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6/30/07

Boston Globe: Chinese Fish laced with dangerous chemicals - US cracks down on fish from China - Diedtra Henderson

For the complete report from The Boston Globe click on this link

Chinese Fish laced with dangerous chemicals - US cracks down on fish from China - Diedtra Henderson

US Federal authorities, under fire for responding slowly to tainted Chinese imports, yesterday said they will halt shipments of five fish species sent from China because they are laced with dangerous chemicals. Farm-raised basa, catfish , dace , eel, and shrimp from China can no longer enter the United States until importers can prove the shipments are free of chemicals, including antibiotics and agents that can trigger tumor growth in lab animals after long-term exposure.

The US Food and Drug Administration, however, stopped short of pulling the tainted seafood from stores and restaurants because, they said, the products pose a low public health risk.

DW: Germany, Denmark to Build Controversial New Bridge

For the complete report from the Deutsche Welle click on this link

Germany, Denmark to Build Controversial New Bridge

After 15 years of dithering, Germany and Denmark have finally approved plans to build a bridge across the Fehmarn Strait in the Baltic Sea. The decision was reached in Berlin Friday at a meeting between Germany's Social Democrat Transport Minister Wolfgang Tiefensee and his Danish counterpart Flemming Hansen.

"This bridge joining nations ought not just to significantly reduce driving time between Hamburg and Copenhagen, it's also very important for transport routes in all of Europe," Tiefensee said, adding the bridge should be completed by 2018. Both countries' parliaments must still approve the plan, which requires a treaty, the German transport ministry said.

The Independent: Asylum-seeker from Nigeria becomes the first black Irish mayor - by David Mckittrick

For the complete report from the Independent Online click on this link

Asylum-seeker from Nigeria becomes the first black Irish mayor - by David Mckittrick

A Nigerian who fled to Ireland as an asylum-seeker has just become the country's first black mayor, in what is seen as a landmark in multicultural relations.Mr Adebari, who is married with four children, arrived in Ireland seven years ago after fleeing religious persecution in Nigeria. He had a difficult start but has since established himself as a councillor and as an activist promoting community relations and integration. He set up a consultancy to train companies and educational institutions in multicultural awareness while completing a masters degree in intercultural studies at a Dublin university. He has also hosted a weekly radio programme dealing with issues of social inclusion, and has won awards for his work and for "the creativity and commitment he has applied to creating an integrated intercultural society".

Times Online: Poles smudge EU agreement before the ink has even dried - by David Charter

For the complete report in Times Online click on this link

Poles smudge EU agreement before the ink has even dried - by David Charter

A deal on Europe’s future, stitched together at last week’s bad-tempered summit, began to unravel yesterday after the intervention of the EU’s most unpredictable leader.

Jaroslaw Kaczynski, the Polish Prime Minister, who sent his brother Lech, the President, to the summit, stunned Brussels by declaring his determination to renegotiate the compromise. The twins spent much of last week’s detailed negotiations on the phone to each other and Lech had said that his brother was content with the package. But Jaroslaw, who demanded extra voting power for Poland, insisted yesterday that the deal had not taken full account of Poland’s demands.

Note EU-Digest: The fact that Poland elected Jaroslaw and Lech Kaczynski as their leaders should be a major worry to the rest of Europe on the sanity of the Polish electorate. It's time the EU cuts Poland down to the size. If the Poles don't accept being part of a European team, the rest of us should at least have the courage to kick them out.

The Hindu News; Rail link with Southeast Asia, Turkey and Europe soon

For the complete report from The Hindu Newsclick on this link

Rail link with Southeast Asia, Turkey and Europe soon

Within the next few years, travellers from India will have the option of going to places like Singapore, Bangkok, Yangon, Tehran and even cities in Turkey by train, giving airlines a run for their money. Travel by train to these cities is set to become reality with the proposed revival of the Trans Asian Railway, for which an agreement was signed by Railway Board Chairman J P Batra in New York.The southern corridor of the proposed Asian rail network will link China's historic Kunming province, bordering Vietnam, with Kapikule in Bulgaria in the Euopean peninsula via a 11,460-km line. The cities to be linked include Bangkok in Thailand and idyllic towns of Myanmar, Bangladesh, India, Iran and Turkey, giving Indian families a wide variety of holiday locales to pick from.

The dream rail project, according to experts, will not take long to become operational as a good railway network already exists in major junctions like Turkey, Iran, Pakistan, India, Thailand and China.

Telegraph: Europe reels from sizzle to swamp

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Europe reels from sizzle to swamp

Britain, northern France and the Low Countries have endured a month of cloudy skies, frequent downpours and cool winds in what so far is arguably the poorest summer for a decade.

This is no coincidence: when low pressure settles over north-west Europe at this time of the year, high pressure can normally be found at the other end of the continent. In other words, if the weather is unsettled and rainy in Britain, expect further long spells of extreme heat in Italy, Greece and Turkey.

Cleveland.com: Say auf Wiedersehen to the NFL in Europe - by Mary Kay Cabot

For the complete report from cleveland.com click on this link

Say auf Wiedersehen to the NFL in Europe - by Mary Kay Cabot

Former Browns coach Sam Rutigliano, who spent seven seasons as an assistant coach in NFL Europa, was sorry to see the demise of the league on Friday. The NFL posted a statement on the German-language version of its Web site, saying it de cided instead to concentrate its strategies and resources on regular- season games outside the United States to try to reach as many peo ple as possi ble.

6/29/07

MSNBC: Worst 3 months for U.S. in Iraq since war began - 329 killed

For the complete report from MSNBC.com click on this link

Worst 3 months for U.S. in Iraq since war began - 329 killed

A total of 99 U.S. troops killed this month.

France's hyperactive president | The Sarko show

Economist.com

"The Sarko show

Jun 28th 2007 | PARIS
From The Economist print edition
A new star takes the European stage

HOLLYWOOD calls it star quality. In politics, the word is charisma. Nobody can define it; everybody wants it; and France's President Nicolas Sarkozy seems to have it. That was certainly the impression created at the European Union summit in Brussels. As Britain's Tony Blair briefed jaded reporters in a room dotted with empty chairs, Mr Sarkozy wowed a jam-packed press room next door. One diplomat talked admiringly of his “fizzing political energy”. Even the leftish daily Libération declared the summit “an unquestionable success” for Mr Sarkozy, and published a poll showing that 63% of French voters approve of him."

A pipeline into the heart of Europe

Asia Times Online :: Central Asian News and current affairs, Russia, Afghanistan, Uzbekistan

"A pipeline into the heart of Europe
By M K Bhadrakumar

Not many people know that Russian President Vladimir Putin co-authored in 2004 a fascinating book on classical judo titled Judo: History, Theory, Practice. In his book, Putin describes how with 'minimum effort, maximum effect', it becomes possible to bring your opponent flying on to the mat. The trick is to 'give way in order to conquer'.

When Putin flew into Zagreb last weekend, his words came to mind - instead of 'digging in your heels and resisting your opponent's onslaught', you just unlock at the last minute, and your big and strong opponent, 'not meeting any resistance and



unable to stop', will lose balance and fall. It seems the bigger the opponent, the heavier he falls."

BBC NEWS: Europe prepares huge space truck - by Jonathan Amos

For the complete report in the BBC NEWS click on this link

Europe prepares huge space truck - by Jonathan Amos

At almost 20 tonnes, the ATV will be the biggest spacecraft Europe has ever flown when it launches in January.The ATV is also a huge statement of capability. The maiden voyage will announce that Europe now has some important new technical competencies to rival the very best in the space exploration business. "This is the most complex vehicle we have ever developed in Europe," said Jean-Jacques Dordain, head of the European Space Agency (Esa)."It demonstrates automatic rendezvous and docking - a key technology which currently only the Russians have, but with much smaller vehicles. You have to imagine the ATV as a 20-tonne truck. When it docks with a manned space station, it has to do it smoothly," he told BBC News.

The first ATV - dubbed "Jules Verne" - will launch atop a specially prepared Ariane 5 from Kourou in French Guiana. The rocket will put the vehicle - the size of a double-decker bus - into a 230km-high (140 miles) orbit, underneath the space station. The ATV will then raise its height and edge closer and closer to the platform over a series of orbits until it links with the space station.

Global Unease With Major World Powers, Rising Environmental Concern in 47-Nation Survey

www.payvand.com

"Global Unease With Major World Powers, Rising Environmental Concern in 47-Nation Survey

Source: Pew Global Attitudes Project, a project of the PewResearchCenter


Summary of Findings

A 47-nation survey finds global public opinion increasingly wary of the world's dominant nations and disapproving of their leaders. Anti-Americanism is extensive, as it has been for the past five years. At the same time, the image of China has slipped significantly among the publics of other major nations. Opinion about Russia is mixed, but confidence in its president, Vladimir Putin, has declined sharply. In fact, the Russian leader's negatives have soared to the point that they mirror the nearly worldwide lack of confidence in George W. Bush."

NYT: U.S. Reaches Tentative Deal With Europe on Bank Data - by James Risen

For the complete report from the NY Times click on this

U.S. Reaches Tentative Deal With Europe on Bank Data - by James Risen

A new agreement between the Bush administration and the European Union will allow the United States government to continue a once secret program to obtain banking records from a Brussels-based consortium for use in counterterrorism investigations, American and European officials said Thursday.

In the deal, announced by the European Union late Wednesday, the Bush administration has agreed to impose new privacy safeguards on the program, which gives the Treasury Department and the Central Intelligence Agency access to one of the global banking system’s most important conduits of international financial records. In one provision of the agreement, the United States has agreed that it will keep the banking data collected under the program for only five years, officials said.

6/28/07

Expatica: Luxembourgh, Ireland and Netherlands the richest countries in the EU

For the complete report from Expatica please click on this link

Luxembourgh, Ireland and Netherlands the richest countries in the EU

Figures published on Thursday by Eurostat, the EU's statistical agency showed that Luxembourg topped the list, followed by Ireland. The Netherlands came in third with 31 percent higher than average income. The eastern European countries that joined the Union over the past years scored below average. Romania and Bulgaria were at the bottom of the list. Candidate member Turkey however is even poorer. The Turks have an average income of 29 percent of that of the average EU resident.

OpEd News: Cyprus - CIA Document Dump Confirms Kissinger's links with Turkey on Cyprus invasion - by Wayne Madsen

For the complete report from OpedNews click on this link

Cyprus - CIA Document Dump Confirms Kissinger's links with Turkey on Cyprus invasion - by Wayne Madsen

When Turkey invaded Cyprus in 1974, Kissinger was only concerned about the continued operation of U.S. intelligence bases in Turkey and three in the Turkish zone of Cyprus: Yerolakkos, Mia Milea, and Karavas. Eventually, these listening stations were evacuated in 1975 by CIA agents and U.S. Marines.

We can also now add Cypriot President Archbishop Makarios to the long list of foreign leaders targeted for assassination by the CIA and Kissinger. From the book "The Cyprus Conspiracy" by Brendan O'Malley and Ian Craig, we know that on July 15, 1974, Makarios' presidential palace in Nicosia was hit with artilley fire from tanks while Makarios was greeting a group of young schoolchildren from Cairo. Makarios' presidential guard fought the coup plotters off for several hours until the rebellious troops stormed the building and set fire to it. The CIA saw to it that Cyprus Radio broadcast the news that Makarios was dead. On March 8, 1970, Makarios' helicopter was was hit with bullets in an assassination attempt also linked to the CIA and the Greek Colonels junta in Athens. Kissinger, at the time, served as Nixon's National Security Adviser.

To their European friends from the Turkish people

Turkish Daily News Jun 27, 2007

"To their European friends: from the Turkish people
Wednesday, June 27, 2007

C. Cem OĞUZ

Dear friends,

We read your declaration published in the International Herald Tribune on May 16 and have grasped the 'unambiguous' message you sent us in these indeed 'fraught' circumstances. We have also appreciated your call on the European governments 'to reaffirm the promises and commitments that the EU has made in the past.' "

EU's incoming Portuguese presidency vows to complete work on treaty - Forbes.com

Forbes.com

"EU's incoming Portuguese presidency vows to complete work on treaty
06.28.07, 6:33 AM ET

BRUSSELS (Thomson Financial) - The EU's incoming Portuguese presidency vowed to complete the work begun on a new treaty updating the bloc's outmoded institutions.

Unveiling Portugual's programme for its six-month presidency beginning on Sunday, secretary of state Manuel Lobo Antunes pledged his country's aim is 'to complete the work in as short a period as possible'."

The Seattle Times: Poll finds rise in distrust of world's major leaders - by Warren P. Strobel

For the complete report from the Seattle Times click on this link

Support for the United States and President Bush's foreign policies remains low, according to a poll in 47 nations and territories released Wednesday. But skepticism of Russian President Vladimir Putin and wariness of China's rising power are growing. Two would-be challengers to the global order, Iran's Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and Venezuela's Hugo Chávez, aren't very popular, either. Even Osama bin Laden's favorable ratings are down, particularly among Muslims.The poll of 45,200 people by the Pew Global Attitudes Project paints humankind as increasingly worried about the environment.

In 37 of the countries surveyed, overwhelming majorities had little or no trust in Bush "to do the right thing in foreign affairs." Suspicion of U.S. efforts to promote democracy abroad is nearly universal. Even in Eastern Europe, post-Cold War affection for the U.S. is dissipating.

Reuters: ALERT: China: check your toothpaste label where it is manufactured -Tainted Chinese toothpaste had wider reach than thought in Europe and USA

For the complete report from Reuters click on this link

ALERT: China: check your toothpaste label where it is manufactured - Tainted Chinese toothpaste had wider reach than thought in Europe and USA

Chinese-made toothpaste tainted with a potentially poisonous chemical was distributed to more places in the United States than initially thought, the New York Times reported on Thursday. About 900,000 tubes of toothpaste containing diethylene glycol, an ingredient in antifreeze, were distributed to hospitals for the mentally ill, prisons, juvenile detention centers and some hospitals serving the general population, the Times said. Initial reports said the tainted toothpaste was most likely to be found in discount shops. Officials in Georgia and North Carolina were replacing the toothpaste with products made outside China, according to the report. Hospitals in South Carolina and Florida also reported receiving Chinese-made toothpaste, it said. Note EU-Digest: The International Herald Tribune in Paris reported there were similar reports about tainted Chinese toothpaste in Europe

Times Online: EU’s newest states still plagued by graft and violence - by David Charter

For the complete report in Times Online click on this link

EU’s newest states still plagued by graft and violence - by David Charter

The failure to tackle underworld crime is the most visible end of the battle to clean up politics and the judicial system in Bulgaria and Romania, which also joined the EU in January under orders to reform. Some MEPs believe that the countries were admitted prematurely, before they had their houses in order.

Daniel Cohn-Bendit, joint leader of the Greens in the European Parliament, said: “We decided to let them in too early. We said yes before the reforms were implemented.”

Wall Street Journal: A Lack of Euro Vision - by ALVARO VARGAS LLOSA

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A Lack of Euro Vision - by ALVARO VARGAS LLOSA

"This was supposed to be the event in which the new generation of leaders shed the protectionist ways of Europe, turning the awkward pachyderm into a nimble feline capable of outrunning the U.S. and Asia. Fat chance! French President Nicolas Sarkozy's "feat" was to persuade his colleagues to drop "free and undistorted competition" as one of the aims of the treaty. In case anyone takes this to mean that Mr. Sarkozy wants to get rid of antitrust bodies that often undermine successful companies by accusing them of monopoly activity, the president explained that he believes in "promoting national champions" -- i.e., pouring corporate welfare into industries that the government wants to boost.

Instead of free markets, the new treaty upheld interventionist policies responsible for the fact that Europe's unemployment rate is nearly double that of the U.S. One wonders how hard Europe needs to be hit before a generation of leaders will wake up to the challenge. Perhaps the problem is that many European businesses have modernized themselves in spite of the restrictive environment and become great global players, making it less obvious that reform is urgently needed -- 30% of the 2,000 most successful companies in the world are European, although in specific areas such as high tech or life sciences the proportion is much smaller."

SignOnSanDiego.com-- Sarkozy, Brown seen clashing on Europe's future - by Paul Taylor

For the complete report from SignOnSanDiego.com click on this link

Sarkozy, Brown seen clashing on Europe's future - by Paul Taylor

Gordon Brown's anointment as British prime minister on Wednesday means the major European Union powers at last have a complete set of new leaders and the prospect of a new treaty to overhaul its rickety structures. But in the corridors of Brussels the talk is of a likely clash between Brown and new French President Nicolas Sarkozy over the direction of Europe that could be as bitter as the 2003 bust-up between Tony Blair and Jacques Chirac over the Iraq war.

They are poles apart on free-market competition versus state intervention, trade protectionism versus globalisation and further enlargement versus drawing final borders for the Union,' a senior EU official said.Sarkozy favours stronger political integration while Brown is described by a British official as 'a European minimalist'.

Earthtimes: Eurofighter for Austria Industry and Government Reach Agreement

For the complete report in Earthtimes click on this link

Eurofighter for Austria Industry and Government Reach Agreement

The Eurofighter consortium has reached agreement with the Government of Austria on cost reductions of the Eurofighter procurement. The consortium thus reacts towards the political development in Austria to secure the programme in the long term and at a very advanced stage.

The agreement cover the delivery of 15 aircraft with latest capability standard of Tranche 1.

Forbes.com: EU takes Germany to court over pensions, acts against France over tenders

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EU takes Germany to court over pensions, acts against France over tenders

The European Commission is taking Germany to the European Court of Justice over the practice of local authorities and municipal organisations granting contracts for group pension services without conducting competitive tendering procedures.

Separately, the commission formally requested France to amend certain rules on tendering procedures and on communal services in local authorities.

6/27/07

Battle for the European Union's identity

The Japan Times Online

"Battle for the European Union's identity

LONDON — The latest battle of Brussels is over and news of the outcome is circulating through the capitals of the European Union. But unlike the ferocious battles of past centuries on European soil, this appears to be an engagement that everyone has won."

The Guardian: Poland riles Germany with a lewd take on the motherland - by Ian Traynor

For the complete report from the Guardian Unlimited click on this link

Poland riles Germany with a lewd take on the motherland - by Ian Traynor>

The right-wing Warsaw weekly magazine Wprost, which backs the conservative nationalist regime of the prime minister, Jaroslaw Kaczynski, and his twin brother, the president, Lech Kaczynski, has the cover of its latest issue as a montage showing "a beaming chancellor Merkel as "Europe's stepmother" baring her breasts to nourish the infant Polish twins.

The magazine's treatment of Mrs Merkel was condemned across the political spectrum in Germany yesterday. "This montage is tasteless and does nothing to help German-Polish relations," said Rainer Brüderle, of the liberal Free Democrats. Markus Meckel, of the Social Democrats, and head of the German-Polish parliamentary group, said: "It is quite unbelievable. Poland has lost so many friends over the past weeks and months. It should really think hard in the future about how it hopes to win them back."

Radio Netherlands: EU Commission critical of Romania and Bulgaria - byThys Papot

For the complete report from Radio Netherlands click on this link

EU Commission critical of Romania and Bulgaria - by Thys Papot

Romania, as well as Bulgaria, is showing insufficient progress in the fight against corruption and reforming legal powers. The reforms look good on paper, but fail to be carried out, according to the report. The Commission is especially critical of the impotence of Bulgaria in getting to grips with organized crime. Liquidations are common, but are rarely solved.

Romania and Bulgaria last year received the green light from the European Commission, but now the green light has turned to yellow. Brussels is critical of reform efforts so far by the new member states in the areas of justice and corruption, but finds it still too early for concrete sanctions.

6/26/07

WSJ: Can U.S. Adopt Europe's Fuel-Efficient Cars? - by Mike Spector

For the complete report from the WSJ.com click on this link

Can U.S. Adopt Europe's Fuel-Efficient Cars? - by Mike Spector

Whether by presidential order or congressional mandate, car makers in the foreseeable future will likely have to build fleets that average about 35 miles per gallon. But what kinds of cars and trucks will gasoline-guzzling Americans drive to achieve that average?

Vehicles in Europe meet the magic average of 35 mpg. But there are aspects of the European model that, for now, make it less likely to work easily in the U.S. For one thing, cars in Europe are more expensive, pound for pound, and typically far less powerful than the vehicles Americans have come to expect.

In the U.S. today, about 70% of car and truck sales sport six- or eight-cylinder engines. In Europe, 89% of vehicles sold have a four-cylinder or smaller engine, according to the Alliance for Automobile Manufacturers.

OnestopClick: Europeans have 'different outlook' on data centres than US

For the complte report from OneStopClick click on this link

Europeans have 'different outlook' on data centres than US

A survey carried out at a conference sponsored by a carrier-neutral data centre and colocation company has revealed differences between European and American attitudes to data centres. The Data Centre Dynamics held one of its many global conferences in Paris, with Interxion as gold sponsor, at the end of May. A survey of the attendees revealed that, as far as power consumption and regulation were concerned there were different attitudes towards how data centres are run in America and Europe.

The study found that while data centre adoption is much more recent in France than it is in the US or the UK and concerns there regarding power consumption and green issues are less urgent, interest and adoption of new technologies matched the larger markets.

6/25/07

Deutsche Welle: German Press Slams Poland and Britain After Summit

Blair and Kaczynski: the enemy from within.


For the complete report from the Deutsche Welle click on this link

German Press Slams Poland and Britain After Summit

The German press on Sunday slammed Poland and Britain for putting obstacles on the road to the deal reached on guidelines for a new European Union treaty at the bloc's summit this week.

Bild, the mass-circulation tabloid and country's top selling newspaper, reserved its harshest criticism for neighboring Poland, calling the Kaczynski twins who hold the posts of Polish president and prime minister "poison dwarves." Welt am Sonntag described the haggling that preceded the deal as "torture" and said despite its eventual success the summit will be remembered mostly for Britain and Poland's "egotistical" behavior.

"Poland has failed to understand that the point of the European Union is to bury the hatred we inherited," the newspaper commented.

Bloomberg.com: Poland Celebrates Summit Deal at Home as EU Criticism Grows - by Katya Andrusz

For the complete report from Bloomberg click on this link

Poland Celebrates Summit Deal at Home as EU Criticism Grows - by Katya Andrusz

The Polish government is being feted at home after agreeing to a last minute compromise at a summit of European Union leaders on a new governing treaty, while abroad, criticism of its negotiating style is growing. They've more or less sold it to everyone in Poland,'' said Krzysztof Bobinski, director of the Warsaw-based Unia & Polska Foundation research institute, by phone. ``But I don't think this country quite realizes what's going on in the outside world -- the losses that Poland has taken over this whole issue are huge.''

Germany's biggest selling tabloid, Bild, was critical of EU concessions to the Polish government. ``Why is Poland getting extra wurst?'' the paper asked.

Note EU-Digest: the majority of the EU should do everyone a favor and throw out the Polish bums. Who needs them?

The World From Berlin: Has Europe Damaged Its Soul? - International - SPIEGEL ONLINE - News

International - SPIEGEL ONLINE - News

"Has Europe Damaged Its Soul?

The European Union hammered out a compromise deal on a new treaty early Saturday morning in Brussels, after Poland, Britain and the Netherlands won a number of concessions. As the dust settles, many German commentators wonder if the compromise deal has left Europe even less harmonious than before."

Energia.gr: EU Opens Tender to Distill Wine Lakes into Biofuel

For the complete report from Energia.gr click on this link

EU Opens Tender to Distill Wine Lakes into Biofuel

The European Union has opened a tender to sell unwanted wine lakes in four countries for use in making bioethanol, its Official Journal said on Friday. The tender would offer roughly 693,375 hectoliters of wine alcohol stored in Greece, France, Italy and Spain. The deadline for bids was July 5, it said in its latest edition.

A clumsy European Union deal is better than none

Financial Times - Onet.pl Giełda - 25.06.2007

"A clumsy European Union deal is better than none
Financial Times, 25.06.2007
The agreement forged by leaders of the European Union on how to replace their ill-fated constitutional treaty is not a pretty sight. It is littered with declarations and protocols designed to meet the special needs of individual states, above all the UK. The eventual treaty will not be a “simplified treaty”, although it will have abandoned the trappings of a constitution."

EU Leaders Give Themselves Six Months to Map Out Bloc's Future

Bloomberg.com: U.K.

"EU Leaders Give Themselves Six Months to Map Out Bloc's Future

By Kevin Costelloe and Claudia Rach

June 25 (Bloomberg) -- The 27 countries of the European Union gave themselves six months to decide between consensus and the squabbling that almost sank a summit in Brussels.

EU leaders agreed at the Brussels meeting to negotiate by the end of this year a new governing treaty to guide the 50-year- old bloc and any future members. The summit, though, ran into an unscheduled third day and came near to collapse until Poland yielded to pressure to scale back its call for a greater say in EU decisions."

Finanz nachrichten: EU SUMMIT- Nine countries have 'grave objections' to draft treaty

For the complete report from the Nachrichten click on this link

EU SUMMIT-Nine countries have 'grave objections' to draft treaty

Belgium, Luxembourg, Spain, Greece, Austria, Malta, Hungary, Slovenia and Lithuania have 'grave objections' to a published draft treaty for the 27 member state bloc, a source said.

The source added that the group of nine all have similar concerns and that one of the key objections was on the stated 'legal personality' of the EU, which was not 'strong enough'. A single legal personality would make it easier for the EU to sign international treaties.There is also an objection lodged against Britain's opt out clause on the EU charter of fundamental rights, according to documents seen here.

6/24/07

SignOnSanDiego.com -- Religious processions thrive in Netherlands despite fall in numbers of regular churchgoers

For the complete report from the SignOnSanDiego.com click on this link

Religious processions thrive in Netherlands despite fall in numbers of regular churchgoers

It's a sunny Sunday morning, and altar boys ringing silver bells announce the passage of the Blood and Body of Christ through the ancient streets of Eijsden and its surrounding pastures. Roman Catholic families line the route to watch the start of “Bronkfeest,” a local religious festival that dates from time out of mind.

Though the Netherlands is frequently the target of criticism by religious conservatives and the Vatican for its tolerant policies toward marijuana, prostitution and euthanasia, many Dutch are both socially permissive and highly religious.

EU-Bus: Italian PM "bitter" over anti-European attitudes at summit

For the complete report in EUbusiness.com click on this link

Italian PM "bitter" over anti-European attitudes at summit

Italian Prime Minister Romano Prodi admitted feeling "bitter" over the lack of pro-European sentiment on display at the EU summit this week, in an interview published Sunday in the La Repubblica daily. "As a politician, I am of course satisfied with the result" of the summit, which ended with an agreement on a new treaty for the European Union, "but as a pro-European, let me be bitter at the spectacle I saw," said Prodi, the former chief of the European Commission.

"The determination of governments to deny any emotional aspect of Europe is painful to me," he said, citing Poland, the Czech Republic, the Netherlands and Britain as the worst offenders.

ceskenoviny.cz: Czech town residents reject U.S. Brdy radar plan in referendum

A US Interceptor Missile


For the complete report from the ceskenoviny.cz click on this link

Czech town residents reject U.S. Brdy radar plan in referendum

"The inhabitants of Mirosov, a town situated near the western edge of the Brdy military training grounds, voted against the U.S.-planned construction of a military radar base in Brdy in a local referendum today.

The referendum did not focus directly on the radar which the USA wants to be part of its missile defense shield. Mirosov residents in the referendum asked the town councillors to do their utmost to prevent the radar's construction in Brdy, Mirosov Mayor Vlastimil Sykora said. A total of 51.51 percent of Mirosov's 1,786 inhabitants took part in the referendum. Out of them, 867 people said they want the councillors to struggle against the radar and 30 said they did not wish it.Most Czechs are opposed to the project, public opinion polls have repeatedly shown. According to the latest poll, 64 percent of Czechs are against the plan.

The USA wants to place a missile defense radar in the Czech Republic and ten missile interceptors in Poland. The US says the base is meant as defense against possible missile attacks from countries such as Iran and North Korea."

IOL: Denmark - Ship on voyage after a thousand years

the Havhingsten-fra-Glendalough


For the complete report from IOL click on this link

Denmark - Ship on voyage after a thousand years

An 11th-century Viking longship that has been reconstructed to its original condition will soon depart on a seven-week voyage from Denmark across the North Sea to her home port of Dublin, powered only by her sails. The Havhingsten fra Glendalough (The Sea Stallion from Glendalough) is the largest Viking warship ever rebuilt.

On July 1 the vessel will leave the Danish port of Roskilde, which served as the Vikings' flourishing political and commercial centre from the 9th to the 12th century. After a 44-day and 900-nautical-mile crossing using only its huge square sail, the longship and its 65 crew will reach Ireland, where it was originally built in 1040 in the Glendalough forest.

physorg.com: Norwegians take in the sun in Spain on doctors' orders

For the complete report from physorg click on this link

Norwegians take in the sun in Spain on doctors' orders

Each year dozens of Norwegians flock to the coastal Spanish town of Altea to get Oslo-funded treatment at a rehabilitation centre for problems ranging from rheumatism to fractured bones.Except for a daily supplement of 15 euros (20 US dollars), the entire cost of their stay is covered by oil-rich Norway's well-developed social security net. This is a rare exception to a growing health tourism that officials say is putting a strain on facilities as residents from other EU states -- seeking to circumvent long waits or higher costs at home -- come to Spain knowing they are entitled to benefit from the country's free healthcare system. Except for the sun, nothing at the rehabilitation centre would lead you to think you were in Spain. The medical staff is Scandinavian as are the cooks while signs are all in Norwegian.

EU Summit: Death of Constitution and Birth of “Reform Treaty”

Turkish Weekly Opinion

"EU Summit: Death of Constitution and Birth of “Reform Treaty”
Fatma Yilmaz

Sunday , 24 June 2007

The EU Summit which was held under the German term-Presidency has ended after a marathon round of talks and the EU leaders has finally agreed the outline of a new treaty, letting the formal intergovernmental negotiations to start on 23 July. The failed European Constitution, as expected, became the main agenda topic of the EU Summit. Following the two-day discussions, the EU leaders announced the death of the planned single text called “Constitution” and their agreement on a new Treaty amending the existing treaties, called the “Reform Treaty”."

uefa.com - Jong Oranje clinch European crown - by Michael Harrold

Jong Oranje wins European Soccer Cup
For the complete report from uefa.com click on this link

Jong Oranje clinch European crown - by Michael Harrold

Twelve months after winning the UEFA European Under-21 Championship for the first time, the Netherlands retained the trophy in style with a 4-1 win against Serbia in Groningen.

Times Online: Poland - Tweedlenice and Tweedlenasty play a game of Poles apart

The Kaczynskis twins-Europe's "enfants terrible"


For the complete report from the Times Online click on this link

Poland - Tweedlenice and Tweedlenasty play a game of Poles apart

Half a century after the European Union was created to forgive and forget the Last Great Misunderstanding, the identical twins who are Poland’s president and prime minister let off a massive stink bomb at last week’s summit by mentioning the war. To cries of horror – and some quiet chortles – Lech and Jaroslaw Kaczynski invoked Nazi atrocities in order to cut Germany down to size.

The 58-year-old Kaczynski twins had kept the summit guessing about which would turn up – some thought this a bit academic since they are nearly identical, though Jaroslaw plays the Mr Nasty to Lech’s Mr Nice. “Both are small, not very bright, mean-minded and resemble provincial solicitors – which Lech used to be,” said a journalist who has met them.

But time is not on the twins’ side. Poland’s migrant workers in the EU are absorbing western ways and liberal ideas that are at odds with Poland’s past. The young are growing impatient. “We have the EU, we have the internet, we are confident,” said a market researcher in Warsaw. “Poles want jobs and better pay, but the Kaczynskis are busy fighting condoms and secret agents."

6/23/07

The Brussels Journal: Secularist Europe Silences Pro-Lifers and Creationists - by Paul Belien

For the complete report from The Brussels Journal click on this link

Secularist Europe Silences Pro-Lifers and Creationists - by Paul Belien

Next Tuesday, the Council of Europe (CoE), Europe’s main human-rights body, will vote on a proposal which advocates the fight against creationism, “young earth” and “intelligent design” in its 47 member states. According to a report of the CoE’s Parliamentary Assembly, creationists are dangerous “religious fundamentalists” who propagate “forms of religious extremism” and “could become a threat to human rights.” The report adds that the acceptance of the science of evolutionism “is crucial to the future of our societies and our democracies."

“Creationism, born of the denial of the evolution of species through natural selection, was for a long time an almost exclusively American phenomenon,” the report says. Note EU-Digest: Votes like this are not only counter-productive but also do not fit in a society where there is freedom of expression and religion. The Council of Europe should stay out of issues which concern people's personal choices in life.

EU’s newest states lagging behind in Internet use

New Europe News: #1 The European News Source:

"EU’s newest states lagging behind in Internet use

23 June 2007 - Issue : 735

With the exception of Slovenia, which reaches up to 45 percent, most of the new member states are found at the bottom of the communications ranking along with Greece and Portugal, with observed figures under 30 percent and only 11 percent of Romanian and eight percent of Bulgarian households have Internet access.
The lowest figure (six percent) is observed in Turkey, contrary to Croatia, where 31 percent of the respondents have Internet access."

EU-Digest: European Unity the big winner at EU Summit: Kudos to Merkel and Sarkozy for a job well done

Merkel and Sarkozy, Europe's political dream team working hard at Summit


An EU-Digest special news update on the EU Summit

European Unity the big winner at EU Summit: Kudos to Merkel and Sarkozy for a job well done

French president Nicolas Sarkozy and Mrs. Angela Merkel emerged the top negotiators of the EU summit and deserve lots of praise. When pressure needed to be applied on the Poland’s recalcitrant Kaczynski twins, it was Mr. Sarkozy who took charge, personally telephoning Warsaw and even offering to travel to the Polish parliament, the Diet, to explain the new treaty.

All the constitution’s main elements, in particular the permanent EU president and its foreign minister now renamed a “high representative” - have been resurrected. The new EU foreign policy Czar to be called High Representative for European Union Foreign and Security Policy, will chair meetings of EU foreign ministers as well as becoming a vice-president of the European commission. There will also be a universally elected President of the EU. The final deal is consistent with the history of the EU. Europe took another federalist step forward, with governments for the common good giving up some of their sovereignty. The driving force of the EU, the French-German axis, remains not only intact but also very effective, with Mrs. Merkel and Mr. Sarkozy now at the helm. An impressive first time performance for Mr. Sarkozy at an EU Summit, and another demonstration of Mrs. Merkels's unique negotiating skills.

Forbes.com: EU SUMMIT Leaders agree deal on new EU treaty after marathon meeting


For the complete report from Forbes.com click on this link

EU SUMMIT Leaders agree deal on new EU treaty after marathon meeting

Leaders of the EU finally agreed a deal on a treaty to replace the bloc's failed constitution after a marathon session that went into the early hours of Saturday. After hours of wrangling, agreement was finally reached on the blueprint document to reform EU institutions that will now be carried forward and signed at the end of the year. Negotiations had dragged through the night after a row on voting rights with Poland threatened to scupper the entire deal.

"Poland agreed in principle to the German idea of ‘double majority’ – the rule of approving all decisions in the EU by 55 percent of countries whose population accounts for more than 65 percent of the EU population. Poland has been promised a postponement of the introduction of the new voting system till 2017. Also, Germany succeeded in securing Britain’s consent to the concept of a new agreement. It agreed to the renaming of the office of the EU foreign minister, who from now on will be called the high representative of the European Union. Britain was also given guarantees the charter of fundamental rights mentioned in the treaty would cause no effects on its legal system. The details of the agreement that took nearly 36 hours to finalize have not been disclosed yet, but many European sources say the EU heads of state and government agreed on the mandate of an international conference commissioned to produce the full text of the EU treaty.

Merkel hopes the treaty will be finalized, signed and ratified by June 2009."

SEASIDE VIEW - The EU in Turkey

Turkish Daily News Jun 23, 2007

"SEASIDE VIEW - The EU in Turkey
Saturday, June 23, 2007

Sedat Kırt
MARMARİS

The word can call for the idea; 'Investors of the European Union are investing not only in the rest of the world but also in Turkey'. Yet, this is not what I mean.

You will understand my point when you see European citizens who not only visit Turkey in the summer season, but rather live permanently in our tourism centers, in other words, population centers of the Aegean and the Mediterranean coasts. "

Reuters UK -Soccer-UEFA order referees to stop matches for racism - by Darren Ennis

For the complete report from Reuters UK click on this link

Darren Ennis

Referees will stop all matches in which soccer fans shout racist abuse at players, starting with Saturday's European Under-21 Championship final, a senior UEFA official has confirmed. The announcement follows the launch of a UEFA investigation into racist chanting and a fight in the players' tunnel after England's 2-0 win over Serbia in the European Under-21 Championship on Sunday. Serbia face the Dutch hosts in today's final in Groningen.

contactmusic.com: Ulrich Schnauss, Goodbye, Album Review


For the complete report from contactmusic.com click on this link

Ulrich Schnauss, Goodbye, Album Review

If you're not familiar with Ulrich Schnauss, where have you been? Nah, just kidding. But this is the German producer's third 'proper' album by my reckoning. His form prior to this record is good: some call it 'ambient', some call it 'cheese', and some of us quite like it.

The Arizona Republic: Airbus edges Boeing in plane orders


For the complete report from the Arizona Republic click on this link

Airbus edges Boeing in plane orders

The Paris Air Show brought Airbus 425 bookings worth tens of billions of dollars, a welcome distraction from troubles at the plane maker and its parent company, European Aeronautic Defense and Space Co.Airbus got a boost for its morale and its fortunes, especially those of the A350-XWB, the Europeans' rival to the Dreamliner.

Washington Post: Changing Patterns in Social Fabric Test Netherlands' Liberal Identity - by Molly Moore

Dutch Parliament in the Hague
For the complete report from the washingtonpost.com click on this link

Changing Patterns in Social Fabric Test Netherlands' Liberal Identity - by Molly Moore

For years, W.B. Kranendonk was a lone ranger in Dutch politics -- the editor of an orthodox Christian newspaper in a nation that has legalized prostitution, euthanasia, abortion and same-sex marriage and allows the personal use of marijuana. Today, with an orthodox Christian political party in the government for the first time, and with immigration anxieties fueling a national search for identity, the country that has been the world's most socially liberal political laboratory is rethinking its anything-goes policies.

6/22/07

Middle East Online: US Dysfunction in the Middle East - by John Nichols

For the complete report from the Middle East Online click on this link

US Dysfunction in the Middle East - John Nichols

The tragedy of Washington's narrow to the point of dysfunctional "debate" about the Middle East is that few American political players are willing to comment in a serious manner about the fact that George Bush's mishandling of the conflict between Israelis and Palestinians has done more than money or guns could have to advance the cause of the Islamic fundamentalists who now control of the Gaza Strip. Disengaged when engagement was called for, meddling when a hands-off approach would have been wiser, and always staggeringly ignorant -- remember Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice's shock when Hamas won the Palestinian elections early in 2006 -- the Bush administration's approach has been so disastrous that the International Crisis Group's Robert Malley is actually being generous when he says: "Almost every decision the United States has made to interfere with Palestinian politics has boomeranged."

Europe’s current problems :Lack of serious leaders

IntelliBriefs:

"Europe’s current problems :Lack of serious leaders

Friday, June 22, 2007

OPINIONS

http://www.turkishdailynews.com.tr/
All over the world people are guided by leaders. Maybe Europe’s current problems stem from the lack of serious leaders

Mithat MELEN
According to an opinion poll published in the Financial Times, almost every EU member country is against enlargement. Seventy one per cent of the French, 66 per cent of Germans, 60 per cent of Italians and the British are against Turkey's EU membership. The lowest rate is in Spain with 55 per cent; still more than half of Spain's population says “No.”"

EUbusiness: Germany, Poland reach 'preliminary' deal on EU voting

For the complete report in EUbusiness.com click on this link

Germany, Poland reach 'preliminary' deal on EU voting

Germany and Poland reached a "preliminary" deal Friday to overcome Warsaw's objections to an European Union voting plan, which would lift a key obstacle to a new reform treaty, an EU diplomat said. It came after German Chancellor Angela Merkel met three times with Polish President Lech Kaczynski, following intense private talks overnight, at an EU summit dedicated to ending the bloc's two-year political malaise.

StatesmanJournal.com: Does anyone remember the British disaster in Mesopotamia ?- Iraq that is

For the complete report from the StatesmanJournal.com click on this link

Does anyone remember the British disaster in Mesopotamia?- Iraq that is.

In 1920, a large-scale Shiite (recognize the name?) insurgency cost the British more than 2000 casualties. As a result, domestic pressure to withdraw from Iraq began to build. The result was what historians have called the "Quit Mesopotamia" campaign which remained an issue in British politics until the end of the British mandate in Iraq in 1932.

Add the years of unfulfilled expectations by the British to control Iraq from 1919 to 1932 and, guess what, even the weakest mathematician comes up with a 13-year involvement! And our geniuses in Washington have said it will take a few years, but were they really talking about duplicating the baker's dozen that the British experienced in their effort to subdue that place?

Union Leader - Czech Republic: Bush worships democracy, but he should study history - by Pat Buchanan

For the complete report from the Union Leader click on this link

Czech Republic: Bush worships democracy, but he should study history - by Pat Buchanan

Last week, at Czermin Palace in Prague, George Bush delivered his latest epistle on democracy as mankind's salvation, as though he had learned nothing since ordering the invasion of Iraq -- to bring the blessings of democracy to Mesopotamia and the Middle East. President Bush began by paying tribute to the founding father of Czech democracy. "Nine decades ago, Tomas Masaryk proclaimed Czechoslovakia's independence based on the "ideals of democracy.'" Well, that may be what the Masaryk said, but it is not exactly what he did. In 1918, he did indeed proclaim the independence of Czechoslovakia, confirmed by the Allies at Paris. But inside the new Czechoslovakia, built on the "ideals of democracy," were 3 million dissident Germans who wished to remain with Austria and half a million Hungarians who wished to remain with Hungary. Many Catholic Slovaks had wanted to remain with Catholic Hungary. Against their will, all had been consigned to Masaryk's Czech-dominated nation.

Reuters: Soccer-Netherlands under 21 in final on Saturday against Serbia - Dutch aim to prove Cruyff wrong with Under-21 win

Gianni Zuiverloon scores winning penalty against England
For the complete report from Reuters click on this link

Soccer: Netherlands under 21 in final on Saturday against Serbia - Dutch aim to prove Cruyff wrong with Under-21 win

The Netherlands defend their European Under-21 title against Serbia in Groningen on Saturday, with a debate raging over coach Foppe de Haan's decision to ditch the traditional Dutch 4-3-3 formation. The "Young Orange" team seem to have been well-served by the 4-4-2 formation so far, having won their group stage and topping the tournament scoring table with six goals.

EU SUMMIT: Britain and Poland blocking European Unity Process - Parlt's Poettering says goodwill must increase to secure treaty deal

For the complete report in Forbes.com click on this link

EU SUMMIT: Britain and Poland blocking European Unity Process - Parlt's Poettering says goodwill must increase to secure treaty deal

Forbes reports that European Parliament president Hans-Gert Poettering said the 'goodwill' of EU member states must improve in order to secure a deal on a treaty to reform Europe's outmoded institutions. Speaking to reporters here on the second day of two-day summit gathering of EU leaders here, Poettering said: 'The goodwill (of EU states) must increase', declining to name specific countries.Poland and the UK are standing firm in their opposition to various aspects of the treaty despite negotiators' efforts overnight. Poland objects to the proposed switch to a qualified-majority system of voting, dubbed 'double majority', arguing that it gives too much weight to large countries such as Germany. As for the UK, it does not want to cede national control over foreign policy, its judicial and police system, and tax and social security rules, while refusing to give legal force to an EU charter of fundamental rights.

6/21/07

IHT: Differences at EU summit threaten to plunge bloc into crisis - by Dan Bilefsky

For the complete report from the International Herald Tribune click on this link

Differences at EU summit threaten to plunge bloc into crisis - by Dan Bilefsky

European leaders were confronting a bruising battle Thursday over the European Union's direction at a summit meeting that threatens to exacerbate divisions and plunge the bloc into crisis.

Chancellor Angela Merkel of Germany, who is determined to replace the faltering EU constitution with a revamped treaty that would overhaul the Union's creaking institutions, called on leaders of the 27 member states to overcome their differences. She warned that failure would stifle the EU's abilities to deal with pressing global challenges such as climate change, the Middle East and energy security.

EurActiv.com - Public support for EU Constitution hits a high


For the complete report from EurActiv.com click on this link

Public support for EU Constitution hits a high

Some 66% of Europeans - and 69% of Poles - want a Constitution to be adopted, according to a Eurobarometer survey, published hours before a decisive Brussels summit. However, British citizens remain highly critical of the EU.With the threat of a Polish veto still hanging over the Summit opening today (21 June) in Brussels, new polls show that more than two thirds (69%) of the Polish population supports the "concept" of an EU Constitution.

The concept is also backed by 78% of Germans, while Belgians show the most enthusiam, with 82% saying that they support a Constitution. The Eurobarometer poll was conducted by TNS Opinion on behalf of the Commission and based on interviews with more than 29,000 people in 30 European countries. However, the poll found that only 55% of Czechs and a mere 43% of UK citizens are favourable to an EU Constitution.

Scotsman.com - Call for Scotland to try Blair as 'war criminal' - by Ian Swanson


For the complete report from the Scotsman.com click on this link

Call for Scotland to try Blair as 'war criminal' - by Ian Swanson

Lord Advocate was today urged to prosecute Tony Blair as a war criminal for the invasion of Iraq. Former MP Jim Sillars said he had written to Elish Angiolini with a 10,000-word document setting out a formal complaint against the Prime Minister. And he said Scots law allowed Mr Blair to be put on trial despite such a move being ruled out south of the Border.

Flanders Investment and Trade: Toyota opens expanded European parts centre in Dienst, Belgium

For the complete report from the Flanders Investment and Trade click on this link

Toyota opens expanded European parts centre in Dienst, Belgium

Toyota has invested EUR 20 million in its European parts centre to expand the facility by ca. 30 000 square meters. It now covers 100 000 square meters, almost the same size as its Japan-based counterpart. A lot of effort has gone into turning the expanded facility into an eco-efficient operation. Toyota Motor Europe’s president and CEO Mr. Tadashi Arashima said at the opening: “The expansion of our European parts centre means that we can continue to satisfy the growing number of Europeans driving Toyota vehicles by ensuring on-time availability of service parts and accessories.” Up till now, Toyota has invested over EUR 400 million in Flanders.

EU-DIGEST NEWS WRAP-UP: EUROPE ON THE EVE OF THE JUNE 2007 EU SUMMIT - by Rick Morren


A Special report from EU-Digest

EU-DIGEST NEWS WRAP-UP: EUROPE ON THE EVE OF THE JUNE 2007 EU SUMMIT - by Rick Morren - Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Economy: Just over half of EU citizens are optimistic about their national economies, according to a European Commission poll, a summary of which was released on Monday. The poll also showed that 57% of E.U. citizens think their country's membership of the E.U. is a good thing, up four percentage points from the last Eurobarometer survey in the autumn 2006. That's the highest percentage of pro-European sentiment recorded since 1994, the commission said. But a majority of those surveyed said they wanted the E.U. to take more action to fight climate change. The German economy's strong performance is a key reason for economic optimism, the commission said, with 74% of Germans polled saying the economy was performing well. This was up 31 percentage points from the last survey in the autumn of 2006. Inflation holds steady in the Euro zone at 1.9% as labor costs rise by 2.2 %. Unemployment falls to its lowest level ever at 7%. Although 3.8 million Germans are on the dole, the country's recent growth spurt has left businesses unable to fill 600,000 vacancies, including many high-skilled jobs. Among them are 48,000 missing engineers, whose absence last year cost Germany about €3.5 billion ($4.6 billion) in lost annual output. Germany and the Netherlands have followed Spain by passing legislation providing amnesty to long-term illegal immigrants (the Netherlands) and allowing illegal immigrants to stay legally if they can find jobs (Germany). Great job opportunities are opening up all over Europe for skilled and unskilled workers. Unfortunately without more liberal EU immigration policies the present economic development of the EU can not be sustained.

European Constitution: Public backing for the EU has risen sharply to its highest level since the 1990s, providing a positive backdrop for what threatens to be a difficult Brussels summit starting on Thursday writes the Financial Times today. Some 47 percent European Union citizens are in favor of greater political leadership in the 27-member body EU, according to a new poll released Tuesday by the German Bertelsmann Foundation, a political think tank. On the other hand the Polish Government seems to be sabotaging the European Union integration process and blocking progress toward the new EU Constitution with unreasonable demands. Some believe Poland is doing this to get a stronger negotiating position during the EU summit starting tomorrow. In the meantime Germany's Chancellor Angela Merkel has indicated that she will not accept demands by Poland to maximize its power in an expanded European Union. The treaty requires approval by all 27 EU members and Poland has indicated it will block the treaty unless the proposed new voting system is adjusted. What Poland is asking for is less of a gap in the weighting of votes for countries with large populations versus smaller ones. The new voting system would be similar to the US Congressional voting system. Poland is a medium sized nation and has complained that the proposed rules favor larger nations, giving them too much political power. Several studies on Poland's membership in the EU have show that Poland has greatly benefited from its membership in the Union. Poland's present demands are considered unreasonable by the majority of the EU member states and they say that Poland's positioning indicates a lack of understanding of the basic rules which govern a political and economic partnership. So far the eastern expansion of the EU has caused far more political headaches than the EU had bargained for. Among some of the other problems that are coming to the surface, and causing cracks in the EU, is the fact that some of the eastern European EU member states have been acting unilaterally in accepting the stationing of US missiles in their backyards, even against the wishes of their own populations. Consequently eastern European EU member Governments are moving against a EU constitution, which if implemented will impose more stringent rules on member nations as to their foreign affairs and military involvements, and enforcing this by majority vote. Great Britain is also seen as backing the eastern Europeans in their efforts to create a politically weaker EU. which is more dependent on US policies. The scale of the challenge facing Mr. Blair became clear as it emerged that Germany's proposals would breach three of his so-called "red lines". The proposals are for the Charter of Fundamental Rights to be given full legal force over the law of member states, for measures that could threaten Britain's independent foreign policy and for an end to their veto on justice and home affairs. Germany and France supported by at least 17 of the other 27 EU nation states are for a stronger, more unified union. The EU now has a total population of nearly half a billion people. The bottom-line seems to be that the EU can not survive much longer without a constitution which provides for institutional reforms, abolishes the veto in exchange for majority vote, stronger European parliamentary powers, a universally elected President, with his own cabinet, including a foreign minister who can speak with one voice for all 27 member nations. If Mrs. Merkel pulls off this nearly impossible feat, Europe could well be at the beginning of a new Golden Age.

Energy: Ever since Russia's gas monopolist, Gazprom, cut supplies to Ukraine during a pricing dispute in January 2006, debate has raged over the best way to ensure gas security in Europe. According to Gazprom's figures, the company supplies almost a third of Europe's gas imports. In much of Eastern Europe - including Finland, the Baltic states and Poland - it is the sole supplier. "Diversity and security of energy supplies are vital ... When national security is at stake, no costs are too high," EU Energy Commissioner Andris Piebalgs told a Baltic Regional Energy Forum. The EU is in dire need of a common energy policy to stop the present Russian game of divide and conquer and deal with the Russians on an even playing field.

Security and personal data protection: Under a new EU law, travelers entering or leaving the EU will be required as of June 15 to declare sums of €10,000 or more. "The new rules will make it more difficult for terrorists to enter or leave the Community with the cash required to finance their illegal actions", said Taxation and Customs Commissioner László Kovács. The EU has earmarked around 138m EUR for the period for specific Program ‘Prevention, Preparedness and Consequence Management of Terrorism and other Security related risks’. This is part of the general EU program on security and safeguarding liberties. A controversial issue remains that of the Kurdish terrorist organization PKK who have caused thousands of innocent civilian deaths in Turkey and in other European countries. U.S. and E.U. laws both consider the PKK a terrorist organization but are not acting seriously on enforcing the law on the terrorist Organization. According to the British MI5 reports, the PKK is one of the most deadly terrorist organizations in the world. However the PKK is allowed to maintain armed terror bases in Iraq under American occupation and propaganda offices in many E.U. capitals including Denmark, Belgium and in many other Western European cities. PKK for some reason has been considered privileged terrorist organization in some European nations. In the past Greece and Cyprus openly supported the PKK activities. When the PKK leader Abdullah Ocalan was captured in the Greek Embassy in Kenya, he was in possession of a Greek Cypriot passport. Today a EU spokesman said the EU and the US have reached a preliminary deal on how U.S. authorities can consult data from the international banking network SWIFT in anti-terror investigations. No details were given but the spokesman said the deal included provisions on data protection. Google may have some explaining to do to EU regulators who are looking into whether the search giant's privacy policy complies with the law. Google typically stores information on user queries -- including search terms, server addresses and information on cookies -- for up to two years.

Environment: Greenhouse-gas (GHG) emissions decreased by 0.8% in 2005, according to an annual report by the European Environment Agency (EEA). While the Commission welcomed the decrease and called for more action, environmental groups saw the modest figure as a sign that the EU is not likely to achieve the emission-reduction targets agreed in Kyoto in 1992. The overall emissions reduction appears to be largely the work of a handful of member states, notably Finland, Romania, the Netherlands and Germany. Finland led the way with a 14.6% reduction, with Romania achieving 4% and the Netherlands and Germany achieving 2.9% and 2.3% respectively. In order for the EU to meet its Kyoto target, the EU-15 states would have had to reduce emissions by 6% in 2005, more than three times the actual reduction achieved, but Brussels remains positive that the EU will reach its Kyoto commitments.

Space: Europe unveiled a space plane for the tourist Market at the Paris Air show: EADS's Astrium division, prime contractor for Ariane 5 rockets and for Europe's contribution to the international space station, said a group of its engineers has spent two years quietly designing a vehicle that looks like a business jet with exceptionally long wings and a rocket engine powered by liquid methane and liquid oxygen.

6/20/07

FXStreet,com: EU Poll Shows Economic Optimism, Rising Pro-EU Sentiment


For the complete report on FXStreet,com click on this link

EU Poll Shows Economic Optimism, Rising Pro-EU Sentiment

Just over half of European Union citizens are optimistic about their national economies, according to a European Commission poll, a summary of which was released Monday. The poll also showed that 57% of E.U. citizens think their country's membership of the E.U. is a good thing, up four percentage points from the last Eurobarometer survey in autumn 2006. That's the highest percentage of pro-European sentiment recorded since since 1994, the commission said. But a majority of those surveyed said they wanted the E.U. to take more action to fight climate change and terrorism.

Europe's population | Suddenly, the old world looks younger

Economist.com:

"Suddenly, the old world looks younger

Jun 14th 2007
From The Economist print edition
Reports of Europe's death are somewhat exaggerated
Adrian Johnson

EUROPEAN countries are buffeted by two global forces: atmospheric pressures that, as it were, change the weather, silently transforming societies and the assumptions of public policy. One is climate change (a change in the weather literally). The other is demography."

Hezbollah's Terrorist Threat to the European Union

www.heritage.org

"Hezbollah's Terrorist Threat to the European Union
by James Phillips
Testimony

Testimony before the House Committee
on Foreign Affairs, Subcommittee on Europe

Delivered June 20, 2007

Hezbollah ('Party of God'), the radical Lebanon-based Shiite revolutionary movement, poses a clear terrorist threat to international security. Hezbollah terrorists have murdered Americans, Israelis, Lebanese, Europeans, and the citizens of many other nations. Originally founded in 1982, this Lebanese group has evolved from a local menace into a global terrorist network strongly backed by radical regimes in Iran and Syria and funded by a web of charitable organizations, criminal activities, and front companies."

Spiegel Online: Merkel's Two Front Battle: Blair Taking a Tough Line on the EU Treaty


For the complete report from the SPIEGEL ONLINE click on this link

Merkel's Two Front Battle: Blair Taking a Tough Line on the EU Treaty

Two days before the crucial summit on the EU treaty to replace the stalled constitution, British Prime Minister Tony Blair is digging in his heels. Britain, he says, will not give up any sovereignity. But he may be making life difficult for his successor.While Europe focuses on Warsaw's intransigence over the new draft treaty to replace the failed European Union constitution, another source of dissent is coming from the other end of Europe. Britain continues to say that it is willing to block any treaty that smacks too much of a constitution and that transfers too much power to Brussels.

Stratfor: Last Chance for an EU Constitution?

For the complete report from the Stratfor click on this link

Last Chance for an EU Constitution?

If Merkel cannot break the deadlock on the EU Constitution -- which has lasted for years -- it will be difficult, if not flat-out impossible, for anyone else to do so in the foreseeable future. Portugal and then Slovenia are the next in line for the EU presidency -- and neither of them has enough clout to push through such a monumental change. Though Germany says that it is just looking for a roadmap to the constitution, Merkel will need more than that to carry the document during the next two EU presidencies. There is hope again in the latter half of 2008, when France takes the presidency -- however, the leadership makeup in Europe at that time could produce even further roadblocks.

People's Daily Online -- Poll shows majority of Dutch in favor of amended EU constitution


For the complete report from the People's Daily Online click on this link

Poll shows majority of Dutch in favor of amended EU constitution

Almost 66 percent of Dutch voters would vote in favor of an amended European Union (EU) constitution if it is a traditional treaty containing certain changes to the existing EU treaties, according to a poll by Radio Netherlands. Most Dutch people want a new referendum on the new treaty, the poll showed. The current EU presidency holder Germany wants EU leaders to agree on the final text of the treaty before the 2009 European elections.

The Herald : Whisky industry raises glass to Europe - by Paul Rogerson

For the complete report from the The Herald click on this link

Whisky industry raises glass to Europe - by Paul Rogerson

Members of the European Parliament approved an updated and clearer legal definition of whisky, designed to help distillers tackle labelling which they have criticised as unfair and misleading. The rules state that whisky cannot be flavoured or sweetened. They also update the protection of the geographical indication "Scotch whisky" in line with World Trade Organisation rules.

Nick Soper, the Scotch Whisky Association's European affairs director, said: "Improved EU protection for the traditional way of making Scotch whisky is a significant step forward. It will be easier to protect Scotch from unfair practices, supporting export success and the jobs that depend on that continuing success."

6/19/07

Poll shows majority of Dutch in favor of amended EU constitution

People's Daily Online

"Poll shows majority of Dutch in favor of amended EU constitution

Almost 66 percent of Dutch voters would vote in favor of an amended European Union (EU) constitution if it is a traditional treaty containing certain changes to the existing EU treaties, according to a poll by Radio Netherlands.

Most Dutch people want a new referendum on the new treaty, the poll showed. The current EU presidency holder Germany wants EU leaders to agree on the final text of the treaty before the 2009 European elections."

signandsight: Europe's oppressive legacy - by Imre Kertesz

For the complete report from the signandsight click on this link

Europe's oppressive legacy - by Imre Kertesz

"It will be the very first task of the new Europe to hack out clear paths through the jungle of ideologies and fallacies. It is a typically twentieth-century phenomenon that politics and culture have become not just antagonistic but inimical to one another. In this terrible century of lost values everything that was once of value became ideological. The hour was struck for the political adventurers and leaders of the people who undertake to direct and later exploit the masses with the help of the apparatus of political parties cultivated by devious stratagems.It has become more obvious than ever before that there exist at least two Europes, in which shared history, the shared European experience, is reflected in at least two different ways. There is a general

belief that democracy is a political disposition, but if one thinks about it, democracy is in truth more a culture than a mere system—and here I am using the word culture in, as it were, its horticultural sense. The democracies of Western Europe came into being organically; democracy sprouted as a political system on the soil of a social culture, through a process of economic, political and behavioural necessities, successful revolutions or great social compromises. In Central and Eastern Europe, by contrast, the political structures were the first to be brought into being—insofar as they have been brought into being—and society must now undertake the gradual, wearisome and possibly painful task of assimilating to those structures."

The Loft: Europe’s Move Toward Conservatism

The Loft » Blog Archive » Europe’s Move Toward Conservatism: "For the complete report from the Loft click on this link

Europe’s Move Toward Conservatism - by Greg Reason

"Private intelligence company Strategic Forecasting, Inc. (STRATFOR) recently published an article describing what it sees as the imminent end of the leftist domination of Europe. Specifically, the article says, “…2007 will see the end of the left as a leading force on the Continent." In its analysis, STRATFOR states that a slow shift to the political right in Europe extends beyond Germany, France and the United Kingdom, and includes Poland, Finland, Sweden, the Netherlands, Belgium and Austria, the result of elections that have seen moderate and conservative parties making substantial gains. While I agree with STRATFOR that a noticeable shift to the right is occurring in European politics, I break with their analysis on the future of the European Union."

Half a Billion Customers in Top 10 European Markets

ww.cellular-news.com

"Half a Billion Customers in Top 10 European Markets

In the last of our quarterly roundups of the European market, we reported that the Ukraine had almost certainly overtaken France in January to become Europe's fifth largest market by customers. The Q1 2007 figures confirm this to have been the case, with Ukraine registering 2m net additions in the quarter to take its total to 51m, 1.5m ahead of France which finished with 49.5m mobile customers. Given the rapid deceleration of growth in Ukraine which took place in Q1 2007, it now looks unlikely that the market will progress any further; indeed one day one would expect the under-penetrated France - almost a third larger than Ukraine by population - to retake fifth place."

6/18/07

Telegraph: Airbus upstages rival Boeing with big deals - by Russell Hotten

For the complete report from the Telegraph click on this link

Airbus upstages rival Boeing with big deals - by Russell Hotten

Airbus notched up some big contracts on the opening day of the world's largest air show in Paris as the company's commercial chief surprised the industry with a forecast the European planemaker will sign a record number of orders.John Leahy said yesterday that Airbus should achieve its best-ever tally, with more than 280 orders.

Javno - Czechs Offer Poland Climbdown Ladder In EU Talks

For the complete report from Javno click on this link

The Czech Republic offered Poland an opportunity to climb down in talks on a new European Union treaty on Monday but it is unclear whether Warsaw is interested in a face-saving compromise at a summit this week. Poland is demanding a change to the reformed voting system agreed in 2004 which it says would give big states, especially Germany, too much power mainly at Warsaw's expense.

A Polish veto would block progress on a treaty for reforming creaking institutions designed half a century ago for a community one-quarter the size of today's enlarged 27-nation EU.

OhmyNews: Europe's Democratic Deficit - by John Horvath

For the complete report from OhmyNews click on this link

Europe's Democratic Deficit - by John Horvath

Perhaps one of the most shameful foreign policy positions taken by the EU is with regard to Palestine. In many ways, the internal violence and bloodshed which now occurs on a regular basis in the West Bank and Gaza is directly a result of the policies followed by the EU and other "mediators" in the Middle East. Despite the fact that the elections which had brought the former Hamas-led government to power in 2006 was judged as free and fair, the EU along with other Western powers refused to recognize the result. In essence, it was telling the people of Palestine that you have the right to vote, but only to vote for who we want you to vote for. This twisted form of democracy was reinforced by an economic boycott. In effect, it attempted to economically strangle the popularly elected government.

Jan Truszczynski: “It’s not right to draw the Europe’s borders on paper, as Sarkozy wants”

..:: ABHABER.COM

"Jan Truszczynski: “It’s not right to draw the Europe’s borders on paper, as Sarkozy wants”

Jan Truszczynski, Deputy Director-General of DG Enlargement, European Commission, commented on the future of the European Union’s enlargement process. He emphasized that drawing Europe’s borders on a voluntary basis could lead to the loss of the EU’s soft power.

As he emphasized that it would not be right to draw Europe’s borders on paper as Sarkozy wants, Truszczynski also highlighted that Oli Rehn, European Commissioner for Enlargement, thinks that Europe is a community of shared values rather than a geographical community."

Situation of migrant workers in Europe

no-racism.net:

"Situation of migrant workers in Europe

Please find below the speech of Estrella del Pais of Migrante Europe held on May 25, 2007 at the conference 'In Solidarity against deportation, exclusion and exploitation' during the stop of the CARAVAN-Tour 2007 in Düsseldorf."

When Poland rises to European Supremacy

American Chronicle

"When Poland rises to European Supremacy

Dr. Muhammad Shamsaddin Megalommatis
June 18, 2007

Bush left, Sarkozy comes; Sarkozy left, Zpatero comes; in-between the Polish President met with Merkel at Meseberg. Never in the past did Poland attract so wide an interest. Why now? "

EU treaty row to dominate Blair's final days in power

Independent Online Edition > Europe

"EU treaty row to dominate Blair's final days in power
By Ben Russell, Political Correspondent
Published: 18 June 2007

The row over a referendum on reform of the EU was reignited by Geoff Hoon, the minister for Europe, who conceded that a poll had not been ruled out.

Gordon Brown may soften his opposition to a poll, he signalled, as Tony Blair prepared for a difficult battle to secure Britain's aims at the EU summit in Brussels later this week"

6/17/07

EU citizens want referendum on treaty

FT.com / In depth:

"EU citizens want referendum on treaty

By George Parker in Brussels

Published: June 17 2007 18:32 | Last updated: June 17 2007 18:32

Plans by Europe’s leaders to push a reworked European Union constitution on to the statute book without further referendums are strongly opposed by European citizens, according to an exclusive FT/Harris opinion poll.

Angela Merkel, the German chancellor, will seek an outline agreement this week on a replacement for the EU constitution, shot down by French and Dutch voters in referendums in 2005.

But this time Ms Merkel, whose country holds the rotating EU presidency, wants member states to ratify a new “simplified” treaty through national parliaments to avoid further public rejections."

EU takes over Afghan police training

Herald Sun

"EU takes over Afghan police training
Article from: Agence France-Presse

June 18,:30am

THE European Union has taken over a mission to train Afghanistan's police force in a ceremony overshadowed by the killing of 35 people in a suicide attack on a police bus hours earlier."

A moment to agree with Brussels

FT.com / Comment & analysis / Editorial comment:

"A moment to agree with Brussels

Published: June 17 2007 19:32 | Last updated: June 17 2007 19:32

When the history of the European Union is written, two fundamental treaties will attract most attention: the Treaty of Rome and the Treaty of Maastricht. Rome created the common market. Maastricht set up the single currency and added a common foreign policy. They set out the essential nature of the unique EU hybrid, neither an inter-governmental alliance nor a fully-fledged federal “super-state”."

FlightGlobal: First Australian Airbus A330 MRTT air-to-air refuelling tanker rolled out


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First Australian Airbus A330 MRTT air-to-air refuelling tanker rolled out

The first of five Airbus A330 multi role tanker transports (MRTT) ordered by the Royal Australian Air Force has been rolled out of the hangar at the conversion centre of EADS Casa in Getafe near Madrid.

Reuters FACTBOX - The Paris air show in facts and figures

Eurofighters on display at Paris Airshow
For the complete report from FACTBOX - AIRSHOW click on this link

The Paris air show in facts and figures

The 47th Paris air show which opens on Monday expects deals for at least 300 planes worth $30 billion at list prices to be announced at the event.

6/16/07

STLtoday - Europe is catching up with U.S. biofuel- by Bill Lambrecht

For the complete report in STLtoday click on this link

Europe is catching up with U.S. biofuel- by Bill Lambrecht

Europe is starting to see a dividend on European Union subsidies paid to farmers — at least $25 for every acre of energy crops produced. Earlier this month, Europe’s first regular passenger train service powered by biodiesel departed London for Wales. Still in its early stages, biofuels has the agriculture business booming in parts of Europe: Near Letang’s farm, 75 miles southwest of Paris, implement dealer Philippe Bernard said he expects to sell $650,000 worth of canola-cutters, tools put on farm machinery to harvest canola plants, this year. A few years ago, he sold none.

Omurca: The only thing Europeans have in common is their fear of Turks!


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The only thing Europeans have in common is their fear of Turks!

"Turkey und Europe are two counterparts, which complement each other like a "pot and a lid," top and bottom, North and South, alpha and omega. We are yin and yang. We Turks spent thousands of years searching in the West for our own yang, and in this cul-de-sac named "Europe" we finally found it. Our fate is sealed. We can no longer do without the Europeans. And the more masochistic we Turks behave, the more sadistic the EU acts."

As soon as we become full members of the EU, the dream of the Ottomans will finally come true and the goal of our Ottoman ancestors will be attained. Istanbul will then be the capital of the EUman Empire, and EU citizens will no longer be called "Europeans," but "EUmans."

The Telegraph: The EU's strength is its diversity - by Alan Massie

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The EU's strength is its diversity - by Alan Massie

The impetus towards European union came first from Britain in a speech made by Churchill in Zurich on September 19, 1946: "There can be no revival of Europe without a spiritually great France and a spiritually great Germany. The structure of a United States of Europe, if well and truly built, will be such as to make the material strength of a single state less important. Small nations will count as much as large ones and gain their honour by their contribution to the common cause."

Daily Times - Op-ed: Europe’s silent pro-treaty majority — by Nicolas Schmit


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Op-ed: Europe’s silent pro-treaty majority — by Nicolas SchmitThe solution to the impasse over Europe’s Constitutional Treaty certainly does not lie in the direction of diminishing its scope, and thus perhaps making it just an “ordinary” treaty. Minimalist solutions respond to neither the expectations of the citizens nor the requirements of a rapidly changing world. The answer is more likely to be found in the Treaty’s simplification, taking out those elements that are not absolutely necessary, and also enriching it in such areas as climate change.

EU aims at holiday property rip-offs

Voices Newspaper Altinkum Didim Turkey:

"EU aims at holiday property rip-offs
Posted on Saturday, June 16 @ 20:16:25 EEST by editor

THE European Commission is to crackdown on holiday timeshare rip-offs that cost consumers more than £4bn a year.

The Financial Times has reported that European Commission plans to extend the legal protection enjoyed by timeshare owners to the resale of their holiday slots, holiday clubs and part-owners of caravans and canal boats.

It would give customers a right to full information, including a written contract in their native language, and enable them to cancel the deal within 14 days. It would also ban deposits during that time and make it more complicated to charge extra fees, such as vague administration charges, from the customers."

6/15/07

AHN: Poland sabotaging European Union by Blocking Progress Toward New EU Constitution with unreasonable demands


For the full report from AHN click on this link

Poland sabotaging European Union by Blocking Progress Toward New EU Constitution with Unreasonable Demands

Germany's Chancellor Angela Merkel has indicated that she will not accept demands by Poland to maximize its power in an expanded European Union. The treaty requires approval by all 27 EU members and Poland has indicated it will block it unless the proposed new voting system is adjusted. What Poland is asking for is less of a gap in the weighting of votes for large versus small countries. Poland is a medium sized nation and has complained that the proposed rules favor larger nations, giving them too much power. Note EU-Digest: "As the saying goes - you give someone a hand and he wants your whole arm." Several studies on Poland's membership in the EU have show that Poland has greatly benefited from this membership. Their present demands are unreasonable and indicate a lack of understanding of the basic rules which govern a political and economic partnership."

Ethnobotanical Leaflets: The pomme d'amour - the Tomato's acceptance by Europeans as food was very slow, lasting more than a hundred years


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The pomme d'amour - the Tomato's acceptance by Europeans as food was very slow, lasting more than a hundred years

The current popularity of the tomato as a food and as a cash crop belies its cool reception in Europe. About this crop, Ruben Villareal (1980) states, "Production of the tomato can be an especially profitable way to utilize limited land resources and abundant labor. It can be grown in a household garden, it can contribute substantially to the family's income on an extremely small area of land, or it can be grown on a large scale for urban markets and for processing. The tomato fits well into many cropping patterns and may bring in needed cash during periods when cereals and other staples cannot be grown and when labor is surplus.

Today the processing tomato supply chain in Europe includes a large sector in the Mediterranean countries and to a lesser extent in new member economies such as Poland and Hungary. The European tomato processing industry processed more than 11,000,000 tonnes of raw tomatoes in 2004. Italy is by far the most important producer of processed tomatoes in Europe with a 53% share of European production followed by Spain (22%) and Portugal and Greece (10% each). The production of processing tomatoes still grows fast, notably in Spain and Italy. Processing tomatoes are produced on relatively large farms specialized in extensive production of arable crops and vegetables.

IndustryWeek : Airbus Wants To Cut CO2 Emissions By Half By 2020


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Airbus Wants To Cut CO2 Emissions By Half By 2020

Airbus is committed to reducing carbon dioxide emissions from its planes by half between now and 2020, company chief executive Louis Gallois said June 14. Gallois also appealed to Airbus competitor Boeing to take part in an industry conference on protecting the environment.On June 13 the EU executive approved a draft proposal on "clean skies" aimed at reducing aircraft emissions and noise.

Press Esc: US starting-up its own "Foreign Legion" by enlisting illegal aliens quickly as recruitment falls

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US starting-up its own "Foreign Legion" by enlisting illegal aliens quickly as recruitment falls

A senior US defense official today urged the US Congress to fast track a section of the stalled immigration bill that would allow the military to recruit illegal aliens, after recruitment figures released by Pentagon showed that the Army failed to reach its targets for May. The Development, Relief and Education for Alien Minors, or DREAM, provision in the immigration bill was expected to help boost military recruiting by allowing illegal aliens to enlist as way to obtain citizenship, Bill Carr, acting deputy undersecretary of defense for military personnel policy, told a veterans’ group representatives.