Jennifer Rankin
Jennifer Rankin
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Brussels to name public square after Brontë sisters

Brussels to name public square after Brontë sisters

A square in Brussels will be named after the Brontë sisters, the first tribute of its kind in the Belgian capital, more than 178 years after Charlotte and Emily arrived in the city to study French.Councillors in the north-west district of Koekelberg voted to name a square “Place des Sœurs Brontë” in French, or “Zusters Brontë plein” in Dutch, as part of a wider plan for the “feminisation” of public places. The local authority found that the vast majority of its streets and squares named after a person commemorated men.The resolution in favour of renaming the square describes the three...

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Jennifer Rankin
3d ago
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Belgian king expresses 'deepest regrets' for brutal colonial rule

Belgian king expresses 'deepest regrets' for brutal colonial rule

Letter to Democratic Republic of the Congo president hailed as historic by Belgian media in Brussels and Africa correspondentTue 30 Jun 2020 07.22 EDTKing Philippe of Belgium has expressed his “deepest regrets” for acts of violence and brutality inflicted during his country’s rule of Congo, as the Democratic Republic of the Congo marks the 60th anniversary of its independence.The letter – to the DRC president, Félix Tshisekedi – has been described as historic in the Belgian media, as it is the first time a Belgian king has expressed regret for the country’s colonial past, although it stops...

theguardian.com
Jennifer Rankin
5d ago
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Brexit: EU may veto UK trade deal lacking safeguards, leaked report reveals

Brexit: EU may veto UK trade deal lacking safeguards, leaked report reveals

The European parliament could veto any trade deal between the UK and the that lacks “robust” safeguards to ensure fair competition and strong standards on the environment and workers’ rights, according to a leaked document.A draft resolution, seen by the Guardian, which will be put to a vote on Friday, underlines the implicit threat to block the EU-UK trade deal. Urging the British government to “revise its negotiation position”, the text states that a level playing field is the “necessary condition for the European parliament to give its consent to a trade agreement with the UK”. The level...

theguardian.com
Jennifer Rankin
Jun 10
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EU says China behind 'huge wave' of Covid-19 disinformation

EU says China behind 'huge wave' of Covid-19 disinformation

China has been accused by Brussels of running disinformation campaigns inside the , as the bloc set out a plan to tackle a “huge wave” of false facts about the coronavirus pandemic. The said Russia and China were running “targeted influence operations and disinformation campaigns in the EU, its neighbourhood, and globally”. While the charge against Russia has been levelled on many occasions, this is the first time the EU executive has publicly named China as a source of disinformation. French politicians were furious when a Chinese embassy website claimed in mid-April, at the height of...

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Jennifer Rankin
Jun 10
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EU pledges coronavirus recovery plan will not harm climate goals

EU pledges coronavirus recovery plan will not harm climate goals

Senior officials have pledged that the European Union’s recovery plan will “do no harm” to the bloc’s landmark goals to tackle the climate crisis and threats to the natural world.Following the unveiling of to pull EU economies out of the deep economic downturn caused by coronavirus, the European commission announced further details of green spending on Thursday.The commission argues it can raise €150bn in public and private money, up from a pre-crisis goal of €100bn, to help fund greener transport, cleaner industry and renovated homes. At the heart of the plan, the EU proposes to more than...

theguardian.com
Jennifer Rankin
May 28
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UK seeks access to EU health cooperation in light of coronavirus

UK seeks access to EU health cooperation in light of coronavirus

The British government is quietly seeking access to the European Union’s pandemic warning system, despite early reluctance to cooperate on health after , the Guardian has learned.The UK is seeking “something akin to membership” of the EU’s early warning and response system (EWRS), which has played a critical role in coordinating Europe’s response to the coronavirus, as well as to earlier pandemics such as bird flu. According to an EU source, this would be “pretty much the same” as membership of the system.The government’s enthusiasm in the privacy of the negotiating room contrasts with...

theguardian.com
Jennifer Rankin
May 2
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Link climate pledges to €26bn airline bailout, say Europe's greens

Link climate pledges to €26bn airline bailout, say Europe's greens

Airlines are seeking €26bn (£22.7bn) in state aid to deal with the economic fallout from coronavirus, according to environmental campaigners, who accuse governments of failing to attach binding climate conditions to negotiations.Air France, which has obtained €7bn in loans and loan guarantees from the French government, and Lufthansa, currently negotiating a €9bn rescue package with Berlin, top the charts in the compiled by Carbon Market Watch, Greenpeace, and Transport & Environment.European governments have formally agreed €11.5bn in financial aid for airlines , . A further €14.6bn is...

theguardian.com
Jennifer Rankin
Apr 30
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EU foreign policy chief denies report on China disinformation altered

EU foreign policy chief denies report on China disinformation altered

The European Union’s foreign policy chief has rejected was watered down in response to pressure from Beijing.Speaking at a specially convened meeting of the European parliament’s foreign affairs committee, said the content and the timing of the European External Action Service’s public assessment on disinformation and the pandemic had been determined by the EEAS alone. “We have not bowed to anyone,” he said. “There was no watering down of our findings, however uncomfortable it could be.”A brewing row deepened last week after that EU officials had delayed, and then rewritten, a report after...

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Jennifer Rankin
Apr 30
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Wolf cubs on way as Belgium becomes 'wolf crossroads of Europe'

Wolf cubs on way as Belgium becomes 'wolf crossroads of Europe'

is becoming “the wolf crossroads of Europe”, a conservation charity has said as it reported new sightings from France and Germany, while Flemish authorities separately announced the imminent arrival of wolf puppies.Flanders’ environment minister, Zuhal Demir, announced that a pair of wolves in the north of the country were expecting cubs, four months after arrival in the area of a female wolf, , who was billed as “a potential new love” for a previously lone wolf, August.“I am proud to announce that she-wolf Noëlla and wolf August are expecting wolf cubs,” Demir wrote on Monday on her...

theguardian.com
Jennifer Rankin
Apr 27
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EU plans 'right to repair' rules for phones and tablets

EU plans 'right to repair' rules for phones and tablets

European commission says linear growth model of ‘take, make, use, discard’ has reached limit in BrusselsWed 11 Mar 2020 09.33 EDTManufacturers of phones, tablets and laptops will face legal obligations to make their products easier to repair and reuse, under a far-reaching recycling plan from the European Union executive.The European commission wants to drastically increase recycling of electronic goods, which are often difficult to repair, replace batteries or upgrade. Less than 40% of electronic waste in the EU is thought to be recycled.Billed as “the right to repair”, the European...

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Jennifer Rankin
Mar 11
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Refugees told 'Europe is closed' as tensions rise at Greece-Turkey border

Refugees told 'Europe is closed' as tensions rise at Greece-Turkey border

The EU has told migrants in that Europe’s doors are closedas Greek and Turkish police fired teargas at their shared border amid growing tensions over the plight of Syria’s refugees.In a blunt message, the EU’s foreign policy chief, Josep Borrell, said: “Don’t go to the border. The border is not open. If someone tells you that you can go because the border is open … that is not true.“Avoid the situation in which you could be in danger … Avoid moving to a closed door,” he said. “And please don’t tell people that they can go because it’s not true.”Borrell was speaking after a hastily convened...

theguardian.com
Jennifer Rankin
Mar 10
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