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10/31/19

USA: Impeachment rules process approved in House as another U.S. official testifies


The Democratic-controlled U.S. House of Representatives approved the rules for its impeachment inquiry of President Donald Trump, which sets the stage for outlining the process for public hearings and possibly drafting articles of impeachment.

The 232-196 roll call vote overwhelmingly along party lines was the chamber's first formal vote on a process that's likely to take months, possibly stretching into the early weeks of the 2020 election year.

Two Democrats voted against party lines, while one Independent voted in favour.

Underscoring the gravity of the vote, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi presided over the chamber as it voted on the rules package.

Read more at: https://www.cbc.ca/news/world/impeachment-rules-morrison-1.5342368

Britain: Activists mock Boris Johnson as old Brexit deadline expires and as Johnsen said: " I would rather die in a ditch"

The UK was due to leave the EU on October 31 with "no ifs or buts," according to Boris Johnson. With the deadline expiring, anti-Brexit activists mocked the leader for failing to deliver on his strongly-worded pledges.
 
UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson rose to power by repeatedly pledging to "get Brexit done" by October 31 "do or die, come what may" and last month famously said he would rather be "dead in a ditch" than ask for a Brexit extension. 
 
"I will not negotiate a delay with the EU and neither does the law compel me to do so," Johnson said in Parliament less than two weeks ago.

Last week, however, Johnson was forced to break his central promise and ask Brussels for another delay after lawmakers rejected his bid to fast track the latest divorce deal. Johnson was forced by law to seek an extension after parliament made it legally binding for him to so so if no deal were agreed by October 19.

EU-Digest

10/30/19

France - Secularism: Macron condemns those who use secularism to 'sow hatred and division'

Macron spoke about the French concept of "laïcité" or secularism, at the inauguration of a European Centre for Judaism.

Read more at: https://www.euronews.com/2019/10/30/macron-condemns-those-who-use-secularism-to-sow-hatred-and-division

British Elections: Lib Dems face being frozen out of any live TV debates

Labour and Tories prefer one-on-one format, which would mean no place for Jo Swinson’s party

Read more at :
https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2019/oct/30/liberal-democrats-face-being-frozen-out-of-live-tv-debates-general-election?CMP=Share_AndroidApp_Add_to_Firefox

Turkey summons U.S. ambassador after U.S. House recognizes Armenian genocide

Turkey on Wednesday condemned two resolutions passed by the U.S. House of Representatives that symbolize deteriorating Turkish-American relations.

Read more at: https://www.cbc.ca/news/world/turkey-summons-us-ambassador-1.5340614

Twitter to ban all political ads

The CEO of Twitter has announced that political advertising will be banished from the platform. It comes as Facebook faces criticism for its laid back attitude to political lies in advertising.Twitter

Read more at: https://www.dw.com/en/twitter-to-ban-all-political-ads/a-51058858

10/29/19

Britain - elections: UK set for 12 December general election after MPs' vote

MPs give the green light for a pre-Christmas poll after months of deadlock over Brexit.

Read more at: https://www.bbc.com/news/uk-politics-50229318

Saudi Arabia: It's been a year since Khashoggi's murder. Trump has stopped pretending to care - by Mohamad Bazzi

Saudi Arabia’s dismal record isn’t deterring Mnuchin, Kushner and a flock of executives from attending ‘Davos in the desert’

Read more at: https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2019/oct/29/saudi-arabia-trump-administration-jamal-khashoggi-prince-mohammed?CMP=Share_AndroidApp_Add_to_Firefox

NATO: Majority of Germans want Turkey kicked out of NATO: survey

A new survey shows that 58% of Germans want Turkey expelled from NATO over their recent military offensive in Syria. There is even stronger German support for economic sanctions and export bans against the country.

Read more at: https://www.dw.com/en/majority-of-germans-want-turkey-kicked-out-of-nato-survey/a-51030130

USA - Donald Trump: Narcissists 'horrible people but happy' - by Sean Couglan

They might be shameless attention-seekers but narcissists are also likely to be happier people.

Read more at: https://www.bbc.com/news/education-50184281

10/28/19

Inovation: The Netherlands Ranks Among Top 5 countries in The Global Innovation Index

The Global Innovation Index 2019 (GII 2019), collated by Cornell University, INSEAD, and the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO), has ranked the Netherlands amongst the global leaders in innovation. The report mentions that even in economic slower times, innovation still thrives. “In developed and developing economies alike, formal innovation—as measured by research and development (R&D) and patents—and less formal modes of innovation are thriving.” According to the GII 2019, Switzerland, Sweden, United States, the Netherlands and the United Kingdom complete the top five of most innovative nations in the world.


Top scores in innovation output en knowledge absorption:  The Netherlands scores particularly well on sub-rankings on innovation output (2) and knowledge absorption (2). The country remains in top position for IP payments and scores consistently strong on regulatory quality, online participation, intensity of local competition, collaboration between universities and industries, cluster development and inflows of foreign direct investment. The report specially mentions that it sees great improvements in government expenditures on R&D financed by business, and an increase in women that are employed having advanced degrees.

Online creativity and knowledge diffusion push Dutch innovative outputs:  The report mentions specifically that innovation outputs are high, because the Netherlands is strong on Knowledge diffusion (2nd) and Online Creativity (2nd), in particular in indicators such as IP receipts, FDI net outflows, ICTs and business model creation, and ICTs and organizational model creation. The GII 2019 also sees improvements in the quality of scientific publications (8th) and in cultural and creative services exports (10th).

Read more: The Netherlands Ranks Among Top 5 countries in The Global Innovation Index

Populism: Rise in populism threatens European democracy, warns Tony Blair think tank

Europe has seen a surge in support for “populist” political parties which threatens to destabilise democracy across the continent, a report by Tony Blair’s think tank has warned.

The survey by the former Prime Minister’s Institute for Global Change found the share of the vote taken by populist parties from both right and left has almost trebled since 2000 – rising from 8.5 to 24.1 per cent.

Over the same period, it said the number of European countries with populist parties participating in government has doubled from seven to 14 – creating an unprecedented “populist belt” from the Baltic to the Aegean.

Read more at: https://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/europe/populism-tony-blair-think-tank-uropean-democracy-global-change-p-a8132681.html

USA - California: Fires spread as Northern California deals with widespread power outages

As nearly 200,000 people remain under evacuation order from threat of wildfire, some of the millions of people in Northern California on track to get their electricity back may not have it restored before another possible round of shutoffs and debilitating winds.

Read more at: https://www.cbc.ca/news/world/california-wildfires-spread-power-outages-1.5337673

Britain: Even if the Tories win an election, they’ll be finished:by Polly Toynbee

Boris Johnson should be careful what he wishes for. The people could reject him - and if they don’t, Brexit will destroy his party, says Guardian columnist Polly Toynbee

Read more at https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2019/oct/28/election-boris-johnson-tories-labour?CMP=Share_AndroidApp_Add_to_Firefox

10/27/19

10/26/19

EU Parliament: Gas and oil spent €250m lobbying EU - by Nikolaj Nielsen

The fossil fuel industry pumped €250m into lobbying the EU in the,past 10 years to water down climate friendly laws and targets, according to a new report.

"A cool quarter of a billion over the last decade buys a lot of access and influence in Brussels," said Pascoe Sabido of Corporate Europe Observatory, a Brussels-based NGO, and one of the authors of the report.

Read more at: Gas and oil spent €250m lobbying EU

Russia: Long watch: Meet Russia's invisible influencer

 The story of Lyubov Sobol who sparked some of Russia's biggest anti-government protests in a decade.

Read more at: Long watch: Meet Russia's invisible influencer - BBC News:

10/25/19

USA- Healthcare: Millions of Americans Flood Into Mexico for Health Care

The US's "dental refugees" flock to Mexico in the thousands every day, seeking affordable care.

Read more at: Millions of Americans Flood Into Mexico for Health Care

EU-LGBTI: Discrimination falls, but wide differences remain across EU — study

A new Eurobarometer study measured discrimination in Europe.

Read more at: Discrimination falls, but wide differences remain across EU — study | Euronews

NATO′s Stoltenberg acknowledges ′different views′ on Syria

The military alliance has concluded a meeting focused in large part on the conflict in Syria and the security situation in Afghanistan after elections. Jens Stoltenberg also announced new security standards for 5G.

Read more at: NATO′s Stoltenberg acknowledges ′different views′ on Syria | News | DW | 25.10.2019

Amazon Inc. : Jeff Bezos lost about $7 billion on Thursday

Amazon reported third-quarter earnings Thursday that disappointed investors and sent Amazon stock spiraling down. For Bezos, that means an on-paper loss of around $7 billion, putting his status as richest person in the world at risk.

Read more at: Jeff Bezos lost about $7 billion on Thursday

Amnesty Intl.: Turkey forced Syrian refugees back into war zone

The human rights watchdog spoke with dozens of refugees who were illegally removed from Turkey and sent back to Syria without a so-called "safe zone" in place. Turkey claims they went back willingly.

Read more at: Amnesty: Turkey forced Syrian refugees back into war zone | News | DW | 25.10.2019:

10/24/19

Britain: Boris Johnson calls for a snap general election on December 12

  • UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson on Thursday called for a snap general election on December 1
  • The prime minister is expected to bring forward a motion next week to hold an election before Christmas.
  • It would require the support of two-thirds of MPs in the House of Commons.
  • Opposition parties have rejected previous election motions for fear that Johnson would take the UK out of the European Union without a deal during the election period.
  • However, the EU is expected to grant the UK another Brexit delay on Friday, paving the way for opposition parties to back a fresh election.
  • The Labour Party is set to back a snap election once Brexit has been delayed.
VIDEO: Boris Johnson calls for a snap general election on December 12 - Business Insider

Spain exhumes former dictator Franco

Forty-four years after his death, the remains of former Spanish dictator Francisco Franco are being exhumed from a vast mausoleum in the hills near Madrid and moved to a discreet grave close to the capital.

Read more at: Spain exhumes former dictator Franco | News | DW | 24.10.2019

Israeli election: Israel's Benny Gantz tasked with forming coalition government

Mr Gantz has 28 days to form a coalition after PM Benjamin Netanyahu's efforts ended in deadlock.

Read more at: Israel's Benny Gantz tasked with forming coalition government - BBC News

    Britain-Brexit: No EU decision yet on Brexit delay, three months looks likely - say diplomats

    Ambassadors of the 27 EU member states that will remain after Britain leaves the bloc made no decision on London's request for a Brexit delay at a meeting on Wednesday but will meet again to discuss the issue on Friday, three senior EU diplomats said.

    Read more at: No EU decision yet on Brexit delay, three months looks likely - diplomats - Reuters

    AOC grills Zuckerberg over which lies are allowed in Facebook political ads

    10/23/19

    Russia - Turkey agreement on Syria: a Win For Putin, Turkey, Russia Reach Deal On Syrian Patrols

    Russian President Vladimir Putin and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan agreed to jointly patrol an area in northern Syria previously controlled by Kurdish forces with U.S. support.

    Read more at: A Win For Putin, Turkey, Russia Reach Deal On Syrian Patrols : NPR

    USA - the impeachment of Donald Trump: Ex-ambassador gives 'disturbing' testimony on Trump's Ukraine dealings, lawmakers say

    USA - Syria: Trump says at comical Press conference Turkey ceasefire in northern Syria permanent, lifts sanctions on Turkey

     U.S. President Donald Trump says he's lifting sanctions on Turkey after determining a ceasefire in northern Syria is permanent.

    Ewad more at:  Trump says Turkey ceasefire in northern Syria permanent, lifts sanctions | CBC News:

    Republicans are finally realising Trump is his own worst enemy – and theirs - by Richard Wolffe

    There was a time, not so long ago, when it was widely considered suicidal for an American politician to pay hush money to porn stars, cosy up to Russian leaders, or use national security dollars to buy foreign interference at election time.

    In those quaint days of yore, an experienced politician might have steered well clear of anything that smacked of being on the wrong side of civil rights.

    Until today, and until Donald Trump. You may not have known this, but Trump is himself a victim, no different from the poor souls who were publicly tortured and murdered by the Klan and its mobs. Despite his German roots, and his family’s business history of race discrimination, Trump thinks he’s suffering just as much.

    How did the party that gave the world freedom fries find itself locked in this Trump-shaped prison? The simple answer is that they built it themselves. Trump didn’t invent it; he’s not nearly enough of a very stable genius.

    In the days after the 9/11 attacks, Republicans looked at the world and decided to see its enemies: an amorphous group of freedom-haters. Only Republicans could protect America from such global threats.

    But there’s one thing that Republican senators value, and it’s not Trump’s leadership or his personal charm. It’s survival.

    At some point, Mitch McConnell will look at the polls and his projected losses in the Senate and realise that there’s something even worse than Trump unleashing his tweetbots in a Republican primary.

    For now, the GOP is clinging on to a half-baked Trumpian deal: supporting their leader in exchange for him holding his fire and fury. But nobody seriously believes that Trump can stop the projectiles that barrel out of every orifice. Never mind the quid pro quo: this status quo is untenable.

    For the complete report go to: hhttps://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2019/oct/23/republicans-are-finally-realising-that-trump-is-his-own-worst-enemy-and-theirs

    10/21/19

    Germany: German defense chief recommends international security zone in Syria

     Germany's proposal for the establishment of an internationally controlled security zone in Syria would be in cooperation with Turkey and Russia,

    Defense Minister Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer told DW in an exclusive interview Monday evening.

     "This security zone would seek to resume the fight against terror and against the 'Islamic State,' which has currently come to a standstill," she said. "It would also ensure that we stabilize the region so that rebuilding civilian life is once again possible, and so that those who have fled can also return

    The defense minister and leader of Germany's ruling conservative Christian Democrats (CDU) added that longtime chancellor, Angela Merkel, had already been informed of the recommendation, and that she has the backing of defense and foreign policy experts within her own party.

    Any recommendation, however, must first be adopted by both the German cabinet and its parliament, the Bundestag.

    Read more at:
    https://www.dw.com/en/german-defense-chief-recommends-international-security-zone-in-syria/a-50924304

    Britain: If Brexit is the will of the people today why can't they vote about it again

    Britain: Brexit - MPs' vote on deal ruled out by Speaker John Bercow

    The Commons Speaker has refused a government request to hold a "yes" or "no" vote on its Brexit deal. John Bercow said a motion on the deal had been brought before MPs on Saturday, and it would be "repetitive and disorderly" to debate it again.

    Saturday's sitting saw MPs vote to withhold approval of Boris Johnson's deal until it has been passed into law.

    The government said it was disappointed, but would go ahead with introducing the necessary legislation.

    The prime minister's official spokesman added: "The Speaker has yet again denied us a chance to deliver on the will of British people."

    The UK is due to leave the EU in 10 days, and while Mr Johnson and fellow EU leaders have agreed a new deal to allow that to happen, it cannot come into force until it is approved by both the UK and European parliaments.

    Read more at: Brexit: MPs' vote on deal ruled out by Speaker John Bercow - BBC News

    Israel:Netanyahu tells Israeli president he can't form a government after election deadlock

    Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Monday that he could not form a new government, after President Reuven Rivlin tasked with him doing so in the wake of a deadlocked election.

    The opportunity to form a stable government will now likely fall to his rival Benny Gantz, who leads the main opposition Blue and White party.

    Read more at:Netanyahu tells Israeli president he can't form a government after election deadlock

    10/20/19

    Britain - the Brexit drama: UK PM Johnson sends conflicting messages to EU on Brexit delay request

    British Prime Minister Boris Johnson sent an unsigned letter to the European Union on Saturday requesting a delay to Brexit but he also sent another message in which he stated he did not want the extension, a government source said.

    Johnson was compelled by a law, passed by opponents last month, to ask the bloc for an extension to the current Brexit deadline of Oct. 31 until Jan. 31 after lawmakers thwarted his attempt to pass his EU divorce deal earlier on Saturday.

    The government source said Johnson sent a total of three letters to Donald Tusk, the president of the European Council: a photocopy of the text that the law, known as the Benn Act, forced him to write; a cover note from Britain's EU envoy; and a third letter in which he said he did not want an extension.

    As Parliament met in London Saturday morning and voted to force a Brexit delay, hundreds of thousands of anti-Brexit protesters marched in the city’s streets demanding citizens be given a second chance at deciding whether to leave the European Union. 

    The massive crowds moved through the city towards Parliament in a festive and defiant demonstration of frustration with the country’s impending break with the EU, the New York Times reported
     Organizers of the effort told the Times they expected more than a million demonstrators, which would make it one of the largest protests Britain has ever had.

    The demonstrators were joined by a host of current and former politicians, as well as celebrities, who addressed the crowd. In his speech, former Conservative deputy prime minister Michael Heseltine said Brexit represents “a creeping paralysis, where yesterday’s nostalgia distorts tomorrow’s opportunities”.

    Note EU-Digest: Boris Johnson by politically manuevering in a very devious and undemocratic way, without letting the people have a final say on the agreement he reached with the EU, is taking Britain on a disastrous destructive path, from which they probably will never recover .

    Read more at: UK PM Johnson sends conflicting messages to EU on Brexit delay request

    TURKEY Economy; Credit Card debt rising in Turkey

    Turkey 'outsourcing war crimes' to armed groups, Amnesty says after Kurdish politician's murder - by Hevrin Khalaf


    Souad Mohammed sat in her dead daughter's bedroom in the home they shared in the Syrian town of Derik in the northeastern corner of the Kurdish enclave known as Rojava.

    She was sifting through the chapters of her daughter's life, turning the pages of a small photo album open on the bed in front of her.

    When she came to what looked like a graduation photo she stopped and pointed to her daughter's long dark hair. Her killers had pulled that same hair so hard, she said, that it had come away with bits of her scalp.

    Hevrin Khalaf is the Kurdish politician who was brutally murdered on a stretch of the M4 highway on Oct. 12 when suspected members of a Syrian rebel militia linked to Turkey stopped her car, dragged her from it and killed her.

    Her driver and another passenger in the car were also killed.
    It was just four days days after Turkey had launched its incursion into Northern Syria to create what it calls a "safe-zone" along its southern border.

    "They could not even show her body to me," said her mother. "There was not any part of it without bullets."

    Read more: Turkey 'outsourcing war crimes' to armed groups, Amnesty says after Kurdish politician's murder | CBC News

    Britain - Brexit: France says delay in nobody's interest

    10/19/19

    Saudi Arabia-weapons sales: EU hypocrisy when it comes to weapons sales

    European countries halted arm exports to Turkey but why haven't they done the same for Saudi Arabia?

    Read more at: 

    Britain: Johnson defiant after British parliament votes to force Brexit delay


    A defiant Prime Minister Boris Johnson said he would not negotiate a further delay to Britain’s departure from the European Union after losing a vote in parliament on Saturday that means he is obliged to request a postponement.

    Spain - Catalan Indepence: Ex Catalan president says of independence push that it went too fast

    Amid turmoil in Barcelona, ex-Catalan president says of independence push: ‘We went too fast’

    Read more at: 

    USA - Religion: Americans.agree, Religion is under aseault

    The Facebook Libra Currency: Major EU countries preparing to block new Facebook digital currency

    European countries move to block Facebook's Libra digital currency France, Italy and Germany are together preparing measures to block Facebook's new Libra cryptocurrency from use in Europe, French Economy Minister Bruno Le Maire announced Friday. 

    Read more at:  

    USA Aircraft Industry: Boeing stock at its lowest after report they misled FAA

    Boeing stock at its lowest in two months after report jet maker may have misled FAA -

    USA: G7 meeting June 10-12 - Next years meeting to be held at Trumps Doral Golf resort in Miami

    U.S. President Donald Trump will host next year's Group of Seven economic summit of developed nations' leaders at his Florida golf resort, a move Democrats and others decried as more evidence of the president misusing his office for personal gain.

    Read more at

    Turkey - Kurdish conflict: What the temporary ceasefire deal in N.Syria means for the key players in the conflict

    10/18/19

    EU - US relations: US can expect counter measures after tariff move

    The EU said Friday it "regrets" the US decision to impose tariffs over the WTO's ruling on illegal subsidies to aircraft manufacturer Airbus.

    It leaves the EU with "no alternative but to follow through in due course with our own tariffs" in a similar case involving Boeing, trade commissioner Cecilia Malmstrom said . "The European Commission is committed to defending European companies, farmers and consumers," she added.

    Read more at: EU: US can expect counter measures after tariff move

    USA "the impeachment": Mulvaney digs a deep hole for Trump: and puts Trump at the center of emoluments and Ukraine controversies

    For 39 minutes Thursday, White House acting chief of staff Mick Mulvaney turned the press briefing room into a sort of confession chamber, openly admitting to several acts that could deepen the legal predicament for the president. Trump is facing an impeachment inquiry into whether he has abused his office for personal and political gain.

    Mulvaney’s retort to those charges came in a three-word mantra that now forms the central theme of the White House impeachment response: “Get over it.”

    In admitting that Trump had personally intervened to award a multimillion-dollar summit to his own company, and that the president had also used taxpayer money as leverage to push a Ukrainian investigation into Democrats, Mulvaney embraced a classic Trumpian tactic: saying the quiet — and potentially illegal — part out loud.

    “Did [Trump] also mention to me in the past the corruption related to the DNC server?” he said. “Absolutely, no question about that. But that’s it, and that’s why we held up the money.”

    The reference to the hacked Democratic National Committee’s email server elevated a Trump-backed conspiracy theory that Ukraine was involved in election interference in 2016, something U.S. intelligence officials have repeatedly attributed to Russia.

    In admitting that Trump had linked politics with his Ukraine policy, Mulvaney said that critics were simply overreacting.

    “I have news for everybody: Get over it,” he said. “There is going to be political influence in foreign policy.”

    "BINGO"

    Read more atb ‘Get over it’: Mulvaney’s twin admissions put Trump at the center of emoluments and Ukraine controversies

    Britain - Brexit: Johnson ready to sell his soul to the devil to get his way on Brexit

    10/17/19

    TURKEY - US relations: Turkey agrees to a ceasefire of 120 hrs

    The Netherlands: Dozens arrested at protests Turkish offensive Syria

    Middle East-Israel: the Jewish state stuck in a new Middle East conflict amid Turkey's Syria offensive

    Israel stuck in a new Middle East amid Turkey's Syria offensive

    EU-Britain: Brexit Deal in Brussels, but British Parliament has the last say, and that is not sure at all

    Britain and the European Union on Thursday agreed on the draft text of a Brexit deal, setting up a fateful showdown in the British Parliament on Saturday, where it was not clear that Prime Minister Boris Johnson could marshal the votes to nail down his plan after three anguished and politically damaging years of debate.

    But Mr. Johnson may already be thinking beyond whether Parliament approves his plan. Even if he loses, analysts say, he may call for a general election, hoping voters will rally behind him and deliver him a strong majority.

    EU-Digest

    10/16/19

    USA: More and more Republicans getting nervous about Trumps negative impact on Republicans winning in 2020

    Britain - Brexit: Poll - have UK voters changed their minds on Brexit ?

    Have UK voters changed their minds on Brexit?

    Turkeys Invasion N. Syria: Not our problem says Donald Trump

    Turkey-Syria offensive: Not our problem, says Donald Trump

    EU Commission : EU pushes back start of von der Leyen's term as Commission chief

    EU pushes back start of von der Leyen's term as Commission chief

    The Netherlands: Army called out to assist police in the Hague re: farmers protest and demonstrations

    10/15/19

    IMF: Trump launched Trade Wars cuts global growth to lowest since last financial crises - by David Lawder, Andrea Shalal

    The U.S.-China trade war will cut 2019 global growth to its slowest pace since the 2008-2009 financial crisis, the International Monetary Fund warned on Tuesday, adding that the outlook could darken considerably if trade tensions remain unresolved.

    Britain - Brexit: EU's Barnier sees three Brexit scenarios as deadline looms

    The European Union's Brexit negotiator told the 27 EU states staying on together that he saw three possible scenarios ahead:
    1) A deal with Britain later on Tuesday
    2) Another delay to Britain's departure
    3) A "breakdown" of talks

    Unicef: one third of the children on our planet don't receive proper nutrition

    One in three children don't receive proper nutrition

    Turkey - US Relations: Donald Trump authorized sanctions on Turkish Leaders, seeking to punish its historic ally for its offensive into N.Syria - Reality or fiction ?

    Trump authorises sanctions, slaps steel tariffs on Turkey.

    US President Donald Trump on Monday authorised sanctions on Turkey's leaders, reimposed steel tariffs and ended talks on a trade deal, seeking to punish the historic ally for its deadly offensive into Syria. VP Pence to go to Turkey to discuss with Erdogan.

    10/14/19

    Communications - 5G: New German rules leave 5G telecoms door open to Huawei

    Germany has finalised rules for the build-out of 5G mobile networks that, in a snub to the United States, will not exclude China’s Huawei Technologies.

    Government officials confirmed that Germany’s so-called security catalogue foresaw an evaluation of technical and other criteria, but that no single vendor would be barred in order to create a level playing field for equipment vendors.

    “We are not taking a pre-emptive decision to ban any actor, or any company,” German government spokesman Steffen Seibert told a news conference in Berlin on Monday.

    New German rules leave 5G telecoms door open to Huawei – EURACTIV.com

    The Netherlands: Europe's number one biking country, becoming unsafe for bikers as higher speed mopeds and scooters are also allowed on bike paths

    Scooters and Mopeds,
    danger on Dutch bike-paths
    There are more bicycles than residents in The Netherlands, and in all the big Dutch cities up to 70% of all journeys are made by bike.

    To make cycling safer and even more inviting the Dutch have also built a vast network of cycle paths.

    These are clearly marked, have smooth surfaces, separate signs and lights for those on two wheels, and wide enough to allow side-by-side cycling and overtaking.

    In many cities the paths are completely segregated from motorised traffic. Sometimes, where space is scant and both must share, you can see signs showing an image of a cyclist with a car behind accompanied by the words 'Bike Street: Cars are guests'.

    But there is a major danger now lurking on these beautifiul bike paths, Molpeds and scooters,the Dutch call them "snor fietsers",  and these also include, what one biker called the "silent killers", electric scooters, who are also racing silently over these serene bike-paths, at high speeds.

    Very often Scooters and Mopeds go at speeds of 50 km per hour or even more, specially when the engine is "souped up".

    Also Pizza delivering persons on scooters have a reputation of always going too fast.  To make matters worse, because these scooters are on the bike-path, they also don't have to wear a helmet.

    In December 2017 a majority of the Dutch parliament approved  a city of Amsterdam request to move mopeds and scooters from their municipality bike-paths to the open roads and highways. 

    Unfortunately not many, if not any of the cities in the Netherlands, have taken any similar action as Amsterdam so far.  It is also well known in the Netherlands, that local police is not very agressive, when it comes to writing out "tickets" against moped and scooter riders, who are going too fast on the bike-paths.

    As one bike-rider in the city of Almere noted: how many more bikers will need to get serious accidents, before our Municipality takes any action?

    EU-Digest 

    Pesticides Ban: EU proposes pesticide ban, but key documents still secret - by STAFFAN DAHLLÖF

    Time is running out for chlorpyrifos, the pesticide designed to kill insects, and a cause of brain damage to human fetuses and newly-born children.

    The EU Commission and the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) have both publicly stated the present approval should not be renewed.

    Yet a final decision scheduled for December cannot be taken for granted.

    In August EFSA experts declared that no detectable residues of chlorpyrifos in food can be accepted.

    Sometime in September the commission informed EU member states it will propose a total ban on chlorpyrifos and related substance chlorpyrifos-methyl at the end of the year.

    Read more: EU proposes pesticide ban, but key documents still secret

    10/13/19

    US Political Meltdown: Republicans need to remind President Trump of party platform - by Bob Kustra

    How often have I heard voters declare that political party affiliation makes no difference in how they vote. “I vote for the person, not the party.” While that sounds good, we know from polling and surveying over the years that most voters do choose the party label to guide their voting choices.

    Too often, however, party affiliation has little or nothing to do with the major issues facing our nation. That is particularly true when it comes to American foreign policy. Years ago, the Republican chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Sen. Arthur Vandenburg, cooperated with Democrat President Harry Truman in support of NATO, the Truman Doctrine and the Marshall Plan. He would argue that we must stop “partisan politics at the water’s edge.”

    It was a simple way of saying that the two parties must come together when dealing abroad with allies and enemies. The need to have a united American front when dealing with Russia and China is particularly urgent today as autocracies raise their ugly heads and find aid and comfort in Russia and China.

    Unfortunately, Russia and China are not the only sources of aid and comfort to those who deprive their people of a democratic way of life.

    Make no mistake about it, no matter how President Trump sidles up to President Putin in ways that would sicken the stomachs of Republican officials just a few years ago,

    Republicans in Congress today turn a blind eye to Trump’s infatuation with autocrats. His sickening praise of the world’s worst dictator/murderer, North Korea’s Kim Jong Il, is the worst case.

    Read more here: https://www.idahostatesman.com/opinion/readers-opinion/article235972457.html#storylink=cpy

    Read more at: Republicans need to remind President Trump of party platform | Idaho Statesman

    Britain - Brexit: talks fail to yield breakthrough with timely deal feared ‘impossible’

    Poland: Poland's ruling PiS party wins most votes, according to exit polls

    Poland's ruling PiS party wins most votes, according to exit polls

    China-US trade: US postpones next tariff hike after China trade talks

    US postpones next tariff hike after China trade talks

    10/12/19

    US Economy:Expert who called the 2008 crisis says repeat of December meltdown is inevitable

    Expert who called the 2008 crisis says repeat of December meltdown is inevitable -

    Global Warming ?: Japan hit by biggest Typhoon in decades

    Typhoon Hagibis: Biggest Japan storm in decades makes landfall

    Read  more at: 

    USA : The Impeachment drama : a challenge that puts to the test the very foundation of American democracy

    When White House lawyer Pat Cipollone sent a letter to Democrats this week, informing the House of Representatives that Donald Trump would not co-operate with their impeachment inquiry, it was a challenge that puts to the test the very foundation of American democracy, some constitutional scholars say.

    Middle East - North Syria: Erdoğan has managed the unthinkable: uniting all the other Middle East rivals

    Erdoğan has managed the unthinkable: uniting all the other Middle East rivals

    Read more at: 

    MODERN CULTURE: How we came to live in cursed times - by Jia Tolentino

    On Twitter, people appear to identify objects and phenomena with “cursed energy” every hour of every day. It’s not just creepy images: the word has acquired new valences, has come to signify increasingly generalized feelings of anxiety and malaise. “The way I use ‘cursed’ has a connotation of being trapped, i.e. a sort of Greek Mythology Ironic Eternal Punishment vibe,” Alex Pareene, a writer for The New Republic, told me. 

    We must be cursed, one would think, to spend so much of our day walking around with our eyes glued to a device that provokes bad feelings. Ashley Feinberg, a writer at Slate, wrote, in an e-mail, “To me, cursed energy is about any number of bad or dystopian things finding each other and congealing into something that is somehow more stupid than the sum of its parts.” She included a link to an image of an Instagram meltdown queen appearing on a leftist reactionary podcast whose hosts are best known for denigrating #MeToo and valorizing anorexia. Sam Biddle, who writes about tech for the Intercept, told me, “I think so much of the Internet feels like hell now that it just makes sense to blame it on the devil.”

    Read more at: 

    10/11/19

    Brexit: EU and UK to 'intensify' Brexit talks

    The European Commission on Friday released a statement saying the "EU and the UK have agreed to intensify discussions over the coming days."

    The statement followed a meeting between EU chief negotiator Michel Barnier and Brexit Secretary Steve Barclay.

    The UK is set to leave the European Union on 31 October as outstanding issues remain entrenched on efforts to avoid a hard border on the island of Ireland after Brexit.

    Read more: EU and UK to 'intensify' Brexit talks

    EU-Turkish Relations: Furious with Turkey, EU officials threaten sanctions

    European Union governments threatened sanctions against Turkey on Friday over its military operation in Syria, angrily rejecting Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan's warning that he would "open the gates" and send 3.6 million refugees to Europe if EU nations did not back him.

    Turkey has stepped up its air and artillery campaign on Kurdish groups in northeast Syria, escalating an offensive that has drawn warnings of a humanitarian disaster and also raised the prospect of new United States sanctions on Ankara.

    The EU, which Turkey still formally aspires to join despite its growing criticism of Ankara's human rights record, had already condemned the Turkish offensive but has been infuriated by Erdogan's threats to send refugees to Europe.

    A senior EU official said the EU was spending six billion euros ($6.63bn) on supporting the Syrian refugees currently living in camps inside Turkey, adding that "to use this as leverage is totally unacceptable".

    Read more: Furious with Turkey, EU officials threaten sanctions | Turkey News | Al Jazeera

    NOBEL PEACE PRIZE: Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed wins Nobel Peace Prize

    Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed wins Nobel Peace Prize

    Middle East - Turkey: Ankaras Offenses Moscows Advances - by Maxim Trudolyubov

    There is one sphere in which Putin’s Russia is no different from most other influential powers, including the United States and members of the EU. Russia does take the threat of terrorism seriously. The issue of ISIS prisoners is as important for Moscow as it is for Washington—or Ankara, for that matter.

    10/10/19

    EU Economy: Netherlands has the most competitive economy in Europe says WEF

    Aircraft Industry: Cracks found on Boeing 737 Jets several grounded

    EU-Digest editorial: Turkey - Northern Syria - Incursion: Turkey's military operation has made one thing more clear - the world has become a far more dangerous place than it already was

    UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said any military operation must fully respect the UN Charter and international humanitarian law (LOL) - unfortunately nobody listens to them anymore.

    EU chief Jean-Claude Juncker demanded Turkey to halt its military operation, telling Ankara the bloc would not pay for any so-called "safe zone" that might be created.  Sure, he probably does not believe that statement himself  !!!  (LOL).

    The EU's top foreign policy official, Federica Mogherini warned that "unilateral action on Turkey's part threatens concerted action by the West and Turkey and other countries to defeat ISIL".

    Turkish military action, she said, risked "protracted instability in northeast Syria, providing fertile ground for the resurgence of Daesh". 

    Obviously this EU response had no "bite" to it, since the EU does not have its own military force, or the  backing among its members to support such actions, and, unfortunately, because they still closely follow US directives, when it comes to their foreign affairs policies. 

    Erdogan also threatened  that he would be sending back all the  + 3 million refugees who were in Turkey, to the EU, if the EU continued to condemn Turkey's  incursion into Syria. That obviously is the last thing the EU wants, not even having a comprehensive policy on Migration in their "back-pocket".

    Chief Jens Stoltenberg of NATO (another unneeded US military relic from the past in Europe), urged Turkey to show "restraint", while acknowledging that Ankara had "legitimate security concerns".( LOL ) - as he was obviously told to say that by the US, which controls NATO. 

    As to the US Trump Administration- the US President, who has been rightly accused of double-crossing the Kurdish fighters, crucial in the war on ISIS, by pulling US troops out of the war-torn country,made another one of his brilliant statements and said: "the Kurds didn't help us in the Second World War; they didn't help us with Normandy”. He added the Kurds were only willing to help with “their land”, and concluded  "With all of that being said, we like the Kurds.”  

    At least this drama is giving the President of the US a moment of relief from the ever louder cries in his country for his impeachment. Hopefully the country does not forget to get rid of him a.s.a.p.

    China voiced concern over the Turkish incursion in Syria, urging Ankara to exercise restraint and calling on all parties to respect Syria's sovereignty. However deep down, "China must be laughing all the way to the bank, looking at the lunatic actions of the US Trump Administration"

    Russian reactions to the incursion were more complicated:   What’s already clear is that deeper divisions are likely to emerge among Russia, Iran, and Turkey, three actors that previously had mostly been united in their opposition to U.S. interests in the region. Though in recent months leaders from Moscow, Tehran, and Ankara—as the so-called Astana Group—have been working toward conflict resolution in Syria through the framework of the Russia-led Syrian constitutional committee, disagreements among them have prevented serious progress. As Turkey stages its incursion into territory previously held by U.S.-allied Kurdish forces, Russia’s reaction has been rooted in a mix of implicit apprehension and explicit platitudes about integrity and restraint. The Kremlin’s frustrations will grow as Turkey expands its attacks in a way that further risks the constitutional committee’s progress and jeopardizes Bashar al-Assad’s consolidation of power.

    And so, the sad result of the U.S. decision to withdraw its troops from Syria abruptly, without prior consultation with its allies, is a guarantee that the eight-year conflict in Syria will rumble on with no end in sight. 

    ©   EU- Digest

    10/9/19

    EU-US Trade War: A flood of new data from the US and eurozone suggests recession risks are flashing red. Here's a full rundown of the wreckage - by Ben Winck

    Key economic metrics are flashing red for the US and the European Union as tensions between the two reach new highs.

    The latest readings from prominent purchasing managers' indexes show manufacturing sectors the US and EU struggling amid global trade conflict and slowing economies. Service and non-manufacturing industries also slowed through September in both areas.

    The negative signs arrive after the WTO granted the US permission to levy $7.5 billion in tariffs on EU imports, specifically targeting Boeing competitor Airbus.

    Further escalation of trade conflict between the bloc and the US could plunge the two economies into deeper economic woes.

    Read more at: A flood of new data from the US and eurozone suggests recession risks are flashing red. Here's a full rundown of the wreckage. | Markets Insider

    Turkey invades Northern Syria and attacks US abandoned Kurdish allies: Civilians flee N.Syrian border towns attacked by Turkish warplanes, and artillery offensive

    Reuters reports that Turkey launched a military operation against Kurdish fighters in northeast Syria today Wednesday 10/9/2019  just days after U.S. troops pulled back from the area, with warplanes and artillery striking militia positions in several towns in the border region.

    Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan, announcing the start of the action, said the aim was to eliminate what he called a “terror corridor” on Turkey’s southern border, but European countries immediately called on Ankara to halt the operation.

    Thousands of people fled the Syrian town of Ras al Ain towards Hasaka province, held by the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces. The Turkish air strikes had killed two civilians and wounded two others, the SDF said.

    Turkey’s lira slid 0.5%, breakingthrough what traders called a key support level of 5.85 against the dollar to its weakest level since August.

    World powers fear the action could open a new chapter in Syria’s eight-year-old war and worsen regional turmoil. Ankara has said it intends to create a “safe zone” in order to return millions of refugees to Syrian soil.

    "It is certainly going to be a bloody conflict," Kurdish political analyst Mutlu Civroglu said from Washington, D.C., noting that while the SDF is led by Syrian Kurds, it includes a wide range of ethnic groups. "The Arabs, the Syrian Christians, Yazidis, they are in no way going to accept a Turkish military presence in their region."

    EU-Digest

    Crumbling Apart - the Atlantic Alliance: How Boeing vs. Airbus Became Trump vs. Europe - by David Gelles

    Donald Trump retaliates
     against Europe 
    Just weeks after his inauguration, President Trump toured Boeing’s factory in North Charleston, S.C., holding a rally with workers, admiring a new 787 Dreamliner and calling on the company to bring down the cost of new Air Force One planes.

    But Boeing wanted something from Mr. Trump, too.

    During a private conversation at the event, Boeing’s chief executive, Dennis A. Muilenburg, talked to Mr. Trump about a long-running trade dispute between the United States and the European Union that had its roots in the pitched rivalry between Boeing and Airbus, according to three people familiar with the meeting, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss a delicate matter.

    The case, which centered on subsidies that Europe provides Airbus, had been working its way through the World Trade Organization for years, but an end was finally in sight. In the event that it was settled on Mr. Trump’s watch, Mr. Muilenburg urged the president to enforce the ruling, which would mean levying tariffs on European goods.

    On Wednesday, Boeing got its wish. After an announcement by the World Trade Organization, the Trump administration said it would tax as much as $7.5 billion of European exports annually.

    It was the largest-ever authorized retaliation in the organization’s history, adding another layer of complexity to a global economy already rattled by brewing trade wars and further straining relations between the United States and the European Union. And it was the government’s boldest-ever step to protect Boeing, America’s largest manufacturing exporter.

    “All of those countries were ripping off the United States for many years,” Mr. Trump said Wednesday at a news conference with the president of Finland, a European Union member. “They know I’m wise to it. We’ve had a lot of wins. This was a $7 billion win. Not bad".

    Read more at: How Boeing vs. Airbus Became Trump vs. Europe - The New York Times

    EU - how to take on a more independent role: Habsburg lessons for Europe's foreign policy - by Caroline de Gruyter

    This week, again, EU heads of state and government must decide to start accession talks with Northern Macedonia and Albania - or not.

    Leaders of the EU's main institutions emphasised that the two countries "have done what we asked them to do".

    Last June a decision was postponed because of internal divisions. Some 14 central and eastern European countries pushed for the start of accession talks.

    But France and the Netherlands refused, citing a lack of popular support. Will these two concede this time? Will others, who silently supported them in June?

    Eastern EU member states are worried about Russia and Turkey destabilising the Balkans. This happened many times before in history. It rarely ended well.

    If the EU fails to offer the Balkans political perspective, these member states argue, the whole region would become unstable. This would weaken the EU.

    For western EU countries, however, the Balkans are far away. They prefer to focus on the trade war with the US, Brexit, cyber attacks, Russian and Chinese military activities in the Arctic, or other challenges.

    Note EU-Digest: the number one threat facing the EU, which has to be dealt with urgenly, before it falls apart, is the lack of unity among member states to realize that the EU needs to become far more united  if it wants to establish itself as a world power in the world of Nations. Taking on new impoverished nations like Albania and Macedonia into the Union, while the EU is unraveling at the seams, precisely because of the lack of unity, is not only unwise, it is pure stupidity.

    Read more at: Habsburg lessons for Europe's foreign policy

     

    EU-RUSSIAN RELATIONS: Russian Spy Plot Discovered to destabbilise Europe

    10/8/19

    The have and have nots; Analysis Shows Top 1% Gained $21 Trillion in Wealth Since 1989 While Bottom Half Lost $900 Billion

    How Do Christians Fit Into the Two-Party System? They Don’t - by Timothy Keller

    How 81 percent of evangelicals could have voted for Donald Trump, given his flouting of their “traditional values,” has been a question for many Americans since 2016.

    What should the role of Christians in politics be? More people than ever are asking that question. Christians cannot pretend they can transcend politics and simply “preach the Gospel.” Those who avoid all political discussions and engagement are essentially casting a vote for the social status quo. American churches in the early 19th century that did not speak out against slavery because that was what we would now call “getting political” were actually supporting slavery by doing so. To not be political is to be political.

    A major  reason not to align the Christian faith with one party or the other is that most political positions are not matters of biblical command but of practical wisdom. This does not mean that the church can never speak on social, economic and political realities, because the Bible often does. Racism is a sin, violating the second of the two great commandments of Jesus, to “love your neighbor.” The biblical commands to lift up the poor and to defend the rights of the oppressed are moral imperatives for believers. For individual Christians to speak out against egregious violations of these moral requirements is not optional.

    Nevertheless, while believers can register under a party affiliation and be active in politics, they should not identify the Christian church or faith with a political party as the only Christian one. There are a number of reasons to insist on this.

    One is that it gives those considering the Christian faith the strong impression that to be converted, they need not only to believe in Jesus but also to become members of the (fill in the blank) Party. It confirms what many skeptics want to believe about religion — that it is merely one more voting bloc aiming for power.

    Another reason Christians these days cannot allow the church to be fully identified with any particular party is the problem of what the British ethicist James Mumford calls “package-deal ethics.” Increasingly, political parties insist that you cannot work on one issue with them if you don’t embrace all of their approved positions.

    This emphasis on package deals puts pressure on Christians in politics. For example, following both the Bible and the early church, Christians should be committed to racial justice and the poor, but also to the understanding that sex is only for marriage and for nurturing family. One of those views seems liberal and the other looks oppressively conservative. The historical Christian positions on social issues do not fit into contemporary political alignments.

    So Christians are pushed toward two main options. One is to withdraw and try to be apolitical. The second is to assimilate and fully adopt one party’s whole package in order to have your place at the table. Neither of these options is valid. In the Good Samaritan parable told in the Gospel of Luke, Jesus points us to a man risking his life to give material help to someone of a different race and religion. Jesus forbids us to withhold help from our neighbors, and this will inevitably require that we participate in political processes. If we experience exclusion and even persecution for doing so, we are assured that God is with us (Matthew 5:10-11) and that some will still see our “good deeds and glorify God” (1 Peter 2:11-12). If we are only offensive or only attractive to the world and not both, we can be sure we are failing to live as we ought.

    The Gospel gives us the resources to love people who reject both our beliefs and us personally. Christians should think of how God rescued them. He did it not by taking power but by coming to earth, losing glory and power, serving and dying on a cross. How did Jesus save? Not with a sword but with nails in his hands.

    Ben Howe, a US conservative activist who went through a change of heart during the 2016 primaries. Mr Howe who is also a writer, podcaster and filmmaker, grew up in what he describes as an “ideal” evangelical family.

    He writes, that even though Trump did get things done for evangelicals, like nominating justices opposed to abortion, he sees in the president “untold chasms of depravity.” And he accuses Trump of pulling many evangelicals into “a vortex of moral ambiguity and relativism,” surrendering their moral voice in the public sphere for a bit of worldly influence.

    Note EU-Digest: Timothy Keller, who wrote the complete essay of this EU-Digest report for the New York Times, is the founder of the Redeemer Presbyterian churches in New York City, and the author of “Prodigal Prophet: Jonah and the Mystery of God’s Mercy,” from which this essay is adapted.

    Britain - Brexit: EU tells British PM Johnson to stop playing stupid Brexit "blame game"

    TURKEY - Kurdish - US Relations - Explained: Why Turkey wants a military assault on Syrian Kurds

    Explained: Why Turkey wants a military assault on Syrian Kurds

    USA - Trumpgate: US State Department blocks US EU ambassador from testifying in Ukraine probe

    Britain - Brexit: Angela Merkel throws cold water on BorisJohnson Brexit proposal

    10/7/19

    Turkey-US relations: Wild threats against Turkey by Trump

    Trump said he  will 'obliterate' Turkish economy if it does anything 'off-limits' in Syria

    Read more at: 

    China: A global economic and military powerhouse to reckon with

    Britain - Brexit: Macron says EU decission on Brexit deal will be at the end of this week.

    Macron: EU Brexit deal decision 'at end of week'

    Read more at: 

    MIDDLE EAST - Northern Syria: "Jaw dropping" Foreign Relations performance by the US

    Donald Trump: 
    US Commander in Chief
    The US Trump Administration, after a telephone conversation between Trump and Turkish President Erdogan this past Sunday, announced it was pulling out of Northern Syria.

    This means the US are abandoning their Kurdish allies there, who helped them, and previous US Administrations, over many years, defeat ISIS, and other enemies of the US in the area. 

    This also leaves the door open for Turkish Troops to enter Northern Syria.

     It showed once again a total lack of loyalty by the US Trump Administration towards their allies.

    The Kurds and the EU apparently also were not previously informed about this US decision. 

    This can only be classified as another  "Jaw Dropping" performanc by the USA in the area of foreign relations.

    The Netherlands: Climate Change: Climate activists block roads near Amsterdam Rijksmuseum

    CLIMATE PROTESTS: Extinction Rebellion climate protests kick off in Berlin, Amsterdam and Australia

    Extinction Rebellion climate protests kick off in Berlin

    10/6/19

    EU: Falling short of promoting Democracy

    Portugal: Socialists tipped to win in upcoming general elections

    Portugal heads to the polls with Socialists tipped to win,

    The Netherlands: Dutch PM, member of secretive conservative Bilderberg group, supports Trump's critical remarks re: NATO - EU members defense spending for NATO, and UN activites in general

    USA - the Trump impeachment process: second whistle blower comes forward

    USA - revival of the Labour Unions in America: A wave of strikes is sweeping the US. Will the Democratic party stand with the workers

    USA: "For being accused of being an Idiot, Trump is pretty smart ( and devious)"

    10/4/19

    The Netherlands: Dutch change international branding: Holland becomes The Netherlands

    The Dutch government is going to stop promoting the country abroad as ‘Holland’ and will instead use The Netherlands’, marketing magazine Adformatie said on Thursday.

    The detailed plan will be published later this year, but a group of marketing professionals were briefed on the change earlier this week. The aim, the magazine said, is to be less promotional and more about content.

    The Netherlands currently promotes itself as Holland.com, illustrated in marketing literature by an orange tulip.

    The new strategy means, the Netherlands will present itself to the rest of the world as ‘co-creating pioneering solutions to global challenges’, Adformatie said.

    Read more at: Dutch change international branding: Holland becomes The Netherlands - DutchNews.nl

    USA: Eratic White House Political Decissions: Trump now trying to get China involved in his blame game as Impeachment troubles increase

    Italian-US relations:Trump Administration slaps extra tariffs on Italian cheese but not wine

    Germany - tourism: Seven events in Germany you can't miss in October

    Britain - Brexit: Boris Johnson`s Brexit plan hangs by thread as EU dismisses weekend talks

    10/3/19

    The Netherlands: Trump tariffs on EU products will not affect Dutch Gouda and Edam cheeses


    Goudse en Edammer kaas ontsnappen aan Trump-heffingen -

    USA: Donald Trump Impeachment getting serious

    'We're not fooling around': Pelosi and Schiff stand firm as Trump fumes

    Read more at: 

    Spain: Employment down, job creation in Spain returns to recession levels

    Britain-Brexit: New British Brexit proposal rebuffed by EU as no basis for a deal

    EU-US trade war heats up following WTO Airbus ruling

    US set to slap tariffs on EU following WTO Airbus ruling

    10/2/19

    France: Appeals court orders former French president Sarkozy to stand trial for illegal campaign financing

    France’s highest appeals court on Tuesday rejected a bid by former President Nicolas Sarkozy to avoid facing trial over the alleged illegal financing of his failed re-election campaign in 2012.

    The decision by the French “Cour de Cassation” means the case will now return to prosecutors who will decide whether Sarkozy should be tried. He denies any wrongdoing.

    The so-called “Bygmalion” case against Sarkozy centres on accusations that the former president’s political party, then known as the UMP, worked with a public relations firm to hide the true cost of his re-election bid.

    France sets strict limits on campaign spending. Prosecutors say the PR firm, Bygmalion, invoiced the UMP rather than the campaign, allowing Sarkozy to spend almost double the permitted amount.

    Even though investigating magistrates found no evidence that Sarkozy set up the fraudulent system, took part in it or was even informed about it, they said they considered it unlikely that he had left it solely to staff to take decisions on such matters.

    Read more at: Appeals court orders former French president Sarkozy to stand trial for illegal campaign financing

    Brexit: UK′s Boris Johnson sends last-gasp Brexit proposals to Brussels

    British Prime Minister Boris Johnson sent European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker a four-page letter on Wednesday offering what he described as a "fair and reasonable" compromise to get Brexit over the line before the October 31 deadline.

    The proposal said it would be a "failure of statecraft for which we would all be responsible" if the two sides failed to reach an agreement. He added that "both sides now need to consider whether there is sufficient willingness to compromise" to get a "rapid" deal done in time.

    According to a UK official, Johnson subsequently spoke with European leaders, including Germany's Angela Merkel and Ireland's Leo Varadkar, in addition to the EU's Juncker.

    Later on Wednesday, 10 Downing Street also announced plans to prorogue parliament from Tuesday, October 8 until the following Monday. This follows the recent Supreme Court decision nullifying the government's bid to shutter parliament for 5 weeks.

    The end date for the prorogation, October 14, just before the decisive EU leaders' summit, is the same as the previous attempt to shut the chamber.

    No backstop, but also few details, for Northern Ireland

    The core suggestion in the letter to Brussels was the abolition of the backstop for Northern Ireland — an insurance policy designed to ensure there is no return to customs posts or other infrastructure on the UK border in Ireland.
     
    Instead, the government suggested "the potential creation of an all-island regulatory zone on the island of Ireland, covering all goods including agrifoods."

    The letter offered few details on how or whether this could be achieved and said it should depend on consent from the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland.

    Northern Ireland's Assembly at Stormont has not been in session since January 2017.

    Read more at: UK′s Boris Johnson sends last-gasp Brexit proposals to Brussels | News | DW | 02.10.2019

    EU pays tribute to Saudi journalist Khashoggi on anniversary of killing - by Toga Bozoglu

    The European Union paid tribute on 2 October to the memory of Jamal Khashoggi, a Saudi journalist who was murdered last year in the premises of the Consulate General of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia in Istanbul.

    The EU reiterated in a statement the need to ensure full accountability for those responsible and insisted on an investigation of the circumstances of the killing.

    “Jamal Khashoggi continues to be an inspiration to journalists and associates with whom he was in contact for his work, including colleagues in the EU institutions.”

    “As Jamal Khashoggi, journalists are too often the target of attacks in many countries.

     On this occasion, the European Union reaffirms its unequivocal commitment to the freedom of the press and the protection of journalists across the world.”, the statement reads.

    Note-EU-Digest: Kudos to the Government of Turkey, for renaming a street near the former Saudi Consulate General offices in Istanbul, "the Khashoggi street", and allowing Jeff Bezos, Founder of Amazon, and owner of the Washington Post, where Khashoggi worked, to unveil a memorial to the murdered journalist today, the first anniversary of the journalist's death. 

    The US remains the number one exporter of arms to Saudi Arabia and the world. Earlier in the year, Trump rebuffed bi-partisan US congressional efforts to punish Saudi Arabia for the killing of columnist Jamal Khashoggi \, and turned back criticism over the kingdom’s prosecution of its war against Houthi rebels in Yemen.

    EU pays tribute to Saudi journalist Khashoggi on anniversary of killing | New Europe