Monday, 15th May 2017: Europol director sees escalating cyber threat, China′s new Silk Road summit, Another North Korean missile test

⊂ EUROPE ⊃

Europol director sees escalating cyber threat: A worldwide ransomware attack that took place Friday has hit more than 200,000 victims across 150 countries, Europol director Rob Wainwright said Sunday. He urged governments, businesses and individuals to take action in the face of an escalating threat of cybercrime. The chief of the European policing agency said the global reach of the attack was unprecedented and indiscriminate, affecting everything from hospitals and schools to auto giants. The widescale attack involved ransomware, in which infiltrated computers are held hostage until a ransom is paid.
politico.eu, nbcnews.com

China′s new Silk Road summit: Britain wants to build stronger ties with China as it prepares to leave the EU and will strongly support the Beijing-led “One Belt One Road” initiative, Chancellor of the Exchequer Philip Hammond said Sunday at a major international conference in Beijing. China is seeking support for a new „Silk Road“: a trade and infrastructure project linking China with countries in Central and Southeast Asia, Europe, the Middle East and Africa. German Economy Minister Brigitte Zypries warned that Germany and other EU countries would not sign a joint trade statement unless they received more guarantees from Beijing on free trade, environmental protection and working conditions.
politico.eu, dw.com, cnn.com

Another North Korean missile test: The White House responded to the latest North Korean ballistic missile launch, saying that the rogue regime has been a flagrant menace for far too long. The statement added that the latest provocation should serve as a call for all nations to implement far stronger sanctions against North Korea. EU and Nato condemned Sunday’s ballistic missile launch, calling on the isolationist regime to abandon its weapons programmes and instead engage in dialogue with the international community.
foxnews.com, politico.eu

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Germany and Italy call for EU mission in Libya: German Interior Minister Thomas de Maiziere and his Italian counterpart Marco Minniti want a joint EU mission to patrol Libya’s lawless southern border with Niger to stop migrants from reaching Europe. The first months of this year have shown that the efforts up to this point have been insufficient, the ministers wrote in a letter to the EU’s executive. The EU must prevent hundreds of thousands of people who are in the hands of smugglers from risking their lives in Libya and the Mediterranean. The burden of dealing with a new migrant crisis cannot be the sole responsibility of a few countries like Italy, the ministers said.
dw.com

Pyramid scheme: EU Commissioner allegedly deceived pensioners handelsblatt.com
Wikileaks informant: Chelsea Manning free on Wednesday faz.net
Ivory Coast: Army mutiny enters third day dw.com

⊂ QUOTES ⊃

This is a positive signal for Europe.
EU Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker called French President Emmanuel Macron a signal of hope for Europe.
politico.eu

⊂ COUNTRIES ⊃

Macron sworn in as French president: Emmanuel Macron was inaugurated Sunday as France’s president. Former president Francois Hollande handed over the reins of power to his successor in a ceremony heavy with protocol. In his acceptance speech, Macron stressed the need for France and the French to come together. He pledged to restore the country’s standing on the world stage, strengthen national self-confidence and heal divisions that the bitterly-fought presidential campaign had opened up. Macron nodded to his positions in favour of strong action to stop climate change, fight terrorism and deal with the migration crisis.
reuters.com, euronews.com, politico.eu

Merkel’s CDU unseats ruling SPD in German state election: German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s conservative Christian Democrats (CDU) won 32.9 percent of the vote in North Rhine-Westphalia’s state election on Sunday, projections showed. The Social Democrats (SPD) came in second, garnering 31.3 percent of the vote in its stronghold state, down over 7 points from the last election in 2012. The Green party, currently the junior coalition partner to the SPD, took a massive hit, dropping down to 6.3 percent. Following the results, NRW’s state premier Hannelore Kraft stepped down as state SPD party chief. She said she took full responsibility for her party’s defeat.
dw.com

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Austria’s Kern says early vote certain: Austrian Chancellor Christian Kern said his country is headed for early elections in the fall after the conservative People’s Party effectively abandoned the government coalition on Friday. Foreign Minister Sebastian Kurz said that he’d meet with Kern and President Alexander Van der Bellen on Monday to discuss holding elections after the summer. Kern said his Social Democrats would decide in the coming days whether they would back a motion to dissolve parliament, and whether to continue to work with the conservatives on a temporary basis.
bloomberg.com

New Greek austerity package presented: Greece cut its 2017 growth forecast to 1.8 percent from 2.7 percent, according to a mid-term budget plan unveiled on Saturday, driven by uncertainty caused by delays in concluding the latest review of bailout reforms. Greece will vote on new austerity measures on Thursday in order to conclude the second review of the bailout. On Saturday, a bill calling for further pension cuts, higher taxation on freelancers and other measures was given to MPs to study.
reuters.com

Russia: Thousands protest in Moscow against housing resettlement plan reuters.com

⊂ JOB-BOARD ⊃

politjobs.eu: GIZ seeks Advisor (m/f) Economic Analysis and Policy *** IASS seeks Two Senior Research Associates (m/f) for the project “Co-Creation and Contemporary Policy Advice” *** Bayer seeks Government Relation Manager *** Google seeks Public Policy and Government Relations Analyst (Northern Europe) *** Lufthansa bietet Praktikum im Bereich Konzernpolitik *** NATO seeks Assistant Secretary General for Emerging Security Challenges *** Copa-Cogeca seeks Policy Advisor Expert on Wine & Aquaculture
politjobs.eu, politjobs.eu/submit (Inserat schalten)

⊂ MALFUNCTION ⊃

Portugal wins Eurovision Song Contest: Portugal’s Salvador Sobral won the Eurovision Song Contest (ESC) on Saturday performing a jazz-style ballad, taking the top spot for the first time in the country’s history. Along with singers from Italy and Bulgaria, Sobral was a favorite going into the final of the annual song fest, which was hosted in the Ukrainian capital Kiev, and he led the voting throughout the evening. Portugal finished ahead of Bulgaria and Moldova. Ukraine hosted the competition while it also fights a war, hundreds of kilometres away in the east, against Russian-backed separatists.
npr.org, cnbc.com

 

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