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Fratricidal Russia-Ukraine conflict tears apart families and friends MOSCOW: Ukrainian Mariya Brovinska always tried to remain close to her Russian relatives but now bitter disagreements over the crisis in her homeland have led to a severing of ties.Her aunts and cousins from northwestern Russia first sought to dissuade her from supporting pro-Western rallies in Ukraine.Then they deleted her from their lists of friends on social networking sites."We've stopped communicating altogether," Brovinska, 28, told AFP. She still tries to remain in touch with her grandmother who also lives in northwestern Russia but it has been a trying experience."She speaks in phrases borrowed from Russian television," she said. "You live under the junta," she quoted her grandmother as saying."My mother would say in return that they live under 'Russism-fascism'. Everyone would cry and fight."Muscovite Pyotr Loznitsa says that over the past months tensions with his Ukrainian cousin have at times got so fierce that he stopped posting comments on his ...

Love affair for sacked French ministers: Paris-Match PARIS: United by a dislike for the French government's rightward turn, and now possibly by love -- the recently ousted ministers of economy and culture are reportedly an item, according to Thursday's edition of magazine Paris-Match.Economy minister Arnaud Montebourg and culture minister Aurelie Filippetti were both booted out of government late last month after a shock reshuffle by Prime Minister Manuel Valls. The reshuffle was triggered by a speech from Montebourg in which he criticised ...
Sweden's strong economy unlikely to save government STOCKHOLM: Sweden under Prime Minister Fredrik Reinfeldt has enjoyed a dynamic job market, sustained growth and low public debt -- and yet the polls suggest he will lose this Sunday's election.It looks like a paradox, but maybe it isn't. The economic vigour has come with a price tag in the form of growing inequality that many in egalitarian Sweden find far too high."We have one of the strongest economies in the world," Prime Minister Fredrik ...
Catalonia independence vote can't be stopped: leader BARCELONA: Catalonia's president warned Wednesday it was "practically impossible" to stop the region voting on secession from Spain and looked to Scotland to smooth the way with its own independence referendum.Artur Mas, who has defied Madrid by calling a vote on independence for the rich northeastern region on November 9, predicted Scotland would stay in the European Union even if it chooses independence and drew hope from that for his own cause."If the Catalan population ...
EU fails to agree timing of new Russia sanctions: source BRUSSELS: The European Union failed to reach agreement on when the latest economic sanctions against Russia should be implemented and will meet again Thursday for more talks, a diplomatic source said.The 28 member state ambassadors to the EU will "continue today's discussion on the restrictive measures, allowing for further assessment of the situation on the ground and additional consultations," the source said.An EU summit agreed late last month on the need for another package of ...
Moscovici pledges no special treatment for France PARIS: France can not receive exceptional treatment on EU budget rules, incoming European Economic and Financial Commissioner Pierre Moscovici said in an interview published shortly after his nomination on Wednesday. "It's out of question to give some sort of derogation, suspension or exception to France," Moscovici said told Les Echos newspaper. The former French finance minister was put in charge of the European Commission's powerful economics portfolio on Wednesday hours after the French government said ...
EU Juncker offers Britain banking olive branch LONDON: New European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker unexpectedly handed Britain supervision of EU financial services on Wednesday, offering an olive branch to a country that is weighing its future in the bloc. Juncker, whose appointment to head the European Union's executive was strongly opposed by British Prime Minister David Cameron, said Jonathan Hill will become the European Union's first dedicated financial services commissioner, giving him huge influence over the City of London and rivals Paris ...


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