All eyes on London this week, where May struggles to hold onto power against Brexit rebels, while EU leaders meet in Brussels on Sunday to try to clinch agreement.
Banks and firms participating in a special EU initiative to protect trade with Iran risk US sanctions, US special envoy for Iran, Brian Hook, warned in Brussels Thursday. The EU is working on a 'Special Purpose Vehicle' (SPV) to enable European non-dollar trade with Iran to preserve a nuclear arms control treaty. Brussels wanted the SPV in place this month but no country has offered to host it, Reuters reported.
German chancellor Angela Merkel personally intervened and called Romania's president Klaus Iohannis in April urging him to stop plans by Romania's social-democrat lead government to move Romania's embassy to Jerusalem. The Jerusalem Post reports that Merkel also called other European politicians as part of a campaign to block the relocation of European embassies to Jerusalem. The US relocated its embassy to Jerusalem in May.
Thousands protested in Prague Thursday demanding that Czech prime minister Andrej Babis resign over suspected criminal corruption and EU subsidy fraud. Public criticism of Babis has spiked after his mentally-ill son told media that he was held in Crimea in an attempt to hinder corruption investigations into his father. Babis leads a minority government composed of his ANO party and left-wing Social Democrats supported by the Communists.
A spokeswoman for Germany's foreign ministry "strongly condemned" a website labelling former German chancellor Gerhard Schroeder as an "enemy of the state" in Ukraine. "We have informed Ukraine of our position in the past and have insisted the Ukrainian government delete this website," she said, German media report. The controversial Ukrainian website Myrotvorets (Peacemaker) denounced Schroeder for chairing the supervisory board of Russian oil company Rosneft.
A group of French-led EU member states including Denmark, Spain, Portugal, and the Netherlands on Thursday called for changes to fishing arrangements in the draft Brexit deal agreed between London and Brussels. More than 50 percent of fish caught in UK waters last year were caught by non-UK vessels. The draft Brexit deal states that the two sides would try to agree on the future of fisheries by July 2020.
Former employees in Danske Bank's Estonian branch are suspected of having received illegal cash payments in return for helping criminals to whitewash billions through the bank, Berlingske Tidende reports. Large and suspicious deposits on their own accounts are being investigated, it said. Danske Bank's €200bn money-laundering scandal might be only the "tip of the iceberg" in a scandal involving other major banks, Danske Bank whistleblower Howard Wilkinson's lawyer told Reuters.
Companies like the Boston Consulting Group, Google and Uber are pushing the EU to join the race for autonomous (self-driving) cars. But one key question is missing from the debate: should we?
British PM Theresa May battles for survival as she faces calls for her resignation and the rebellion of several ministers who resigned over the draft Brexit deal - which the EU is preparing to sign later this month.
The main points of the Brexit withdrawal deal between London and Brussels dissected. Although the EU is preparing to sign the agreement, the UK government has been rocked by resignations since its publication less than 24 hours ago.
Under-fire British prime minister Theresa May spent three hours on Thursday defending her government's withdrawal deal with the EU to the House of Commons, despite the resignation of two cabinet ministers. May admitted she shared some MPs "concerns" at the backstop, but refused to consider a second referendum. The opposition Labour party, as well as many of her own Conservative MPs, said they would not vote for the deal.
Conservative pro-Brexit MP Jacob Rees-Mogg on Thursday wrote to the UK prime minister calling on her to resign, in the wake of the publication of the withdrawal agreement between the UK and the EU, and the subsequent resignations of two cabinet ministers. In his call for a no-confidence vote, Rees-Mogg wrote "it would be in the interest of the party and the country if [you] were to stand aside."
Denmark has suspended €8.7m of aid to Tanzania over a homophobic crackdown in the country. Ulla Tornaes, the Danish development minister said she was "very concerned" by "unacceptable homophobic comments" made by a senior politician. She spoke after Paul Makonda, a commissioner in charge of Dar es Salaam, Tanzania's commercial capital, urged people to denounce gay men to police. "Respect for human rights is crucial for Denmark," Tornaes said.
A second British cabinet minister resigned on Thursday morning rather than supporting the Brexit withdrawal deal agreed between the UK and the EU on Wednesday night. Esther McVey quit as secretary for work and pensions, just minutes after the Brexit secretary, Dominic Raab, also resigned - throwing the agreement, and Theresa May's authority as prime minister, into question. Parliament is set to vote on the deal in December.
Dominic Raab, the UK Brexit secretary, dramatically resigned on Thursday morning, just hours after signing off on the withdrawal agreement agreed between the UK and the EU. Raab, in his resignation letter, cited the Northern Ireland border and the 'backstop' as issues he could not agree to. The resignation, possibly to be followed by others, throws into doubt the deal only agreed by the UK cabinet on Wednesday night.
Some 43 Romanian MPs have signed a petition urging the government to adopt a 'Magnitsky Act', imposing sanctions on human rights abusers, named after Russian anti-corruption activist Sergei Magnitsky. "Today the campaign for a Romanian Magnitsky Act began," Bill Browder, Magnitsky's former employer, who is behind the campaign, said. Four EU states, plus Canada and the US, have them in place, amid a Dutch proposal for action at EU level.
Romania's ruling party has, literally, shown the middle finger to EU institutions as it prepares to take on the bloc's presidency next year.
Greek anti-money laundering authorities have ordered the opening of former Pasok prime minister Costas Simitis and his family's bank accounts, as well as those of Simitis' public order minister, Michalis Chrisochoidis in relation to bribe allegations related to the acquisition of a security system for the 2004 Athens Olympics. Simitis said he has "nothing to hide".
European Council president Donald Tusk announced Thursday that EU leaders will meet for a summit to formalise the Brexit deal on Sunday 25 November, at 9:30AM – "if nothing extraordinary happens" between now and then. He said that EU ambassadors will meet by the end of this week to discuss the agreement. "I hope there will not be too many comments," said Tusk, after meeting EU negotiator Michel Barnier.
EU trade commissioner Cecilia Malmstrom said on Wednesday that the EU has a list of potential retaliation targets ready in case US president Donald Trump imposes auto tariffs on EU member states. "It could be cars, it could be the agricultural sector, it can be anything," Malmstrom said after a conversation with US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer in Washington. The list still needs to be coordinated with the member states.