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8/18/17

EU: Exports and low unemployment fuel rapid growth in central Europe - by James Shotter

Central Europe’s economies have continued their rapid expansion, outpacing their peers in western Europe as rock bottom interest rates and record low unemployment fuel consumer spending.

With the eurozone’s recovery also pushing up exports from the region, Romania’s economy grew at the fastest annual rate in the EU in the second quarter.

The Czech Republic, Poland, Slovakia and Hungary also reported strong growth, according to preliminary data on Wednesday.

Romania grew by 5.7 per cent year on year in the second quarter. The Czech Republic grew by 4.5 per cent, Poland by 4.4 per cent, Hungary by 3.6 per cent and Slovakia by 3.1 per cent. The EU grew by 2.3 per cent.

Read more: Exports and low unemployment fuel rapid growth in central Europe

Spain: Barcelona and Cambrils attacks: why was Spain targeted by Deranged Islamic terrorists? - by S. Jones and G.Tremlett

Images of the aftermath of the attack on Barcelona’s most famous street on Thursday will stir different images in the minds of different people. For those in France and the UK, they will be reminders of the attacks on the Promenade des Anglais in Nice and on Westminster Bridge in London.

For many Spaniards, they will bring back memories of 11 March 2004, when 191 people were killed and more than 1,800 others injured in a series of train bombings in Madrid carried out by al-Qaida.

Older Spaniards will also remember Eta’s violent struggle for Basque independence, a failed campaign that killed more than 800 people in bombings and shootings over a period of decades.

But if the spectre of Eta has faded six years after the group began giving up its weapons – and 20 years after its murder of a young politician marked a turning point in Spanish society – the same cannot be said of the threat of cowardly radical Islamic terrorism

Read more: Barcelona and Cambrils attacks: why was Spain targeted by terrorists? | World news | The Guardian

USA: Bannon is gone from the White House, but he has already laid eggs in everything - by Alexandra Petri

Stephen K. Bannon is out. After seven months as the chief strategist to the president of the United States, Bannon is gone.

I would have been more excited about this seven months ago. It is better to get rid of the termites before they have successfully laid eggs in all your possessions.

You cannot muster much enthusiasm over the fact that a man who promised he would take a sledgehammer to everything you held dear is finally, months later, not in the house any longer. It is hardly as though he did not get the chance to put cracks in all the things he wanted broken.

Besides, it is less than consoling to hear that someone has evicted the rat-king, when you can see full well that that “someone” is just a tangle of cockroaches hissing to themselves under an ermine robe.

Fine: There is one less hideous tangle of rats affixed to one another by the tails running amok in your home, but it is not as though you can fumigate.

And when the word comes that it was because the rat-king was too vocal in its complaints to the media about the cockroaches’ handling of household affairs, you wonder.

Read more: Bannon is gone from the White House, but he has already laid eggs in everything - The Washington Post

8/17/17

Barcelona attack: EU president Jean-Claude Juncker pledges Europe-wide response to 'cowardly attack' - by Jon Stone

The European Commission President has condemned a “cowardly” vehicle attack in the Spanish city of Barcelona and pledged a Europe-wide response to the atrocity.

Jean-Claude Juncker  pledged to put the EU's its resources at the disposal of Barcelona’s emergency and security services following the outrage, which he said had “deliberately targeted those enjoying life and sharing time with family and friends” as reports of several persons having died in the attack came in.

A speeding van ran through the city’s famous pedestrian street Las Ramblas, mowing down people and sending others flying for cover. Spanish media reports that the driver fled on foot.
Read more: Barcelona attack: EU president Jean-Claude Juncker pledges Europe-wide response to 'cowardly attack' | The Independent

Spain -Terrorism: Barcelona attack: Van crashes into crowds in Ramblas tourist area

Deranged Radical Islamist Terrorists
A van has ploughed into crowds in the busy Las Ramblas area of central Barcelona in what police are treating as a “terror attack”.

A government official tweeted that 13 people have died and at least 50 have been injured.

Spanish police released a handout with information about and a photograph of Maghrebi Driss Oukabir, who is suspected of renting the van used to run down pedestrians in Las Ramblas.

The self-titled Islamic State group (ISIL) claimed responsibility for the deadly attack through its Amaq news agency.

"Once again a cowardly attack on innocent people by a deranged group of radial Islamist terrorists, whose territory of their self proclaimed "Islamic State" is crumbling away at an ever increasing speed".  

"To stay updated on terrorist movements{ check out the SITE Intelligence Group Website ". 

"SITE Intelligence Group is a for-profit US Bethesda, Maryland-based company that tracks online activity of white supremacist and jihadist organizations. From 2002 to 2008, SITE Intelligence Group was known as the Search for International Terrorist Entities (SITE) Institute. SITE is led by the Israeli analyst Rita Katz".

"On a personal basis, in case you see any suspect activities in your area or neighborhood, immediately contact your local police or security agency"..

8/16/17

USA - Presidential Chaos: Bush presidents wade into Trump furore over Charlottesville

Former Presidents George HW Bush and George W Bush have called on the US to "reject racial bigotry, anti-Semitism and hatred in all forms".

They are the latest Republican figures to weigh in on the backlash to Donald Trump's latest remarks blaming "both sides" for violent clashes in Virginia.

It culminated with a woman's death and nearly 20 wounded when a car ploughed into a crowd at the far-right rally.

Read more: Bush presidents wade into Trump furore over Charlottesville - BBC News

Britain: Former UK cabinet aid calls for new party to oppose Brexit

The former chief of staff to Britain’s Secretary of State for Exiting the EU has claimed that two serving cabinet ministers are interested in his idea of forming a new centrist ‘anti-Brexit’ party.

James Chapman, a former aide to David Davis and ex-Chancellor George Osborne, has told the BBC Brexit would be a ‘calamity’ as he stepped up his online campaign for a proposed ‘Democrat’ party, saying Britain’s impending departure from the bloc would spell demise for the conservative party.

Read more: Former UK cabinet aid calls for new party to oppose Brexit | Euronews

Germany: Air Berlin files for bankruptcy protection

Crisis-stricken German airline Air Berlin is seeking protection from its creditors after running out of cash to stay solvent.

But the airline says it wants to remain in operation following a government bailout.

Read more: Air Berlin files for bankruptcy protection | Business | DW | 15.08.2017