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News Trending War

EU energy ministers have decided that countries will reduce their gas use if Russia stops supplying them. The EU countries have now agreed to a voluntary 15 percent between August and March after being locked in negotiations since the notion was floated last week.

The Czech Republic, which is currently in charge of rotating the EU chair, tweeted, “This was not a Mission Impossible!”. Documents obtained by the BBC, however, indicate that the agreement had been weakened and that certain nations may now request exemptions. The EU warned that Russia was “constantly using energy supplies as a weapon” and that the goal was to save money before winter.

If supplies run out, the voluntary agreement would become obligatory. The EU said that some nations, including Ireland, Malta, and Cyprus, which are not connected to the EU’s gas pipelines, would be exempt from any mandatory gas reduction orders since they would not be able to seek alternative supplies.

In order to reduce the possibility of a crisis in the supply of power, the Baltic nations, who are not connected to the European electricity grid and heavily rely on gas for electricity production, are also exempt from mandatory targets.

Initial calculations showed that even if all exemptions were used, the EU would still lower demand to a level “that would get us safely through an average winter,” according to Kadri Simson, European Commissioner for Energy.

She also discussed efforts to increase the supply of alternative gas from nations such as Azerbaijan, the United States, Canada, Norway, Egypt, and Israel.

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News Trending War

Ukraine’s attempt to join the European Union has been boosted significantly by a proposal that it be granted candidate status. However, the European Commission has stated that the government needs reform in areas such as the rule of law, oligarchs, human rights, and corruption. Ukrainians have demonstrated that they are “willing to die” for their European dreams, according to European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen.

The group cautioned that the country needed to make reforms in the areas of the rule of law, oligarchs, human rights, and corruption. It comes after four European politicians visited Kyiv on Thursday and publicly backed Ukraine’s membership bid. Ukraine also claims that Russia is preparing an assault on the eastern city of Slovyansk, as battle for control of Severodonetsk continues.

“Europe can construct a new history of freedom precisely because of the bravery of the Ukrainians,” Mr Volodymyr Zelenskyy said in his nightly video address, “and ultimately remove the grey zone in Eastern Europe between the EU and Russia.” “Ukraine has gotten closer to the EU than at any other moment since independence,” he remarked, hinting at “positive news” on the way.

Ukraine would be the EU’s largest country by area and fifth most populous if entered. All three candidates are significantly poorer than any existing EU member, with per capita income roughly half that of Bulgaria, the poorest.

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News Trending

Fast fashion is being targeted in Europe, with proposals to make clothing made and worn there more durable, reusable, repairable, and recyclable.

The strategy for sustainable textiles, which will be unveiled on Wednesday, will focus on clothing at every stage of its life cycle, including design, repair, and recycling. The initiative aims to increase demand for garments that are made in a sustainable manner.

Manufacturers will have to ensure that their clothes are both environmentally friendly and durable. Furthermore, consumers will be provided with more information on how to reuse, repair, and recycle their clothing.

The European Commission’s rules, according to Iona Popescu of the Environmental Coalition on Standards, are designed to bring in longer-lasting products that can be worn multiple times rather than worn once and thrown away. “By introducing rules on textiles to be used in the European market, the Commission hopes to put a stop to fast fashion,” she said.

Under an initiative known as the Sustainable Products Initiative (SPI), similar rules will apply to electronics such as smartphones and furniture, she added. Only about 1% of all clothing is recycled globally, according to estimates.

According to the European Environment Agency, clothing has the fourth highest environmental and climate impact in Europe, trailing only food, housing, and transportation. Textile consumption requires 9 cubic metres of water, 400 square metres of land, 391 kilogrammes of raw materials, and a carbon footprint of about 270 kilogrammes per person in the EU. Politicians in the United Kingdom have urged the government to change the law to require fashion retailers to adhere to environmental regulations.

In 2019, the government rejected the majority of the Environmental Audit Committee’s recommendations, including making clothing manufacturers pay for better clothing collection and recycling, but it has prioritised textile waste.

According to Tamara Cincik of Fashion Roundtable, a think tank for the fashion industry, the textiles strategy could set the tone for future legislation outside of the EU. “If brand expectations in the UK differ from those in the EU, this should encourage stronger expectations of future UK legislation,” she said.

“This is why it is critical for both UK brands and the government to be aware of this strategy, as the EU remains our largest and, in many ways, closest trading partner in the textiles and fashion industries.”

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Entertainment News Trending

Following the invasion of Ukraine, Warner Bros., Disney, and Sony have halted the release of films in Russian theatres.

The announcements mean that major films such as The Batman, Turning Red, and Morbius will not be released in the country as planned. They come at a time when governments around the world are tightening sanctions against Moscow.

Global corporations, including automakers and energy behemoths, have severed ties with Russia in recent days.

The Batman, a Warner Bros. blockbuster, was set to be released in Russia on Friday.

Meanwhile, the Russian release of the Pixar animated film Turning Red has been postponed by Disney.

The entertainment conglomerate also stated that it would collaborate with its non-governmental organisations to provide “urgent aid and other humanitarian assistance to refugees.”

Sony has also halted the release of Morbius, its Marvel adaptation, in the country.

Meanwhile, Netflix has stated that it will not comply with new Russian regulations requiring it to carry state-sponsored channels.

Tech platforms Twitter and Facebook have also moved to limit the presence of Russian state-backed news outlet information on their platforms as these have been accused of spreading misinformation about the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

Meta, which owns Facebook, said it would restrict access in the European Union to state-owned media outlets RT and Sputnik.

Twitter also said it would add warnings to tweets that share links to Russian state-affiliated media.

News

The coronavirus outbreak has exposed a rift exist between the Southern Europe and Northern Europe.

Italy and Spain – the worst hit countries – are angry with the northern nations, which is led by Germany and the Netherlands, as the latter has done not much to support the former.

Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez has warned of serious consequences. As per his statement, if the EU fails to come up with a applicable plan to surmount the financial burden fallen up on the worst hit countries, the European Union economic bloc will fall apart.

As an attempt to cool down the tension, some EU frameworks have assured that they would come up with a powerful plan soon.

Unfortunately, a meeting happened two weeks ago to discuss this matter miserably failed to bear any fruit.

What Italy, Spain, France and some other EU states want is to share out coronavirus-incurred debt in the form of “coronabonds” – mutualised debt that all EU nations help pay off.

The problem here is that not all countries – especially some powerful countries in the northern part of Europe like Germany – are happy with the mutualised dept idea.

Whether this crisis contributes to the collapse of the decades-old Economic Union exist in the continent of Europe is yet to be seen.


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News

Chancellor Angela Merkel’s defense minister and fellow conservative party member, Ursula von der Leyen has been nominated by the EU leaders for the block’s top jobs.

It is for the first time that a women is being nominated for the EU Commission Chief. Leyen’s name has been suggested after the main front-runners were rejected.

The name of Christine Lagarde, the IMF chef will be proposed by the counsel for leading the European Central Bank (ECB). It is for the first time that a women’s name is proposed for leading the ECB.

Charles Michel will be nominated as the president of the European Council. Josep Borrell Fontelles of Spain will be taking the role of foreign policy chief.

The EU leaders were assigned to select 5 people for the top job’s. The fifth job role – president of the European Parliament is to be chosen on Wednesday.

Mr Tusk said, “We have agreed the whole package before the first session of the European Parliament”. The nominations were “the fruit of a deep Franco-German entente”, said Emmanuel Macron, the French President.

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News

An EU rule that came into effect on Monday insists all the electric cars to emit voice as the silent feature tends to create more chances for accidents.

This leads the new electric vehicles to feature a noise-emitting device. The rule makers are concerned that the low-emission cars and vans are too quiet that they are not audible to the pedestrians and creates accidents.

As per the rule, all the four wheeler electrical vehicles must be installed with a traditional engine-like device. Avas (a car’s acoustic vehicle alert system) should produce sound during reversing or travelling below 12mph (19km/h).

With out this acoustic system installed, no four-wheeled electric vehicle will be approved for road use from 1st of July 2019.

The European Parliament had been facing pressures from unions like European Blind Union since 2013, for making this rule into action. All the private and commercial vehicles will be coming under this new rule.

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News Politics

The leaders of EU had taken decisions to grant permissions to Theresa May for Brexit delay. France urges for conditions to limit Britain’s ability to undermine the bloc.

Prime Minister Theresa May dashed to Berlin and Paris for a meetup with Angela Merkel and Emmanuel Macron to ask for permission to allow UK to put off its divorce from April 12.

It is not yet clear about what Merkel and Macron had agreed with May. A draft seen by reuters read, “The United Kingdom shall facilitate the achievement of the Union’s tasks and refrain from any measure which could jeopardise the attainment of the Union’s objectives”.

A Brexit delay to June 30 was asked by May to the EU. But the draft left the end-date blank pending a decision by the other 27 national leaders on Wednesday evening in Brussels.

May had said that she fears Brexit might never happen as she battles to get a divorce deal ratified by a divided parliament, more than a week after Britain was originally supposed to leave the EU.

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News

The EU lawmakers, on Wednesday had approved a low that allows Britons visa-free visits even after a “no deal” Brexit. Severe disputes had been occurring over the status of Gibraltar.

The law already had the backing of member states. Even though Britain is about to leave the EU almost by next week, the law allows British visitors 90-day trips to the Schengen passport-free zone.

When asking the committee to back the proposal, Bulgarian EU lawmaker Sergei Stanishev said, “The 12th of April is coming and the faith of millions of UK citizens and EU citizens and their right to travel is in our hands”.

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International Relations News

The EU officials meet in Brussels for offering Theresa May a delay for Brexit beyond March 29. Reports says that a condition was put forward that she can finally win over her many opponents in parliament next week.

The European Council president Donald Tusk had delivered a statement on Brexit ahead of the EU summit in Brussels, reports reuters. Theresa May could not unite her divided cabinet, parliament or nation behind her exit plan, since around three years after Britons narrowly voted in a referendum to leave the EU.

May had asked EU to postpone Brexit until June 30, since she needed time to secure a deal in parliament and avoid an abrupt departure next week that could spell economic chaos.

In a letter inviting all 28 EU national leaders to Brussels talks, the summit chairman Donald Tusk said, “We could consider a short extension conditional on a positive vote on the Withdrawal Agreement in the House of Commons”.

It is expected that any delay must be approved by all the other 27 national EU leaders, increasingly exasperated with Britain’s inability to find a way of a domestic political deadlock that is weighing heavily on the whole bloc.

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