• Monday, September 01, 2014

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European Union

'Invasion' in Ukraine

EU set to slap Russia with new sanctions

The European Union geared up a fresh wave of sanctions against Russia yesterday with warnings that the escalating conflict in Ukraine was putting all of Europe at risk of war. Fears of a wider confrontation spiralled after allegations that Russia has sent troops and weapons across the border to help a bloody new counter-offensive by pro-Kremlin rebels. Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko visited Brussels to plead his case for a firm response, before the EU's 28 leaders were to hold talks on...

EU sets Russia sanctions ultimatum

EU sets Russia sanctions ultimatum

The European Union has given Russia one week to reverse course in Ukraine or face new sanctions. European Council President Herman Van Rompuy said the EU was working urgently on further restrictive measures. Earlier, Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko said his country was "close to a point of no return - full scale-war" with Russia. Russia denies...

The European Union and the Twin Civil Wars in Syria/Iraq

IS this one of those rare occasions where policymakers self-critically correct a gigantic blunder? Or is it a cold turn-about guided by pure self-interest? On August the 15th, the Foreign Ministers of EU-countries gathered in Brussels and decided that each would henceforth be free to supply arms to Kurdish rebels fighting Sunni extremists of ISIS in the North of Iraq. Even Germany which in the past had been unwilling to furnish military supplies to warring parties  in 'conflict zones',...

Condemning Israel

Cruz, Bardem face Hollywood 'fury'

Cruz, Bardem face Hollywood 'fury'

Penelope Cruz and Javier Bardem are reportedly facing a serious backlash from top Hollywood executives following their support for Gaza, which saw the couple sign an open letter condemning the actions of Israel as tantamount to "genocide". The couple were among 100 film professionals to sign the open Spanish letter calling on the European...

Switzerland, China agree swap boosting role of yuan

The Swiss and Chinese central banks signed a currency swap agreement in Beijing on Monday, marking an important step in the development of a market for yuan in Switzerland, the Swiss central bank BNS said. The agreement, highlighting steps towards international use of the yuan, ensures that Swiss francs will be available in China and that yuan, also known as renminbi, will be supplied to financial centres in Switzerland. The BNS statement said that the agreement was "an important step" for...

What would Bangladesh want to erase?

WE regret to inform you that we are no longer able to show you the following pages from your website in response to certain searches on European versions of Google,” says Google. In May, a European Union's top court ruled that individuals have a “right to be forgotten.” Right after that order Google has been receiving 1,000 requests per day for the removal of search result links. So far Google has received 70,000 erasure requests for over 250,000 web...

EU to increase aid for Bangladesh

The European Union has decided to increase the annual development assistance to Bangladesh to over 100 million Euros from 60 million Euros. The decision was taken to boost the annual assistance for the next seven years starting from 2014, William Hanna, head of delegation of the European Union to Bangladesh, told The Daily Star in an interview at his office yesterday. “These are only grants, not loans. So, these are the money that needs to be used very carefully,” added the...

Workplace Safety

EU lauds progress in Bangladesh

The European Union in a statement yesterday lauded Bangladesh's progress in improving workplace safety and establishing labour rights following the Rana Plaza tragedy last year. “In particular, they are making good progress on inspections of factories according to common standards and an operating manual for assessing building, fire and electrical safety,” Karel De Gucht, EU trade commissioner, said in a speech at the OECD (Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development) ministerial meeting in Paris on Thursday. The EU, however, believes more...

EU signs pacts with ex-USSR states

EU signs pacts with ex-USSR states

Ukraine, Georgia and Moldova have signed partnership agreements with the European Union, in a move strongly opposed by Russia. The pact - which would bind the three countries more closely to the West both economically and politically - is at the heart of the crisis in Ukraine. Russia said that while the signing of the...

EU for implementing RMG labour reforms

EU for implementing RMG labour reforms

Karel De Gucht, European Commissioner for Trade, has stressed the need for implementing regulation on labour reforms in the garments sector of Bangladesh. At an informal OECD Ministerial Meeting on Rana Plaza Aftermath in Paris, he also said Bangladesh's labour law still needs to address restrictions on trade union formation and membership, no later...

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