German military mulls recruiting EU nationals for some jobs
BERLIN (AP) — Germany's top soldier says authorities are contemplating allowing the country's military to recruit citizens of other European Union countries in some areas, including as doctors and information technology specialists.
Germany dropped military conscription in 2011, and the Bundeswehr now has to compete for recruits in a healthy economy with low unemployment.
S. Korean court upholds conscientious objection to military
SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — South Korea's top court ruled Thursday that South Korean men can legally reject their mandatory military service on conscientious or religious grounds without punishment.
The landmark ruling is expected to affect the cases of more than 930 conscientious objectors on trial. Hundreds of young South Korean men, mostly Jehovah's Witnesses, are imprisoned every year for refusing to serve in the military.
German minister expresses optimism after visit to Eritrea
ADDIS ABABA, Ethiopia (AP) — A decline in migrants from Eritrea is expected after the country and Ethiopia have made peace, Germany's development minister said Friday after visiting the long-reclusive country.
Gerd Mueller spoke to reporters in Ethiopia after meeting Eritrea's longtime President Isaias Afwerki.
Russia says it’s trying to help Syrian refugees’ return home
MOSCOW (AP) — The Russian Defense Ministry said Wednesday it is coordinating efforts to help Syrian refugees return home and rebuild the country's infrastructure destroyed by the civil war.
Col. Gen. Mikhail Mizintsev said in a conference call that included Russian and Syrian officials that work is underway to rebuild dozens of Syria's power stations, schools and other vital institutions.
Merkel’s party debates merits of German national service
BERLIN (AP) — Seven years after Germany scrapped military conscription, Chancellor Angela Merkel's party is debating the merits of reintroducing some kind of civilian or military national service for young people.
While Defense Minister Ursula von der Leyen's spokesman said Monday that the discussion is "good and important," the proposal is vague and the response has been mixed.
TEL AVIV, Israel (AP) — The sudden thaw between longtime enemies Eritrea and Ethiopia is opening up a world of possibilities for the neighboring countries' residents: new economic and diplomatic ties, telephone and transport links and the end to one of Africa's most bitter feuds.
But the fledgling peace is raising new questions for Eritrea's diaspora, tens of thousands who fled their government's tight grip, rigid system of compulsory military conscription and endemic poverty.
Hundreds of Israeli ultra-Orthodox Jews protest army draft
JERUSALEM (AP) — Israeli police arrested 120 people on Thursday during a demonstration by ultra-Orthodox Jews who blocked roads and set fires in protest at the forced military conscription of young men from their community.
Swiss court: Eritrean vets can be expelled if asylum fails
GENEVA (AP) — A Swiss federal court has ruled that Eritrean asylum-seekers who completed military service in the East African country can legally be sent home if their asylum cases are rejected. The ruling could have sweeping implications for thousands of Eritreans who make up Switzerland's largest pool of asylum-seekers by nationality.
Eritrea's government has faced criticism by United Nations human rights investigators and other rights advocates over its harsh conscription laws.
BERLIN (AP) — Chancellor Angela Merkel is rejecting calls for the reintroduction of military conscription in response to an investigation of an alleged far-right plot by two soldiers to assassinate prominent political figures.
ATHENS, Greece (AP) — Greece's left-led government has unveiled draft legislation that will allow all Greeks to freely determine their gender identity irrespective of how it was recorded at birth.
The proposed law made public Wednesday stipulates that changes in official gender designation can be carried out through courts, which will then inform birth registry authorities. The new data will be entered on passports and other official documents.
COPENHAGEN, Denmark (AP) — Sweden's left-leaning government instituted a military draft for both men and women Thursday because of what its defense minister called a deteriorating security environment in Europe and around Sweden.
Sweden abolished compulsory military service for men in 2010 because there were enough volunteers to meet its military needs. It has never had a military draft for women.
Cyberconscripts: Baltic draftees can choose IT over infantry
LILLE, France (AP) — The tiny Baltic nation of Estonia is experimenting with the idea of cyberconscription, a move that gives draftees with tech skills the chance to work shoring up their military's electronic infrastructure, an Estonian defense official said Tuesday.