Monday, 20 September 2021: UK has plans to protect consumers from soaring gas prices, Biden calls for talks with Macron amid submarine row, Terrible times for women in Afghanistan

⊂ UNITED KINGDOM ⊃

UK has plans to protect consumers from soaring gas prices: Britain has plans in place to protect the market and consumers from soaring global gas prices, Business Minister Kwasi Kwarteng said on Sunday following a meeting with the head of energy regulator Ofcom. Kwarteng has been in intensive talks with energy providers over the weekend and will chair an emergency summit with gas industry chiefs this Monday in an effort to contain the fallout caused by soaring market prices on consumers and businesses. Mid-level suppliers will be placed into administration if they fall into trouble this winter in an attempt to protect consumers from costlier bills, Kwarteng revealed on Sunday. The government is also considering offering emergency state-backed loans to energy companies as firms battle to stay afloat amid surging gas prices. Energy company Bulb is seeking a bailout to stay afloat.
reuters.com, theguardian.com, bbc.com, news.sky.com

Johnson calls on richest countries to meet $100bn climate pledge: Rich countries must do more to help developing nations cut carbon emissions, Boris Johnson will tell other world leaders at a high-level gathering in New York. The prime minister will be hosting the meeting on climate change with UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres. It is understood the PM is likely to focus on coal, cash support, cars and trees, which soak up carbon dioxide.
news.sky.com

Labour plans to raise £500m by closing fund managers’ tax loophole: Labour has announced plans to raise almost £500m by closing a tax loophole enjoyed by a small number of private equity fund managers. The shadow chancellor, Rachel Reeves, said the proposal was one example of how a Labour government would “start to end the unfairness in the tax system” by ensuring that the wealthy do not avoid tax while ordinary workers are being asked to pay more in national insurance.
theguardian.com

Former British Prime Minister Gordon Brown: Stockpiled Covid vaccines must be handed to poorer nations reuters.com
Liberal Democrat conference: Sir Ed Davey challenges his party to ‚tear down‘ Conservatives‘ ‚blue wall‘ to help oust Boris Johnson news.sky.com
Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe: Liz Truss to demand immediate release of all UK detainees held by Iran theguardian.com
Supply chain crisis could last months, admits Boris Johnson independent.co.uk

⊂ POLITJOBS UNITED KINGDOM ⊃

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⊂ EUROPE ⊃

Biden calls for talks with Macron amid submarine row: French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian has denounced the „duplicity, disdain and lies“ surrounding the collapse of a €56 billion contract between France’s state-owned Naval Group and the Australian government for conventional submarines. Australia is now in favour of nuclear-propelled submarines made by the United States, scuttling the French defence deal inked in 2016. In an interview with France 2 television on Saturday evening, Le Drian declared the situation a crisis and suggested a backroom deal had betrayed France. Australian Defence Minister Peter Dutton said Sunday that Australia had been raising concerns with France over the order for a couple of years. He added that Australia was “upfront, open and honest” with France about its concerns. US President Joe Biden has requested early talks with French President Emmanuel Macron, in an apparent effort to mend fences after the row. A Franco-British defence ministers’ summit due to take place this week has been cancelled.
dw.com, cnbc.com, rfi.fr, theguardian.com

French fishermen gather to protest post-Brexit uncertainty: Hundreds of people gathered on Saturday on the French beach of Armanville to air their grievances as the expiry deadline for their fishing licenses approaches. The fishermen claim that English authorities are dragging their heels over the renewal of the licenses, demanding sufficient proof that they were fishing in Jersey’s waters between the years of 2017-2020. EU fishermen’s access to British waters has been a source of bitter dispute during post-Brexit negotiations and despite the UK-EU Trade Cooperation Agreement, still remains an explosive topic Negotiations are still underway after a three-month delay in July.
euronews.com

Russia election: Exit polls suggest majority for pro-Putin United Russia: Russia’s ruling party, which supports President Vladimir Putin, has won a majority in parliamentary elections, exit polls suggest. Ruling party United Russia is projected to have around 45% of the vote, with the Communist Party a strong second on 21%. Three other parties that almost always vote for Kremlin initiatives will also return to parliament, the preliminary results showed, as well as the New People party, which was formed last year and is regarded by many as a Kremlin-sponsored project. The independent observers of the Golos organisation listed over 3,600 irregularities nationwide, most documented with photographs and video footage. Allies of jailed Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny were barred from running. Other opposition figures allege they were targeted with dirty tricks campaigns or not allowed to compete. Apple, Telegram and Google removed a tactical voting app created by Navalny’s organisation.
independent.co.uk, dw.com, cnbc.com

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Terrible times for women in Afghanistan: The Taliban have excluded girls from Afghan secondary schools, with only boys and male teachers allowed back into classrooms. Female employees in the Kabul city government have been told to stay home, with work only allowed for those who cannot be replaced by men, the interim mayor of Afghanistan’s capital said Sunday. The Taliban have also converted the Ministry of Women’s Affairs building into offices for the religious morality police, who once instilled dread in Afghanistan for their suppression of women and brutal enforcement of the militant government’s interpretation of Shariah law when it ruled two decades ago. About two dozen women activists protested outside the closed women’s ministry on Sunday. Meanwhile, a Taliban spokesperson in the city of Kunduz called on the international community to ramp up its provision of aid to the country. At least three people have been killed and more than 18 people injured in three explosions in Jalalabad in Afghanistan’s eastern Nangarhar province.
bbc.com, apnews.com, nytimes.com, reuters.com, dpa-international.com, theguardian.com

Algeria buries late ex-president Abdelaziz Bouteflika, French President Macron pays tribute dw.com
Energy prices will push up inflation across Europe, economists warn ft.com
Covid: Slow but steady has seen the EU win out in the vaccine race theguardian.com
Haitians on Texas border undeterred by US plan to expel them apnews.com
US Capitol protest: Police outnumber protesters at right-wing Capitol rally bbc.com

⊂ QUOTE OF THE DAY ⊃

One in three voters is still undecided, that’s 20 million people.
The Green Party’s candidate for chancellor, Annalena Baerbock, is hopeful ahead of the German election.
dw.com

⊂ COUNTRIES ⊃

Four people found dead on border with Belarus: Polish officials said Sunday the bodies of three men, believed to be Iraqi nationals, were found on the Polish side of the Poland-Belarus border while Belarusian authorities announced an Iraqi woman was found within a metre of the border. Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki said on Facebook that he was in contact with the interior minister as well as the head of the border guards. Morawiecki said links between these „dramatic events and Belarusian provocations“ would be investigated. EU member-states Poland, Lithuania and Latvia, which border Belarus, have come under increasing pressure as Belarusian strongman Alexander Lukashenko has opened a backdoor route for migrants into the EU.
dw.com

Greece opens first refugee holding camp on Samos island: Greece on Saturday inaugurated its first „closed“ holding camp for migrants and refugees, on the island of Samos, close to Turkey. The camp is the first of five new facilities planned to improve the living conditions of asylum seekers, who have complained about overcrowding and squalid conditions. The new camp is installed with barbed-wire fencing, surveillance cameras, x-ray scanners and magnetic doors, prompting migrant groups to complain it looks like a prison. The 14,250 square metre compound is not visible from the main town and is almost completely cut off from the island’s local communities. Residents will be allowed to leave the camp from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m., with four buses available to transfer them throughout the day. Gates will remain closed at night and those who fail to return will face disciplinary actions.
dw.com, politico.eu

Volcano erupts on La Palma: The Cumbre Vieja volcano in La Palma, one of Spain’s Canary Islands, erupted Sunday, after several earthquakes were felt over the weekend. Local TV station Radio Television Canaria (RTVC) showed footage of red-hot lava and dust emanating from the Cumbre Vieja National Park in the south of the island. Earlier in the day, the volcanology institute wrote in a statement on Facebook that more than 25,000 earthquakes had been detected in the past nine days around the Cumbre Vieja volcano. Local media reported that several isolated homes were destroyed by the lava flows. The fire brigade was brought in to fight forest fires caused by the eruption.
cnn.com, dw.com

Ukraine: Thousands march for LGBTQ+ rights: Some 7,000 people gathered in Ukraine’s capital Kyiv on Sunday for the annual March for Equality to support the rights of the country’s LGBTQ+ community. The Pride parade passed off without incident despite concerns about violence as a group of a few hundred far-right protesters staged a counter-demonstration in a nearby park.
dw.com

Italy makes Covid passports mandatory for all employees: Italy has become the first European country to make a Covid certificate mandatory for all workers, as countries start to take stronger measures in an effort to boost inoculation rates. From mid-October, any Italian worker that fails to present a valid certificate will face suspension and could have their pay stopped after five days, the government said on Thursday. In the Serbian capital Belgrade, thousands of people protested against the possible introduction of a Covid vaccine card. In Croatia, thousands of people protested against the restrictions on public life imposed by the government in the fight against the coronavirus. There were also protests in Paris against the government’s Covid measures.
cnbc.com, de.euronews.com

Hungary: Primary to find candidate to oppose Orban gets off to rocky start rferl.org
Austria: Chancellor Kurz calls for „more fairness“ for Poland and Hungary orf.at
German election: Green party candidate Baerbock calls for a climate protection government dw.com
France: French Polynesian patients transferred to Paris euronews.com

⊂ POLITJOBS ⊃

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⊂ LAST BUT NOT LEAST ⊃

French highline walker makes 600-metre Seine crossing from Eiffel Tower: French highline walker Nathan Paulin has crossed the River Seine in Paris at a height of 70 metres, in a breathtaking feat watched by cheering crowds on the Eiffel Tower and along the banks.
theguardian.com

 

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