Monday, 23 September 2019: Corbyn plays down Labour divisions, EU interior ministers discuss solution for shipwrecked refugees, Germany to join alliance to phase out coal, Trump discussed Biden in call with Ukrainian leader


Corbyn plays down Labour divisions: Andrew Fisher, one of Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn’s senior aides, has announced his intention to resign. Fisher, who masterminded the party’s 2017 manifesto, said he no longer had faith that Labour would be successful at the next general election. Corbyn confirmed that Fisher was leaving, saying it was a very stressful and full-on job. Fisher’s exit came after a failed bid to oust deputy leader Tom Watson. Corbyn said that he got on well with both men, and that Fisher was extremely distressed when he wrote a memo saying the leader’s office was incompetent. The Labour leader described Fisher as a great friend and someone who he had worked with for 15 years. At the start of Labour’s annual conference on Sunday, Corbyn said his party would guide him on how to campaign in a second Brexit referendum, pledging to offer voters a choice between staying in the EU and a credible deal. Labour delegates have endorsed radical plans that would abolish private schools by removing their charitable status and redistributing their endowments, investments and properties to the state sector., (Fisher); (Corbyn); (Private schools)

UK to create fund for clean energy technology: This Monday, Prime Minister Boris Johnson will announce a one billion pound fund for scientists around the world to create and test new technology to help developing countries reduce carbon emissions. The Ayrton Fund, named after British physicist and suffragette Hertha Ayrton, will consist of aid money for British and foreign scientists and engineers to develop new clean energy technology in partnership with developing countries. Johnson will separately announce a £220m fund to tackle the erosion of biodiversity, focusing on desperately endangered species such as the black rhino and Sumatran tiger.,

Johnson must address conflict of interest claims: Labour has urged Prime Minister Boris Johnson to address claims he failed to declare a potential conflict of interest in how money was given to a US businesswoman while he was London mayor. The “Sunday Times” reported that a company run by Jennifer Arcuri, an American technology entrepreneur and friend of Johnson, was given tens of thousands of pounds in public funds and access to overseas trade missions led by Johnson during the prime minister’s time as mayor. No 10 declined to comment. A government department said it was investigating.,

Parliament prorogation: Government will abide by Supreme Court ruling, says Foreign Secretary Raab
Labour: MP Mike Hill suspended over claims of sexual harassment


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EU interior ministers discuss solution for shipwrecked refugees: EU interior ministers will meet in Malta this Monday in hopes of establishing new rules laying out how the EU will deal with migrants rescued while crossing the Mediterranean Sea. German Interior Minister Horst Seehofer announced last week that Germany was willing to take 25% of all those rescued at sea by private organisations and brought on land in Italy or Malta. It is unclear how many people the other conference participants might be willing to take in. To date, France has refused to open its ports to rescue ships, though Malta has suggested it should. The Turkish coast guard has rescued 14 migrants and their Turkish smuggler after their rubber boat sank off Turkey’s Aegean coast while trying to reach Greece. (EU interior ministers); (Turkey)

Germany to join alliance to phase out coal: German Environment Minister Svenja Schulze announced Sunday that Germany will join the Powering Past Coal Alliance. She said a set of resolutions agreed to by Germany’s coalition government proved that the country was officially committed to ending its dependency on coal. When a big industrial country turned away from nuclear and coal, and transitioned step by step towards meeting its energy needs entirely with renewable energies, that would send a strong signal to other parts of the world, Schulze said. The World Meteorological Organisation (WMO) has warned that the 2015-2019 period is set to be the warmest five years on record. Sea-level rise has accelerated significantly over the same period, as CO2 emissions have hit new highs. (Coal);, (WMO)

Hong Kong police prevent airport protest: A planned protest targeting Hong Kong’s international airport on Sunday failed to materialise, although several stations were closed along the express railway line that links the airport to the city. There was a noisy standoff between protesters and police at the Tsing Yi interchange station, which serves the Airport Express and the MTR. Police closed Kowloon station, also on the Airport Express route, where about 400 protesters had gathered. On Saturday night, police used tear gas and rounds of rubber bullets against protesters who threw gasoline bombs toward them and set fires.,


The British have to tell us exactly the architectural nature of this border. I don’t like a border.
Outgoing EU Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker has stressed that the EU cannot be blamed for the construction of border posts between Northern Ireland and Ireland in the event of a no-deal Brexit.


Trump discussed Biden in call with Ukrainian leader: US President Donald Trump acknowledged on Sunday that he discussed former Vice President Joe Biden in a phone call with Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelensky. Trump confirmed that Biden came up during their discussion and that he accused the former vice president of corruption tied to his son Hunter’s business activities in the Ukraine. Biden’s son Hunter served on the board of an energy company owned by a Ukrainian oligarch who had come under scrutiny by the fired prosecutor. US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said Joe Biden should be investigated for wrongdoing. Biden, who has denied all wrongdoing, accused the Trump administration of an abuse of power.,

British travel company Thomas Cook collapses: Thomas Cook has collapsed after last-minute negotiations aimed at saving the tour operator failed. The UK Civil Aviation Authority said Thomas Cook has ceased trading with immediate effect. All Thomas Cook bookings, including flights and holidays, have been cancelled. Customers currently abroad with Thomas Cook who are booked to return to the UK over the next two weeks will be brought home as close as possible to their booked return date. British Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab said the government had contingency plans in place for passengers and sought to reassure tourists that they would not end up stuck overseas. British tourists in Tunisia said their hotel stopped them leaving for several hours on Saturday night over concerns about payment by Thomas Cook.,,

Malta launches inquiry into Galizia’s murder: The Maltese government has launched a public inquiry into the murder of journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia. A former judge will head the inquiry. Prime Minister Joseph Muscat called for it to be concluded within nine months. Galizia’s family has raised concerns about the impartiality of individuals appointed to lead the inquiry. Muscat has agreed to meet with Galizia’s family members.,,

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Deutsche Bahn welcomes climate change package: Germany’s Deutsche Bahn expects the government’s 50 billion euro climate change package to generate the railway company’s biggest growth spurt in its 180-year history, Deutsche Bahn CEO Richard Lutz said on Sunday. The measures would give the company an additional 20 billion euros in revenue by 2030. Europe’s railway companies are expected to be major beneficiaries of a shift away from car and air transport toward public transportation offerings that emit proportionally less carbon.

Iceland: Icelandic broadcaster fined for Hatari’s pro-Palestinian protest at Eurovision Song Contest
France 1: Police use tear gas in Paris against anti-government protesters
France 2: Budget carrier XL Airways seeks rescue deal with Air France
Portugal: Football Leaks investigation
Switzerland: Thousands protest against 5G
Norway: Cruise ships pollute the air

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Syrian migrants pretend to be volleyball team: Ten migrants posing as a volleyball team were detained at Athens airport after attempting to travel to Switzerland illegally. Greek police said the Syrian nationals were trying to travel on passports that did not belong to them. Police published a picture of the group wearing matching uniforms and carrying two volleyballs.


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