⊂ EUROPE ⊃
Tsipras tries to get Syriza in line: Greece’s hard-left Syriza party has agreed to hold an emergency congress in September as requested by Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras. Syriza lawmakers have refused to vote for reforms needed for a new bailout, forcing Tsipras to rely on the backing of the opposition. The IMF has announced it will not contribute to another bailout unless it sees real reforms. Former Finance Minister Varoufakis faces criminal charges following revelations of his secret plan to leave the eurozone.
wsj.com, bbc.com, theguardian.com
Cameron wants to deter refugees: British Prime Minister David Cameron says Britain will not become a safe haven for refugees. More than 3,500 migrants have tried to get in and cross to the UK this week alone. Nine have been killed in the last month. The UK is investing in fencing and reinforcing security. Cameron announces laws to make it more difficult for migrants to stay.
U.S. negotiation practices: The American government is attempting to slow state-owned businesses in global trade deals. This strategy could prevent governments all over the world form providing public services to citizens or fulfilling social duties. These revelations are derived from secret negotiation documents which Wikileaks has published.
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Commission defends itself: The EU Commission has responded to plans by German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schäuble, who has said he wants the Commission stripped of some of its key oversight roles. The Commission said its duties extended far beyond legislation according to EU treaties. Schäuble has denied reports and now speaks of a correct “balance” and not a deprivation of power.
Carcinogenic household pesticide: Germany’s state consumer protection ministers are calling for an EU-wide ban on the leading global pesticide Glyphosate, after it was categorised as carcinogenic by the WHO. After reevaluating the most widely used pesticide in Germany and worldwide, the World Health Organization’s cancer researchers have categorised Glyphosate as “probably carcinogenic to humans”.
Agriculture: Safety net measures for dairy, fruit and vegetables to be extended europa.eu
Refugee policy: EU increases humanitarian aid for Burundi refugees europa.eu
Middle East: EU criticizes Israeli decisions for further settlement expansion eeas.europa.eu
Terrorism: Taliban chose new leader bbc.com
⊂ QUOTES ⊃
“Are we living in the middle ages? In a country that has been attempting to be a western, modern country since the twenties, this is truly shocking.”
Turkish lawmaker Nursel Aydogan speaks about how senior government official Bulent Arinc told her “Madam shut up! As a woman, you should shut up!” during an emergency session in the Turkish parliament.
“It is important for the Commission to find the right balance between its political function and its role as guardian of the treaties.”
A speaker for German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schäuble explains his boss’ recent remarks.
⊂ COUNTRIES ⊃
Anti-PKK airstrikes in Turkey intensify: Turkish prosecutors on Thursday opened a probe against the leader of Turkey’s main Kurdish party, HDP leader Selahattin Demirtas, over October 2014 protests. The news comes only hours after Turkish President Erdogan launched a fierce personal attack on Demirtas. The HDP leader believes the probe to be politically motivated. Meanwhile, Turkey says that three of its soldiers were killed by Kurdish separatists on Thursday in an attack on a military convoy. The ambush comes as Ankara pursues airstrikes against the Kurdistan Workers Party or PKK in northern Iraq.
Civilians killed in Ukraine: Four civilians are reported dead as Ukrainian forces and pro-Russian separatists accused each other of shelling residential areas near the rebel-held city of Donetsk in eastern Ukraine. A Ukrainian soldier was also killed in the violence. Ukrainian helicopter pilot Nadia Savchenko, accused of involvement in the killing of two Russian journalists in eastern Ukraine, has appeared in court in Russia. Russia defends its steps to block a resolution that would have created an international tribunal to prosecute those responsible for bringing down Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 over Ukraine.
euronews.com, bbc.com, cnn.com
Britain limits Ai Weiwei visit: The Chinese artist Ai Weiwei has been denied a six-month business visa by the British government, which claims that Ai had lied on his application by neglecting to declare that he had been convicted of a crime. Instead, Ai was given an exceptional visa that allows him to remain in Britain for 20 days. He denied lying on his visa application, and said he had never been convicted of a crime.
Curfew for German soldiers: Germany has increased the security measures for its soldiers stationed in Turkey in the face of escalating violence. Meanwhile, the German defense ministry announced plans to spend an additional 20 million euros on its troops to be sent for training. The NATO military exercises in Ukraine were also a reason for boosting the budget. Ministry officials said that 2,700 German soldiers were stationed abroad, including in Turkey.
Disastrous conditions in Austrian refugee housing: The refugee accommodation in the Austrian town Traiskirchen lacks the most basic things. Many refugees don’t even have beds. The situation is chaotic. Amnesty International now wants to gain an overview together with doctors and translators.
Spain’s economy is growing: Spain’s economy raced ahead in the second quarter, expanding at the fastest pace in eight years. Gross domestic product rose 1 percent from the previous quarter and 3.1 percent on an annual basis. Economists see household consumption and domestic demand as the drivers of the Spanish economy, which has now added eight consecutive quarters of increases.
Georgia: Sun, sea and sounds at the Black Sea Jazz Festival euronews.com
Russia: Seaweed worsens problems for Russia’s Lake Baikal euronews.com
Italy: Rome’s Fuimicino airport recovers after forest fire euronews.com
⊂ DATA ⊃
In just the past two days, 3,500 migrants have tried to cross the Channel Tunnel between France and the United Kingdom.
⊂ JOB-BOARD ⊃
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politjobs.eu, politjobs.eu/submit (Inserat schalten)
⊂ MALFUNCTION ⊃
Varoufakis fan in Germany: According to former Greek Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis, a German CDU party member came to visit him at home one day before the July referendum on another bailout. Varoufakis said the member of Germany’s parliament had visited his apartment, confessing, “I don’t believe in what we’re doing to you.” The legislator was a Christian Democrat—the party led by Angela Merkel, the German Chancellor.