Sun Dec 4, 2016 9:50AM
European flags are hoisted in front of the European Commission headquarters in Brussels. (File photo)
European flags are hoisted in front of the European Commission headquarters in Brussels. (File photo)
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These are some of the headlines we are tracking for you in this episode of On the News Line:

A European army in the offing?

The European Union has unveiled plans for a big rise in military spending. The European Defense Action Plan is meant to increase the EU’s defense budget by nearly six billion dollars a year. The total military spending by European Union governments was about €200 billion last year. The new budget is aimed at helping European countries get more military hardware, including attack helicopters and drones. The proposal has also given rise to speculations that European states are seeking to create a European Union army. EU member states have already been under pressure from populist forces, which are strongly opposed to the consolidation of power in Brussels.

US sidelined in Syria talks

When it comes to Syria, the US finds itself out of the loop again. The Russians and Turks are talking without the US. It is reported that Washington is completely shut out of these talks, and doesn’t even know what’s going on in Ankara.". That's according to one of the Syrian opposition representatives. It is not the first time that the Syrian opposition has met with the Russian side, but it is unprecedented that so many of these so called rebel groups would participate in the negotiations.

Trump's point man for the treasury

US President-elect Donald Trump this past Thursday kicked off his post-election ‘Thank you’ tour in Ohio. But his speech was nothing different from his controversial campaign mode and contained numerous attacks on the media, the immigrants, the Democrats and his defeated election rival, Hillary Clinton. Trump is expected to name his cabinet members next Monday but he has already publicly introduced some of his key team members. Surprisingly, several of them are present and former top bankers. And the most controversial of them may be his pick for the Secretary of Treasury - Steven Mnuchin. With no prior government experience, Mnuchin – a Goldman Sachs banker-turned-Hollywood movie financier – is already becoming a source of criticism against Trump.