Monday, February 18th 2019: Trump calls on Europe to take back Isis fighters, May to speak to every EU head, France to investigate antisemitic insults


Trump calls on Europe to take back Isis fighters: US President Donald Trump on Saturday urged European allies to repatriate hundreds of foreign „Islamic State“ fighters captured by US-backed Syrian Kurdish forces. Trump’s threat to release 800 Isis fighters unless European allies agree to accept them, characteristically in a tweet, drew confusion and some outrage from European officials and security experts gathered Sunday at the annual Munich Security Conference in Germany. Spanish Foreign Minister Josep Borrell was among the European officials to quickly say they had no intention of meeting Trump’s demand for additional troops. Denmark and the UK also rejected Trump’s request. The German Foreign Ministry has said it is unable to provide consular assistance to German detainees in Syria due to the security situation and absence of diplomatic ties with Damascus.,

May to speak to every EU head: British Prime Minister Theresa May plans to speak to every European Union leader to seek changes to her EU withdrawal agreement, days after another defeat from her own lawmakers and as businesses brace for a no-deal Brexit. In a letter to her party’s lawmakers, May said she’s planning to meet with European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker and speak to the leader of every EU member state in the days ahead. Gaining headway in Brussels will depend largely on whether she can show a united front at home. Unless May can get a Brexit deal approved by the British parliament, she will have to decide whether to delay Brexit or thrust the world’s fifth-largest economy into chaos by leaving without a deal at the end of March. British regional airline Flybmi announced Saturday it has ceased operations and filed for administration, citing among other things uncertainty caused by Brexit.,, (Airline)

Asylum seekers use visa-free travel rights to enter EU legally: An increased number of refugees are coming into the European Union via regular channels, utilizing their right to visa-free travel to enter the bloc and apply for asylum, according to a report by the EU asylum agency (EASO) cited by the German publisher Funke Mediengruppe on Sunday. The report indicates one in five asylum seekers is able to arrive in the EU without a visa and then move throughout the Schengen zone. Many of these would-be refugees are from Latin American and West Balkan countries. A significant number of asylum applications also came from Venezuelans, who are allowed to enter the EU without getting a visa beforehand.

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EU to blacklist Russians over Azov Sea stand-off: The EU will blacklist eight more Russians over a stand-off with Ukraine in the Azov Sea. EU foreign ministers will discuss this Monday further EU support for Ukraine, especially the south-eastern regions most affected by the conflict. Russia annexed the Black Sea peninsula of Crimea from Kiev in 2014 and backed separatist rebels in Donetsk and Luhansk industrial regions. Two diplomatic sources told „Reuters“ the EU would add the names of eight more Russians directly involved in the incident to its list of people and entities subject to EU travel bans and asset freezes for their role in the turmoil in Ukraine.


Then it is not a backstop any more. We agreed that there will be an Irish backstop. It can’t be changed.
Estonian President Kersti Kaljulaid said there can be no changes to the Irish backstop, an arrangement to avoid a hard border between Ireland and Northern Ireland after Brexit.


France to investigate antisemitic insults at „Yellow Vest“ protest: Paris prosecutors have opened an investigation into antisemitic insults against a noted philosopher on the sidelines of a „Yellow Vest“ demonstration in Paris. A band of men taunted philosopher Alain Finkielkraut on the sidelines of the protest through the French capital on Saturday. “Go back to Tel Aviv,” ”Zionist,” and “France is our land” were among the insults captured on video. The Paris prosecutor’s office said the investigation was being conducted into public insult based on origin, ethnicity, nationality, race or religion. Finkielkraut received police protection after protesters started insulting him on the street. In an interview with „Le Journal Du Dimanche“, Finkielkraut said he “felt an absolute hatred“ from those shouting the insults and said he would have been afraid if the police had not been there. French President Emmanuel Macron condemned the protesters for shouting antisemitic slogans and insults.,

British Isis bride pleads to return to UK: A 19-year old woman who traveled to Syria to join „Islamic State“ (Isis) has called on people in the UK to have sympathy for her, the day after giving birth to a boy in a refugee camp. Her family’s lawyer said news of the birth had changed the dynamics of the situation and increased pressure on the government to let the woman, and now her child, back. But British Home Secretary Sajid Javid said he would not hesitate to block her return. Speaking on the BBC’s „The Andrew Marr Show“, Culture Secretary Jeremy Wright said the nationality of her child was not straightforward. He said there were concerns about her health and the health of her baby, but that, if she did return to the UK she would have to answer for her actions.

Polish PM cancels trip to Israel after Netanyahu’s Holocaust comment: Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki canceled plans to travel to a summit in Israel over remarks by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu about the role of Poles in the Holocaust. Poland will instead be represented at the summit by Foreign Minister Jacek Czaputowicz. The meeting, hosted by Israel, is of the Visegrad Group that represents the Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland and Slovakia. Netanyahu was quoted in Israeli media as saying „Poles co-operated with the Germans“ during the Holocaust. Poland responded by summoning the Israeli ambassador and announcing Morawiecki would not attend the summit. Both Netanyahu and the newspaper that quoted him quickly issued a clarification, saying Netanyahu had been misquoted.,

Catalan separatists protest in Barcelona: Around 200,000 people waving pro-independence flags and holding pictures of jailed Catalan separatist leaders took to the streets of Barcelona on Saturday to call for self-determination for the northeastern Spanish region. The trial of 12 separatist leaders, at Madrid’s Supreme Court, follows Catalonia’s independence referendum and failed attempt to secede from Spain in October 2017. Spain’s public prosecutor is seeking prison terms of up to 25 years on charges of rebellion and misuse of public funds for their role in Catalonia’s failed 2017 break away from Spain. If convicted, some of the leaders could face up to 25 years in prison.,

Germany: Car industry warns US over auto tariffs

⊂ JOB-BOARD ⊃ Alfa Fellowship Program seeks Young German, British, and American Leaders *** FTA seeks Regulatory Affairs Advisor (m/f) *** Bayer seeks Trainee (m/f) *** ISN seeks Advocacy Officer (m/f) *** Politico seeks Lobbying Reporter (m/f) *** EGEC seeks Trainee (m/f) *** Facebook seeks Public Policy Manager (m/f) *** Google seeks Public Policy and Government Relations Manager (m/f) *** DEKRA offers Internship (m/f) *** European Friends of Amernia seeks Communications and Media Engagement Officer (m/f) *** International Crisis Group seeks Analyst (m/f), (Inserat schalten)


Carnival in Venice: Thousands of people from all over the world visited Venice over the weekend, as the Italian city kicked off its carnival season with the traditional opening water parade on the Cannaregio Canal. This year’s moon-themed floating parade saw a variety of dance, acrobatic and fire performances animate the canal onboard small boats and rafts, and featured at its centre a giant moon balloon carrying a caravel, a small sailing ship dating back to the 15th century.



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