One Putin move and behold: West's unity tightens overnight
Within days, Russian President Vladimir Putin has achieved what remained out of the grasp of the European Union for many decades — to jointly buy and send weapons to a war zone — and restored something that was broken for years — trans-Atlantic unity. For years, Putin could sit back and relish in unseemly scenes of Western disunity — ranging from the Britain's Brexit move out of the EU in 2016, Hungary's long-standing antipathy towards its EU headquarters and, equally, the rift created by former President Donald Trump that has far from fully healed under Joe Biden. For Putin, the timing seemed perfect for his invasion of Ukraine since it had the potential of opening the cracks of division even further, with a war on the continent forcing everyone far outside their diplomatic comfort zone.news.yahoo.com
EU Commission: von der Leyen unconcerned by missed handshake
The European Commission on Monday downplayed as a “storm in a teacup” an incident last week at a EU-Africa summit in Brussels during which its president, Ursula von der Leyen, was hardly acknowledged by a foreign minister. The official, Ugandan Foreign Minister Jeje Odongo, slightly nodded as he walked past von der Leyen and did not stop to greet her before shaking hands with EU Council president Charles Michel and French president Emmanuel Macron during a staged photo event.news.yahoo.com
The Latest: Pakistan says no rush to recognize Taliban gov't
Pakistan’s foreign minister says Afghanistan’s new Taliban rulers should understand that if they want recognition and assistance in rebuilding the war-battered country “they have to be more sensitive and more receptive to international opinion and norms.”.
The Latest: Pakistan says no rush to recognize Taliban gov't
Pakistan’s foreign minister says Afghanistan’s new Taliban rulers should understand that if they want recognition and assistance in rebuilding the war-battered country “they have to be more sensitive and more receptive to international opinion and norms.” Shah Mahmood Qureshi said Monday evening that countries are watching to see how things evolve in Afghanistan before considering recognition. The Pakistani minister says his country’s objective is peace and stability in Afghanistan and to achieve that “we would suggest to Afghans that they should have an inclusive government.”news.yahoo.com
EU vows to help Lithuania amid flow of migrants from Belarus
The European Union has promised to help Lithuania cope with an influx of migrants from the Middle East and Africa, which the Baltic nation says has been encouraged by authorities in neighboring Belarus as part of their standoff with the West.
Boris Johnson infuriated after Emmanuel Macron suggested Northern Ireland was not part of UK
Boris Johnson was left infuriated on Saturday when Emmanuel Macron suggested in head-to-head G7 summit talks that Northern Ireland was not part of the UK. The Prime Minister attempted to explain his frustration with the Northern Ireland Protocol by asking Mr Macron what he would do if sausages from Toulouse could not be moved to Paris, according to a UK government source. The French president was said to have retorted by arguing that the comparison did not work because Paris and Toulouse were bonews.yahoo.com
Moment when European Commission President left without seat during meeting goes viral
After European Council President Charles Michel left his colleague, European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen, without a seat during a meeting, a group of women leaders have urged him to resign. The group said the chair snub was a "trap" set by Turkish President Erdoğan – and Michel fell into it. Their petition for his resignation has more than 10,000 signatures.cbsnews.com
Snub in EU-Turkey meeting highlights gender equality issue
The topic of gender equality took center stage Wednesday in Brussels a day after Ursula von der Leyen, one the most powerful European Union’s executives, was treated like a second-rank official during a visit to the Turkish capital of Ankara.
The Latest: Wyoming governor sticks with ending mask mandate
— Wyoming’s governor is rejecting a call by President Joe Biden for states to reimpose mask orders in response to the coronavirus pandemic. Coronavirus cases nationwide are on the rise, but infections in Wyoming have fallen off sharply since December. Tribal health officials said that the United Kingdom strain was confirmed in a sample obtained in the western part of the reservation. State health officials on Monday announced more than 1 million people in the state, about 17% of Wisconsin’s population, have completed their vaccination cycles. AdThe COVID-related hospitalizations dropped to 549 on Monday, far below the pandemic record of 5,082 on Jan. 11, according to the state’s pandemic dashboard.
World leaders call for pandemic treaty, but short on details
"The world cannot afford to wait until the pandemic is over to start planning for the next one,” Tedros said during a news conference. Steven Solomon, WHO's principal legal officer, said the proposed pandemic treaty would need to be ratified by lawmakers in the participating countries. European Council President Charles Michel first laid out the idea of a pandemic treaty at the U.N. General Assembly in December. White House press secretary Jen Psaki said the U.S. has concerns about the current push for a new pandemic treaty. “That should be our focus currently.”WHO legal officer Solomon said the pandemic treaty might also address issues such as the sharing of vaccine technology and vaccine supplies, but gave no indication how that might happen.
EU offers Turkey aid, trade help despite rights concerns
European Council President Charles Michel, top of screen, speaks with EU leaders, via videoconference link, during a EU summit at the European Council building in Brussels, Thursday, March 25, 2021. European Union leaders are looking for ways of ramping up COVID-19 vaccination across the region during their virtual meeting Thursday amid shortage of doses, spikes of new coronavirus cases, a feud with the United Kingdom and internal quarrels. (Yves Herman, Pool via AP)BRUSSELS – European Union leaders on Thursday offered new incentives to Turkey to improve cooperation on migration and trade despite democratic backsliding in the country and lingering concerns about its energy ambitions in the Mediterranean Sea. Under it, the EU offered Ankara 6 billion euros ($7.1 billion) to help Syrian refugees and other incentives to prevent people from leaving Turkey to go to Europe. Last week, the EU criticized Turkish authorities for stripping a prominent pro-Kurdish legislator of his parliamentary seat and seeking to shut down his political party.
EU moves toward stricter export controls for COVID-19 shots
Spain resumed the use of the AstraZeneca vaccine on Wednesday. (AP Photo/Alvaro Barrientos)BRUSSELS – The European Union moved Wednesday toward stricter export controls for coronavirus vaccines, seeking to make sure its 27 nations have more COVID-19 shots to boost the bloc's flagging vaccine campaign amid a surge in new infections. Ad“I mention specifically the U.K.,” said EU Commission Vice President Valdis Dombrovskis. That was heading to Australia, which has a very limited coronavirus outbreak compared to the third surge of infections now facing many EU nations. The EU has been feuding with AstraZeneca for months over exactly how many vaccine doses would be delivered by certain dates.
The Latest: Philippine leader orders mayors investigated
New coronavirus cases and hospitalizations in Utah have been on a downward trend since January. Ad___SAO PAULO, Brazil — Brazil has reached 300,000 confirmed COVID-19 deaths and become the second nation to top that figure. ___BOISE, Idaho — The governor of Idaho has said COVID-19 vaccine eligibility will be open to all Idaho residents 16 and up starting April 5. ___WAILUKU, Hawaii — A hospital on Maui had to throw out nearly 1,400 vaccine doses after a refrigerator thawing the vials did not properly seal. Also, COVID-19 deaths have dipped below 1,000 a day on average for the first time since November.
Biden to address video summit of EU leaders on Thursday
European Council President Charles Michel, left, talks during a video conference with the leaders of Germany, France, Portugal and Greece, on the screen, ahead of the EU summit at the European Council headquarters in Brussels, Tuesday, March 23, 2021. All rights reservedBRUSSELS – U.S. President Joe Biden will join a video summit of European Union leaders on Thursday to discuss improving trans-Atlantic cooperation after four years of worsening relations during the Trump administration. “Time to rebuild our transatlantic alliance,” EU Council President and summit host Charles Michel said in a twitter message. The 27 EU leaders have a regular two-day summit starting Thursday, where they will discuss everything from vaccine strategy to relations with Russia. Earlier this month, a first phone call between Biden and EU Commission President Ursula von der Leyen clinched a trade breakthrough with a four-month suspension of tariffs used in the longstanding Airbus-Boeing dispute.
The Latest: Australia seeks vaccine aid for Papua New Guinea
CANBERRA, Australia — Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison says he is working with U.S., Indian and Japanese partners to provide emergency coronavirus vaccine to Papua New Guinea. Australia has provided 8,000 AstraZeneca doses from its own stockpile to its nearest neighbor after an explosion of infections in the South Pacific island nation in recent weeks. Morrison said Friday that the European Union has yet to respond to his recent request for 1 million AstraZeneca doses contracted by Australia to be sent to Papua New Guinea as soon as possible. It has an agreement with ImmunityBio, which has a COVID-19 vaccine in clinical trials, to produce the vaccine sometime next year. Biovac, based in Cape Town, has the capacity to produce between 20 million and 30 million vaccines in a year.
Britain denies ‘completely false’ EU claims as a new vaccine dispute boils over
A U.K. national flag flies beside European Union (EU) flags outside the Berlaymont building in Brussels. The latest battle emerged after European Council President Charles Michel accused the U.K. on Tuesday of having an "outright ban" on exports of Covid-19 vaccines. European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said during a press conference in February that the United States and Britain have systems in place that block vaccine exports. "The U.K. government has not blocked the exports of a single Covid-19 vaccine. Any references to a U.K. export ban or any restrictions on vaccines are completely false," a government spokesperson told CNBC.cnbc.com
EU-UK relations take a new dip over 'vaccine ban' comments
People dont even need to leave the backseat if they didnt want to in order to receive their inoculation. (AP Photo/Alastair Grant)BRUSSELS – Relations between the European Union and recently departed Britain took another diplomatic dip on Wednesday when the EU envoy in London was summoned to explain comments that Britain had issued a vaccine export ban. A British government statement said that it “has not blocked the export of a single COVID-19 vaccine. The United Kingdom has given about 35% of its adults a vaccine shot while the EU is further back with 9.5%. AdMichel, however, refused to fully back down from his comments and insisted any ban could come in many guises.
Top EU official pledges more support for Ukraine
(Ukrainian Presidential Press Office via AP)KYIV – A top European Union official pledged more support for Ukraine on Tuesday as he visited the area near the separatist conflict in the country's east. He said that the EU assistance will include funding for the checkpoints near the zone of conflict. The conflict in eastern Ukraine erupted in April 2014 when Russia cast support for separatist rebels there weeks after annexing Ukraine's Crimean Peninsula. “Ukrainian citizens deserve a judicial system that respects justice, applies it and demonstrates that there is no impunity for crimes. We will support you at every stage of your path to the rule of law and judicial reform in Ukraine.”
EU urges parties in ex-Soviet Georgia to ease tensions
“My visit coincides with an aggravating political crisis in Georgia, which deeply worries the European Union, and I am also personally deeply worried by it,” European Council President Charles Michel said. The political situation in Georgia has been tense amid allegations of voter fraud in the country’s Oct. 31 parliamentary election. Tensions escalated last week following the arrest of the United National Movement's leader, Nika Melia. Thousands of opposition supporters marched across the Georgian capital last week to demand Melia's release and call for early parliamentary elections. “The European Union calls upon all parties to intensify their efforts to stabilize the situation and find a common middle ground,” Michel said after talks with Georgian President Salome Zurabishvili.
EU vows to speed vaccine roll out, presses drug makers
European Council President Charles Michel, top of screen, takes part in an EU Summit, via videoconference link, at the European Council building in Brussels, Thursday, Feb. 25, 2021. The leaders also said that restrictions, including on travel, should remain in place in many parts of the 27-nation bloc. The EU has partly blamed supply delays for lagging far behind nations like Israel, the United States and Britain when it comes to vaccinations. By early this week, 6.5% of the adults living in the EU had been vaccinated, compared to more than 27% in the U.K. He also raised concern about other issues, like the exclusion of those who have not been vaccinated, or cannot be.
The Latest: Governor extends Oregon's state of emergency
Kate Brown on Thursday extended Oregon’s declaration of a state of emergency until May 2 as confirmed COVID-19 cases drop but hundreds of new cases continue to be reported daily. The Oregon Health Authority on Thursday reported 553 new confirmed COVID-19 cases, bringing the state total to 154,554. ___MISSOURI __ Missouri teachers and child care providers will be eligible for COVID-19 vaccination in mid-March, Gov. The nation of 10.7 million had almost 1.2 million cases with 19,835 deaths. AdLast week the Democratic governor announced that at least 10% of the state’s vaccine supply would go to education workers.
EU to double COVAX vaccine funding to 1 billion euros
Von der Leyen also announced during the meeting an additional 100 million euros ($121.4 million) to support vaccination campaigns in Africa in partnership with the Africa Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. “The funding will be used to strengthen health systems, ensure the cold chains, buy equipment and train staff," von der Leyen said. She added that the EU would discuss with drugmakers how they can ramp up their COVID-19 vaccine production capacity in Africa. COVAX hopes to deploy some 336 million doses by the end of June, and around 2 billion doses by the end of the year. In addition to its COVAX contribution, the EU said it wants to share some of its doses with neighbors in Europe and Africa.
Central European leaders push for faster vaccine deliveries
(AP Photo/Czarek Sokolowski)WARSAW – Central European leaders pushed Wednesday for faster deliveries of COVID-19 vaccines from every reliable manufacturer to speed up inoculations which they said is the way to conquer the pandemic and jump-start Europe’s economic recovery. The leaders of Hungary, Slovakia and Poland said they support purchasing vaccines from manufacturers regardless of “geopolitics” provided they are safe and effective. Hungary is the European Union's first and so far only member state to administer Russia's Sputnik V vaccine without waiting for approval from the European Medicines Agency. “There is no Eastern or Western vaccine, there is only a good or a bad vaccine,” Hungary's Prime Minister Viktor Orban told a news conference in Krakow, Poland. European Council President Charles Michel, who attended the celebrations, said EU leaders will discuss next week ways of increasing vaccine production and of speeding up inoculations.
UK, EU meeting in bid to calm post-Brexit trade turbulence
The turbulence centers on Northern Ireland, whose complex status has been one of the trickiest issues in the U.K.-EU divorce. Checks have also been imposed on some British goods going to Northern Ireland because it shares a border with EU member-state Ireland. That would have drawn a hard border between Northern Ireland and Ireland -- exactly what the Brexit trade deal was crafted to avoid. AdThe EU quickly dropped the idea after British, Irish and Northern Ireland politicians expressed alarm. Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s spokesman, Jamie Davies, said the bloc’s move had caused “shock and anger” in Northern Ireland.
EU wants to step up fight against cancer amid virus pandemic
The EU on Wednesday proposed a four-billion-euro (4.8 billion US dollar) plan aimed at improving the fight against cancer as the coronavirus pandemic tends to delay diagnoses and access to treatment across the 27-nation bloc. According to EU's figures, cancer is the second leading cause of death in the bloc, whose population is 450 million inhabitants. There are about 1.3 million deaths and 3.5 million new cases per year in the EU. The pandemic has not only delayed screenings and disrupted treatments, but also affected the cancer patient's quality of life. “A strong European Health Union is a union where citizens are protected from avoidable cancers," EU health commissioner Stella Kyriakides said.
EU: AstraZeneca to supply 9 million more vaccine doses
(Olivier Hoslet, Pool Photo via AP)BERLIN – Pharmaceutical company AstraZeneca has agreed to supply 9 million additional doses of its coronavirus vaccine to the European Union during the first quarter, the bloc's executive arm said Sunday. The new target of 40 million doses by the end of March is still only half what the British-Swedish company had originally aimed for before it announced a shortfall due to production problems, triggering a spat between AstraZeneca and the EU last week. The EU is far behind Britain and the United States in getting its population of 450 million vaccinated against the virus. Pfizer, which developed the first widely tested and approved coronavirus vaccine together with German firm BioNTech, has said it expects to increase global production this year from 1.3 million doses to 2 billion doses. BioNTech said Monday that up to 75 million of those additional doses will be delivered to the EU in the second quarter.
WHO Europe: Vaccine production delays are a real issue
A nurse administers the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine to a resident at DomusVi nursing home in Alcala Henares, Spain, Thursday, Jan. 28, 2021. (AP Photo/Manu Fernandez)GENEVA – National tensions are erupting over slow coronavirus vaccine rollouts and production delay issues are real, but “no one is safe until everyone is safe,” the European chief for the World Health Organization said Thursday. The cautionary note comes as the EU has accused pharmaceutical giant AstraZeneca of failing to deliver the coronavirus vaccine doses that it promised to the 27-nation bloc despite getting EU funding to ramp up vaccine production. The company says the production issues at EU plants are slowing the amount of vaccines available, and it can't give what it does not have. Fellow vaccine maker Pfizer has had supply issues too, due to a production upgrade at a plant in Belgium.
EU demands that vaccine makers honor their commitments
“Europe invested billions to help develop the world's first COVID-19 vaccines," EU Commission President Ursula von der Leyen told the World Economic Forum's virtual event in Switzerland. The EU has committed to buying 300 million AstraZeneca doses with option on 100 million extra shots. The slow rollout, however, is hardly only the result of vaccine production issues. That’s why there is such big disappointment.”The European Medicines Agency is scheduled to review the Oxford-AstraZeneca coronavirus vaccine Friday and its approval is hotly anticipated. The AstraZeneca vaccine is already being used in Britain and has been approved for emergency use by half a dozen countries, including India, Pakistan, Argentina and Mexico.
EU pressures AstraZeneca to deliver vaccines as promised
“We, as the EU, must be able to know whether and what vaccines are being exported from the EU,” German Health Minister Jens Spahn said. The EU has committed to buying 300 million AstraZeneca doses with option on 100 million extra shots. The AstraZeneca vaccine is already being used in Britain and has been approved for emergency use by half a dozen countries, including India, Pakistan, Argentina and Mexico. AstraZeneca's announcement that it will deliver fewer vaccines to the EU early on has only increased pressure on the bloc, especially since Pfizer-BioNTech, the first vaccine to get EU approval, failed last week to keep up its promised deliveries to the EU. Pfizer has temporarily reduced vaccine deliveries to the EU and Canada as it revamps its plant in Belgium to increase overall production.
China scores an EU investment deal before Biden takes office — and it wants to do more
Johanna Geron | AFP | Getty ImagesBEIJING — China wrapped negotiations with the European Union on an important investment deal and talked up hopes for more, less than a month before U.S. President-elect Joe Biden is set to take office. Both sides rushed to get a deal done — Biden is widely expected to marshal the support of traditional American allies to put pressure on China after he takes office, in contrast to the Trump administration. He emphasized China's plans for a new trade agreement with Japan and South Korea. 'Not a deal against America'The EU-China investment deal, about seven years in the making, still needs to be translated and reviewed before being signed. Joerg Wuttke, president of the European Union Chamber of Commerce in China, said that "for the European side it was really bilateral.cnbc.com
Nine European countries say it is time for 'corona bonds' as virus death toll rises
Nine European countries have called upon their EU counterparts to issue so-called corona bonds a new debt instrument that would combine securities from different countries. Corona bonds are a controversial issue that has been dividing the 27-country region. Nonetheless, Europe is in crisis, having experienced a sharp rise in COVID-19, with several countries in national lockdown. The deadly virus has brought all the key EU economies to a standstill, with most people confined at home. The death toll across Europe keeps rising, with Italy registering a higher number than China, where the virus emerged in December.cnbc.com
European Union will close external borders for 30 days to slow coronavirus pandemic
European Union member nations agreed Tuesday to close the EU's external borders to most people from other countries for 30 days in a dramatic new effort to slow the spread of the coronavirus pandemic. German Chancellor Angela Merkel announced the planned closings of the massive union's external borders at a press conference. Movement of people within the European Union's 27 member nations will still be allowed under the restrictions. Great Britain previously was an EU member before Brexit. On Monday, Canada's prime minister, Justin Trudeau, said he was closing his nation's borders to foreigners, with the major exception of U.S. citizens.cnbc.com
G7 leaders express "strong" will to cooperate to tackle virus: EU's Michel
BRUSSELS (Reuters) - G7 leaders have expressed a strong desire to work together to tackle what is likely to be a long and difficult health crisis, European Council President Charles Michel said on Monday. It was the occasion to express a strong political will to address this crisis together, to coordinate, to cooperate in different fields. For us the priority is the health of our citizens, Michel told a news conference after a G7 call. Michel, who chairs summits of EU leaders, said the EU was working hard to support researchers in their hunt for a vaccine. It was also the occasion during this G7 call conference to decide to work more together to be able to as soon as possible to make concrete progress, which is also very important, Michel said after the call with Group of Seven leaders, led by the United States.feeds.reuters.com
EU condemns Trump's coronavirus travel ban, imposed 'unilaterally and without consultation'
The travel ban is due to begin Friday evening and last for at least 30 days. The European Union on Thursday firmly objected to President Donald Trump 's decision to impose a travel ban on most EU nations, saying any decision should have come after consultations with the bloc. "The European Union disapproves of the fact that the U.S. decision to impose a travel ban was taken unilaterally and without consultation," the two top ranking EU officials said, adding that "the European Union is taking strong action to limit the spread of the virus." Trump's travel ban does not apply to legal permanent residents of the U.S., according to the Department of Homeland Security, and in most cases, it does not apply to immediate family members of U.S. citizens. The U.S. is banning entry to those traveling from the 26 European countries that form the Schengen Area, where there are no passport checks between internal borders.cnbc.com