Monday, 7 August 2017: Downing Street denies UK willing to pay Brexit divorce bill, Terrorism probe into knife-wielding man at Eiffel Tower, UN approves new North Korea sanctions

⊂ EUROPE ⊃

Downing Street denies UK willing to pay Brexit divorce bill: Downing Street has dismissed the idea of paying a Brexit divorce bill of up to 40 billion euro. Prime Minister Theresa May was reported on Sunday to be willing to pay that amount as the price for getting on with trade talks and an exit deal. The sum would be a compromise, because Brussels has demanded about 60 billion euro. Reports said senior Whitehall officials had concluded that such an offer – the first time a precise figure has been proposed – is the only way to break the current deadlock in negotiations. A Downing Street source, however, said the figure, which was mentioned by Brussels sources quoted in the „Sunday Telegraph“, was inaccurate speculation.
theguardian.com, telegraph.co.uk

Isis unit in Syria training European jihadis: A secretive Isis division has been teaching UK fighters to launch attacks on British soil, according to a fighter reportedly captured by Kurdish troops in Syria. The fighter said that about 50 people went through the programme from countries including the UK, Belgium, France and Germany. Syrian regime forces have seized the key town of Sukhna in Homs from Isis, opening the way to a besieged pro-government garrison. A member of the UN Commission of Inquiry on Syria said on Sunday she was quitting because a lack of political backing from the UN Security Council had made the job impossible. Carla del Ponte told a panel discussion on the sidelines of the Locarno Film Festival that she had already prepared her letter of resignation.
independent.co.uk, dw.com (Homs), reuters.com (UN)

UN approves new North Korea sanctions: The United Nations Security Council voted unanimously Saturday to impose new sanctions on North Korea over the country’s long-range missile tests last month. The US-drafted proposal passed the Security Council 15-0, securing support from North Korean allies China and Russia. The measure cuts about 1 billion dollar worth of North Korean exports, or about a third of the country’s export revenue each year. China expressed confidence that the sanctions would help bring North Korea to the negotiating table to end its push for nuclear weapons and ballistic missiles.
npr.org, bloomberg.com

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Pence slams report he’s planning for a presidential bid: US Vice President Mike Pence sought to bat down a report from „The New York Times“ on Sunday that said he would plan to run for president should President Donald Trump not seek a second term. Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said on Sunday he believed his US colleagues were ready to continue dialogue with Moscow on complex issues despite bilateral tensions. Lavrov, who met US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson on the sidelines of an international gathering in Manila, said the first thing that Tillerson asked about was Russia’s retaliation to new US sanctions against Moscow. Senior White House adviser Kellyanne Conway refused on Sunday to say if Trump will commit to not firing Robert Mueller, the special counsel investigating links between Trump aides and Russia who has empanelled a grand jury in Washington.
cnn.com (Pence), reuters.com (Lavrov), theguardian.com

Mogherini: Iranian politicians censured after dashing to take selfies with EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs telegraph.co.uk
Diesel scandal: EU reviews quota for electric cars handelsblatt.com
Maduro: Venezuela quells attack on military base, two killed reuters.com
Media: Israel moves to shut down local operations of Al Jazeera reuters.com

⊂ QUOTES ⊃

To be honest, I verbalized what many others are thinking and what has already quietly been part of our Realpolitik for a long time.
The leader of the German Free Democrats Christian Lindner caused an uproar by calling for the Russian annexation of Crimea to be considered a permanent provisional solution.
politico.eu

⊂ COUNTRIES ⊃

Terrorism probe into knife-wielding man at Eiffel Tower: French prosecutors launched a terrorism investigation after a man wielding a knife and shouting the Arabic phrase „Allahu Akbar“ tried to force his way in to the Eiffel Tower in Paris on Saturday night, a judicial source said. The man was very quickly overpowered and arrested and no-one was hurt, the company that runs the landmark said. After the arrest, police evacuated the tower. Over 170,000 people have signed a petition against the wife of French President Emmanuel Macron being given a formal position as the country’s First Lady. This comes amid a rapid decline in the president’s popularity.
reuters.com, bbc.com, dw.com (Macron)

Belgium admits it knew about contaminated Dutch eggs: Belgium has admitted it knew in June that eggs from a Dutch farm might have been contaminated with an insecticide a month before it became public knowledge. The country’s food safety agency said in a statement that the information was not shared because of a fraud investigation. The spokeswoman said she could not provide further information as Belgian law prohibits commenting on judicial investigations. The agency said it first learned of the issue at the start of June when a poultry company alerted them that they had found elevated levels of the insecticide Fipronil in its products.
independent.co.uk

Lower Saxony premier says VW vetted Dieselgate speech: The government of Germany’s Lower Saxony on Sunday denied a newspaper report that its premier softened speeches critical of Volkswagen in the diesel emissions scandal at the company’s request. However, Stephan Weil’s office has confirmed that the state premier sent the speech to VW’s chief lobbyist and lawyers for vetting before he delivered it. According to Weil’s office, with US lawsuits pending, he wanted to ensure that no legally or factually inaccurate statements were made. A VW employee reportedly told „Bild“ that Volkswagen rewrote and watered down Weil’s October 2015 speech to the state legislature about the company’s dangerous diesel fraud.
dw.com, cnbc.com

British woman drugged and kidnapped in Italy: A British model has described how she was drugged, handcuffed, gagged and put in a bag in the boot of a car by kidnappers who then tried to to sell her as a sex slave in an online auction. Lukasz Pawel Herba, a Polish national who lives in the UK, has been arrested by police and confessed to the kidnapping which investigators described as an elaborate plot that involved months of planning. His home in Oldbury, in the West Midlands, has been raided by British officers.
telegraph.co.uk

Dublin rules: Deportations from Germany to Greece resume welt.de
Germany: Lindner says Berlin should accept Crimean annexation as permanent provisional solution politico.eu
Ukraine: Techno band’s Crimea concert angers Ukraine dw.com

⊂ 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 ⊃

Putin goes fishing: Russian President Vladimir Putin has gone spearfishing in southern Siberia’s mountains, the latest outdoor exploit for the adventure-loving Russian leader. Video released Saturday by Russian state television showed Putin steering an inflatable boat and fishing bare-chested with a rod, accompanied by Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu and other officials. Putin has frequently offered macho images of his sporting life, which has included flying combat jets, riding horses, scuba diving and riding a horse bare-chested. A longtime judo master, he now regularly plays ice hockey.
latimes.com

 

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