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Feb 14, 2013

Horsemeat scandal set to spur tougher EU food tests

BRUSSELS (Reuters) – The European Commission has proposed increased DNA testing of meat products to assess the scale of a scandal involving horsemeat sold as beef that has shocked the public and raised concern over the continent’s food supply chains.

“The tests will be on DNA in meat products in all member states,” European Union Health Commissioner Tonio Borg told reporters after a ministerial meeting in Brussels to discuss the affair.

Feb 13, 2013

Belgium seeks end to EU sanctions on Zimbabwe miner

BRUSSELS, Feb 13 (Reuters) – Belgium is pushing for European
Union sanctions on a Zimbabwean gold and diamond mining company
to be lifted, putting it at odds with some of its EU partners
days before a deadline to extend sanctions on Zimbabwe, EU
diplomats said on Wednesday.

EU sanctions against Zimbabwe’s President Robert Mugabe and
dozens of other people and companies close to Mugabe’s ZANU-PF
party are renewed annually and EU countries must agree to extend
them before they expire on Feb. 20.

Feb 13, 2013

Horsemeat scandal set to spur tougher European food tests

BRUSSELS (Reuters) – European countries demanded more DNA testing of meat products and tougher labeling rules over a scandal involving horsemeat sold as beef that has shocked the public and raised concerns over the safety of the continent’s food supply chains.

Officials have said there is no risk to public health from the tainted foods. But the suspected fraud has caused particular outrage in Britain, where many view the idea of eating horsemeat with distaste, and exposed flawed food controls.

Feb 12, 2013

Ireland moves to quell horsemeat fears, calls meeting

BRUSSELS/DUBLIN (Reuters) – Ireland said on Monday it would order Irish meat processors to carry out DNA tests to reassure consumers worried by the discovery of horsemeat in some beef products and called a meeting of European ministers to discuss a wider response.

The horsemeat scandal affecting a growing number of European countries began in Ireland after its food safety authority discovered horsemeat in frozen beef burgers.

Feb 5, 2013

Support grows for U.N. force in Mali

BRUSSELS (Reuters) – African and Western countries threw their support on Tuesday behind the idea of having United Nations peacekeepers eventually take over from an African force being deployed in Mali.

France sent troops to Mali last month to halt the advance of al Qaeda-affiliated militants who launched an offensive that threatened the capital Bamako.

Feb 5, 2013

Brussels meeting mobilizes support for Mali

BRUSSELS (Reuters) – Governments and international organizations meet on Tuesday to find ways to reinforce military gains against Islamist rebels in northern Mali by supporting democracy, economic development and human rights in one of the world’s poorest countries.

The rapid progress of French and Malian forces in driving the rebels from Mali’s main northern towns has put the diplomatic focus on how to ensure lasting security there and how to tackle poverty and political grievances that contributed to Mali’s instability.

Feb 3, 2013

Iran hedges on nuclear talks with six powers or U.S.

MUNICH (Reuters) – Iran said on Sunday it was open to a U.S. offer of direct talks on its nuclear program and that six world powers had suggested a new round of nuclear negotiations this month, but without committing itself to either proposal.

Diplomatic efforts to resolve a dispute over Iran’s nuclear program, which Tehran says is peaceful but the West suspects is intended to give Iran the capability to build a nuclear bomb, have been all but deadlocked for years, while Iran has continued to announce advances in the program.

Feb 2, 2013

UK may overhaul private-sector defence deals to save cash

MUNICH, Feb 2 (Reuters) – Britain’s defence ministry,
casting about for possible savings in a time of austerity, is
looking into restructuring privately financed projects to take
advantage of lower interest rates, Defence Secretary Philip
Hammond said on Saturday.

The ministry has used private finance initiative (PFI)
schemes to fund projects ranging from a new fleet of aerial
refuelling planes to military housing. But some of the deals
have been criticised for saddling the government with long-term,
expensive repayments.

Feb 2, 2013

Biden raises possibility of direct U.S.-Iran talks

MUNICH (Reuters) – The United States is ready to hold direct talks with Iran if it is serious about negotiations, Vice President Joe Biden said on Saturday, backing bilateral contacts that many see as crucial to easing an international dispute over Tehran’s nuclear program.

Speaking at a security conference in Munich, Biden said Iran – which says it is enriching uranium for peaceful energy only – now faced “the most robust sanctions in history” meant to ensure it does not use its program to develop nuclear weapons.

Jan 31, 2013

Mali shows Europe must work to plug defence gaps-NATO

BRUSSELS, Jan 31 (Reuters) – France’s need for U.S. help
during the Mali operation shows Europe must do more to fill
worrying gaps in its defences, NATO’s chief said on Thursday.

Anders Fogh Rasmussen also sounded the alarm about growing
disparities between what the United States and Europe spend on
defence and warned that NATO’s military power and global
influence could be put at risk if allies continue to slash their
defence budgets while emerging powers boost theirs.

    • About Adrian

      "I am part of Reuters UK reporting team, writing mainly about UK politics and foreign policy. My previous postings with Reuters were in Spain, Belgium, the United States, Colombia, Nicaragua and South Africa."
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