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UN climate chief slams ‘incredible’ failure as emissions plans flatline

UN climate chief slams ‘incredible’ failure as emissions plans flatline

Promises ahead of global climate summit ‘simply not good enough,’ says Patricia Espinosa.A recent dump of new national climate plans will do almost nothing to cut emissions this decade, a report from the U.N. said Friday.Just 75 governments out of the 191 that signed the Paris Agreement met a U.N. deadline to submit their climate plans by the end of last year. The U.N. climate body has totted up the cumulative effect of those new pledges — which cover around a third of global emissions — and found those countries would emit 2.8 percent less in 2030 than under the old plans.U.N. climate...

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Karl Mathiesen
21h ago
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No, China is not the EU’s top trading partner

No, China is not the EU’s top trading partner

When you count services, not just goods, trade flows with the US are far larger.Daniel S. Hamilton directs the Global Europe Program at the Woodrow Wilson Center in Washington, D.C. He is the author, together with Joseph P. Quinlan, of “The Transatlantic Economy 2021”.This week the media seized on a report by Eurostat, the European Union’s statistical agency, to declare that in 2020 to become the EU’s main trade partner. This is simply not true.    Eurostat’s  only addressed trade in goods. It shows that EU27 goods trade with China in 2020 totaled €586 billion, compared to €555 billion in...

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Daniel S. Hamilton
Feb 19
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‘Millions of people’s data is at risk’ — Amazon insiders sound alarm over security

‘Millions of people’s data is at risk’ — Amazon insiders sound alarm over security

Whistleblowers say they were forced out after flagging problems with e-commerce giant’s data security and compliance.YOUR ORDER HISTORY. Your credit card information. Even your intimate health data.Amazon is amassing an empire of data as the online retailer ventures into ever more areas of our lives. But the company's efforts to protect the information it collects are inadequate, according to insiders who warn the company's security shortfalls expose users' information to potential breaches, theft and exploitation.The warnings about privacy and compliance failures at Amazon come from three...

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Vincent Manancourt
3d ago
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AstraZeneca insists it’s on track to meet EU second quarter vaccine targets

AstraZeneca insists it’s on track to meet EU second quarter vaccine targets

AstraZeneca insisted late Tuesday night that it should be able to supply 180 million doses of its coronavirus vaccine to the EU in the second quarter of the year, after a media report to the contrary.The comment from the Anglo-Swedish drugmaker followed earlier in the day that said the company would supply less than half — or less than 90 million — of expected doses to the bloc in the second quarter.AstraZeneca's deal with the EU has been the source of intense scrutiny and anger after the drugmaker announced in January that its deliveries to the bloc would be at least 75 million doses...

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Jillian Deutsch
3d ago
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UN Security Council hears of climate threat, does nothing

UN Security Council hears of climate threat, does nothing

Russia warns against any move to recognize warming as a threat to global security.When it comes to climate change, bombs don’t work, so the United Nations Security Council prefers words to action.Tuesday saw the highest profile discussion of climate change in the U.N.’s central body for promoting global peace. But Russia, which holds a veto as a permanent member of the Council, warned against any move to recognize warming as a threat to global security.Moscow’s stance left the Security Council’s U.K. presidency stabbing at a broken panic button.“It is absolutely clear that climate change is...

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Karl Mathiesen
4d ago
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Man sentenced to 15 years in jail over Daphne Caruana Galizia murder

Man sentenced to 15 years in jail over Daphne Caruana Galizia murder

Vince Muscat pleaded guilty during a court hearing on Tuesday.One of the men charged with the murder of Maltese journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia was sentenced to 15 years in prison on Tuesday after pleading guilty.Vince Muscat was one of three suspects — the others are Alfred and George Degiorgio — accused of procuring, planting and detonating the car bomb that killed Caruana Galizia near her home in October 2017. A fourth man, prominent businessman Yorgen Fenech, has been charged with organizing and financing the killing. All four had denied involvement with the murder. However, on...

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Paul Dallison
4d ago
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Sweden’s ski resorts want to stay open despite rising coronavirus infections

Sweden’s ski resorts want to stay open despite rising coronavirus infections

With the half-term holiday approaching, officials are worried, but hotels say they offer much-needed, safe outdoor activities.Press play to listen to this articleVoiced bySTÖTEN, Sweden — Welcome the last bastion of Sweden’s lockdown resistance: its ski resorts. On a recent weekday in Stöten, a small resort close to the Norwegian border, skiers and snowboarders raced through thick powder dumped by a recent storm. Early morning temperatures of minus 28 degrees Celsius proved no barrier for tourists keen for some fun after months of increasing pandemic-related restrictions. “It’s just great...

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Charlie Duxbury
Feb 20
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Italian broadcaster publishes full EU vaccine contract with AstraZeneca

Italian broadcaster publishes full EU vaccine contract with AstraZeneca

The contract states that AstraZeneca said it would supply the EU with 300 million doses of the vaccine by June.Italian public broadcaster RAI has published the complete contract between the European Commission and AstraZeneca.The full contract can be viewed .The contract states that AstraZeneca would supply between 30 million and 40 million doses to the EU at the end of 2020, 80 million to 100 million doses by the end of the first quarter of 2021, and the total 300 million doses by the end of June.The vaccine producer also promised to not make a profit off the vaccine until July 2021,...

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Jillian Deutsch
Feb 19
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EU trade chief warns Biden over ‘Buy American’ push

EU trade chief warns Biden over ‘Buy American’ push

Valdis Dombrovskis says EU will track whether US is straying outside WTO commitments.Europe's trade chief Valdis Dombrovskis has fired a warning shot at new U.S. President Joe Biden over his plans to press U.S. authorities to "Buy American."In an interview with POLITICO and other media, Dombrovskis said the EU, the world's biggest trade bloc, would closely monitor whether preferential treatment for U.S. contractors on public projects contravened international commitments."We will be assessing to which extent the U.S. complies with its [World Trade Organization] commitments under the global...

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Jakob Hanke Vela
Feb 18
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Italy fines Facebook €7M for repeated data violations

Italy fines Facebook €7M for repeated data violations

Regulator says social media giant failed to fully comply with a 2018 order to fix misleading practices.Italy’s Competition and Market Authority today fined Facebook €7 million for failing to comply with a 2018 order to change its data handling practices.In late 2018, the regulator fined the social media giant €10 million for misleading local users over how their data would be collected and shared with third-party services. The regulator also said Facebook had breached Italy’s consumer code by claiming that its service was free, while using consumers’ data for commercial purposes.Facebook...

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Vincent Manancourt
Feb 17
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Europe can’t stay neutral in US-China stand-off

Europe can’t stay neutral in US-China stand-off

China aims to create a world that is not safe for Europe — strategically, economically or ideologically.Michael Schuman is the author of “Superpower Interrupted: The Chinese History of the World” (PublicAffairs, 2020) and “The Miracle: The Epic Story of Asia’s Quest for Wealth” (HarperBusiness, 2009).   HONG KONG — Europe may not want to choose sides between the United States and China. But like it or not, its leaders will eventually have to, and the choice will be stark: Stand by the U.S., or become an international sideshow. This isn’t what Europeans want to hear. Some political and...

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Michael Schuman
Feb 16
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France identifies Russia-linked hackers in large cyberattack

France identifies Russia-linked hackers in large cyberattack

Hackers breached software firm that listed Airbus, Orange and the French Ministry of Justice as its clients.France's cybersecurity agency ANSSI "several French entities" had been breached, and linked the attacks to a Russian hacker group thought to be behind some of the most devastating cyberattacks in past years.The agency said it had identified "an intrusion campaign" in which hackers, linked to Russian military intelligence agency GRU, compromised the French software firm Centreon in order to install two pieces of malware into its clients' networks. The "supply chain attack" is similar...

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Laurens Cerulus
Feb 15
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China topples US as EU’s top trade partner over 2020

China topples US as EU’s top trade partner over 2020

The new data come as Brussels is trying to intensify its economic ties with Beijing by concluding an EU-China investment pact.China was the EU's main trade partner in 2020, taking the top spot occupied until last year by the United States.During global trade's annus horribilis, heavily impacted by the coronavirus pandemic, EU-China trade grew while imports and exports to the United States dramatically dropped compared with 2019, according to data by the EU's statistics office Eurostat Monday.In 2020, exports of EU goods to China increased by 2.2 percent and imports went up 5.6 percent,...

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Giorgio Leali
Feb 15
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Socialists win most votes in Catalonia, but separatists set to maintain power

Socialists win most votes in Catalonia, but separatists set to maintain power

Pro-independence parties increased their majority slightly.MADRID — Socialists scored their first victory in a Catalan regional election Sunday, but pro-independence parties increased their overall majority.In an extremely tight three-way race, the unionist Catalan Socialist Party (PSC) secured 23 percent of the vote and 33 seats — the same number as the Catalan Republican Left (ERC), which narrowly emerged as the leading pro-independence party at 21 percent, ahead of Together for Catalonia (JxCat) at 32 seats, with 99.5 percent of votes counted.The PSC winning the popular vote is a...

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Guy Hedgecoe
Feb 15
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Majority of citizens optimistic about EU but want reform: poll

Majority of citizens optimistic about EU but want reform: poll

Two-thirds of citizens said they were optimistic about the bloc’s future.Confidence in the European Union has increased over the past year although a significant number of citizens expressed a desire for reform.Two-thirds of EU citizens said they were optimistic about the future of the EU, an increase of 5 percentage points compared to June 2019, according to a commissioned by the European Parliament.That figure varied among countries, but more than half of respondents in each member state expressed optimism, ranging from 89 percent in Ireland to 52 percent in France.While just 39 percent...

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William Adkins
Feb 12
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European League: Matteo Salvini’s switch to Team EU

European League: Matteo Salvini’s switch to Team EU

With recovery fund billions to be spent, suddenly Brussels doesn’t seem so bad to Italian populist leader.ROME — Last spring, with Europe’s governments at a stalemate over measures to help the most pandemic-ravaged countries, Matteo Salvini the European Union as “a den of snakes and jackals.”Less than a year on, the leader of Italy’s right-wing League has promised the populist party’s support for a new government to be led by one of EU’s staunchest defenders, former European Central Bank President Mario Draghi.Draghi to try to form a government of national unity to steer the country out of...

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Hannah Roberts
Feb 12
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EU foreign policy RIP

EU foreign policy RIP

Josep Borrell’s trip to Russia marked the end of Europe’s geopolitical ambitions.Press play to listen to this articleVoiced byMatthew Karnitschnig is POLITICO’s chief Europe correspondent.European foreign policy died in Moscow last week. The burial will be held at sea this spring, some 35 fathoms under the Baltic, where a towering Russian vessel called “” is laying the final section of the 1,230 kilometer-long Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline between Russia and Germany. While the end of Europe’s geopolitical ambitions was long in coming, the coup de grâce was a jaw-dropper, if only because it was...

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Matthew Karnitschnig
Feb 13
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Fears over China’s Muslim forced labor loom over EU solar power

Fears over China’s Muslim forced labor loom over EU solar power

Panels include components produced in the Chinese region of Xinjiang, where there are concerns about forced labor camps for Muslim minorities, including Uighurs.Press play to listen to this articleVoiced byNearly every solar power panel sold in the European Union has its origins in China’s .The solar industry and Brussels lawmakers argue Europe’s renewable energy push should not come at a human cost amid long-standing international concern over reports China has with Muslim backgrounds in camps in Xinjiang and is putting them to work.“Everybody knows what’s going on in China, and when...

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Aitor Hernández-Morales
+1
Feb 10
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China’s Eastern Europe strategy gets the cold shoulder

China’s Eastern Europe strategy gets the cold shoulder

Leaders from six countries didn’t show up in a stinging loss of face for Xi Jinping.Press play to listen to this articleVoiced byChina’s tactics in Eastern Europe are running into trouble. The "17+1" platform created by Beijing in 2012 to build ties with 17 Central and Eastern European countries looked decidedly like the 11+1 on Tuesday, when half of the 12 EU national leaders invited to the club failed to show up to pay homage to Chinese President Xi Jinping.It's a stinging diplomatic setback for Xi, who had a first class “divide and rule” card to play by offering to double China’s food...

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Stuart Lau
Feb 9
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Borrell defends controversial Russia trip, threatens sanctions

Borrell defends controversial Russia trip, threatens sanctions

EU foreign policy chief says he was aware of ‘obvious risks’ but stressed importance of talking to Moscow.EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell on Tuesday defended his much-criticized trip to Moscow as “important” and said he would propose sanctions in response to Russia’s refusal to engage on human rights.Speaking in the European Parliament, Borrell said he was under “no illusion” about his visit to Russia last Friday and was aware that it “presented obvious risks,” which he was willing to take.“I wanted to test whether the Russian authorities are interested in a serious attempt to reverse...

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Hans von der Burchard
Feb 9
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Polish media suspend reporting to protest a planned tax on advertising

Polish media suspend reporting to protest a planned tax on advertising

Media groups warn government is trying to undermine press freedom.WARSAW — Polish independent media suspended news coverage and the webpages of the country’s leading news organizations were blank Wednesday morning to protest a new advertising tax that broadcasters and publishers say is aimed not at raising money but at undermining the freedom of the press.“This is simply extortion,” said an open to Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki signed by 43 media organizations that includes Poland’s largest newspaper and magazine publishers as well as its leading independent television networks....

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Wojciech Kość
Feb 10
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EU steelmakers under pressure as global green steel race accelerates

EU steelmakers under pressure as global green steel race accelerates

If European producers don’t move fast, they’ll be overtaken by Asian rivals.Press play to listen to this articleVoiced byThe EU's Green Deal goal of becoming climate neutral by 2050 is putting enormous pressure on the Continent's steelmakers.Those unable to swiftly decarbonize risk getting swallowed by rivals. Laggards will also face competition from Asian steelmakers, which are aggressively promising to slash their greenhouse gas emissions.Roland Junck, president of Liberty Steel for Europe and the U.K., Europe's fourth-largest steel producer, argued companies should bite the financial...

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America Hernandez
Feb 2
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Greece agrees vaccine passport deal with Israel as ‘trial run’

Greece agrees vaccine passport deal with Israel as ‘trial run’

Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis wants the EU to adopt a common certificate.Greece and Israel on Monday signed a deal that will allow people vaccinated against the coronavirus to move freely between the two countries once travel restarts.Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis has pushed the EU to adopt a common vaccination passport to help the tourism industry but Brussels has been hesitant, so far its support to medical purposes only. Opponents of vaccine passports have about discrimination and privacy.Both countries already have so-called “green passports” in operation domestically....

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Nektaria Stamouli
Feb 8
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Europe hints at patent grab from Big Pharma

Europe hints at patent grab from Big Pharma

Prominent figures in Germany, Italy and even at the European Council are toughening on patents — but are they bluffing?Press play to listen to this articleVoiced byEver so softly, European politicians are beginning to voice a once unthinkable threat by suggesting they could snatch patents from drug companies to make up for massive shortfalls in the supply of coronavirus vaccines.Big Pharma businesses have for many years regarded EU countries as unquestioningly loyal allies over intellectual property rights in the international trade arena. The EU could always be relied upon to defend U.S.,...

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Ashleigh Furlong
Feb 3
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WHO coronavirus origins probe in China fails to reveal major new findings

WHO coronavirus origins probe in China fails to reveal major new findings

Scientists have yet to identify how the virus began to jump to humans or where this spread began.Scientists investigating the pandemic's origins as part of a mission to China were unable to provide much clarity Tuesday on where the virus began.The leader of the World Health Organization’s team, Peter Ben Embarek, told journalists that after a month-long mission to the country, the investigation didn't significantly change previous understanding.“Did we change dramatically the picture we had beforehand? I don't think so," said Embarek. “Did we improve our understanding and did we add details...

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Ashleigh Furlong
Feb 9
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