Europe

Europe’s AI ethics chief: No rules yet, please

Define ethical principles and let the courts correct problems as they come up, says Pekka Ala-Pietilä. Janosch Delcker Politico HELSINKI — In a global race to dominate artificial intelligence technology, Europe needs to keep its urge to regulate under control — at least for now. That’s the main message from Pekka Ala-Pietilä, a former president of Nokia and tech entrepreneur who is overseeing EU efforts to draw up principles that will underpin any future regulation of the technology. At the ... Read More »

What Thucydides Knew About the US Today

On the morning after the 2016 presidential election I tried to distract myself by reading some pages of Thucydides that I had assigned for a class the next day, and found myself reading the clearest explanation I had seen of the… Edward Mendelson The New York Review of Books In the third book of his History of the Peloponnesian War, Thucydides describes the outbreak of civil war on the northern island of Corcyra in 427 BC: There was the revenge taken in ... Read More »

Merkel government shaken by regional vote battering

German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s coalition government on Oct. 28 suffered a beating in a second key regional election in as many weeks, multiplying questions over the future of the veteran leader’s fragile alliance. FRANKURT – Agence France-Presse Hurriyet Weakened by a strong backlash against immigration after allowing over a million people into Germany since 2015, Merkel’s fourth government has staggered from one crisis to the next since being formed earlier this year. According to an exit poll by public broadcaster ARD in Hesse state, Merkel’s Christian Democratic Union ... Read More »

How a Democratic majority could undermine Mueller probe

Democrats want to open probes into issues the US special counsel is also investigating. Darren Samuelsohn Politico U.S. Democrats have religiously deferred to special counsel Robert Mueller over the last 17 months, hamstrung by their lack of congressional power and expressing faith that the respected investigator will get the job done if left alone. That could all change after November. If Democrats retake the House in the midterm elections, they’re prepared to use their newfound subpoena power to aggressively open ... Read More »

Glasgow tries to get at roots of crime as other countries take note

Glasgow, Scotland: Jonathan has scars from his former life. Jagged scars on his neck and the back of his head. He has a history of drug abuse and assault. Some of the punches he threw landed on police… The Washington Post The Canberra Times But today his scars are partly covered by a bright pink shirt and black apron. He leans across a gleaming counter to hand over a chicken wrap and fries. “Sea salt or chili salt?” he asks a ... Read More »

Brian Wilson: Leipzig shows how history’s giants bring people together

In Leipzig, Brian Wilson finds evidence of the greatness of German Chancellor Helmut Kohl, who took an extraordinary decision that helped make the reunification of Germany a success. Brian Wilson The Scotsman It is surely a paradox of history that so much time now has to be spent resisting efforts to create new borders when most of the past couple of centuries’ heroes are those who brought people together. This week, I was in two German cities – Berlin for ... Read More »

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 »