Friday, 18 August 2017: Terrorist attack in Barcelona, EU disappointed by London’s proposals, Libyan coastguard threatens Spanish NGO ships


EU disappointed by London’s proposals: Britain’s latest proposals in the ongoing Brexit negotiations have been met with a negative response from the EU. The EU said the British government was obviously under the illusion that a Brexit would change nothing, despite an exit from the EU single markt and customs union. The UK will allow visa-free travel for EU citizens entering the country post Brexit, the „Times“ reported Thursday, but would impose restrictions on their employment. According to the report, under the draft Home Office proposals, EU citizens will be able to move to the UK and look for jobs without restrictions. But prospective employers will have to sponsor EU applicants by applying for permits issued by the government.,

Libyan coastguard threatens Spanish NGO ships: Libya’s coastguard threatened to target a Spanish humanitarian ship rescuing migrants in the Mediterranean this week as tensions continue to grow between NGOs and the Libyan government. A ship run by the group „Proactiva Open Arms“ was intercepted by a Libyan coastguard vessel on Tuesday and ordered to sail towards Tripoli or risk being fired upon. The EU’s new policy on Mediterranean Sea rescues threatens life and breaches international standards, two United Nations independent human experts cautioned on Thursday. Some 600 migrants attempting to cross from Morocco to Spain have been rescued in just 24 hours.,,

UK and Germany criticise Trump: Of all the EU capitals, London and Berlin have reacted most strongly to US President Donald Trump’s reluctance to forcefully condemn white supremacists after a woman was killed during a white-nationalist rally in Charlottesville. British Prime Minister Theresa May said it was important for all those in positions of responsibility to condemn far-right views. Vince Cable, the Lib Dem leader, called on the government to rethink the invitation for a visit by Trump to the UK. Politicians in Germany, which has tough laws against hate speech and any symbols linked to the Nazis who murdered six million Jews in the Holocaust, expressed shock at the images of people in Charlottesville carrying swastikas and chanting anti-Jewish slurs.

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EU and Switzerland link their carbon markets: The world’s first carbon trading system has found a new partner in Switzerland. EU Climate Commissioner Miguel Arias Canete announced on Wednesday a new deal that will connect the Swiss and European carbon markets. The negotiations, started in 2010, concluded after numerous technical and political roadblocks. In the beginning of 2016 negotiations broke down due to a new Swiss vote against mass migration, which halted all talk of free movement.

ECB: Rate-setters worried about euro overshoot
After army chief’s visit: Turkey to boost military cooperation with Iran


Terrorist attack in Barcelona: A van plowed into pedestrians on Barcelona’s Las Ramblas on Thursday, killing 13 people and injuring some 100, in what Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy described as an act of jihadi terrorism. Catalan officials said they had arrested two people for the attack, but not the driver, who had fled from the scene of the attack. Two policemen were injured when a car jumped a checkpoint shortly after the attack and the driver was later shot dead. Catalan Police Chief Josep Lluis Trapero, however, said this was not linked to the attack on Las Ramblas. In the early hours of Friday, local time, Spanish police confirmed a separate suspected terror attack in Cambrils, a coastal town south of Barcelona. Four terrorists were killed in Cambrils, and a fifth person is in police custody.,,,

Bulgaria may send troops to Turkey border: Bulgarian Defence Minister Krasimir Karakachanov said Thursday he plans to deploy armed troops to strengthen border security with Turkey and halt any potential flow of migrants. Karakachanov said he plans to divide his country’s border region with Turkey into five zones and have armed troops patrol each one. He said he expects the maximum manpower at the border to be around 600 troops, backed up by video surveillance and even drones.

Lufthansa gets first say on Air Berlin asset sale: A first round of formal talks for the sale of insolvent German airline Air Berlin’s assets will be held with its bigger local rival Lufthansa on Friday, ahead of other prospective bidders, a senior labour union official said. She also told Reuters negotiations would begin on Friday and she expected them to continue through the weekend. Air Berlin, Germany’s second-largest airline, filed for bankruptcy protection on Tuesday after shareholder Etihad Airways withdrew funding following years of losses.

Brigitte Macron promises informal first lady role: Brigitte Macron, the wife of French President Emmanuel Macron, says her role as first lady will remain informal but highly visible, following strong public opposition against an official status. Instead of creating an official first lady title, which would require a change in law, the presidency will issue a transparency charter to outline the funds and staff devoted to her activities, Macron said. While wives and partners of French presidents have had their own office and staff, there’s never been an official status.,

Migration: Berlin and Paris want to upgrade military in Sahel zone
Germany: Far-right extremism probe into elite army unit opens
Netherlands: Hostage taking at radio station over
Sweden: Missing journalist Kim Wall presumed dead
Poland: Passport redesign sparks diplomatic row

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Merkel defends refugee stance in rowdy east Germany: German Chancellor Angela Merkel was greeted with shouts of „traitor“ by a rowdy group of right-wing protesters in east Germany on Thursday as she defended her decision to allow hundreds of thousands of refugees into the country. Roughly five weeks before an election in which she is expected to win a record-tying fourth term, Merkel veered from her stump speech, acknowledging difficult times in 2015. It was her first campaign stop in eastern Germany, parts of which have been fertile ground for anti-immigration politics.



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