War weary: British soldiers at Mons in August 1914. Photograph: Mansell/Life/Getty (Digitally enhanced)

The first World War started a century ago on Monday. In one of the first towns to be attacked, at the start of a battle that Irish(...)

Irish writer  Francis Ledwidge, pictured around 1915. An event will take place in Brussels today to commemorate both  Ledwidge and Welsh poet Hedd Wyn. The two poets never met, but they were both killed during the first World War on July 31st, 1917. Photograph: Hulton Archive/Getty Images

Europe Letter: Irish writer Francis Ledwidge and Welsh poet Hedd Wyn were both killed in action 97 years ago today

A building in Kramatorsk destroyed in fighting between pro-Russian militants and Ukrainian forces which continued to rage a day after the EU and US announced economic sanctions against Russia over its complicity in the crisis. Photograph: Roman Pilipey/EPA

Analysis: sanctions ratcheted up in light of flight MH17 but there are still get-out clauses

The new round of sanctions targets Russian oil, rather than gas, outlawing exports of oil exploration equipment to Russia. About 30 per cent of the European Union’s gas supply comes from Russia.Photograph: Luke MacGregor/Reuters

Co-ordinated approach targets trade, energy, banks, technology, arms and finance sector

The move sparked fury from the Opposition and criticism of newly appointed Minister for Foreign Affairs Charlie Flanagan. Photograph: Eric Luke / THE IRISH TIMES

Republic’s role in Gaza resolution part of EU issue

International Monetary Fund managing director Christine Lagarde and Minister for Finance  Michael Noonan. Ireland would need the full agreement of EU member states to separate the IMF and European portions of the bailout package. Photograph: Francois Lenoir/Reuters

Move could save exchequer billions of euro in interest payments

European Commission president Jose Manuel Barroso: on a trip to Israel last month he said the EU could offer a “special privileged partnership” to both Israel and a future Palestinian state. Photograph: Gil Cohen Magen/AFP/Getty Images.

Using trade ties to push for peace worked well in the Balkans but not in Ukraine

The UN Human Rights Council special session held in Geneva yesterday to discuss the human rights situation in the occupied Palestinian territory. Photograph: Martial Trezzini/EPA

Concerns that proposed resolution was not most efficient way of reacting urgently to developments

Froam left: Croatian foreign minister Vesna Pusic, Italian foreign minister Federica Mogherini and EU high representative for foreign affairs Catherine Ashton prior to the start of a foreign affairs council meeting at the EU council headquarters in Brussels yesterday. Photograph: EPA/Julien Warnand

Foreign ministers propose deeper sectoral sanctions after MH17 crash

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