⊂ EUROPE ⊃
US partially evacuates embassy in Iraq: The United States on Wednesday ordered all nonessential government staff to leave Iraq in the latest sign of tensions sweeping the Persian Gulf region over still-unspecified threats that the Trump administration says are linked to Iran. The State Department announced in a statement that non-emergency employees at the US Embassy in Baghdad and the US Consulate in Erbil were being ordered to leave, and that normal visa services would be temporarily suspended at both posts. US citizens had already been warned against travelling to the country and were advised on Wednesday to depart Iraq by commercial transportation as soon as possible. Germany and the Netherlands both suspended their military assistance programmes in the country. There was generally heightened alert, awareness for soldiers currently operating in the region, a German ministry spokesman said. Iran is officially ending one of its key commitments to the 2015 nuclear deal, local media reported Wednesday, citing a senior official at the country’s Atomic Energy Agency. German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas has warned of the implications of escalating tensions between the US and Iran. He said the collapse of the Iran nuclear deal would have far-reaching consequences for Germany and Europe as well as for the Middle East.
time.com, cnn.com, dw.com, cnbc.com, dw.com
Facebook tightens live-stream rules following Christchurch attack: Facebook is tightening restrictions on its live-streaming feature in the wake of the horrific mass shooting in Christchurch, New Zealand, which was livestreamed on Facebook by the alleged gunman. On Wednesday, French President Emmanuel Macron, New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern, as well as other leaders and high-profile executives from Google, Facebook and Twitter endorsed non-binding commitments — dubbed the “Christchurch Call” — aimed at curbing the spread of terrorist material on the web. The announcement came amid growing calls from politicians worldwide for social media companies to do more to tackle the hate speech, disinformation and terrorist material that now proliferates online. But amid mounting demands for new legislation, policymakers, tech executives and freedom of speech campaigners have yet to decide how best to protect people online while not harming their right to freedom of speech.
European election: Migration and Trump on the menu as EU candidates face off apnews.com
Alliance of Liberals and Democrats (ALDE): Why centrists in the EU Parliament are prepared to drop the term “liberal” euractiv.com
⊂ QUOTES ⊃
“I think this criticism of the European Union is completely out of line.”
EU Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker has criticised Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz for his comments about an alleged over-bureaucratisation of the EU Commission.
⊂ COUNTRIES ⊃
Germany sees Syria as unsafe for asylum seekers: Syrian asylum seekers in Germany can breathe a sigh of relief as it emerged that the assessment of their applications will not change until the situation in Syria improves. The Federal Office for Migration and Refugees (Bamf) will maintain current procedures regarding their right to stay in Germany, Interior Minister Horst Seehofer said Wednesday. However, the situation will continue to be monitored and is subject to future revisions. There had been reports that the interior ministry would deny temporary protection to some Syrians based on an assessment suggesting parts of the country as free of conflict. Many Syrians receive subsidiary protection — a form of temporary protection lower than refugee or asylum status for people at risk of serious harm in their home countries.
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Greece: Government offers tax breaks, pension bonus uk.reuters.com
Poland: Polish ambassador to Israel, Marek Magierowski, assaulted in Tel Aviv foxnews.com
Czech Republic: Culture Minister Stanek resigns deutschlandfunk.de
Croatia: Reporters allegedly filmed illegal deportations welt.de
⊂ 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 ⊃
Heiress downplays forced labour use during Holocaust: The Bahlsen biscuit empire heiress, Verena Bahlsen, sparked outrage after claiming forced workers were “well-treated” during World War II. Her comments caused an uproar worldwide, and especially in Germany, where commemorative culture is a highly sensitive issue. During the Nazi era, an estimated 13 million people were coerced to work for the Third Reich. Forced labourers included displaced civilians from occupied Europe, prisoners of war and concentration camp prisoners. Already in the year 2000, some 60 Eastern European individuals who had performed forced labour for the company filed a lawsuit against Bahlsen. Between 1941 and 1945, it is believed that up to 200 people, mostly Ukrainian women, were forced to work in Bahlsen’s Hannover factory.