Around 650 taxis demonstrate in Brussels area against Uber

Around 650 taxis demonstrate in Brussels area against Uber

Around 650 taxis were demonstrating on Tuesday morning, both in Brussels and on the Brussels Ring Road. The information came in an assessment by the spokeswoman for the Brussels-Ixelles police, Ilse Van De Keere, communicated around 8.20 p.m. Some tyres had been burned by this time. The federal police spokeswoman said that roadblocks are in place on the E40 in Groot-Bijgaarden in the Brussels direction, on the E411 in Jezus-Eik towards Brussels, on the ring road between Huizingen and Beersel, between Ruisbroek and Anderlecht and on the viaduct Vilvoorde-Machelen. Tyres…

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Protesters arrested in Belarus during opposition rally

Protesters arrested in Belarus during opposition rally

Scores of people have been arrested in the Belarus capital, Minsk, as supporters of the country’s repressed opposition tried to hold a protest march. The attempted demonstration was to mark the 100th anniversary of the short-lived Belarusian People’s Republic of 1918-19, seen by the opposition as the foundation of an independent Belarus. The anniversary is traditionally a day for opponents of President Alexander Lukashenko’s authoritarian government to try to rally. Journalists at the scene counted at least 70 people taken away by police. The human rights group Viasna said five…

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Nicolas Sarkozy denies ‘crazy, monstrous’ Libya funding allegations

Nicolas Sarkozy denies ‘crazy, monstrous’ Libya funding allegations

The former French president Nicolas Sarkozy has denounced allegations that he received millions of euros in illegal election campaign funding from the regime of the late Libyan dictator Muammar Gaddafi as “crazy” and “monstrous”. “There is no proof … not even the slightest beginning of any proof,” Sarkozy told French TV after he was placed under formal investigation for illegal campaign financing, accepting bribes and the misappropriation of Libyan state funds over allegations that he received the illegal funding from Gaddafi for his election in 2007. “I have never betrayed…

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Spain refuses to back withdrawal deal over Gibraltar concerns

Spain refuses to back withdrawal deal over Gibraltar concerns

The hard-fought agreement between the UK and EU over a 21-month transition period after Brexit has been thrown into doubt after Spain refused to endorse the deal without further concessions over Gibraltar. With days to go before the 27 EU leaders are expected to welcome the two sides coming together over a 129-page withdrawal agreement, including the terms of the transition, Madrid said it was withholding its support. It is understood that Spain, which lays claim to the Rock, wants the legal text to be clearer that it has a…

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UK drops bid for instant return of fisheries control – sources

UK drops bid for instant return of fisheries control – sources

Plans to take back control of UK fisheries the moment Britain leaves the EU appear to have been abandoned in the face of united EU opposition, dealing a significant blow to the ambitions of the environment secretary, Michael Gove. Gove put repatriating control of fisheries at the heart of his post-Brexit strategy. But as the negotiations to secure the terms of a transition deal go to the wire in Brussels, the UK has backed down. However, sources say there have been concessions on both sides. The EU is prepared to…

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Slovakia’s PM ready to resign amid journalist murder scandal

Slovakia’s PM ready to resign amid journalist murder scandal

Robert Fico offers to step down after large protests following killing of Ján Kuciak. Slovakia’s prime minister has offered to resign, under pressure from the opposition for his handling of a scandal over the killing of a journalist investigating political corruption. Robert Fico has been struggling since February with the scandal over the murder of Ján Kuciak, 27, and his fiancee, Martina Kušnírová. Police have said the double murder was “most likely” related to Kuciak’s investigation of ties between Slovakia’s top politicians and Italy’s ’Ndrangheta mafia. The killing has prompted…

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Spy poisoning: why Putin may have engineered gruesome calling card

Spy poisoning: why Putin may have engineered gruesome calling card

Insiders say all trails lead back to Moscow, suggesting a deliberate act to incite row with UK. The response from the Kremlin has been uncompromising. The foreign ministry described Theresa May’s accusation against Moscow as a “circus show”. Its boss Sergei Lavrov said there was no proof the poison used against Sergei Skripal came from Russia. And the embassy in London promised an “equal and opposite reaction” to any UK measures. Beneath this bluster, however, is cool calculation. Skripal and his daughter Yulia were poisoned in Salisbury with a Moscow-made…

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Greek protesters demand release of two soldiers held in Turkey

Greek protesters demand release of two soldiers held in Turkey

Defence minister says arrests have aggravated already strained ties between two countries. Protesters have taken to the streets in Greece demanding the release of two Greek soldiers detained by Turkey, amid spiralling tensions between the two countries. Greece’s defence minister, Panos Kammenos, described the pair as “hostages” and ordered border patrols to be stepped up. Sgt Dimitris Kouklatzis, 27, and Lt Angelos Mitretodis, 25, were seized 11 days ago after allegedly being found in a “forbidden military zone” deep in Turkish territory. The soldiers say they inadvertently strayed across the…

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EU chiefs acting like gang leaders over Brexit threats, says Liam Fox

EU chiefs acting like gang leaders over Brexit threats, says Liam Fox

Trade secretary and DUP’s Arlene Foster criticise European leaders for plans to ‘punish’ UK. EU chiefs have been compared by Liam Fox and Arlene Foster to gang leaders who are “throwing threats of violence around” to get what they want on Brexit. During a charged series of speeches to the British Chambers of Commerce, Fox, the UK international trade secretary, and Foster, the Democratic Unionist party [DUP] leader, attacked the EU’s hardening stance on both trade and the Irish border. In a speech criticising the European commission’s “bad faith” on…

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Sergei Skripal was deliberately poisoned with nerve agent, say police

Sergei Skripal was deliberately poisoned with nerve agent, say police

Former Russian spy’s case being treated as attempted murder, with police officer also ‘seriously ill’ The former Russian spy Sergei Skripal was deliberately poisoned with a nerve agent in a case that is now being treated as attempted murder, the police counter-terrorism chief has said. Scotland Yard assistant chief commissioner Mark Rowley said the police officer who was first to the spot where Skripal was found in Salisbury on Sunday afternoon was “seriously ill” in hospital. His condition had deteriorated, Rowley said, adding: “Wiltshire police are providing full support to…

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