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30th Nov 2020

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Ticker

UK to ban China's Huawei from 5G grid

Telecoms providers must stop installing Chinese firm Huawei's equipment in the UK's 5G networks from next September, the government has said, reports The Guardian. The digital affairs secretary, Oliver Dowden, set out a roadmap to remove high-risk ...

Investigation

EU taxpayers in the dark on US corona-drug deal

The European Commission and most EU states recently signed a huge contract with US pharmaceutical firm Gilead for its anti-corona drug Remdesivir. But the World Health Organisation (WHO) says there is no evidence the medicine works. The price was sky high ...

Ticker

Leak: EU seeks new dawn in US relations

The EU and US ought to join forces on digital regulation, foreign investor screening, cyber-security, and corona-vaccine distribution to hold back China, according to an internal EU strategy paper leaked to the Financial Times. "As open democratic ...

Ticker

Riots breaks out at French police-photo law protests

Tens of thousands of people marched against a new law in France on Saturday, which forbids them to photograph or film police officers in future. Police in Paris used water cannon and tear gas amid clashes with hardliners, who set fire to buildings and ...

Ticker

Belarus protests go on, as Lukashenko talks of quitting

Police arrested some 300 people at 20 separate protests in Minsk on Sunday, the 17th weekend in a row of pro-democracy demonstrations after rigged elections in August. Belarus president Alexander Lukashenko said on TV Friday he would support amending the ...

Ticker

Danish corona-mink farce continues

Denmark might exhume and incinerate the 10,000 tonnes of dead mink it culled in fur farms after finding a mutated form of coronavirus in the animals. Some 11 million mink were buried near a bathing lake and drinking water, prompting a health scare. Denmark ...

Ticker

Serbia and Montenegro diplomacy in crisis

Serbia has tried to calm tension over a history dispute with Montenegro which showed the brittleness of Western Balkans politics. Montenegro first expelled Serbia's ambassador because he had told a congress of Montenegrin Serbs that a 1918 decision for ...

Ticker

EU condemns Iran nuclear assassination

The EU has condemned the assassination of Iran's top nuclear scientist in a shoot-out outside Tehran at the weekend. "This is a criminal act and runs counter to the principle of respect for human rights the EU stands for," the EU foreign service said. Iran ...

EU debates first names to go on human rights blacklist

EU countries have begun talks on which names to hit first with new-model human rights sanctions. The confidential talks come amid preparations to launch the measures next week. EU states' diplomats agreed the final draft of the legal text last Thursday (26 ...

Interview

Lithuania bids to host EU cyber-centre

Lithuania wants a new EU cyber-security centre to hang its flag in a historic TV tower in Vilnius, on one of Europe's modern front lines. The European Cybersecurity Industrial, Technology, and Research Competence Centre (ECCC) is to help EU capitals and ...

Coronavirus

Amnesty exposes Amazon staff conditions on 'Black Friday'

Massive consumer demand due to 'Black Friday' (27 November) and Christmas must not cost Amazon staff their health and safety, Amnesty International warned in a new report that examines working conditions at the world's largest online store. The human- ...

Agenda

Unblocking Brexit and budget in focus This WEEK

Tensions are mounting on the two most important EU negotiating tracks: Brexit, and the approval of the bloc's budget and Covid-19 recovery package. After the EU's chief negotiator Michel Barnier emerged from quarantine last Friday - after a staff member ...

Opinion

25 years on: what next for Euro-Mediterranean cooperation?

Last week, we brought together the 42 member states of the Union for the Mediterranean (UfM) at its fifth regional forum of foreign ministers - which is a special one as it happens 25 years after the launch of the Barcelona Process. In 1995, the Barcelona ...

Ticker

Brexit talks pick up pace once more

EU and British negotiators are preparing to resume face-to-face talks this weekend, the BBC reports, after a coronavirus infection scare saw them suspended, with the clock ticking before a no-deal British crash-out from Europe's 'transition period' on 31 ...

Ticker

MEPs back US trade detente

MEPs on Thursday backed a mini-trade deal with America that will see Europe drop tariffs on US lobsters in return for American concessions on EU exports of prepared meals, crystal glassware, and cigarette lighters. The small move had symbolic value, coming ...

Ticker

Iran diplomat to stand trial in Belgium over 'France bomb plot'

An Iranian diplomat and a Belgian couple are due to go on trial in Belgium on Friday in connection with an alleged plot to bomb a rally held by an exiled Iranian opposition group in France, the BBC reports. The diplomat allegedly wanted the couple to bomb ...

Erdoğan jails hundreds for life, as EU weighs relations

Turkey has jailed hundreds of people for life for taking part in the failed putsch in 2016, as EU leaders prepare to decide on future relations. The mass-sentencing took place in Ankara on Thursday (26 November) after a three-year long trial. It saw 337 ...

Ticker

Trump says he'll leave if Biden wins Electoral College vote

US president Donald Trump said on Thursday he will leave the White House if the Electoral College votes for president-elect Joe Biden, the closest he has come to conceding the November 3 election, even as he repeated unfounded claims of massive voter fraud ...

Ticker

EU Parliament: Polish abortion ban risks womens' lives

The European Parliament on Thursday said that the Polish constitutional tribunal's ruling last month to ban almost all legal abortions "puts women's health and lives at risk". In a resolution adopted with 455 votes to 145 and 71 abstentions, MEPs said that ...

Ticker

UN experts warn against racial profiling

UN experts on Thursday called on police and border guards worldwide to ensure that their use of big data and technologies like artificial intelligence do not reinforce racial profiling. "It's a rapidly developing technological means used by law enforcement ...

Ticker

EU auditors raise red flag over maritime protection

The European Court of Auditors concluded on Thursday that EU action has not led to the recovery of significant marine ecosystems and habitats, since the legal framework is "not deep enough" and EU funds rarely support the conservation of maritime species. ...

Ticker

Four students charged in France's beheading case

Four teenage students have been charged in France in relation to the killing of Samuel Paty, three of them for allegedly pointing out the teacher to his murderer, the Guardian writes. Three other pupils were charged with complicity earlier this month over ...

Exclusive

Italian energy giant director advising EU foreign policy chief

A recently-appointed board member of Italy's largest energy giant, Eni, is special advisor to the EU's foreign policy chief, Josep Borrell. Although the EU says there is no conflict of interests, the mix-up of internal procedures behind the appointment is ...

Poland and Hungary say rule-of-law link needs treaty change

Polish prime minister Mateusz Morawiecki and Hungary's premier Viktor Orban have dug their heels in on blocking the EU's long-term budget and coronavirus recovery package over their opposition to linking EU funds to respect for the rule of law, at their ...

Portuguese presidency to focus on social rights and India

Social policies, and the relationship between the EU and India, will be at the heart of the next Portuguese EU presidency, the country's minister for European affairs, Ana Paula Zacarias, said on Thursday (26 November). Portugal will assume the six-month ...

Opinion

The under-reported power struggle at the top of the OSCE

Five months ago, political commentators worldwide were taken aback by news that the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) lacked de-facto leadership, watching aghast as the OSCE Secretary General Thomas Greminger vacated his office in ...

Ticker

Third coronavirus wave in South Korea

South Korea reported 583 new coronavirus cases Thursday, the highest since March, as it grapples with a third wave of infections that appears to be worsening despite tough new social-distancing measures, Reuters writes. The government reimposed strict ...

Ticker

France seeks more EP staff in Strasbourg

French EU affairs minister Clément Beaune has complained, voicing "great concern", that the European Parliament (EP) was renovating its HQ in Brussels, while skipping meetings in Strasbourg on grounds of coronavirus. Beaune proposed moving more EP staff ...

Poland hammered on women's rights in EU debate

The European Commission has urged Poland not to abandon a treaty against domestic violence, as Warsaw continues to drift further from EU norms. "The Istanbul Convention is the gold standard in terms of policy in this area," equality commissioner Helena ...

EU 'front-line' states want clearer migration rules

Greece, Italy, Malta and Spain are demanding clearer rules obliging EU states to take in migrants that land on their shores. In a joint document, the four states outlined their views on the EU's new pact on migration and asylum. Among their demands is that ...

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