Europe

Back our own indyref, Catalans urge Sturgeon

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Pressure is mounting on Nicola Sturgeon’s government to endorse the Catalan independence movement’s proposal to hold a referendum on seceding from Spain in October. Tom Peterkin The Scotsman Yesterday leading Catalan politician Ramon Tremosa called on the Scottish Government to support controversial plans to break away from Madrid rule. Tremosa, a professor of economics at Barcelona University and… Back our own… Read More »

Ministers ‘undermined law’ over Iraq war crimes allegations

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Harriet Harman demands Ministry of Justice publish emails that may reveal it pressured law watchdog to act against Iraqi abuse lawyers Jamie Doward The Observer The Guardian The government has been accused of undermining the rule of law by putting pressure on an independent regulator in its action against a legal firm pursuing claims of human rights abuses involving British… The former deputy leader of the Labour party, Harriet Harman, has called for the release of any emails that would ... Read More »

Turkey Sees Foes at Work in Gold Mines, Cafes and ‘Smurf Village’

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LONDON — Akin Ipek, one of Turkey’s richest men, was staying in the Park Tower Hotel in London when the police raided his television network in Istanbul. DAVID SEGAL The New York Times The raid was national news, so Mr. Ipek opened his laptop and watched an unnerving spectacle: an attack on his multibillion-dollar empire, in real time. It was an oddly cinematic showdown. Through a combination of shouting and persuasion, the network’s news editor convinced the officers that they ... Read More »

Microbeads ban: Government to outlaw microplastics in cosmetic products

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Any kind of ‘rinse-off’ personal care and cosmetic products are affected, but not ‘leave-on’ make-up or sunscreen after industry complaints about the cost Ian Johnston Environment Correspondent Independent The Government is to go ahead with a ban on “rinse-off” plastic microbeads in cosmetics and personal care products following a public consultation, it has announced. The proposal comes amid increasing evidence that tiny plastic particles are damaging marine life and could even pose a serious risk to human… Microbeads ban: Government… Read More »

The EU Can’t Afford to Ignore Europe’s Migrant Crisis

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Brussels should help central Europe forge an effective funding and financing plan to help stop the conflict in Syria. Naman Jain The National Interest A lot has been happening in the midst of the European migrant crisis. Most notably, the political debate between EU member states is widening on how to best handle this significantly deteriorating crisis. Specifically, the Visegrad Group, consisting of Poland… Criticism of the Visegrad… The EU Can’t… Read More »

French military chief resigns after row with Macron

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France’s top military chief resigned on July 19 after a war of words with Emmanuel Macron over budget cuts that tested the new president’s… Hurriyet The row between Macron and General Pierre de Villiers erupted last week when the chief of staff told a parliamentary committee he would not allow the armed forces to be “screwed” by the government’s plans to slash 850… Macron, 39, slapped down the 60-year-old five-star general in front of army chiefs at their annual summer ... Read More »

Turkey’s PKK Conflict Kills almost 3,000 in Two Years

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20 July 2017 marks the two-year anniversary of a collapsed ceasefire that previously held for two-and-a-half-years between Turkey and the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK). Berkay Mandıracı ICG Crisis Group’s new analysis of open-source data reveals that the ongoing cycle of violence has now killed three times as many as the 2011-12 escalation. On 20 July 2015, an Islamic State (ISIS) suicide bomb attack killed 33 and injured more than 100 mostly pro-Kurdish young activists in… Turkey’s PKK Conflict… Read More »

McDonald’s, KFC and Burger King branches

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The Government advises that the safe level of the bacteria in water used for human consumption is zero Ben Chapman Independent Faecal bacteria has been found in ice at McDonald’s, KFC and Burger King. The BBC’s Watchdog programme tested samples from 10 random branches from each of the fast food chains across the UK. Tests revealed bacteria known as faecal coliforms were present in three of the McDonald’s samples, six… McDonald’s, KFC and… Read More »

Chinese Warships Enter Baltic Sea — For Drills With Russia

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As NATO exercises in the Black Sea Russia welcomes the Chinese navy A Chinese naval squadron has sailed into the Baltic Sea to join the Russian navy for annual two-nation drills. RI The Chinese squadron consists of a supply ship, missile frigate and a Type 052D destroyer. The latter is the most advanced guided missile destroyer in Chinese service which is highly significant: “By sending its most advanced guided-missile destroyers, China is expressing its sincerity to Russia and… Chinese Warships Enter… Read More »

Montenegro to open coup plot trial

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Two pro-Russian opposition leaders in Montenegro and 12 other suspects will go on trial July 19 over their role in an alleged attempt to overthrow the… Hurriyet Montenegrin police arrested a group of Serbian nationals on the eve of a general election in October, accusing them of planning to storm parliament and target the then prime minister, pro… Authorities allege that “Russian state bodies” were involved in the conspiracy in a bid to prevent Montenegro from… Montenegro to open… Read More »

Tasoula Hadjitofi – from refugee to icon hunter

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A refugee’s quest to reclaim her nation’s stolen heritage Tasoula Hadjitofi will discuss her experiences of war and injustice; her ongoing campaign to preserve cultural heritage worldwide and her tireless work to combat art trafficking. In 1974 Tasoula Hadjitofi and her family were forced to flee their home in Famagusta, Cyprus during the Turkish invasion. As a refugee living in the Netherlands, Tasoula devoted her life to infiltrating and exposing the shady underworld of art traffickers. It all began when ... Read More »

Major German Universities Cancel Elsevier Contracts

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These institutions join around 60 others that hope to put increasing pressure on the publishing giant in ongoing negotiations for a new nationwide licensing… Diana Kwon The Scientist In Germany, the fight for open access and favorable pricing for journals is getting heated. At the end of last month (June 30), four major academic institutions in Berlin announced that they would not renew their subscriptions with the Dutch publishing giant Elsevier once they end this… Then on July 7, nine ... Read More »

Erdoğan backs death penalty on Turkey coup attempt anniversary

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President tells crowd of thousands that Turkey will ‘cut the heads off’ traitors, a year after soldiers tried to topple government Kareem Shaheen in Ankara The Guardian The Turkish president, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, reiterated his support for reinstating the death penalty and threatened to cut off traitors’ heads in an a… Tens of thousands of people gathered in Istanbul, marching to the Bosphorus Bridge where 36 people were killed by coup soldiers exactly a year ago, for the first of ... Read More »

A Natural Gas War Is Brewing In The Mediterranean

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Offshore gas developments in the East Mediterranean region are heating up. Cyril Widdershoven OilPrice Alongside increased exploration efforts and a possible gas pipeline deal between Turkey and Israel, geopolitical risks are increasing too. While commercial prospects are starting to look good for all parties, a real military conflict is also brewing and may come to a head if Cyprus, Greece and Turkey are not able to find a… Optimism has been high of late about the prospects of offshore Cyprus ... Read More »

Tony Blair ‘feels sorry’ for Theresa May

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Tony Blair says he feels “sorry” for Theresa May as she is surrounded by people waiting to “throw her off the ledge”. Richard Wheeler The Scotsman The former prime minister said he believed Mrs May has the “best interests of the country at heart” although reiterated he strongly disagrees with her about how to… Mr Blair, asked if he feels any sympathy for Mrs May, told Sophy Ridge on Sunday on Sky News: “Yeah, I do, of course, because I ... Read More »

Sinn Féin’s changed coalition stance is the big political move of 2017

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Opinion: Leo Varadkar has potential but he has failed to show it so far Pat Leahy The Irish Times The Dáil stuttered to its summer recess on Friday, a last minute rush of legislation this week hardly disguising the fact that the pace of parliamentary and governmental activity has slowed to a crawl since the… The recess lasts until September 20th – plenty of time for Leo Varadkar to figure out what he wants the Government’s new political message for ... Read More »