Thursday, 18 April 2019: EU condemns US after Trump triggers Cuba sanctions, EU proposes tariffs on US products in Boeing row, France announces contest to redesign Notre Dame spire


EU condemns US after Trump triggers Cuba sanctions: The European Union has condemned the United States after US President Donald Trump triggered a law that would ramp-up sanctions against European countries doing business in Cuba. The new rule, which will likely open EU businesses up to lawsuits from America, comes amid a backdrop of US-EU trade tensions and a hardening policy in Washington against the Caribbean state. National Security Adviser John Bolton announced the policy change during a speech Wednesday in Miami, which is home to exiles and immigrants from Cuba. He also announced a tightening of travel restrictions and remittances. The EU said the move to trigger the sanctions by the US was contrary to international law and a breach of a number of treaties signed by Trump’s predecessors. The EU’s foreign affairs chief Federica Mogherini and trade chef Cecilia Malmström warned that the bloc would consider all options at its disposal to protect its legitimate interests, including action against the US at the World Trade Organisation (WTO).,

EU proposes tariffs on US products in Boeing row: The EU has proposed tariffs on some $20 billion worth of US imports in a long-running dispute over Boeing aircraft subsidies. The proposal came after the WTO said earlier this month that the US had failed to remove some Boeing subsidies. US President Donald Trump’s administration last week proposed targeting a seven-page list of EU products for tariffs, ranging from large aircraft to dairy products and wine, to counteract the harm from EU subsidies for Airbus. Brussels has responded with its own list, including agricultural produce from dried fruit to ketchup, planes, fish, tobacco, handbags, suitcases, tractors, helicopters and video game consoles. European companies must be able to compete on fair and equal terms, said EU Trade Commissioner Cecilia Malmström. Both sides have published lists of goods for consultation and both say they will wait for a WTO arbitrator to tell them how much action they should take.,

Myanmar: Thousands of prisoners freed – but not the Reuters reporters


Europe has to be loved. If you do not love it, you are not capable of love. I love Europe, long live Europe!
While giving his last plenary speech to the European Parliament, EU Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker said Europe needs more affection from those who live in the bloc.


France announces contest to redesign Notre Dame spire: France will launch an international architectural competition to redesign the roofline of Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris after a huge fire gutted the structure. French Prime Minister Edouard Philippe said the competition would give the 850-year-old building a spire suited to the techniques and challenges of the current time. He said an estimation of the cost of rebuilding the cathedral had yet to be made. He added that the five-year goal to rebuild the cathedral was obviously an immense challenge, but also a historical responsibility. French billionaires, multinationals and private citizens have so far raised €880m for the restoration of Notre Dame.,

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Suspected Isis recruiter arrested in Germany: German authorities on Wednesday arrested a man suspected of joining the “Islamic State” terorrist group in Syria and later helping send another new recruit for Isis from Germany to Syria. Federal prosecutors said the 28-year-old German national was arrested in Hamburg and is suspected of membership in a foreign terrorist organisation. He had travelled to Syria in November 2013 to join Isis and underwent military training. He returned to Germany in March 2014 and turned his attention to finding new recruits. In 2018, a total of 865 legal proceedings were initiated in Germany on the grounds of Islamic terrorism by the Federal Prosecutor’s Office.,

Greece: Parliament calls on Germany to pay WW2 reparations
Portugal: Government declares energy crisis as truckers’ strike cuts fuel supplies
Denmark: Man suspected of placing grenade in Copenhagen

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Pope tells Greta Thunberg to carry on with climate protests: Swedish climate activist Greta Thunberg met briefly with Pope Francis on Wednesday. The teenage environmentalist sat in the front row of the Pope’s general audience in St Peter’s Square when the two spoke. She carried a sign reading “Join the Climate Strike”, which she showed the Pope after he greeted her. Pope Francis and Thunberg more or less see eye to eye on climate change. Francis has urged the world to protect the environment, even writing a 2015 document on fighting climate change.,


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