Monday, 10 August 2020: Donor conference for Lebanon after explosions in Beirut, US and UK urge Hong Kong to hold elections, Protesters decry government’s anti-LGBT attitudes in Poland

⊂ EUROPE ⊃

Donor conference for Lebanon after explosions in Beirut: Representatives from the United States, the United Kingdom, China, the EU and the World Bank, among others, raised pledges worth nearly 253 million euros for immediate humanitarian relief. France pledged 30 million euros while Germany pledged another 20 million euros. The EU Commission will contribute an additional 30 million euros to help address the immediate needs of those affected by the disaster. International donors said after the conference that aid would need to come with reforms called for by protesters. The offer of assistance also included support for an independent inquiry into the explosions. French President Emmanuel Macron called on the Lebanese government to act responsibly to safeguard the country’s future: “It is up to the authorities of the country to act so that the country does not sink, and to respond to the aspirations that the Lebanese people are expressing right now, legitimately, in the streets of Beirut,” he said. Meanwhile, protesters clashed with riot police in Beirut and tried to break into a cordoned-off area at the parliament square on Sunday amid widespread anger over the explosions in Beirut. Lebanese Information Minister Manal Abdel-Samad, Environment Minister Damianos Kattar and several members of parliament have stepped down.
reuters.com, politico.com, euronews.com, france24.com (Conference); dw.com (Protests); washingtonpost.com (Resignations)

US and UK urge Hong Kong to hold elections: The UK, Australia, Canada, New Zealand and the US have called on Hong Kong to reinstate disqualified candidates and hold legislative elections at the earliest. The foreign ministers of the five countries condemned the Hong Kong government for postponing the legislative council elections and said they were gravely concerned by the disqualification of pro-democracy candidates. A joint statement of the five nations also criticised China’s new security law for Hong Kong, which, critics say, will help Beijing quash dissent and increase its control on the territory.
dw.com

Lukashenko wins presidential election in Belarus: Incumbent Alexander Lukashenko won Sunday’s election with 79.7% of the vote, according to an official exit poll. Main opposition challenger Svetlana Tikhanovskaya came second with 6.8%. However, Tikhanovskaya rejected the numbers. The lopsided election result is seen as unbelievable by the opposition. Police arrested independent election observers and reporters on Sunday and there were reports of internet outages and difficulty accessing news sites. Tikhanovskaya’s campaign said she fled her apartment after police detained several of its senior staffers. Her adviser Veronika Tsepkalo fled Belarus for Moscow for safety reasons. People also filmed large numbers of troops moving toward the capital; the main roads running into Minsk were blocked on Sunday, and the city was filled with riot police and the military. Escalating protests were reported in Minsk and other major cities on Sunday evening.
dw.com, politico.com, cnn.com

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Rising temperatures: Europe battles heatwave amid coronavirus pandemic dw.com
Nagasaki urges nuke ban on 75th anniversary of atomic bombing politico.com
China upset: US Health Secretary Azar arrives in Taiwan, marking the most senior US visit in decades cnn.com, reuters.com

⊂ QUOTE OF THE DAY ⊃

Although making predictions is risky at this point, we have good indications that the first vaccine will be available toward the end of this year or beginning of next year.
According to EU Health Commissioner Stella Kyriakides, a coronavirus vaccine could be ready as soon as the end of this year.
politico.eu

⊂ COUNTRIES ⊃

Protesters decry government’s anti-LGBT attitudes in Poland: A large crowd of LGBT rights supporters gathered in Warsaw on Saturday to protest the arrest of a transgender activist who carried out acts of civil disobedience against rising homophobia in Poland. On Friday evening, LGBT rights supporters in Warsaw had scuffled with police who arrested transgender activist Malgorzata Szutowicz. Police said they detained 48 people, while activists said police used rough tactics against them. Szutowicz is accused of hanging rainbow banners over statues and damaging an anti-abortion campaigner’s van.
time.com, apnews.com, reuters.com

Paris imposes mandatory face masks: French authorities have mandated Paris citizens to wear face masks in crowded areas and tourist hotspots as coronavirus infections once again surge in the region. Masks will be obligatory for all those aged 11 and over in certain very crowded zones, according to a police statement. Paris authorities have not yet detailed which areas will be affected by the new order, which will come into force this Monday. France’s tourism industry has lost 30 to 40 billion euros because of the coronavirus pandemic, according to the government.
dw.com, bbc.com (Masks); welt.de (Tourism)

Hundreds protest coronavirus restrictions in Germany: Almost 2,800 people protested against the government’s coronavirus protective measures in Dortmund on Sunday. The rally was peaceful and social distancing rules were observed. North Rhine-Westphalia’s Prime Minister Armin Laschet said protests by opponents of coronavirus measures were legitimate, as long as people adhered to the hygiene rules. On Saturday, around 1,000 protesters took to the streets in Stuttgart on Saturday to protest coronavirus-related restrictions.
sueddeutsche.de, dw.com

Italy: Five MPs allegedly applied for coronavirus aid for the self-employed spiegel.de
West Africa: French tourists killed in Niger dw.com
Greece records highest single day rise in infections theguardian.com

⊂ POLITJOBS ⊃

+++ Bundestagsfraktion Bündnis 90/Die Grünen sucht FraktionsreferentIn (m/w/d) für Europapolitik +++ European Platform for Electro-mobility seeks EU Representative (m/f/d) +++ EU-LISA seeks Intern (m/f/d) +++ Auswärtiges Amt sucht BüroassistentIn (m/w/d) an der Botschaft Den Haag +++Verband Kommunaler Unternehmen e.V. sucht eine/n Policy Advisor/ReferentIn (m/w/d) mit Schwerpunkt Energiewirtschaft +++ Europagruppe GRÜNE sucht ReferentIn Presse/Öffentlichkeitsarbeit (m/w/d) +++ European Environmental Bureau (EEB) seeks Mercury Policy Officer (m/f/d) +++ Innovation & Networks Executive Agency seeks Communication Manager (m/f/d) +++ Clean Air Task Force seeks Government Affairs Officer (m/f/d) Europe +++ Jobs at politjobs.eu +++ Don’t miss any jobs with the politjobs.eu job alert +++

⊂ MALFUNCTION ⊃

German activists occupy two power stations: Climate activists occupied two power plants in Berlin and Mannheim on Saturday to protest for a faster coal phase-out. In Berlin-Moabit, several people climbed on the towers of a power plant and unrolled a banner with the words “Whoever moves us supports coal!” In Mannheim, activists climbed onto the roof of a coal conveyor system.
stern.de

 

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