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[Analysis] EU sanctions on Russia hurt more than it seems

EU Observer - 25 July, 2014 - 17:59
Threats, leaks, innuendoes - the creation of "market uncertainty" on Russia is "a new tool of European and US foreign policy".

EU to hit Russia with economic sanctions next week

EU Observer - 25 July, 2014 - 16:14
The EU is set to impose economic sanctions on Russia next week. Meanwhile, southern member states want the European Commission to consider any blowback effect when it assesses national deficits.

Poll: French most pessimistic about economic future

EU Observer - 25 July, 2014 - 15:57
Europeans feel a bit more positive about the EU than they did late year, a new survey shows, while the French are among the most pessimistic about their economic future.

Beating AIDS worldwide, NGOs still alarmed

EU Active - 25 July, 2014 - 15:04

According to the UN, AIDS-related deaths and further infections are on the decline worldwide. However, NGOs worry that foreign aid will be cut because of the global economic crisis. EurActiv France reports.

Estonia, Baltic states stand to suffer most from Russia sanctions

EU Active - 25 July, 2014 - 11:20

In contrast to neighbouring Ukraine, strong governance makes Estonia less vulnerable to internal challenges to stability. Yet, potential economic sanctions on Russia could have a profound impact on the Baltic state too, writes Jan Hofmeyr.

Jan Hofmeyr heads the Policy and Analysis Unit of the Cape Town-based Institute for Justice and Reconciliation.

The Baltic state of Estonia is one of the more inconspicuous members of the international community.

German politicians mull moving 2018 World Cup from Russia

EU Active - 25 July, 2014 - 10:04

Several senior German lawmakers have raised the possibility of stripping Russia of its right to host the 2018 World Cup. Germany's football association said it was very worried about events following the downing of a passenger plane over Ukraine.

Western states have blamed pro-Russian separatists battling Kyiv's forces in eastern Ukraine for the downing of the Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 on July 17 in which 298 people were killed.

[Ticker] Dutch to send unarmed police to monitor crash site

EU Observer - 25 July, 2014 - 08:29
The Netherlands is sending 40 unarmed police to the MH17 crash-site, PM Mark Rutte said Thursday. The police will accompany a 23-strong investigator team to secure scene. The Dutch are also said to be drafting a UN Security Council resolution on allowing armed police or troops to secure the crash-site.

[Ticker] Boat migrant death toll around 800

EU Observer - 25 July, 2014 - 08:28
Around 800 migrants have died this year in their attempts to cross Mediterranean by boat, prompting the UN refugee agency chief Antonio Guterres on Thursday to urge EU governments to increase rescue operations and improve asylum hosting management, reports AFP. "Europeans need to take urgent action," he said.

[Ticker] US says Russia fired artillery into Ukraine

EU Observer - 25 July, 2014 - 08:27
The US Thursday said it has evidence, based on "intelligence information", that Russia is firing artillery across the border into Ukraine. US deputy State Department spokeswoman Marie Harf said Russia intends "to deliver heavier and more powerful multiple rocket launchers" to pro-Russia rebels in eastern Ukraine.

[Ticker] France tops Google "right to be forgotten" requests

EU Observer - 25 July, 2014 - 08:27
Google told EU data protection regulators on Thursday that most of the "right to be forgotten" requests come from France, followed by Germany, UK, and Spain. More than 91,000 requests to remove search links have been made since the EU court's ruling in May, reports the BBC.

[Ticker] Ireland named in Obama attack on US firms' tax policies

EU Observer - 25 July, 2014 - 08:26
US President Obama Thursday named Ireland, which hosts many major firms due to its low corporate tax rates, in a strong speech attacking US firms for taking advantage of “technically legal” tax arrangements. Referring to companies who are suddenly "magically an Irish company" he said they were "gaming the system".

[Ticker] Ireland in talks on repaying IMF loans early

EU Observer - 25 July, 2014 - 08:26
Dublin is seeking to restructure the IMF portion of its €64 billion bailout loan repayments, reports the Irish Times. The move, which needs to be agreed by EU capitals, could save the country billions in interest payments. The IMF interest rate is over twice that on the European loans.

German, Dutch firms ready to take hit from Russia sanctions

EU Observer - 25 July, 2014 - 08:25
German and Dutch companies, so far among the most reluctant to back EU's planned Russia sanctions, are ready to take a hit from possible retaliatory measures.

GSK seeks approval for world's first malaria vaccine

EU Active - 25 July, 2014 - 08:24

GlaxoSmithKline said on Thursday (24 Jully) it is applying for regulatory approval for the world's first vaccine against malaria, designed for children in Africa.

The British drugmaker said the shot, called RTS,S, is intended exclusively for use outside the European Union but will be evaluated by the European Medicines Agency (EMA) in collaboration with the World Health Organisation (WHO).

Malaria, a mosquito-borne parasitic disease, kills more than 600,000 people a year, mainly babies in the poorest parts of sub-Saharan Africa.

Poroshenko calls for confidence vote and ‘emotions to cool down’

EU Active - 25 July, 2014 - 07:59

Ukrainian prime minister Areseny Yatsenyuk tendered his resignation yesterday (24 July), berating parliament for failing to pass legislation to take control over an increasingly precarious energy situation and to increase army financing.

Earlier yesterday, the nationalist party Svoboda and the Udar (Punch) party of former boxing champion Vitaly Klitschko left the government coalition, forcing new elections to a parliament whose make-up has not changed since before the toppling of pro-Russian President Viktor Yanukovich in February.

NATO to expand Polish base in response to Russian threat

EU Active - 25 July, 2014 - 07:55

General Philip Breedlove, NATO's top commander in Europe, has proposed that the Polish city of Szczecin expand its existing base to help the military alliance respond faster to any threat posed by Russia.

According to the Atlantic Council, a Washington-based think-tank close to NATO, Britain and other NATO allies backing the general’s plans to place supplies — weapons, ammunition and ration packs — at a new headquarters in eastern Europe, to enable a sudden influx of thousands of NATO troops to be ready for action in the event of a crisis.

EU executive proposes 9-month delay to bank buffer plan

EU Active - 25 July, 2014 - 07:46

European Union rules forcing banks to hold a buffer of cash and top quality debt to withstand market shocks will be delayed by nine months, the bloc's executive body has proposed.

The so-called liquidity coverage ratio (LCR) is part of a global deal known as Basel III to beef up banks' resilience so they do not have to rely on taxpayers again as they did in the 2007-09 financial crisis.

UN official: Yemen could be 'first country to run out of water'

EU Active - 25 July, 2014 - 07:36

Since the political crisis erupted in Yemen in 2011, the country has begun to move towards democracy. Many challenges remain in the country, wracked by civil unrest and widespread water and food insecurity, says Bishow Parajuli, the UN World Food Programme's representative in Yemen.

Over half of Yemenis may need humanitarian aid, UN says

EU Active - 25 July, 2014 - 07:29

About 14.7 million people in Yemen may be in need of some form of humanitarian assistance, as outbreaks of violence continue, according to the United Nations.

Some 13.1 million people in the country are in need of access to clean water, while about 10.5 million people are deemed food insecure and 1.3 million children are either malnourished or severely malnourished, according to the UN.

France launches EU’s first digital infrastructure 'project bond'

EU Active - 25 July, 2014 - 07:26

A plan to provide superfast broadband to French rural areas will receive EU funding in the form of 'project bonds', EurActiv France reports.

It is the first project bond-funded venture in France and the first used for digital infrastructure in the EU.

The French project will upgrade ADSL and fibre-optic in sparsely populated rural areas, where setting up high-speed networks is not profitable for private operators.

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