⊂ UNITED KINGDOM ⊃
Four arrested over riots that saw Northern Irish journalist shot: Three men and a teenage boy have been arrested over the Derry riots where journalist Lyra McKee was killed. Police said the males were arrested by the major investigations team and were being questioned at Musgrave police station in Belfast. The New IRA, a dissident paramilitary group which opposes Northern Ireland’s peace process, had said its members killed McKee by accident when firing at police. Footage showed Molotov cocktails being launched at police vehicles and cars being set on fire in the street, before a hooded man opened fire with a handgun. The shooting shocked Derry, coming almost exactly 21 years after the Good Friday agreement was struck with the aim of bringing peace to Northern Ireland.
independent.co.uk, nbcnews.com, theguardian.com
Corbyn urges voters to discard labels of leave and remain: Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn urged Britain on Thursday to look beyond Brexit and vote for his opposition party’s fight against austerity at this month’s European election. Corbyn, whose party is also deeply divided over how or whether Britain should leave the EU, argued that binary positions on Brexit would do little to heal the country’s rifts, something he said was allowing the growth of the far right. But while saying the election should not be seen through the prism of Brexit, he gave little hope that talks with the government on finding a deal to get Prime Minister Theresa May’s deal through parliament, were progressing quickly. Corbyn said the party backed the option of a public vote if a sensible Brexit deal cannot be agreed and there is not a general election.
reuters.com, theguardian.com, bbc.com
Benefit penalties cut for claimants who fail to follow rules: The maximum financial penalty for benefit claimants is to be cut, Work and Pensions Secretary Amber Rudd has announced. Sanctions can be imposed on claimants who do not meet conditions such as attending job centre meetings. In some high level cases, such as a failure to take up paid work, people can lose benefits for three years. Rudd said this maximum penalty will now be cut to six months, adding that she wanted a system which was fair.
Mordaunt: Veterans will not be pursued unfairly over historical events bbc.com
Asylum: Five men killed in past year after being deported from UK to Jamaica theguardian.com
Grenfell Tower: Government to pay £200m for safer cladding bbc.com
⊂ JOB-BOARD UNITED KINGDOM ⊃
politjobs.uk: Association of Directors of Children’s Services seeks Policy Officer *** The Royal Society seeks Senior Policy Adviser (Education) *** ITV Cymru Wales seeks Public Affairs Manager *** Independent Age seeks Public Affairs Officer *** Dogs Trust seeks European Policy Advisor (Publish your job ad)
⊂ EUROPE ⊃
EU summit to be held after European elections: At the informal meeting of European Union leaders in Romania, European Council President Donald Tusk announced that there will be a special summit of EU leaders on 28 May, two days after the end of the European election, to start the process of nominating the next leaders of the EU institutions. Tusk said he wanted the process to be swift, smooth and effective, and respecting criteria of geography, demography, gender and political balance. The EU will be looking for a new Commission President, Council President, and candidates for several more top posts. European leaders revealed a guiding statement of principles for a post-Brexit future on Thursday, promising a new union of 27 ready to embrace its future as one. Britain, the missing 28th EU member, has yet to complete its divorce from the bloc but the other leaders were determined that their summit in the Romanian town of Sibiu would set a five-year agenda for the future.
politico.eu, uk.reuters.com, france24.com
Europe rejects Iran’s ultimatum on nuclear deal: The European Union on Thursday reiterated its commitment to the 2015 Iran nuclear deal but insisted it would not accept any ultimatums. Iran had announced a partial withdrawal from some aspects of the pact, saying that the country would no longer adhere to some of the limits on its nuclear activities. German Chancellor Angela Merkel has underlined the need for diplomacy. She reiterated that Germany’s hand remained outstretched at this point, adding that Iran should consider what it would do in the future. French President Emmanuel Macron urged Iran to not leave the nuclear deal. US President Donald Trump has offered Iran direct talks, saying its leaders should call him and suggesting the US would help revive the country’s economy as long as Iran did not acquire nuclear weapons.
⊂ QUOTES ⊃
“It seems hypocritical to say that we should reform Nato while not aiming for the 2%.”
The United States ambassador to Germany, Richard Grenell, on Thursday accused the German government of pursuing a hypocritical policy toward Nato.
⊂ COUNTRIES ⊃
German government defends planned immigration law: In a heated debate in the German parliament on Thursday, the government made its case for a proposed law governing immigration for skilled workers. The new proposal is the government’s response to many years of complaints from a business community increasingly concerned about the lack of qualified IT specialists and engineers in Germany and shortfalls in other vocational professions. The country’s aging population is also desperately in need of health care workers. Interior Minister Horst Seehofer described the law as a historic point of juncture that provided clear criteria for who should be able to come to Germany to work and under what conditions. One of the key planks of the proposed law is the suspension of a mandatory check accompanying all job applications from outside the EU that makes sure there are no German or EU citizen applicants, who have priority.
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Germany lowers tax revenues: Germany has slashed its estimate of tax intake because of weaker growth. Over the period 2019-2023, the federal government will have some 70.6 billion euros less than the previous projection called for. Finance Minister Olaf Scholz, a Social Democrat, said that the German economy was facing weaker growth but it was not heading towards a crisis and no additional fiscal stimulus was needed. He rejected calls from Economy Minister Peter Altmaier, a confidant of conservative Chancellor Angela Merkel, to lower taxes for companies. The minister added, however, that the government would stick to its plan to support corporate research and development with incentives worth 1.25 billion euros per year.
France: Air-traffic control strike disrupts flights in Germany as well independent.co.uk
Austria: United Nations accuse Austria of violating international human rights standards welt.de
Hungary: UN criticises coerced removal of Afghan families unhcr.org
⊂ JOB-BOARD ⊃
politjobs.eu: Bitkom sucht Referent europäische Digitalpolitik (w/m) *** Int. Iberian Nanotechnology Laboratory seeks Innovation Project Manager *** Int. Iberian Nanotechnology Laboratory seeks Project Assistant for EU Funded Projects *** PwC seeks Public Affairs Senior Manager Belgium *** Johnson & Johnson seeks Policy Assistant, Government Affairs & Policy EMEA *** Public Policy Manager, Connectivity *** Ryanair offers Public Affairs internship
politjobs.eu, politjobs.eu/submit (Inserat schalten)
⊂ MALFUNCTION ⊃
EU Parliament’s election video went viral: It is customary for the European Parliament to produce a video to incite people to vote in the EU elections. The emotional video for the 2019 elections has already been watched by one out of five Europeans. The filmmaker’s raw and emotional take on birth is a representation of Europe, where birth can blossom into something extraordinary if the community provides support.