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CIA manual tells agents how to fool EU border guards


Both are marked "Noforn," meaning "no foreigners", which stop them being shared with allied intelligence agencies. The first document, "Surviving Secondary", is from 2011 and explains what to do in case a border guard singles out an agent for extra scrutiny. The second document, "Schengen Overview", is from 2012 and explains the exposure risks posed by electronic border control checks like the Visa Information System (VIS) and others. Most of the instructions in the "Surviving Secondary" manual appear to be based on common sense tactics. ... Read More »

Amnesty International: Eastern Ukraine: Humanitarian disaster looms as food aid blocked


“As winter sets in, the already desperate situation in eastern Ukraine is being made even worse by the volunteer battalions preventing food aid and medicine from reaching those in need. It is no secret that the region is facing a humanitarian disaster with many already at risk of starvation,” said Denis Krivosheev, acting Director of Europe and Central Asia for Amnesty International. “These battalions often act like renegade gangs and urgently need to be brought under control. Denying food to people caught up in a conflict is against interna... Read More »

EU’s Crimea sanctions to give Putin new headache


The new law - agreed on Thursday and seen by EUobserver - is designed to give teeth to EU non-recognition of Russia’s annexation of the Ukrainian region in March. The EU has a separate sanctions regime on Russian officials, companies, banks, and energy companies. But since it says Crimea is de jure Ukraine, new sanctions are needed to stop European firms from operating in the region in de facto support of Russia’s actions. The EU decision stops European entities from: buying real estate; acquiring extra shares or creating new joint ven... Read More »

Statement by President Juncker ahead of the European Council on 18-19 December: Boosting Investment to create Jobs and Growth


First, Europe needs a new approach to investment, and we will have to concentrate on improving the investment climate in Europe. And we will have to help our eastern neighbour, Ukraine, stabilise the situation in the East, master the challenges of the winter and pursue the path of reform. We will have to focus our efforts to successfully implement these objectives. Let me start by making a few remarks on our new approach to investment. On investments On 28 November, the Commission presented its 2015 Annual Growth Survey, which is pa... Read More »

Amnesty International: End persecution of Chechen activists


In the evening of December 13 the Joint Mobile Group (JMG), a human rights organization that works with non-governmental organizations from other Russian regions, was destroyed in a fire in the Chechen capital, Grozny, in a suspected arson attack. “These acts of intimidation are part of an ongoing crackdown on freedom of expression in the region. Chechen leader Ramzan Kadyrov appears to be waging a personal campaign against the Joint Mobile Group and its leader Igor Kalyapin,” said Anna Neistat, senior director of research at Amnesty Interna... Read More »

Viviane Reding joins Bertelsmann Stiftung Board of Trustees


"In light of her many years of political experience in Europe and numerous policymaking fields, Viviane Reding will make an outstanding addition to the Board of Trustees at the Bertelsmann Stiftung. I am very pleased to be able to welcome such an exceptional individual to our ranks," said Professor Dr. Werner J. Bauer, chairman of the Bertels¬mann Stiftung Board of Trustees. In 1999 Viviane Reding joined the Commission under Romano Prodi before serving as Commissioner responsible for various areas under Manuel Barroso until 2014, most recent... Read More »

EU leaders to pledge more Ukraine money, threaten Russia sanctions


The provisional text - agreed by EU states ambassadors’ on Monday (8 December) and seen by EUobserver - “congratulates Ukraine on its new government and welcomes its determination to carry out political and economic reforms”. It says that following a recent EU aid payment of €500 million “the Union and its member states stand ready to further facilitate and support Ukraine's reform process”. It notes the “situation in eastern Ukraine remains a strong concern” and urges both sides to implement the 5 September ceasefire accord. It warns ... Read More »

Citizens believe greater use of Digital Technology can improve justice system, new Accenture Survey shows


Survey respondents – representing Australia, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, the United Kingdom and the United States – also believe new digital technologies have the potential to both reduce the processing times of court cases (63 percent) and reduce administrative costs (62 percent). Additionally, 82 percent of citizens said they would be willing to interact with their justice agency using digital technologies either instead of, or in addition to, face-to-face contact. According to the survey, those willing to interact with their justice syste... Read More »

Amnesty International: More deaths in the Mediterranean Sea highlight need for EU-wide search and rescue plan


“These latest deaths show yet again how vital it is that the EU maintains adequate search and rescue capacity along the routes taken by those fleeing conflict and persecution. The down-sizing of Italy’s search and rescue operation without an effective EU-wide replacement is putting the lives of hundreds of thousands at risk,” said John Dalhuisen, Director for Europe and Central Asia at Amnesty International. According to the Italian Navy, the 16 perished due to hypothermia and dehydration. A further 76 refugees and migrants were rescued, of ... Read More »

New audio book parodies “Letters” to President Obama


Boston, MA -The new AUDIO humor book Obama Confidential: Strange, Odd & Bizarre Letters to the 44th President features a collection of 60 FAKE "letters" to President Barack Obama from everyday citizens, and from celebrities such as Lance Armstrong, Bill Clinton, Warren Buffett, Steven Spielberg, and Dennis Rodman. Offering an inside look at what's really on the minds of the American people, Obama Confidential provides an amusing snapshot of the country in the second decade of the 21st century. President Obama Receives 65,000+ Letters ... Read More »

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