World Week Ahead: Norway’s Extremists and Syria’s Political Options

BY Larisa Epatko  July 25, 2011 at 11:30 AM EDT


Paramedics pay their respects at a makeshift memorial outside Domkirken Church in Oslo, Norway. Photo by Jonathan Nackstrand/AFP/Getty Images

The bombing in Oslo and shooting rampage at a youth camp in Utoya, Norway, by a right-wing, anti-immigration zealot have focused the spotlight once again on the threat of extremism in Europe.

Although admitting to the attacks that left 76 people dead, Anders Behring Breivik, 32, did not accept criminal responsibility for them and is pleading not guilty. He told a court Monday that he wanted to save Europe from Islamic-tolerant governments.

Breivik posted a 1,500-page manifesto on the Internet describing his plans. He claims to have been recruited by right-wing group in Britain, which authorities in the UK now are investigating.

On Monday’s NewsHour broadcast, we’ll have much more on Europe’s extremist movements.

Related Resources:

BBC describes how experts will evaluate Breivik’s mental state.

A New York Times columnist offers another take on Breivik’s personality.

Other stories we’re watching:

SYRIA | The Syrian government late Sunday approved a draft law letting new political parties form alongside President Bashar al-Assad’s Baath Party, but there are some requirements.

“The establishment of any party has to be based on … a commitment to the constitution, democratic principles, the rule of law and a respect for freedom and basic rights,” said the state news agency SANA, according to Reuters.

Meanwhile, Syrian security forces continued to arrest protesters, including women, children and two famous boxers, according to the National Organization for Human Rights in Syria, Bloomberg News reported.

SOMALIA | Somalia’s famine and aid-delivery problems continue to deepen. Somali Deputy Prime Minister Mohamed Ibrahim warned at an emergency summit in Rome that the majority of people might starve to death in insurgent-controlled areas unless aid can be delivered in the next few weeks, The Guardian reported.

The United Nations has declared famine regions in southern Bakool and Lower Shabelle. Somali Islamic rebels have banned some aid groups from operating in the areas and deny there is a famine.

NORTH KOREA | North Korea’s Vice Foreign Minister Kim Kae-gwan was invited to Washington this week to discuss how to restart nuclear talks with Pyongyang, which have been suspended since 2009.

Assistant Secretary of State Kurt Campbell on Monday described the talks as “preliminary” and an opportunity for both sides to lay out expectations, quoted Reuters.

Last week, top nuclear officials from North and South Korea met on the sidelines of an Asian regional security conference in Indonesia.

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