⊂ EUROPE ⊃
Turkey starts offensive in Syria: Turkey launched airstrikes and fired artillery at Kurdish YPG targets in northern Syria on Wednesday. Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said the offensive would aim to eliminate threats from the Syrian Kurdish YPG militia and enable the return of Syrian refugees in Turkey after the formation of a safe zone in the area. US President Donald Trump called the Turkish offensive a bad idea. He said Turkey had committed to protecting civilians and religious minorities, and ensuring no humanitarian crisis takes place — and the US would hold them to this commitment. Trump’s decision to withdraw troops from northern Syria has drawn bipartisan opposition at home. It represents a shift in US policy that essentially abandoned the Syrian Kurdish fighters who have been America’s only allies inside Syria in the fight against Isis. German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas has urged Turkey to halt the offensive, saying the incursion would destabilise the country and risked helping a resurgence of Isis. France has called for the United Nations Security Council to meet to discuss the Turkish military operation.
cbsnews.com, euronews.com, cnn.com, reuters.com
Barnier thinks Brexit agreement is possible: The EU’s chief Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier has said a Brexit deal was very difficult but possible. Barnier reiterated that the proposal of the British government as things stood was not something the EU could accept. He said he would be available 24/7 in the coming days to try to seal a deal, which was still possible with political will. A spokesperson for the EU Commission said the EU would remain constructive even when British emotions ran high. British Brexit Secretary Stephen Barclay will meet Barnier for a working lunch in Brussels on Thursday. EU officials denied on Wednesday that Brussels was preparing a major concession to Britain to secure a Brexit deal. British Prime Minister Boris Johnson is facing a fresh rebellion in his cabinet, with a group of ministers poised to resign due to concerns that he is leading the country towards a no-deal Brexit, “The Times” newspaper reported Wednesday. A group of anti-Brexit activists have staged a protest at the EU Commission’s headquarters in Brussels.
theguardian.com, reuters.com, independent.co.uk, nytimes.com (Barnier); reuters.com (Possible resignations); washingtonpost.com (Protest)
Europe warns 5G could be hit by hackers: The EU has warned that 5G networks could be left vulnerable to attack from state-backed hackers if operators used too many parts from a single supplier. An EU risk assessment report said 5G could bring numerous new security challenges and increase the number of attacks paths that could be exploited by threat actors, in particular non-EU states or state-backed actors. While the report does not specifically mention China’s Huawei, its publication follows a campaign by the United States designed to discourage allies from using the company’s 5G equipment.
MEPs express concern over budget, climate change and Brexit negotiations: Ahead of next week’s EU Summit, MEPs called for urgent action to safeguard EU programme funding, tackle climate change and avoid a no-deal Brexit. MEPs also requested a solution on the next long-term EU investment budget and warned against disrupting EU-funded programmes. They further called for timely solutions on climate change to meet the Paris Agreement goals. On Brexit, most MEPs condemned the current blame game and the UK government’s stance and called for a solution to avoid a no-deal Brexit.
Brexit: EU Parliament President David meets Speaker of the UK House of Commons Bercow europarl.europa.eu
European Central Bank executive board: Eurogroup gives support to Fabio Panetta’s candidacy consilium.europa.eu
⊂ QUOTES ⊃
“Don’t expect the EU to pay for any of it.”
EU Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker has called on Turkey to stop its military operation in Syria and reiterated that the EU would not support the creation of a so-called safe zone.
⊂ COUNTRIES ⊃
Merkel at vigil outside Berlin’s New Synagogue: A shooting outside a synagogue in the eastern German city of Halle on Wednesday left two people dead and two injured. A far-right gunman with a live-streaming head camera had tried to storm a synagogue as congregants observed Yom Kippur. Foiled by a locked door, he killed two people outside and wounded two others. Police arrested a 27-year-old German man as a suspect in the shooting. Interior Minister Horst Seehofer has said that they are assuming antisemitism is at least one motivation for the shooting. Following the attack, Chancellor Angela Merkel took part in a vigil with Berlin’s Jewish community at a synagogue in the capital. She expressed her condolences to the families of the victims and her solidarity with Jews around the world. The attack has hit Germans in the heart, said Foreign Minister Heiko Maas. He urged a tougher fight against antisemitism. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu warned antisemitism was on the rise in Europe.
dw.com, nytimes.com, politico.eu, reuters.com, bbc.com
Nobel prize in chemistry awarded for work on lithium-ion batteries: John B Goodenough of the University of Texas at Austin, M Stanley Whittingham of Binghamton University and Akira Yoshino of Meijo University have been awarded the Nobel Prize in Chemistry for their contributions to the development of lithium-ion batteries. They will receive equal shares of the 9m Swedish kronor (830,000 euro) prize, which was announced by the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences in Stockholm on Wednesday.
Italian airline Alitalia hit by strikes: Alitalia has cancelled nearly 200 flights due to a pilots strike. The struggling airline is facing a deadline on Tuesday for the presentation of a binding takeover offer from a consortium of investors. According to media reports, German carrier Lufthansa has written to Italy’s industry ministry and Italian railways Ferrovie dello Stato to say it is still interested in Alitalia. A spokesman for Lufthansa declined to comment and reiterated the airline had always said that the Italian market was important.
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Holocaust museum in Romania: Romania’s President Klaus Iohannis has approved the creation of the country’s first Holocaust museum. It is aimed at informing the public and shedding light on the Nazi-allied regime’s role during World War II. The country had long downplayed any role in the Holocaust, but in 2004 an international panel led by Nobel Peace Prize winner Elie Wiesel estimated that between 280,000 and 380,000 Romanian and Ukrainian Jews perished from territories under Romanian administration.
Scotland: Court reserves right to ask EU for Brexit delay politico.eu
Germany and France: Merkel and Macron to meet this Sunday nytimes.com
Italy: Turkey summons ambassador over town’s honourary citizenship to PKK leader de.euronews.com
Austria: Philippa Strache to join parliament faz.net
⊂ 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 ⊃
Fake EU magazine filled with RT content: A news website claiming to be the monthly news magazine for the EU Parliament takes much of its content from the RT news outlet, according to a report from an EU task force. The name and logo of the website “EP Today” create the impression that it is directly run by the European Parliament, said EUvsDisinfo, a project of the European External Action Service’s East StratCom Task Force. It uses the name of the EU Parliament in a misleading way and without any legal authorisation.