Monday, 24 June 2019: Iran accuses US of fuelling tensions, Trump willing to talk, Tens of thousands demand Czech prime minister resign, Protesters stage blockade in German coal mine

⊂ EUROPE ⊃

Iran accuses US of fuelling tensions, Trump willing to talk: US President Donald Trump has expressed his willingness to open talks with Iranian officials without any preconditions. Trump said Friday that he doesn’t want war with Iran. The only line he was drawing in the sand when it came to discussions with Iran was that the country could not have a nuclear weapon. US National Security Advisor John Bolton on Sunday defended Trump’s move to order, then cancel a strike on Iran. Bolton said neither Iran nor any other hostile actor should mistake US prudence and discretion for weakness. US cyber command has launched a retaliatory cyberstrike against an Iranian spy group, according to reports. The online strike targeted an Iranian spy group’s computer software that was used to track the tankers that were targeted in the Gulf of Oman. Iranian President Hassan Rouhani on Sunday accused the United States of stoking tensions in the Gulf through what Iran has called the violation of its airspace by a US military drone, which Iran shot down.
foxnews.com, npr.org, cnn.com, reuters.com

Manfred Weber clings to bid for power in Brussels: Conservative Manfred Weber isn’t backing down from his bid to become EU Commission President, urging the EU Parliament Sunday not to let the decision take place in diplomats‘ backrooms. Weber, the lead candidate of the European People’s Party in May’s election, is banking on the so-called Spitzenkandidat, or lead candidate system, to win the Commission presidency. But last week, Socialist and Liberal groups said they would not back Weber. He is now turning to the EU Parliament for support.
politico.eu, ft.com

Opposition candidate wins Istanbul’s mayoral race: Turkish opposition party candidate Ekrem Imamoglu has won the race for Istanbul mayor, despite a determined effort by Turkey’s powerful president, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, to keep the seat in the hands of the ruling party. The ruling party candidate, Binali Yildirim, conceded the race shortly after preliminary results showed Imamoglu leading with more than 50% of the votes. Erdogan and Yildirim congratulated Imamoglu on the results. Turkey’s elections have long been considered unfair — as the playing field is stacked heavily in favor of Erdogan’s AKP — but nevertheless competitive, with the opposition managing to force several close races in past elections.
washingtonpost.com, politico.eu

Ethiopia: Failed coup sees army chief shot dead by bodyguard cnn.com

⊂ COUNTRIES ⊃

Tens of thousands demand Czech prime minister resign: Tens of thousands of people rallied in Prague on Sunday to demand the resignation of Czech Prime Minister Andrej Babis in the biggest public confrontation with the government since the 1989 Velvet Revolution. Last month, Babis found himself fending off another crisis when preliminary results of a EU Commission audit were leaked to the public. According to the draft document, Babis has a conflict of interest as his companies benefit from EU funding. Specifically, it found that his business empire Agrofert should not have received €17.4 million in EU subsidies. A day after police advised that the state prosecutor file charges against him, the justice minister was replaced by Babis‘ longtime adviser Marie Benesova. Demonstrators argue that Benesova is too close to Babis.
euronews.com, dw.com, bbc.com

Protesters stage blockade in German coal mine: Hundreds of climate change protesters broke into a huge open cast mine in western Germany Saturday to protest against the country’s ongoing dependence on fossil fuels. Some demonstrators blocked railroad tracks used to transport coal before others broke through a police cordon to enter the mine. The protesters were quickly surrounded by police and many were forcibly removed. Saturday’s protest came just a day after EG protesters blockaded the railway tracks leading to the Neurath power station, one of Germany’s main coal-fired plants, halting the supply of coal.
cnn.com, apnews.com

Gay pride parade in the Ukraine: Ukrainian politicians and foreign diplomats joined thousands marching in a gay pride parade in the capital Kiev on Sunday, the biggest and most peaceful ever in the former Soviet country. A group of soldiers in uniform from the war with Russia-backed separatists in the east also marched at the event. Viktor Pylypenko, who led the column of troops and veterans, said there were gay soldiers on the frontlines who wanted to attend. Thousands of people joined a LGBT pride march in Bucharest on Saturday, nearly a year after Romania held a failed referendum to ban same sex marriage.
reuters.com, dw.com (Ukraine); reuters.com (Romania)

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Migrant influx scares off Greek island tourists: Tourists are avoiding the Greek island of Samos due to the shocking situation at the Vathy migrant camp, which has grown into a sprawling settlement. Locals and asylum-seekers feel authorities have abandoned them. The Greek island of Samos is just a stone’s throw from the Turkish coast. And boats with migrants arrive here constantly — though again and again, refugees drown in the crossing in a desperate attempt to reach the EU.
dw.com

Austria: Province closes country roads to German travellers dw.com
Germany: Extreme right-wing violence on the rise politico.eu

⊂ JOB-BOARD ⊃

politjobs.eu: Bitkom sucht Referent europäische Digitalpolitik (w/m) *** Int. Iberian Nanotechnology Laboratory seeks Innovation Project Manager *** Int. Iberian Nanotechnology Laboratory seeks Project Assistant for EU Funded Projects *** PwC seeks Public Affairs Senior Manager Belgium *** Johnson & Johnson seeks Policy Assistant, Government Affairs & Policy EMEA *** Public Policy Manager, Connectivity *** Ryanair offers Public Affairs internship
politjobs.eu, politjobs.eu/submit (Inserat schalten)

⊂ MALFUNCTION ⊃

German police confiscate beer from Nazis: Police in the eastern German state of Saxony confiscated 4,200 liters of beer on Friday after a court prohibited a right-wing extremist event from serving alcohol. Organisers of the event had insisted that past events had taken place peacefully even with the consumption of alcohol. But a court ruled that alcohol could increase the likelihood of violence. In addition to police confiscating the beer for the event, residents of the town of Ostritz bought dozens of beer cases at a local supermarket to prevent Nazis from buying the beer.
dw.com, tagesspiegel.de

 

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