U.K. lawmakers slam Trump, but most oppose banning him

Written by admin on 15/11/2018 Categories: 长沙夜网

LONDON – Donald Trump doesn’t have many fans in Britain’s Parliament.

But a debate among lawmakers on calls to ban Trump from the country revealed little appetite to close Britain’s doors to the provocative Republican U.S. presidential contender.

During a three-hour debate Monday, legislators from Britain’s main parties stood to call Trump an attention-seeker, a demagogue and a fool. Many, though, argued that he should not be stifled or banned.

ChangSha Night Net

Related

  • Trump reacts to al-Shabaab recruitment video quoting his views on Muslims

  • Somali al-Qaida affiliate uses Donald Trump clip to recruit American Muslims

  • Prosecutors charge California man who praised Trump with threatening to kill Muslims

    “While I think this man is crazy, while I think this man has no valid points to make, I will not be the one to silence his voice,” said Conservative lawmaker Tom Tugendhat.

    Parliament took up the topic after half a million people signed a petition calling for Trump to be excluded over his call for a temporary ban on Muslims entering the United States in the wake of extremist violence. Trump has also claimed that some areas of Britain are so radicalized that police fear for their lives.

    Under British law, any petition supported by 100,000 people – who must each provide and confirm an email address – is considered for parliamentary debate. Monday’s debate was intended to air the subject rather than take a vote.

    WATCH: A student at a Trump campaign rally calls proposed U.K. ban “completely ridiculous”

    Labour Party legislator Paul Flynn, who opened the session, said Trump had already received “far too much attention.”

    “The great danger by attacking this one man is that we can fix on him a halo of victimhood” and boost his popularity among supporters, Flynn said.

    READ MORE: New York tabloid gives Ted Cruz the finger, tells GOP candidate to ‘Go back to Canada’

    But another Labour lawmaker, Tulip Siddiq, supported a ban.

    “This is a man who is extremely high-profile, … a man who is interviewing for the most important job in the world,” she said. “His words are not comical, his words are not funny. His words are poisonous.”

    Prime Minister David Cameron has condemned Trump’s remarks about Muslims as “divisive, stupid and wrong,” but he and other senior officials have said they do not think Trump should be banned.

    WATCH: British lawmakers question whether to ban Trump, even elected President

    The government has the power to deny entry to people with criminal convictions or those whose presence is considered not “conducive to the public good.” The power has been used against figures as diverse as boxer Mike Tyson, rapper Tyler the Creator, radical Muslim preachers and the late Christian fundamentalist Fred Phelps Sr.

    Britain also turned away anti-Islam Dutch legislator Geert Wilders at an airport in 2009. Wilders later sued and won the right to come to Britain.

    Several lawmakers argued that banning Trump would betray the principles of free speech.

    READ MORE: Muslim woman thrown out of Trump rally, group seeks apology

    Conservative Paul Scully said that while people had been excluded from Britain for incitement or hatred, “I have never heard of one for stupidity and I’m not sure we should be starting now.”

    But Labour’s Jack Dromey said Trump was dangerous because he stirred up hatred among different faiths.

    “Donald Trump is a fool,” Dromey said. “He is free to be a fool. He is not free to be a dangerous fool on our shores.”

    Trump’s mother was born in Scotland, and he owns a golf resort there. Should he visit Britain again, he will have no shortage of things to do.

    Labour legislator Naz Shah was one of several lawmakers who invited Trump to visit their constituencies to see Britain’s multiethnic society first-hand. Shah said she would take him to a curry restaurant in her home city of Bradford.

    She said was “a proud Muslim woman” and the Qur’an had taught her that “goodness is better than evil. If someone does bad, you do good in return.”

    —;

    This story has been corrected to show that the surname of the lawmaker in the ninth paragraph is Siddiq, not Siddique.

Comments Off on U.K. lawmakers slam Trump, but most oppose banning him

Former Montenegro concentration camp to become luxury resort, spa

Written by admin on  Categories: 长沙夜网

A tiny island off the coast of Montenegro, once used as a concentration camp during the Second World War, is about to become a luxury hotel and spa.

A 19th century Austro-Hungarian fort sits on Mamula Island in the Adriatic Sea, where approximately 2,000 prisoners were held by fascist Italian forces under the rule of Benito Mussolini in 1942. More than 100 inmates were believed to have been killed or starved to death while under control of Mussolini’s men.

Now the fort will be converted into a luxury resort and spa after the Montenegro government approved an almost 50-year lease to Swiss-Egyptian company Orascom, according to Agence France-Presse.

Mamula Island resort and spa.

Handout

ChangSha Night Net

The plans to build the resort were met with harsh criticism by relatives of former prisoners of the camp.

“To build a luxury hotel dedicated to entertainment at this place where so many people perished and suffered is a blatant example of lack of seriousness towards history,” Olivera Doklestic told AFP.

Doklestic’s father, uncle and grandfather were imprisoned at Mamula, the news agency reported.

“No concentration camp in the world has been transformed into a hotel,” Doklestic said.

Described as having “party ambience,” the resort’s website shows a layout of the hotel that features a large dance floor in the middle of the compound, a DJ, spa and marina-jetty.

Mamula Island resort and spa.

Handout

Last week, tourism officials defended the leasing of the island.

“We were facing two options: to leave the site to fall into ruin or find investors who would be willing to restore it and make it accessible to visitors,” Olivera Brajovic, head of the national directorate for tourism development, told AFP.

Comments Off on Former Montenegro concentration camp to become luxury resort, spa

Spike Lee, Jada Pinkett Smith boycotting this year’s Oscars ceremony

Written by admin on  Categories: 长沙夜网

After the 2016 Oscar nominations were announced last Thursday, there was an almost immediate reaction to the perceived skew of the nominees’ races.

Indeed, it’s glaring to take a closer look at the nominees in the acting categories (Best Actor, Best Actress, Best Supporting Actor, Best Supporting Actress): 20 out of 20, a full 100 per cent, are white.

The hashtag #OscarsSoWhite, which was also in use after last year’s Oscar nominees were revealed, resurfaced again this year across social media.

WATCH: Hollywood ‘A-listers’ boycotting Oscars due to lack of diversity

Director Spike Lee (Jungle Fever, Malcolm X, Do the Right Thing), whose movies often deal with racial issues or hot-button controversial topics, announced that he will not be attending this year’s Academy Awards ceremony because of #OscarsSoWhite.

View this post on Instagram

#OscarsSoWhite… Again. I Would Like To Thank President Cheryl Boone Isaacs And The Board Of Governors Of The Academy Of Motion Pictures Arts And Sciences For Awarding Me an Honorary Oscar This Past November. I Am Most Appreciative. However My Wife, Mrs. Tonya Lewis Lee And I Will Not Be Attending The Oscar Ceremony This Coming February. We Cannot Support It And Mean No Disrespect To My Friends, Host Chris Rock and Producer Reggie Hudlin, President Isaacs And The Academy. But, How Is It Possible For The 2nd Consecutive Year All 20 Contenders Under The Actor Category Are White? And Let’s Not Even Get Into The Other Branches. 40 White Actors In 2 Years And No Flava At All. We Can’t Act?! WTF!! It’s No Coincidence I’m Writing This As We Celebrate The 30th Anniversary Of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr’s Birthday. Dr. King Said "There Comes A Time When One Must Take A Position That Is Neither Safe, Nor Politic, Nor Popular But He Must Take It Because Conscience Tells Him It’s Right". For Too Many Years When The Oscars Nominations Are Revealed, My Office Phone Rings Off The Hook With The Media Asking Me My Opinion About The Lack Of African-Americans And This Year Was No Different. For Once, (Maybe) I Would Like The Media To Ask All The White Nominees And Studio Heads How They Feel About Another All White Ballot. If Someone Has Addressed This And I Missed It Then I Stand Mistaken. As I See It, The Academy Awards Is Not Where The "Real" Battle Is. It’s In The Executive Office Of The Hollywood Studios And TV And Cable Networks. This Is Where The Gate Keepers Decide What Gets Made And What Gets Jettisoned To "Turnaround" Or Scrap Heap. This Is What’s Important. The Gate Keepers. Those With "The Green Light" Vote. As The Great Actor Leslie Odom Jr. Sings And Dances In The Game Changing Broadway Musical HAMILTON, "I WANNA BE IN THE ROOM WHERE IT HAPPENS". People, The Truth Is We Ain’t In Those Rooms And Until Minorities Are, The Oscar Nominees Will Remain Lilly White. (Cont’d)

A post shared by Spike Lee (@officialspikelee) on Jan 18, 2016 at 5:03am PST

“How Is It Possible For The 2nd Consecutive Year All 20 Contenders Under The Actor Category Are White? And Let’s Not Even Get Into The Other Branches. 40 White Actors In 2 Years And No Flava At All. We Can’t Act?! WTF!!” said the director on his Instagram page.

WATCH: #OscarsSoWhite was trending after the Oscars had almost all white nominations, again.

READ MORE: 2016 Oscar nominations: Full list of 88th Academy Awards nominees

Lee posted a picture of Martin Luther King Jr. next to his online rant.

Other black celebrities are taking up the cause as well, including Jada Pinkett Smith, who posted a video to her Facebook page and three tweets to her 桑拿会所 account. Smith calmly expressed her disdain over the Oscar nominations, wondering aloud why black actors can be called upon to host and give out awards, but aren’t honoured for their achievements.

Her video is to the point. She even acknowledges Chris Rock (who’s hosting this year’s ceremony), but reiterates that she will not be attending the Oscars. Her husband, Will Smith, was not nominated for his role in Concussion.

Even people nominated for movies like Straight Outta Compton and Creed are white.

READ MORE: #OscarsSoWhite: 2016 Oscar nominees are almost all white, again

Vanity Fair reports that in its 87-year history the Academy has awarded Oscars to 12 people of colour in the major categories.

The AMPAS voting body is 92 per cent white, according to a 2012 analysis of who’s doing the Oscar voting. While that may not necessarily indicate racism, it certainly provides a specific lens with which to look through. If your perspective is a “white gaze,” then it can be assumed that will influence the outcome of votes.

WATCH: Rev. Al Sharpton calling on civil rights groups to boycott Oscars

Academy president Cheryl Boone Isaacs claims she has since redoubled efforts to diversify its membership.

Follow @CJancelewicz

Academy Award Best Picture: Nominations and Wins | PrettyFamous

ChangSha Night Net

Comments Off on Spike Lee, Jada Pinkett Smith boycotting this year’s Oscars ceremony

MP Seamus O’Regan says he’s ‘40 days alcohol-free’ and returning to work

Written by admin on  Categories: 长沙夜网

Seamus O’Regan, the Liberal MP for St. John’s South-Mount Pearl who entered a wellness program for an alcohol problem in December announced on social media Monday he’s been sober for 40 days and is “reporting back for duty” in Ottawa.

O’Regan said in a Facebook post he had undergone hours of counselling since entering a Toronto treatment facility on Dec. 11 after finishing his work on Parliament Hill.

“Over the last year or two, alcohol was becoming a part of my daily life. I regularly had several drinks at the end of most days. Sometimes more than several drinks,” he wrote.

“I was still working effectively and competently, but I realized, over time, that being competent was not good enough. I was far from my best self. And the simple truth is that I owe my best self to my marriage, to my family, to my friends, and to my constituents.”

He added that he was at the facility until just a few days ago.

“I have spent the last 40 days alcohol-free. I have had the benefit of many hours of counseling, meditation and acquiring the tools to remain alcohol-free,” he wrote.

READ MORE: Liberal MP Seamus O’Regan enters treatment facility

O’Regan thanked all those who called or wrote to support him over the last few weeks.

“I have dealt with my personal challenges and I shall continue to do so. But, ultimately, my personal challenges are secondary to the needs of my constituents,” he wrote.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has expressed his support when O’Regan announced that he was seeking help over the holiday break.

The House of Commons will resume sitting on Jan. 25.

ChangSha Night Net

Comments Off on MP Seamus O’Regan says he’s ‘40 days alcohol-free’ and returning to work

Beer drawing more men to yoga classes as new trend hits the U.S.

Written by admin on  Categories: 长沙夜网

MIAMI – Call it detox and retox: Around the country, yogis are jumping up from savasana and hopping onto a barstool as yoga classes are making their way into breweries.

While the teaching is traditional, the classes tend to attract newbies, especially men, says Beth Cosi, founder of Bendy Brewski in Charleston, South Carolina and Memphis.

“We get the men in the door mostly because it’s in a brewery and they get a beer afterward. That’s the carrot. A lot of them come with girlfriends, wives, sisters,” Cosi said.

ChangSha Night Net

Related

  • Breaking down the top fitness trends for 2016

  • 2016 trends: What to expect in food, fitness, fashion and travel

    Her $15 classes are 45 minutes, compared to a typical 90-minute class. The room isn’t heated to near 100-degree temperature and the partnering breweries typically offer a tour of the facility after or the chance to drink a flight of several beers.

    “They both lead to relaxation. And they both have a little bit of a social aspect, you know. And it’s a very relaxing place to do yoga. So, you know, very unpretentious,” Jason Crafts, 43-year-old IT project manager, said after a recent class at Raleigh Brewing Co. in Raleigh, North Carolina.

    While traditional yoga tends to encourage a navel-gazing focus on oneself, individual breathing and controlling one’s thoughts, the yoga beer classes are all about community.

    “This gives you the opportunity to come to your mat, to connect with yourself … and then to socialize after class and get to know people,” said Mikki Trowbridge, whose free classes in the Salem, Oregon area draw between 75 and 150 people two or three times a month.

    Trowbridge’s business plan wasn’t calculated. She and her husband just liked a strong, sweaty yoga class and a nice craft beer and figured they weren’t alone.

    “(Beer) is part of our culture here. We have breweries everywhere and so breweries are where we gather for social time,” she said.

    The trend has caught on quickly with yoga-beer partnerships throughout Florida, New York and California. Cosi has been mentoring yoga teachers across the country looking to host beer yoga events. Beer maker Dogfish Head created a Namaste beer, Belgian-style white with dried organic orange flesh and fresh-cut lemongrass; and Lululemon, the athletic apparel line, partnered with Stanley Park Brewing on a limited-edition style with Chinook and Lemondrop hops.

    The classes also offer a friendlier environment than yoga studios where many run out after namaste without talking to anyone.

    “There’s a lot of (single) people that come in with the goal of talking to someone new and they already know they have beer and yoga in common,” said Melissa Klimo-Major, who started teaching yoga classes in breweries around Cleveland in 2014.

    Trowbridge and Klimt drew notable crowds after hosting two beer yoga events in New York City over the summer. The duo, who met on Instagram, is taking their business on the road with a west coast tour planned for the spring and several Midwest stops over the summer.

    Breweries say the collaborations are also offering up a bonus for them.

    “The majority of our yogis are usually girls and the majority of people in the brewery are men so it’s kind of helped crossed that chasm of getting girls into craft beer,” said Chris Gove president of the SaltWater Brewery in Delray Beach.

    Allen G. Breed contributed to this report in Raleigh, North Carolina.

Comments Off on Beer drawing more men to yoga classes as new trend hits the U.S.

Eugenie Bouchard wins first round match at Australian Open

Written by admin on  Categories: 长沙夜网

MELBOURNE, Australia – A resurgent Eugenie Bouchard continued her injury comeback with a straight sets win in first round action at the Australian Open.

The 21 year old from Westmount, Que. dispatched Serbia’s Aleksandra Krunic 6-3, 6-4 in just over an hour, hitting 14 winners, along with 14 unforced errors.

The 37th-ranked Bouchard is playing in only her fourth tournament since sustaining a concussion when she fell in the dressing room at last year’s U.S. Open.

ChangSha Night Net

She next will face Agnieszka Radwanska of Poland in second round play. Radwanska got through the first round with a 6-2, 6-3 win over Christina McHale of the United States

Earlier this month Bouchard made it to the quarterfinals at the Shenzen Open and then followed that up by reaching the final at the Hobart International.

In men’s singles action, Canadian Vasek Pospisil was eliminated at Melbourne Park, falling in four sets to France’s Gilles Simon on Monday in first-round action.

The 25-year-old from Vancouver was beaten by his 14th-ranked opponent, 7-6 (7-4), 3-6, 2-6, 4-6, in a match that lasted two hours, 47 minutes. Unforced errors cost Pospisil heavily – he had 55 of them compared to just 18 for Simon.

Pospisil used his powerful serve to win the first set in 45 minutes. He held an 8-0 edge in aces but committed 16 unforced errors.

Trailing 3-1 in the second set, Pospisil called a medical timeout and went through stretching exercises on his lower body with a trainer, but returned to play shortly after. Simon went on to win the set in 52 minutes as Pospisil made 17 more unforced errors compared to the Frenchman’s three.

Simon needed only 31 minutes to win the third set and 39 minutes to take the fourth, which ended when Pospisil returned a serve long on match point.

Pospisil held the edge in aces 19-2, and winners 45-12, but was undone by his own mistakes.

Meanwhile, Milos Raonic, of Thornhill, Ont., opens his tournament against France’s Lucas Pouille on Tuesday.

Comments Off on Eugenie Bouchard wins first round match at Australian Open

Canada not immune to worsening inequality, Oxfam report suggests

Written by admin on  Categories: 长沙夜网

The gaping chasm between the world’s richest and poorest citizens is widening more rapidly than expected, says Oxfam International, and it’s a trend being reflected here in Canada.

ChangSha Night Net

A new report released by Oxfam on Monday highlights some alarming statistics. Perhaps most notably, the organization has estimated that the richest 62 people on Earth now own the same amount of wealth as the poorest half of the global population (approximately 3.6 billion people).

Meanwhile, the have-nots are getting poorer and the resulting inequality is getting worse — fast. A mere five years ago, the number of billionaires who had accumulated the same amount of wealth as the bottom 50 per cent of the population stood at 388.

While developing nations certainly see the starkest inequality, Canada is a kind of microcosm of the broader global pattern, noted Oxfam Canada executive director Julie Delahanty.

“In Canada there continues to be this huge gap between the rich and the poor, and it’s growing,” she said. “The people who are really losing out … are the working poor in particular, who are not seeing the gains of economic growth.”

According to Oxfam Canada:

Five Canadians have the same wealth as the bottom 30 per cent of our population – more than 11 million people.The poorest 10 per cent of Canadians only make about $2.30 more per day than they did 25 years ago.The wealth of the five richest Canadians has risen by $16.9 billion since 2010, a 44 per cent increase.The poorest half of Canada’s population has received just 26 per cent of the total increase in income growth.

As Prime Minister Justin Trudeau gets set to attend the World Economic Forum in Switzerland, Delahanty said there are a few things his government could be doing to combat the patterns being highlighted by Oxfam. The first is to lead the charge internationally against tax havens. It’s estimated that $7.6 trillion of individuals’ wealth sits offshore, tax-free, and that if tax were collected on the income that this wealth generates, an extra $190 billion would be available to governments each year.

READ MORE: World Economic Forum revokes invitation to North Korea to attend annual meeting

That money could then be re-invested in social programs that benefit the poorest people, Oxfam has suggested.

“Canada is one of the biggest losers when it comes to tax havens,” Delahanty explained. “But in any country, it’s a loss of revenue. So they should be working a lot harder than they have been.”

The Liberal plan to provide tax relief for the so-called middle class while increasing taxes on the richest Canadians is a good start, said Delahanty, but it ignores the people right at the bottom who are barely scraping by.

“We need more money for public services, for health and education and childcare. Things that have an overwhelming benefit for the poorest, and particularly for women,” she said, adding that this should be a no-brainer for a prime minister who has “made really strong statements around gender equality and women’s rights.”

On the legislative side, Oxfam Canada is encouraging the Canadian government to look at forcing the closure of the gender wage gap. Studies have shown that Canadian women are still making, on average, about $8,000 less a year than men for doing the same job.

“It’s also having legislation in Canada that requires companies to provide a living wage by province,” Delahanty said. “We know what a living wage is in each province and we could make so-called minimum wages actually be a living wage. That’s something that the government could put pressure on provinces to make happen.”

Canada’s Richest

1. The Thomson Family (net worth $36.76 billion): Thomson Reuters

2. Galen Weston (net worth $13.67 billion): food processing/distribution, high-end department stores

3. Garrett Camp (net worth $9.18 billion): Uber, web development

4. The Rogers Family (net worth $8.86 billion): Rogers Communications

5. The Irving Family (net worth $7.50 billion): Forestry, shipbuilding, Irving Oil

(Source: Canadian Business magazine)

Comments Off on Canada not immune to worsening inequality, Oxfam report suggests

Interest rate cut may deliver ‘hammer blow’ to consumers: experts

Written by admin on  Categories: 长沙夜网

The Canadian dollar will spiral even lower. It will make life more difficult for seniors who rely on fixed incomes as well as for low-income households who face disproportionately bigger burdens paying for things like food and clothing.

It could seriously dent consumer confidence, yet encourage even more borrowing, adding fuel to overheated housing markets in Vancouver and Toronto.

A chorus of opinion has gotten louder in recent days saying that perhaps the last thing Canada’s ailing economy needs is another interest rate cut when the Bank of Canada makes its latest policy announcement on Wednesday.

“We remain skeptical that it should cut rates,” economists at BMO Capital Markets said.

Odds are on the country’s central bank dropping its key, trendsetting rate to a record low of 0.25 per cent (from the current 0.5 per cent) this week to help fight off the deep economic chill caused by a worsening collapse in oil prices.

Click here to view data »

Higher prices

Still, the shot in the arm the cut may provide the economy may well be offset by the hit consumers and households take, experts say.

While the currency’s plunge toward the mid-60 cent U.S. range may be good for exporters and industries that sell products abroad, consumers are getting wacked with increased costs for everything shipped into the country.

Another rate cut could risk a much deeper slide in the loonie, triggering a wave of price increases at stores, experts suggest.

MORE: ‘The plunging loonie is juicing food costs’ 

02:05

cauliflower

Shrinking loonie causes high-flying food prices

02:36

Global National

New prediction says loonie could sink to 59 cents U.S.

02:13

News At 5 Okanagan

Winners and losers of shrinking loonie



ChangSha Night Net

Related

  • Cash crunch ‘inevitable’ for Canadian households deep in debt: report

  • Rising U.S. interest rates will punish the loonie even more: experts

    Sagging confidence

    Then there’s the psychological hit from headlines blaring out the threat of a 60-cent loonie.

    “The sliding currency threatens to deliver a hammer blow to already-sagging consumer confidence,” BMO economists said.

    For their part, even exporters are suggesting they don’t need the added benefits of an even lower currency.

    “My advice right now would be to even take a look at increasing interest rates by a quarter of a point,” Jayson Myers, chief executive of Canadian Manufacturers & Exporters told Bloomberg News.

    “Interest rates are low already. A little bit of dollar stability would be better.”

Comments Off on Interest rate cut may deliver ‘hammer blow’ to consumers: experts

Saskatoon store owner robbed for second time in four months

Written by admin on  Categories: 长沙夜网

SASKATOON – Store owner Minh Huynh was busy cleaning up the broken glass at his store, No. 1 Convenience, after it was robbed Monday morning around 6 a.m. CT. The store is in the 300-block of Avenue I North. According to Huynh, a thief smashed the front glass door and stole sheets of lottery tickets and a container of coins.

He says it was caught on surveillance camera footage, but the perpetrator had his face covered.

“He just came in quickly and grabbed whatever he could and ran out,” Huynh said.

ChangSha Night Net

Related

  • Montreal man wanted for Saskatoon jewelry store robbery arrested

  • RCMP looking for two suspects after an attempted bank robbery

  • Prepaid credit cards snatched by thief at 7-Eleven in Humboldt, Sask.

    This is the second time this store has been broken into in four months. Back in October 2015, Huynh says four people smashed their way into the store and stole a couple hundred dollars’ worth of cigarettes.

    Huynh is originally from Vietnam and came to Saskatoon 30 years ago. He worked as a tradesman for years before buying this convenience store with his wife a year and a half ago. They never realized they would face this kind of setback.

    READ MORE: 29th Street West store robbed for the 2nd time in less than a week

    Sadly, this kind of crime has happened in this area before. Huynh said a nearby store was robbed around the holidays.

    “I guess I’m fortunate I wasn’t robbed at gunpoint like they were,” he said.

Comments Off on Saskatoon store owner robbed for second time in four months

David Cameron says Muslim women ‘must improve English’ or face possible deportation

Written by admin on  Categories: 长沙夜网

LONDON – Britain’s leader says Muslim women must improve their English to better integrate into British society, arguing that improved national cohesion is the best antidote to extremism.

ChangSha Night Net

Prime Minster David Cameron on Monday pledged to fund English language classes for Muslim women immigrants, and warned some could be deported if they fail to reach certain standards. The 20-million-pound ($28.5 million) fund will help tens of thousands of women facing social isolation and discrimination and emphasize that Britain has expectations for those who want to live in the country, Cameron said.

“I think it’s quite right to say to people who come to our country that there are many rights that you have here – it’s a fantastic country to live in – but there are also obligations that we should put on people who come to our country, and chief amongst them should be obligations to learn English because then you can integrate, you can take advantage of the opportunities here and you can help us to build the strong country that we want,” Cameron said.

Britain already requires prospective spouses to demonstrate English language skills to roughly that of a child starting primary school. Under Cameron’s plan, spouses would have to improve that ability to a higher standard after five years -or face deportation.

But the British leader faced an immediate backlash from critics – including some within his own party – who challenged his decision to link language abilities to extremism. Sayeeda Warsi, a one-time member of Cameron’s cabinet, said that while the money was welcome, the proposal had been announced badly.

“This lazy and misguided linking, and what I saw once again as stereotyping of British Muslim communities, I felt took away from what was a positive announcement,” Warsi told the BBC. “My parents came to this country with very little English – my mum’s English still isn’t great, even though she has been to English language classes.”

She said the government should be telling women that it will give them an opportunity to learn, rather than warning they could be sent back to their native countries.

“I think to threaten women and say to them that ‘unless you are of X standard we will send you back, even if you have children in the U.K. who are British and your spouse is British’ is, for me, a very unusual way of empowering and emboldening women,” she said.

The program aimed at women is meant to end what Cameron called the “passive tolerance” of discriminatory practices and to challenge the “backward attitudes” of a minority of men. He said some 190,000 Muslim women in England speak little or no English.

Though Cameron acknowledged that problems of forced gender segregation and social isolation are not unique to Muslim communities, he did not mention other groups.

Britain is not the only European country that requires prospective spouses to demonstrate language proficiency, though programs differ. Germany adopted regulations for prospective immigrants in 2007 with tough tests that favour those who can afford classes. Austria and the Netherlands also have similar tests.

Cameron suggested the proposal reflects the challenge the country’s leaders face in trying to defuse the appeal that the Islamic State group holds for many young Britons. Some 800 British citizens have managed to enter Syria in the last four years while another 600 have been caught trying to get there.

Parents who are unable to speak English have less of a chance of preventing radicalization of their children, Cameron argued. Some of the young people who have travelled to Syria are native-born Brits whose parents were immigrants, but the ranks of jihadis also include converts and others and Muslim groups protested that they were being singled out.

“Mosques and Muslim civil society would be eager to play their part by hosting English language classes, as many mosques do,” said Shuja Shafi, secretary general of the Muslim Council of Britain. “But the Prime Minister’s aim to have English more widely spoken and for better integration falls at the first hurdle if he is to link it to security and single out Muslim women to illustrate his point.”

—;

Associated Press Writers Kirsten Grieshaber in Berlin, Mike Corder in Amsterdam and George Jahn in Vienna contributed to this story.

Comments Off on David Cameron says Muslim women ‘must improve English’ or face possible deportation