94-year-old in youth court trial
A youth court will be the unusual setting for the trial of a 94-year-old German man accused of participating in the Holocaust. The defendant, who is anonymous, was aged under 21 when the alleged crimes were committed and so will be tried as a juvenile.
What is known is that the man was an SS guard at the Stutthof concentration camp in Poland for three years. Hundreds of people were murdered at the camp while countless more died from the inhuman conditions. The German national is accused of helping facilitate those deaths.
His trial begins in early November and will last just two hours per day to account for his health problems. It will take place in Munster and it is not the first time Nazi suspects in their 90s have been charged for crimes committed during the war.
The gates opened with the conviction of John Demjanjuk in 2011. He was not convicted of a particular crime, but rather with being a death camp guard – with the court extracting from that his inherent complicity in the deaths of thousands of people.
Law degree corruption
One of Spain’s most prestigious universities is facing allegations that it wrongfully awarded law degrees to hundreds of Italian students. King Juan Carlos University in Madrid has been forced to shut down its institute of public law while an investigation takes place.
The diplomas issued to the Italian students would have permitted them to practice law across the EU. But, according to Spanish daily newspaper El Diario, the estimated 500 students hadn’t completed their coursework and were not fluent in Spanish.
A Madrid court is now determining whether the university accepted fees of up to €11,000 from the Italian nationals in exchange for the degrees. A similar degree in Italy would cost €18,000. Reports suggest that the students simply flew to Madrid every now and then to check in, without actually living in the country. Many of those trips coincided with Real Madrid football matches, court officials have said.
It is only the latest in a series of controversies to affect the university. In one ongoing scandal prosecutors have accused the institution of fraudulently providing two senior Popular Party politicians with Masters degrees. In 2016 the chancellor – Fernando Suarez – resigned after being accused of plagiarising both students and colleagues.
Bill Gates talks youth
Bill Gates has expressed concern that Africa’s exploding youth population will make it extremely difficult for the continent to feed itself. The billionaire entrepreneur behind Microsoft has released a new report from his philanthropic organisation the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.
In it he argues that, while huge progress has been made, there are some “hard problems” to solve. “To put it bluntly, decades of stunning progress in the fight against poverty and disease may be on the verge of stalling,” he argues. “This is because the poorest parts of the world are growing faster than everywhere else.”
Gates says investment in African youth holds the key to reducing poverty in the future. He estimates that, by 2050, almost almost nine in tenof the world’s poorest people will live in sub-Saharan Africa – with 40% of them concentrated in the fast-growing populations of Nigeria and the DRC.
“The median age across Africa is 18,” he says. “Compare that to 47 in Japan.” Noting that there are now 150 million African children in primary school, he argues that it is essential to invest in education.
“Young people have enormous potential to drive growth. They are the activists, innovators, leaders, and workers of the future. If we invest in human capital today, young people wearing sandals in the poorest, fastest-growing countries will be riding bicycles tomorrow—and inventing cheaper, cleaner, safer cars next week. That’s good for everyone.”