Tuesday, 09 October 2018: Brexiteers set limit for May’s trade deal with EU, Council of Europe honours jailed activist, Greek court orders inquiry into use of EU funds


Brexiteers set limit for May’s trade deal with EU: Brexiteers warned British Prime Minister Theresa May on Sunday that she could keep Britain within EU customs arrangements until 2022, “The Times” reported on Monday. May hopes to unlock talks that have become stuck over the so-called Irish backstop. The newspaper added that leading Conservative Leave figures said they were prepared to give May room for manoeuvre but that any extension could run only until the next election in 2022. Business leaders, meanwhile, called for politicians to focus on getting a Brexit deal.
reuters.com, yahoo.com

Council of Europe honours jailed activist: The sixth Vaclav Havel Human Rights Prize – which honours outstanding civil society action in defence of human rights – was awarded to Chechen activist Oyub Titiev on Monday. The prize was handed out in absentia by the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE), as Titiev has been imprisoned since January. Titiev is the head of the Memorial Human Rights Centre in Grozny, the capital of Chechnya. He was arrested for drug possession after police said they found marijuana in his car during a routine check. In the statement, he denied the allegation and accused the officer of planting the drugs in his car. Other activists and opposition politicians from within Russia, as well as international NGOs like Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International, have criticised Titiev’s detention as politically motivated.
coe.int, dw.com

Erdogan demands Saudis prove missing critic left consulate: Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has demanded proof from Saudi Arabia that Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi, who was last seen entering its consulate in Istanbul, left the building alive. Turkey asked Saudi Arabia on Monday for permission to search the consulate, after saying that Khashoggi had been murdered within its walls. A Turkish official also said Saudi Arabia’s envoy to Ankara had been summoned to the foreign ministry for a second time on Sunday. Saudi Arabia has denied the claims. US President Donald Trump expressed concern about Khashoggi’s fate. Yemeni journalist and Nobel Peace Prize winner Tawakkol Karman accused Saudi Arabia of state terrorism and called on the international community to take action against the kingdom.
bloomberg.com, bbc.com, cnbc.com, abcnews.com

China accuses Interpol chief of bribery: The detained Chinese head of Interpol, Meng Hongwei, is being investigated for alleged bribe-taking, Chinese authorities have announced. In a brief statement, China’s National Supervisory Commission said Meng is suspected of violating the law, but gave no further details. Meng was first reported missing in late September after travelling from Interpol HQ in France to China. Beijing confirmed Sunday that Meng, who also serves as a deputy minister of public security in China, had resigned as Interpol president and was being held in China. Interpol confirmed it has received Meng’s resignation with immediate effect.
bbc.com, politico.eu

Climate change: IPCC climate change report calls for urgent action to phase out fossil fuels theguardian.com
European Stability Mechanism: No majority for euro reform, according to assessment handelsblatt.com
Study: Agroecology can feed Europe pesticide-free in 2050 euractiv.com


Limiting warming to 1.5ºC is possible within the laws of chemistry and physics but doing so would require unprecedented changes.
Jim Skea, co-chair of one of the working groups of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), said that it’s not too late to act when it comes to climate change.


Greek court orders inquiry into use of EU funds: Greece’s Supreme Court has ordered an inquiry into the handling of EU funds intended to help the country deal with the million migrants who arrived on its shores in 2015 and 2016. Andreas Iliopoulos, the head of refugee intake operations, was among the sources of the allegations. Iliopoulos’ account was challenged by his superior, Migration Minister Dimitris Vitsas, who called for Iliopoulous to resign. Vitsas said Greece had received €570 million in emergency aid. Aid groups and organisations such as the UNHCR received 68% of the funds and the rest went to the government including the Defence Ministry, which was responsible for setting up about 40 migrant camps.

Sarkozy loses first appeal over corruption trial: Former French President Nicolas Sarkozy on Monday lost a first appeal against facing trial over influence peddling and corruption charges and must await a second appeal before knowing if he will be sent to court, the Paris prosecutor’s office said. Sarkozy, who was president from 2007 to 2012, is suspected of helping a prosecutor get promoted in return for leaked information about a separate criminal inquiry. It was unclear when the next appeal decision would come.

Russia summons Dutch ambassador over hacking allegations: Russian officials on Monday dismissed claims of the United Kingdom and Netherlands that it had engaged in hacking operations in the West. Russia has summoned the Dutch ambassador to protest after the Netherlands exposed Moscow’s attempts to hack into the computers of the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons. Russia’s foreign minister Sergei Lavrov said on Monday the four men accused by the Dutch of spying were on a “routine trip” to the Hague when they were detained and told to leave.
politico.eu, theguardian.com

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EU urges Bulgaria to find journalist’s killers: The EU Commission has urged Bulgarian authorities to bring to justice those responsible for the brutal killing of the journalist Viktoria Marinova, who had been reporting on alleged corruption in Bulgaria. The EU’s anti-fraud agency last month began looking into allegations of misuse of EU funds in the country, the same issue being explored by Marinova. Commission Vice-President Frans Timmermans said he was shocked by the horrendous murder of Marinova. In a tweet, he called for those responsible to be brought to justice immediately by the Bulgarian authorities. Marinova’s last televised report was about the work of investigative journalists looking into alleged large-scale corruption involving EU funds by a group of companies. Marinova had been planning a reporting trip to learn more about the allegations.
theguardian.com, politico.eu

Italy: Salvini says Moscovici, Juncker are real enemies of Europe reuters.com
Hungary: Warm welcome for Turkish President Erdogan yahoo.com
Mediterranean Sea: Fuel spill in Mediterranean after ships collide near Corsica washingtonpost.com


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)


Juncker’s dance moves get a laugh: EU Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker did a little dance move before a speech on Monday, raising a laugh in Brussels as he appeared to mimic British Prime Minister Theresa May. She had sashayed on stage last week to the sound of Abba’s “Dancing Queen” – a self-mocking gag about a recent trip to South Africa where May had danced with schoolchildren. The EU Commission’s chief spokesman, however, said Monday that Juncker did not make fun of May with his dance.
reuters.com, politico.eu


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