Europe

Italy’s coalition agreement explained

Anti-establishment Five Star Movement (M5S) leader Luigi Di Maio speaks to the press after a meeting with Italian President Sergio Mattarella as part of consultations of political parties to form a government, on May 14, 2018 at the Quirinale palace in Rome. - The leaders of the anti-immigrant League party and anti-establishment Five Star Movement meet the Italian president today to share details of a coalition government programme three month after general elections in Italy. (Photo by ANDREAS SOLARO / AFP)        (Photo credit should read ANDREAS SOLARO/AFP/Getty Images)

In shaping policies, the far-right League seems to have come out ahead of the 5Stars. Giada Zampano Politico ROME — The populist parties seeking to form an Italian government unveiled what they say will be the final version of their coalition agreement Friday. The new “government contract” between the anti-establishment 5Star Movement and the far-right League backs away from some of the more explosive proposals contained in earlier drafts that have been leaked to the Italian press. But it still contains plenty ... Read More »

Turkey and Israel: Barking, biting, but still doing business

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While the recent diplomatic rift between Israel and Turkey indicates a further deterioration in relations, the Turkish government has avoided taking concrete steps that could directly hurt Israel, whereas the… Cengiz Candar Al-Monitor Israeli security forces have killed some 62 Palestinians and wounded scores of civilians by firing during demonstrations held on the Gaza border, which coincided with the opening of the US Embassy in… The carnage drew a harsh denunciation from Turkey’s sworn pro-Palestinian President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. Yet closer scrutiny ... Read More »

Pro-Erdoğan columnist: The world has a Jewish problem

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In reaction to the killing of dozens of Palestinians by Israeli security forces on Monday, Yusuf Kaplan, a pro-Erdoğan columnist, said “the world has a Jewish problem,” calling on the… TM Claiming that Jews control everything from finance to the media, academia, the CIA, Silicon Valley, Hollywood, the Pentagon and the arms industry in the US, Kaplan wrote in his column published in the pro-Erdoğan Yeni Şafak daily on Friday, “The… Claiming that he was not fueling anti-Semitism, Kaplan said: ... Read More »

Ecuador removes Julian Assange’s extra security

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Ecuador has removed extra security at its London embassy following claims that $5m (£3.7m) was spent to protect WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange. BBC The money was used to monitor Mr Assange’s visitors, embassy staff and UK police, media reports in the UK and Ecuador said. Mr Assange has been at the embassy since 2012 after being granted asylum. He fled there to avoid extradition to Sweden over sex crime allegations, which he denies. The Swedish authorities have since dropped their ... Read More »

German liberal leader’s ‘midlife crisis’

Christian Lindner, chairman of Germany's liberal Free Democratic Party (FDP), waits for the start of a party congress in Berlin on May 12, 2018. (Photo by TOBIAS SCHWARZ / AFP)        (Photo credit should read TOBIAS SCHWARZ/AFP/Getty Images)

Christian Lindner stumbles on after turning down a shot at power in Berlin. By MATTHEW KARNITSCHNIG Politico BERLIN — Germans cherish few rituals more than the jaunt to the corner bakery for their daily portion of fresh rye, Brötchen and other leavened delights — so long as politics aren’t in the mix. Just ask Christian Lindner. The leader of Germany’s liberal Free Democrats (FDP) triggered a firestorm this week after regaling a party congress with an anecdote about a young Arab’s visit ... Read More »

Turkish Foreign Minister Warns Damascus Against Attacking Syria’s Idlib Province

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ANKARA (Sputnik) – Any potential attack by the Syrian government forces on the country’s Idlib province may result in a “catastrophe,” Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said Thursday. “Currently the most important issue is for the ceasefire not be violated in Syria. If this is achieved, political settlement will become closer. There are many fragmented terror groups. Our intelligence service and the General Staff are dealing with the matter. We have achieved certain results. If the Syrian regime launches an attack tomorrow under the ... Read More »

Erdogan and Turkey’s Elections

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When Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan called for a presidential and parliamentary election June 24—jumping the gun by more than a year—the outcome seemed foreordained: the country is under a state of emergency, Erdogan has imprisoned more than 50,000 of… Conn Hallinan CounterPunch But Erdogan’s seemingly overwhelming strength is not as solid as it appears, and the moves the President is making to insure a victory next month may come back to haunt him in the long run. There is ... Read More »

EU court upholds insecticide ban to protect bees

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An EU court upheld on May 17 a partial ban on three insecticides known as neonicotinoids, saying that the European Commission had been right in 2013 to restrict their use to protect bees. LUXEMBOURG – Reuters Hurriyet The ruling covers three active substances – imidacloprid developed by Bayer CropScience, clothianidin developed by Takeda Chemical Industries and Bayer CropScience, as well as Syngenta’s thiamethoxam. The court said the European Union’s “precautionary principle” meant that the EU could take measures if there was scientific ... Read More »

5 takeaways from EU’s big Balkan get-together

Albania's Prime Minister Edi Rama (C) speaks with France's President Emmanuel Macron (2ndR) and Lithuania's President Dalia Grybauskaite (2ndL) as they pose for a family photo during an EU-Western Balkans Summit in Sofia on May 17, 2018. - European Union leaders meet their Balkan counterparts to hold out the promise of closer links to counter Russian influence, while steering clear of openly offering them membership. (Photo by Darko Vojinovic / POOL / AFP)        (Photo credit should read DARKO VOJINOVIC/AFP/Getty Images)

Macron plays party-pooper at leaders’ gathering in Sofia. Andrew Gray Politico SOFIA — It wasn’t a renewal of the wedding vows because the big ceremony never happened. It was two partners declaring they still want to be engaged — even though one is now playing hard to get. Fifteen years ago, EU leaders told their western Balkan counterparts at a summit in Thessaloniki they belonged together — and their countries could one day join the European Union. But only one of those ... Read More »

At a crossroads, Part II: No more shadows: The future of intelligence oversight in Congress

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In the 2012 James Bond film Skyfall, M (Judi Dench) and Gareth Mallory (Ralph Fiennes) debate how to respond to a leak that has led to the assassination of several MI6 intelligence agents. Tommy Ross War On The Rocks They are torn between a desire to ensure that MI6, Britain’s premier spy agency, remains a credible part of British democratic institutions and the need to avoid antiquation in the face of rapidly changing technology and… At one point, Mallory laments, “We ... Read More »

Israeli lawmakers move to recognize Armenian genocide amid Turkey row

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Zionist Union MK Itzik Shmuly and Likud MK Amir Ohana stated they would submit legislation to make Israel the 30th country to recognize the Armenian genocide. Lahav Harkov JPost Bills to recognize the Armenian Genocide by the Turks were back on the Knesset’s agenda on Wednesday, after Turkey and Israel expelled each other’s envoys. Zionist Union MK Itzik Shmuly and Likud MK Amir Ohana both said they would submit legislation to make Israel the 30th country to recognize the genocide ... Read More »

Tessa Jowell’s farsighted vision for media literacy was ahead of its time

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The untimely death from cancer of former UK Labour cabinet minister, Dame Tessa Jowell, has triggered a wave of tributes from across the political spectrum. Richard Wallis The Conversation Her vision for securing the 2012 Olympics for London, her formative role in New Labour’s flagship Sure Start scheme, and most recently, her campaign for cancer research, have all been given many column inches. By contrast, Jowell’s less certain legacy as principal advocate for media literacy is barely given a mention. ... Read More »

Italy’s populists seek collision course with Brussels

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‘Italexit is back’ as League and 5Stars prep for government. By JACOPO BARIGAZZI AND GIULIA PARAVICINI Politico Promise the sky during the campaign. Come back down to earth when it’s time to actually govern. That’s the timeless political strategy adopted by office-seekers across the globe. Not this week in Italy. The two populist parties seeking to form a government spent the months before the March election sanding down their rhetoric against the euro. But as they get ready to take charge, their… Italy’s populists ... Read More »

New Report: A Green Bank Of England

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At an international conference of financial supervisors, Bank of England Governor Mark Carney described the ‘transition in action’ underway as central banks and the financial sector at large begin to address climate change.  Rob Macquarie Positive Money’s new report, released today, argues that while the initiatives so far represent welcome progress, policymakers should go further. Climate change and the low-carbon transition are a central banking issue for two reasons. On the one hand, climate-related financial risk threatens the stability of the ... Read More »

Can Turkey’s opposition finally unite and challenge Erdoğan?

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June 24, 2018 instead of late 2019: that’s the date decided for Turkey’s “snap presidential and parliamentary elections”, called by Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s political partner from Nationalist Movement Party (MHP), Devlet Bahçeli. Authors: The Conversation The elections are needed by the incumbent president, who wants to maintain his position and stay in power. AKP’s weaknesses Erdoğan has to deal with several issues that have recently weakened his party and leadership both domestically and abroad. Turkey’s military intervention in Syria has ... Read More »

The “Israel”-Hellenic Alliance That May Push Turkey to Cut Ties With Tel Aviv

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The Turkish government has just announced the effective expulsion of Eitan Na’eh, “Israel’s” Ambassador to Ankara. According to the Daily Sabah, Adam Garrie EurasiaFuture “Na’eh was asked to leave Turkey indefinitely by the Turkish ministry of foreign affairs following the Israeli bloodshed and his tweets”. The move comes as Erdogan has openly challenged other nations that have formal relations with the occupier entity to question whether such relations are beneficial to the Muslim world. The clear targets of… The “Israel”-Hellenic… Read More »