Monday, 16 September 2019: Johnson says UK will break away like Hulk, Iran dismisses US claim it was behind Saudi oil strikes, Salvini promises referendums to counter new Italian government, Violent “Yellow Vest” protests in France

⊂ UNITED KINGDOM ⊃

Johnson says UK will break away like Hulk: British Prime Minister Boris Johnson on Sunday compared Britain’s exit from the EU to the fictional character’s ability to burst through chains. The “Mail on Sunday” reported that Johnson said he would find a way to circumvent a recent parliament vote ordering him to delay Brexit rather than take Britain out of the EU without a transition deal. “The madder Hulk gets, the stronger Hulk gets,” Johnson was quoted as saying. Former Prime Minister David Cameron has accused Johnson of not believing in Brexit but backing it anyway during the referendum campaign on Britain’s EU membership to advance his political career. According to a new poll, voters would back the creation of a temporary government of national unity to avoid a no-deal Brexit.
dw.com, reuters.com (Johnson); politico.eu (Cameron); independent.co.uk (Poll)

Former Conservative MP Gyimah joins Lib Dems: Former Conservative minister Sam Gyimah has joined the Liberal Democrats, a week after being expelled from the Conservatives over his opposition to Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s Brexit plans. His decision to change parties takes the total number of Liberal Democrat legislators in the 650-seat lower house of parliament to 18. Gyimah said hard Brexiteers had won in the Conservative party and centrists were being cast out of both main parties. He called on them to unite and fight back against the drift to the extremes. The Liberal Democrats on Sunday toughened their anti-Brexit stance, formally adopting a policy to stop the country from leaving the EU if they come to power at the next general election. The Lib Dems also want to restrict powers to strip people of British citizenship – as used against the teenage Isis recruit Shamima Begum – to prevent the measures being abused for political point-scoring.
uk.reuters.com, bbc.com, theguardian.com (Gyimah); bbc.com, theguardian.com (Lib Dems)

Labour members to push for anti-Brexit stance at conference: Labour will face increased pressure from local party activists to adopt a more wholehearted anti-Brexit stance at its upcoming conference, according to an analysis of submitted motions which shows 90% want the party to openly back remain in any future referendum. 100 councillors have issued a joint warning to the party’s ruling body that any form of Brexit would threaten jobs, public services, workers’ rights and the environment.
theguardian.com, theguardian.com

Criminal offenders: PM plans whole-life jail terms for more child killers bbc.com

⊂ JOB-BOARD UNITED KINGDOM ⊃

politjobs.ukAssociation 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 ⊃

Iran dismisses US claim it was behind Saudi oil strikes: Drone attacks claimed by Yemen’s Houthi rebels hit the world’s largest oil processing facility in Saudi Arabia on Saturday. Iran has rejected accusations by the United States that it was behind the attack. US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo had blamed Iran for the attacks, while the Saudi interior ministry said investigations into the attack were ongoing. The EU warned that the drone strikes posed a real threat to regional security, Britain called them a reckless attempt to disrupt global oil supplies and France said such actions could only worsen risk of conflict. Oil futures jumped in the wake of the attack. Brent crude was up more than 10% and US President Donald Trump authorised the release of oil from the US strategic petroleum reserve, if needed.
reuters.com, cnbc.com, nytimes.com, theguardian.com

“Ocean Viking” migrants disembark in Italy: The new Italian government has allowed a rescue ship carrying 82 migrants to come ashore on the island of Lampedusa, after nearly a week at sea. An ad hoc European agreement had been reached between Italy, France, Germany, Portugal and Luxembourg to allow the landing, with Germany and France each pledging to take 25% of the passengers. Portugal will take eight and Luxembourg two migrants, Italian media reported. German Interior Minister Horst Seehofer said that under a possible future agreement, his country would take 25% of rescued migrants landing in Italy. EU interior ministers will meet in Malta later this month to try to reach a wider deal.
bbc.com, politico.eu, france24.com

EU commissioner nominee Reynders facing probe: Belgian police are investigating allegations of corruption and money-laundering against Didier Reynders, the country’s foreign minister and the nominee to be the EU’s next justice commissioner. The accusations relate to the construction of the Belgian embassy building in Kinshasa, the lease of a federal police HQ and other matters.
politico.eu

Hong Kong: Protesters rally outside British Consulate bbc.com
Israel: Jordan Valley settlement officially approved by Israeli lawmakers dw.com
Tunisia: Second free presidential election bbc.com

⊂ COUNTRIES ⊃

Salvini promises referendums to counter new Italian government: League leader and former interior minister Matteo Salvini has announced that he will unleash a battery of referendums to try to sink reforms planned by the new government. Salvini also promised a referendum if the coalition sought to overturn a law he introduced last month that blocked Italy’s ports to migrant rescue ships. Salvini’s anti-migrant drive has helped the League more than double its support since national elections in 2018, making it Italy’s biggest party.
reuters.com

Violent “Yellow Vest” protests in France: French police clashed with protesters in the western city of Nantes on Saturday, as revived “Yellow Vest” protests against the government’s planned pension system reform took place across the country. Police said roughly 1,800 people protested in Nantes, and clashes resulted in several injured. There were at least 35 arrests. Other protests were reported to be taking place in Toulouse, Nancy, Lyon and Paris.
euronews.com, dw.com

Germany plans climate protection measures: Climate protection measures that Chancellor Angela Merkel’s conservatives and their Social Democrat coalition partners want to unveil next week will cost at least 40 billion euros until 2023, according to reports. Vice Chancellor Olaf Scholz did not confirm this number, but said a new climate protection package would be ambitious. The plans are expected to touch on a broad range of issues such as raising road taxes for polluting vehicles, improving heating systems for buildings and raising a green surcharge for plane tickets. Tens of thousands of climate demonstrators protested at the IAA motor show in Frankfurt on Saturday. Activists have called for a global climate strike on Friday.
reuters.com, zdf.de (Climate package); dw.com (IAA); cnbc.com (Climate strike)

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Audi gets ultimatum to remove illegal diesel software: Germany’s motor vehicle authority has told Audi that it faces penalties for its failure to remove illegal software from diesel cars that can manipulate emissions levels. The “Bild am Sonntag” newspaper reported that Audi faces a fine of 25,000 euro for each car still carrying an illegal device. A spokesman for Audi said the carmaker was getting closer to upgrading the remaining 8% of the cars in question and that it would complete the mission by the set deadline.
reuters.com

Estonia: Hundreds protest against government faz.net
France 1: Plans to end ban on IVF for lesbian couples and single women theguardian.com
France 2: Jean-Marie Le Pen charged with embezzlement of EU funds; Marine Le Pen election campaigning politico.eu; reuters.com

⊂ 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 ⊃

Danes raise millions for trees: The people of Denmark donated about €2.4 million for the planting of trees in a telethon on Saturday. For every 20 Danish kroner (€2.70) donated, one tree is to be planted, and 20% of the total donations will be earmarked for forest conservation efforts in the Scandinavian country.
dw.com

 

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