⊂ EUROPE ⊃
EU plans sharp hike in US energy imports: The European Union will seek to double imports of liquefied natural gas (LNG) from the United States by 2023, as part of its efforts to ease transatlantic trade tensions and reduce its reliance on Russian gas. US President Donald Trump had agreed with EU Commission chief Jean-Claude Juncker last July not to impose tariffs on EU cars as the two sides sought to improve economic ties, including a drive to increase imports of US LNG. Trump criticised Europe for being overly dependent on Russian gas, particularly through the construction of Russia’s Nord Stream 2 pipeline. The Commission said Thursday that US LNG imports had risen by 272% since then, compared with the similar year-earlier period, with more than 1.4 billion cubic meters (bcm) in March alone. The Commission plans to increase imports from the US to 8 bcm per year, more than double the level of 2018. Environmentalists, however, have big concerns about the so-called fracking method which is used to extract gas in the United States.
18-year-olds can travel Europe for free: The EU Commission wants to give 18-year-old EU citizens the chance for a free rail ticket to experience Europe’s diversity, better understand each other and learn more about Europe. Any 18 year-old European citizen can apply for the tickets online from Thursday until 16 May, gaining free travel for up to 30 days to at least one foreign country. Successful applicants will be able to travel individually or in a group of up to five people. As a general rule, they will travel by rail. However, to ensure wide access across the continent, participants can also use alternative modes of transport, such as buses or ferries or, exceptionally, planes. This will ensure that young people living in remote areas or on islands part of the EU will also have a chance to take part. DiscoverEU is a travel experience open to young Europeans, including those from disadvantaged backgrounds, to learn whilst travelling.
US and Cuba: EU says will respond to controversial US move on Cuba dw.com
EU Commission President Juncker: Europe has lost its libido politico.eu
EU Trade Commissioner Malmström: Comply with trade rules – avoid trade conflicts de.euronews.com
Electric cars: Europe launches multibillion-euro initiative for electric car batteries forbes.com
⊂ QUOTES ⊃
“This is not mine and not a demand of the SPD.”
German SPD General Secretary Lars Klingbeil has distanced himself from the leader of the SPD youth movement, Kevin Kühnert, after Kühnert called for major German companies like BMW to be collectivised.
⊂ COUNTRIES ⊃
Cyprus justice minister resigns amid serial killer protests: The justice minister of Cyprus, Ionas Nicolaou, resigned Thursday after a man admitted killing seven women and girls, in a case that went undetected for nearly three years. The bodies of four murdered women were found in locations around the capital Nicosia over the past three weeks, and police are investigating three other disappearances. Officials are accused of not properly investigating the missing persons reports because the victims were migrants. Protesters earlier called on the justice minister and the police chief to resign, accusing officials of negligence and racism. Nicolaou said he was leaving his post for reasons of political responsibility, adding that he was not personally involved in the case. He called for the country’s police complaints commission to hold an independent inquiry into the lack of an initial investigation.
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Far-right sticker in German police car raises concerns: A sticker from the far-right Identitarian movement has been found in a patrol car used by police in the western German city of Duisburg, police officials said on Thursday. The police were initially notified via social media of the presence of the sticker on the inner side of one of the vehicle’s sun shields. Investigators handed the sticker to public prosecutors. The Identitarian movement is under observation by Germany’s domestic intelligence agency, which sees it as a group based on a political concept that is fundamentally opposed to human rights and pluralist democracy. Herbert Reul, the interior minister of the state of North Rhine-Westphalia, voiced outrage at the finding of the sticker, which read “Defend yourself; it is your country”. Duisburg’s police chief said racist ideologies had no place in the ranks of the police and would not be tolerated under any circumstances.
Italy: Hungarian PM Orban meets Lega chief Salvini to forge European pact euobserver.com
Austria: Study finds Austrians’ Holocaust knowledge has major gaps politico.eu
Serbia: Minister says country could ditch EU bid, turn to Russia foxnews.com
⊂ JOB-BOARD ⊃
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⊂ MALFUNCTION ⊃
France and Italy set aside tensions to honour Leonardo da Vinci: French President Emmanuel Macron and Italian counterpart Sergio Mattarella gathered in Amboise, in the French Loire Valley on Thursday, to commemorate Leonardo da Vinci’s 500th anniversary. Da Vinci’s legacy itself has become contentious for France and Italy. Italy’s Culture undersecretary Lucia Borgonzoni said in November that she wanted to renegotiate the planned lending of his works to the Louvre for an anniversary exhibition, because the French could not have it all. But Rome and Paris set aside recent tensions to honour the memory of the Renaissance genius in the town where he spent his final years.