• Sweden sets up special police force to combat gang violence

      Sweden sets up special police force to combat gang violence

      Swedish police announced on Monday a special task force to deal with a wave of shootings and bombings linked to criminal gangs would be set up, news wires reported. The measure comes after on Saturday two 15-year-olds were shot outside a pizza restaurant in Malmo in a gang conflict over drug trade control in the area. One died immediately and the other is in critical condition.

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    • Austria conservatives, Greens start coalition talks

      Austria conservatives, Greens start coalition talks

      Austria's Sebastian Kurz announced Monday his conservatives would enter exclusive coalition talks with the Green party, taking a step closer to forming a government following a September election. In an apparent about-turn after Kurz's previous administration with the far-right came crashing down, the 33-year-old said his People's Party (OeVP) "will enter negotiations with the Greens". But he warned of a "challenging process" ahead as the two parties with divergent platforms try to close gaps.

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    • Romania’s president faces ex-premier in a runoff

      Romania’s president faces ex-premier in a runoff

      Romania’s incumbent president Klaus Iohannis won the first round of Sunday elections with 36.6% of the vote, missing the necessary absolute majority and must compete in two weeks in a runoff against the Social Democrat Viorica Dancila, news wires reported. The politician, who until a week ago was head of government, came in second place with 23.8%, according to the partial results.

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    • Election results in Spain point to a new stalemate

      Election results in Spain point to a new stalemate

      Spain's far-right Vox party more than doubled its number of lawmakers in the country's fourth national election in four years, which delivered a deeply fragmented parliament, news wires reported. The Socialists of acting Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez, who had gambled that a repeat parliamentary election would strengthen his hand, finished first but with fewer seats than in the previous ballot in April and further away from a majority, the near-final official results showed.

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    • Divided Spain votes again to break political deadlock

      Divided Spain votes again to break political deadlock

      Spaniards vote on Sunday in the country’s fourth election in as many years with Catalonia’s secession drive and the predicted rise of a far-right party dominating the campaign, news wires reported. The election was called by incumbent Socialist Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez, who won the most votes in the last ballot in April but failed to whip up enough parliamentary support to form a government.

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    • Romania’s President Iohannis eyes new term

      Romania’s President Iohannis eyes new term

      Voting got underway in Romania's presidential election on Sunday, with incumbent pro-European Klaus Iohannis a clear favourite to win the largest vote share, but probably not enough for an outright win, news wires reported. Recent surveys have forecast Iohannis winning as much as 47%, meaning he is likely to fall short of an absolute majority, paving the way for a second round of voting on 24 November.

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    • Merkel urges Europe to defend democracy, freedom

      Merkel urges Europe to defend democracy, freedom

      Chancellor Angela Merkel on Saturday urged Europe to fight harder for its values as Germany celebrates 30 years since the fall of the Berlin Wall, news wires reported. “The values on which Europe is based - freedom, democracy, equality, the rule of law, safeguarding human rights - these are anything but self-evident,” Merkel said in a speech at the wall memorial in the center of the once-divided capital. “They must be experienced and defended anew again and again,” she pointed out. “In times of far-reaching technological and global change, this is more relevant than ever.”

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    • Germany celebrates 30th anniversary of fall of Berlin Wall

      Germany celebrates 30th anniversary of fall of Berlin Wall

      Germany celebrates 30 years since the fall of the Berlin Wall on Saturday with a string of events marking what is one of the most defining moments in modern European history, dpa reported. The breaching of the hated wall on 9 November 1989 followed a peaceful and popular uprising across communist East Germany amid moves among nations in Soviet-controlled Central Europe to break away from Moscow and shift towards western-style democracies.

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    • Germany open to move on post-crisis bank reform

      Germany open to move on post-crisis bank reform

      Germany is willing to support a pan-European bank deposit protection scheme as long as individual countries remain chiefly responsible for shielding savers of a troubled bank, its Finance Minister Olaf Scholz said on Wednesday in an eight-page document entitled "Position Paper on the Target Image of the Banking Union", submitted to German magazine Der Spiegel.

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    • Spain's election candidates clash over Catalonia in TV debate

      Spain's election candidates clash over Catalonia in TV debate

      The main candidates to become Spain’s next prime minister clashed on Monday over how to handle Catalan separatism, as they tried to woo voters ahead of a repeat election that opinion polls show could be as inconclusive as the one in April. Opinion polls suggest a third of voters are still unsure who they will vote for on 10 November, meaning Monday’s tense televised debate could be decisive.

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