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Government & Politics

Turning the tide in the war against AIDS

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The search for an HIV vaccine begins at a very unlikely place. An amateur drag queen festival in Barcelona provides local anti-AIDS activists with an opportunity to get in touch with a community at risk. In the Spanish city, men who have sex with other men account for 81% of new HIV infections. Public campaigns bring people at risk to centres like BCN Checkpoint where they can get tested for HIV quickly and anonymously. Hundreds of regular visitors agreed to share their blood samples with researchers. For immunologists, this is an invaluable... Read More »

CBS: Dutch less politically active than Germans

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Relatively more Germans than Dutch and Belgians politically active People can try to influence politics in a number of ways. In addition to voting in elections, people can be politically active by contacting a politician, working for a political party or pressure group, signing a petition, or taking part in a demonstration. Around 37 percent of the population in the Netherlands and Belgium had undertaken at least one such political action in 2012, in Germany this was significantly more: 59 percent. Large regional differences Participat... Read More »

Commission outlines remaining key challenges on gender equality

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"Europe cannot afford to underuse the potential of 50 percent of its population. Even though equal chances for women and men are more than ever becoming a reality, there is still a long way to go. For every euro a man earns in Europe, a woman still earns only 84 cents. Women are still underrepresented in leadership both in business and in politics. And worst of all, one in three women has experienced physical and sexual violence. This is unacceptable. I am committed to addressing these challenges and to achieve tangible results." said Vĕra Jour... Read More »

Ukraine and Russia strike fragile deal on gas deliveries

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The talks were held in Brussels and mediated by energy union commissioner Maros Sefcovic after accusations from both sides last week threatened to disrupt gas deliveries from Russia. Russian gas giant Gazprom threatened to divert supplies to rebel-held areas in Eastern Ukraine because Kiev authorities had stopped supplying the areas. Its Ukrainian counterpart Naftogaz accused Gazprom of not delivering all the gas that had been paid for. The Ukrainian and Russian energy ministers, Volodymyr Demchyshyn and Alexander Novak, agreed after five... Read More »

‘You can’t use 18th century law for a digital world’

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As a vice-president of the EU commission, Ansip is in charge of establishing a "digital single market", which should bring down regulatory barriers and reduce costs for online businesses, services and customers in the EU. Unlike many of his colleagues who still bring big paper folders to the EU commission meetings, the former Estonian Prime Minister - used to a paperless government from back home - sports only his iPad and makes a point of keeping print-outs to a minimum. "I was the first person in Estonia to give his digital signature, back... Read More »

Amnesty International: European Commission’s announcement on migration: Right words, but no solutions

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“We agree that a European solution to the search and rescue crisis is urgently needed, but that's not being offered here. Member states need to step up and chip in. Extending operation Triton without increasing its assets and operational area changes absolutely nothing,” said Iverna McGowan, acting director of Amnesty International European Institutions Office. During a press briefing in Brussels, Dimitris Avramopoulos, European Commissioner for Migration, Home Affairs and Citizenship, acknowledged that the European Union (EU) needed to reac... Read More »

New strategy mobilises all EU tools and €1 billion for Syria and Iraq

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With this substantial package, the EU will ensure steady and predictable funding for essential priorities: relief, stabilisation and development in the region, as well as countering the threat posed by terrorist groups like Da'esh. These political, social, and humanitarian measures target Syria and Iraq, but also Lebanon, Jordan and Turkey. High Representative/Vice-President Federica Mogherini said: " This package will strengthen our actions to help restore peace and security in a region that is so close to us and that has been devastated by... Read More »

Amnesty International: Bulgaria must investigate and prosecute hate crimes to end climate of fear

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Missing the point: Lack of adequate investigation of hate crimes in Bulgaria documents the severe impact of hate crimes on victims and highlights how the authorities’ failure to tackle entrenched prejudice against asylum seekers, migrants, Muslims and lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people is fuelling further violence and discrimination. “Hundreds of people from minority groups have experienced hate crimes and many more have no confidence in the authorities to protect them,” says Marco Perolini, Amnesty International’s researcher on D... Read More »

Amnesty International: Ukraine: Debaltseve’s residents reaching breaking point

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“The situation in Debaltseve is catastrophic,” said Joanne Mariner, Senior Crisis Response Adviser at Amnesty International, who just returned from the town and is now in Slovyansk. “I have spoken to many elderly people who are confined to their basements, living in extremely dire, overcrowded conditions, in absolute fear. Many told me how they felt completely lost, not knowing what to do. Shelling is constant. These people are at the mercy of forces they have absolutely no control over.” “Both sides of the conflict have the responsibilit... Read More »

EU says Gazprom’s Turkey plan ‘won’t work’

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Maros Sefcovic told press in Brussels on Wednesday (4 February) the project - Turkish Stream - “won’t work” because of “simple maths” on supply and demand and because of contractual obligations. Russian supplier Gazprom says it will deliver 63 billion cubic metres of gas a year to the Turkish-Greek border and will be operational from 2019. It also said it will stop using Ukraine transit pipes to the EU when it is up and running. But Sefcovic noted that Turkey itself needs just 15bcm while countries in south-east Europe need a further 15 only... Read More »

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