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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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Britain says will not stay in EU via ‘back door’

LONDON: After weeks of feuding, two key figures in Britain’s cabinet came together Sunday to say any post-Brexit transition would not be a “back door” to continued European Union membership. Finance minister Philip Hammond, who favours a softer, pro-business Brexit, and International Trade Secretary Liam Fox, a hardline supporter of Britain leaving the EU, have…

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Post-Brexit UK will not slash taxes: finance minister

LONDON: Britain will not cut tax and regulations after Brexit in an attempt to undercut its European rivals, finance minister Philip Hammond has said, after previously threatening to do just that. Hammond said Britain’s economic, social and cultural model would remain “recognisably European” after it left the European Union. His comments to French newspaper Le…

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Europe battles Google News over ‘snippet tax’ proposal

BRUSSELS: A major battle is brewing in Brussels over an EU reform plan that would force internet aggregators such as Google News to pay newspapers for displaying snippets of their articles online. Google is furious at the reform idea, but powerful publishers, including Axel Springer in Germany or Rupert Murdoch’s Newscorp in the UK, affirm…

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Erdogan threatens to ‘chop off traitors’ heads’ in coup bid anniversary speech

ANKARA: Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Saturday threatened to “chop off the heads” of traitors, in a speech marking the first anniversary of the failed coup bid that aimed to oust him from power. “First of all we will chop off the heads of those traitors,” Erdogan told a rally in Istanbul, prompting cries…

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EU warns Israel against settlement units in occupied West Bank

BRUSSELS: The European Union has warned Israel about its plan for setting up new settlement units in the West Bank. In a statement, the EU Foreign Policy Chief Federica Mogherini said Israel’s continued policy of settlement expansion is illegal under international law and further complicates the prospects for viable two-state solution. She reiterated support for…

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Turkey to strip citizenship of 130 ‘fugitives’ including cleric Gulen

ANKARA: Turkey said on Monday it would strip citizenship from 130 people suspected of militant links, including the U.S.-based cleric it blames for orchestrating last July’s failed coup, unless they return to the country within three months. In a list of what it called fugitives from justice, the interior ministry named Muslim cleric Fethullah Gulen,…

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France supports green energy development in Pakistan

French ambassador Martine DORANCE and European Union envoy Jean-François CAUTAIN visited the construction site of the national Hydropower Training Institute (HPTI) in Mangla and participated to the corner stone ceremony hosted by WAPDA’s member Water, Mr. Nasir Hanif. France and EU through the French Agency for Development (AFD) have provided the Government of Pakistan with…

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Islamic State militants developing own social media platform – Europol

LONDON: Islamic State militants are developing their own social media platform to avoid security crackdowns on their communications and propaganda, the head of the European Union’s police agency said on Wednesday. Europol Director Rob Wainwright said the new online platform had been uncovered during a 48-hour operation against Internet extremism last week. “Within that operation…

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UK parliament votes on snap election in Brexit’s shadow

LONDON: Britain’s parliament votes Wednesday on holding a snap election in June, as Prime Minister Theresa May seeks to make strong gains against the opposition before gruelling Brexit negotiations. May, who made the shock call for an early election on Tuesday, needs to bolster her narrow majority of 17 seats ahead of likely tortuous talks…

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