European Commission

Why is the Google chairman bothering with Kim Jong-un? Don't look for a profit motive.

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The UK's accelerating drift from the EU.

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At the end of January, Viviane Reding, the European Commissioner for Justice, Fundamental Rights, and Citizenship, announced a sweeping new privacy right: the “right to be forgotten.” The proposed right would require companies like Facebook and Google to remove information that people post about themselves and later regret—even if that information has already been widely distributed.

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Václav Klaus, the president of the Czech Republic, is legendary for his lack of manners. When his country assumed the rotating presidency of the European Union in 2009, Klaus—a stocky and vigorous man with close-cropped white hair and a fastidiously trimmed moustache—got into a scrap with a group of European politicians because he had refused to fly the EU flag above his office in Prague Castle. Nicolas Sarkozy pronounced the snub “hurtful,” yet Klaus was anything but contrite. Instead, he used his first address to the European Parliament to compare the EU to the Soviet Union.

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Earlier this month, the European Commission reported that the EU was on track to get 20 percent of its electricity from renewable sources by 2020. (Some countries, like Germany and Austria, are flying past their targets; others, like Italy, have lagged behind.) But how much further could Europe go?

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When President Obama unveiled his budget allocation for high-speed rail, he said, “In France, high-speed rail has pulled regions from isolation, ignited growth [and], remade quiet towns into thriving tourist destinations.” His remarks emphasize how high-speed rail is increasing the accessibility of isolated places as an argument for similarly investments.

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When it comes to pollutants that alter the Earth's climate, heat-trapping carbon-dioxide gets most of the attention. And rightly so. But there are other pollutants out there that also fiddle with the planet's thermostat in various ways, and they can have a significant impact, too. As the IPCC noted in its 2007 report, aerosol pollution—which includes everything from sulfur-dioxide to particulates—actually has a cooling effect that partly offsets the warming effect of greenhouse gases.

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Union Due

Andrew Sullivan voices pessimism about the push for European Union.

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