Wednesday, 07 November 2018: US Democrats set to take House but Republicans hold Senate, EU approves Disney’s acquisition of Fox, Attack plot against Macron

⊂ EUROPE ⊃

US Democrats set to take House but Republicans hold Senate: Democrats rode a wave of dissatisfaction with US President Donald Trump to win control of the House of Representatives on Tuesday, Fox News and NBC News projected. However, Republicans will hold the Senate. Republican Senator Ted Cruz has defeated Democratic challenger Beto O’Rouke. Mitt Romney has won the Senate race in Utah, while Bernie Sanders, who ran for the Democratic presidential nomination in 2016, has been re-elected as a senator in Vermont. Democrat Jared Polis has been elected Colorado’s governor. In addition to Texas, Republicans won key Senate contests in Indiana, North Dakota and Tennesse. There were also a string of historic milestones, with the first Muslim congresswoman, first openly gay male governor and the youngest ever congresswoman all being elected.
nytimes.com, nbcnews.com, reuters.com, telegraph.co.uk

Germany to change relationship with US: German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas has announced that Germany will adjust its relationship with the United States after the US congressional elections. Although the US remains the most important partner outside Europe, the EU must be united, for example, when it comes to acting on punitive tariffs, Maas said. White House aides and outside allies were determined to spin the night as a win, and lavished praise on US President Donald Trump for his role in the election. White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders argued that Trump’s vigorous campaigning had helped save several Republicans. She also dismissed the notion of a „blue wave,“ quipping, „Maybe you get a ripple.“ Overall, Americans expressed a fairly dim view of the state of politics, with 56% saying the country is on the wrong track and three-quarters of Americans saying the country is becoming more divided. Trump’s approval rating in the poll stands at 39% overall, with 55% disapproving, slightly worse than in early October, when 41% approved of his performance and 52% disapproved.
n-tv.de, politico.com, nbcnews.com, cnn.com

EU approves Disney’s acquisition of Fox: The EU Commission on Tuesday approved Disney’s acquisition of parts of Fox on the condition that it divest a number of channels. The channels it must end its interest in are A+E Television Networks, History, H2, Crime & Investigation, Blaze and Lifetime channels – currently owned by A+E Television Networks, a joint venture between Disney and Hearst. The Commission said that the deal would have eliminated competition between two strong suppliers of factual channels such as the National Geographic and History channels. Disney secured approval from the US Justice Department for the deal in June on condition after agreeing to sell Fox’s 22 regional sports networks.
politico.eu, cnbc.com

Timmermans: EU election is battle for soul of Europe: Frans Timmermans, the European Commissioner poised to lead the Social Democrats in the EU Parliament election, said Tuesday that next year’s vote will be a battle for the very soul of Europe. The Dutch first vice president of the EU Commission is the sole contender to become the lead candidate for the Party of European Socialists after fellow commissioner Maros Sefcovic of Slovakia pulled out of the race on Monday. Sefcovic has also stressed that the election for the EU Parliament in May will be a turning point for the shape and direction of the entire EU. The conservative EPP wants to decide on Thursday whether its candidate will be the CSU politician Manfred Weber or the former Finnish Prime Minister Alexander Stubb.
politico.eu, euractiv.com

Lucrative business with EU passports: As demand for residency or citizenship in EU member states has grown, a market has emerged in which corrupt national officials falsify documents for a fee. And that is not all: Many governments of EU member states openly and officially benefit from selling golden visas, raking in billions of euros. Last week in Bulgaria, about two dozen officials were temporarily detained because they had for many years illegally sold fake certificates of ancestry to people from Macedonia, Moldova and Ukraine — and reportedly made thousands of euros in doing so.
dw.com

MEPs: Money for agriculture must go to those who cultivate the land euractiv.com
2,000 lives and counting: Mediterranean Sea death toll in 2018 unhcr.org
INF Treaty: Trump’s expected meeting with Putin to be delayed nytimes.com

⊂ QUOTES ⊃

In the long term, it would be more honest for Turkey and the EU to follow a new direction and end accession talks.
Johannes Hahn, the European Union commissioner responsible for bloc enlargement negotiations and neighborhood policy, has called for an end to accession negotiations with Turkey.
tagesspiegel.de

⊂ COUNTRIES ⊃

Attack plot against Macron: French security agents arrested six people Tuesday on suspicion of plotting to attack French President Emmanuel Macron. Prosecutors opened a preliminary investigation of alleged criminal terrorist association, a judicial official said. Suspects had an imprecise and loosely-formed plan for violent action against Macron, a source close to the matter told the Associated Press and Reuters. The arrests were made in southeast of Lyon, in Moselle on the border with Germany and Luxembourg and in northwest Ille-et-Vilaine, Reuters reported. Macron marked the centenary of the World War One Armistice on Tuesday, and called for a „real European army“ to reduce dependence on the United States. Macronsaid Russia had shown it could be a threat and Europe had to be able to defend itself better alone. German Defence Minister Ursula von der Leyen supported Macron’s idea, but set a few conditions.
time.com, nbcnews.com (Attack), reuters.com, bbc.com (Army), handelsblatt.com (Leyen)

Threats to Dutch envoy in Pakistan over Wilders tweets: The Netherlands announced Tuesday that its ambassador to Pakistan has faced threats, reportedly from Islamists angry over anti-Islam tweets by far-right politician Geert Wilders. Wilders in August called off a planned Prophet Mohammed cartoon competition that stirred anger in Pakistan, but the MP has since posted several such images on Twitter. The Turkish Islamic Cultural Federation has sent a formal request to Twitter demanding that Wilders be banned for inciting hatred.
spiegel.de, dw.com

Paris gives ground to garner support for digital tax: France is willing to wait two years before enforcing the EU’s proposed temporary digital tax on revenues in a bid to win over skeptics — but only if the deal is signed before year-end. That way, the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) would still have the chance to find a global solution to digital taxation by 2020. If that fails, the EU’s digital tax would automatically take effect. Those were the conditions that French Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire put forward today during this month’s Ecofin meeting in Brussels.
politico.eu

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Migrants die trying to reach Spain: Over 10,000 migrants and refugees landed on Spanish coasts in October. Rescue workers are searching for survivors after at least 17 migrants died trying to reach Spain from north Africa. Spain has now become the main destination for undocumented migrants and refugees from Africa and the Middle East trying to reach Europe. Raids in Morocco began in the summer and were coordinated with Spain and the EU to stem the tide of migrants to the continent. The Moroccan government says they were aimed at only undocumented migrants and human trafficking. The crackdown began in June and intensified in late July, after at least 600 migrants successfully crossed to the Spanish enclave of Ceuta in northern Morocco.
welt.de, euronews.com, nytimes.com

Italy: EU Commission considering punitive action for Italy over budget politico.eu
Germany: Prosecutors raid BlackRock in tax scam probe dw.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 ⊃

Typos on coin marking Trump-Putin summit: The commemorative coin to mark the summit between US President Donald Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin back in July contains several mistakes. The White House commemorative coin for the Helsinki meeting between the Russian and American presidents has inscriptions in the native languages of both leaders. However, officials probably should have enlisted the services of a better copy editor after three errors were spotted in Russian on the coin.
newsweek.com

 

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