EU antitrust body clears Apple's $3 billion Beats deal

AppleBrussels: The European Union's antitrust authority has cleared Apple's USD 3 billion deal to buy Beats Electronics, which makes headphones and offers music streaming services.

The 28-nation bloc's executive Commission said today the transaction does not threaten competition because the firms' combined European market share in both fields will be low while facing strong competitors.

The takeover of Beats Electronics and Beats Music announced in May for USD 2.6 billion in cash and USD 400 million in stock is the most expensive acquisition in Apple's 38-year history.

No apology for Bergdahl prisoner exchange: Obama

Barack ObamaBrussels: President Barack Obama says he makes no apology for seeking the release of Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl from the Taliban in a prisoner exchange that has caused a furor in the United States and has followed the president on his European trip this week.

Obama says the US has a basic principle of not leaving any service man or woman behind and said Bergdahl's health had been deteriorating. He says, quote, "we were deeply concerned about it."

Obama spoke during a joint news conference with British Prime Minister David Cameron in Brussels.

Obama meeting with European allies on Ukraine

Barack-ObamaBrussels: President Barack Obama is meeting with two of his most important European allies as they try to navigate shifting conditions in the Ukraine crisis including the new government's rise to power.

Obama plans to meet with British Prime Minister David Cameron in Brussels after a gathering of world leaders at the Group of 7 summit today. Then he flies to Paris for dinner with French President Francois Hollande.

EU appeals for progress in Mideast talks

John KerryBrussels, May 13 - Expressing concerns over recent developments in the Middle East peace process talks, the European Union (EU) has appealed all sides for their contribution in facilitating progress in peace process.

The EU has fully supported US peace efforts by US Secretary of State John Kerry and his team. The extensive efforts deployed in recent months must not go to waste, reported Xinhua citing a statement following the EU's foreign affairs meeting Monday.

EU's foreign ministers, however, regretted that greater progress has not been made by the parties to date in the talks during the meeting.

EU to give 6.5 bn euro support for trade in West Africa

EU to give 6.5 bn euro support for trade in West AfricaBrussels, March 18 - The Foreign Affairs Council of European Union (EU) Monday decided to provide 6.5 billion euros (about $9 billion) in supporting for trade in West Africa, Xinhua reported.

An EU conclusion agreed by the 28-member bloc's foreign ministers said that the funds will greatly enhance trade and investment flows to West African countries from 2015 to 2020, thus contributing to their development, sustainable growth and poverty reduction.

NATO chief blames Russia of threatening European security

Brussels, March 3 - NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen Sunday accused Russia of "threatening peace and security in Europe".

"What Russia is doing now in Ukraine violates the principles of the United Nations Charter. It threatens peace and security in Europe. Russia must stop its military activities and its threats," Xinhua quoting Rasmussen as saying before the meetings of the North Atlantic Council and the NATO-Ukraine Commission in Brussels.

Expedite Italian marines' case: EU parliament president

Martin-SchulzBrussels, Feb 25 : European Union Parliament president Martin Schulz has urged Indian authorities to expedite the legal proceedings against the two Italian marines accused of killing two Indian fishermen off the coast of Kerala in February 2012.

Opening the parliament session in the French city of Strasbourg Monday evening, Schulz noted that two years have passed since the two Italian marines, Massimilliano Lattore and Salvatore Girone, were detained and accused of killing the two Indian fishermen.

NATO chief rules out role in strikes against Syria

Anders-Fogh-RasmussenBrussels, Sep 2 : NATO chief Anders Fogh Rasmussen Monday ruled out the possibility of a NATO role in possible military strikes against Syria but added that the international community should respond to the alleged use of chemical weapons in that country.

"No decision has been made yet as how the international community should react. As regards NATO, I don't envisage any further NATO role... It is for individual nations to decide how to react towards what happened in Syria," Xinhua quoted Rasmussen as saying at his monthly press conference in Brussels.

Chemical weapons use in Syria unacceptable: NATO

Anders-Fogh-RasmussenBrussels, June 14 : NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen said Friday that any use of chemical weapons in Syria was "completely unacceptable" and was a breach of international law.

The remarks came after the White House announced the Syria government had used chemical weapons against rebels.

"This is indeed a matter of great concern. The international community has made clear that any use of chemical weapons is completely unacceptable and a clear breach of international law," Rasmussen told reporters at the NATO headquarters.

NATO defence ministers focus on cyber security

Ander-Fogh-RasmussenBrussels, June 4 : NATO defence ministers convened Tuesday to examine cyber security as a collective defence issue amid mounting concerns over the threat posed by cyber attacks.

"We will have our first ministerial discussion dedicated to cyber defence... I believe we can do more to assist individual allies if they come under attack. That would show NATO solidarity," NATO Secretary General Ander Fogh Rasmussen said at his arrival of the two-day meeting.

NATO terms Karzai's accusation as 'ridiculous'

NATO terms Karzai's accusation as 'ridiculous'Brussels, March 19 - NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen has said it is "absolutely ridiculous" for Afghanistan President Hamid Karzai to accuse the US of colluding with the Taliban.

"I reject the idea that was publicly launched by President Karzai that one way or the other there is a so-called collusion between NATO, ISAF, US and the Taliban. It's an absolutely ridiculous idea," reported Xinhua citing Rasmussen as saying Monday at his monthly press conference in Brussels.

EU summit to focus on growth, jobs

Jose-Manuel-BarroBrussels, March 14 : European Union (EU) leaders are scheduled to meet in Brussels Thursday and Friday to iron out measures to promote growth and create jobs in Europe which is still mired in the debt crisis.

Despite "consistent and courageous" efforts taken at European and national levels, "we have yet to tackle the most immediate fears and concerns of many of our citizens", European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso said Wednesday, referring to weak growth and high jobless rate.

EU approves tighter controls on beef amid horsemeat scandal

European-UnionBrussels, Feb 16 : The European Union has approved tighter controls on beef within its member states to determine the extent to which horsemeat is being fraudulently labeled as beef and sold to consumers.

The 27-member bloc also gave the green light for tests to determine whether horsemeat found at slaughterhouses contains residues of phenylbutazone, an anti-inflammatory drug used to treat horses that is potentially harmful to people.

Moody's cuts outlook on Germany

Moody's cuts outlook on GermanyBrussels, July 24 - Moody's Investors Service late Monday lowered its outlook on top-rated Germany, the Netherlands and Luxembourg to negative from stable, citing increasing uncertainties about the euro debt crisis as a whole.

The rating agency said its decision is also based on the growing risk of a Greek exit from the euro, which would set off "a chain of financial sector shocks" and it is the single currency's top-rated states who are going to share the burden of support, reported Xinhua.

EU condemns terrorist attack in Delhi

EU condemns terrorist attack in DelhiBrussels, Sep 8 : The European Union Thursday termed as a "heinous act" the terrorist attack outside the Delhi High Court Wednesday that killed 12 people and injured more than 90, a statement said.

The explosion occurred around 10.30 a. m. outside the court where about 300 visitors were crowding a gate for passes to enter the complex.

Button wants to emulate Schumacher at Belgian Grand Prix

Button wants to emulate Schumacher at Belgian Grand PrixBrussels, Aug. 26 : British Formula One racer Jenson Button has not ruled out the prospect of emulating the remarkable feat Michael Schumacher will chalk up in Sunday''s Belgian Grand Prix.

The legendary German will celebrate the 20th anniversary of his Formula One debut, which took place on August 25 1991 at the Spa circuit.

Although the two decades have included three seasons in retirement, it is still an incredible achievement by the 42-year-old to be competing at motorsport''s highest level.

Copenhagen summit showed importance of India: EU

Copenhagen summit showed importance of India: EUBrussels, Jan 8 : The UN climate change summit in Copenhagen "has reminded us of the importance of the emerging countries, like India and Brazil", the European Union's first President Herman Van Rompuy has said.

"It has also taught us some other geopolitical lessons. These developments invite us to ask ourselves: How can we best collaborate with the other players?" he said at a Christian Social Union party conference in Wildbad Kreuth, Germany.

EU experts to debate airport security after Detroit attack

EU experts to debate airport security after Detroit attack  Brussels, Jan 5 : European Union (EU) experts are to meet Thursday to discuss whether the bloc needs to improve its airport security in the wake of the failed Christmas attack on a US airliner over Detroit, officials in Brussels said.

The meeting is expected to include a debate on whether to bring in EU-wide rules for the use of controversial body scanners, which look through the traveller's clothes to produce an image of their body.

137 journalists killed worldwide in 2009

international-federation-of-journalistsBrussels, Dec 31 : A total of 137 journalists were killed in 2009, one of the most lethal years for media workers on record, the International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) said Thursday.

The Brussels-based organization said that 113 of the journalists had fallen victim to targeted killings, overshadowing the decrease to 109 killed in 2008.

IFJ President Jim Boumelha said that the Philippines, Mexico, and Somalia led the list of most deadly countries for journalists in 2009.

EU to discuss nuclear pact with Russia

European unionBrussels, Dec 23 : The Council of the European Union (EU) Tuesday mandated its executive body, the European Commission, to negotiate a broad nuclear partnership agreement with Russia.

The European Atomic Energy Community and the Russian federation will negotiate an agreement for the peaceful uses of nuclear energy, a EU official said in a statement.

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