Erdogan in Turkey called for talks to defuse gas conflict with Greece

Erdogan in Turkey called for talks to defuse gas conflict with Greece

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan called for dialogue on Monday (10 August) while still pushing ahead with a contentious Mediterranean gas development plan that has outraged Greece and alarmed NATO and the EU. The budding row over suspected reserves in the eastern Mediterranean Sea pits a range of regional powers in a confrontation watched with worry in Brussels and Washington. Turkey dispatched a research ship to the region on Monday -just three days after Erdogan said he was tired of waiting for the outcome of sporadic talks held in the…

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EU Commission urges states to allow unmarried partners to travel, freeing them from travel restrictions

EU Commission urges states to allow unmarried partners to travel, freeing them from travel restrictions

The European Commission on Friday (7 August) urged member states to allow EU entry for unmarried partners of European citizens and residents by exempting them from travel restrictions targeting some countries. The external borders of the EU and the Schengen visa area — closed due to the coronavirus pandemic — have reopened since July to travelers from a restricted list of third countries. But for other countries, including the United States, all non-essential travel to the Union remains prohibited, with exceptions for EU citizens, residents and their families. Member states…

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Antwerp announces curfew to get COVID-19 cases under control

Antwerp announces curfew to get COVID-19 cases under control

The people of Antwerp are going under curfew between 11.30 pm and 6.30 am as the city tries to get its COVID-19 numbers back under control. Over 70 per cent of cases in Belgium are now focused in the northern city. In restaurants here, the kitchens fell silent with the news. “There is nobody, we had only two people in this noon, this evening we are closing. We have more cancellations than reservations,” says Patrick Verheire, chef at Marcel Restaurant. The hospitality sector has been one of the hardest-hit by…

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Belgian court dismissed the extradition of the Catalan separatist

Belgian court dismissed the extradition of the Catalan separatist

A Belgian court on Friday (7 August) rejected the extradition of a former Catalan regional minister to face charges in Spain related to the banned 2017 independence referendum, prosecutors said. Prosecutors could yet appeal the decision not to surrender Lluis Puig, but it will give hope to other exiled Catalan separatist leaders such as former regional president Carles Puigdemont. The Brussels public prosecutor said the court “refused to execute the European arrest warrant on the grounds that the Spanish authority which issued the warrant was not competent to do so….

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The Prime Minister of Bulgaria announced that he is ready to resign, but wants the government to remain

The Prime Minister of Bulgaria announced that he is ready to resign, but wants the government to remain

Bulgarian Prime Minister Boyko Borissov signalled on Wednesday (5 August) that he could resign following weeks of anti-government protests, but said his centre-right GERB-led cabinet should remain in place until an election due next year. Thousands of Bulgarians have been demonstrating since early July, setting up tent camps and blocking intersections in the capital Sofia, accusing three-time premier Borissov of weakening state institutions for the benefit of powerful tycoons. Borissov, 61, who has dominated Bulgarian politics for the past decade, did not disclose any details, but said he wanted to…

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Suspected Russian hackers stole email content of ex-UK trade minister

Suspected Russian hackers stole email content of ex-UK trade minister

Suspected state-backed Russian hackers are believed to have stolen the entire contents of a personal email account used by former British trade minister Liam Fox as part of an attempt to sway the 2019 UK election, two sources told Reuters. Reuters reported on Monday (3 August) that Fox’s account was accessed multiple times by the hackers between 12 July and 21 October last year. The Kremlin did not immediately respond to a request for comment on the hacking of Fox’s personal email. Some of the hacked documents detailing UK trade…

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Poland to check compliance with viral rules and regulations in stores during its peak

Poland to check compliance with viral rules and regulations in stores during its peak

Poland’s health minister said police health authorities would start checks in shops this week to see if people are following regulations to keep their mouths and noses covered after the country hit daily cases record. “This week we are starting inspections in shops…(to see) whether clients are wearing masks, whether the staff are wearing masks,” Lukasz Szumowski told Polish public radio. On Saturday (1 August), Poland reported its highest number of new coronavirus cases for the third day in a row with 658, the Health Ministry said. More than 200…

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Wired scandal: the Bundestag committee of inquiry becomes more likely

Wired scandal: the Bundestag committee of inquiry becomes more likely

A probe into the Wirecard affair is picking up speed. At a special session of the Bundestag Finance Committee, MPs have questioned top ministers and lobbyist influence over the government is becoming increasingly clear. Setting up a special inquiry committee is becoming more likely as a result. Following the special session of the Bundestag committee on the Wirecard scandal, many questions remain unanswered. The Die Linke and far-right AfD parties called for a special panel even before the meeting started. This will require the approval of a quarter of the…

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Rakhim Oshakbayev turns 44: IGLYO congratulated the Kazakhstani pioneer of LGBTQI rights

Rakhim Oshakbayev turns 44: IGLYO congratulated the Kazakhstani pioneer of LGBTQI rights

IGLYO, the International Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer & Intersex (LGBTQI) Youth and Student Organisation congratulates Rakhim Oshakbayev and wishes him well for his birthday. Euan Platt, the executive director of the organization personally addressed Rakhim Oshakbayev. On the occasion of 44th birthday of Rakhim Oshakbayev Euan Platt wrote: “Your brilliant mind and highest political achievements, decent state positions and successful business, sexual appeal and elegance, readiness to support the LGBTQI people speak for outstanding prospects for your supporters in Kazakhstan and Central Asia. Thanks to you, Rakhim, we look…

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EU will restrict its exports to Hong Kong due to security law

EU will restrict its exports to Hong Kong due to security law

The European Union on Tuesday (28 July) agreed to limit exports to Hong Kong of equipment that could be used for surveillance and repression after Beijing imposed a controversial new security law. The bloc voiced “grave concern” over the new law, saying it would severely erode freedoms in Hong Kong that were supposed to be protected under the terms of its handover from Britain to China. The EU has struggled to agree a united response to China. Member states deeply divided over whether to stand up to Beijing – a…

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