COPENHAGEN, Denmark – A Finnish court has convicted a Moroccan asylum-seeker of two terror-related murders and eight attempted murders and given him a life sentence for a stabbing attack in southwestern Finland last year, in the first terror trial in the Nordic country. The southern Finland district court said Friday Abderrahman Bouanane, an alleged sympathizer of the Islamic State group, was guilty of the Aug. 18 stabbing rampage in Turku. Bouanane, who is in his early 20s, had pleaded guilty but denied committing a terrorist act as prosecutors had alleged. They said he was motivated largely by hatred after heavy bombardments by the Western alliance in the Syrian city of Raqqa. A life sentence in Finland is on average between 12 and 20 years with most serving 14-16 years.
Brest, Belarus - At noon each day, the small, echoing arrivals hall of the Soviet-era train station in the Belarusian city of Brest is lined with people waiting to meet relatives who have been turned away from the border with Poland. "We do not know if they made it," says an elderly Chechen woman waiting with her daughter as she watches the wooden arrivals doors. Like many others at the train station, her family has been divided as some members have attempted to cross into Poland. Of the hundreds who attempt the crossing each day, only one or two families are typically permitted to enter. Though there is no consensus on what the official figures are, Human Constanta, a human rights initiative based in Belarus, estimates that 600 people attempt the crossing daily.
After clearing the European Parliament last month, the EU's sweeping copyright laws have passed their final hurdle by receiving approval from member states. The new rules are designed to bring outdated copyright regulations into the online age, making internet platforms liable for content uploaded to their sites. A total of 19 European Council members, including France and Germany, voted in favor of the new Copyright Directive. Italy, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Poland, Finland and Sweden voted against adopting the directive, whereas Belgium, Estonia and Slovenia abstained -- but their opposition ultimately didn't matter. EU countries now have 24 months to apply the directive to their national legislations.
Madrid, Spain - Spain's Pedro Sanchez is in Strasbourg to speak to the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR), making him the country's first serving leader to do so. Sanchez will visit both the ECHR and the Council of Europe on Thursday, where he is expected to'defend' the Spanish court system a week before 12 Catalan politicians go on trial. Spanish media said Sanchez will assure the ECHR that "individual rights, public liberties and the rights of minorities are guaranteed" and will stress on Spain's "respect of jurisprudence". The trial of the 12 Catalan leaders is due to begin in Spain's capital Madrid on February 12. The Catalan separatists have been charged with rebellion, disobedience and embezzlement of public funds during a failed independence bid in 2017 and face up to 25 years in jail.