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Aug 18, 2014

As Gaza war subsides, a battle over how it is investigated

JERUSALEM (Reuters) – Even before starting work as chairman of a U.N. human rights commission investigating the Gaza war, Canadian law professor William Schabas has been vilified as an apologist for Iran incapable of setting aside his perceived anti-Israel bias.

Full page adverts have been taken out against him in The New York Times, Wall Street Journal and Washington Post, while the Facebook page of Rabbi Shmuley Boteach, a leader of the anti-Schabas campaign, has attracted more than 30,000 “likes”.

Aug 14, 2014

Israeli-Palestinian talks face major hurdles as new truce begins

JERUSALEM/GAZA, Aug 14 (Reuters) – Israel and the
Palestinians have given themselves five days to come up with a
comprehensive agreement to end the war in Gaza. While that is a
welcome extension on past ceasefires, there is still a
dangerously long way to go to bridge their differences.

After agreeing to Egypt’s proposal to extend the halt in
hostilities until Aug. 18 – a deal clinched with barely an hour
to run on the previous, 72-hour pause – Palestinian and Israeli
negotiators left Cairo to consult with their leaders.

Aug 13, 2014

Month of war leaves Israel with tricky economic outlook

JERUSALEM, Aug 13 (Reuters) – Israel’s month-long war with
Hamas in Gaza has added fuel to a Palestinian boycott movement
and may damage investor sentiment towards Israel at the margins,
even if the $250 billion hi-tech economy looks set to emerge
largely unscathed.

Analysts expect the war to have dented growth and cost
several billion dollars – foreign tourism alone fell by 25
percent in July. But Israel has weathered such storms in the
past and tends to rebound within a few months, with output
expanding at around 3-4 percent a year in recent years.

Jul 3, 2014

Is Europe’s troubled union really ready to change?

BRUSSELS, July 3 (Reuters) – After six decades of relentless
if incremental integration, might the European Union be about to
go into reverse?

The “ever closer union” enshrined in EU treaties since 1957
no longer looks so assured after a voter backlash in May’s
European Parliament elections and Britain’s increasingly
strident demands for a looser relationship with Brussels.

Jun 27, 2014

Lonely Cameron fails to stop EU nominating Juncker

BRUSSELS (Reuters) – European Union leaders nominated Jean-Claude Juncker for European Commission president on Friday by an overwhelming majority over the fierce objections of British Prime Minister David Cameron, who called it “a sad day for Europe”.

Cameron forced an unprecedented vote at an EU summit to dramatise his opposition both to the way the former Luxembourg prime minister was chosen and to his suitability for the most powerful EU job. He warned it could influence British voters’ eventual decision on whether to leave the European Union.

Jun 26, 2014

Day of reckoning arrives for Britain over EU’s Juncker

BRUSSELS (Reuters) – David Cameron will make a last-ditch stand against the nomination of Jean-Claude Juncker for European Commission president on Friday, enforcing a point of principle that raises the risk of Britain leaving the European Union.

The British prime minister has made his opposition to Juncker abundantly clear. He sees the former Luxembourg premier as lacking the will and the skills to overhaul the EU and has told fellow leaders they are making a mistake in backing him – warning of unspecified ‘consequences’ if they persist.

Jun 26, 2014

EU leaders unite for war memorial before Juncker battle

YPRES Belgium/BRUSSELS (Reuters) – European Union leaders gathered in Belgium for a solemn ceremony on Thursday to commemorate the 100th anniversary of World War One, determined to display unity despite deep disagreement over who should head their most influential institution.

At Mending Gate, a memorial to 50,000 British and Commonwealth soldiers killed in the battle of Yore’s, German Chancellor Angela Merkel was due to stand alongside British Prime Minister David Cameron, French President Francois Hollande and other leaders to honor the fallen of what became known as the Great War.

Jun 25, 2014

Germany and Italy align on EU policy, Britain set for showdown

BRUSSELS, June 25 (Reuters) – Britain’s slender hopes of
securing Italy’s support in its bid to stop Jean-Claude Juncker
becoming European Commission president crumbled on Wednesday
when Germany offered Rome on a gentler interpretation of EU
budget rules.

Chancellor Angela Merkel’s acknowledgement that European
Union deficit curbs should be applied flexibly to promote growth
was a gesture to Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi, all but
ensuring he backs Juncker’s nomination at a summit on Friday.

Jun 24, 2014

As EU’s ‘Juncker summit’ looms, Britain spurns olive branches

BRUSSELS (Reuters) – European Union officials have offered Britain several olive branches to try to prevent a summit on Friday ending in isolation and defeat, but Prime Minister David Cameron has rejected them, preferring to make a stand on principle.

EU officials have asked what post in the European Commission Britain might want, what its top priorities for the coming years are and how it thinks the biggest EU jobs should be assigned, but Cameron has avoided the discussion.

Jun 23, 2014

Battle over Juncker underlines EU parliament’s ‘adulthood’

BRUSSELS (Reuters) – In early May, before the saga over whether Jean-Claude Juncker should become the next president of the European Commission had reached this week’s slow-building climax, a pointed question was posed at a briefing in Brussels.

Had it been left up to European Union leaders alone to come up with a Commission candidate, a senior EU official was asked, would Juncker naturally have come top of the list?

    • About Luke

      "Luke is bureau chief for Reuters in Brussels. The 25-strong, multimedia bureau covers all European Union issues, from trade, energy and agriculture to foreign policy, competition, regulation and economic affairs. The bureau is also responsible for coverage of NATO and Belgian politics, economics and company news. In his beat, Luke covers foreign affairs, with a focus on the Middle East and Iran, and writes about EU economic policy. He was previously based in London, where he was defence correspondent, and before that had postings in Jerusalem, Baghdad, Rome and Johannesburg."
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