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/ 16 November 2006

EU calls for ban on cluster bombs

The European Union Parliament on Thursday urged EU governments to push for compliance with a treaty to prevent germ warfare, and joined the United Nations in calling for an immediate worldwide ban on cluster bombs. The EU assembly made the call as countries met in Geneva to review a treaty on inhumane weapons.

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/ 26 September 2006

Bulgaria, Romania to join EU under tough terms

Bulgaria and Romania received the green light on Tuesday to join the European Union in January, rather than a year later, but under the toughest terms imposed on any new entrants. In a recommendation on what could be the EU’s last expansion for years, the European Commission listed reforms the Balkan duo must complete.

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/ 2 July 2006

Hincapie grabs yellow jersey

American George Hincapie grabbed the first Tour de France yellow jersey of his career as Frenchman Jimmy Casper caused an upset on the race’s first big sprint rendezvous on Sunday. Hincapie, who lost out on the race lead by 0,73sec after he finished second in the prologue behind Thor Hushovd, found himself benefiting from the big Norwegian’s misfortune.

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/ 30 June 2006

Doping scandal: Heads roll in Tour de France

Germany’s Jan Ullrich and Oscar Sevilla of Spain have both been withdrawn from the T-Mobile team contesting the Tour de France after they were named in an official inquiry into blood doping in Spain. Italy’s Ivan Basso and Spain’s Francisco Mancebo have also been withdrawn because of being named in the scandal.

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/ 12 May 2006

Crane needed to move 280kg French man

A 280kg man had to be removed from his home by a crane because he could no longer leave the apartment through the door, an official said on Friday. In an operation that took three hours to complete and involved 12 firefighters, the man was taken out of his apartment through a window and transported by a van to Strasbourg’s University Hospital for treatment.

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/ 6 April 2006

EU calls for corruption blacklist to aid decisions

The European Parliament called on Thursday for the creation of a European Union blacklist of countries where corruption is rife, to help the EU make decisions on providing development aid. In a report by Dutch Member of European Parliament Margrietus Van den Berg, backed by the 732-seat EU assembly, it also demanded more transparency in the massive development budget of the EU.

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/ 27 January 2006

Govts knew of CIA terror

Europe’s human-rights watchdog recently accused Washington of ”gangster tactics” by flying terrorist suspects to countries where they would face torture, and criticised European countries who appear to have done nothing to intervene. ”If a country resorts to the tactics of gangsters, I say no,” Dick Marty, a Swiss senator, said.

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/ 15 February 2005

‘McLibel’ trial: UK violated activists’ rights

The European Court of Human Rights on Tuesday condemned the United Kingdom for violating the rights of two activists convicted of libelling United States fast food chain McDonald’s, ending a 15-year legal battle. The decision marked a victory for campaigners Helen Steel and Dave Morris, who were found guilty in the so-called ”McLibel” trial.

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/ 29 October 2004

Gay rights row leaves EU in crisis

European Union leaders will meet in an emergency session in Rome on Friday to deal with an unprecedented institutional crisis that deepened this week when the incoming commission president, Jose Manuel Barroso, was forced to withdraw his entire team of commissioners. Barroso chose to backtrack when it became clear that members of the European Parliament would vote down his choice of commissioners.

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/ 19 September 2004

One click away from a mugging

The computer has replaced the gun as the ideal weapon as criminals turn increasingly to the internet as a tool for separating Joe Public from his money, crime-fighters warned at an international conference in Strasbourg, France. Cyber-attacks on the unwary ”are becoming more and more frequent”.

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/ 12 March 2004

Irish try to salvage deal on EU

Irish Prime Minister Bertie Ahern this week launched consultations to salvage a deal on the European Union’s controversial Constitution. Hopes suffered a blow on Tuesday when Spain flatly rejected a German-backed compromise on the crucial issue of voting weights in a union of 25 members.