Tuesday, 30 July 2019: Johnson pursues no-deal Brexit, according to Sturgeon, Warship in Strait of Hormuz to protect British tankers, Companies using Facebook “Like” button are liable for data, Murder in Romania sparks nationwide outrage


Johnson pursues no-deal Brexit, according to Sturgeon: First Minister of Scotland Nicola Sturgeon said Monday she believes British Prime Minister Boris Johnson is actively pursuing a no-deal Brexit, after he vowed not to meet EU leaders unless they remove the controversial Irish backstop. Speaking to reporters after a meeting with Johnson in Edinburgh, Sturgeon said there was no clarity on how he planned to reach a new exit deal when the EU has repeatedly said it will not renegotiate the deal it reached with Johnson’s predecessor Theresa May. Johnson told Sturgeon that while he would prefer to negotiate a new deal with the EU, Britain would be leaving the bloc on 31 October come what may, his office said. Johnson also held talks with Scottish Conservative leader Ruth Davidson, who has said she could not support a no-deal Brexit.
telegraph.co.uk, reuters.com, bbc.com

PSA to ditch UK production if Brexit hits profits: French carmaker PSA has threatened to end production at its Ellesmere Port factory in Cheshire in England should Brexit make the site unprofitable. The company’s CEO Carlos Tavares told the “Financial Times” that the carmaker has alternatives to the plant which it could use. He said PSA would build its Vauxhall and Opel Astra cars — currently made in Ellesmere Port — in Southern Europe if the UK does not leave the EU on advantageous terms. More than 1,000 workers could lose their jobs if the plant is closed.
politico.eu, bbc.com

Inquiry closed into MP filmed grabbing activist: An inquiry into the conduct of Tory MP Mark Field, who bundled a female protester out of a bankers’ dinner, has closed after he left government in a clear-out of ministers by new Prime Minister Boris Johnson. Field was suspended as a junior Foreign Office minister last month pending a government investigation into the incident when he grabbed a female climate change demonstrator by the neck and marched her out of the room. After the incident in June, Field apologised and referred himself to the Cabinet Office for investigation. He said he was relieved to learn the Whitehall inquiry into his conduct has been closed.
bbc.com, uk.reuters.com

Harassment: MP Jared O’Mara apologises for texts that caused female employee to quit bbc.com
Veterans’ affairs: New office to improve support for military veterans bbc.com
Labour: Alastair Campbell says he no longer wishes to be a Labour member theguardian.com
Foreign policy: Families of UK citizens held abroad call for consular protection theguardian.com
Rail project: Crossrail hired security firm to monitor trade unionists theguardian.com


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)


Warship in Strait of Hormuz to protect British tankers: A second warship arrived in the Strait of Hormuz on Monday to protect British ships in the strategic waterway, almost two weeks after Iran seized the British-flagged tanker “Stena Impero”. British Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab urged Iran to follow international rules and release the vessel, which together with its crew remains under the control of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps. He also rejected the idea that Britain could release an Iranian tanker in exchange for the “Stena Impero”. South Korea plans to join a US-led maritime force in the Middle East by sending a naval unit to help guard oil tankers sailing through the Strait of Hormuz. The German government is struggling to find a clear line on whether or not to take part in a European naval mission in the Strait of Hormuz.
independent.co.uk (Warship); uk.reuters.com (Raab); reuters.com (South Korea); dw.com (Germany)

EU top court makes decision in sampling case: Music sampling without authorisation can infringe copyright protections, the European Court of Justice ruled on Monday. However, the use of a sound sample taken from a phonogram in a modified form unrecognisable to the ear does not infringe those rights, even without such authorisation. If it is not recognisable, it is not considered to be a reproduction, the court ruled. The case pitted two members of the German electronic music band Kraftwerk against composers Moses Pelham and Martin Haas.

Companies using Facebook “Like” button are liable for data: The European Court of Justice has ruled that websites using Facebook’s “Like” button must make visitors aware that the company will have access to their data. Sites are not responsible for what Facebook later does with the data that it collects. Even users who do not have Facebook accounts transfer personal information, including their IP addresses, over to Facebook. The ruling came after a German consumer body sued German online fashion retailer Fashion ID for breaching personal data protection rules via its use of the button on its site. The German retailer benefited from a commercial advantage as the “Like” button made its products more visible on Facebook, the court said.
dw.com, reuters.com

Russia’s Navalny may have been poisoned, says doctor: Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny’s personal doctor, Anastasiya Vasilyeva, said Monday that an unidentified toxic agent may have caused his health to deteriorate while in police custody. Navalny was rushed to a Moscow hospital on Sunday but was since reported to be in satisfactory condition and taken back to jail. Late on Monday evening, Navalny posted a blog entry saying he had never experienced similar symptoms and criticising the strange behaviour of the hospital staff. He said he wanted to see CCTV footage of his cell to see if people came in and put any substances on his bed during exercise breaks. Navalny was jailed for 30 days last week after calling for unauthorised protests, which took place on Saturday. Nearly 1,400 people were detained during the demonstrations against the exclusion of opposition candidates from local elections.
dw.com, theguardian.com, bbc.com

US-China trade talks set to resume: US-China trade talks are set to resume this week, with a trade delegation from Washington scheduled to fly to China on Monday. Expectations for a major breakthrough are low, however, with National Economic Council Director Larry Kudlow telling CNBC last Friday that he wouldn’t expect any grand deal. China’s military is holding exercises this week in waters near Taiwan, China’s maritime safety agency said days after China reiterated it was ready to fight if there was any move towards independence for the self-ruled island. The Chinese government condemned ongoing protests in Hong Kong on Monday, following another weekend of unrest. A Chinese court has sentenced civil rights activist and dissident Huang Qi to twelve years in jail.
cnbc.com (Trade); reuters.com (Taiwan); cbsnews.com (Hong Kong); bbc.com (Dissident)

EU Commission: EU Justice Commissioner Jourova nominated for second term politico.eu
Business consulting: EU Budget Commissioner Oettinger’s future plans are being assessed zdf.de
European Central Bank: Commercial property overvalued in most EU countries reuters.com


Murder in Romania sparks nationwide outrage: The Romanian government is considering holding a referendum to institute harsher penalties for murder, rape and pedophilia, after mass protests against the authorities’ handling of the killing of a 15-year-old girl. Police only arrived 19 hours after the girl made repeated phone calls to the country’s emergency number. Prime Minister Viorica Dancila also called for efforts to reduce the authorities’ reaction time in similar cases. Romanian authorities have said that police initially struggled to locate the source of the emergency calls and were also held up waiting for a search warrant to be issued. Thousands of Romanians took to the streets of Romania’s capital Bucharest on Saturday to protest the police handling of the case.
dw.com, euronews.com, bbc.com

Belgium broke EU law but can keep nuclear plants open: The European Court of Justice ruled Monday that Belgium can continue to run two aging nuclear power plants, despite breaking EU law by not carrying out the necessary environmental audits. A 2003 law says Belgium’s last reactor must shut down by the year 2025. In spite of recent technical hitches, some think Belgium has no choice but to keep its nuclear plants running. The grid operator Elia has warned of a crisis if the government doesn’t act to fill gaps in production. The European court ordered Belgium to launch the relevant environmental assessments and demonstrate that there is a genuine and serious threat of power cuts if the plants are closed.

Boy dies in Germany after being pushed in front of train: An eight-year-old boy was killed when a man apparently pushed him and his mother from a train platform at Frankfurt’s main railway station, German police said on Monday. The boy’s mother survived the incident. The premier of the state of Hesse, Volker Bouffier, said he was stunned by the revolting act. Interior Minister Horst Seehofer cut his vacation short due to the incident and is set to meet Germany’s top security chiefs and discuss the crime. Seehofer pledged that the attacker would be called to account with all means of the rule of law. However, he also warned against drawing premature conclusions about the attack, after his ministry shared that the attacker was an Eritrean citizen. The suspect was being held in police custody on Monday but his possible motive remained unclear.
dw.com, theguardian.com

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Top EU court rejects BMW appeal over state aid: The European Court of Justice has rejected an appeal by German carmaker BMW against an EU Commission decision to limit the state aid it could receive for a car plant in eastern Germany. The Commission stipulated in 2014 that the carmaker should receive no more than 17 million euros to expand production of two models of electric and hybrid passenger cars in Leipzig, a project expected to create 800 jobs. Germany had originally planned to grant 45 million euros toward the project, but the EU ruled any amount exceeding 17 million euros was incompatible with internal market rules.

Hungary: Government offers €30,000 to married couples who can produce three children euronews.com
Italy: Swiss bank UBS close to settling in money laundering probe reuters.com
Norway: Government wants to bury CO2 handelsblatt.com


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politjobs.eu, politjobs.eu/submit (Inserat schalten)


Earth Overshoot Day has already passed: Starting on 29 July, humanity is now consuming more resources through the end of 2019 than the planet can sustainably regenerate for the year. The Global Footprint Network (GFN) has been calculating Earth Overshoot Day since 1986. It totals usage of food, timber, fibers, carbon sequestration and more. Currently, carbon emissions from burning fossil fuel constitute 60% of humanity’s ecological footprint. The young Swedish climate activist Greta Thunberg will cross the Atlantic on a zero-emissions sailboat on her way to speak at the UN Climate Action Summit in New York in September.
dw.com (Earth Overshoot Day); cnn.com (Thunberg)


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