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Yulia Tymoshenko case is one of topical issues in European policy today. Her apprehension and a subsequent conflict in the Ukrainian community became the subject of close attention from Europeans. Mostly all leaders of EU countries, and key officials of the European Parliament and European Commission have expressed their stance in this regard. At the end of March, the interim committee (chaired by Inna Bohoslovska) of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine published its reasons concerning a legal evaluation of Tymoshenko’s actions resulted in her apprehension.

On 10 April 2012, Inna Bohoslovska held a press conference on a topic “Why Tymoshenko is still in prison” attended by European journalists, experts and public members, at the premises of NCI European Parliament in Brussels. The journalists and community leaders found out about ultimate conclusion of experts at the interim committee worked during the past year under the auspices of the Ukrainian Parliament. The experts had spoken to Ukrainian MPs on 20 March 2012 and were approved by 266 of 450 MPs. Head of the Interim Investigation Commission Inna Bohoslovska underlined that Yulia Tymoshenko’s fault is that she:  

а) concealed from the public and government the facts of the conflict of interests and dependence on Russia, particularly, the debt of her privately-owned companies to the Ministry of Defence of the Russian Federation in the amount of USD 405 million, and a bribery case against her;

b) held secret talks with the Prime Minister of Russia and agreed to unfair contracts, thus, violating signed international treaties;

c) issued Directives on signing the contracts being aware of the Government of Ukraine having withdrawn from approving them, however the Cabinet of Ministers only – as a collegial body – is entitled to issue such directives;

d) brought pressure on the company head subordinate to her and made him sign the contracts threatening to fire.

Pursuant to a comparative analysis of the laws of Ukraine and other European countries carried out Ukrainian lawyers, it turned out that eleven EU members have clauses stipulating a criminal responsibility for similar crimes.

 

A coroner has criticised a water authority for "gambling" with the lives of 20,000 people by not telling them for more than a fortnight about Britain's worst mass poisoning.

West Somerset Coroner Michael Rose criticised the South West Water Authority as he gave his verdict on the death of Carole Cross.

Mrs Cross, 59, died in 2004 from a rare disorder usually associated with much older people suffering from Alzheimer's disease. She had been living in the Camelford area of north Cornwall in July 1988 when the poisoning occurred.

She was one of 20,000 customers affected when a relief lorry driver mistakenly added 20,000 tonnes of aluminium sulphate to the drinking water at the Lowermoor treatment works.

The coroner recorded a lengthy narrative verdict in which he said there was a "very real possibility" that the ingestion of aluminium by Mrs Cross had contributed to her death.

The inquest, which first began in November 2010, heard that a post-mortem examination later found high levels of aluminium in Mrs Cross's brain.

The inquest was told that, for more than two weeks, South West Water Authority, which ran the treatment works, did not tell the public the cause of the poisoning and insisted the water was safe to drink. Many people reported rashes, diarrhoea, mouth ulcers and other health problems after drinking the water or bathing in it. The water became so polluted in the first few hours that customers reported hairs sticking to their body like superglue as they got out of the bath.

Customers flooded the switchboard of the water authority but were told it was safe and it has been claimed some were even advised to boil the water, which increased the levels of aluminium still further.

 

Japanese auto giant Nissan said on Tuesday that it will build a new hatchback compact car in Britain, in a £125-million investment that will create 2,000 jobs.

The new vehicle will be built at Nissan's Sunderland plant from mid-2013 in a project which will also be supported by a government grant of £9.3 million, the automaker said in a statement.

"As well as playing a key role in Nissan's market expansion within Europe, the new model will also have a significant benefit in terms of jobs with around 2,000 new posts created at Nissan and amongst its UK supplier base," it said.

The hatchback car, which will compete models like the Ford Fiesta and the VW Polo, was unveiled on Tuesday at the Geneva Motor Show by Nissan Executive Vice President Andy Palmer.

Business Secretary Vince Cable welcomed the news as a "clear vote of confidence" in Britain's manufacturing industry.

"It is fantastic news that Nissan will be building the new model in Sunderland," Cable said.

"The investment is a boost for jobs at Nissan's plant as well as the wider supply chain."

 

Many young people underestimate how much alcohol they drink even if they have some knowledge of the Government's guidelines on sensible consumption, a study says.

Researchers said their results suggest that young people do not have the knowledge or skills to keep their drinking within the set guidelines.

The University of Sussex-led study, which is published in Drug and Alcohol Review, surveyed 18- to 25-year-olds about their knowledge and beliefs on safe drinking.

People who took part in the study were asked to pour their usual measure of wine, beer or vodka followed by what unit they believed it to be.

Nearly two-thirds underestimated the unit content of the drinks they poured, researchers said. The Government's daily unit guidelines are up to two to three units for a woman and up to three to four units for a man.

 

Lloyds Banking Group is to claw back bonuses worth around £2 million in the wake of the scandal over payment protection insurance (PPI), it has been reported.

Former chief executive Eric Daniels will lose up to £700,000 of his £1.45 million bonus for 2010, while three other current and former directors will each have to forgo up to £250,000.

A further six executives, below board level, will be stripped of around £100,000 each, the BBC added.

Amid pressure from politicians and the Financial Services Authority, it will be the first time a bank has used a claw-back option on executive pay packages since the financial crisis.

Prince William arrived in the Falkland Islands on Thursday for a six-week deployment with the Royal Air Force (RAF), British officials said, a move Argentina has condemned as a "provocation".

The 29-year-old, who is second in line to the throne, has been deployed to the disputed South Atlantic archipelago as a routine part of his work as an RAF search and rescue pilot, the Ministry of Defence said.

However the timing of the deployment, just ahead of the 30th anniversary of the start of the war between Britain and Argentina over the Falkland Islands which Buenos Aires claims as its own, has stoked tensions.

"The Ministry of Defence can confirm Flight Lieutenant Wales, as part of a four-man search and rescue (SAR) crew, has arrived in the Falkland Islands on a routine operational deployment and will shortly take up SAR duties post a period of briefings and a familiarisation flight," a ministry spokesman said.

When William's deployment was announced in November, Argentina said it was a "provocative act", and this week the foreign ministry in Buenos Aires said the prince would be arriving in a "conqueror's uniform".

Germany is proposing that Greece should temporarily cede sovereignty over tax and spending decisions to a powerful eurozone budget commissioner before it can secure further bailouts, an official in Berlin has said.

The initiative is being discussed among the 17-nation currency bloc's finance ministers because Greece has repeatedly failed to fulfil its commitments under its current multi-billion pound lifeline, the official said.

The proposal foresees a commissioner holding a veto right against any budgetary measures and having broad surveillance ability to ensure that Greece will set its priorities on repaying its debt as scheduled, the official said.

Greece's international creditors - the so-called troika of the International Monetary Fund, the European Union and the European Central Bank - are currently negotiating another 130 billion euro rescue package for the heavily indebted country.

But German news magazine Der Spiegel cited an unnamed troika official as saying that Greece might need a total of 145 billion euros in its second bailout package amid the country's prolonged and sharp recession.

 

London Underground workers are to stage four strikes, including one on Boxing Day, in a row over bank holiday pay.

Aslef said its Tube members will walk out for 24 hours on December 26, January 16 and February 3 and 13 after failing to agree payments for working on Boxing Day.

Around 2,200 Aslef members were balloted, with 92% of those who voted backing a campaign of industrial action.

 

The owner of the Daily Mail says a resilient performance at its national newspapers helped offset a challenging year for its regional titles.

Daily Mail & General Trust (DMGT) said the nationals arm benefited from a record year for the Metro free newspaper while the Mail on Sunday became the biggest selling Sunday newspaper following the demise of the News of the World.

Revenues at the division were 2% lower at £862 million in the year to October 2, which DMGT said represented a resilient performance. The division's operating profits fell 15% to £76 million after it absorbed rising printing costs and it was impacted by greater promotional activity as newspapers competed to win News of the World readers.

A strong performance from its business-to-business division, which includes publications such as Euromoney Institutional Investor and marketing arm DMG Events, also helped offset "challenging" conditions at its regional newspapers.

Group underlying profits rose 3% to £237 million on revenues up 1% to £2 billion. Bottom-line profits declined 14% to £125 million.

Its Daily Mail and Mail on Sunday newspapers both saw their circulation revenues fall although they grew their market share. Free newspaper Metro had its strongest year yet, with record profits and revenues up 14%.

 

 

The "forest boy" of Berlin is refusing to have his photograph released despite investigators being flooded with calls from all over the world from people saying they are related to him.

Ray, 17, who speaks fluent English, arrived in the city on September 5 claiming to have walked for two weeks.

He told officials he had lived in the woods with his father for the previous five years - but set off alone after his father died in a fall and he buried him.

The mystery resulted in Berlin police sending Ray's fingerprints and photograph to foreign police forces in a bid to identify him. Detectives also called upon Interpol, the world's largest police organisation, to help.

But so far there have been no significant leads, police said today. And Ray, who is being looked after by a legally-appointed guardian, is refusing to have his photograph released publicly.

"There are of course many questions," said Berlin police spokeswoman Miriam Tauchmann. "At the moment he doesn't want us to put a picture of him in the public because he wants to live like a normal teenager and we have to respect that."