Europe briefing: Pakistan blasphemy lawyer flees to the Netherlands and EPP congress

Europe briefing: Pakistan blasphemy lawyer flees to the Netherlands and EPP congress
Copyright Reuters
By Sallyann Nicholls
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Take a look back at the biggest stories from across Europe this morning.


1. Blasphemy lawyer flees to the Netherlands

The lawyer of a Christian woman who was jailed in Pakistan on blasphemy charges and subsequently freed has fled to the Netherlands, their government confirmed Thursday.

Saiful Mulook arrived in the country on Saturday and was welcome to stay for several months, the Foreign Affairs Ministry said.

Mulook left Pakistan in fear for his life after reportedly receiving death threats from critics angered by his client Asia Bibi’s release.

2. French general who collaborated with Nazi Germany ‘won’t be honoured’

The Elysee Palace has insisted Marshal Philippe Pétain, who led the French to victory at the Battle of Verdun in the First World War but subsequently collaborated with the Nazis during the Second World War, will not be honoured in an Armistice commemoration this weekend. 

It comes after President Emmanuel Macron said commemorating the general was “legitimate”, describing him as a “great soldier” in WW1 who made “dire choices” during WW2.

His comments sparked uproar, prompting the president’s office and a government minister to insist Pétain would not be included on Saturday’s planned ceremony at the Invalides paying tribute to French generals.

3. EPP to reveal candidate for EU Commission president

The European People’s Party (EPP) is set to unveil its candidate to lead the European Commission, the executive institution that drafts and enforces EU law.

Incumbent President Jean-Claude Juncker is to vacate the seat next year after he retires.

So far, Bavarian MEP Manfred Weber is the “clear favourite” to fill the role, Darren McCaffrey tells Euronews, followed by former Finnish prime minister Alex Stubb.

Watch Euronews’ report on this story in the video player above.

A candidate to lead EPP, Manfred Weber of GermanyREUTERS

4. Trump-Russia meeting confirmed in Argentina

The US president and his Russian counterpart are to have a full meeting at the G20 in Argentina at the end of the month.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov confirmed the summit on Thursday, according to the RIA news agency.

Donald Trump and Vladimir Putin are also due to meet briefly in Paris on Armistice Sunday where commemorations marking the 100th anniversary of the First World War’s end will begin.

As it happened on Thursday, November 8

This is how we covered key developments this morning:

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