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6/26/19

USA-Iran relations: Iran suggests US President has mental disorder

Trump threatens ‘obliteration’ after Iran suggests he has a ‘mental disorder’

Read more at:
https://www.theguardian.com/world/2019/jun/25/trump-iran-rouhani-insults-sanctions-threats?CMP=Share_AndroidApp_Blogger

6/25/19

EU parliament gives extra time for leaders on top jobs - Eszter Zalan

The EU Parliament could decide to postpone the election of its new president by 24 hours, in order to give more time for EU leaders to decide on the other top jobs in the European institutions.

The political party group leaders in the parliament will decide on Sunday (30 June), as EU leaders gather for an extra summit in Brussels to agree on a package for the new EU leadership roles, whether to push the vote on their new parliament president to next Wednesday (3 June) - instead of Tuesday - which had earlier served as a benchmark for EU leader to agree on a deal.

The move comes as backroom discussions and phone-calls between EU capitals intensify on whom to choose to run the EU Commission for the next five years after Jean-Claude Juncker, and who should be president of the EU council, the European Central Bank, and the EU's foreign affairs chief.

The centre-right European People's Party (EPP) German lead candidate, Manfred Weber, does not have majority support in the parliament, and has been rejected by French president Emmanuel Macron.

Read more: EU parliament gives extra time for leaders on top jobs: leaders

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6/24/19

Iran-US Relations: What Are Iran's Options In The Standoff With The U.S.? - by Peter Kenyon


Tensions continue to rise between the United States and Iran following last week's sharp escalation in which Tehran downed a U.S. drone and the U.S. conducted cyberattacks against an Iranian intelligence group.

On Monday, President Trump announced financial sanctions against Iran's supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, and several other top officials.

Earlier in the day, Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif reportedly told his country's lawmakers that Iran will continue to stand firm against U.S. sanctions and threats "with full power." An Iranian navy chief also warned that the country would shoot down more of America's surveillance drones if they violated Iran's airspace.

The escalation of tensions comes more than a year after Trump pulled the U.S. out of the 2015 Iran nuclear deal and reapplied heavy economic and diplomatic pressure against the country. The administration says the "maximum pressure" campaign is designed to draw Iran back to negotiate a new, tougher deal, which Iran has so far rejected.

In an interview with NPR last week, Iran's ambassador to the United Nations, Majid Takht Ravanchi, said, "You cannot negotiate with somebody who has a knife in his hand putting the knife under your throat."

Read more at: What Are Iran's Options In The Standoff With The U.S.? : NPR

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Polish judicial reforms broke EU law, court says - by Andrew Rettman

Poland has lost a flagship court case over its judicial meddling brought against it by the European Commission, putting its nationalist rulers on the back foot.

"Polish legislation concerning the lowering of the retirement age of judges of the Supreme Court [SC] is contrary to EU law," the EU court in Luxembourg said on Monday (24 June).

Read more at: Polish judicial reforms broke EU law, court says

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