Europe

Brexit: ‘Legally binding’ changes to EU deal agreed

Theresa May says she has secured “legally binding” changes to her Brexit deal, a day ahead of MPs voting on it. BBC But European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker warned if the deal was voted down there was “no third chance”. They spoke at a joint press conference in Strasbourg after a late meeting. Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn said the prime minister’s negotiations had “failed” and the announcements did not contain “anything approaching the changes” she had promised Parliament. Cabinet Office ... Read More »

Indonesia leans towards Iver Huitfeldt class for frigate acquisition

Defence planners from the Indonesian Ministry of Defence (MoD) are increasingly leaning towards a variant of the Iver Huitfeldt class in their quest to acquire two more frigates for the… Ridzwan Rahmat, Singapore – Jane’s Navy International The frigates are being acquired as part of the second phase of the Minimum Essential Force (MEF) modernisation blueprint, which runs from 2015 to 2019. Indonesia acquired two SIGMA 10514 vessels from… A piece of unclassified correspondence between the country’s defence minister, Ryamizard ... Read More »

‘Brexit in peril’ as PM May faces heavy defeat

Brexit could be reversed if lawmakers reject the government’s exit deal, British Foreign Minister Jeremy Hunt said on March 10 after two major euroskeptic factions in parliament warned that Prime Minister Theresa May was facing a… London – Reuters Hurriyet Just 19 days before the United Kingdom is due to leave the EU on March 29, May is scrambling, so far unsuccessfully, to secure last-minute changes to an EU exit treaty before parliament votes on March 12 on whether to approve the… If she fails, lawmakers are expected to ... Read More »

Angela Merkel successor AKK responds to Emmanuel Macron’s vision for Europe

Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer has presented her own proposals to tackle populism, economic uncertainty, international security and migration. Deutsche Welle “Europe must become stronger,” she wrote in response to the… In an op-ed published in the Welt am Sonntag, Chancellor Angela Merkel’s successor as head of the Christian Democratic Union (CDU) contrasted a “European way of life” with social and political models in China, the… “Europe must become stronger,” she wrote. While Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer echoed some of the plans set out by French President Emmanuel ... Read More »

German Foreign Ministry tightens travel advisory for Turkey

Germany has advised its citizens they risk arrest for expressing opinions that would be tolerated at home but may not be by Turkish authorities. Deutsche Welle German nationals have been arbitrarily arrested over the last two years. The Foreign Ministry in Berlin has updated its travel advisory for Turkey, saying opinions expressed freely in Germany may not be tolerated by Turkish authorities. The advice was directed at journalists, at people who had taken part in some meetings and at anyone ... Read More »

Will the US and Turkey break up over Russian S-400?

WASHINGTON, DC – Fans of diplomatic history realize the importance of dates: They mark milestones, turning points, make-or-break moments. ekathimerini Endy Zemenides Those who follow Turkey are keenly aware that a new era in the country’s diplomatic history is taking shape before us. March 4 and 5, 2019 are sure to become important dates in this new diplomatic history. This past Monday, reversing a trend of handling issues with Ankara quietly and in private, US President Donald Trump sent a ... Read More »

US issues warning to Italy on China economic initiative

The U.S. issued an indirect warning to Italy on Saturday for its coziness with China. Daniel Jativa Washington Examiner The European Union country is weighing sign ing up with China’s global economic effort, called the Belt and Road Initiative. “Italy is a major global economy and a great investment destination. Endorsing BRI lends legitimacy to China’s predatory approach to investment and will bring no benefits to the Italian people,” the tweet said. Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte, the… US issues ... Read More »

Far-right parties poised to double seats in EU Parliament: poll

Far-right parties are set to double their seats in the European Parliament election in May, according to a new poll. The survey showed far-right parties were ahead in countries like France, Italy and Poland. Deutsche Welle A new poll released by Germany’s Bild newspaper on Saturday, conducted in six countries in late February and early March, showed the far-right Europe of Nations and Freedom Group (ENF) was likely to win 67 seats in the… Europeans go to the polls on May 23-26 to ... Read More »

The UK’s First Specialist Medical Cannabis Clinic Has Opened

Bosses at the clinic say it will provide a lifeline to those experiencing chronic pain. HuffPost Press Association The UK’s first specialist medical cannabis clinic has opened in Greater Manchester. It follows the Government announcement that specialist doctors could prescribe cannabis products to patients for medicinal use from November. The decisions by medics need to be made on a case-by-case basis and only when the patient has an unmet special clinical need that cannot be met by licensed products. The ... Read More »

BBC caught up in the West’s crisis of values – Joyce McMillan

The “post-war consensus” about fundamental values which formed the basis for one of the most sustained periods of growing prosperity and social equality in Western history has been broken, leaving a society without a sense of shame, writes Joyce McMillan. The Scotsman It was a brief Twitter storm, by 2019 standards; but it was a vehement one, and fairly typical of the daily shouting matches that now dominate large areas of our social media. Last weekend, a Scottish newspaper announced ... Read More »

As EU stresses the migration ‘crisis’ is over, Italy makes hundreds of migrants homeless

Refuting what he called populist “misinformation”, the first vice-president of the European Commission, Frans Timmermans, has stressed that: “Europe is no longer experiencing the migration crisis we lived in 2015, but structural problems remain.” Vicki Squire The Conversation The commission emphasises that the current level of arrivals is just 10% of what it was at its “peak” in 2015. But these comments overlook the fact that the so-called “crisis” of 2015 was defined as one on the basis of a series of myths ... Read More »

Sánchez bets big on women in Spanish campaign

The ruling Socialists have strong feminist credentials, but an anti-feminist party is on the rise. MADRID — Pedro Sánchez made feminism a banner as soon as he became prime minister nine months ago, and now he’s doubling down on women’s votes to keep him in office after Spain’s election on April 28. Diego Torres Politico With an openly anti-feminist party — the far-right Vox — on the rise, Sánchez’s Socialists and their mainstream rivals trampled on each other to get the… The ... Read More »

Russia Tightens Control Over Northern Sea Route

The Kremlin has formulated new limitations for foreign warships transiting the Northern Sea Route (NSR), the Arctic route connecting the Kola Peninsula with the… By MarEx  The Maritime Executive In a policy change first reported by Izvestia, the Russian government now intends to require foreign governments to provide 45 days of advance notice for warship voyages along the… In addition, it will need the name and rank of each vessel’s master, along with all ship’s particulars, and it specifies that ... Read More »

Lebanon asserts against using maritime borders for gas pipeline from Israel to EU

Lebanon on Thursday warned its Mediterranean neighbours that a planned EastMed gas pipeline from Israel to the European Union must not be allowed to violate its… Devdiscourse Beirut has an unresolved maritime border dispute with Israel – which it regards as an enemy country – over a sea area of about 860 sq km (330 square miles) extending along the… Israel is hoping to enlist several European countries in the construction of a 2,000 km (1,243 miles) pipeline linking vast ... Read More »

Nobody wants a return to war in Northern Ireland but events can create their own momentum

The 310-mile-long border that divides the north from the Irish Republic is a trip wire which has the capacity to trigger a political explosion, writes Patrick Cockburn from Belfast. Independent At the height of the Troubles in Northern Ireland in the early 1970s I used to visit Crossmaglen, a village in South Armagh close to the border with the Irish Republic and notorious as an Irish Republican stronghold. I would go there with my friend Ben Caraher, a teacher in Belfast who came from the village ... Read More »

Does Russia See a War Threat in Warsaw?

The United States need not further inflame the new cold war with unnecessary and provocative basing arrangements in Eastern Europe. Lyle J. Goldstein The National Interest In a surprising twist on Ostpolitik, the United States has become entranced by the charms of Poland. Warsaw has diligently sent contingents off to Afghanistan, and agreed last year to increase their numbers. It has also become a reasonably large market for U.S. armaments. While Washington admittedly did not get too excited about Poland’s global climate change conference last ... Read More »