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Electoral playing field wasn’t level, say EU observers

A European Union monitoring team said on Friday that the campaign for general election this week featured a “lack of equality” that meant it was not a level playing field for all parties. “Although there were several legal provisions aimed at ensuring a level playing field, we have concluded that there was a lack of…

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EU observers say 2018 elections were better than 2013 ones

Election observers from the European Union have said that this election was conducted better than the 2013 election. They said the army adhered to the code of conduct very strictly. A member of the team, Michael Gallagher, said they had been invited by the government to observe the elections. He said the procedure was smooth…

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Tens of thousands march in London for second Brexit vote

Tens of thousands of people demonstrated in London on Saturday calling for a second vote on Britain’s departure from the European Union. The anti-Brexit campaigners marched on parliament to mark the second anniversary of the Brexit referendum, demanding a “people’s vote” on whether to approve the final deal Prime Minister Theresa May strikes with the…

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Azfar Bukhari, Javed Jabbar, Talat Masood kept out of caretaker federal cabinet

The names of three reputed figures were removed from the list of caretaker federal ministers at the eleventh hour, sources said. Renowned journalist Azfar Bukhari, General (retired) Talat Masood and Javed Jabbar were among the 21 personalities whose names were forwarded to the caretaker PM. However, the federal cabinet was kept short on the insistence…

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Spain to swear in new pro-EU government dominated by women

Spain’s Socialist Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez’s new pro-EU government will be sworn in on Thursday with the most women in modern history, with 11 female and six male ministers. The new executive composed by the 46-year-old, who ousted conservative veteran Mariano Rajoy as prime minister last Friday in a no-confidence vote, includes astronaut Pedro Duque…

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EU proposes ban on straws, other single-use plastics

The European Union proposed Monday a bloc-wide ban on single-use plastics such as straws, cutlery and cotton buds while urging the collection of most plastic drinks bottles by 2025. The set of proposals are part of a growing EU drive to rid the environment of plastic waste which has begun showing up in the food…

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EU’s new data protection rules come into effect

The European Union’s new data protection laws came into effect on Friday, with Brussels saying the changes will protect consumers from being like “people naked in an aquarium”. The EU’s so-called General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) has been blamed for a flood of spam emails and messages in recent weeks as firms rush to request…

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Key world reactions to US-led strikes on Syria

The US, France and Britain unleashed air strikes on Syria early Saturday targeting the Damascus regime in retaliation for a suspected chemical attack on civilians. Western powers said the strikes were necessary to halt the use of chemical weapons by Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. Here is a selection of the main responses from across the world:…

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Google poised to emerge unscathed from European antitrust crackdown

BRUSSELS/SAN FRANCISCO – The European Union’s top antitrust regulator, Margrethe Vestager, has made it her mission to stem alleged anti-competitive abuses by big American tech companies, threatening as recently as last month to break up Alphabet Inc’s Google. But a decision in the most important of three antitrust cases against Google – this one aimed…

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EU single currency reform won’t be ‘perfect’: Moscovici

EU Economic Affairs Commissioner Pierre Moscovici said Sunday he does not expect a “perfect” accord on reforming the single currency at an EU summit in June.  “We won’t get everything, we won’t have a perfect accord, but if there is progress on crisis management, the ability to combat shocks… we will have made a great…

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Trump issues stay of execution for Iran nuclear deal

US President Donald Trump announced Friday he would not reimpose nuclear sanctions on Iran, keeping a landmark 2015 deal alive… for now. The Republican leader grudgingly agreed to sign sanctions waivers, ensuring Washington will live up to its commitments for another 120 days, but he cautioned it would be “for the last time.” During that…

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Facebook to notify users when photos of them are uploaded

Facebook Inc said on Tuesday it would begin using facial recognition technology to tell people on the social network when others upload photos of them, if they agree to let the company keep a facial template on file. The company said in a statement that it was making the feature optional to allow people to…

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Rex Tillerson in Brussels to discuss North Korea issue

BRUSSELS: US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson meets his EU and NATO counterparts in Brussels Tuesday to shore up ties, with allies insisting he still plays a “key role” despite doubts over his future. Tillerson will hold talks over lunch with European Union foreign ministers and the bloc’s diplomatic chief Federica Mogherini, before a two-day…

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EU cuts funding to Turkey in 2018 budget

BRUSSELS: An EU 2018 budget deal was announced Saturday that cuts funds destined to Turkey, citing doubts about Ankara’s commitment to democracy and human rights. German Chancellor Angela Merkel had led calls for a cut to the funds, which are linked to Turkey’s stalled bid to join the bloc, following mass-scale arrests in the country…

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Khawaja Asif satisfied at broad-based Pakistan-EU ties

ISLAMABAD: Foreign Minister Khawaja Asif said that Pakistan had turned the tide on terrorism through sheer commitment and sacrifices rendered by its people, military and law enforcement personnel. He stated this while talking to a four-member delegation of the European Parliament in Islamabad. The foreign minister expressed satisfaction at the broad-based relationship between Pakistan and…

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EU denounces ‘shocking’ Paradise Papers revelations

BRUSSELS: The European Union on Monday denounced as “shocking” revelations on the way top companies and dignitaries, including Britain’s Queen Elizabeth II, avoid taxes using offshore wealth hubs. EU finance ministers meeting for regular talks in Brussels are due to discuss the practice on Tuesday after a trove of leaked documents exposed the great lengths…

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EU defends Iran deal despite Trump, appeals to U.S. Congress

LUXEMBOURG: The European Union on Monday reaffirmed its support for a 2015 nuclear deal between Iran and world powers despite sharp criticism of the accord by President Donald Trump, and it urged U.S. lawmakers not to reimpose sanctions on Tehran. Trump defied both U.S. allies and adversaries on Friday by refusing to formally certify that…

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Catalonia moves to declare independence from Spain on Monday

BARCELONA/MADRID: Catalonia will move on Monday to declare independence from Spain after holding a banned referendum, pushing the European Union nation toward a rupture that threatens the foundations of its young democracy, reported Reuters. Catalan President Carles Puigdemont said he favored mediation to find a way out of the crisis but that Spain’s central government had…

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‘We want our money back’: France to Britain

PARIS: Britain needs to settle its bill with the EU before beginning talks on a post-Brexit trade deal, French Economy Minister Bruno Le Maire said, declaring: “We want our money back”. In an interview with France’s CNews channel on Tuesday evening, Le Maire said it was time for Britain — which is wrangling with Brussels…

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Catalonia to declare independence from Spain as soon as weekend: leader

BARCELONA/MADRID: Catalonia will move as soon as this weekend to declare independence from Spain, the region’s leader said, moving the European Union country closer to a rupture that threatens the foundations of its young democracy, reported Reuters. The constitutional crisis has hit the euro and Spanish stocks and bonds and Volkswagen’s Spanish unit SEAT warned…

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Britain aims for new security treaty with EU

Britain wants to negotiate a new security treaty with the European Union to ensure there are no “operational gaps” after Britain leaves the bloc, the government said on Sunday. “We already have a deep level of collaboration with the EU on security matters and it is in both our interests to find ways to maintain…

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