Monday, December 2nd 2019: New EU Commission starts, EU antitrust regulators investigate Google, Malta’s Prime Minister Muscat to resign in January

⊂ EUROPE ⊃

New EU Commission starts: The new European Commission officially took office on Sunday, one month later than planned. The new head of the Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, will attend a climate summit in Madrid and travel to Africa in her first week in the job, highlighting two of the key priorities for the Commission over the next five years. Von der Leyen has set high targets in the EU’s policy to combat climate change, pledging to reduce EU carbon emissions by at least 50% by 2030. Emphasizing the importance of the “Green Deal”, the EU Commission wants to make Europe a global powerhouse on green policy. Von der Leyen, who replaced Jean-Claude Juncker, will lead a 27-strong team of commissioners who also began work on Sunday.
nytimes.com, france24.com

EU antitrust regulators investigate Google: EU antitrust regulators are investigating Google’s data collection practices. The EU Commission told “Reuters” on Saturday that there was an ongoing preliminary investigation seeking information on how and why Google is collecting data. The EU’s focus is on data related to local search services, online advertising, online ad targeting services, login services and web browsers.
reuters.com

Guterres’ verdict ahead of the climate summit: The world is facing a climate crisis – and the point of no return is hurtling towards us. That is the verdict of United Nations Secretary General Antonio Guterres ahead of the COP25 climate conference. Guterres called on world leaders to take concrete steps to confront the problem. He said countries were still lacking political will to put a price on carbon, stop subsidies on fossil fuels, stop building coal power plants and shift taxation from income to carbon. World leaders will be gathering in Madrid this week to forge ahead with efforts to curb global temperature rises.
euronews.com

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Albania: Germany’s Merkel vows aid for earthquake victims dw.com
Hong Kong: China accuses UN human rights chief of inflaming Hong Kong unrest dw.com
Iraq: Parliament accepts PM Adel Abdul-Mahdi resignation, protesters demand more npr.org

⊂ QUOTES ⊃

Our war against nature must stop.
United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has taken the world’s major economies to task for not pulling their weight to reduce emissions.
dw.com

⊂ COUNTRIES ⊃

Malta’s Prime Minister Muscat to resign in January: Maltese Prime Minister Joseph Muscat has announced on national TV that he will step down in the new year, amid a crisis over murdered journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia. The investigation surrounding the case has reached Muscat’s trusted aide and chief of staff Keith Schembri, with another high-level suspect naming Schembri as a mastermind behind the assassination. Schembri resigned and was interrogated by the police earlier this week. He has denied any connection with the murder. Fury over Muscat’s handling of the crisis grew this weekend when businessman Yorgen Fenech was charged with complicity in the murder, an allegation he denies. Caruana Galizia had been investigating alleged corruption within the government.
bbc.com, dw.com, cnn.com

Netherlands to join French-led Strait of Hormuz naval mission: France has pushed for a European security mission in the Strait of Hormuz to protect oil tankers and cargo ships from threats in the strategic waterway. The Netherlands will contribute a ship to the French-led naval mission for a six-month period starting in January. The French government said Italy, Denmark and the British Navy will also join the mission, while Germany has opted not to participate. Meanwhile, a new neo-Nazi scandal has erupted in the German military, this time in its Special Forces Command (KSK), according to media reports. European aviation giant Airbus has fired 16 employees over an investigation into suspected internal spying on German army projects.
reuters.com, faz.net (France); dw.com (German military); dw.com (Airbus)

Protest against far-right in Italy: Tens of thousands rallied in Florence on Saturday against the far-right League party, the latest in a series of demonstrations called by the new “Sardine Movement”. Organizers claimed that 40,000 people had turned out to the protest. The movement started just weeks ago in Bologna. Its name comes from the idea of cramming as many people as possible into the city’s Piazza Maggiore square. The sardine has become a symbol of protest against far-right leader Matteo Salvini, who served as interior minister and deputy prime minister in the previous coalition government.
france24.com, euronews.com

Poland: Protest against government’s justice reforms nytimes.com
Germany: Thousands of migrants return after deportation, report says dw.com
France: Public transportation services strike on December 5th de.euronews.com

⊂ JOB-BOARD ⊃

politjobs.eu: Alfa Fellowship Program seeks Young German, British, and American Leaders *** FTA seeks Regulatory Affairs Advisor (m/f) *** Bayer seeks Trainee (m/f) *** ISN seeks Advocacy Officer (m/f) *** Politico seeks Lobbying Reporter (m/f) *** EGEC seeks Trainee (m/f) *** Facebook seeks Public Policy Manager (m/f) *** Google seeks Public Policy and Government Relations Manager (m/f) *** DEKRA offers Internship (m/f) *** European Friends of Amernia seeks Communications and Media Engagement Officer (m/f) *** International Crisis Group seeks Analyst (m/f)
politjobs.eu, politjobs.eu/submit (Inserat schalten)

⊂ MALFUNCTION ⊃

Criticism of Saudi Arabia’s G20 presidency: The human rights organization Amnesty International has called on world leaders to address the country’s heinous human rights record as Saudi Arabia assumes the presidency of the G20 global economic forum. The group said G20 member states that continue to profit from the arms trade with Saudi Arabia, including the US, UK and France, must consider the extent to which they are complicit in human rights violations committed by the Saudi Arabia-led coalition in the conflict in Yemen.
amnesty.org

 

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