between the ideas of two military think tanks to present the diversity of views to deal with what is seen as the most important problem facing the west.
News concerning terrorism and insurgency reverberates from our loudspeakers and splashes across our TV screens, laptops and newspapers. But how much do we know about what is happening and why it is happening? Analysts say clarity of thought on the underlying causes and lasting solutions to the complex problems is in short supply. Magnus Ranstorp, Research Director at the Swedish National Defence College is a world authority on Al-Qaida, Hamas and Hezbollah.
- So many questions. How are politicians and governments dealing with these questions?
There are really only three countries that are really at the forefront of developing some of these measures. You have the United Kingdom, of course, in the aftermath of the strikes in 2005 that really have devoted some thought to this. There also are significant efforts being expended in Holland. This of course came in the aftermath of the killing of Theo von Gogh and the controversial film Submission. So everything from democracy enhancing measures, it’s leadership camps for youths, generational debates. They have a bus tour with parliamentarians, Imams, students and so on. You also have in Denmark, one wouldn’t believe it given the current environment and current debate, but they also have significant efforts being expended – trying to develop a national strategy against radicalisation and extremism.
How about here at home, how is Sweden dealing with the issue?
So how do you do that? What form should the fight against terrorism take?
My name is Gijs Vries, I’ve been the European Union’s Counter Terrorism Coordinator for the past three years. There are two things we need to get right in preventing and combating terrorism. First of course, it’s the work of intelligence services, police services and prosecution – if you wish the law and order side stopping those who wish to attack our society today or tomorrow. But secondly, and in parallel, we need to work on a political strategy to address the motivation of those who support the terrorists. In other words, we need to reduce the pool on which terrorists draw and we need to drive a wedge between the extremists on the one hand which we must put in jail and the broad majority of Muslims worldwide who abhor violence, who reject terrorism in the name of Islam and who want to live under democratic rule in a free societies .Listen to the report:
The Olympic torch has begun its long journey from its spiritual home in Southern Greece to Beijing for this summer's Olympic games. Tibetan activists have however threatened to harry and harrass the torch as it's carried around the world. This week they disrupted the ceremony to light the flame at Ancient Olympia causing huge embarrassment both to Greece and China.
More and more European leaders have sharpened their tone over Tibet this week. Belgian Deputy Prime Minister Didier Reynders, said he would not rule out a boycott if the situation in Tibet worsens. And French President Nicolas Sarkozy did the same. Meanwhile the head of the European Parliament invited the Dalai Lama to address EU lawmakers on the situation in Tibet. And, he also raised the option of boycotting the opening ceremony. But what would a boycott achieve? Marco Cappato is an Italian liberal democrat member of the European Parliament.
The French media watchdog, Reporters Without Borders, sent three people to Olympia, in Greece, to disrupt the torch lighting ceremony. Vincent Brossel was one of the Reporters Without Borders activists who disrupted the ceremony and was later arrested. He was released on parole, and returned to France where he spoke with Jan van der Made.
Many people would say they hear a lot of garbage from politicians during election campaigns, but in Italy garbage is one of the hot issues in this election campaign - especially in the southern Campania region. Although the streets of Naples have finally been cleared of their huge piles of rubbish, the problem is as bad as ever on the city's outskirts. But what's even worse is the problem of toxic industrial waste, dumped in huge quantities by the local mafia - the comorra. Locals are falling ill, animals and crops are being poisoned - and yet no-one is being held accountable.
In Eastern Slovakia new born babies are hooked up to headphones for music therapy to counter the trauma of birth. Now, their Polish neighbours are taking things one step further. A group of radio enthusiasts has launched a new station to cater to the needs of the youngest radio audience - babies, toddlers and small children.
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