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September 08 2013

Kerry urges EU to postpone funding ban in Israeli-occupied territories

Kerry urges EU to postpone funding ban in Israeli-occupied territories

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry urged the European Union on Saturday to postpone a planned ban on EU financial assistance to Israeli organisations in the occupied Palestinian territories, a U.S. official said.

Kerry made the request at a meeting with EU foreign ministers at which he also called on them to support Israeli-Palestinian peace negotiations, which resumed on July 29 after a nearly three-year hiatus.


Il y a des preuves mais elles doivent rester scrètes... Chemical attacks in Syria. Where's the…

Il y a des preuves mais elles doivent rester scrètes...

Chemical attacks in Syria. Where’s the proof Assad was responsible? -

In his initial statement ten days ago about the use of chemical weapons in Syria, Secretary of State was adamant about who was to blame for an attack in the suburbs of Damascus that he said killed 1,429 people, including 426 children.

“We know where the rockets were launched from, and at what time,” Sec. Kerry said, citing but not detailing intelligence reports. “We know where they landed, and when. We know rockets came only from regime-controlled areas, and went only to opposition-controlled or contested neighborhoods.”
“We know that a senior regime official who knew about the attack confirmed that chemical weapons were used by the regime,” Kerry added.

In blasting what she called a “blatant violation of international law, a war crime and a crime against humanity,” European Union foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton also pointed a finger at Assad for the Aug. 21 chemical attack.
”[The Syrian government] is the only one that possesses chemical weapons agents and the means of their delivery in a sufficient quantity," she said Saturday.

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Some members of Congress have received classified intelligence briefings, presumably including evidence the Obama administration knows it needs to provide if it’s to win congressional authorization for the use of US military force in Syria.

But publicly, at least, the White House has yet to make its case in any detail, and its latest comments haven’t clarified things.

On Sunday, White House chief of staff Denis McDonough said a “common-sense test” rather than “irrefutable, beyond-a-reasonable-doubt evidence” makes the Syrian government responsible.

“We’ve seen the video proof of the outcome of those attacks,” Mr. McDonough said on CNN’s “State of the Union.”

“All of that leads to a quite strong common-sense test irrespective of the intelligence that suggests that the regime carried this out,” he said. “Now do we have a picture or do we have irrefutable beyond-a-reasonable-doubt evidence? This is not a court of law and intelligence does not work that way. So what we do know and what we know the common-sense test says is [Assad] is responsible for this. He should be held to account.”

Part of the problem for Obama is that showing US evidence in greater detail could reveal sources and methods of intelligence gathering – a problem all administrations have faced over the years, whether it has to do with signals gathering and code breaking, satellite photos, or spies on the ground.

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A Political Solution in Syria : The Readership's View | Qifa Nabki

A Political Solution in Syria : The Readership’s View | Qifa Nabki

There’s no question that this debate has already been going for a long time in Washington and other capitals, but very few government officials have been willing to speak publicly or even anonymously about what kinds of scenarios are envisioned. This is interesting, given the insistence of the Obama administration, the EU, Russia, Iran, and China that the Syrian crisis cannot be solved militarily. Here are some informed speculations about the alternatives:

Prospectives intéressantes et de fait, on ne lit pas grand choise de ce type dans la presse française... Les scénarios de Nadim Shehadi et ses craintes ne sont pas les moins intéressante.

EU to ensure settlement guidelines will not harm ties with Israel, says Ashton Haaretz

EU to ensure settlement guidelines will not harm ties with Israel, says Ashton

The European Union’s foreign policy chief, Catherine Ashton said on Saturday that the EU will make sure the new settlement guidelines do not harm relations with Israel.

Speaking in Vilnius after a meeting with U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, Ashton said that the guidelines - which state that any private Israeli entity that wants to receive funding from the EU must demonstrate that it has no links to the West Bank, East Jerusalem, or the Golan Heights – will be implemented “sensitively, and we of course want to continue to have a strong relationship with Israel.”  

Ashton’s comments came after Kerry met in Vilnius with the EU’s 28 foreign ministers, urging them to postpone the new guidelines.

A senior U.S. official said Kerry asked the foreign ministers to support ongoing Israeli-Palestinian talks and postpone the implementation of the guidelines so as not to hinder the negotiations. The official said that the foreign ministers showed “willingness and openness to consider Kerry’s request.”

September 07 2013

September 06 2013

*The Dublin Regulation : A Critical Examination of a Troubled System* ❝Introduction The protection…

The Dublin Regulation: A Critical Examination of a Troubled System


The protection of refugees and asylum seekers has been a binding international responsibility since the early 1950s with the introduction of the Geneva Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees of 1951.[1] “Any person who [...] owing to well-founded fear of being persecuted for reasons of race, religion, nationality, membership of a particular social group or political opinion”,[2] has, inter alia, a right under the Convention to be granted international protection in the signatory states. While the Refugee Convention dates back to the middle of the 20th century it was only in the 1980s[3] and 1990s[4] that asylum and refugee matters were addressed within the EU. In the last 23 years, Europe has seen the Dublin Convention grow into the Dublin II Regulation (DR II) and finally develop into the Dublin III Regulation (DR III) without seeing any significant improvement for balancing asylum seekers protection and Member States’ (MS) burden. This article will establish that the EU has failed to provide a fair mechanism for determining MS responsibility for examining asylum claims, and hence has made the entire asylum system in the EU dysfunctional and debatably not in line with international standards of refugee protection.

#Dublin #réfugiés #asile #migration

September 05 2013

The EU Biofuel Policy and Palm Oil : Cutting subsidies or cutting rainforest ? | Friends of the Earth…

The EU Biofuel Policy and Palm Oil: Cutting subsidies or cutting rainforest? | Friends of the Earth Europe

Bonne question...

The EU Biofuel Policy and Palm Oil: Cutting subsidies or cutting rainforest?

9 September 2013

This study by the International Institute for Sustainable Development (IISD) for Friends of the Earth Europe finds that Europe’s drivers are being forced to fill their tanks with increasing amounts of palm oil, with reliance on the controversial biofuel set to rise even further.

#forêts #huile_de_palme #agro_carburants
According to the data, palm oil use has increased much more than predicted and now stands at 20% of the biodiesel mix. The EU consumes 40% more palm oil (for food, fuel and cosmetics) today compared to 6 years ago, despite continual warnings about the unsustainability of palm oil expansion.

Palm oil associated with deforestation, wildlife loss and community conflicts, and is accelerating climate change. The findings put more pressure on the EU to put a halt to increasing biofuels.

European Commission preparing for EU-US trade talks : 119 meetings with industry lobbyists |…

European Commission preparing for EU-US trade talks: 119 meetings with industry lobbyists | Corporate Europe Observatory

In response to an access to documents request from Corporate Europe Observatory, the European Commission has released a list of 130 ‘meetings with stakeholders’ on the EU-US free trade talks. At least 119 meetings were with large corporations and their lobby groups. This means that more than 93% of the Commission’s meetings with stakeholders during the preparations of the negotiations were with big business. The list of meetings reveals that, in addition to the civil society dialogue meetings reported on the DG Trade website, there is a parallel world of a very large number of intimate meetings with big business lobbyists behind closed doors - and these are not disclosed online.

Negotiations on an EU-US ‘free trade’ agreement (Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership, TTIP) started in July this year amid strong controversy and public concern about the impacts such an agreement could have on environmental regulations, food standards, data protection and other issues. The European Commission, which represents the EU in the negotiations, has reacted with a propaganda offensive that includes a Q&A website full of misleading claims about the TTIP talks and a ‘@EU_TTIP_team’ that counters critical messages on twitter. In mid-July, the Commission made a huge deal out of the civil society dialogue it had organised in Brussels on the TTIP talks, posting dozens of tweets about the event, praising the “interesting discussion” on issues such as “the environment, transparency, development” with “as many questions from NGOs [...] than there were from Industry”.

The event also features prominently on the website of the Commission’s trade department (DG Trade), in the ‘Dialogues’ section where the Commission states that it aims for “a transparent and accountable trade policy based on consultations with all parts of European civil society”. But what is disclosed on the website is only a tiny part of the meetings that DG Trade has with ‘stakeholders’.

In April, Corporate Europe Observatory submitted an access to documents request in order to get an overview of the Commission’s contacts with industry, in the context of the preparations for the EU-US trade talks. The Commission’s first response was to ask us to "narrow down the scope” of the request, because it “concerns a very large number of documents”. Three months later the first result arrived: a list of 130 ‘meetings with stakeholders’ that took place between January 2012 and April 2013.1 A few weeks later another five meetings were added to this list. DG Trade has informed us that the minutes and other reports of these 135 meetings, as well as correspondence between DG trade and industry lobbies, will be released later, but that they “cannot yet commit to a specific date”.

#TTIP (Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership)

August 29 2013

Mission for Growth to Israel - Enterprise and Industry

Mission for Growth to Israel - Enterprise and Industry

22-23 October 2013


Israel is one of the most competitive economies in the world. The country’s main strengths is its world-class capacity for innovation, which rests on highly innovative businesses that benefit from the presence of some of the world’s best research institutions geared toward the needs of the business sector. Israel and the European Union have genuine interest in increasing bilateral business relations and market integration in mutually beneficial ways to boost strong sustainable growth and create jobs.

This Mission of Vice-President Antonio Tajani will target numerous industry sectors; however, innovative and environmental technologies will be crucial topics on the agenda since the Mission will be organised in conjunction with the Water Technology & Environment Control Exhibition and Conference in Tel Aviv 22-24 October 2013 (

The Mission has three main objectives:

promoting innovation and sustainable growth on both sides;
helping EU companies, in particular, SMEs operate in Israel;
* promoting EU industry in targeted sectors by participating in matchmaking events with local entrepreneurs.

August 27 2013

August 26 2013

_Qu'est-ce que vous voulez dire Mr le ministre des affaires étrangères de la France ?_ French FM…

Qu’est-ce que vous voulez dire Mr le ministre des affaires étrangères de la France ?

French FM questions details of EU settlement guidelines | JPost | Israel News

However, Fabius added without going into details, his interlocutors raised specific points that needed to be looked into. “My conclusion is that we have to look closer and see if there were things that were not intended, and make changes where changes need to be made without changing the overall approach.”

August 22 2013

Tensions grow between Ukraine and Russia - World Socialist Web Site

Tensions grow between Ukraine and Russia - World Socialist Web Site

Tensions grow between Ukraine and Russia

By Clara Weiss
22 August 2013

The Russian Customs Agency has halted the import of Ukrainian goods to Russia, as of last Thursday. Moscow is seeking to prevent the signing of an association and free trade accord between Ukraine and the European Union, and trying to push Ukraine to join a Customs Union dominated by Russia.

#russie #ukraine #ex_urss #union_douanière

August 21 2013

Gibraltar, une taxe à la frontière est illégale pour la Communauté européenne ? Pas de problème, on…

#Gibraltar, une taxe à la frontière est illégale pour la Communauté européenne ? Pas de problème, on fera une écotaxe
Une congestion charge , comme le péage urbain introduit en 2005 pour Londres. Et dont il faudra revoir la traduction dans le cas d’espèce.

Spain threatens ’eco-tax’ on Gibraltar as Britain rejects demands for talks over sovereignty - Telegraph

Spain was also warned by the EU that any move to impose a tax at the border would be deemed “illegal” after Madrid said a 50 euro frontier levy and a ban on Gibraltar aviation traffic from using Spanish airspace were measures under consideration.
Instead Spain may get around a direct ban on border tax by imposing a London style “congestion charge” on frontier traffic in La Linea de la Concepcion because it would fall within current EU legislation.


Sinon, tous les bateaux se Sa Majesté sont arrivés à bon port…
La frégate HMS Westminster, au premier plan, masquée par les bâtiments, les deux bâtiments de soutien logistique, Lyme Bay, à quai et Mounts Bay, manœuvrant pour accoster


Si le Royaume-Uni accuse le gouvernement espagnol d’entretenir la tension pour des raisons intérieures (faire oublier les scandales de corruption), on notera que de son côté, un ancien conseiller de Margaret Thatcher, intervenant régulier de Fox News, constate très objectivement dans le Telegraph que le candidat premier ministre de l’opposition est une c… molle…

Ed Miliband’s spineless stance on Gibraltar does not bode well for a Labour government – Telegraph Blogs

What has Ed Miliband, the Labour Party’s great hope for 2015, said about Spain’s mounting attempts to intimidate the people of Gibraltar? Absolutely nothing.
The Gibraltar issue has further underscored Ed Miliband’s shortcomings as a leader, both at home and abroad. His failure to support the inhabitants of Gibraltar and their right to self-determination is disturbing, and raises serious questions over the future of British policy on both Gibraltar and the Falklands should he become prime minister.


Enfin, on notera que l’on va peut-être se trouver devant un premier (?) conflit à caractère écologique…

Les 70 blocs de béton, déclencheurs du conflit (et dont le retrait conditionne aujourd’hui une reprise de dialogue pour les espagnols), ont été immergés (presque…) uniquement pour des raisons d’écologie…

Spain tells Britain to remove Gibraltar reef - Telegraph

The Gibraltar government says the concrete reef in the Bay of Gibraltar will regenerate marine life and argues that the Spanish raked for shellfish there illegally in its waters.

Et que la riposte espagnole risque d’être une vertueuse #écotaxe.

August 19 2013

*Les sales magouilles israéliennes en Égypte* Pendant les massacres (15 août), l'envoyé…

Les sales magouilles israéliennes en Égypte

Pendant les massacres (15 août), l’envoyé diplomatique de l’Union européenne Bernardino Leon révèle que lui et l’envoyé américain William Burns avaient obtenu l’accord des Frères pour lever les sit-ins, et que les militaires égyptiens l’avaient rejeté à peine quelques heures avant de déclencher la répression :

The EU’s special envoy to the Middle East, Bernardino Leon, has said the Egyptian army rejected a peace deal with the Muslim Brotherhood a few hours before the killing in Cairo began.

He told Reuters that he and US diplomat William Burns in recent days brokered an agreement between the military and the brothers on how to end their month-long sit-ins in two city squares.

Avant-hier, le New York Times publie un très long article intitulé « Comment les espoirs américains d’un accord en Égypte ont été minés » (18 août) :

La fin de l’article est explicite : les diplomates européens et étatsuniens considèrent que ce sont les Israéliens qui agissaient auprès du général Sisi pour faire échouer leurs efforts de parvenir à une solution négociée.

Western diplomats say that General Sisi and his circle appeared to be in heavy communication with Israeli colleagues, and the diplomats believed the Israelis were also undercutting the Western message by reassuring the Egyptians not to worry about American threats to cut off aid.

Et ce second article du New York Times (19 août)) affirme que les Israéliens sont en pleine campagne diplomatique, maintenant que la situation est totalement instable (la faute à qui ?), pour protéger le régime égyptien contre des sanctions européennes et américaines :

Israel plans this week to intensify its diplomatic campaign urging Europe and the United States to support the military-backed government in Egypt despite its deadly crackdown on Islamist protesters, according to a senior Israeli official involved in the effort.

Canada's double standards on Middle East sink to new low

Canada’s double standards on Middle East sink to new low

The extremism of Canada’s support for Israel just keeps growing.

The latest example is the Conservative government in Ottawa helping convince the European Union to list Hizballah’s military wing as a “terrorist” organization. After that decision was taken, Foreign Minister John Baird declared, “We are thrilled that the European Union unanimously has agreed to designate Hizballah as a terrorist organization. We’ve been pushing for this.”

The National Post detailed Canada’s behind-the-scenes effort to get the EU to list Hizballah as a “terrorist” organization. Despite opposition from the Lebanese government, a foreign ministry official told the paper that this was “a clear priority that was set out by the minister.”

Canadian diplomats held bilateral talks with various European countries and also pushed for Hizballah to be listed at numerous multilateral meetings. At both a recent United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime meeting and a UN conference on radicalization in Europe, Canadian officials pressed key EU officials to define Hizballah as a “terrorist” group (“Canada pushed EU to add Hezbollah to list of banned terrorist organizations, official says,” 24 July 2013).

Canadian law enforcement and security officials were also part of the lobbying effort. Reportedly, they’ve been feeding their European counterparts information about the supposed threat Hizballah poses to both Canada and Europe.

August 16 2013

Egyptian Military Backed Out Of Prisoner-Release Deal That Could Have Averted Killings : Sources

Egyptian Military Backed Out Of Prisoner-Release Deal That Could Have Averted Killings: Sources

CAIRO — A week before the Egyptian government ordered Wednesday’s deadly clearing of two Muslim Brotherhood protest camps, military leaders and the Brotherhood very nearly came to an agreement that involved a prisoner release and other measures that might have averted the catastrophe, The Huffington Post has learned.

The notion of such a plan, mediated by a handful of diplomats from the U.S. and Europe — including U.S. Deputy Secretary of State William Burns and EU Special Representative Bernardino Leon — was first reported on Wednesday by Reuters. HuffPost has learned that the terms of the proposed deal would have seen the Muslim Brotherhood reduce the size of their protest camps by half, and the military release two notable prisoners: Saad El-Katatni, the chairman of the Brotherhood’s political party who was arrested during the military takeover in July, and Abou Elela Mady, the chairman of the Islamist al-Wasat Party who was locked up in the aftermath.

Brotherhood leaders had agreed in principle to the plan, but in the end the military-backed government declined to take part, sources say.

August 15 2013

Prévenez Fabius : lui et ses copains européens n'intéressent plus personne au Moyen-Orient. EU…

Prévenez Fabius : lui et ses copains européens n’intéressent plus personne au Moyen-Orient.

EU diplomat : Egyptian army rejected peace plan

The EU’s special envoy to the Middle East, Bernardino Leon, has said the Egyptian army rejected a peace deal with the Muslim Brotherhood a few hours before the killing in Cairo began.

He told Reuters that he and US diplomat William Burns in recent days brokered an agreement between the military and the brothers on how to end their month-long sit-ins in two city squares.

“We had a political plan that was on the table, that had been accepted by the other side [the brotherhood] … They [the army] could have taken this option. So all that has happened today was unnecessary,” he said.

He noted that he made a final appeal on the peace plan to military chiefs “hours” before they ordered the assault, at 7am local time on Wednesday (14 August), using armoured bulldozers and live ammunition against people in tent camps.

The EU and the attack on European workers' wages - World Socialist Web Site

The EU and the attack on European workers’ wages - World Socialist Web Site

The EU and the attack on European workers’ wages

15 August 2013

Five years after the Wall Street crash of September 2008, figures compiled by Britain’s House of Commons Library on wage rates in the 27-member European Union show that workers’ living standards have been thrown into sharp reverse.

The statistics belie claims that the euro zone has “turned the corner” with a modest rise in growth over the last quarter. The situation is particularly acute in those countries that have been subject to the dictates of the “troika”—the EU, the European Central Bank (ECB) and the International Monetary Fund (IMF)—which has overseen massive cuts in social spending as demanded by the international banks.

#travail #europe #emploi #salaire

August 07 2013

Israeli scientists : Cutting ties with EU would seriously damage research By Jonathan Lis, Yarden…

Israeli scientists: Cutting ties with EU would seriously damage research
By Jonathan Lis, Yarden Skop and Eli Ashkenazi

Israeli scientists warn that cutting ties with the European Union could cause irreparable harm to Israeli research. The researchers were reacting to Economy Ministry Naftali Bennett’s call for the Israeli government to end all cooperation with the EU in response to new guidelines banning funding to Israeli entities with ties to West Bank settlements, East Jerusalem or the Golan Heights.

On Monday, National Security Council chairman Yaakov Amidror convened a meeting to discuss the implications of the new EU rules. The discussion, which took place at the level of ministry directors-general, was in preparation for a similar meeting Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu plans to hold in the coming days.

One of the topics discussed was whether Israel should join the EU’s Horizon 2020 research and development program, in which the economy, education and science ministries are all slated to participate beginning next year.

Bennett’s associates said that the opinion he expressed was his personal position, and that at the meeting with Netanyahu, the ministry’s professional opinion will be presented.


Finland-Norway : The road to the extreme north | :

Finland-Norway: The road to the extreme north |

The northernmost border post in the EU, the village of Nuorgam is the crossing point for workers that commute between Finland and Norway. However, the region, which is in the heart of Lapland, has to some extent been forgotten by the rest of Finland.

#norvège #finlande #arctique #sami

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