Belgian internal feud blocks EU-Canada trade deal
By Philip Blenkinsop and Robert-Jan Bartunek BRUSSELS (Reuters) - The European Union's hopes of signing a landmark free trade deal with Canada this week appeared to evaporate on Monday as the Belgian federal government failed to win the consent of French-speaking regional authorities. European Council President Donald Tusk had given Belgian Prime Minister Charles Michel until Monday, three days before the planned signing, to resolve the impasse. Tusk is now expected to contact Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and call off an EU-Canada summit that was scheduled for Thursday in Brussels, although all sides insist that the CETA pact, seven years in the making, remains in everyone's interest.
Arbitration scheme obstacle to EU-Canada trade dealThe French-speaking region of Wallonia may be the final hold-out against a planned EU-Canada free trade deal, but its view that a system to protect foreign companies threatens democracy is shared by many protesters across Europe. Investor-state dispute settlement (ISDS) was once a term known only to international trade experts, but became the rallying cry of those opposed to EU-U.S. trade negotiations when these were launched three years ago. Were it not for planned EU-U.S Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP), the EU-Canada Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) could well have sailed through like the EU's last major deal, with South Korea in 2011.
Indian business giant Tata Sons removes chairman MistryThe board of directors of Tata Sons on Monday removed Cyrus P. Mistry as chairman, four years after he took the reins of India's largest conglomerate. The board named former group chief Ratan Tata as interim ...
Tom Hayden, famed 1960s anti-war activist, dies at 76
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Belfast bakery fails to overturn gay cake discrimination ruling
By Amanda Ferguson BELFAST (Reuters) - A Northern Irish bakery that refused to bake a cake iced with a pro-gay slogan lost its bid to overturn its prosecution for discrimination on Monday as a local court rejected an appeal based on its owners' Christian beliefs. Ashers Baking Co in Belfast had been found guilty of discrimination in May last year for refusing to make a cake bearing the words "Support Gay Marriage" and a picture of characters Bert and Ernie from the television show Sesame Street. The firm initially accepted the order from Gareth Lee, a gay rights activist, but later contacted him to cancel it and refund his money.
EU-Canada trade deal held up by Belgian resistance
The Belgian government says that it cannot yet give the necessary backing to the European Union's free trade deal with Canada, making it unlikely that the bloc can sign the deal officially on Thursday ...
EU to continue Libyan coast guard training after attack on migrants
By Steve Scherer ROME (Reuters) - The European Union will go ahead with training for the Libyan coast guard this week, days after a coast guard vessel allegedly attacked a boat carrying migrants, causing four of them to drown. The German humanitarian group Sea-Watch recovered the four bodies after an attack on Friday that its members say was carried out by a vessel with the markings of the Libyan coast guard. The bodies of the four migrants reached Palermo, Sicily, on Monday aboard the Norwegian rescue vessel Siem Pilot, which carried 1,100 rescued migrants and 13 other bodies.