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23rd Sep 2021

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More French names linked to Russia election-monitoring

Russia invited even more French personalities than previously reported to whitewash its dirty elections last weekend. It invited centre-right MEP François-Xavier Bellamy, far-right MEP Nicolas Bay, and a far-right local politician called Frédéric ...

Ticker

French ambassador to return to US after Macron-Biden call

The US and French presidents have moved to mend ties, with France agreeing to send its ambassador back to Washington and the White House acknowledging it erred in brokering a deal for Australia to buy US instead of French submarines without consulting ...

Ticker

Borrell: EU needs armed force independent of US

Europe should be able to launch military operations overseas without US or Nato help in future, the EU's top diplomat, Josep Borrell, told US broadcaster PBS in New York Wednesday. "So there will be problems in our neighbourhood in which you [the US] will ...

Ticker

Polish region does U-turn on gay rights

The Polish region of Swietokrzyskie has voted to abandon an anti-LGBTIQ declaration from 2019, Reuters reports, after the EU threatened to withhold pandemic-recovery funding. The local government, on Wednesday, also said it was against "all manifestations ...

Ticker

Johnson makes fun of French anger on submarine deal

UK prime minister Boris Johnson has made light of French concern about a nuclear-submarine deal with Australia and the US, saying in Washington on Wednesday: "It's time for some of our dearest friends around the world to prenez un grip about this and ...

Ticker

Ukraine vows 'tough response' after gun attack on top aide

Ukrainian president Volodomyr Zelensky has vowed a "tough response" after a gun attack on the car of his top advisor, Serhiy Shefir, telling press in New York: "Saying 'hello' to me by shooting out of the forest at my friend's car is weak". Russia, which ...

Ticker

Poland again delays ruling on primacy of EU law

Poland's Constitutional Tribunal has, again, delayed its ruling on whether EU or Polish law has primacy in the country. "Due to the emergence of new circumstances and new allegations and to be able to ask insightful questions ... the Constitutional ...

Ticker

EU to table emergency proposals on gas-price surge

The EU Commission was "working on the preparation of proposals for flexible options to be able to tackle this situation at European level," Spanish energy minister Teresa Ribera said on Wednesday in Brussels, after talks on the 250-percent natural gas ...

Ticker

EU delays first set of anti-greenwashing rules

EU countries have delayed a decision on "sustainable finance taxonomy" - a list of which kinds of technology in the transport and heavy-industry sectors can be labelled as 'green', in order to stamp out 'greenwashing' by big corporations, Reuters reports. ...

Negotiations set for new, tougher, EU ethics body

Despite resistance from mostly far-right plus centre-right MEPs, the European Parliament is pressing ahead with the creation of a new EU independent ethics body. The plan is to create an ethics body to oversee MEPs and staff at the European Parliament, as ...

Lead energy MEP silent on gas meetings before vote

Corruption watchdogs have slammed the MEP leading the parliament's energy committee's work on a controversial revision of EU rules for funding major energy projects - for refusing to disclose his meetings with gas lobbyists, ahead of a crucial vote next ...

WHO makes major cut in 'safe' air-pollution levels

In a new study on Wednesday (22 September), the World Health Organization (WHO) found air pollution is even more damaging to human health than previously thought. It is the first set of guidelines aimed at reducing air pollution the agency has published ...

Investigation

EU negotiators defend high Covid vaccines prices paid to pharma

In September 2020, the EU Commission's top vaccine negotiator made a pledge. Doses would cost between €5 and €15, Sandra Gallina assured MEPs. "We cannot go beyond certain limits because it wouldn't be affordable," she told the health committee. Little did ...

Opinion

The EU's 'backyard' is not in the Indo-Pacific

Australia last week scrapped its large order of French submarines to go for a project with the United States instead. It confirms a pressing reality for Europe: it is no longer an Indo-Pacific power. It will not become an Indo-Pacific power. And if it ...

Ticker

EU to propose universal phone-charger law

The EU plans to propose laws harmonising mobile-phone, tablet, and headphone chargers and ports on Thursday in a bid to make life easier for consumers, Reuters reports. But Apple, whose iPhones use a special 'Lightning cable' has said the move will lead to ...

Ticker

Russian bomber-planes cause alarm in Baltic Sea

Denmark, Finland, Italy, and Sweden scrambled fighter jets to the Baltic Sea region Tuesday to escort two Russian Tu-160 strategic bomber-planes as they flew over neutral waters, according to Russia's Interfax news agency. The bombers were likewise ...

Ticker

French EU official bemoans 'broken' US relations

France's EU commissioner, single-market chief Thierry Breton, said in the US Tuesday that "there is a growing feeling in Europe - and I say this with regret - that something is broken in our transatlantic relations ... It is probably time to pause and ...

Ticker

Lithuania issues warning on spiked Chinese phones

Lithuania's defence ministry has warned people that phones made by Chinese firm Xiaomi Corp have built-in censorship software. The phones can be remotely activated to block internet searches for phrases such as "free Tibet", "long live Taiwan independence ...

Exclusive

French MEPs lead bogus EU monitoring of Russia vote

At least five MEPs and several minor politicians from EU states, many of them French, have spent the past few days in Russia peddling propaganda that last Sunday's (19 September) parliamentary elections were free and fair. The MEPs included French far- ...

Ticker

Pandemic saw rise in threats to civil society NGOs

The EU Agency for Fundamental Rights said on Wednesday the pandemic has exacerbated the day-to-day challenges that civil society faces, as many organisations saw their work conditions deteriorate. About 40 percent of the 400 human rights civil society ...

Ticker

German Social Democrats' lead narrows

Germany's Social Democrats (SPD) saw their lead over chancellor Angela Merkel's conservatives narrow in a poll just five days before the federal election, Reuters reports. The SPD, with candidate for chancellor Olaf Scholz, remained stable at 25 percent, ...

Ticker

Mediterranean sea-level rising 2.5mm a year

Oceanic warming and melting glaciers are raising sea levels by 2.5mm a year in the Mediterranean and up to 3.1mm a year globally, a report revealed on Wednesday. Researchers found the Arctic has lost between 1979 and 2020 a sea-ice area about six times the ...

Ticker

Litvinenko was killed by Russia, European court rules

The European Court of Human Rights found that Russia was responsible for the assassination of ex-KGB officer Alexander Litvinenko, who died an agonising death in 2006 after being poisoned in London with a rare radioactive substance. Litvinenko, a defector ...

Europeans think new 'Cold War' is here - but not for them

Most Europeans think that there is a new Cold War unfolding between the US and its rivals, Russia and China - but do not think their own country is involved, a new polling-backed report by the European Council on Foreign Relations (ECFR) has found. The ...

Spain wants energy price discussion at next EU summit

The Spanish government wants the current energy-price spike to be discussed at the next EU leaders' summit in October, the country's secretary of state for European affairs Juan Gónzalez-Barba said on Tuesday (21 September). "We will request to include a ...

Trust in Dutch government drops, but not for Rutte

Trust in all branches of the Dutch government has plummeted in the past year, according to new polling by I&O Research on Tuesday (21 September). Only four-out-of-ten voters are now content with the current (outgoing) cabinet, compared to 45 percent in ...

Column

Long ago, there was another Angela Merkel

Angela Merkel, who will soon step down as Germany's chancellor after 16 years, has a portrait of Catherine the Great in her office. Many people have asked her why. Merkel always answers that the 18th century Russian tsarina is her role model, and that she ...

Opinion

The first anniversary of the Abraham Accords

In these challenging times, it is natural to seek out beacons of hope and optimism. Luckily for us, we do not have to look so far. This week, we mark one year of the historic event in which Israel, the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain signed the US- ...

Ticker

US to lift Covid travel-ban on EU tourists

Fully vaccinated travellers from the EU and the UK will be let back into the US from "early November" onward, the White House said on Monday, ending an 18-month ban and prompting airline firms' shares to climb. "This new international travel system follows ...

Ticker

EU parliament chief hospitalised with pneumonia

European Parliament president David Sassoli was recently hospitalised due to pneumonia but was not in danger, the parliament said Monday. "The president ... was taken to the Hôpital Civil in Strasbourg on Wednesday 15 September," it said, after the EU ...

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