Friday, April 13, 2007

British charity calls for Palestinian aid

- OK, take it... But buy only food, will ya!?...
On the bottle: War

Oxfam has called on the European Union to resume sending aid to the Palestinian government or risk its territories becoming a failed state. A report by the British charity says the year-long boycott of the Hamas-led government has seen an increase in poverty in Gaza and the West Bank.

More: BBC

- Cartoon by Rodrigo for Expresso (Lisbon)

Thursday, April 12, 2007

The Portuguese economy
A new sick man of Europe

Look at any table of European economic data and Portugal stands out. GDP growth last year, at 1.3%, was the lowest not just in the European Union but in all of Europe. Since 2000 the Czech Republic, Greece, Malta and Slovenia have all overtaken Portugal in terms of GDP per head. And Portuguese GDP per head has fallen from just over 80% of the EU 25 average in 1999 to just over 70% last year.

More: The Economist

Monday, March 26, 2007

EU Ponders More Questions Than Answers Amid Celebrations

The European Union celebrated its 50th birthday on Sunday, but critics said a much publicized statement marking the occasion papers over the cracks and the divisive differences over how to meet new challenges.

More: Deutsche Welle

- Cartoon by Rodrigo for Expresso (Lisbon)

Merkel seeks treaty giving EU more powers by 2009

Germany's Chancellor, Angela Merkel, has seized the initiative over the European constitution by outlining ambitious plans to clinch an end-of-year deal on a fresh treaty that would include new powers for the EU.

More: The Independent

- Cartoon by Tom for Trouw (Amsterdam)

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Brazil 0-2 Portugal

Luiz Felipe Scolari's Portugal struck twice late on to end Dunga's unbeaten start as Brazil coach in front of nearly 60,000 at the Emirates Stadium.

More: BBC

- Cartoon by Rodrigo for Expresso (Lisbon)

Monday, February 05, 2007

Bird flu leads Britain to gas turkeys

On the cage: Portuguese workers
On the gas bottle: Unemployment

Britain gassed tens of thousands of turkeys and extended restrictions on the movement of poultry to try to prevent the spread of deadly bird flu from a farm in eastern England.

More: International Herald Tribune

- Cartoon by Rodrigo for Expresso (Lisbon)

All Italian football is suspended after fans' bomb kills policeman

A sunday without football in Italy
The fans: "The ball!... The ball!..."
Prodi: "Confiscated!"

Italy's Prime Minister, Romano Prodi, promised drastic action against football violence yesterday after riots at a derby game in Sicily resulted in the death of one policeman and injuries to dozens of police and fans.

More: The Independent

- Cartoon by Kroll for Le Soir (Brussels)

Thursday, February 01, 2007

EU could impose smoking ban across continent

One the papers: Fine

A Europe-wide ban on smoking in public places may be on the cards as a European commission initiative sizes up the experiences of countries with stringent no-smoking policies.

More: The Guardian

- Cartoon by Rodrigo for Expresso (Lisbon)

Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Basque premier in court over forbidden talks

On the sword: Law

The head of the provincial government in Spain's northern Basque country has appeared in court, charged with holding illegal talks with a banned political group. Juan José Ibarretxe, the prime minister of the self governing region, had been in discussions with the militant Batasuna party and its leader Arnaldo Otegi.

More: Euronews

- Cartoon by Gallego & Rey for El Mundo (Madrid)

Thursday, January 25, 2007

EU Report Slams Members for Involvement in Secret CIA Affair

European Union lawmakers have approved a report which lashes out at EU countries for tolerating or assisting the United States' practice of secret detentions of terrorist suspects. At least 10 European states, including Britain, Poland, Portugal, Italy and Germany aided or knew about the CIA's clandestine program of taking terrorism suspects to other countries for interrogation, the report said.

More: Deutsche Welle

- Cartoon by Rodrigo for Expresso (Lisbon)

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Business leaders' confidence hits record high

Leaders of the world's top companies are meeting this week in Davos in buoyant mood. With the global economy enjoying one of its longest periods of growth since World War Two, confidence about corporate revenues is running at record levels and economists are bullish about the future.

More: Reuters

- Cartoon by Chappatte for International Herald Tribune (Paris)

Monday, January 22, 2007

Ukraine told not to get its EU hopes up

EU foreign ministers have approved a mandate for talks with Kiev on a wide-ranging fresh cooperation pact. But this meant resolving differences on how to treat Ukraine's EU membership hopes first. The ex-Soviet state borders four countries of the European Union, now. France and other countries where public opinion is prickly towards further EU enlargement wanted a damper on Ukrainian aspirations.

More: Euronews

Thursday, January 18, 2007

The European Parliament has yet to fill the democratic deficit

This week a conservative took over from a socialist as president of the European Parliament and many of its committees changed hands. If this were a normal parliament, presumably there would have been a fiercely contested election or some other basic political shift. In practice, the changes represent Buggins's turn: halfway through the European Parliament's five-year term, the top jobs are shuffled to give someone else a go. There has been no discernible shift in popular opinion and the choice of Hans-Gert Pöttering as president was a foregone conclusion. Clearly, the European Parliament is not a normal parliament.

More: The Economist

Thursday, January 11, 2007

EU Unveils Major New Energy Policy

The European Commission unveiled sweeping plans to diversify EU energy sources, slash carbon emissions by 20 percent and enforce rules for fuel competition. To achieve that goal, the EU Commission also calls for the promotion of nuclear energy, which is being phased out by several countries.

More: Deutsche Welle

- Cartoon by Rodrigo for Expresso (Lisbon)

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

Celebrations as Romania and Bulgaria join EU

Blue-and-gold EU flags fluttered and fireworks thundered in Romania and Bulgaria at the stroke of midnight, as the two Balkan nations became the latest countries to join the European Union.

More: The Independent

- Cartoon by Christo Komarnitski for Sega (Sofia)