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Europe briefing: Five stories to know about today

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Europe briefing: Five stories to know about today

Europe briefing: Five stories to know about today
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EU reactivates ‘blocking law’ after Iran sanctions return

The European Commission has, as of Tuesday, reactivated an old law which protects European business interests in the face of extraterritorial sanctions and court judgments.

Under the “blocking statute”, European companies which comply with US sanctions on Iran will themselves be slapped with financial penalties.

The law dates back to 1996 and was designed to defend companies working in Cuba from the effects of a US trade embargo.

UK ‘to ask Russia to extradite Novichok suspects’

The UK’s Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) is ready to file an extradition request to Russia for two suspects linked to the poisoning of four people in England, Britain’s Guardian newspaper reported on Monday, citing security sources and Whitehall.

The Home Office has not confirmed or denied the report.

Moscow is unlikely to accept the request, which threatens to reignite a diplomatic row between the two countries.

Former Russian spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia were poisoned by the military-grade nerve agent Novichok in March, authorities found, who accused Russia of being behind the attack. Moscow denied the claims.

In June, a discarded perfume bottle containing the substance was later discovered by Charlie Rowley and Dawn Sturgess in Amesbury, miles from where the Skripals were found ill. Sturgess later died in hospital.

Germany considers bringing back military service

Mandatory military service was abolished seven years ago, but now, German MPs are debating bringing it back.

Members of Chancellor Angela Merkel’s Christian Democratic Union party have proposed reinstating the programme, which was phased out in 2011 due to defence budget cuts. Some think would boost Germany's ailing military, but the Social Democratic Party argues that forced military service is "illegal under EU law".

Berlin Correspondent Jessica Saltz has been following this story:

May travels north to meet Scottish leader as no-deal Brexit threat looms

British Prime Minister Theresa May is due to meet her Scottish counterpart, Nicola Sturgeon, in Edinburgh later on Tuesday as the threat of a no-deal Brexit looms. May is announcing a £1.2 billion cash boost for the capital and southeast Scotland, to which the Scottish and UK governments are committing £300m.

Four days after her meeting with French President Emmanuel Macron, in which May sought support for her ‘soft Brexit’ plan, the issue will be high on the agenda when she meets Sturgeon, a staunch Remainer.

On the prospect that the UK could leave the EU without a deal, Sturgeon said: "A no-deal Brexit would be utterly unacceptable and deeply damaging, but by talking it up as a negotiating tactic there is a very real danger it becomes a reality.

"Given this lack of clarity and real concerns of no agreement, it is time the Prime Minister told us what her plan B is. We cannot have no deal and we cannot have a blind Brexit.”

Georgia-Russia war 'led to Ukraine conflict', Euronews told

Moscow’s annexation of Crimea may have been prevented if Europe and others had ‘reacted adequately’ to Russia’s war with Georgia a decade ago, it’s been claimed.

Expert George Mchedlishvili told Euronews that by forgiving Russia, the west had emboldened it ahead of the conflict in Ukraine.

The deadly five-day conflict, fought over Georgia’s separatist regions South Ossetia and Abkhazia, erupted on the night of August 7-8, 2008.

Euronews’ Chris Harris explains the roots of the war, the impact it’s had over the last decade and its prospects for the future.

As it happened on Tuesday, August 7

This is how we covered key developments this morning: