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Swiss photographer not responsible for Hong Kong protest assault: lawyers

Swiss photographer not responsible for Hong Kong protest assault: lawyers Swiss photographer not responsible for Hong Kong protest assault: lawyers
A Swiss photographer who closed a door on a Chinese mainlander moments before he was assaulted during last year's Hong Kong democracy protests...
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Turkey debates dropping landmark women's treaty

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Just as Turkey began debating leaving the world's first treaty prosecuting femicide and domestic abuse, a jealous killer set a woman's body...
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Doors slamming shut in Hungary for asylum seekers

Doors slamming shut in Hungary for asylum seekers Doors slamming shut in Hungary for asylum seekers
"It's difficult in a new way for us. There is hardly anyone left to talk to," Karzan Mohamed Sharif Amin, an Iraqi Kurd, told AFP at a government-run...
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Mutating terror threat still looms over Europe

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The terrorist threat against Europe has mutated in the last half-decade as jihadist groups have seen their Middle East sanctuaries eroded,...
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US, Slovenia to 'exclude untrusted vendors' from 5G

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The US and Slovenia signed a declaration Thursday to "exclude untrusted vendors" from 5G networks as the Trump administration continues its...
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Beleaguered Belarus opposition finds Baltic refuge

Beleaguered Belarus opposition finds Baltic refuge Beleaguered Belarus opposition finds Baltic refuge
Waves of repression in Belarus have turned its EU neighbours into places of refuge for pro-democracy Belarusians, with presidential challenger...
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EU, UK denounce Hong Kong media tycoon Jimmy Lai's arrest

EU, UK denounce Hong Kong media tycoon Jimmy Lai's arrest EU, UK denounce Hong Kong media tycoon Jimmy Lai's arrest
The European Union on Monday (Aug 10) accused China of using Hong Kong's new security law to crack down on media freedom, after the arrest...
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Biden rules out in-person appearance at Democratic convention

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Joe Biden will not attend the Democratic convention to accept the party's nomination to be its presidential election candidate after the event...
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EU sanctions on Russian, Chinese 'cyber attackers'

EU sanctions on Russian, Chinese 'cyber attackers' EU sanctions on Russian, Chinese 'cyber attackers'
The European Union imposed its first ever sanctions against alleged cyber attackers on Thursday, targeting Russian and Chinese individuals...
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'Alarm' at Poland's plan to leave treaty protecting women

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The EU and the Council of Europe on Sunday voiced regret and alarm over the Polish right-wing government's move to withdraw from a landmark...
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Latest News

Swiss photographer not responsible for Hong Kong protest assault: lawyers

Swiss photographer not responsible for Hong Kong protest assault: lawyers Swiss photographer not responsible for Hong Kong protest assault: lawyers
A Swiss photographer who closed a door on a Chinese mainlander moments before he was assaulted during last year's Hong Kong democracy protests...
Read More...

Turkey debates dropping landmark women's treaty

Turkey debates dropping landmark women's treaty Turkey debates dropping landmark women's treaty
Just as Turkey began debating leaving the world's first treaty prosecuting femicide and domestic abuse, a jealous killer set a woman's body...
Read More...

Doors slamming shut in Hungary for asylum seekers

Doors slamming shut in Hungary for asylum seekers Doors slamming shut in Hungary for asylum seekers
"It's difficult in a new way for us. There is hardly anyone left to talk to," Karzan Mohamed Sharif Amin, an Iraqi Kurd, told AFP at a government-run...
Read More...

Mutating terror threat still looms over Europe

Mutating terror threat still looms over Europe Mutating terror threat still looms over Europe
The terrorist threat against Europe has mutated in the last half-decade as jihadist groups have seen their Middle East sanctuaries eroded,...
Read More...

US, Slovenia to 'exclude untrusted vendors' from 5G

US, Slovenia to 'exclude untrusted vendors' from 5G US, Slovenia to 'exclude untrusted vendors' from 5G
The US and Slovenia signed a declaration Thursday to "exclude untrusted vendors" from 5G networks as the Trump administration continues its...
Read More...

Beleaguered Belarus opposition finds Baltic refuge

Beleaguered Belarus opposition finds Baltic refuge Beleaguered Belarus opposition finds Baltic refuge
Waves of repression in Belarus have turned its EU neighbours into places of refuge for pro-democracy Belarusians, with presidential challenger...
Read More...

EU, UK denounce Hong Kong media tycoon Jimmy Lai's arrest

EU, UK denounce Hong Kong media tycoon Jimmy Lai's arrest EU, UK denounce Hong Kong media tycoon Jimmy Lai's arrest
The European Union on Monday (Aug 10) accused China of using Hong Kong's new security law to crack down on media freedom, after the arrest...
Read More...

Biden rules out in-person appearance at Democratic convention

Biden rules out in-person appearance at Democratic convention Biden rules out in-person appearance at Democratic convention
Joe Biden will not attend the Democratic convention to accept the party's nomination to be its presidential election candidate after the event...
Read More...

EU sanctions on Russian, Chinese 'cyber attackers'

EU sanctions on Russian, Chinese 'cyber attackers' EU sanctions on Russian, Chinese 'cyber attackers'
The European Union imposed its first ever sanctions against alleged cyber attackers on Thursday, targeting Russian and Chinese individuals...
Read More...

'Alarm' at Poland's plan to leave treaty protecting women

'Alarm' at Poland's plan to leave treaty protecting women 'Alarm' at Poland's plan to leave treaty protecting women
The EU and the Council of Europe on Sunday voiced regret and alarm over the Polish right-wing government's move to withdraw from a landmark...
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Belarus's isolated leader Alexander Lukashenko on Tuesday visits Austria, marking his first trip to an EU member in more than three years as he seeks closer ties amid tensions

with Russia. Lukashenko will meet Austrian President Alexander Van der Bellen in his first official visit to the small Alpine nation following a trip of then Austrian chancellor Sebastian Kurz to Belarus in March.

Often dubbed "Europe's last dictatorship", Belarus has been the target of Western sanctions over its poor rights record and lack of fair elections, and 65-year-old Lukashenko has rarely travelled to Europe.

In recent years however the West and Belarus have sought to improve ties as the Kremlin has pushed for a closer relationship between Moscow and Minsk.

Karin Kneissl, Austria's foreign minister under Kurz's previous administration, said in January that her country wanted to develop closer ties with Belarus as a "buffer state" between Russia, the EU and Ukraine. 

Belarus's closest ally is Russia and the two have formed a nominal "union", with close trade and military cooperation.

In recent months Moscow has been pressuring Minsk into closer integration. While Lukashenko has welcomed closer ties with Moscow, he has pushed back at the idea of outright unification.

Moscow has denied that is on the cards. Kremlin spokesman Dmitri Peskov said it was "normal" for Minsk to have contacts with other countries.

- 'Loyal' EU ally -

Being hosted by an EU member represents a "diplomatic success" for Lukashenko ahead of parliamentary elections on Sunday, political analyst Artyom Shraibman said.

Lukashenko said in September he also wanted to improve ties with Washington as he welcomed then White House national security advisor John Bolton for rare talks in Minsk.

The Soviet-era collective farm chief became Belarus's first post-independence president in 1994 and has dominated the country ever since.

In 2016, Lukashenko visited Italy and the Vatican after the European Union lifted most of the sanctions it had imposed in recent years against him and other Belarusians in a move to encourage progress on human rights.

Belarus is the only country in Europe that still uses capital punishment.

Since 2016, Lukashenko has been repeatedly invited to visit Europe, but he had until now declined those invitations.

After Russia, Austria is one of Belarus's biggest sources of foreign direct investment, and Belarus media labelled it "the most loyal" of EU members to Minsk.

Lukashenko has been in Austria privately to go skiing with his family in 2002. Kurz gifted him a pair of hand-made wooden skis during his March visit to Belarus.

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