Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

WORLD [Derived Headline]

Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

WORLD [Derived Headline]

Article excerpt


BRUSSELS - British Prime Minister David Cameron insisted today he would not pay a European Union bill for an additional 2.1 billion euro ($2.65 billion) contribution to the EU coffers at a time of increasing pressure at home for the country to leave the bloc.

Thumping his fist in frustration, Mr. Cameron said "people should be in no doubt: as an important contributor to this organization, we are not suddenly going to get out our checkbook and write a check for 2 billion euros. It is not happening."

Mr. Cameron said asking Britain for a top-up of some 20 percent in its contributions on short notice "is an appalling way to behave. We are not paying that bill on the first of December."

The Netherlands too has been asked for a big top-up, of 642 million euros, which Finance Minister Jeroen Dijsselbloem called "extremely surprising, unpleasantly surprising."

The EU executive Commission said the demand stemmed from the fact that the economies of some countries, like Britain, have grown more than expected at the start of the year. Contributions are made according to economic size.

"This should not have come as a surprise" to Britain and other nations, since it was based on national statistics, said EU Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso. "We have been careful not to politicize the process we have been asked to administer" by the member states.

Mr. Cameron and his Dutch counterpart Mark Rutte already discussed a common protest at the EU summit, which ends Friday. The Netherlands too is facing an increasingly vocal anti-EU camp.


BAGHDAD - Islamic State militants used chlorine gas during fighting with security forces and Shiite militiamen last month north of Baghdad, Iraqi officials said today.

The disclosure comes on the heels of similar reports from the Syrian border town of Kobani, indicating that the extremist group may have added low-grade chemical weapons to an arsenal that already includes heavy weapons and tanks looted from captured military bases.

Three Iraqi officials - a senior security official, a local official from the town of Duluiya and an official from the town of Balad - told The Associated Press that the Islamic State group used bombs with chlorine-filled cylinders during clashes in late September in the two towns.

The militants, who control large areas of Syria and Iraq, have failed to capture Duluiya or Balad, both of which are around 50 miles north of the Iraqi capital.

In the attacks, about 40 troops and Shiite militiamen were slightly affected by the chlorine and showed symptoms consistent with chlorine poisoning, such as difficulty in breathing and coughing, the three officials said.

The troops were treated in hospital and quickly recovered. …

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