David Cameron To Warn Of EU Exit

david cameronPrime Minister, David Cameron says he will warn European leaders about having a re-think concerning the UK staying in the EU, if his demands for reform are ‘met with a deaf ear’.

The PM would deliver his warning on Tuesday to coincide with a letter to the European Council President Donald Tusk, setting out the changes he wants for the UK.

The letter to Mr. Tusk would mark the start of the UK’s formal re-negotiation of its EU membership.

A report said that Cameron’s letter to Tusk would include demands such as barring in-work benefits for EU migrants for four years, an exemption from any closer EU integration, and more powers for national governments to block EU legislation.

However, Eurosceptic Labour MP, Austin Mitchell has dismissed Mr Cameron’s threat as mere bluffing. The conservatives had promised an in-out referendum on the EU by 2017.

Mr Cameron said that he is ready to campaign to stay in the EU, but only if the terms are right.

The PM had faced criticism both at home and abroad for not spelling out details of the concessions he sought from other European leaders, with detailed discussions expected to accelerate before a summit next month.

While Cameron has never ruled out campaigning to leave the EU if he failed to secure any agreement, some media said that the tone of the speech was his strongest assertion to date that the status quo was unacceptable.

However, in his speech, Cameron would also repeat that he wanted Britain to remain in the 28-nation bloc, which it joined in 1973 and was confident a deal could be struck which would suit Britain and its partners.

He would also deliver a strong message to both those campaigning for a British exit and for those who want to stay in the EU regardless of whether reform could be achieved.

“Those who believe we should stay in the EU at all costs need to explain why Britain should accept the status quo. I am clear that there are real problems with this”,  he will say, according to the report.

“Those who think Britain should just leave now also need to think hard about the implications of their arguments. What would being outside the European Union mean for our economic security?”

Opinion polls showed that most Britons favour staying within the EU although, support for the bloc for remaining versus leaving has narrowed in recent months.

Migrant Crisis: Germany To Speed Up Asylum Process

germanyGerman Chancellor, Angela Merkel, says Germany will create up to five special centres for asylum-seekers deemed to have little chance of staying.

This comes after the German Chancellor’s Christian Democrats and junior coalition partners- the Social Democrats, have quarreled for weeks over the issue.

Germany says it expects to receive at least 800,000 asylum seekers in 2015 and is seeking to speed up the asylum process, after the governing coalition resolved a rift on the issue..

Earlier, the European Commission said that three million migrants were likely to arrive in Europe by the end of 2017.

The huge influx of asylum seekers has caused political turmoil across the European Union (EU) with member states disagreeing about how to deal with the crisis.

EU Adopts Tougher Measure For New Model Cars

cars- EUThe European Union (EU) is adopting a tougher emissions tests for new models of cars.

It said that this would better reflect ordinary driving conditions, as many cars on the road emit up to four times more pollutants than the technical limit.

The new rule is expected to start from 2017, but critics say the tests are not strict enough, as car makers would still be allowed to exceed emission limits.

The move comes as car giants Volkswagen faces a scandal over falsifying tests.

Diesel vehicles are a major source of nitrogen dioxide, which has been linked to respiratory diseases and premature death.

John Kerry Seeks End To Syria War

kerryThe United States (US) is intensifying diplomatic efforts to end the conflict in Syria, even as it increases support for moderate rebels.

This is according to the US Secretary of State, John Kerry, who is travelling to Vienna for talks with foreign ministers on ending the four-and-a-half year conflict.

Iran is for the first time taking part in such talks, which will also include Russia, Saudi Arabia and Turkey.

Russia and Iran both support Syrian President, Bashar al-Assad but the US, Turkey, Saudi Arabia and other gulf Arab nations insist he cannot play any long term role in the country’s future.

Foreign ministers from the UK, France, Germany, Egypt, Lebanon and the EU have also confirmed they would attend the meeting and other middle eastern power are also expected.

Migrant Crisis: Balkan States Threaten Border Closures

migrant crisisFront line countries in the middle of the migrant crisis have threatened to close their borders, to avoid becoming buffer zones for new arrivals.

Bulgaria Romania and Serbia said they would act if states further north, which migrants hope to reach, close their doors.

The threat came ahead of talks between Balkan states and European Union (EU) members.

Slovenia’s President, Borut Pahor, said his country would “act on its own before it is too late,” if no solution was reached.

Prime Minister, Miro Cerar, had previously refused to rule out building a fence along its border with Croatia.

The International Organization for Migration said that more than 9,000 migrants arrived in Greece everyday last week – the highest rate so far in 2015.

Most of the migrants – including many refugees from the conflicts in Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan – want to claim asylum in Germany.

Migrants Crisis: EU To Begin Seizing Smugglers’ Boats

EU to seize smugglers' boatThe European Union (EU), has begun a new operation in the southern Mediterranean to intercept boats smuggling migrants.

Under Operation Sophia, naval vessels will be able to board, search, seize and divert vessels suspected of being used for human smuggling.

Until now, the EU had focused on surveillance and rescue operations.

Operation Sophia has been named after a baby born on an EU ship that rescued her mother off the coast of Libya in August.

However, many more migrants and refugees which are mainly Syrians fleeing the country’s civil war, are taking a different route, crossing overland into Turkey, before a short journey by sea to EU member Greece and Onward to central and northern European countries, with Germany the preferred destination.

The migrant crisis is expected to be one of the issues raised when German Chancellor, Angela Merkel and French President, Francois Hollande, make a rare joint address to the European Parliament in Strasbourg on Wednesday.

Such address was given in 1989 with then French President, Francois Mitterrand and the German leader, Helmut Kohl.

So far this year, more than 130,000 migrants and refugees have crossed to Europe from the north African coast. More than 2,700 have drowned.

Burkina Faso Crisis: Coup Leader Flouts Ultimatum To Step Down

burkina faso coup leader, General Gilbert DiendereBurkina Faso’s coup leader has flouted an ultimatum to step down, saying his forces will retaliate if attacked.

Burkina Faso Army had put pressure on the country’s coup leader, General Gilbert Diendere, to surrender or face an assault, as its troops reach the capital, Ouagadougou on Tuesday.

A Senior Official told the BBC that the presidential guard had until 10 a.m. to give up power or troops would launch an assault to retake the capital.

According to security sources, negotiations between Army Chiefs and the presidential guard were under way.

General Diendere seized power last week with the backing of the presidential guard, but the army had remained loyal to the deposed government.

The European Union (EU) had, however, called on the presidential guard to immediately lay down their weapons to avoid bloodshed.

At least 10 people had been killed and more than 100 injured since the coup in clashes between the presidential guard and protesters.

Nigeria’s President, Muhammadu Buhari, had on Tuesday, hosted a special summit of ECOWAS Heads of State in Abuja, the Federal Capital Territory.

Croatia Closes Serbia Road Borders

croatiaCroatia has closed seven of its eight road border crossings with Serbia, following a huge influx of migrants.

Security officials says more than 11,000 people entered the country since Hungary fenced off its border with Serbia earlier this week.

Some migrants are also planning to walk to neighbouring Slovenia which is in the European Union’s (EU) border-free Schengen area.

Huge numbers of people heading north from the Mediterranean have created a political crisis in the EU.

The crossing on the main road linking Belgrade and Zagreb at Bajakovo, appeared to be the only one left open.

Anambra Govt. Seeks Developmental Intervention From EU

Obiano-Anambr-euAnambra State Governor, Willie Obiano, has appealed to the European Union (EU) Delegation Ambassador to the Federal Republic of Nigeria and to the Economic Community of West African State (ECOWAS), Michel Arrion, to bring intervention programmes to the state in the areas of girl child education, flood and power.

The appeal was made during the visit of the Ambassador to Anambra State, to seek out new areas of collaboration with the state government, as well as find out how the existing EU programmes in the state have been faring.

Governor Obiano noted that already, EU intervention programmes were on in two Local Government Areas and reported that they were thriving very well. He requested for its extension to other Local Government Areas.

The Ambassador on his part, announced the EU’s plan to undertake a five-year period programme in the state.

Mr Arrion also appealed to the state and the various communities where EU projects are located to take ownership of them for sustainability.

The Governor had on Wednesday mapped out 28 camps where Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) will take refuge in the event of the impending flood announced by the government.

Migrant Crisis: Dozens Find New Route To Croatia

croatia-crisisCroatian Police have started registering the first group of migrants who reached Serbia’s border with Croatia.

The migrants who found a new route into the European Union (EU) boarded buses which took them towards the town of Sid, after Hungary closed the border with Serbia, leaving thousands attempting to reach Germany, which is the final destination for many, stranded.

Croatia has said it will not “just allow people to move through”.

New border restrictions and a row over allocating migrants have shown bitter divisions in Europe over the crisis.

Hundreds of stranded migrants spent the night in the open and in makeshift tents close to the Serbian border with Hungary.

About 150 migrants crossed into Croatia from Serbia.

On Tuesday, Hungary declared a state of emergency in the area, with hundreds of army and police deployed to enforce new laws, making it an offence to breach a razor-wire border fence.

The laws also made it a criminal offence, punishable by prison or deportation, to damage the newly built four metre fence along Hungary’s 175km border with Serbia.

Migrant Crisis: EU Announces Refugee Quota Plan

euThe European Union has finally figured out a quota system for distributing migrants landing on the continent on an hourly basis.

A total of 120,000 of the migrants are said to be distributed as soon as possible.

Germany remains the main destination for the migrants, and is a huge supporter of the quota system, but the other countries, still consider it unfair.

Meanwhile, the European Council President, Donald Tusk, has met with the Israeli leadership on peace in the region.

Earlier today, the European Commission President, Jean-claude Juncker, threw the European policy into disarray.

Mr Juncker opened his speech, saying it was “not a time to take fright”.

He was heckled by UK anti-European Union politician, Nigel Farage, but dismissed his comments as “worthless”.

Mr Juncker’s fresh migration proposals would expand upon quotas for the relocation of 40,000 migrants in Italy and Greece proposed in May, though, governments only agreed to take 32,000.

Export Council Seeks Review Of EU Ban On Nigeria’s Products

Agricultural products banOfficials of the Nigeria Export Promotion Council are looking at ways of reviewing the European Union’s ban of products from Nigeria.

Issues of poor packaging, non-adherence to food safety measures and non-compliance to administrative procedure had characterised ‎product export from Nigeria to countries in Europe.

The Executive Director of the Nigeria Export Promotion Council, Mr Olusegun Awolowo, said the ban, according to a report from the World Bank, could lead to a drop of over $6 billion exportable goods from developing countries by 2016.

Announcing the ban, the European Food Safety Authority said that the food substances were banned because they contained ‘a high level of unauthorised pesticide’.

The food items banned till 2016 include, beans, sesame seeds, melon seeds, dried fish and meat, peanut chips and palm oil.

According to the EU, Nigeria’s beans was banned because it contained between 0.03mg per kg to 4.6mg/kg of dichlorvos pesticide when the acceptable maximum residue limit is 0.01mg/kg.

The Director-General, National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control, Paul Orhii, blamed exporters for the ban.

He said they had failed to comply with regulatory requirements for semi-processed and processed commodities.