CBS NEWS, USA TODAY, REUTERS (USA)
MOBILE – Ill-fated Carnival cruise ship Triumph finally docked in Mobile, Alabama late Thursday, after being stranded for five days in the Gulf of Mexico without any power supply.
Four hours later, the last remaining passengers had disembarked and been taken to hotels in New Orleans and Texas, reports CBS News.
Passengers exited the 14-story Triumph by using its one functioning elevator. They could be seen cheering and waving to family and friends waiting on shore, reports USA Today.
"Sweet Home Alabama!" read one of the homemade signs passengers affixed alongside the ship.
Operated by Carnival Cruise Lines, the ship left Galveston, Texas a week ago, according to Reuters, carrying 3,142 passengers and 1,086 crewmembers. It was supposed to return there on Monday but turned into the cruise from hell after an engine room fire knocked out power and plumbing, leaving the cruise ship adrift in the Gulf of Mexico.
Toilets overflowed, soaking cabins and corridors in raw sewage, forcing passengers to establish a “shanty-town” on the deck:
From Clarkaj, Instagram
— Brian Ries Verified! (@moneyries) 14 février 2013
— Cheryl Preheim (@CherylPreheim) February 15, 2013
Revelations of a nationally funded clandestine operation within 10 municipalities in the Netherlands to keep tabs on mosques and Muslim organizations after a rise in radicalization eight years ago.
At least ten Dutch towns and cities have secretly used a private agency to probe mosques and other local religious organizations, Amsterdam-based daily het NRC reports in an exclusive investigation.
The clandestine operation — funded by NCTV, the National Security Services, the Netherlands' leading counter-terrorism agency — was prompted by the social unrest and uncertainty following multiple terror attacks in 2013, and a rise in Islamic radicalization.
The NCTV, which advises and financially supports municipalities in countering radicalization, put the municipalities in touch with Nuance by Training and Advice (Nuance door Trainingen en Advies, NTA), a private research agency based in Deventer, Netherlands. Among the institutions targeted by the investigations, which came at a cost of circa 500,000 euros, were the Al Mouahidin mosque in the central Dutch town of Ede, and the Nasser mosque east of the city of Utrecht, according to NRC.
Praying inside a Dutch mosque.
Broken trust in Islamic community
Unlike public officials, the private agency can enter the mosques to clandestinely research the situation. In this case, the agents observed activity, talk to visitors, administrators, and religious leaders, and investigated what they do and say on social media.
All findings then wound up in a secret report which includes personal details about what the administrators and teachers studied, who their relatives are, with whom they argued, and how often they had contact with authorities in foreign countries, like Morocco.
Leaders of the Muslim organizations that were secretly probed say they feel betrayed.
It is unclear whether the practice is legal, which is why several members of the Dutch Parliament are now demanding clarification from the outgoing Minister of Justice and Security, Ferd Grapperhaus, who is said to be involved.
"The ease with which the government violates (fundamental) rights when it comes to Islam or Muslims is shocking," Stephan van Baarle, member of the leftist party DENK, told De Volkskrant, another Dutch newspaper.
Leaders of the Muslim organizations that were secretly probed say they feel betrayed. Hassan Saidi, director of one of the mosques investigated, said that the relationship with the local municipality had been good. "This puts a huge dent in the trust I'd had in the municipality," he told the Dutch public broadcaster NOS.
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