Germany's Ursula Von Der Leyen to Lead EU Commission
2019-07-16 23:35:25 UTC
STRASBOURG (Reuters) - Germany’s Ursula von der Leyen secured European parliamentary approval on Tuesday to become the first female European Commission president on a platform of a greener, fairer and rule-based Europe.
The German conservative got the thumbs up from socialist and liberal lawmakers which, together with the endorsement by her fellow conservatives, gives her a stronger mandate to tackle issues such as climate change, trade and maintaining democracy in the European Union.
Rejection by the EU legislature would have been a painful blow for a bloc beset by challenges ranging from trade to Brexit and erosion of democratic no...
EU, South American Bloc Mercosur Announce World's Largest Free Trade Deal
2019-06-29 01:15:31 UTC
BRUSSELS (Reuters) - The European Union and South American bloc Mercosur agreed a free-trade treaty on Friday, concluding two decades of talks and committing to more open markets in the face of a rising tide of protectionism.
The two regions launched negotiations exactly 20 years ago and intensified efforts to reach an accord after Donald Trump’s presidential victory led the Europeans to freeze talks with the United States and seek other global trading allies.
As world leaders meet at a G20 summit in Japan, EU Trade Commissioner Cecilia Malmstrom told a news conference the deal sent a “loud and clear message” in support of open trade...
Euro Hits Three-Month High Against US Dollar
2019-06-24 04:00:44 UTC
TOKYO (Reuters) - The euro rose to a three-month high against the dollar on Monday, as bearish bets on the U.S. currency remained solid on prospects of a near-term interest rate cut by the Federal Reserve.
The euro stretched its rally last week, up 1.4%, and advanced about 0.15% to $1.1386 in early Asian trade, its highest since March 22.
The dollar index versus a basket of six major currencies was a shade lower at 96.135, having struck 96.093 on Friday, its lowest since March 21, after the Fed last week opened the door for a potential rate cut as early as next month.
That weighed on the dollar and in turn reinvigorated its counte...
Angela Merkel: There Has to Be a Political Solution on Iran
2019-06-22 21:23:07 UTC
FRANKFURT (Reuters) - The international community must seek a political solution on Iran, German Chancellor Angela Merkel said on Saturday, after U.S. President Donald Trump said he had aborted a military strike to retaliate against Tehran’s downing of a U.S. drone.
Speaking at an annual gathering of Protestant churches, Merkel also said the Iran issue would be discussed at next week’s meeting of leaders of the Group of 20 leading economies in Japan, at least at a bilateral level.
“There has to be a political solution (on Iran) and that is what we are working on,” Merkel said.
<I>Reporting by Andreas Rinke; Writing by Tom Sims; Ed...
2 Finalists in UK Leadership Race Make Pitch to Tory Members
2019-06-22 20:51:35 UTC
LONDON (AP) — The two finalists in the race to lead Britain’s governing Conservative Party — and become the country’s new prime minister — made their first formal pitches to party members Saturday, both vowing to be the right man to deliver Brexit.
Ex-foreign secretary and former London mayor Boris Johnson, the runaway favorite of Tory lawmakers, faced off with Jeremy Hunt, the current foreign secretary, at a Conservative conference in central England’s Birmingham.
Opening his address with a focus on delivering Britain’s stalled exit from the European Union, Johnson told the audience “We need to get Brexit done” and be prepared to le...
US Ranks Last in the world for Maternity Leave
2019-06-13 18:25:15 UTC
NEW YORK, 13 June 2019 — Sweden, Norway, Iceland, Estonia and Portugal offer the best family-friendly policies among 31 rich countries with available data, according to a new UNICEF repot. Switzerland, Greece, Cyprus, United Kingdom and Ireland rank the lowest. The United States is the only country included in the analysis with no national paid leave policy for mothers or fathers, ranking it the worst for maternity leave.
Produced by UNICEF’s Office of Research – The <a href="https://www.unicef.org/press-releases/sweden-norway-iceland-and-estonia-rank-highest-family-friendly-policies-oecd-and-eu"><em>report</em></a> ranks co...
UK’s Johnson Threatens to Withhold $50 Billion Brexit Payment
2019-06-09 01:46:56 UTC
(Reuters) - Boris Johnson, the leading candidate to succeed Theresa May as Britain’s next prime minister, said he would withhold a previously agreed 39 billion pound ($50 billion) Brexit payment until the European Union gives Britain better exit terms.
The EU has repeatedly said it will not reopen discussion of the Brexit transition deal it reached with May last year, which British lawmakers have rejected three times, prompting May to announce her resignation earlier this month.
May stepped down as leader of the governing Conservatives on Friday.
Johnson, a former foreign secretary in May’s cabinet, is popular with ordinary Conser...
EU to Create a System to Get Around US Block on WTO
2019-06-06 20:49:33 UTC
BERLIN/GENEVA (Reuters) - The European Union is set to propose creating a shadow system to get around a U.S. block on appeals in disputes at the World Trade Organization (WTO), according to a draft proposal circulated to national lawmakers.
U.S. President Donald Trump is blocking appointments to the WTO’s Appellate Body, saying its judges have overstepped their mandate and ignored their instructions. Trump’s critics say he resents their power over U.S. law.
Unless the block is lifted, the world’s top trade court will have only one of its seven members left by December, leaving it unable to hear appeals in international trade disputes...
Tearful Theresa May Quits as UK Prime Minister
2019-05-25 03:17:25 UTC
LONDON (Reuters) - Fighting back tears, Theresa May said on Friday she would quit after failing to deliver Brexit, setting up a contest that will install a new British prime minister who could pursue a cleaner break with the European Union.
May’s departure deepens the Brexit crisis as a new leader, who should be in place by the end of July, is likely to want a more decisive split, raising the chances of a confrontation with the EU and potentially a snap parliamentary election.
Former foreign minister Boris Johnson, the favorite to replace May, was first out of the blocks, saying Britain should be prepared to leave the EU without a de...
British PM Theresa May 'Expected to Quit Friday'
2019-05-23 05:52:23 UTC
LONDON (Reuters) - British Prime Minister Theresa May is expected on Friday to announce her departure from office, The Times reported, without citing a source.
May will remain as prime minister while her successor is elected in a two-stage process under which two final candidates face a ballot of 125,000 Conservative Party members, the newspaper said.
<I><strong><hr>Reporting by Guy Faulconbridge</I></strong><hr>
Trump Says Some Auto Imports Threaten National Security
2019-05-17 20:40:13 UTC
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - US President Donald Trump declared that some imported vehicles and parts pose a national security threat but delayed a decision for as long as six months on whether to impose tariffs to allow for more time for trade talks with the European Union and Japan.
The unprecedented designation of foreign vehicles imported to the United States from some of its closest allies sparked anger from automakers, dealers and foreign governments after a White House document hinted it would seek voluntary export quotas on autos from U.S. trading partners.
European Trade Commissioner Cecilia Malmstroem said on Twitter that “we com...
Dutchman Travels Across 33 Countries on Electric Car
2019-04-18 22:49:36 UTC
Dutchman Wiebe Wakker on Sunday ended a 95,000 kilometer (59,000 mile) electric car journey that he hoped would show the world the viability of such vehicles.
Wakker arrived in the eastern Australian city of Sydney after driving his retrofitted station wagon nicknamed "The Blue Bandit" across 33 countries including Turkey, Iran, India, Myanmar, Malaysia and Indonesia, with the route determined by the offers he received on his website.
The trip started in the Netherlands and took just over three years. It was funded by public donations from around the globe, including electricity to charge the "Bandit," food and accommodation.
Still Unclear How, When or If UK Will Ever Indeed Quit EU
2019-04-02 20:57:13 UTC
LONDON (Reuters) - Prime Minister Theresa May said on Tuesday she would seek another Brexit delay to agree an EU divorce deal with the opposition Labour leader, a last-ditch gambit to break an impasse over Britain’s departure that enraged many in her party.
Nearly three years since the United Kingdom voted to leave the European Union in a shock referendum result, it is still unclear how, when or if it will ever indeed quit the European club it first joined in 1973.
In a hastily arranged statement from her Downing Street office after spending seven hours chairing cabinet meetings on how to plot a way out of the Brexit maze, May said s...
Brexit: EU Prepares For a 'No-Deal' Scenario
2019-03-29 20:39:59 UTC
Theresa May's exit deal failed by 58 votes, and April 12 beckons as a new exit date for the UK out of the EU. More indicative votes are on the table, as the EU prepares for a 'no-deal' scenario.
LONDON (Reuters) - Lawmakers rejected Prime Minister Theresa May’s Brexit deal for a third time on Friday, sounding its probable death knell and leaving Britain’s withdrawal from the European Union in turmoil on the very day it was supposed to quit the bloc.
The decision to reject a stripped-down version of May’s divorce deal has left it totally unclear how, when or even whether Britain will leave the EU, and plunges the three-year Brexit cri...
May Promises to Resign if Brexit Deal Passes
2019-03-27 18:09:57 UTC
LONDON (Reuters) - British Prime Minister Theresa May said on Wednesday she would quit if her twice-defeated EU divorce deal passes at the third attempt, making a last-ditch bid to persuade rebels in her Conservative party to back her.
May told a meeting of Conservative lawmakers she would stand down if her divorce plan finally got through a bitterly-divided parliament, to ensure a smooth path for a new leader to begin the next step of negotiating the future relationship with the European Union.
“I have heard very clearly the mood of the parliamentary party,” May said. “I know there is a desire for a new approach – and new leadership...
EU: Italy Poses A Threat to Other Euro Zone Countries
2019-02-27 20:27:14 UTC
BRUSSELS (Reuters) - Italy is facing excessive economic imbalances and the policies of its government are making matters worse, posing a threat to other euro zone countries, the European Commission said on Wednesday.
However, the EU executive arm, whose job is to analyze the economic performance of each of the EU’s 28 countries and warn of trouble ahead, said it would wait until it receives Italy’s reform program in April before taking action.
“Italy is experiencing excessive imbalances. High government debt and protracted weak productivity dynamics imply risks with cross-border relevance, in a context of still high level of non-perf...
Scientists' evidence for man-made global warming hits 'gold standard'
2019-02-25 18:33:18 UTC
OSLO (Reuters) - Evidence for man-made global warming has reached a “gold standard” level of certainty, adding pressure for cuts in greenhouse gases to limit rising temperatures, scientists said on Monday.
“Humanity cannot afford to ignore such clear signals,” the U.S.-led team wrote in the journal Nature Climate Change of satellite measurements of rising temperatures over the past 40 years.
They said confidence that human activities were raising the heat at the Earth’s surface had reached a “five-sigma” level, a statistical gauge meaning there is only a one-in-a-million chance that the signal would appear if there was no warming.
Russian TV sends warning to US: We're able to hit you "in less than five minutes"
2019-02-25 18:18:17 UTC
MOSCOW (Reuters) - Russian state television has listed U.S. military facilities that Moscow would target in the event of a nuclear strike, and said that a hypersonic missile Russia is developing would be able to hit them in less than five minutes.
The targets included the Pentagon and the presidential retreat in Camp David, Maryland.
The report, unusual even by the sometimes bellicose standards of Russian state TV, was broadcast on Sunday evening, days after President Vladimir Putin said Moscow was militarily ready for a “Cuban Missile”-style crisis if the United States wanted one.
With tensions rising over Russian fears that the ...
UK's Theresa May delays vote on Brexit until March 12
2019-02-25 18:01:20 UTC
SHARM EL-SHEIKH, Egypt (Reuters) - Prime Minister Theresa May promised on Sunday to offer lawmakers a vote on her Brexit deal by March 12, the latest delay in her attempt to win approval for a plan to ensure Britain’s orderly departure from the European Union.
As the United Kingdom’s labyrinthine Brexit crisis goes down to the wire, May is making a last-ditch effort to get changes to the divorce package but lawmakers may try on Wednesday to grab control of Brexit in a series of parliamentary votes.
After the British parliament voted 432-202 against her deal in January, the worst defeat in modern British history, May promised to seek ...
Pope Francis declares “all-out battle” against sexual abuse
2019-02-24 16:59:12 UTC
VATICAN CITY (Reuters) - Pope Francis ended his conference on the sexual abuse of children by clergy on Sunday by calling for an “all-out battle” against a crime that should be “erased from the face of the earth”.
In his closing address to the almost 200 Church leaders he had summoned to Rome, Francis said national guidelines on preventing and punishing abuse would be strengthened and the Church’s definition of minors in cases of possession by clergy of pornography would be raised from the current age of 14.
At least two Vatican officials have been convicted in recent years of possessing child pornography.
Shortly after the confer...
Irish PM, Leo Varadkar rejects a post-Brexit border backstop that includes a time limit
2019-02-24 16:43:17 UTC
SHARM EL-SHEIKH, Egypt (Reuters) - Ireland cannot accept a post-Brexit border backstop that has a time limit or a unilateral exit clause, Prime Minister Leo Varadkar said on Sunday.
“We are happy to discuss with the United Kingdom assurances that they may need to give them further confidence that the backstop were it ever applied will not be permanent,” Varadkar told reporters.
“We are not playing chicken, we are not playing poker, we are just standing by our position which has been solid since day one,” he said. “A backstop that includes a time limit isn’t a backstop at all, nor would a unilateral exit clause work for us.”
UK Government Considers Another Brexit Vote
2019-03-27 17:58:22 UTC
LONDON, March 27 (Reuters) - Britain’s government will file a motion to allow parliament to sit on Friday as the government considers bringing another vote in parliament on its Brexit divorce deal, Brexit minister Stephen Barclay said on Wednesday.
“The government will later today table a motion for the house to sit this Friday,” Barclay told parliament. “Whist I appreciate it may cause some inconvenience, it is better to have it and not need it than to need it and not have it.”
<hr><I><strong>(Reporting By Elizabeth Piper and Andrew MacAskill)</I></srtrong><hr>
Germany to Accelerate Development of Autonomous Driving
2019-01-23 18:33:15 UTC
FRANKFURT (Reuters) - Germany’s top carmakers including BMW and Volkswagen are looking at ways to speed up development of the next generation of self-driving cars, possibly by even working together, as tech giant Google forges ahead with plans to mass produce such vehicles.
Carmakers and tech companies have been in a race to develop self-driving robotaxis since 2012 when Google unveiled a self-driving car. BMW announced a development pact with tech firm Mobileye in 2016 and Daimler struck an alliance with autos supplier Bosch in 2017.
BMW and Daimler’s first-generation autonomous cars will start to emerge after 2020/2021 using comput...
Brexit: EU To Prepare For Worst Variant
2019-01-16 04:37:26 UTC
BRUSSELS (Reuters) - European Union leaders expressed dismay and regret on Tuesday after the British parliament rejected a Brexit divorce deal, saying they were stepping up emergency planning and warned London was running out of time.
The EU’s chief executive, the European Parliament Brexit negotiator and a host of prime ministers took to Twitter to call on London for ideas on what to do now to stop Britain crashing out of the bloc with no deal on March 29.
European Council President Donald Tusk, who chairs EU summits, suggested the only real solution was for Britain to stay in the EU after British lawmakers defeated Prime Minister T...
France's Yellow Vest Protests Enter 8th Week
2019-01-06 03:25:12 UTC
PARIS (Reuters) - Rioters in Paris torched motorbikes and set barricades ablaze on the upmarket Boulevard Saint Germain on Saturday, as protests against high living costs and the perceived indifference of President Emmanuel Macron turned violent on the fringes.
The latest “yellow vest” marches began peacefully but degenerated in the afternoon as protesters threw missiles at riot police blocking bridges over the Seine.
Officers fired tear gas to prevent protesters crossing the river and reaching the National Assembly. One riverboat restaurant was set ablaze and a policeman was wounded when he was hit by a bicycle hurled from a street ...