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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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Masked and armed group sparks concern in Slovenia

Footage of an armed group being led through training drills by a fringe politician has sparked concern in Slovenia.

Former presidential candidate Andrej Sisko, who heads up the right-wing Movement for United Slovenia political party, has been pictured with around 50 masked members.

Sisko secured 2.2% of the vote in presidential elections last year. He lost out to Borut Pahor, who has expressed concern at the existence of Sisko’s armed group.

“President Pahor stresses that Slovenia is a safe country in which no unauthorised person needs or is allowed to ... illegally care for the security of the country and its borders,” Pahor’s cabinet said in a statement.

First verdict is expected in Spain's 'stolen children' case

The trial of a doctor is to resume in Spain regarding the country's Franco-era 'stolen babies' scandal.

The court case of Dr Eduardo Vela, 85, began in June in Madrid over his alleged role in the theft and sale of hundreds of babies.

It would be the first trial for what victims' groups claim was a secret practice that saw up to 300,000 babies stolen.

The scandal covers the regime of fascist dictator General Francisco Franco, who ruled Spain from 1939 until his death in 1975 but some groups claim the practise went on into the 1980s.

UK Labour party bids to snuff out anti-semitism row

UK Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn has postponed a security meeting with MI5 to meet party members at Labour headquarters in London to debate whether or not they should adopt a recognised definition of anti-semitism, in full, in their Code of Conduct.

The issue triggered a political row in July after the National Executive Committee’s failure to fully adopt the definition, drawn up by the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance, drew fierce criticism from some Labour members.

Last week, veteran MP Frank Field resigned the Labour whip in response to the scandal.

Merkel to meet Juncker after 'choosing his successor'

German Chancellor Angela Merkel is to meet European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker today for a working lunch - the first such high-level European meeting since the summer break. It comes amid reports that Merkel has picked German conservative Manfred Weber to replace Juncker after European Parliament elections in May 2019.

At 46-years-old, Weber, who heads the European People's Party, is the youngest group leader in the current Parliament and is also a member of the Christian Social Union in Bavaria. Although he is yet to announce his candidacy for European Commission President.

Weber is best known for his support for Hungarian PM Viktor Orban, after he praised the strongman's strict migration policy on a recent visit to Budapest.

Russian TV launches weekly show hailing Putin

Vladimir Putin's "love of children" and "great physique" has become a topic of discussion in a new Russian state-television show entirely dedicated to the president's image.

The inaugural episode of the weekly "Moscow. The Kremlin. Putin" show aired on Sunday on Rossiya-1, hours after thousands across the country protested a pension reform.

But the unpopular reform, which has hit Putin in his popularity rating, barely got a mention beyond how relentlessly the leader had worked, until the very last moment, to find a compromise.

As it happened on Tuesday, August 4

This is how we covered key developments this morning: