Senior European official challenges Portugal over racism

LISBON, Portugal (AP) — A senior European human rights official is sounding the alarm about a rise in racism and discrimination in Portugal. The Council of Europe’s Commissioner for Human Rights published a report Wednesday into “the increasing level of racism and the persistence of related discrimination” in the southern European country. The commissioner singled out for special concern a rise in the number of racially motivated hate crimes and hate speech. The report recommends that authorities take measures “urgently.” The Portuguese government acknowledged last year that racism had become a problem. It set up a committee last November to assess ways of addressing it.