French break-up a blow to Biden’s China-focused alliance rebuilding: analysis

By Humeyra Pamuk and David Brunnstrom WASHINGTON (Reuters) – European capitals celebrated a visit by U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken in June, as President Joe Biden’s top diplomat cracked jokes in French in Paris, posed for selfies with French youth and spoke at length about revitalizing the transatlantic relationship. It was a breath of […]

Pope laments Europe’s fractures between individual rights and common good

By Philip Pullella and Robert Muller BRATISLAVA (Reuters) – Pope Francis warned against too much focus on individual rights and culture wars at the expense of the common good on Monday during a visit to Slovakia amid increased nationalism and anti-immigrant sentiment across eastern Europe. The 84-year-old Francis is making his first trip since undergoing […]

Top EU court says headscarves can be banned at work under certain conditions

BRUSSELS (Reuters) – Companies may ban Muslim employees from wearing a headscarf under certain conditions, the European Union’s top court said on Thursday, in two cases brought by Muslim women in Germany who were suspended from their jobs after they started wearing the Islamic garment. “A prohibition on wearing any visible form of expression of […]

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Biden, Putin face off in tense Geneva summit

Joe Biden and Vladimir Putin face off Wednesday at a tense Geneva summit, where ghosts of the Cold War will hover over modern-day US concerns about Russian cyberattacks and what the White House sees as a dangerous authoritarian drift. The setting — a sumptuous villa overlooking Lake Geneva — may be picturesque, but a gruelling […]

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China urges NATO to stop exaggerating ‘China threat theory’

BEIJING (Reuters) -China’s mission to the European Union urged NATO on Tuesday to stop exaggerating the “China threat theory” after the group’s leaders warned that the country presented “systemic challenges”. NATO leaders on Monday had taken a forceful stance towards Beijing in a communique at United States President Joe Biden’s first summit with the alliance. […]

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Watchdog shines light on big pharma’s ‘fierce’ EU lobbying campaign against vaccine patent waiver

To preserve its stranglehold over global vaccine production, the pharmaceutical industry’s army of lobbyists is waging an aggressive campaign to prevent European nations from supporting a temporary patent waiver backed by more than 100 nations around the world and recently endorsed by the United States. Though flimsy European Union transparency rules have allowed Big Pharma […]

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Assad says Western criticism of Syria vote has ‘zero value’

Syria’s Bashar al-Assad said Western criticism of Wednesday’s presidential election has “zero value” as he cast his ballot in a Damascus suburb. Commenting on US and EU criticism branding the vote “neither free nor fair,” Assad said: “Your opinions have zero value”, an AFP journalist reported. Voting is being held only in government-controlled areas and […]

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Biden-Putin to hold first summit in Geneva

US President Joe Biden and Russia’s President Vladimir Putin will hold their first summit next month in Geneva, both sides said Tuesday, setting the stage for a new chapter in their fraught relationship. The meeting in the Swiss city will be on June 16, White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki said. “The leaders will discuss […]

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Airlines shun Belarus, opposition leader says journalist tortured

By Matthias Williams and Andrius Sytas KYIV/VILNIUS (Reuters) – Airlines shunned Belarus’s air space on Tuesday and Belarusian planes could soon be banned from Europe, potentially isolating the land-locked country apart from its border with Russia after it forced down a jetliner and arrested a dissident journalist. A video released overnight showed 26-year-old Roman Protasevich […]

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A history of British political sleaze – and why we should worry about the Johnson government

At the beginning of the 19th century, aristocratic networks connected to the monarchy and the Tory party had effectively “captured” the institutions of the state and exploited them for their own advantage. Britain was blighted by people in official positions without duties, embezzlement of public funds, jobs for family, clients and friends, rampant over-manning and […]

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Russia slams US proposal for ‘summit for democracy’

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov on Friday attacked a US proposal to hold a “Summit for Democracy,” saying such a gathering would only deepen fissures on the international stage. Speaking in a UN ministerial session organized by his Chinese counterpart Wang Yi, the veteran Russian diplomat said that developing multilateralism should “be done on a […]

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UK’s Boris Johnson faces more questions over personal spending

By Guy Faulconbridge LONDON (Reuters) -British Prime Minister Boris Johnson faced more allegations on Sunday about his expenditure on the refurbishment of his apartment and on childcare for his young son, which his foreign minister dismissed as baseless gossip. Johnson has repeatedly weathered gaffes, crises over Brexit and disclosures of his adultery, but the revelation […]

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Biden’s EU trade dilemma: More pain for Harley, distillers or back off metals tariffs?

By David Lawder and Rajesh Kumar Singh WASHINGTON/CHICAGO (Reuters) – The Biden administration faces a major dilemma in its dispute with the European Union over Trump-era steel and aluminum tariffs: back down to avoid acute pain for Harley-Davidson Inc and whiskey distillers or stick with the duties even though they are now exacerbating acute shortages […]

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European Parliament ratifies Brexit trade deal

European Parliament ratifies Brexit trade deal – President of the European Parliament David Sassoli announces the results of the voting on the Brexit trade deal between the European Union and Britain, during a plenary session of the European Parliament. Out of the 697 EU lawmakers who cast their vote, 660 were in favour, five were […]

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