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Former CIA operative extradited from Portugal, Young boy killed by UN motorcade, Latvia bans full-face Islamic veil

Portugal

Last week, appellate courts in Portugal turned down the appeal of a former undercover US Central Intelligence Agency operative who sought to contest her extradition to Italy. The operative, Sabrina De Sousa, was convicted in 2003 in Italy for taking part in the kidnapping of an Egyptian cleric in an extralegal rendition ordered by the George W. Bush administration.

De Sousa, who lives in Portugal, was sentenced to extradition by the courts in January, but the order was stayed pending appeal. Following last week’s denial of her appeal, De Sousa’s Italian lawyer said publicly that she would be extradited some time after May 4.

De Sousa holds American and Portuguese citizenship and has denied involvement in the alleged kidnapping, which occurred when she was working undercover for the CIA as a diplomat in Milan. De Sousa resigned from the CIA in 2009 and quickly left Europe, where she was convicted in absentia that same year.

The former operative traveled to Portugal to be closer to her family and was subsequently detained by Portuguese authorities. De Sousa has exhausted her appeals in the Italian courts, one of the Italian prosecutors who helped convict De Sousa said that she would be sent straight to prison.

Cameroon

The motorcade carrying the US Ambassador to the United Nations, Samantha Power, accidentally struck and killed a seven-year-old Cameroonian boy in the northern part of the country.

The young boy ran out into the road when he was struck by one of the armored vehicles in the motorcade — the child was reportedly distracted by the helicopter flying closely over the vehicles.

Ambassador Power confirmed that the boy died shortly after being hit. “We visited with the boy’s family to offer our profound condolences and to express our grief and heartbreak with what the family is going through,” said Ambassador Power.

Ambassador Power’s week-long visit to Cameroon focused on the country’s war with the militant terrorist group Boko Haram. Ambassador Power visited a refugee camp where she met with children were directly affected by the conflict, including a girl was forced to marry a Boko Haram fighter.

The tragic accident with the motorcade came at a time when Ambassador Power and her delegation sought to bring attention to the horrible violence Cameroonian children faced from Boko Haram.

Latvia

Latvia has banned the Islamic full-face veil, known as a niqab, in public.

Officials say that the new measure is necessary in order to protect and preserve Latvian culture, as well as to prevent possible terrorists and attackers from concealing weapons under veils and other similar garments.

Latvia’s Justice Minister Dzintars Rasnacs said the legislation, which is expected to come into place by 2017, has more to do with ensuring that prospective immigrants respect the country’s values than the actual number of women in Latvia wearing the niqab.

“A legislator’s task is to adopt preventative measures,” said Rasnacs to the New York Times. “We do not only openly protect Latvian cultural-historical values, but the cultural-historic values of Europe.”

Latvia, which has an approximate population of two million and about 1,000 practicing Muslims, agreed to accept 776 refugees from Syria and the Middle East over the next two years as part of the European Union’s efforts to resettle refugees fleeing from war.

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