Europe

Diarmaid Ferriter: Nuns’ side of story needs to be heard

Silence and selective recounting of history reinforces caricature of ‘bad nuns’ Diarmaid Ferriter The Irish Times Just what is the nuns’ story? That is a question I’ve often pondered when absorbing the revelations of recent years about Ireland’s reliance on institutions, the things that went on within them and the social, economic and cultural currents that… There has been much testimony from survivors of abuse and numerous declarations of sorrow from politicians reacting to the publication of the reports of ... Read More »

Millions of women to share pensions windfall

MILLIONS of women are in line for a pension boost following a landmark multi-billion pound High Court ruling. Lloyds Bank was told yesterday it had to equalise pensions benefits for men and women, in… By SARAH O’GRADY Express The ruling by Mr Justice Morgan could cost Lloyds £150million and the pension industry collectively around £20billion. Employees Angela Sharp, Judith Cain and Susan Dixon by their trade union BTU, claimed they faced sex discrimination because their guaranteed minimum pension increased at a ... Read More »

Lack of trust between EU and Britain emerging as issue in backstop talks

London Letter: Fears Britain could seek to use Border issue for trade deal leverage Denis Staunton The Irish Times This was supposed to be “hell week” for Theresa May after mutinous Brexiteers foretold her political assassination in grisly metaphors in last Sunday’s papers. But after surviving a Brexit statement in the House of Commons on Monday, a fiery cabinet meeting on Tuesday and an appearance before the 1922 Committee on Wednesday, the prime minister ends the week in a… But May still ... Read More »

Thousands of rapists are allowed on day release from jail

THE number of rapists being let out of prison on day release has soared by 60 per cent in three years. By AMY-CLARE MARTIN AND MATTHEW DAVIS Express Ministry of Justice figures show convicted rapists were freed to walk the streets 5,356 times in 2017, up from just 3,337 in 2015. The news comes as statistics show a 54 per cent rise in prisoners breaking their day release terms by committing crime, failing to return, coming back late or other breaches. ... Read More »

Trump administration plants US flag in Armenia

A visit by National Security Advisor John Bolton made clear that the past practice of looking the other way as Armenia deepened ties with Iran is over. Richard Giragosian Asia Times For the small country of Armenia, the past several months have marked an impressive emergence on the world stage. In a first-ever visit by a German leader, Chancellor Angela Merkel visited Armenia in late August, followed by French President Emmanuel Macron and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, joining other ... Read More »

Italy’s Budget Isn’t as Crazy as It Seems

EU officials must recognize that the country needs stimulus. Ashoka Mody Bloomberg Europe’s leaders have come down hard on Italy for its plans to increase spending with the aim of boosting growth and helping the poor. What they fail to recognize is that a little stimulus might be just what the… The outlook for the global economy is deteriorating more rapidly than forecasters realize. A slowdown in China has hit global trade, European exports are decelerating, and euro-area business sentiment is sharply down. All ... Read More »

History of Pictish stones ‘rewritten’ by breakthrough research

The history of Pictish symbol stones in Scotland is being “rewritten” with new research finding the mysterious monuments were being created hundreds of years earlier than previously thought. Alison Campsie The Scotsman A breakthrough in the understanding of the ancient stones has been made following excavations at Dunnicaer sea stack, the site of a Pictish fort just south of Stonehaven in Aberdeenshire. It is now believed that the site is home to the oldest Pictish stones in Scotland with a ... Read More »

German jailed in Turkey on terrorism charges

His family claimed Patrick K. was on a hiking holiday, but Turkey said he was fighting for the Kurdish YPG militia. Author Rebecca Staudenmaier (with DPA) DW Now a court in Sirnak has sentenced the German man to over six years in prison. A Turkish court on Friday sentenced a German man to six years and three months in prison for membership of a terrorist organization. In addition, he received a suspended sentence of one year and eight months in jail for entering a ... Read More »

The dirty men of Europe: report identifies the worst EU countries for recycling

Who’s the dirty man of Europe? A report from the European Commission has looked at all EU member states and released an “early warning” to the 14 countries considered at greatest risk of missing the EU’s 2020 recycling target for municipal waste. Euronews The four worst recyclers are Malta, Romania, Greece and Cyprus. In 2016, all four recycled less than 20% of their total waste. With the EU’s 2020 recycling target set at 50% of total waste, these four countries and their ... Read More »

Home Office admits people were wrongly refused UK status after refusing to provide DNA evidence

The Home Office has admitted that people have been wrongly refused UK status after refusing to provide DNA evidence in breach of its own policy. May Bulman Independent Home Secretary Sajid Javid said the government had illegally demanded DNA evidence in family visa cases, with at least seven people denied right to stay in Britain because they refused to provide… He apologised to those affected and announced that a new taskforce had been set up for anyone who believed they had been affected…. “At the end of ... Read More »

NATO blames Russia for missile pact violation, Putin warns Europe

Brussels: NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg said on Wednesday that allies blame Russia for violating an important Cold War-era missile treaty but he does not expect them to deploy more nuclear warheads in Europe in response. The Age AP In Moscow, Russian President Vladimir Putin followed up on US President Donald Trump’s declared intention to pull out of the 1987 arms control pact by warning that if the US deploys the now-banned missiles in Europe, Russia would target the nations hosting them. ... Read More »

Mario Draghi: I won’t mediate Italian budget standoff

The Italian chief of the ECB also says that ‘to finance governments’ deficits is not part of our mandate.’ By SILVIA SCIORILLI BORRELLI Politico The European Central Bank’s president, Mario Draghi, on Thursday passed the buck on resolving the Italian budget standoff to the European Commission. Speaking at a press conference on Thursday in Frankfurt after the ECB governing council monetary policy meeting, Draghi sought to clarify that he has no intention of serving as a “mediator” between Rome and ... Read More »

Watch List 2018 – Third Update

Crisis Group’s third update to our Watch List 2018 includes entries on economic reforms in Libya, preserving the fragile quiet in Syria’s Idlib province, addressing the plight of civilians in eastern Ukraine, supporting Colombia’s uneasy peace process and averting violence in Nigeria’s upcoming… ICG This annual early-warning report identifies conflict situations in which prompt action by the European Union and its member states would generate stronger prospects for peace. Libya’s Economic Reforms Fall Short Libya has seen… Watch List 2018… Read More »

Mark Carney, eco-warrior

The Bank of England governor is pushing banks and investors to take climate change seriously. And they listen, whether they want to or not. By SILVIA SCIORILLI BORRELLI, KALINA OROSCHAKOFF AND CAT CONTIGUGLIA Politico LONDON — Mark Carney’s job is to guide the pound and the British economy through the Brexit storms. But the Bank of England chief is also building a legacy in another, unexpected field: climate change. From twin perches atop the British central bank and a global oversight body, Carney ... Read More »

Apple, Google, Facebook line up to pay homage to EU privacy rules

Tech executives and global regulators promise to boost privacy rights. But not everything is what it seems. Mark Scott Politico Top executives from Facebook, Google and Apple heaped praise on Europe’s revamped data protection standards Wednesday, just as these companies face ever tighter scrutiny over privacy and the prospect of similar restrictions in the… Apple’s Tim Cook — the only U.S. CEO to appear in person — spoke in the strongest terms, calling for a federal U.S. privacy law to match ... Read More »

European Parliament votes to ban single-use plastics in bid to tackle pollution

Ambitious proposal will see plastic cutlery, straws and cotton buds phased out across continent Josh Gabbatiss Independent The European Parliament has voted for an extensive ban on single-use plastics to stop pollution entering the world’s oceans. Products including plastic plates, cutlery, straws and cotton buds will all be eradicated from 2021 under the plans. The ban is intended to affect items for which valid alternatives are available, which are estimated to make up over 70 per cent of marine… In a far-reaching set of ... Read More »