Continental Europe Grabs 2-point Lead In Paris

“It’s always nice to win,” said Lawrie. “Obviously there is a little bit more pressure when you are going out there first, you want to get a point on the board which we managed to do and we both combined very well today.” GB&I couldn’t sustain the early success, however. The last match to start was actually the second to finish, as Colsaerts and Fernandez-Castano breezed past Warren and Jamieson to earn Continental Europe’s first point. Colsaerts, a Ryder Cup standout at Medinah, and Fernandez-Castano never trailed after notching birdies at the first and third to go 2-up. They were 1- up through 10 after a GB&I birdie there, then closed with three birdies and an eagle over their final five holes to wrap up the convincing victory. Ilonen and Olesen were 2-up with three to play before both players found the water at the 16th. Fleetwood and Wood got one back there, but were unable to get any closer, as Ilonen and Olesen closed out the win with pars at Nos. 17 and 18. GB&I appeared poised to earn a point in the next match, as Casey and Khan took a 1-up lead into the final hole, but Molinari managed birdie at the last to halve the match, and Luiten and Bourdy closed out Continental Europe’s successful opening day with a 2 & 1 win over Donaldson and Lynn. “They played very well,” said GB&I captain Sam Torrance. “Our boys played very well too, but they made a few more birdies than us. Our turn tomorrow.” NOTES: Hanson withdrew from the Seve Trophy on Monday due to a lingering back injury. His replacement, Fernandez-Castano, was 4-5 in his previous nine matches in the Seve Trophy …

Crime gangs cash in on Europe’s budget flights

The system, under consistent attack from EU Mediterranean states for a lack of financial and political solidarity from northern, richer, fellow members, has remained unchanged since its inception in 2003. There is no mechanism to date to enable an automatic sharing of refugees within the 28-member EU, and calls for a review are systematically knocked down by less affected countries. Meanwhile, asylum conditions differ from one state to the next regarding housing, health or welfare, with the Jesuit Refugee Service denouncing the inhumanity of Europes asylum system in June. To prevent tragedies such as the one off Lampedusa, the European Commission, EU executive, has devised an external border surveillance system known as EUROSUR to pool information on boats believed carrying illegal migrants, fight trafficking networks and also to help save refugees in distress. Due to become operational in early December, it has been budgeted at 244 million ($332 million) between 2014 and 2020 and is to go to the European Parliament for approval next week. But some EU lawmakers say the system lacks muscle, such as providing for more sea patrols in dangerous waters. Italy is not prepared for the surge of migrants on its coasts, said European Greens co-leader Monica Frassoni. The EU as a whole has a responsibility to develop a more humane and robust system. The European Commission urged member states Thursday to kick-start EUROSUR as soon as possible and said the bloc needs to press ahead with efforts to open new channels for legal migration. In June, for instance, the EU signed a mobility partnership with Morocco to negotiate a deal facilitating the delivery of visas for students, researchers and business executives. Its flip side is to also agree to jointly fight trafficking. The commission hopes to sign similar agreements with other countries across the Mediterranean, such as Tunisia. We need sound policies on asylum and migration flows, said commission spokesman Michele Cercone. In New York, a U.N. official said the criminalization of irregular immigration had played a role in the Lampedusa tragedy.

Europe ill-prepared as illegal migration rises

Rob Wainwright, the director of the European Union’s (EU) law enforcement agency, said gangs – primarily from Romania, Lithuania, Poland and Bulgaria – were increasingly exploiting the freedom of movement within the region to swoop in on a city for a one-day spree of burglaries and theft and fly out the same day. “That has helped to develop a new breed of organized crime gangs, that are now less constrained to one geographical area… they have spread their activities across countries in a way that we haven’t seen before,” he said. ) Within Europe, the “Schengen Area” of 26 states guarantees free movement to its citizens, having abolished passport and immigration controls at their common borders in 1995. Some 22 of the 28 EU member states are part of the group, although the U.K. and Ireland opted out. This has enabled organized crime gangs – specializing mainly in theft – to jump on and off numerous low-cost flights, Wainwright warned, adding that Europol has seen a spike in activity over the last three years. “Of course, the more we expand our borders, the more flights there are, the more open the internet is – all these factors, in the end, are capable of being exploited by criminals,” he said. A sophisticated operation This type of organized crime group flies gang members to a country in the morning to carry out a succession of quick-fire robberies, before flying out in the evening. They hand over their ill-gotten gains to criminal partners in the local area, and regularly take a different flight to a different country the following day. Private homes, businesses, high-value cars, machine parts and increasingly commodities like metal are all targets. (Slideshow: Organized crime:World’s most lucrative criminal activities ) And the gangs are surprising persistent; Europol has, for instance, recorded instances of one gang targeting 20 different countries within a short period. “This is quite a sophisticated, joined-up operation,” Wainwright added.

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