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EU Approves Joint Oversight Of Eurozone Banks

FRANCE 24 (France), CNN(USA)


FRANKFURTEuropean Union finance ministers have agreed on a deal giving the European Central Bank (ECB) new powers to supervise eurozone banks.

This agreement came early Thursday after the ministers held talks for more than 14 hours in Frankfurt following months of tense Franco-German divisions. All finance ministers from the European Union’s 27 countries agreed to hand the ECB direct oversight of at least 150 of the euro zone’s biggest bank.

The ECB will also be able to intervene with smaller lenders and borrowers at the first sign of trouble, reports France 24.

"This is a big first step for banking union," EU Commissioner Michel Barnier said. "The ECB will play the pivotal role, there’s no ambiguity about that."

The deal will indeed give the ECB the direct responsibility for banks with assets of more than 30 billion euros, or that represent more than a fifth of a state's national output.

The supervision plan is seen as the first step towards a eurozone banking union designed to reshape confidence, push cross-border bank lending and bring down high borrowing costs for peripheral banks, reports CNN.

Meanwhile, the United Kingdom, Sweden and other non-euro countries have won coveted safeguards to check the power of the ECB and will therefore maintain some influence over technical standards applying to all EU banks.

"We have reached the main points to establish a European banking supervisor that should take on its work in 2014," said German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble.

European Union leaders, who meet in Brussels on Thursday and Friday, are now expected to give it their full political backing.

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FOCUS: Israel-Palestine War

What Are Iran's Real Intentions? Watch What The Houthis Do Next

Three commercial ships traveling through the Red Sea were attacked by missiles launched by Iran-backed Yemeni Houthi rebels, while the U.S. Navy shot down three drones. Tensions that are linked to the ongoing war in Gaza conflict and that may serve as an indication as to Iran's wider intentions.

photo of Raisi of iran speaking in parliament

Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi at the Iranian parliament in Tehran.

Icana News Agency via ZUMA
Pierre Haski


PARIS — It’s a parallel war that has so far claimed fewer victims and attracted less public attention than the one in Gaza. Yet it increasingly poses a serious threat of escalating at any time.

This conflict playing out in the international waters of the Red Sea, a strategic maritime route, features the U.S. Navy pitted against Yemen's Houthi rebels. But the stakes go beyond the Yemeni militants — with the latter being supported by Iran, which has a hand in virtually every hotspot in the region.

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Since the Oct. 7 Hamas attack on Israel, the Houthis have been making headlines, despite Yemen’s distance from the Gaza front. Starting with missiles launched directed toward southern Israel, which were intercepted by U.S. forces. Then came attacks on ships belonging, or suspected of belonging, to Israeli interests.

On Sunday, no fewer than three commercial ships were targeted by ballistic missiles in the Red Sea. The missiles caused minor damage and no casualties. Meanwhile, three drones were intercepted and destroyed by the U.S. Navy, currently deployed in full force in the region.

The Houthis claimed responsibility for these attacks, stating their intention to block Israeli ships' passage for as long as there was war in Gaza. The ships targeted on Sunday were registered in Panama, but at least one of them was Israeli. In the days before, several other ships were attacked and an Israeli cargo ship carrying cars was seized, and is still being held in the Yemeni port of Hodeida.

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