World

US includes Nord Stream 2 sanctions in defence bill

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Sanctions aimed at blocking the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline from Russia to Germany through the Baltic Sea, were included by United States lawmakers in a must-pass defense bill. The sanctions are intended to halt...

Mélenchon gets three-month sentence for intimidation

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The French far-left leader Jean-Luc Mélenchon was given a three-month suspended prison term and a €8,000 fine for intimidating officials investigating his “Unbowed” (LFI) party funding. Mélenchon ran against Emmanuel Macron in 2017 securing a...

Turkey expels 11 French Jihadis

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Turkey’s government deported 11 French Jihadi fighters on Monday. “As part of ongoing deportations of foreign terrorist fighters, 11 French citizens have been sent back to their home country,” Turkey’s interior ministry said in a...

Worldwide arms sales on the rise

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Sales of arms and military services by companies listed in the Top 100 rose by nearly 5% worldwide in 2018, according to data released on Monday by Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI). The turnover...

Pan-European battery consortium emerges with 7 EU Member States

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An important Project of Common European interest (IPCEI) jointly notified by Belgium, Finland, France, Germany, Italy, Poland and Sweden to support research and innovation in the common European priority area of batteries has been...

China condemns US Xinjiang bill

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China condemned on 9 December the Uyghyr bill passed last week by the United States' House of Representatives, after foreign countries accused it of violating international law. The so-called "Uyghur Human Rights Policy Act of...

New Syrian talks to start in Nur-Sultan

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NUR-SULTAN, Kazakhstan - On 10-11 December, as part of the Astana process, the 14th high-level international meeting on Syria will be held in Kazakh capital Nur-Sultan, Kazakh Foreign Ministry representative Aibek Smadiyarov told a...

US sanctions Iraqi militias over human rights abuses

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The Trump administration issued sanctions on Friday against three Iraqi militia, accusing them of killing dozens of innocent civilians in Baghdad's Khilani Square, who were protesting economic conditions and foreign interference in the country. Mike Pompeo,...

Netanyahu associates charged with corruption over submarine deal with Germany

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Israel’s Justice Ministry announced on Thursday plans to indict seven men, including David Shimron, Benjamin Netanyahu's attorney and relative, Eliezer Marom, former Navy commander and Miki Ganor, businessman and Thyssenkrupp's local representative, for various criminal offences,...

New York Sikhs launch online fundraiser for a mosque in India

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A New York man and his son, both of whom are Sikhs, are raising funds to purchase land for Muslims in Nadala, a mainly Sikh village of 7,000 people located in the northern Indian...

Ukraine’s government may fool Europe on judicial reform

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Ukraine's parliament passed in the first reading a judicial reform bill with great fanfare on September 12, which was applauded by civil society and some Western donors. The ostensible aim of the legislation is to...

US, Iran swap prisoners amid rise in tensions

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The United States and Iran have suddenly announced a prisoner swap, and each freed a prisoner on 7 December. The swap was facilitated by Switzerland. After four weeks of intensive negotiations, the US released Iranian...

Republicans introduce LGBTQ non-discrimination bill

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Republicans lawmakers put forward a pro-LGBTQ legislation on Friday that would ban discrimination against LGBTQ people in employment, housing, education, public accommodations, commercial credit and jury duty, while also protecting religious organisations and churches that...

IMF approves $5.5bn loan for Ukraine

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The International Monetary Fund has agreed on a new $5.5 billion program to boost Ukraine's economic reforms. The deal was reached in a telephone call on 7 December between the country's President, Volodymyr Zelensky, and...

China orders removal of foreign tech in public offices

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The Chinese government has ordered state offices and public institutions to remove foreign technology within three years. This is one of the latest developments in the trade war between China and the United States. The...

SPD stays the course with the German grand coalition

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Germany’s Social Democrats (SPD) voted on Friday to continue to support Angela Merkel’s fourth government. Germany’s junior coalition partner will set out an agenda for the renegotiation of the terms of lending their support to...

Google tax could trigger new EU-US WTO dispute

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France is ready to challenge US threats of punitive tariffs at the World Trade Organization, French finance minister Bruno Le Maire said on Sunday. The US threatened to introduce punitive tariffs in response to the...

EU divided over definition of “tax paradise”

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A policy proposal presented by the Danish government last week calls for a wider scope in the operative definition of tax avoidance and tax evasion. The Danish position paper is said to have the support...

In harsh desert conditions, Qatar seeks a sustainable energy, water environment

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DOHA, Qatar – The desert in Qatar extends on the right of the massive natural gas plant towards Mesaieed along massive sand dunes, reaching the sea border with Saudi Arabia. “Here we have high temperatures,...

Russia commences Power of Siberia pipeline gas supplies to China

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Russia started on 2 December Russian gas pipeline supplies to China via the ambitious Power of Siberia gas pipeline or so-called eastern route. Taking part in a ceremonial event via conference call were Russian President...

Putin offers US to extend key nuclear deal

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Russia's President Vladimir Putin offered on 5 December to immediately extend the New Start treaty, which is the only remaining nuclear arms reduction deal with the United States. "Russia is ready to extend the New...

Turkey’s parliament backs controversial deal with Libya

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Turkey’s parliament on 5 December endorsed a controversial agreement signed on 27 November between the country and Libya, on maritime boundaries in the Mediterranean. The deal gives Turkey access to an economic zone across the...

German business to help Kazakhstan diversify investments

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NUR-SULTAN, Kazakhstan - As part of his official visit to Berlin, Kazakh President Kassym-Zhomart Tokayev held a series of meetings with representatives of German business to boost bilateral investments, the presidential press service, Akorda,...

US says Iran protests death toll may exceed 1000

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Iranian security forces may have killed more than 1.000 people in response to recent protests over gasoline-price hikes, a United States' official warned. "As the truth is trickling out of Iran, it appears the regime...

Russia, Turkey working on new S-400 missile deal

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Russia and Turkey are working on a contract for Turkey's new purchase of Russian S-400 missile systems, Interfax news agency cited a senior official at a Russian military cooperation agency. "We're gradually working on this...

Kazakhstan plans to export over 70 million tonnes of oil in 2019

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NUR-SULTAN, Kazakhstan - For the first 11 months of this year, Kazakhstan exported 65.791 million tonnes of oil, or 99.6% compared to the same period of last year. The export plan for 2019 is...

Spain follows France, Italy, and the UK to introduce a digital tax

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Spain will press ahead with a digital tax, following in the footsteps of France, Italy, and the UK, according to El Pais. The plan for a so-called digital tax will go ahead despite threats of...

ESM reform postponed

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The chairman of the Eurogroup Mario Centeno announced on Wednesday that changes to the European Stability Mechanism (ESM) would be adopted early next year instead of next week. The delay provides room for negotiations with...

Europe’s Green Deal timeline called into question

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Europe has a unique opportunity in the new year to set an innovative and clear strategy in terms of environmental policy and shape future developments. The European Commission's new president, Ursula von der Leyen,...

Brazil at risk of losing its UN vote due to debt

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Brazil is in danger of losing its vote at the United Nations if it does not pay some of its debt of $400 million by the end of the year, Brazilian officials said. Under the...

Three impeachment witnesses say Trump should be removed

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Democrats claimed US President Donald Trump must be removed from office for enlisting foreign interference in US elections. Four experts, three picked by Democrats and one by the Republicans, have been testifying in the US...

France creates anti-hate crime office amid wave of antisemitism

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In the wake of more than a 100 Jewish graves being desecrated with swastikas in eastern France, the country's interior minister, Christophe Castaner, announced the creation of an office tackling hate crimes. "The office will...

Mass protests in France over pension reform

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France is facing one of its biggest strikes in decades, as everyone from teachers, postal workers, firefighters and hospital staff took to the streets against proposed reforms to the pension system. Flights, trains and buses...

Japan launches $121bn fiscal stimulus package

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Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe announced on 4 December a 13 trillion yen ($162.7 billion) fiscal package, to boost the fragile growth in the country, amid a global slowdown. Experts warn the country's economy may...

Uber’s European competitor shows higher profitability

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Estonia’s car-hailing platform Bolt is profitable in two-thirds of the markets in which it operates, surpassing Uber’s profitability. Founded in 2013 as Taxify and rebranded as Bolt, the Estonian company has a 25 million customer...

SPD not ready to challenge Merkel IV coalition government

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Germany’s Social Democrats (SPD) will vote on Friday on whether to remain as junior coalition partners in Angela Merkel’s fourth government. Despite the election of two left-leaning critics of the grand coalition with the Social...

German court annuls ban on Saudi arms exports

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A German court on 3 December cancelled an export ban that had prevented arms manufacturer Rheinmetall from exporting armored vehicles to Saudi Arabia. The government had put the ban in place after the killing of...