Germany and France agree closer eurozone ties without treaty change

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Proposals to be presented at EU summit in June will come as a blow to David Cameron who will table British pre-referendum demands at same meeting The Guardian – Ian Traynor in Brussels and Frances Perraudin in London Germany and France have forged a pact to integrate the eurozone without reopening the EU’s treaties, in a blow to David Cameron’s referendum campaign. ... Read More »

Pascal Lamy urges PM to make positive case for EU

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David Cameron is being urged to make a positive case for Europe if he wants to successfully renegotiate the UK’s terms of membership with fellow EU leaders. BBC - By Mark MardellPresenter, The World This Weekend Pascal Lamy, one of Europe’s most senior politicians, told the BBC other leaders wanted to help Mr Cameron win a referendum but he has to ... Read More »

Foreign Minister Julie Bishop and Prime Minister Shinzo Abe strike military deal

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Australia hopes to ink a deal with Japan this year that would smooth the passage of military personnel into one another’s country for joint exercises in a further tightening of strategic bonds amid concern about Chinese ambition in the region. The Age - David Wroe, National security correspondent Foreign Affairs Minister Julie Bishop met with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe on Saturday and ... Read More »

EU agrees 1.8bn-euro loan to cash-strapped Ukraine

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BBC – The EU has agreed a €1.8bn (£1.3bn; $2bn) loan to Ukraine – described as a landmark deal for a non-EU member. The agreement was signed at an EU summit in Riga, Latvia, between the leaders of the 28-member bloc and six post-Soviet nations. The loan aims to help cash-strapped Ukraine implement economic reforms, as fighting with pro-Russian rebels in ... Read More »

Mali: An Imposed Peace?

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Dakar/Brussels – Africa Report N°226 – ICG – The full report is available in: French (PDF) EXECUTIVE SUMMARY AND RECOMMENDATIONS After eight months of negotiations between Malian parties, the government and some armed groups signed an agreement on 15 May 2015 in Bamako. Fighting has resumed, however, in the north and centre of Mali. Crucially, the Azawad Movements Coalition (CMA) has ... Read More »

UK’s Cameron to hold first talks with EU leaders on reform demands

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Newly re-elected British Prime Minister David Cameron will have his first talks with other European Union leaders on May 22 on reforms he is seeking to the EU before holding a referendum by 2017 on Britain’s membership of the bloc. Hurriyet - RIGA – Reuters Cameron will use a summit in the Latvian capital between the EU and six former Soviet ... Read More »

Somaliland’s Guurti Sparks a Crisis

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The self-declared Republic of Somaliland – a de facto independent state formed from Somalia’s north-western regions – is often described as an island of stability in a sea of conflict. ICG - By Cedric Barnes | @CedricHoA & Claire Elder Much of the security enjoyed by its estimated 3.5 million people is attributed to a “hybrid” governance system marrying traditional authority ... Read More »

Provoking Beijing in the South China Sea Will Only Backfire on Washington

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When China declares an Air Defense Identification Zone in the South China Sea, the United States will have only itself to blame. FP - BY FENG ZHANG Bizarrely, the United States military is trying to assert freedom of navigation by dispatching U.S. ships to sail within 12 nautical miles of China-controlled territories in the South China Sea, and by flying military ... Read More »

Charles meets Sinn Fein leader Adams

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GALWAY, Ireland: Prince Charles on Tuesday became the first British royal to meet Irish republican leader Gerry Adams, on a visit that will take him to the scene of his great-uncle’s murder by the IRA. Arab News – AGENCE FRANCE PRESSE Charles, the heir to the British throne, shook hands with Adams, the veteran president of Sinn Fein, the political wing ... Read More »

US arrests Chinese professor, indicts five others, for stealing secrets from Silicon Valley

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Washington: The Obama administration has announced the arrest of a Chinese professor and the indictment of five other Chinese citizens in what it contended was a decade-long scheme to steal microelectronics designs from Silicon Valley companies. The Age * – David E. Sanger The indictment was the broadest since five members of the People’s Liberation Army were indicted last year by the ... Read More »