EU to Create Their Own Magnitsky Act – Will Russia Be the First Violator?

The European Union (EU) announced the beginning of the development of a Human Rights sanctions regime that would be similar to the Magnitsky Act in the US. The announcement came after a meeting with 28 nation representatives in Brussels. The proposal originally came from the European Stability Initative, and the Norwegian Helsinki Committee at the end of 2018.

What Will Happen to the START Nuclear Arms Reduction Treaty? If Russia and US Do Not Find Compromise, Will the Cold War Return with a Vengeance?

On February 5, 2021, the treaty between the US and the Russian Federation on Measures for the Further Reduction and Limitation of Strategic Offensive Arms will expire. The agreement was last updated in 2010. The formal name of the treaty is START and it is a nuclear arms reduction treaty. According to the  terms of the START treaty, each side will reduce its strategic offensive arms while the total quantities do not exceed 700 units deployed.

Putin’s Russia Drops Key Part of Geneva Convention – Does This Mean War with No Rules?

This month, Russia’s Gosduma approved the withdrawal from the declaration that the Soviet Union made upon ratification of the Additional Protocol to the Geneva Conventions of August 12, 1949, concerning the protection of victims of international armed conflicts. Last month, Russian president Vladimir Putin asked the Russian government to approve the withdrawal.  Of course, in Putin’s Russia the Gosduma immediately agreed to pass it into law.

6.4 Magnitude Earthquake in Albania Leaves 13 Dead, Hundreds Injured

At least thirteen people have been killed and more than two hundred others left nursing serious injuries after a 6.4-magnitude earthquake struck Albania, bringing down buildings, killing people, and leaving others trapped in the rubble. The nation’s authorities have said that the Tuesday quake is the worst to hit the country in the last four decades.

Merkel Meets with Plenkovic, Promises Turkey New Aid for Syrian Refugees

German Chancellor Angеlа Mеrkеl on Wednesday рrоmіѕеd Turkеу nеw aid tо саrе fоr Syrian rеfugееѕ. Following a mееtіng wіth Croatian Prіmе Minister Andrej Plenković, Mеrkеl ѕаіd in Zаgrеb said that іf nесеѕѕаrу, new аѕѕіѕtаnсе wоuld bе рrоvіdеd tо Turkey for іtѕ many tаѕkѕ оf ѕhеltеrіng 3.5 mіllіоn реорlе.

China’s Domination of Raw Materials Export – Can the EU Find an Alternative Source?

The European Union (EU) members will hold discussions on the November 19 in Brussels, Belgium on measures needed to stop China’s domination in the area of rare earth elements and other critical resources. The issue is relevant due to the US-China trade war and security issues. It does not help that Russia recently decided to send over 82 tones of monazite to China in the near future. Monazite is a reddish-brown phosphate mineral containing rare earth metals.

Bang! Russia Announces New Tokamak Prototype Near Completion – Part of Largest World Fusion Experiment

Russia just announced near completion of its own new tokamak prototype. Russia is one of the nations involved in the ITER experiment, the world’s largest fusion experiment. Each nation involved in the project has to have its own tokamak. The tokamak is one of several types of magnetic confinement devices being developed to produce controlled thermonuclear fusion power.

“You? Really?” Zarif Blasts EU in Tuesday Tweetstorm

In rеѕроnѕе tо a ѕtаtеmеnt bу thе Eurореаn Unіоn, urging Iran to stick to their commitments under the Iran Nuclear Deal, Iran’s Foreign Minister ассuѕеd France, Britain, and Germany оf fаіlіng tо соmрlу wіth their оblіgаtіоnѕMоhаmmаd Jаvаd Zаrіf ассuѕеd them оf “kіllіng tіmе,” аnd оf fаіlіng tо meet thеіr оblіgаtіоnѕ undеr thе ѕо-саllеd nuсlеаr dеаl.

Guinea-Bissau: UN Says Elections Imperative, Calls for Support

United Nations Security Council considers it “imperative” that presidential elections be held in Guinea-Bissau as scheduled, and calls on the international community to provide technical and financial support. “The members of the Security Council reiterated the imperative need for the presidential election to be held on 24 November 2019, in accordance with the established electoral calendar, and reminded political actors that all efforts should be made to ensure the election is inclusive, credible, fair and peaceful with the effective participation of women and youth candidates.”

Brexit: EU and UK Agree on New Deal

The European Union and the UK negotiating teams have reached an agreement for Britain to leave the EU at a meeting in Brussels. “We’ve got a great new deal that takes back control— now Parliament should get Brexit done on Saturday so we can move on to other priorities like the cost of living, the NHS, violent crime, and our environment,”  Prime Minister Boris Johnson said in a tweet.

Europe Recorded “412,000 Premature Deaths” from Air Pollution

Air pollution caused 412,000 premature deaths in 41 European countries in 2016, 2% less than the previous year, according to a report by the European Environment Agency (EEA). The last report was published today Wednesday on the agency’s official website. The EEA argues that binding regulations and local measures have had positive effects on air quality, and although records may change from year to year due to weather variations, the figure is consistent with the data since 1990, with a reduction of half a million deaths.

New EU Beyond-Line-of-Sight Land Battlefield Project Underway

A beyond-line-of-sight land battlefield missile project has been signed by the ministers of defense of Belgium, Cyprus and France. The purpose of the project is to create a new category of missiles for integration with an extensive variety of platforms (ground-to-ground and air-to-ground) and to provide integrated and autonomous target designation capability as per the project description.

Johnson Tells EU He has No Intention of Postponing Brexit

The debate in the UK was re-heated when Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced today that he would tell European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker that he wants to reach an agreement on Brexit, but he does not intend to postpone the October 31 deadline for Brexit. Political commentators began to ask whether Johnson’s remarks meant that he would not recognize the law adopted by Parliament. Last week, the Parliament passed a law asking Johnson to postpone Brexit for three months if an agreement could not be reached by October 19th.

Pompeo: Iran’s Latest Reduction in Nuclear Deal Commitments “Unacceptable”

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said on Friday that the US is determined to continue its policy against Iran even though Donald Trump has repeatedly stated his readiness to meet with Iranian officials without preconditions. “They announced just yesterday that they’re going to continue to do more research and development on their nuclear weapon systems. Those things are unacceptable,” Pompeo said.

Brexit Cold Hard Facts – The Pros and Cons

Brexit is the withdrawal of the United Kingdom from the European Union, after the referendum held on 23 June 2016.  The HBO documentary Brexit depicts the behind the scenes experience of the referendum. The UK is a constitutional monarchy with a parliamentary system of governance that is based off of the Westminster system. Executive power rests in the hands of Her Majesty’s Government, the prime minister and the cabinet who are all members of the Privy Council. Legislative power is held within the bicameral parliament, the House of Commons and the House of Lords, the former being elected and the later appointed.

Brexit Chaos? Rising Costs, Food Shortages Predicted Once Britain Leaves the EU

Leaked British government documents say the UK could encounter a shortage of fuel, food, and medicine if they leave the European Union without an agreement in October. The documents, published in the Sunday Times, reveal predictions of chaos in the UK, and the return of roadblocks on the border between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland, which could fuel protests.

EU Warns Hong Kong Ahead of ‘Million March’

Protests continue in Hong Kong after ten weeks and could swell to a “million march” on Sunday. The EU has warned the Hong Kong government not to undermine the legal rights of protesting citizens. While China has not ruled out military intervention in Hong Kong, protests continue in the former British colony against local government and Beijing’s interference in domestic affairs.

British Prime Minister Announces Investments of 329 Million Euros in Scotland

British Prime Minister, Boris Johnson on Monday doubled an offensive to boost his Brexit goals. On the one part, he announced an investment plan of 300 million pounds (329 million euros) in Scotland, a territory mostly contrary to an EU exit, especially without a pact. On the other hand, the conservative leader’s office sent a harsh message to the EU, warning that Johnson will not negotiate with Brussels if the safeguard included in the exit agreement is not withdrawn before avoiding a hard border in Ireland.

No-deal Brexit: London Accelerates Preparations of an EU Exit Without Agreement

The new British Government “is working with the assumption of a Brexit without agreement,” reiterated Michael Gove, responsible for exploring, if possible, a negotiation with Brussels but, above all, supervising the preparations for an exit from the EU. This was stated by the Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, during his inauguration and his deputy has ratified it in a platform published  in The Sunday Times: “The no-deal (no agreement)  is now a very real perspective.”

Boris Johnson a Step Away From Becoming Britain’s Prime Minister

Turbulent months are expected in the European Union (EU) with Great Britain. It is likely that the day after tomorrow, Boris Johnson will become the new British prime minister, and with his coming to power there is a complicated panorama for the bloc: a Brexit without agreement or a new postponement.

Conservatives who govern Britain will announce tomorrow who will be the new party leader, replacing Theresa May. The chosen one will automatically become prime minister the next day. A little more than three months later, on October 31, Britain is expected to leave the European Union (EU).

As U.S.-Iran Tensions Mount, Europe Tries to Save the Deal

Amid ongoing saber rattling between the United States and Iran, two European envoys have been dispatched to attempt to save the Iran Nuclear Deal.  Emmanuel Bonne, representing French President Emmanuel Macron, was in Tehran this week, and British Foreign Minister (and Prime Ministerial candidate) Jeremy Hunt is headed for Brussels.  Meanwhile, Iran says it’s ready to talk, conditionally.  It seems unlikely the United States will be as willing to listen.

France Approves Digital Tax on Google and Facebook

France’s parliament approved legislation to impose a three-percent tax on Internet and technology companies like Google and Facebook to re-establishing financial justice, says Justice Minister Bruno Le Mayer. The 3% tax will be levied on the sales of multinational companies in France. The French Senate passed a new tax on Thursday, one week after the National Assembly approved it.

Ecotax: France Wants to Make Airline Tickets Up to 18 Euros More Expensive

Airline tickets in France will become more expensive in the future and such revenue will be invested in rail infrastructure. This eco-tax applies from 2020, but certain air connections are excluded.

France will introduce an eco-tax on airline tickets from next year. The tax will be 1.50 € and 18 € per ticket, Transport Minister Elisabeth Borne announced. The government expects a revenue of more than 180 million euros annually.

Europe’s Top Job: Ursula von der Leyen a Compromise Commission Candidate Nobody Likes

You’d think Germans would be excited, maybe even a little patriotic, with the announcement that one of their own would become President of the European Commission, for the first time in fifty years.  The first woman ever to head the Commission might also be an event worth celebrating.  Instead, after marathon talks, following less-than-conclusive parliamentary elections, many Germans have been left wondering, “what was the point of all that?”  Ursula von der Leyen’s face was nowhere to be seen in the posters plastered throughout Germany amidst the campaign for Europe’s top job.  “Who needs a Spitzenkandidat,” (top candidate) one wonders, “when you can have a Homecoming Queen?

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