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The paper clip

31.01.2013 / 10:35 CET
A round-up of the international press on Thursday, 31 January.

The UK's Independent worries about mission creep in Mali. With barely a blink and certainly no debate in the British parliament, nearly 400 British military personnel are to be sent to the region, the paper writes in an editorial. The Spanish opposition has criticised the Spanish government for being tardy and not fully committed in its support for France's intervention in Mali, El País writes. In the Financial Times, a commentator argues that France's intervention in Mali may make France governable.

Jurnalul National reports on the European Commission's highly critical report on Romania's rule of law.

Poland's Rzeczpospolita writes that German resistance to a bail-out for Cyprus weakening.

The websites of many European papers – including the Czech daily Hospodářské noviny – carry reports on Israel's bombardment of a military research centre in Syria.

A veteran of the British Conservative Party, Kenneth Clarke, has warned that leaving the EU could be fatal for the UK and has urged the British prime minister, David Cameron, to focus on the benefits of Europe.

The Dutch daily Volksrant looks at the job of the ‘European Semester Officer' stationed in The Hague by the European Commission to monitor budgetary decisions.

A commentator in the Daily Telegraph warns that the UK's complicity in torture may be disguised by a new law.

Le Figaro reports that French civil servants are on strike over pay.

Le Monde reports that in the midst of the debate over same-sex marriage France's President Francois Hollande has sent out confusing signals on the issue of surrogacy.

Liberation reports that French electric utility EDF has been hit by a series of cyber attacks.

France appears ready to unblock at least one policy chapter in Turkey's membership talks with the EU, according to Hürriyet Daily News. France has unilaterally blocked five of the 33 chapters into which membership negotiations are divided; others are blocked by Cyprus or the EU as a whole. 

 
Austria's Die Presse writes that as Europe is becoming more and more peripheral in world affairs, Turkey is looking elsewhere for strategic alliances.

 
Syria says that Israeli jets have bombed a military research centre near Damascus, writes L'Orient-Le Jour, opening a new dimension in the 22-month uprising in Syria.

 
The New York Times reports that Israel informed its US allies ahead of the strike and that the target was a convoy carrying anti-aircraft weapons from Syria to Hezbollah, an allied militia in neighbouring Lebanon.

 
The American economy has shrunk for the first time in three years in the last quarter of 2012, writes the Wall Street Journal.

John Kerry has been confirmed as America's next secretary of state, writes the Washington Post, reporting on his farewell speech in the Senate.

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