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Iraqi Migrant Woman Fails Swiss Citizenship Test, Says ‘Uh’ Over 200 Times

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An Iraqi woman has failed her Swiss citizenship test after answering ‘uh’ over 200 times despite residing in the country for years and claiming to speak German, writes Swiss publication Blick.ch.

The woman lives with her husband, who was granted citizenship after two attempts.

The migrant, who is known to have engaged in charity work in her local community, has lived in Ingenbohl in the canton of Schwyz for 20 years. According to local media, the woman – a mother of two – has the requisite social and political knowledge to obtain citizenship, but her German language skills appear to be seriously lacking.

Tape recordings from her citizenship test revealed that the applicant responded with “uh” a total of 204 times. The failure didn’t stop the woman, who took her case to the Swiss Federal Court, as she claims the recordings of the test were made without her consent.

The ruling of the federal judge stated the Iraqi woman’s language diploma from the Vocational Training Centre Pfäffikon SZ was insufficient, and before reapplying for citizenship she should improve her command of Swiss German.

In delivering the verdict, the federal court judge did agree that there were concerns about the recording of minutes, but insisted the authorities had the power to take them.

Adequate language skills have always been necessary for Swiss citizenship, but requirements used to vary depending on the canton.

Under changes adopted in 2018, there is now a required minimum level of language proficiency. Candidates must demonstrate an A2 level writing ability (elementary) and B1 (intermediate) spoken skills under the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages.

Cantons are also free to set a higher bar if they decide.

One in five inhabitants in Switzerland are foreign-born -the highest rate in Europe after Luxembourg, according to swissinfo.ch. Almost 2.1 million foreigners lived in Switzerland at the end of 2018, according to the Swiss Federal Statistical Office.

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French police suicides on the rise

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Three riot police officers, a police commander, a police academy teacher, are among eight French police officers who have taken their life killed themselves recently. That makes 64 so far this year, and the number keeps on climbing.

Deaths by suicide for French police now outnumber deaths in the line of duty. The protectors need protecting, say police unions, which are demanding more help to stop the problem.

Many of those who choose to end their lives are from everywhere in France and of all ages, many with young children. The latest death came Wednesday in the Ardeche region in southeast France. Why they step across what one police union calls the “thin blue line” remains a question that French authorities have so far been unable to answer.

A parliamentary inquiry made public in July lists a multitude of reasons for the stress and despair among French police, including overwork since a series of terrorist attacks that started in January 2015 and the weekly, often extremely violent, anti-government protests since November by the yellow vest movement seeking more economic and social justice. It does not single out any one reason.

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Another Bird Strike Causes Utair Flight to Return to Moscow’s Vnukovo Airport

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A Utair airliner headed from Moscow to Ufa, the capital of Russia’s Bashkortostan Region, returned to its departure airport on Friday after a bird hit its windshield, the air carrier’s press service informed TASS.

“The Moscow-Ufa flight returned to Vnukovo after suffering a bird strike shortly after takeoff. A bird hit its windshield. The aircraft landed safely. The airline is changing the plane,” the press service stated.

It noted that the flight to Ufa is scheduled to depart at 15:30 Moscow time.

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At Least 5 Killed, 11 Injured in Blast in Pakistan’s Balochistan

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At least five people were killed and 11 others injured on Friday in an explosion that occurred in Pakistan’s Balochistan province at an Islamic school or madrassa, the Pakistani media reported.

According to Pakistani news website Dawn, the nature of the blast could not immediately be ascertained. The injured in the explosion were transported to Quetta Civil Hospital.

A local police official told media that the IED blast occurred at around 1525 hrs local time and video showed that the explosion caused extensive damage to the madrassa.

Since June this year, the frequencies of attacks have increased. On 23 July, at least three people were killed, and 18 were injured in a bomb attack in the Eastern Bypass area. On 30 July, five people were killed, and 30 people were injured in an attack at a police station.

Earlier this year, Pakistan deployed an army division to protect interests in Sino-Pakistan development projects including those in the Balochistan region.

Pakistan has been facing an insurgency in Balochistan since 1947, with Baloch nationalist organisations struggling to create an independent state. The Balochi are also a dominant ethnic minority in Iran and Afghanistan.

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