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Europe briefing: 7 stories to know about today

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Europe briefing: 7 stories to know about today

Europe briefing: 7 stories to know about today
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Reuters
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1) Knife attack near Paris

A knife-wielding man on Thursday killed two people and seriously injured one other in a knife attack in the Paris suburb of Trappes, said AFP, citing a police source.

The attacker was "neutralised" by police and died, according to the regional Prefect for Yvelines.

Local police said on Twitter an operation in the area was over but asked people to avoid the area and respect the security perimeter.

The self-proclaimed Islamic State group has issued a statement claiming responsibility for the attack but gave no evidence.

2) Trump on hush payments

US President Donald Trump said so-called hush payments made to two women who say he had affairs with them did not come from campaign funds but from him personally.

Michael Cohen, the president's ex-lawyer and “fixer”, said his former boss had directed him to pay hush money to influence the 2016 election.

Cohen’s lawyer said his client has information relevant to the official investigation into Russian election interference and alleged collusion between Trump’s team and Moscow.

In an excerpt from a Fox & Friends interview, Trump insisted that the payments were "not a campaign violation".

3) Migrant crisis

Italy's prime minister has allowed all child migrants on a coastguard ship that docked in the port of Catania on Monday into Italy.

It's a climbdown by the anti-immigrant government in Rome, which previously said none of the 177 migrants would be allowed to set foot on Italian soil.

4) US-China trade war

The United States is due to activate additional tariffs on $16 billion (€13.8 billion) worth of Chinese goods. Beijing has said it will retaliate in kind.

5) Brexit: Deal or no deal

Brussels is bracing itself today, as the UK government prepares to publish its advice on what will happen if the UK leaves the EU without a deal.

The UK’s plan will cover over 70 areas of public life, including medicines and farming, and will guide people on what the impact of a “no-deal” Brexit could be. Many businesses, organisations and individuals have been asking for these contingency plans since Article 50 was invoked in March 2017.

6) Trump on South Africa land seizures

Trump has said he asked Secretary of State Mike Pompeo to look into South African land seizures, farm killings and expropriations. “South African Government is now seizing land from white farmers,” he wrote in a tweet.

President Cyril Ramaphosa's spokeswoman responded by saying the president was "misinformed".

"The presidency has noted Trump's tweet, which is misinformed in our view," Khusela Diko said. "We will take up the matter through diplomatic channels."

7) Australia PM defiant

Austrailian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull was fighting to retain his position amid a movement by senior colleagues to replace him as leader.

Australia's embattled government moved to adjourn parliament on Thursday which would allow its ruling Liberal Party to hold a second leadership vote for prime minister.

Turnbull has said he would not contest the leadership if his rivals within the Liberal Party secure enough support to bring on an internal vote.

He narrowly won a ballot on Tuesday against former home affairs minister Peter Dutton. Dutton and senior ministers on Thursday called for a second leadership contest.

Here's how events unfolded: