Women to head top EU institutions for first time

Ursula von der Leyen to head European commission and Christine Lagarde to lead ECB Two women have won the backing of the EUs leaders to head the European commission and European Central Bank, breaking with more than 60 years of male dominance at the top of the blocs institutions. After three days of tortuous negotiations, Germanys defence minister, improved maternity and paternity benefits as Germanys family affairs minister and drove forward boardroom gender quotas. She has been working to increase funding for the countrys armed forces in her most recent government role although she has been mired in controversy over the awarding of contracts and has faced criticism about gaps in military readiness. On Brexit, she has fully supported the …

Are your tinned tomatoes picked by slave labour?

The long read: How the Italian mafia makes millions by exploiting migrants On 6 August last year, 14 immigrant farmhands in Foggia, on the ankle of the Italian boot, were coming home from a 12-hour shift picking tomatoes in 40C heat. The minibus carrying them was registered in Bulgaria; the driver didnt have a licence or insurance. The seats inside were wooden planks, and it was so crowded that passengers couldnt even see out. The vehicle was travelling at speed when it collided head-on with a truck loaded with tomatoes. After the crash, you could see contorted limbs through the smashed windows. The entire front third of the vehicle was concertinaed and the roof was ripped open. Bags and clothing …

Salvini has been ‘following’ Trump’s immigration policies, but he will not separate children

(CNN)Migration will be top of the agenda when Italy’s hard-line Interior Minister Matteo Salvini meets US Vice President Mike Pence during a trip to Washington. Salvini shares Trump’s concerns about Iran, saying Italy has stopped working on an economic basis with the Middle Eastern country. “This is a country that believes that they can erase another country (Israel) from the face of the earth,” Salvini said. “This cannot be someone we can have a dialogue with,” adding that the Iran nuclear deal, from which the US is partially withdrawing from, should “be reconsidered.” Salvini told CNN he hopes to also speak to Pence about the “political situation in Libya, Iran, Venezuela” and potential partnerships between both countries. Single focus Since …

May averts Tory mutiny by agreeing to set her exit date after Brexit bill vote

1922 Committee agrees to let PM wait until after vote on withdrawal agreement bill in early June Theresa May has agreed to set a timetable for her departure as prime minister in the first week of June, leading MPs to believe she will trigger a leadership contest before the summer. Sir Graham Brady, the chair of the 1922 Committee of backbenchers, said she would agree a timetable for the election of a new leader after her Brexit legislation returned to parliament saying he would of course go for it when there is a vacancy but there is a wide field of up to 20 candidates. May met the 1922 committees executive on Thursday, which represents Tory backbenchers, after mutinous MPs …

The schoolgirls who defied the Stasi: ‘Someone said,

They were West German teenagers on a school trip. He was a young man desperate to escape from East Germany. Thirty five years later, they tell their story Its December 1984, a week before Christmas. Tina Kirschner and Barbara Kahlke, two 17-year-olds from West Germany, are sitting on a creaking red bus headed for the socialist part of their divided country. Theyre on a school trip, and the mood is boisterous: almost 40 teenagers singing along to Duran Duran. But once they cross the heavily guarded border, reality hits. The world theyre entering feels alien and forbidding. All around them, slogans celebrate the glorious achievements of the German Democratic Republic (GDR). Yet as they pass through the crumbling town centres, …

Cannes 2019: jury speaks out against ‘rage and anger’ of populist politicians

Jury president Alejandro Gonzlez Irritu takes aim at Donald Trumps anti-immigrant policies A familiar trio of topics Netflix, gender disparity and Donald Trump were on the agenda as the this years Cannes film festival got under way. At the press conference introducing this years festival jury, its president, Birdman and The Revenant director Alejandro Gonzlez Irritu, took aim at Trump and offered support to theatre chains battling the dominance of the streaming service. Another jury member, the rise of populist politicians including Trump and said that his presence at the festival served as a repudiation for the US presidents anti-immigrant policies. Quick guide Cannes 2019 Show Hide When and where is it? The festival takes place in the French resort …

Cannes 2019: jury speaks out against ‘rage and anger’ of populist politicians

Jury president Alejandro Gonzlez Irritu takes aim at Donald Trumps anti-immigrant policies A familiar trio of topics Netflix, gender disparity and Donald Trump were on the agenda as the this years Cannes film festival got under way. At the press conference introducing this years festival jury, its president, Birdman and The Revenant director Alejandro Gonzlez Irritu, took aim at Trump and offered support to theatre chains battling the dominance of the streaming service. Another jury member, the rise of populist politicians including Trump and said that his presence at the festival served as a repudiation for the US presidents anti-immigrant policies. Quick guide Cannes 2019 Show Hide When and where is it? The festival takes place in the French resort …

Ukraine elections: comedian leads polls as final round of voting begins

Little enthusiasm on display for either candidate in final round of presidential contest Voting is under way in the final round of Ukraines presidential election, where winning the first round three weeks ago, Zelenskiy entered a run-off with the incumbent, Petro Poroshenko, who finished in second place. Polling stations across the country, from the Carpathian mountains in the west to the war-torn Donbass region in the east of the country, opened on Sunday morning. Zelenskiy has offered little information about his policies or plans for the presidency, relying on viral videos, standup comedy gigs and jokes in place of campaigning. However, dissatisfaction with Poroshenko, who came to office five years ago after the Maidan revolution, is running high and most …