June 30, 2016

TURKEY: Istanbul Airport Islamist Attackers Identified As Russian, Uzbek And Kyrgyz Nationals

The Washington Post
written by Erin Cunningham
Thursday June 30, 2016

ISTANBUL — The three suicide bombers who brought horror and bloodshed to Istanbul’s main airport were identified Thursday as nationals from Russia, Uzbekistan and Kyrgyzstan, adding fresh leads for investigators digging into suspected Islamic State networks.

The various homelands underscored possible connections between Islamic State cells and Turkey’s large communities of workers and others from the Caucasus region and Central Asia. There has been no claim of responsibility, but Turkish officials have said they believe the Islamic State was behind the carnage at Ataturk Airport.

Senior Turkish officials cited the home nations of the attackers. But authorities did not immediately release their names or other details about their possible movements and planning before the attack, which claimed 44 lives and wounded more than 230 in another potential blow to Turkey’s already flagging tourism industry.

Uzbekistan has faced sporadic attacks by Islamist militant factions since the 1990s, and Kyrgyzstan recently launched crackdowns on suspected Islamic State recruitment. Russia’s Dagestan region — alleged home of the third attacker — has been caught up in clashes between Russian forces and Islamist fighters since the late 1990s.

The details on the attackers’ origins are likely to expand the international scope of the investigation and offer a chance for wider assistance from Russia, which plans security talks Friday with Turkish officials.

The broad topic outlined for the meetings looks to find ways to ease the conflict in Syria, but the airport attacks could shift greater focus to the Islamic State and its dependence on Turkey as a lifeline. In recent months, however, Turkey has sought to increasingly close off the militant group’s routes for sending supplies and recruits into Syria.

Even as Turkey still reeled from the violence, the assault on one of the world’s busiest airports — and a symbol of Turkey’s modern economy — threatened to propel the country into an even wider war with the jihadists.

Turkish police staged raids in at least two cities, detaining at least 13 suspects in connection with the attacks.

Counterterrorism units raided 16 addresses in Istanbul and launched operations in the Aegean coastal city of Izmir, according to Turkish officials and the state-run Anadolu news agency.

Three of those arrested in Istanbul are foreign nationals. Nine other suspects were detained in Izmir for allegedly providing logistical support to the Islamic State, but it was unclear whether they were directly tied to the attack.

Turkish Prime Minister Binali Yildirim said in a televised speech late Wednesday that the government’s assertion that the Islamic State was responsible “continues to gain weight.”

At least three people injured in the attack later died, raising the death toll to 44, including 25 Turks and 19 foreigners, officials said. Among those hurt was at least one American who suffered minor injuries, U.S. Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson said, the Reuters news agency reported.

USA: CIA Director Brennan Says Istanbul, Turkey Bombings Should Serve as Warning to U.S.

The Washington Freebeacon
written by Natalie Johnson
Thursday June 29, 2016

CIA Director John Brennan said that the suicide bombings in Istanbul, Turkey bore the signs of ISIS and should serve as a warning to Americans that the terrorist group is aiming to carry out similar attacks in the U.S.

“I’d be surprised if [ISIS] is not trying to carry out that kind of attack in the United States,” Brennan told Yahoo News Tuesday evening.

Although no organization has claimed responsibility for the bombings at Istanbul Ataturk Airport Tuesday night, Brennan said the method of attack fits the profile of the terror group.

Three suicide attackers wearing explosive vests opened fire and blew themselves up in the airport’s arrival hall and a nearby parking lot, killing 41 people and wounding 239. The coordinated massacre echoed the ISIS bombings at Brussels Airport three months earlier.

Turkish Prime Minister Binali Yildirim told reporters hours after the Istanbul bombings that initial findings implicated ISIS. While the Kurdistan Workers’ Party, or PKK, has targeted police and military personnel with bombs during the past year, officials said ISIS is more likely behind Tuesday’s attack.

“I am worried from the standpoint of an intelligence professional who looks at the capabilities of [ISIS] … and their determination to kill as many as people as possible and to carry out attacks abroad,” Brennan said.

He said ISIS has so far been unable to attack the U.S. directly because of effective homeland security and intelligence measures, but warned that the militants would continue their attempts to infiltrate American defenses.

Director of National Intelligence James Clapper raised similar concerns last month. He told CNN in May that ISIS has the capability to conduct a large-scale Paris-style attack in the U.S.

INDIA: Government To Clarify In Supreme Court Its Stand On Homosexuality. It's Currently illegal. Prominent Gay Indians Join Battle To End Criminalization Of Homosexuality.

The Hindu, India
written by Staff
Thursday June 29, 2016

Union Law Minister D.V. Sadananda Gowda on Tuesday clarified that the government would make its stand known before the Supreme Court on Wednesday on the issue of decriminalising gay sex among consenting adults.

It is currently an offence under Section 377 of the Indian Penal Code.

Stating that he could not divulge the details as the matter was sub judice, Mr. Gowda told the media: “The government has already discussed the issue of 377 with the Attorney General. We will place our arguments before the Supreme Court.”

In February, the Supreme Court indicated that it would refer to a larger Bench a batch of petitions filed by NGOs led by the Naz Foundation.

These petitions had sought the apex court to have a relook at its earlier judgment upholding Section 377.

Sexual freedom

The new writ petition, listed for hearing before a Bench of Justices S.A. Bobde and Ashok Bhushan on Wednesday, was filed by several celebrities including chef Ritu Dalmia, hotelier Aman Nath and dancer N. S. Johar. They argued that sexual freedom was part of the fundamental rights protected by the Constitution.

Section 377 had inexorably constricted the rights, they argued.

Denied their right

“Despite their achievements and contributions to India in various fields, they are being denied the right to sexuality, the most basic and inherent of fundamental rights. Section 377 [unnatural sexual act] renders them criminals in their own country,” their petition stated.

In 2013, the apex court set aside the Delhi High Court judgment of July 2, 2009, de-criminalising Section 377, saying that the decision should be left entirely within the domain of Parliament.
The Washington Post
written by Rama Lakshmi
Tuesday June 28, 2016

NEW DELHI — A group of gay Indians who are prominent in their fields have joined together to petition the Supreme Court on Wednesday to demand the scrapping of a dreaded colonial-era law that criminalizes homosexuality, adding their weight to a decade-and-a-half-old legal battle.

When the high court resumes work after its 45-day summer break on Wednesday, it is likely to hear the petition filed by a celebrity chef, a hotelier, a writer, a business executive and a classical dancer who argue that the law — called Section 377 of the Indian penal code — violates their right to life. The law is routinely abused by policemen to harass gay people and demand bribes.

The new petition said that “sexual expression, in whatever form, between consenting adults in the privacy of a home ought to receive protection of fundamental rights."

This is the first time prominent gays from varied walks of life have come forward in the battle to win a legal victory.

The petition said that the petitioners are “highly accomplished professionals who have been felicitated for their professional achievements, but have suffered because of the deleterious effect of this draconian law on their personal and professional lives."

India’s minister for law and justice, D.V. Sadananda Gowda, told reporters that the government has discussed the fresh petition with the attorney general.

“We will place our arguments in front of the Supreme Court and the decision will be taken today on what stand the central government needs to take,” Gowda said. “Cannot say more on the issue as the matter is sub judice.”

In December 2013, India’s gay community suffered a setback when the Supreme Court overturned a historic 2009 lower-court ruling that said homosexuality was not a crime. The landmark ruling in 2009 led to a brief period of celebration and coming-out parades.

But several religious, cultural and political groups filed appeals and the community had to start all over again. The Supreme Court upheld Section 377 and said homosexuality was “against the order of nature” and said only the country’s parliament can decide to change the law.

An appeal by a longtime gay rights advocacy group called the Naz Foundation was dismissed.

The fresh petition on Wednesday will argue that Section 377 violates the fundamental rights guaranteed in the Indian constitution.

Some members of the ruling Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party have supported decriminalizing homosexuality.

Ram Madhav, the general secretary of the party, had said in 2014 that even though he does not endorse “glorification of certain forms of social behavior,” he finds it questionable that homosexuality is treated as a crime in “this day and age.”

But the lower house of parliament voted twice in the past six months against a move by Shashi Tharoor, a lawmaker from the opposition Congress party, to decriminalize homosexuality.

On Twitter, many welcomed the new petition.

Rama Lakshmi has been with The Post's India bureau since 1990. She is a staff writer and India social media editor for Post World. Follow @RamaNewDelhi

TURKEY: A Triple Islamist Suicide Bombing And Gun Attack At Istanbul's Ataturk Airport Late Tuesday Night Murdered 41 People, Including 13 Foreigners, And Wounded 239 People. A List Of Major Bomb Attacks In Turkey

Dawn news, Pakistan
written by AFP, Reuters news agencies
Tuesday June 28, 2016

ISTANBUL - A triple suicide bombing and gun attack at Istanbul's Ataturk airport late Tuesday night killed at least 41 people, including 13 foreigners, and wounded 239 people, the city's governor confirmed as Turkey's prime minister said early signs pointed to an assault by the militant Islamic State (IS) group.

The attackers began spraying bullets at the international terminal entrance before blowing themselves up at around 10:00pm (1900 GMT) Tuesday, Turkish authorities said.

It is the deadliest of four attacks to rock Turkey's biggest city this year, with two others blamed on IS and another claimed by a militant Kurdish group.

Though there was no immediate claim of responsibility for Tuesday's carnage, “the evidence points to Daesh”, Prime Minister Binali Yildirim told journalists at the scene, using another name for the militants. He said the dead included foreigners, but gave no further details.

An Iranian and a Ukrainian have been confirmed as the first foreign victims in the attack, a Turkish official said Wednesday.

“I confirm one Iranian and one Ukrainian national have been killed in yesterday's terror attack,” the official told reporters on condition of anonymity.

The attack prompted the suspension of all flights at the airport — one of Europe's busiest hubs. More than 61 million passengers travelled through the airport in 2015.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan called for an international “joint fight” against terror, as Western allies including the United States condemned the “heinous” attack.

Yildirim said the suicide bombers had arrived in a taxi and opened fire on passengers with automatic rifles before blowing themselves up.

Security camera footage widely circulated on social media appeared to capture two of the blasts.

In one clip a huge ball of flame erupts at an entrance to the terminal building, scattering terrified passengers.

Another video shows a black-clad attacker running inside the building before collapsing to the ground apparently felled by a police bullet — and blowing himself up.

Tuesday's attack follows coordinated IS suicide bombings at Brussels airport and a city metro station in March that left 32 people dead.

'The roof came down'
Most of those killed were Turkish nationals but foreigners were also among the dead, a Turkish official said.

Ali Tekin, who was at the arrivals hall waiting for a guest, said the roof came down after an “extremely loud” explosion.

“Inside the airport it is terrible, you can't recognise it, the damage is big,” Tekin said.

A woman named Duygu, who was at passport control after arriving from Germany, said she threw herself to the floor after the explosion.

“Everyone started running away. Everywhere was covered with blood and body parts. I saw bullet holes on the doors,” she said.

Paul Roos, 77, said he saw one of the attackers “randomly shooting” in the departures hall from about 50 metres away.

“He was wearing all black. His face was not masked,” said Roos, a South African on his way home after a holiday in southern Turkey.

"We ducked behind a counter but I stood up and watched him. Two explosions went off shortly after one another. By that time he had stopped shooting,” Roos told Reuters.

“He turned around and started coming towards us. He was holding his gun inside his jacket. He looked around anxiously to see if anyone was going to stop him and then went down the escalator ... We heard some more gunfire and then another explosion, and then it was over.”

'I can't find my sister'
An AFP photographer saw bodies covered with sheets at the terminal, which bore heavy damage from the blasts.

Bullet holes peppered the windows and shattered glass lay on the floor, while abandoned luggage was scattered everywhere.

Hundreds of police and firefighters including forensic officers were at the scene.

“Somebody came and shot at us and then my sister was running,” Otfah Mohamed Abdullah told AFP. “I don't know which way she was running and after that I was falling down. I was on the ground till he finished... I can't find my sister.”

There was panic at the nearest hospital in Istanbul's Bakirkoy district, which was inundated with relatives desperate for news of loved ones.

Security expert Abdullah Agar told CNN Turk the attack bore the hallmarks of IS. “It really bears a resemblance to their methods,” he said in reference to the Brussels bombings, which were claimed by IS.

The US and French consulates warned people to stay away from the area.

Erdogan call
President Tayyip Erdogan said the attack should serve as a turning point in the global fight against militant groups.

“The attack, which took place during the holy month of Ramadan, shows that terrorism strikes with no regard for faith and values,” he said in a statement.

The United States said it stood in solidarity with Turkey, its NATO ally, and that such attacks would only reinforce their joint determination. United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon stressed the need to intensify global efforts to combat extremism.

Erdogan met with his prime minister and military chief after news of the carnage broke.

“We urge the world, especially Western countries, to take a firm stand against terrorism,” Erdogan said in a statement.

“Despite paying a heavy price, Turkey has the power, determination and capacity to continue the fight against terrorism until the end.”

Istanbul, a major tourism hub that is home to some 15 million people, has suffered a series of attacks in recent months, including a bombing in the heart of the tourist district that killed a dozen German visitors and was blamed on IS.

Two months later, three Israelis and an Iranian were killed in a bombing on the city's main Istiklal shopping street, also blamed on IS.

A blast on the tarmac at Istanbul's other international airport, Sabiha Gokcen, killed a cleaner in December.

Turkey has been hit by at least five attacks blamed on IS militants, including a blast in Ankara in October 2015 that left over 100 dead, though the group has never formally claimed responsibility for an attack in Turkey.


Dawn news, Pakistan
written by AFP staff
Tuesday June 28, 2016

ISTANBUL - Three suicide bombers opened fire then blew themselves up in Istanbul's main international airport on Tuesday, killing 36 people and wounding close to 150 in what Turkey's prime minister said appeared to have been an attack by the militant Islamic State (IS).

This is the latest in a string of attacks that have struck Turkey in recent months.

Following is a list of the worst bomb attacks in Turkey since 1986:

2016

June 28: At least 36 people are killed in a triple suicide bombing and gun attack at Istanbul's Ataturk airport.

June 7: At least seven police officers and four civilians die when a bomb rips through a police vehicle near the historic centre of Istanbul.

March 19: Three Israelis and an Iranian are killed and dozens injured in a suicide bombing blamed on IS militants targeting an Istanbul shopping thoroughfare, the Istiklal Caddesi.

March 13: At least 34 people are killed and dozens wounded in a suicide car bomb attack in Ankara. The assault is claimed by the Kurdistan Freedom Falcons (TAK), a radical offshoot of the better-known Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK).

February 17: At least 29 are killed in a car bombing targeting the Turkish military in Ankara. The attack is also claimed by TAK.

January 12: Eleven German tourists are killed and another 16 people wounded in a suicide attack by a Syrian bomber in Istanbul's Sultanahmet district, the ancient tourist heart of the city and home of the Blue Mosque.

2015

October 10: In the bloodiest attack in Turkey's history, 103 people are killed and more than 500 wounded in twin suicide bombings targeting a pro-Kurdish peace rally in Ankara. Authorities blame IS.

July 20: 34 people are killed and about 100 wounded in a suicide bombing in the predominantly Kurdish town of Suruc near the border with Syria. Turkish officials blame IS.

2013

May 11: A twin car bomb attack kills 52 people in the town of Reyhanli near the Syrian border. Ankara blames pro-Damascus groups.

February 11: 17 people are killed when a Syrian minibus explodes in Reyhanli.

2008

July 27: Two bombings in Istanbul leave 17 dead and 115 wounded. Ankara blames the PKK.

2006

September 12: 10 people, including children, are killed in a bomb blast in Diyarbakir, the largest city in the mainly Kurdish southeast.

2003

November 15 and 20: Four suicide car bomb attacks in Istanbul hit two synagogues, the British consulate and a branch of the British multinational bank HSBC, leaving 63 dead, including Britain's consul general, and hundreds wounded. The attacks are claimed by Al Qaeda and a Turkish extremist group named the Islamic Front of Raiders of the Great Orient.

1999

March 13: 12 people are killed in a firebombing on an Istanbul shopping mall. The attack is claimed by the PKK, which later retracts its statement.

1991

December 25: Explosives and firebombs are hurled at an Istanbul department store, killing 17 people and injuring 23. The attack is blamed on the PKK.

1986

September 6: A twin suicide bombing kills 22 people at a synagogue in Istanbul.

PANAMA: Panama Opens Expanded Canal To Newer, Bigger Ships.

Yahoo news
written by Marc Burleigh, AFP
Sunday June 26, 2016

Panama has declared its century-old canal open to a new generation of supersized cargo ships after years of massive expansion works aimed at profiting from burgeoning US-Asia trade.

A giant Chinese-chartered freighter, baptized COSCO Shipping Panama especially for the occasion, made its way along the 80-kilometer (50-mile) waterway linking the Atlantic and Pacific oceans.

Its passage was to show off the third shipping lane and gargantuan locks built into the canal catering to vessels of its class, known as Neopanamax, or New Panamax, ships.

It stopped in the locks giving access to the Pacific, where VIPs and 25,000 Panamanians had gathered to celebrate the inauguration.

The freighter's horn bellowed out triumphantly several times, triggering applause and cheers from the flag-waving crowd before they were treated to fireworks and a song-and-dance show relating the history of the canal.

President Juan Carlos Varela, who has hailed the renovated canal as "the route that unites the world," led the event alongside foreign dignitaries including Chilean President Michelle Bachelet, all wearing white.

Varela, in his speech, admitted he had not initially backed the canal's expansion, before he became president.

But as leader, he said, he recognized it would deliver "a better future" for the country.

"This is the beginning of a new era," said the head of the state Panama Canal Authority, Jorge Quijano.

The United States -- builder of the original canal, which opened in 1914 and is still in operation alongside the additions -- was represented at the ceremony by Jill Biden, the wife of the US vice president.

The United States and China are the two most frequent canal users.

- Untapped market -

The expansion work was carried out since 2007 and finished two years late at a cost of at least $5.5 billion.

Labor disputes and friction between the government and the European consortium that carried out the project dogged the work. Still outstanding are consortium demands for costs overruns of hundreds of millions of dollars.

Sunday's celebrations however focused on the achievement, which promises to double the volume of cargo passing through the canal and allow it to accommodate 98 percent of ships on the oceans.

Neopanamax freighters can carry up to three times the cargo of older and smaller Panamax ships. Cruise ships built to the same dimensions typically double the number of passengers of the previous iteration.

The expansion will also allow Panama to lure gargantuan liquified natural gas (LNG) tankers.

This is a lucrative segment of the shipping market untapped until now by Panama. Its importance has grown with the development of US natural gas exports, most of which head to Japan and South Korea.

Panama's plan is to triple the $1 billion in revenue it currently gets from canal shipping fees.

However, that goal might still be a decade away, according to officials from the Panama Canal Authority, the autonomous government agency that runs the waterway.

Panama might have been overly ambitious in calculating how fast it will see its investment pay off, particularly as world shipping prices that have dropped due to capacity oversupply.

"Everybody is always overly optimistic," said Peter Shaerf, deputy chairman of Seaspan Corporation, a container ship group with a fleet of 100 vessels, more than half of which are Neopanamaxes.

But, he told AFP on Saturday, the canal itself is "one of the engineering wonders of the world" and it "will have a huge impact on trade."

- Countering 'Panama Papers' damage -

For Panama, the feat is a source of national pride, symbolizing the country's enviable modernity compared to neighbors, and its consistently high economic growth.

The government hopes the glitz and historical nature of the broadened canal will help overshadow the blow the country took to its reputation this year with the "Panama Papers" scandal.

Revelations of offshore companies started by a Panama law firm, and used by the world's rich and influential to dodge taxes and stash assets, have become the first thing many people think of when the Central American nation is mentioned.

But the canal, and the work to develop it for modern trade, is "the real face of Panama," Quijano, the Panama Canal Authority chief, told AFP this week.
Jamaica Observer
written by AFP staff
Sunday June 26, 2016

COCOLร, Panama – A giant Chinese-chartered freighter nudged its way into the expanded Panama Canal on Sunday to mark the completion of nearly a decade of work forecast to boost global trade.

Thousands of people cheered and waved flags as they watched the vessel, especially renamed COSCO Shipping Panama, inaugurate the widening of the century-old waterway, which has been fitted with a new shipping lane and locks.

"This is a great day, a day of national unity and a day for Panama," President Juan Carlos Varela said in a speech.

"This is the route that unites the world," he said.

The Chinese ship entered from the Atlantic and was to take hours to make its way to the Pacific side of the country, where a ceremony attended by several heads of state and foreign dignitaries was to take place.
Thousands of people gathered there in tropical heat awaiting the ceremony, sitting on stands or milling around, some under umbrellas to keep the sun off their heads.

The United States -- builder of the original canal, which opened in 1914 and is still in operation alongside the additions -- was being represented by the wife of US Vice President Jose Biden, Jill Biden, and the US ambassador to Panama.

The United States and China are the two most frequent canal users. Its expansion is expected to greatly benefit commercial traffic between North America and Asia.

CHINA: Pakistan Says Will Probe China Decision To Ban Fasting For Muslims In Xinjiang During Ramazan. What Is China's Plan for Fighting Global Terrorism?

The Indian Express
written by Staff
Thursday June 30, 2016

Approximately, China has 20 million-strong Muslim population, and the far-western region of Xinjiang is home to 10 million Uighur Muslims.

A Pakistan Ministry of Religious Affairs delegation has left for China to determine the reported reason for the Chinese authorities to ban fasting in Muslim-majority Xinjiang province during Ramazan.

A ministry official was quoted by the Express Tribune, as saying that Beijing has formally requested Islamabad to send a delegation to Xinjiang to ascertain the facts.

The delegation includes the Director General (Research), Noor Islam Shah, and Faisal Mosque chief cleric Ziaur Rehman. They will ascertain facts regarding the reported ban on fasting.

It was earlier reported that Chinese authorities had marked the start of Ramazan with a customary ban on civil servants, students and children in the mainly-Muslim region to fast, the report clearly rejected by Chinese government as baseless.

Chinese officials refuted the reports saying the country’s constitution guarantees religious freedom.

Approximately, China has 20 million-strong Muslim population, and the far-western region of Xinjiang is home to 10 million Uighur Muslims.

[source: Wikipedia]

Chronology of major events [For those of you who don't know, Uyghur's are Muslims. Their list starts in 1992. If you'd like to read the entire list they've provided, please click HERE. (emphasis mine)]

Following is a partial list of events that have been described as terror attacks or attempted terror attacks by non-state actors in the People's Republic of China. Due to variations in the definitions and applications of the term, the characterization of some events as terrorist attacks may be disputed. Many incidents listed occurred in Xinjiang or Tibet—areas where foreign journalists have extremely limited access, and are closely monitored if and when they gain permission to report in the regions. As such, many reports of violence or terror attacks cannot be confirmed independently, and foreign reporting frequently relies on information released by the government of China or in the state-run press. In several instances, conflicting narratives of these have emerged from witnesses or from diaspora groups.

August 19, 2010: According to Chinese media reports, six ethnic Uyghur men were allegedly involved in loading a vehicle with explosives and driving into a group of security officers at a highway intersection near Aksu, Xinjiang. Seven people, including two attackers, were killed, according to police. In the wake of the attack, authorities in the region vowed to crack down "relentlessly" on criminal activity.

July 18, 2011: Chinese media reported that 18 people died when 18 young Uyghur men stormed a police station in the city of Hotan. The men were alleged to have stabbed a security guard and two female hostages, and killed another security guard with a bomb. The attack ended when security officers shot and killed 14 of the attackers. Chinese media initially referred to the attackers as rioters or thugs, though subsequent accounts called the event a terrorist attack. The Germany-based World Uyghur Congress provided a different accounts of event, saying that authorities provoked clashes by opening fire on Uyghurs participating in a non-violent protest against heavy-handed security crackdowns in the city. The Turkistan Islamic Party later claimed responsibility for the attack.

July 30-31, 2011: At least 18 people died in a series of alleged terrorist attacks in the city of Kashgar. According to state-run media accounts, the violence began when two Uyghur men hijacked a truck, ran it into a crowded street, and started stabbing people, killing six. The attack ended when the assailants were overpowered by the crowd, which killed one attacker. On the second day, state-run media reported that a "group of armed terrorists" stormed a restaurant, killed the owner and a waiter, and set it ablaze. They then proceeded to indiscriminately kill four more civilians. Armed clashes then reportedly ensured, ending with police capturing or killing the attackers. The Turkistan Islamic Party later claimed responsibility for the attack. One of the suspects appeared in a TIP video training in Pakistan.

June 29, 2012: Chinese official media reported that six men attempted to hijack Tianjin Airlines flight GS7554 from Hotan to Urumqi, Xinjiang. The men reportedly sought to gain access to cockpit ten minutes after takeoff, but were stopped by passengers and crew. A spokesperson for the Xinjiang government said the men were ethnic Uyghurs.[110] Xinhua reported at least 10 passengers and crew were injured when six hijackers tried to take control of the aircraft. The World Uyghur Congress contested the official account of events, claiming instead that a dispute over seating broke out between Uyghurs and ethnic Han. The WUC suggested the event was being used as a pretext to "reinforce repression" in Xinjiang.

April 24, 2013: It was an incident of ethnic clash that took place between Muslim Uighur and Han Chinese community.As reported by BBC nearly 21 people were killed in the incident including 15 police officers.

June 26, 2013: At least 35 people were killed in clashes between ethnic Uyghurs and police in the deadliest altercation in the region since 2009. Chinese official media reported that a group of 17 knife-wielding Uyghur men attacked a police station and government building. Chinese authorities pronounced the event a terrorist attack, and blamed separatists and overseas forces for fomenting tensions. The World Uyghur Congress blamed the event on "continued suppression and provocation" by Chinese authorities in the region. Foreign media outlets were prevented from visiting the area to investigate.

October 28, 2013: A fiery car blaze at Tiananmen Square that killed five and injured dozens was a premeditated terrorist attack, Chinese police said after making five arrests in connection with the case.

March 1, 2014: An unidentified group of knife-wielding men and women attacked people at the Kunming Railway Station.

September 18, 2015: An unidentified group of knife-wielding men attacked off-duty workers at a coalmine, killing 50, among them 5 police officers.

************
The Diplomat
written by Shannon Tiezzi
November 27, 2015

After the Paris attacks, China pledged to support the international fight against terrorism. But how?

On November 13, gunmen and bombers affiliated with Islamic State (ISIS) attacked Batalcan Theater, cafes, restaurants, and the Stade de France in Paris, killing 129. A week later, armed gunmen took 170 hostages in the Radisson Blu hotel in Mali’s capital, Bamako. In between, ISIS announced that it had executed two hostages, a Norwegian and a Chinese citizen.

Each of these events impacted China directly. One Chinese citizen was shot but survived the Paris attacks; three Chinese were killed in the Mali hotel attack; and hostage Fan Jinghui’s murder was confirmed by China’s Foreign Ministry.

After the events of the past two weeks, China has being facing more pressure – both domestically and internationally – to clarify its contributions to the fight against terrorism. Government officials, from ministry spokespeople to Xi Jinping himself, have been clear cut about China’s revulsion toward terrorism. The question is how China plans to fight it.

One thing is clear: an American-style “war on terror,” with military operations overseas designed to attack and overrun terrorist strongholds, is not in the cards for Beijing. China’s non-interventionist foreign policy wouldn’t necessarily prevent China from sending its military to help fight terrorist groups like ISIS, if (and only if) the host country requests it. But even countries that have openly asked for China’s aid, such as Iraq, have received only promises of personnel training and other support. China simply isn’t interested in placing boots on the ground (or missile in the air, for that matter) to fight international groups like ISIS. And given how little effect military strikes against ISIS have had so far (and the mixed results of the long-standing U.S. operations against the Taliban in Afghanistan), it’s easy to understand how Beijing reached that decision.

But the question remains: if China doesn’t subscribe to a literal war on terror, how does it propose to contribute to the global effort to eradicate terrorism, which Chinese leaders vocally supported over the past two weeks?

When asked to specify how China will work with the international community to fight terrorism, Foreign Ministry spokesperson Hong Lei was predictably vague, but did offer some hints toward China’s next moves.

First, Hong said, “We call on all relevant parties to coordinate with each other and forge synergy under [the] UN framework.” Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi has also spoken of the need to coordinate the global response to terrorism through the United Nations. “The UN’s leading role should be brought into full play to combat terrorism, and a united front in this regard should be formed,” he said on the sidelines of the G-20 summit in Turkey, shortly after the Paris attacks.

Touting the UN as the overseer of global counter-terrorism operations meshes well with China’s interests. For one thing, China wants to see a UN-approved definition of terrorism – which would include China’s own issues with Uyghur separatist groups, thus ending once and for all what China sees as the West’s “double standard” toward terrorism. If the UN was recognized as the coordinator of counter-terrorist operations, it would also restrict U.S. military interventions in the name of fighting terror.

In fact, China’s vision for UN-led approach to counter-terrorism doesn’t seem to include military operations at all. As Hong told reporters on Monday, “The international community should implement relevant UN resolutions, and carry out more cooperation in blocking cross-border flow of terrorists, cutting off the secret financing channels for terrorism, and fighting cyber terrorism.” Tellingly, all of these are actions that can be accomplished through government-to-government meetings, sharing of best practices, and the other sort of achievements reached in high-level dialogues. Nowhere did Hong mention coordinating strikes or attacks on terrorists.

That’s keeping with China’s insistence that both the “root cause” and the “symptoms” of terrorism should be addressed together. In Beijing’s view the “war on terror” as exemplified by the United States focuses too much on the symptoms – eradicating militant activity – without addressing the conditions that led to terrorism.

A recent Xinhua piece outlined China’s vision for how to fight terrorism in Africa, and it had nothing to do with military operations against groups like Boko Haram, Al-Shabaab, and al-Mourabitoun (which claimed responsibility for the November 20 hotel attack in Mali). Instead the piece focused on supporting the affected states to fight their own battles against extremists, by providing “technological aid and intelligence sharing.” Xinhua also argued that, by arming rebels around the world, the West has made terrorist groups stronger, rather than weakening them.

In this light, China sees its economic outreach to Africa (and the Middle East) as steps forward in the fight against terrorism – ways to tackle terrorism at the root by eliminating poverty and providing employment for those who might otherwise be drawn to extremist groups.

Of course, China’s understanding of the “root causes” of terrorism can be called into question based on its actions in Xinjiang province, where heavy-handed security measures may actually be backfiring and increasing terrorist activity. China seems to cling to the belief that economic development can cure all ills, whether in Xinjiang, Mali, or Afghanistan — despite evidence to the contrary in China’s own far-western province. Still, Western military efforts haven’t proved much more successful either.

As China grows in prominence, and as its global interests are increasingly impacted by terrorist networks overseas, expect Beijing to become more vocal about its own strategy for fighting terror — without actually fighting.

BANGLADESH: An Alleged Robber Is Killed, 2 Other Robbers Injured By An Angry Mob At An Aluminium Factory In Gazipur, Dhaka

The Daily Star, Bangladesh
written by Staff
Wednesday June 29, 2016

An alleged robber was killed and two others seriously injured by a mob at an aluminium factory in Pubail area of Gazipur last night.

Identity of the deceased could not be ascertained immediately, reports Bangla daily Prothom Alo.

Mobarak Hossain, a sub-inspector of Joydebpur Police Station, said a gang of 20 to 25 robbers broke into ‘Green Village’, an aluminium factory around 10:00pm yesterday.

Security personnel along with locals chased the robbers and managed to catch three of them, the daily said quoting the SI.

The angry mob then gave them a good thrashing, leaving one of them dead and two others injured, he added.

The injured were admitted to Shaheed Taj Uddin Medical College Hospital.

GERMANY: IMF Will Lower Growth Forecast For German Economy After Brexit, Official Says

The Straits Times
written by Reuters staff
Thursday June 30, 2016

BERLIN - The International Monetary Fund is likely to lower its growth forecast for the German economy in the coming weeks as a result of Britain's decision to leave the European Union, a senior IMF official said on Wednesday (June 29).

Britain is an important trade partner for Germany, and significant changes in the economic relationship between the two countries will have repercussions for Germany, Enrica Detragiache, the assistant director of the IMF's European department, said in a telephone conference on its latest report on Germany and general policy recommendations.

"In terms of the new forecast, of course we are thinking of a downward revision," Ms Detragiache said. "We are already indicating in the report that the UK referendum was a downside risk. "We will not know what this new relationship will look like for some time," she said, adding that the uncertainty alone would hurt growth prospects.

In its assessment, which was concluded before the British vote, the IMF raised its 2016 forecast slightly, predicting the German economy would grow 1.7 per cent, compared with 1.5 per cent previously. But it lowered its 2017 growth outlook to 1.5 per cent from 1.6 per cent.

"We expect this growth to be led by domestic demand rather than foreign demand, supported by good wage growth, low energy prices and expansion fiscal and monetary policies," she said.

The IMF urged the German government to implement structural reforms to address the growing challenges of its rapidly ageing society, such as a shortage of skilled workers.

"We encourage the German authorities to deal more forcefully with these challenges through various structural reforms," Ms Detragiache said.

The German government should set more incentives for women to work full time and for older workers to retire later, she said. Migrants also needed to be integrated into the labour market, she said.

Britain's decision to leave the EU is likely to reduce German exports and reduce growth by as much as half a percentage point next year, the economic institute DIW has estimated.

The German economy expanded by 1.7 per cent in 2015, its strongest rate in four years, driven by private consumption and higher state spending on refugees.

Like the IMF, the government expects the economy to grow 1.7 per cent this year as well, then slow to 1.5 per cent next year. However, the British decision to leave the EU is not yet incorporated into its outlook.

June 28, 2016

FRANCE: Leader of France's Conservative Party Marine Le Pen on Brexit: ‘This Is the Beginning of the End of the European Union’

Time Magazine online
written by Vivienne Walt/Brussels @vivwalt
Tuesday June 28, 2016

"The European Union is objectively a total failure"

Marine Le Pen, the leader of France’s far-right National Front, was one of the few European politicians to celebrate Britain’s decision to exit the European Union. In an interview with TIME’s Vivienne Walt, she explains how she plans to use the Brexit example to pull France out of the E.U.—and why she is so sure she will succeed.

You said Brexit is the biggest thing in Europe since the fall of the Berlin Wall. Is this the end of the E.U.?

Yes, this is the beginning of the end of the European Union. And I hope the birth of the Europe of nations, a Europe of cooperation, that we’ve been propounding for years. The European Union is objectively a total failure. It’s a social failure, it’s an economic failure, it’s a failure in terms of power, it’s a diplomatic failure. They are doing exactly what they did in the Soviet Union. When the results were not in line with expectations, [the Soviets] would say it didn’t work because there was not enough Communism. And the European Union is the same. Each time there is a failure they say it is because there is not enough Europe. The British people have just said ‘stop. For us it’s the end. It’s over.’

What is the path for you between now and the French exit from the E.U.?

In order to organize the referendum I need to win the presidential elections [next year]. I’m the only major candidate that has proposed a referendum, and that has been since four years ago, since before [U.K. Prime Minister David] Cameron, that I suggested organizing a referendum. I would go to the European institutions, I would demand for the French people four sovereignties: territorial—our borders; monetary and budgetary; economic; and legislative. Either the European Union says yes to me, or they would say no, and I would say to the French, there is no only other solution but to leave the E.U.

In your opinion the E.U. cannot be saved or reformed?

Was the Soviet Union reformable? I would say no. They said, ‘okay the Soviet Union isn’t working,’ They would say, ‘no it’s great. We just need democracy, political pluralism, private property.’ And then there was no Soviet Union. The European Union is the same.

How has Brexit changed your political prospects in the French presidential elections next year?

With each day that passes we are shown to be right. Every day that passes validates the analysis that we have put forward these past years, often very alone, often very much against everyone, very often mocked, insulted. The Brexit has given a new demonstration. They told us that it was not possible to leave the E.U. The British people just showed that yes, it is possible. So, we’ve taken note. They joined together to demonstrate against the system. The people in fact wanted to get out. And me, I say, that in many other countries in the E.U., people also want to get out.

Currently the polls say you wouldn’t win a referendum to get France out of the E.U.

Oh really? I don’t know that, myself. That is what people said in Britain. Hah.

What’s the ideal relationship now for the U.K. with the E.U.?

A neighboring country that must go through commercial agreements with the European Union. The E.U. has agreements—and worse than that, free trade agreements—with more than 30 countries in the world: Colombia, Mexico, Albania, Algeria, the Farro Islands… Great Britain is at the same time our neighbor, a European country, and in terms of its economy mostly structured in the same manner, like the big European countries. There is no justification to reject this agreement, except if they want to punish Great Britain, unless they want to avenge Great Britain. But there again would be profoundly anti-democratic. Voilร .

Aside from France, who else will want to get out of the E.U.?

It depends on the elections. We don’t know. I don’t know what might intervene. The signal that has been launched is a real deep upset of conscience. Because the idea, again, the argument that it is impossible to leave the E.U., that was hammered over years and years, that has just collapsed as a result of the act of conscience that has been taken by the people against the European Union.

Why did the British vote to leave the E.U.?

Freedom, the right to decide for themselves. Immigration, undeniably. Social dumping organized by the directive of free movement of workers. I think these were three elements. And perhaps the cost of the E.U., because it costs a lot every year. I think these were the elements.

Does the Brexit change everything for you?

It doesn’t change everything. It’s a validation of the political engagement fought with deep conviction, under conditions that are very difficult. The system is ranged against us, I have to tell you. In France you will not find a single media outlet who is for a referendum. Not one. Not one. Not one political figure. Not one media. Not one party. Not one trade union. It’s not easy to fight within those conditions. But when you have a good thing that happens like that [the Brexit] obviously, it’s a moment of joy. Because it is gives energy to continue.

What’s your prediction for 10 years from now for Europe?

I think within 10 years the European Union will be deconstructed. There will be these buildings, these meetings, these nations. We will work together in work groups on projects. Like Ariane [the E.U. space program], or Erasmus [E.U. student exchange program]. These are projects that have nothing to do with the European Union, the single market. It will be what I call a Europe of cooperation. Some people will find a project and circulate it, and some will say, I like this project, others will say I don’t like it, I don’t want to participate.

ENGLAND: Thatcher "Described The ‘European Project’ As The Greatest Folly Of The Modern Era." #Brexit

Breitbart news
written by Nile Gardiner
Thursday June 23, 2016

Nile Gardiner, director of the Margaret Thatcher Center for Freedom at The Heritage Foundation and a former aide to British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, told Breitbart News Daily SiriusXM host Stephen K. Bannon Thursday, “I think she would be greatly saddened by the fact that Britain is still part of the European Union.”

Gardiner went on to say, “If she were alive today, no doubt that Margaret Thatcher would be actively campaigning for Britain to leave the EU. In fact, she described the ‘European project’ as the greatest folly of the modern era. It was certainly her desire that Britain should leave the European Union.”

“Europe today really is a basket case,” added Gardiner.

As for the larger implications of the vote, he said:
This referendum is hugely important not just for Britain, but also for Europe, for the future, I think, of the free world–and also for the United States, as well. This is ultimately a battle, a fight for sovereignty, self determination, the right to make your own laws. The right for your courts to be sovereign. … And it’s also about the right to control your own borders. … So all of these issues are fundamentally important, as well, for America. The very principles and ideals that the American people cherish are the same principles and ideals that people are fighting for today in this referendum, which is why I think that Americans should instinctively support Brexit. … Anything that advances the cause of freedom on the world stage is a good thing.
Breitbart News Daily airs on SiriusXM Patriot 125 weekdays from 6:00 a.m. to 9:00 a.m. Eastern.

ENGLAND: Queen Elizabeth for Brexit: “EU Courts ‘Denigrate’ Britain By Protecting Terrorists”

Jihad Watch
written by Christine Williams
Thursday June 23, 2016

Even the usually neutral Queen is fed up with European courts protecting Islamic jihadist hate preachers, saying that they “denigrate Britain” and asking the question: “Give me THREE good reasons” to remain inside the European Union. Pity that the Obama administration and Western leftist authorities are not as wise as the Queen on this matter, as she has now signaled her position on Britain leaving the EU and the critical reason for doing so.

“Her Majesty The Eurosceptic Queen: EU Courts ‘Denigrate’ Britain By Protecting Terrorists,” by Liam Deacon, Breitbart, June 22, 2016:

Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II thinks European courts that protect Islamist hate preachers “denigrate” Britain and has demanded her dinner guests “Give me THREE good reasons” to remain inside the European Union (EU).

The loaded challenge has been widely interpreted as an expression of Euroscepticism since the Royal biographer Robert Lacey made the revelation in a blog post in the Daily Beast.

The EU and the European Court of Human Rights are known for their history of protecting the “rights” of extremists and blocking deportations.

Last night Breitbart London revealed that Islamist hate preacher, terrorist apologist and Caliphate agitator Anjem Choudary supports Remain because “there are certain principles and caveats” in EU law that offer “recourse” to Islamist radicals.

According to Mr. Lacy: “We know from another leaked royal conversation that the European Court of Human Rights has annoyed the Queen as much as many Britons.

“She felt that the Court’s shielding of Abu Hamza, the extremist Muslim cleric whom the Home Office wished to deport in 2012, ‘denigrated’ Britain.”

EU courts blocked the deportation of the Egyptian militant Islamist from the UK for eight years, even after he had been found guilty of numerous terror-related crimes.

The Queen is often lauded the model of a responsible constitutional monarch — going to great lengths to remain neutral on big political issues of the day. However, she is said to enjoy “robust” debate and has strong personal views.

The evidence for her majesty’s Eurosceptic tendencies is building. In March, it was revealed that she had spoken out strongly against the EU in a private 2011 discussion with the then Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg – himself a committed Europhile.

A senior source said: “People who heard their conversation were left in no doubt at all about the Queen’s views on European integration.

“It was really something, and it went on for quite a while. The EU is clearly something Her Majesty feels passionately about.”

ENGLAND: German Chancellor Angela Merkel Sees No Chance Of British U-turn On Brexit. EU Parliament Leader: We Want Britain Out As Soon As Possible.

Reuters news
reporting by Noah Barkin
Tuesday June 28, 2016

German Chancellor Angela Merkel said on Tuesday she saw no chance that Britain might go back on its decision to leave the European Union.

Speaking at the end of the first day of an EU summit, Merkel described talks with outgoing British Prime Minister David Cameron as "serious" but "friendly". She said it was not a time for sorrow or anger, but that Europe must simply deal with the situation with which it was now confronted.

"I want to say very clearly tonight that I see no way to reverse this," Merkel said when asked about the possibility of a British U-turn on Brexit. "We all need to look at the reality of the situation. It is not the hour for wishful thinking."
The Guardian, UK
written by Jennifer Rankin and Jon Henley in Brussels, Philip Oltermann in Berlin and Helena Smith in Athens
Friday June 24, 2016

President Martin Schulz says speeding up of UK exit being considered after ‘continent taken hostage because of Tory party fight’

A senior EU leader has confirmed the bloc wants Britain out as soon as possible, warning that David Cameron’s decision to delay the start of Brexit negotiations until his successor is in place may not be fast enough.

Cameron announced on Friday morning that he would step down as prime minister by the autumn, after the British public caused a political earthquake by voting 52%-48% to leave the European Union.

Martin Schulz, the president of the European parliament, told the Guardian that EU lawyers were studying whether it was possible to speed up the triggering of article 50 of the Lisbon treaty – the untested procedure for leaving the union.

As the EU’s institutions scrambled to respond to the bodyblow of Britain’s exit, Schulz said uncertainty was “the opposite of what we need”, adding that it was difficult to accept that “a whole continent is taken hostage because of an internal fight in the Tory party”.

“I doubt it is only in the hands of the government of the United Kingdom,” he said. “We have to take note of this unilateral declaration that they want to wait until October, but that must not be the last word.”

Schulz’s comments were partially echoed by the president of the European commission, Jean-Claude Juncker, who said he there was no reason to wait until October to begin negotiating Britain’s departure from the European Union.

“Britons decided yesterday that they want to leave the European Union, so it doesn’t make any sense to wait until October to try to negotiate the terms of their departure,” Juncker said in an interview with Germany’s ARD television station. “I would like to get started immediately.”

As the pound fell to its lowest level since 1985 amid fears that the Brexit vote could spark a fresh global financial crisis, the governor of the Bank of England stepped in on Friday to calm financial markets.

Mark Carney said Threadneedle Street was ready to do whatever was needed to mitigate the impact of Britain’s historic vote to leave the EU. City traders quickly responded by placing bets on an interest rate cut by the end of the year.

With anti-European sentiment on the rise across the continent, national governments outside Europe’s capital sought urgently to prevent any contagion from the UK vote, urging swift reforms to the 60-year-old bloc. Calls for similar referendums were made in France, the Netherlands and Sweden.

Cameron, who had campaigned hard but ultimately unsuccessfully to keep Britain in the EU, emerged outside No 10 Downing Street just after 8am on Friday to announce his departure, accompanied by his wife, Samantha.

“I was absolutely clear about my belief that Britain is stronger, safer and better off inside the EU,” he said. “I made clear the referendum was about this, and this alone, not the future of any single politician, including myself.

“But the British people made a different decision to take a different path. As such I think the country requires fresh leadership to take it in this direction.”

Cameron said in his resignation speech that it would be up to his successor – expected to be appointed before the Conservative party conference in October – to trigger article 50. Once that is done, the clock starts running on two years of negotiations.

Boris Johnson, the former mayor of London and a leading leave campaigner, said there should be “no haste” in the preparations for the exit of Britain, the first sovereign country to vote to leave the union.

The president of the European council, Donald Tusk, said the 27 remaining members of the bloc would meet next week to assess its future without Britain. “It is a historic moment, but not a moment for hysterical reactions,” he said.

In Berlin, the German chancellor, Angela Merkel, expressed “great regret” at Britain’s decision, but said the EU should not draw “quick and simple conclusions” that might create new and deeper divisions.

The Handelsblatt newspaper said a leaked eight-page emergency Brexit plan suggested the German government should push for an “associative status” for Britain after two years of “difficult divorce negotiations”.

The document indicated that Germany would drive a hard bargain to “avoid offering false incentives for other member states when settling on new arrangements”. Specifically, the paper advocates “no automatic access to the single market”, Handelsblatt reported on Friday afternoon.

While Brussels talked tough, a chorus of European capitals, anxious to avoid clashes with their own Eurosceptic citizens, stressed that the Brexit vote should be seen as a wake-up call for a union that was increasingly losing touch with its people.

Speaking in Paris, the French president, Franรงois Hollande, said he “profoundly regretted” the Brexit vote but that the EU now had to make changes. In a brief televised statement, Hollande said the vote would put Europe to the test: “To move forward, Europe cannot act as before.”

Mark Rutte, the prime minister of the Netherlands, which holds the EU’s rotating presidency, said the EU “has to become more relevant, deliver added value to our lives: jobs, growth, control of our external borders”.

He said he personally felt “this strong discontent with Europe, the Europe of the lofty speeches. Most of my EU colleagues also share this view. They too don’t want any more big visions, conventions and treaties.”

Italy’s foreign minister, Paolo Gentiloni, said the EU must relaunch “common policies for growth, for migration and common defence”, while the Austrian chancellor, Christian Kern, said Brussels needed a clear reform process to boost economies, stem unemployment and improve working conditions.

Sigmar Gabriel, the head of Germany’s Social Democrats, Merkel’s coalition partners, said the British vote was a “shrill wake-up call” for European politicians. “Whoever fails to heed it or takes refuge in the usual rituals, will drive Europe against the wall.”

The Belgian prime minister, Charles Michel, called for a special “conclave” of EU leaders as early as next month. “We need to keep a cool head and need to see what new way of cooperation would be possible,” he said.

Poland’s foreign minister, Witold Waszczykowski, said the result showed “disillusionment with European integration, and declining trust in the EU”. He sought to reassure at least 850,000 Poles living in Britain that “during talks (...) we will aim to guarantee the rights citizens have acquired”.

The Italian prime minister, Matteo Renzi, tweeted: “We must change it to make it more human and more just. But Europe is our home, it’s our future.” Lars Loekke Rasmussen, the Danish prime minister, said Denmark “belongs in Europe” but that mounting Euroscepticism must be taken seriously.

In Greece, there was concern that the referendum result would intensify anti-European sentiment. “In the short term, Brexit may help Greece, because our allies will want to solidify and show solidarity,” a senior minister told the Guardian. “But in the long term, it will not. The prospect of Grexit will increase.”

Turkey, whose future membership of the EU played a key role in the UK referendum campaign, cast doubt on the likelihood of it joining in the aftermath of the Brexit vote. “The European Union’s disintegration has started,” deputy prime minister Nurettin Canikli tweeted. “Britain was the first to jump ship.”

Schulz’s stark comments followed an earlier joint statement with the presidents of the European council and commission, Tusk and Jean-Claude Juncker, as well as Rutte, warning that the EU would expect Britain to act “as soon as possible, however painful the process may be” and that there could be “no renegotiation”.

The four said after emergency talks in Brussels that they regretted, but respected Britain’s decision. “This is an unprecedented situation, but we are united in our response.”

While the UK would remain a member until exit negotiations were concluded, they said, Europe expected it to “give effect to this decision ... as soon as possible”. The special settlement negotiated by Cameron earlier this year was void and could not be renegotiated, they said.

Schulz said he would speak to Merkel about “how to avoid a chain reaction” of other EU states following Britain.

“The chain reaction being celebrated everywhere now by Eurosceptics won’t happen,” he said, adding that the EU was the world’s biggest single market and “Britain has just cut its ties with that market. That’ll have consequences, and I don’t believe other countries will be encouraged to follow that dangerous path.”

Manfred Weber, the chairman of the European People’s party group of centre-right parties in the European parliament, stressed that Britain had crossed a line and there was no going back. “There cannot be any special treatment,” he said. “Leave means leave.”

The UK was the EU’s second-largest economy and largest military power. It will embark on the process of leaving as the union grapples with multiple crises: huge numbers of migrants, economic weakness and a nationalist Russia seeking to overturn the post-cold war order.

The UK has to negotiate two exit agreements: a divorce treaty to wind down British contributions to the EU budget and settle the status of the 1.2 million Britons living in the EU and 3 million EU citizens in the UK; and an agreement to govern future trade and other ties with its European neighbours.

Tusk has estimated that both agreements could take seven years to settle “without any guarantee of success”. Most Brussels insiders think this sounds optimistic.

There were early warnings of difficulties ahead. The German MEP Elmar Brok, who chairs the European parliament’s committee on foreign affairs, told the Guardian the parliament would call on Juncker to strip the British commissioner, Jonathan Hill, of the financial services brief with immediate effect and turn him into a “commissioner without portfolio”.

He said: “They will have to negotiate from the position of a third country, not as a member state. If Britain wants to have a similar status to Switzerland and Norway, then it will also have to pay into EU structural funds like those countries do. The British public will find out what that means.”

Jean-Claude Piris, a former head of the EU council legal service, said claims that Britain would get unfettered access to the single market, without free movement of people, were the equivalent of believing in Father Christmas. He said the British “cannot get as good a deal as they have now, it is impossible”.

Some Brussels insiders fear France and Germany may soften their approach after the vote. Others think countries, especially France, will push for a harsh settlement to hammer home the price of leaving.

One likely outcome of negotiations is that banks and financial firms in the City of London will be stripped of their lucrative EU “passports” that allow them to sell services to the rest of the EU.

In theory, the UK retains the decision-making privileges of membership; in reality, power will rapidly drain away and British diplomats can expect to be marginalised in the councils of Brussels.

The UK will keep its veto in some areas, such as tax and foreign policy, but diplomats say Britain’s voice on other EU decisions, for example, on economics and business, will count for little.