Welcome to European Tribune. It's gone a bit quiet around here these days, but it's still going.

by Fran on Thu May 28th, 2009 at 11:44:53 AM EST
EUobserver / EU sketches out conditions for upgrade with Israel

EUOBSERVER / BRUSSELS - The EU will at a meeting with Israeli foreign minister Avigdor Lieberman next month sketch out three conditions for upgrading relations, according to a draft declaration seen by EUobserver.

The text says that the meeting in Brussels on 15 June "confirms the great importance the European Union is attaching to its relations with Israel and its readiness to continue strengthening our bilateral relationship."

Man surveys war damage in Gaza after Israel's Operation Cast Lead in December and January

But it does not give any timetable for implementing a formal upgrade in bilateral ties, envisaged before Israel launched "Operation Cast Lead" in Gaza in December.

The omission effectively continues a freeze imposed on the project by Israeli-critical EU countries, such as Belgium, Sweden and Portugal, which feel that the upgrade would give an untimely endorsement to Israel's hawkish new government.

by Fran on Thu May 28th, 2009 at 11:54:15 AM EST
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Germany to investigate leak of election result on Twitter - Telegraph
Twitter, the microblogging website, is at the centre of a political furore in Germany, after MPs used it to leak news of the president's re-election.

News that Hörst Köhler had been re-elected as German president on Saturday was published on Twitter almost 15 minutes before the official result was announced, the Financial Times reports.

Julia Klöckner , of chancellor Angela Merkel's CDU party, told her Twitter "followers": "People, you can watch the football in peace. The vote was a success."

by Fran on Thu May 28th, 2009 at 11:54:56 AM EST
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Kosovo minorities leave, claiming discrimination | Europe | Deutsche Welle | 27.05.2009
The refusal of Kosovo's ethnic Albanian leadership to ensure minority rights is driving out many non-Serb minorities, a new human rights report says.  

The London-based Minority Rights Group International (MRG) says exclusion from political and social life and discrimination are forcing ethnic Bosniaks, Turks, Roma, Croats, Gorani, Ashkali Egyptians and even some Serbs out of Kosovo.

Non-Serb minorities have criticized the international community for paying too much attention to Albanian-Serb relations and ignoring other groups.

"The priority for the international community should be to ensure that there is some kind of international human rights mechanism to which minorities in Kosovo can turn," MRG director, Mark Lattimer, said.

by Fran on Thu May 28th, 2009 at 11:58:46 AM EST
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Lechergate continues with a hot spread in the Italian weekly L'Espresso

L'Espresso reveals that Berlusconi also had a week long party bash in 2007 with droves of aspiring Sophonisbes decorating every angle of his villa. The article points out that Berlusconi is likely to be subject to blackmail and notes some possible coincidences involving beautiful women who become happy owners of roof-top apartments in the center of Rome.

The real treat is a wiretap between Berlusconi and "Evelina" Manna within minutes after la Repubblica revealed the famous Agostino Saccà taps (among others, here). The conversation reveals that Evelina felt there was something special between them, that she wasn't just another little whore.

Evelina: I still believe there's something special, I still do. In the world of dreams, no? So, I...I was about to call you-
Berlusconi: Dream worlds are the diametrically opposed to the world of the press-
Evelina: No, no! A world of dreams with you! So, I... I was about to call you-
Berlusconi: OK, listen, take my advice, do what you want... there's no way to resist the wave of mud that the press is capable of. Enough, I'm not going to repeat it again. Don't talk to the press.
Evelina: Don't be so cold with me, oh!
Berlusconi: I cannot not be cold, now, OK. Bye. ...Follow my advice. Ciao.
by de Gondi (publiobestia aaaatttthotmaildaughtusual) on Fri May 29th, 2009 at 06:52:54 AM EST
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L'Espresso has been unable to find out where 950,000 euro came from to pay for Evelina's attic apartment in Via Giulia overlooking Rome rooftops, following the exposé.

Ms. Manna refused to answer questions.

by de Gondi (publiobestia aaaatttthotmaildaughtusual) on Fri May 29th, 2009 at 06:56:44 AM EST
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