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Racism rife in Russian football

Russian football is plagued by a racist and far-right extremist fan culture that threatens the safety of visitors to the 2018 World Cup, a report provided to The Associated Press reveals.

Researchers from the Moscow-based SOVA Centre and the Fare network, which helps to prosecute racism cases for European football's governing body UEFA, highlighted more than 200 cases of discriminatory behaviour linked to Russian football over two seasons.

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Last Updated on Saturday, 28 February 2015 12:57

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French National Front candidate says Jews blocking his musical career

A French amateur singer affiliated with the far-right National Front party said his musical career is being blocked by Jews because he is not part of their clique.

Xavier Sainty, a candidate for National Front from the central Allier region in the upcoming regional elections, made the statement on social media earlier this month, the Liberation daily reported on Wednesday.

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Last Updated on Friday, 27 February 2015 23:58

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Anti-Semitism in Europe: Fear of a new darkness

The crowds sang John Lennon’s “Imagine” at memorial rallies for victims of the weekend shootings in Copenhagen. The anti-religion anthem was an odd choice to express solidarity with Denmark’s Jews, but their leaders were not about to quibble with tens of thousands of Danes offering tearful support. Helle Thorning-Schmidt, the prime minister, proclaimed that “an attack on the Jews of Denmark is an attack on Denmark”—the sort of emphatic language European Jews wanted to hear. A day earlier Binyamin Netanyahu, the Israeli prime minister, had offered a different but equally emphatic take. “Jews have been murdered again on European soil,” he said, adding that “Israel is your home.”

European leaders, and most European Jews, were incensed. Speaking at a French Jewish cemetery desecrated a day after the shootings, President François Hollande rejected Mr Netanyahu’s implication that Jews do not belong in Europe. The French prime minister, Manuel Valls, urged them to stay: “A Jew who leaves France is a part of France that is gone.” In Denmark, the Netherlands, Britain and Germany, Jewish leaders said governments should guarantee Jews’ safety wherever they live, and vowed not to be chased out. “We have to strengthen the Jewish communities in Europe, not panic them,” said Raphael Werner, president of Belgium’s Forum of Jewish Organisations.

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Last Updated on Saturday, 21 February 2015 15:48

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Le Pen backs Italy far right against Renzi

France's far-right leader Marine Le Pen has thrown her support behind an upcoming rally against the Italian prime minister Matteo Renzi, the leader of Italy's Northern League has said.

National Front leader Le Pen will send a video message to be aired at Saturday’s protest in Rome against Prime Minister Matteo Renzi, Matteo Salvini said on Monday.

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Last Updated on Tuesday, 24 February 2015 23:35

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The rise and fall of the far right in Finland

“Revolution!” So blazed the headlines in Finland following the 2011 general election. “This is a big, big bang in Finnish politics,” said Jan Sundberg, a political science professor from Helsinki University. The BBC’s Europe editor Gavin Hewitt claimed “a tremor hit the EU”.

When the eurosceptic, nationalistic right-wing party True Finns emerged from near-obscurity to become the third-largest party in Finland in 2011, it seemed that the country had been radically altered. Founded in the mid-Nineties, and competing with parties well-established in Finland for over a hundred years, True Finns shattered expectations when they won 39 of the Finnish Parliament’s 200 seats, compared to just five in 2007. Though they had no majority to speak of, Helsingen Sanomat, the largest newspaper in Finland, described the party's leader and founder, Timo Soini, as “one historic victor above all others”.

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Last Updated on Saturday, 21 February 2015 15:46

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