Europe

Would America fight in northern Europe? A question for NATO

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If fighting breaks out between Russia and its neighbors, the Baltic States are one of the likeliest battlegrounds. Various factors make this a tricky scenario for the NATO alliance Stephen Bryen Asia Times Last year, writing for an Italian think tank where I am a senior fellow, Il Nodo di Gordo, I asked the question, Will NATO Fight? And for What?) But today, perhaps the right question is not to ask whether NATO will fight, but whether America will fight for NATO. That ... Read More »

British public backs legalisation of cannabis so it can be sold like cigarettes and alcohol, poll reveals

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Exclusive: 51 per cent say it is time to treat the drug in the same way as other legal substances Joe Watts Independent A majority of the British public back the legalisation of cannabis so that it would be sold in shops like alcohol and tobacco, a poll has revealed. There was also majority support for decriminalisation, something that would free up police time and resources to deal with serious crime. The exclusive BMG Research poll for The Independent comes days after cannabis oil was for the ... Read More »

British report about Balkans: Russians, Chinese, Turks…

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Outside actors such as Russia, China and Turkey have filled a void created by EU neglect of the Western Balkans over the past decade. Source: B92 This is stated in the UK parliament’s Foreign Affairs Committee report, which adds that many of the witnesses it heard “suggested that, by contrast, Russian influence in the region is weak, not least because its economic presence is limited.” “Despite this, Russia is capable of exploiting the region’s problems and undermining its progress towards peace, ... Read More »

Russia, America and NATO: Where Are They Headed?

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Already President Trump’s visit to Brussels for a NATO summit and the United Kingdom is engendering considerable controversy, with a further summit meeting on Monday with Russian leader Vladimir… Dave Majumdar The National Interest How successful is Trump’s course? Does NATO remain a vital component of American national security strategy? Or is it being downgraded by Trump? To examine such pressing questions, the Center for the National Interest convened a panel of foreign policy experts speaking at a lunchtime panel ... Read More »

The ‘stolen babies’ trial in Spain finally shines a light on a scandal that cannot be forgotten

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It is June 6 1969 and Spain is living through the final years of Franco’s dictatorship. At a clinic in Madrid, a woman gives birth to a baby girl she will never see again. Federico López-Terra The Conversation Little is known about what happened to that mother – but almost 50 years later, her daughter Inés Madrigal has just given evidence in… In the dock was Dr Eduardo Vela, an 85-year-old former gynaecologist accused of stealing Inés from her biological ... Read More »

Europe’s Iron Curtain: The Refugee Crisis is about to Worsen

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A recent European Council summit in Brussels was meant to articulate a united policy on the burgeoning refugees and migrant crisis. Instead, it served to highlight the bitter divisions among… Ramzy Baroud CounterPunch Considering the gravity of the matter, Europe’s self-serving policies are set to worsen an already tragic situation. True, several European leaders, including Italy’s Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte, went home to speak triumphantly of a ‘great victory’, achieved through a supposedly united European position. Italy’s Interior Minister, Matteo ... Read More »

Italian president intervenes in migrant stand-off, angering Salvini

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President Sergio Mattarella has made a rare intervention in Italian politics to end a dispute within the ruling coalition over a migrant boat, angering right-wing Interior Minister Matteo Salvini. ROME – Reuters Hurriyet Mattarella contacted Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte late on July 12 to express his concern about the plight of 67 migrants rescued at sea and brought to a Sicilian port. Salvini had refused to allow them to disembark. The ship had been brought to the port of Trapani with the ... Read More »

Trump says immigration has been bad for Europe – May DISAGREES

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THERESA May has refused to back Donald Trump’s anti-immigration rhetoric at their fraught press conference after talks at Chequers. Simon Osborne Express The US President said immigration was a “very negative” thing for Europe and agreed when asked if it had damaged the cultural fabric of the continent. Mr Trump told the press conference the migrant crisis had been “tough for Europe”. He said: “I think it has been very bad for Europe. I think that what has happened is ... Read More »

UK’s Brexit white paper — close on goods, less so on services

epa06882600 Britain's Prime Minister Theresa May arrives for the second day of a NATO summit in Brussels, Belgium, 12 July 2018. NATO countries' heads of states and governments gather in Brussels for a two-day meeting.  EPA-EFE/TATYANA ZENKOVICH / POOL

Theresa May’s government will ask the EU for an ‘association agreement’ including a free-trade area for goods. Charlie Cooper Politico LONDON — The U.K. will formally ask the EU for a post-Brexit “association agreement” including a “free-trade area” for goods, a looser arrangement for financial services, alongside a security partnership and… Confirming plans agreed by Theresa May’s Cabinet at a summit on Friday, which led to the resignation of Brexit Secretary David Davis and Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson, the white paper proposes that the… UK’s ... Read More »

Facebook ruling: German court grants parents rights to dead daughter’s account

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Germany’s highest court has ruled that the parents of a dead daughter have the rights to her Facebook account under inheritance law. BBC The Federal Court of Justice (BGH) said online data should be treated the same as private diaries or letters, and pass to heirs. The case involves parents of a 15-year-old girl killed by a train in 2012. They sought access to her Facebook account to try to determine whether the death was suicide. Aside from emotional closure, ... Read More »

Trump says Putin is not enemy or friend but ‘competitor’

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“Is he my enemy? He is not my enemy … Hopefully someday maybe he will be a friend. I just don’t know him very well,” he said speaking at a press conference at the NATO Summit when asked if he presented a… Sevil Erkuş – BRUSSELS Hurriyet In his meeting with the Russian leader, Trump said he would raise issues of arms control, extending New START (Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty), and Russian violations of the… “We go into that meeting ... Read More »

It’s Time to Disrupt NATO

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But not for the reasons Trump gives. Benjamin Schwarz The Nation NATO summits customarily amount to public-relations lovefests, in which sonorous communiqués declaring the vitality of the “Atlantic community” obscure what has become the increasingly dangerous moves of the… But President Trump, no surprise, promises to make this summit uncharacteristically uncomfortable and potentially rancorous. The issue for progressives is that, mostly inadvertently and largely for the wrong reasons, Trump will be disrupting an established pattern sorely in need of disruption ... Read More »

A Strategic Reset for NATO

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Donald Trump’s criticism that the alliance isn’t fit for form is valid. NATO needs an overhaul. Zalmay Khalilzad The National Interest At the NATO summit this week, President Donald Trump will undoubtedly criticize allies for not spending enough on defense and for pursuing their own economic wellbeing, in part at the… The president has been lambasted for criticizing U.S. allies and indeed, our alliances are important and represent some of the greatest achievements of U.S. foreign policy. However, Trump’s criticisms ... Read More »

Erdogan’s New Dynasty Makes Turkey Uninvestable

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The president has given investors every reason to turn away. Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan unfortunately is a man of his word. Marcus Ashworth Bloomberg He promised to take greater control of monetary policy during the election campaign, and he has wasted no time in doing so. He has snipped the last threads in Turkey’s safety net — and he has made his nation all but uninvestable. Deputy Prime Minister Mehmet Simsek and Finance Minister Naci Agbal have both departed. They were the kinds ... Read More »

A turning point for Europe’s military spending

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This week’s NATO summit in Brussels will be pivotal to the future of the Atlantic alliance. Will European countries spend more in the context of NATO, or try to go it alone with European defense? By Raytheon Politico As European and North American leaders converge on Brussels on 11-12 July for a summit of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), the amount each spends on their militaries is bound to be one of the most controversial topics. With global threats ... Read More »

‘No One Wants To Look Like Trump’s Poodle’: NATO Allies Gear Up For Brussels Summit

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President Trump arrives in Brussels Tuesday for a summit at NATO, the latest pillar of the international order left wobbling by his adversarial approach to allies. Alice Fordham npr With his escalating complaints that the United States contributes more than its fair share to defense, and vague threats to countries that do not spend more, Trump is diluting the alliance’s appearance of unity, say diplomats and… And, the prospect of a less-than-committed U.S. has thrown some of Europe’s military weaknesses ... Read More »