Scrolling news:

4th Feb 2014

EU executive says corruption still widespread in the bloc

The European Commission’s first ever report on corruption in the 28-member bloc has found that graft is widespread in many nations. The report warned not enough was being done to rein in underlying conflicts of interest. The EU executive’s report … Continued

3rd Feb 2014

Ukraine’s President Viktor Yanukovych returning to work after illness

  Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych is returning to work after four days of illness. Meanwhile the EU and the US are reportedly working on an aid package for the country amid ongoing anti-government unrest.  Yanukovych was due back at work … Continued

1st Feb 2014

EU confirms date for fresh talks on Iran’s nuclear program

  EU Foreign Policy Chief Catherine Ashton has confirmed Iran nuclear talks will begin in Vienna in February. It’s hoped a deal will be struck to curb Iran’s atomic program in exchange for reduced sanctions.  Following talks with Iran’s Foreign … Continued

31st Jan 2014

Norway fund blacklists Israeli companies with settlement ties

Norway’s huge sovereign wealth fund, the world’s largest, blacklisted two Israeli companies involved in construction of settlements in East Jerusalem, the country’s finance ministry said Thursday. The ban on investing in the firms revived a three-year prohibition on them that … Continued

31st Jan 2014

Switzerland: Syrian delegations trade barbs at Geneva talks

Syria’s warring sides on Thursday got bogged down in a dispute over who was responsible for the violence in the country, as peace talks in Geneva focused on “terrorism.” While the mere fact the rivals agreed on a topic of … Continued

30th Jan 2014

Switzerland: Brahimi has low expectations for current Syria talks in Geneva

Lakhdar Brahimi has said that he does not expect substantive results from the current round of Syria talks, which are to end on Friday. Yet he does hope for a more productive second round starting about a week later. The … Continued

29th Jan 2014

45,000 boat migrants made crossings of the Mediterranean

Some 45,000 boat migrants, including thousands of children, made dangerous crossings of the Mediterranean to land in Italy and Malta in 2013, according to the International Organization for Migration (IOM). Most were fleeing wars or abuses, said the intergovernmental organization … Continued

28th Jan 2014

Ukrainian president Yanukovych to scrap divisive anti-protest laws

Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych has agreed to scrap anti-protest laws that sparked violent clashes in Kyiv. Meanwhile, opposition leader Arseniy Yatsenyuk has rejected the president’s offer to become prime minister The Ukrainian government will scrap harsh anti-protest laws that sparked … Continued

28th Jan 2014

Switzerland: Brahimi expected “no miracle” at Syria peace talks

International mediator Lakhdar Brahimi said on Monday that the Syrian parties were still discussing how women and children can leave the Old City of Homs, but that there had been no decision on allowing access for an aid convoy into … Continued

27th Jan 2014

France: Thousands stage anti-government protests in Paris

  Clashes have broken out during anti-government protests in France. Thousands of people took to the streets of Paris in a “Day of Anger” against a host of policies introduced by President Francois Hollande.  An anti-government protest in Paris ended … Continued

27th Jan 2014

Switzerland: Geneva II: Syrian foes to discuss prisoner releases

Syria’s government and opposition resumed face-to-face talks on Sunday expected to tackle humanitarian issues including opposition calls for Damascus to release women and child prisoners. The talks resumed at 11:00 am with UN mediator Lakhdar Brahimi acting as a go-between, … Continued

25th Jan 2014

Austria: Demonstrations against Viennese right-wing ball turn violent

Several protesters have been arrested during protests against a ball in Vienna that is a traditional venue for right-wing figures. Police reported a number of arrests and cases of vandalism. Police in the Austrian capital, Vienna, say they arrested about … Continued

25th Jan 2014

Switzerland: Brahimi: Syrian government, opposition to meet Saturday

Syria’s government and opposition have agreed to meet in the same room on Saturday and accept that their talks will be based on a 2012 communique which called for a transitional governing body to be set up, mediator Lakhdar Brahimi … Continued

24th Jan 2014

Ukraine: Standoff in Kyiv during key talks

Three Ukrainian opposition leaders have emerged from ‘crunch’ talks with President Viktor Yanukovych, with one of them saying there was a chance of ending a standoff that turned violent in Kyiv in recent days. The leader of Ukraine’s opposition Fatherland … Continued

24th Jan 2014

Switzerland: Rouhani: Iran-Europe relations to be normalized with nuclear accord

Iran’s President Hassan Rohani said Thursday relations with Europe would be normalized once an interim nuclear accord is implemented, as the Iranian leader sought to drum up investment for his sanctions-hit economy amid thawing relations with the West. Rohani added … Continued

23rd Jan 2014

Ukraine opposition issues ultimatum to President Yanukovych

  Ukraine’s opposition has issued an ultimatum to President Viktor Yanukovych. The warning follows a day of heavy clashes in the capital Kyiv that left multiple activists dead and prompted international condemnation. Opposition leaders  held crisis talks with Yanukovych on … Continued

23rd Jan 2014

Geneva II: SNC calls for international inquiry into Syria torture allegations

The Geneva II peace conference opened on Wednesday, with opposing sides in the Syrian conflict unwavering on their positions. The Syrian opposition and its supporters remained steadfast in its calls for President Bashar al-Assad to resign, whereas the Syrian government … Continued

22nd Jan 2014

EU freezes part of transatlantic trade negotiations with US

  The EU has put one area of its negotiations with the US for a transatlantic free trade deal on hold. Brussels has expressed concern over provisions that would allow corporations to sue governments in private court. The European Union … Continued

21st Jan 2014

Iran not to take part in Geneva II confab due to pre conditions

  Tehran, (IRNA): Deputy Foreign Minister for Arab and African Affairs Hossein Amirabdollahian (pictured above) said Iran is not to participate in the Geneva II Conference because of the US irrational insistence on setting conditions for it. Talking to IRNA on Tuesday, … Continued

21st Jan 2014

The Netherlands: Defense: Prosecution’s case against Hizbullah “absurd”

By Marc Abizeid The defense team in the trial of four Hezbollah members accused of murdering Lebanon’s ex-premier Rafik Hariri in 2005 contested on Monday the legitimacy of the “absurd” evidence presented by the prosecution last week as “legally inadmissible” … Continued

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