Europe

British suspect arrested in Deutsche Telekom hacking

A 29-year-old British citizen suspected of involvement in a cyberattack that left nearly 1 million Deutsche Telekom customers without services last year has been arrested, German federal police said on Thursday.

Germany deports 18 rejected asylum seekers to Afghanistan

A Kabul-bound plane with 18 Afghan migrants on board took off from Munich Airport late Wednesday, its passengers becoming the third group of rejected asylum seekers to be deported by German authorities back to Afghanistan.

New Romanian justice minister named after anti-corruption protests

Romanian Prime Minister Sorin Grindeanu has named a former judge to be the country's next justice minister, after the previous office holder resigned under pressure from mass anti-corruption protests.

Le Pen's chief of staff indicted in European Parliament jobs probe

The chief of staff of Marine Le Pen, the far-right candidate for president in upcoming French elections, was indicted Wednesday over allegations of irregular reimbursements from the European Parliament, a judicial source told dpa.

Bomb explodes outside police officer's home in Northern Ireland

A bomb exploded outside a police officer's home in Northern Ireland on Wednesday but there were no immediate reports of casualties.

Denmark to charge man with blasphemy over burning Koran

Danish prosecutors said Wednesday they have opened a rare blasphemy case against a man who videotaped himself burning a copy of the Koran.

Reformist Macron wins support of key centrist leader for French vote

France's reformist presidential hopeful, Emmanuel Macron, got a boost on Wednesday when he picked up the support of a party leader whose centrist constituency played a pivotal role in the last two presidential elections.

Official assigned to Wilders' security team held by Dutch police

A security official assigned to protect Dutch far-right politician Geert Wilders is being held by police on suspicion of passing along classified information about the lawmaker to a Dutch-Moroccan crime gang.

Italy's 'Red Thing' could make impact in election debut, polls show

Two polls conducted for RAI public broadcaster released Wednesday showed a new entity that split from Italy's ruling Democratic Party

Russia to build replica Reichstag for schoolchildren to storm

A military-themed park in a suburb of Moscow will soon install a replica of Berlin's Reichstag for Russian schoolchildren to storm, Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu said Wednesday.

Alitalia strike set for Thursday, hundreds of flights cancelled

Employees of Italy's loss-making airline Alitalia will go on strike Thursday, air transport unions confirmed, after government talks with both sides failed to break the deadlock.

EU calls on Germany to reduce large current account surplus

The European Commission on Wednesday called on Germany, the bloc's biggest economy, to reduce its large current account surplus and focus on boosting domestic consumption.

EU seeks to fine Austria for misrepresenting debt data

The European Commission was seeking to slap a fine of close to 30 million euros (31.5 million dollars) on Austria after one of its states reported incorrect debt data to the EU's statistical office, EU Commissioner Marianne Thyssen said Wednesday.

Merkel cabinet OKs new rules easing deportation of asylum seekers

The cabinet of German Chancellor Angela Merkel on Wednesday agreed a package of measures to ease the deportation of criminal asylum seekers.

Russia condemns 'fake' Western news in hall of shame on state website

Russia's Foreign Ministry introduced a new section of its website on Wednesday to condemn Western news reports with a big red stamp: "FAKE."

Report: Le Pen aides held for questioning on European Parliament jobs

Two key aides to Marine Le Pen, the far-right candidate for the French presidency, have been held for questioning by police, the Agence France Presse news agency reported on Wednesday.

Support wanes for Dutch right-wing populist Wilders ahead of polls

Dutch right-wing populist Geert Wilders has lost ground in election surveys just three weeks before the country goes to the polls to elect a new parliament.

German official: Possible attack at vocational school was false alarm

A police investigation into a possible attack at a vocational school in western Germany was the result of a false alarm, a local government spokesman said Wednesday.

Turkey removes restrictions on Islamic headscarves in the military

Female members of the Turkish military, including officers, will be allowed to wear the Islamic headscarf as long as it is color-compliant with their uniform, the Defence Ministry said on Tuesday, according to the state-run Anadolu news agency.

Pollster: Trump presidency is causing Germany's AfD to lose support

A prominent German pollster said Wednesday that the "chaotic" leadership of US President Donald Trump has caused an electoral decline for Germany's right-wing Alternative for Germany (AfD) party.

Stolen gate from former Nazi camp returns to Germany

A gate stolen in 2014 from a former Nazi concentration camp will be returned to the Dachau memorial site on Wednesday, after its return to Germany from Norway.

Brexit bill: House of Lords says public can change mind on leaving EU

The British public should be able to change their minds on Brexit - just as Prime Minister Theresa May did, the upper chamber of parliament heard Tuesday during a marathon debate on legislation to kick off EU negotiations.

Italian lawmakers, rights activists clash over gay sex club scandal

Gay rights activists and conservative politicians clashed Tuesday after the chief of Italy's anti-discrimination office quit over allegations that money had been authorized for gay sex clubs.

EU countries agree new rules to avoid tax evasion

European Union finance ministers in Brussels on Tuesday reached a political agreement on new rules to ensure that multinational corporations do not declare profits in the countries where they pay the least tax but in the countries where they generate it.

Austria seeks to create jobs, but new EU immigrants need not apply

Austria plans to create 160,000 jobs in the next three years by subsidizing companies, but the project has raised concerns because it effectively excludes people who recently immigrated from other EU countries.

Juncker: Not good for W. Balkans that some in Washington want to water down EU

European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker said on Tuesday it was not good for Western Balkan countries that some people in the new US administration gave the impression of being against the European Union because those countries needed the prospects of EU membership.

German state approves full-face veil ban

Legislation that bans face veils in select public spaces and situations was agreed by the government of the southeastern German state of Bavaria on Tuesday.

Barcelona police open fire on stolen lorry laden with gas canisters

Security forces in Barcelona opened fire on a stolen lorry laden with gas canisters to bring a rampage through the city to an end, police in the Spanish city said on Tuesday.

Stuttgart to issue bans on high-polluting diesel vehicles from 2018

Most diesel vehicles will be banned from roads in the southern German city of Stuttgart during times of heavy pollution, a bid to clean up the city's air, the German state of Baden-Wuerttemberg decided Tuesday.

German court rules against automatic refugee status for Syrians

Syrians fleeing the multi-sided civil war in their home country do not have an automatic right to refugee status under the Geneva Convention, a German court ruled Tuesday.

Mosque attended by Berlin attacker Amri closed, police confirm

The mosque in Berlin attended by Berlin truck attacker Anis Amri has been closed. The mosque is permanently closed, read a note in German and Turkish on the door of the prayer rooms which was seen on Tuesday.

German army to expand to almost 200,000 soldiers

Germany's Bundeswehr, plans to expand its number of professional soldier to 198,000 by 2024 because of increasing duties, the German Defence Ministry announced on Tuesday.

Fired Audi engineer says he was 'sacrificed' for emissions scandal

A fired Audi engineer was "sacrificed" amid the ongoing VW group diesel emissions scandal, his lawyer claimed in court on Tuesday as he contested his client's dismissal.

French police arrest three over suspected terror plans, source says

French authorities have arrested three men in relation to suspected plans to carry out attacks in the country or travel to Syria, a source close to the investigation told dpa on Tuesday.

HSBC reports 62-per-cent fall in annual profit, blames one-off costs

Banking giant HSBC on Tuesday reported a 62-per-cent fall in its annual profit last year, blaming losses incurred from the sale of HSBC Bank Brazil and other one-off costs.

Le Pen quits meeting with Lebanon's Sunni cleric over headscarf row

France's far-right presidential candidate Marine Le Pen walked away from a meeting on Tuesday with Lebanon's senior Muslim Sunni cleric after she refused to wear a headscarf.

France to slaughter 600,000 ducks to eradicate bird flu

French authorities are planning to slaughter some 600,000 ducks in order to eradicate bird flu from a south-western region, Agriculture Minister Stephane Le Foll confirmed on Tuesday.

Mainly immigrant suburb of Stockholm hit by riots

Dozens of youth clashed with police in a mainly immigrant suburb of the Swedish capital Stockholm on Monday night after an arrest in an underground train station.

Energy consumption in EU below its 1990 level but dependency on fossil fuel imports on the rise

In the period from 1990 to 2015 energy consumption in the EU decreased but there was an increase in dependency on fossil fuels, which continued to represent by far the main source of energy, even though all member-countries reduced their share in energy consumption, shows the latest Eurostat report.

Air France pilots give green light to lower cost subsidiary

Members of Air France's main pilots union on Monday voted to accept the creation of a new lower cost subsidiary that the flag carrier hopes will help it compete on long-haul routes.

British lawmakers locked in heated debate over Trump's state visit

Allowing US President Donald Trump to visit Britain would be akin to "pimping out the Queen," one British lawmaker said Monday during a heated debate in British parliament over two petitions concerning the US leader's future state visit.

French police raid National Front over European Parliament payments

France's far-right National Front Monday said that investigators had searched its offices in relation to allegations that it misused European Parliament funds.

Germany vows to do all it can to free journalist detained in Turkey

The German Foreign Ministry on Monday hailed German-Turkish journalist Deniz Yucel as a symbol of free speech as it vowed to treat his case with the "utmost importance" in order to secure his release.

Le Pen says al-Assad is better solution for Syria than Islamic State

France's far-right leader and presidential candidate Marine Le Pen said Monday that Syrian President Bashar al-Assad remains the more reassuring solution for France than Islamic State.

Residents in northern Greece oppose refugee children attending school

There were renewed clashes between angry residents and police in the northern Greek town of Oreokastro on Monday, where some locals have for months opposed children from a nearby refugee centre being taught at the local school.

Germany, France slam Russia's acceptance of Ukrainian rebel passports

EU member states Germany and France, which have been seeking to mitigate the conflict between the Ukrainian military and Russian-backed rebels in eastern Ukraine, on Monday broadly condemned Russia's recognition of rebel-issued passports.

Denmark registers sharp drop in asylum bids in 2016

Denmark saw asylum bids in 2016 drop by two-thirds compared to the previous year, the Scandinavian country's statistics agency said Monday.

Italian cops bust ring giving fake EU papers to 'enormous number'

Police said Monday they had busted a criminal ring that sold fake work papers to thousands of immigrants, allowing them to obtain Italian residency permits and access to the rest of the European Union.

Pence reaffirms commitment to 'continued cooperation' with the EU

The United States remains committed to a "continued cooperation and partnership" with the European Union, US Vice President Mike Pence said Monday during his first official visit to Brussels.

Eleven injured as migrants storm Spanish enclave of Ceuta

Around 350 migrants managed to scale the 6-metre-high double border fence around the Spanish enclave of Ceuta in Morocco early Monday.

Thousands protest in Malta against controversial press law reforms

Thousands of people attended a demonstration in Malta on Sunday, answering a call by the main opposition party to protest against what it described as a threat to democracy and freedom of expression.

London's mayor calls for Trump's state visit to be cancelled

US President Donald Trump should be denied a state visit to Britain due to his "cruel and shameful" immigration policies, London Mayor Sadiq Khan said Sunday.

Schulz's SPD surges past CDU for first time in decade, survey shows

The German centre-left Social Democrats (SPD) are ahead of Chancellor Angela Merkel's Christian Democrats (CDU) for the first time in a decade, according to a German survey published on Sunday.

Renzi resigns as head of Italy's Democratic Party

Former Italian prime minister Matteo Renzi stepped down Sunday from his role as head of country's ruling Democratic Party, but left the door open for his potential return to the post.

Pence, family visit former Nazi concentration camp after Munich talks

US Vice President Mike Pence visited the former Nazi concentration camp of Dachau on Sunday as part of his first official visit to Germany.

What happened in Sweden? Country asks Trump to clarify rally remarks

Swedish commentators and media Sunday reacted with astonishment at weekend remarks by US President Donald Trump implying that the Scandinavian country had been the target of a recent terrorist attack.

Russia 'disappointed' with Pence's remarks on Ukraine conflict

Russia is "disappointed" with US Vice President Mike Pence's comments regarding Moscow's implementation of a ceasefire agreement in eastern Ukraine, a senior Russian lawmaker says.

Pence reassures allies of Trump's NATO support, tough Russia stance

US Vice President Mike Pence sought to reassure European allies on Saturday of his country's "unwavering" support of NATO, amid unease about President Donald Trump's unpredictable foreign policy stance, particularly towards Russia.

Polish PM released from hospital after car accident

Polish Prime Minister Beata Szydlo left a military hospital in Warsaw on Friday, a week after being involved in a car accident, and said she would chair a Cabinet meeting on Tuesday.

Report: Illegal immigrant numbers in Germany fell sharply in 2016

The number of cases of illegal entry to Germany fell sharply in 2016 compared with the previous year, according to the country's federal police.

Merkel says NATO also important for US, vows to up defence spending

German Chancellor Angela Merkel on Friday highlighted the significance of NATO for the United States after threats from Washington to its partners in the military alliance that it would reduce its financial contribution.

Boris Johnson: No crises in Ukraine, Syria with Trump in charge

The crises in Ukraine and Syria wouldn't have happened had Donald Trump been US president at the time, British Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson said on Friday.

Hundreds of migrants stampede Moroccan border fence into Spanish city

Hundreds of migrants stampeded a six-metre border fence in Morocco on Friday and entered the independent Spanish city of Ceuta, Moroccan authorities said.

French centrist Macron calls for 'zero tolerance' approach to crime

Emmanuel Macron, the centrist candidate in France's presidential election, Friday called for "zero tolerance" towards both crime and police abuses.

Le Pen on defensive over alleged fictional job contract for aide

France's far-right presidential candidate Marine Le Pen was forced onto the defensive Friday over allegations she had claimed undue expenses, with the EU's anti-fraud office saying she had submitted an "entirely fictional employment contract" for an aide.

Trudeau and Merkel discuss CETA, Trump foreign policy in Berlin

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and German Chancellor Angela Merkel on Friday praised the CETA trade agreement between Canada and the European Union, describing it as both precedent-setting and a blueprint for future deals.

Blair urges Britons to rise up and reverse Brexit

Britain's departure from the European Union is not inevitable, former prime minister Tony Blair said Friday, calling for the creation of a cross-party movement to persuade the public they can change their minds on Brexit.

World leaders await chance to gauge Trump foreign policy in Munich

World leaders and foreign and defence officials will get an opportunity to get a better handle on the foreign policy goals of US President Donald Trump on Friday as the Munich Security Conference enters its first day.

Reports: Spanish princess cleared in tax fraud trial, husband guilty

Spain's Princess Cristina has been acquitted of being an accessory to tax fraud, the El Pais newspaper and Spanish TV reported Friday.

OSCE slams referendum in disputed land in Azerbaijan-Armenia conflict

An upcoming constitutional referendum in a disputed region populated by ethnic Armenians within the former Soviet republic of Azerbaijan is meritless, the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) said Friday.

Three Ukrainian soldiers killed in fighting with pro-Russian rebels

Three Ukrainian soldiers have been killed and 10 others injured in fighting with Russian-backed rebels in eastern Ukraine in the past day, the country's military said Friday.

Swedish police arrest eight in child pornography raid

Swedish police have arrested eight men this week on suspicion of possession and distribution of child pornography, prosecutors said Friday.

Blair to call on Britons to rethink Brexit

Former British prime minister Tony Blair is set to challenge the government on Friday on its commitment to leave the European Union.

Italian lawmakers approve 20-billion-euro debt hike for bank rescue

Italy's lower house of parliament on Thursday approved a government bid to increase public debt by up to 20 billion euros (about 21.3 billion dollars) to fund a rescue package for Monte dei Paschi di Siena (MPS) and other ailing banks.

Sweden sentences Syrian man to life over killing of Syrian soldiers

A Swedish court on Thursday sentenced a Syrian man to life imprisonment over his involvement in the 2012 killing of seven captive Syrian government soldiers.

US: Burden-sharing message to NATO was 'well received'

The US call for NATO members to increase their defence spending was "expected" and "well received," US Secretary of Defence James Mattis said on Thursday after attending his first meeting for NATO defence ministers.

Canada's Trudeau brims with optimism in European Parliament address

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau referred to the European Union on Thursday as a "remarkable achievement and an unprecedented model for cooperation" in a speech to the European Parliament in Strasbourg.

Cops bust Italy-Colombia cocaine trafficking ring ahead of 8-ton deal

Police said Thursday they have arrested 68 suspected members of an international drug trafficking ring made up of mobsters and businessmen that was about to smuggle eight tons of cocaine from Colombia to Italy.

French prosecutors won't close case against presidency hopeful Fillon

The conservative candidate for the French presidency, Francois Fillon, suffered a new setback on Thursday when prosecutors said they would not drop investigations into claims he gave his wife a lucrative fake job paid from public funds.

Merkel to field questions from committee probing NSA revelations

Chancellor Angela Merkel is set to appear Thursday before an investigative committee of the German parliament that has been looking into the extent of NSA spying and alleged cooperation by the country's own intelligence service.

Austria seeks up to 1.1 billion euros in Eurofighter fraud lawsuit

Eurofighter and its main shareholder Airbus have inflated the price of fighter jets that were sold to Austria, the Defence Ministry said Thursday, alleging that it was defrauded of up to 1.1 billion euros (1.2 billion dollars).

Germany's Gabriel on Le Pen: EU without France is 'unimaginable'

German Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel has said that there is a serious risk that far-right politician Marine Le Pen could win the French presidential election and drag France out of the European Union.

EU countries struggle to return migrants to other countries

Countries in the European Union struggled with returning migrants to third countries with less than 60 per cent of return decisions implemented in 2016, the EU border protection agency Frontex said in a report Wednesday.

Dutch secret service warns of return of radicalized IS children

The Dutch secret service on Wednesday warned of the potential dangers posed by the return to the Netherlands of Dutch Islamic State fighters and their children.

Europeans affirm support for "two-state solution" in Middle East

The German government and EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini affirmed their support for the "two-state solution" to finding peace between Israelis and Palestinians on Wednesday.

EU issues final warning to five countries over air pollution breaches

The European Commission sent final warnings on Wednesday to Germany, France, Spain, Italy and Britain for failing to address repeated breaches of air pollution limits for nitrogen dioxide (NO2).

Gay rights activists protest Church of England 'homophobia'

Gay rights campaigners gathered outside the Church of England synod in London on Wednesday to protest a report which "defends heterosexual superiority."

Swedish court upholds life term for Rwanda-born man in 1994 genocide

A life sentence for a Rwandan-born man found guilty of genocide, murder and other crimes during the 1994 ethnic massacres in the central African country was upheld Wednesday by a Swedish appellate court.

European Parliament approves EU-Canada trade deal amid protests

The European Parliament approved a controversial trade deal between the European Union and Canada on Wednesday.

After US, French campaigners accuse Russia of influencing vote

Weeks after US intelligence services accused Russia of attempting to influence their country's elections in favour of Donald Trump, backers of a front runner for the French presidency have accused Moscow of interfering in that race too.

Merkel government agrees to equalize east-west pension levels by 2025

The pension gap between western Germany and the former Communist east will be equalized by January 1, 2025, the German government decided on Wednesday.

German police raid imams suspected of spying for Turkish government

German police conducted raids early Wednesday against four imams suspected of acts of espionage on behalf of the Turkish government.

Lithuanian president: Shift in US to push Europe into self-reliance

Europe must rely more on itself in security and defense, Lithuanian President Dalia Grybauskaite said Wednesday within the context of global political shifts caused by changes in Washington.

Germany's von der Leyen: Europe should increase defence spending

German Defence Minister Ursula von der Leyen has stressed that Europe should increase its defence spending ahead of a meeting of her NATO counterparts on Wednesday.

Britain pledges support for new Gambian government, Commonwealth bid

Britain on Tuesday affirmed its support for Gambia's fledgling government and its bid to rejoin the Commonwealth, weeks after a post-election crisis forced the newly elected president to be sworn into office in another country.

Athens: Agreement with international creditors could be imminent

The Greek government and its international creditors could soon come to an agreement on the implementation of further financial reforms, a government spokesman said Tuesday.

Merkel hopes investment in Tunisians' future will curb migration

German Chancellor Angela Merkel on Monday proposed funding and education incentives for Tunisians who voluntarily return to their home country as part of her bid to reduce migration to Germany from North African countries.

British government rejects call to ban Trump from meeting the Queen

The British government rejected a petition Tuesday which argued that receiving the new president as a guest would embarrass the Queen.

British defence ministry denies NATO spending target shortfall

Britain's defence ministry has denied reports from a think tank that the country failed to meet its 2 per cent NATO defence spending target in 2016.

German anti-terrorism raids locate IS suspect, but no explosives

A special commando unit failed to uncover explosives in an anti-terrorism operation in Germany, authorities said on Tuesday, adding that no arrests had been made.