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Aug 4, 2015

New Taliban leader moves fast to heal rifts in Afghan insurgency

PESHAWAR, Pakistan/KABUL (Reuters) – If the first public comments from the Afghan Taliban’s newly appointed leader are anything to go by, Akhtar Mohammad Mansour recognizes how fractured the militant movement has become and that humility and consensus may be his best way forward.

Mansour, who was deputy to the late Taliban founder Mullah Mohammad Omar, is widely seen as close to neighboring Pakistan’s powerful military intelligence, which helped create the Taliban in the 1990s and has maintained links ever since.

Aug 4, 2015

New Taliban leader moves fast to heal rifts in Afghan insurgency

PESHAWAR, Pakistan/KABUL (Reuters) – If the first public comments from the Afghan Taliban’s newly appointed leader are anything to go by, Akhtar Mohammad Mansour recognises how fractured the militant movement has become and that humility and consensus may be his best way forward.

Mansour, who was deputy to the late Taliban founder Mullah Mohammad Omar, is widely seen as close to neighbouring Pakistan’s powerful military intelligence, which helped create the Taliban in the 1990s and has maintained links ever since.

Jul 12, 2015

Greece’s Tsipras set to expel Syriza rebels as bailout votes loom

BRUSSELS/ATHENS (Reuters) – Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras is set to begin a bruising week by clearing out party rebels opposed to an austerity package that will have to go through parliament within days, people close to the government say.

With Greece’s future in the euro zone in the balance and European partners demanding immediate action to rebuild broken trust and prove his commitment to reform, the 40-year-old leftist prime minister cannot afford to wait.

Jul 11, 2015

Euro lenders to pass bailout judgment as Greece backs reforms

BRUSSELS/ATHENS, July 11 (Reuters) – Greek Prime Minister
Alexis Tsipras won backing from lawmakers on Saturday for
painful reforms but it remained unclear it would be enough to
secure a bailout from German and other euro zone ministers
meeting in Brussels.

In parliament overnight, Tsipras had to rely on opposition
votes from the right after some of his leftist allies opposed
spending cuts, tax rises and other measures he proposed in order
to unlock 54 billion euros in three-year credit and save Greece
from a bankruptcy that would force it out of the euro zone.

Jun 18, 2015

Greece’s EU future in doubt if talks fail, central bank warns

ATHENS (Reuters) – Greece’s leftist government faced a barrage of warnings on Wednesday that it risked being forced out of the euro zone and left without support if it failed to strike a swift aid-for-reforms deal with its creditors.

The Bank of Greece said the country’s future in the European Union itself could also be at risk without a deal, underlining the extent to which officials who once refused any suggestion of “Grexit” are now openly discussing the prospect.

Jun 17, 2015

Greece’s future in EU in doubt if talks fail, central bank warns

ATHENS (Reuters) – The Greek central bank warned on Wednesday that the country risks a painful exit from the euro and ultimately even the European Union if Athens and its creditors do not strike a swift aid-for-reforms deal.

The warning, contained in a regular monetary policy report from the central bank, underlined the extent to which officials who once refused any suggestion of “Grexit” are now openly discussing it and setting off the alarm bells.

Jun 14, 2015

Italy’s Renzi warns EU on refugees as neighbors block border crossings

ROME (Reuters) – Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi called for a change to European asylum rules on Sunday as neighboring states tightened border controls, turning back African migrants and leaving hundreds stranded at the frontier in northern Italy.

In an interview with Milan’s Corriere della Sera daily, Renzi said that after toppling Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi in 2011, the international community bore responsibility for the chaos in Libya that has opened the way for hundreds of thousands of migrants to cross by boat to southern Italy.

Jun 4, 2015

Italy hit by new corruption scandal over migrant centres

ROME (Reuters) – Italian police said they arrested 44 people on Thursday suspected of being part of a network of corrupt politicians, officials and business people in Rome accused of rigging public contracts to manage migrant reception centres.

The arrests follow the discovery of a vast system of corruption in the Rome city government last year — a case dubbed “Mafia Capital” which prompted the city hall to ask the national anti-corruption authority to investigate a list of suspect public contracts.

Jun 1, 2015

Italy PM Renzi’s party pledges to stay on course after vote setback

ROME (Reuters) – Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi’s ruling centre-left party promised on Monday to push on with its reform agenda after anti-establishment and euro-sceptic parties posted strong results in local elections.

Centre-left candidates backed by Renzi’s Democratic Party (PD) won five out of seven regions that voted on Sunday. But a fall in the overall vote and the loss of the key region of Liguria dented the unchallenged supremacy Renzi, 40, has held over Italian politics since becoming prime minister in Feb 2014.

Jun 1, 2015

Italy’s Renzi stumbles in local elections

ROME (Reuters) – Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi suffered a blow in local elections on Sunday, with worse-than-expected results from the center-left and a strong showing by the anti-establishment 5-Star Movement and right-wing Northern League.

With 22 million Italians eligible to vote in the biggest test for Renzi since last year’s European elections, initial projections showed center-left candidates well ahead in the central regions of Tuscany and Marche and the southern region of Puglia. Its candidate also led more narrowly in the Campania region around Naples.