Mutation in a human gene confers nicotine dependence

Scientists from an EU-supported consortium have discovered that a mutation in a human gene confers nicotine dependence. They have shown that a particular variant of a nicotine-receptor gene impacts smoking behaviour and hence confers a 30% increase in risk of lung cancer and a 20% increase in risk of peripheral artery disease (PAD), a common and debilitating constriction of the arteries to the legs. Roughly half of the people of European descent carry at least one copy of this genetic variant, which does not influence smoking initiation, but makes it more difficult to quit.

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Harbour dues in Spain

The European Commission sent Spain a reasoned opinion on 3rd April, which is the last step before possible referral to the Court of Justice, for providing in its national legislation for discriminatory harbour dues.

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€265 million for assistance to Jordan

The EU-Jordan Association Agreement entered into force in 2002 and aims to create a free trade area between the EU and Jordan over 12 years and to help increase economic growth and business. In 2007, €62 million in Community assistance was allocated to Jordan (€15 million devoted to private sector development; €42.5 million to public finance reform; and €4.5 million for a de-mining programme). The overall allocation for 2007-2010 is €265 million, under the European Neighbourhood Policy Instrument.

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Damages actions for breach of the EC antitrust rules

The European Commission has presented last 2nd april 2008 a Communication related to the damages actions for breach of the EC antitrust rules in a White paper.

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