Angela Merkel wasn’t in a hurry to inflict economic pain on Russia. Cautious, pragmatic and mindful of German business ties to the country, the chancellor tried to defuse the Ukraine crisis through back-channel diplomacy and frequent phone calls with Russian President Vladimir Putin.
Andy Coulson, the former editor of News Corp.’s News of the World, told a criminal court that he heard a voice mail obtained by the tabloid’s chief reporter detailing an affair involving a government minister.
Britain’s unemployment rate dropped to a five-year low in February, underscoring the strength of the economic recovery and raising the prospect of a debate among Bank of England officials about whether to raise interest rates.
A five-year squeeze on living standards is coming to an end, providing a boost for Prime Minister David Cameron as he battles opposition claims that ordinary Britons are facing a “cost of living crisis.”
Britain’s biggest operator of food banks said the number of people it helped rose 163 percent last year, as people on low incomes and dependent on welfare benefits suffered under the government’s austerity program.
Andy Coulson, the former editor of News Corp.’s News of the World, said he was aware phone hacking existed in “vague terms” as he denied any knowledge of the interception of a murdered school girl’s messages that led to the closure of the tabloid nearly a decade later.
The U.S. readiness to impose new economic sanctions on Russia over Ukraine is offset by the European Union’s reluctance to introduce stronger measures that could threaten its already fragile economic recovery.