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Europe briefing: Poland could backtrack on Supreme Court reforms and Interpol new president

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Europe briefing: Poland could backtrack on Supreme Court reforms and Interpol new president
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1) Polish politicians push to backtrack on Supreme Court reforms

A group of politicians from Poland's ruling Law and Justice party (PiS) proposed a legislative amendment on Wednesday backtracking on Supreme Court reforms, including changing the article on when judges are required to retire.

This follows legislation obliging Supreme Court judges to retire at 65 instead of 70, affecting more than a third of judges in Poland's top court. Critics said at the time that the reform was the latest in a series of government measures aimed at politicising the judiciary.

2) Interpol elects a new president

Interpol has elected South Korea's Kim Jong Yang as its president in a blow to Russian frontrunner Alexander Prokopchuk.

Europe and the US had raised the alarm about the risk of increased meddling from the Kremlin if Prokopchuk was elected. The organisation's 194 member states cast their ballots during their annual congress in Dubai.

3) Gunmen abduct Italian NGO volunteer in Kenya

Unidentified gunmen kidnapped an Italian volunteer working at a non-governmental organisation in an attack on a trading centre in the coastal region of Kilifi, also wounding five people, said Kenyan police on Wednesday.

The Italian foreign ministry confirmed to Euronews the identity of the kidnapped woman as Silvia Costanza Romano, 23, from Milan.

Italian news service, Ansa, spoke with the NGO who said that Romano was alone at the time the gunmen took her. They said they weren't sure why she had been taken but that they seemed to know there was an Italian woman working as a volunteer there.

4) May arrives in Brussels to prepare Brexit summit

British Prime Minister Theresa May is expected to arrive in Brussels on Wednesday to meet President of the European Commission Jean-Claude Juncker to prepare Sunday's Brexit summit despite disagreements over Gibraltar, fisheries, and trade holding it up.

EU leaders are due to meet this weekend to approve the deal, which consists of Britain's withdrawal agreement and an outline of the new relationship between the EU and the UK.

Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez threatened on Tuesday to vote against the overall Brexit accord unless it makes clear that the future of the disputed British territory of Gibraltar would be settled through direct talks between Madrid and London.

5) Ex-FYROM prime minister Gruevski granted asylum in Hungary

The former prime minister of the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM), Nikola Gruevski, has been granted asylum in Hungary, the Magyar Idok newspaper reported on Tuesday. The FYROM Justice Ministry said it would send a request for Gruevski's extradition to Budapest.

Johannes Hahn, the European commissioner responsible for EU enlargement negotiations, tweeted that he had seen reports about the asylum granted in EU member Hungary.