Wednesday, 24 July 2019: Johnson seeks more diverse cabinet, Merkel congratulates Britain’s new prime minister Johnson, Greta Thunberg holds speech in French parliament, France’s parliament approves CETA trade deal


Johnson seeks more diverse cabinet: Taking over as prime minister this Wednesday, Boris Johnson is expected unveil a more diverse top team in a government to be tasked with delivering Brexit by the end of October, with or without a deal. Johnson won the contest to succeed Prime Minister Theresa May on Tuesday by securing the leadership of the Conservative Party. Johnson’s cabinet choices will help to flesh out how he intends to manage the world’s fifth-largest economy and its divorce from the EU at one of the most fateful moments in its modern history.

Labour’s ruling body backs Corbyn expulsions plan: Labour’s ruling body has backed a plan endorsed by party leader Jeremy Corbyn to fast-track expulsions of members in the most serious antisemitism cases. New rules will be presented to party members for approval at Labour’s conference in September. A Labour source said the party would now bring forward proposals for independent oversight of its processes to increase transparency. But some MPs are angry that a separate plan for a fully independent disciplinary process was not adopted.

Jo Swinson rules out Lib Dem pact with Labour under Corbyn: The new Lib Dem leader Jo Swinson has again ruled out working with Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn, branding him a Brexiter who could not be trusted to fight for a second referendum to keep the UK in the EU. Speaking on BBC Radio 4’s Today programme, Swinson was scathing about Labour’s Brexit approach, even though the party has now said it would support a referendum on any deal put forward. She said the Lib Dems could not join a pact with Labour while Corbyn was leader, even in the event of a hung parliament.

Academic: Sir Roger Scruton returns to government role after magazine row
Health: Government health plans criticised as missed opportunity
Schools: State schools choose posh uniforms to exclude poor pupils, says MP
Youth offenders: Minister urged to intervene over Feltham youth jail violence


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Merkel congratulates Britain’s new prime minister Johnson: German Chancellor Angela Merkel congratulated Boris Johnson on his election as Conservative Party leader on Tuesday and said she looked forward to good cooperation with the new British prime minister. EU leaders have reiterated that the Brexit agreement is not up for renegotiation. The European Commission’s newly elected President, Ursula von der Leyen, has however said she is willing to grant the UK another extension to Brexit talks, if London comes up with good reasons. The EU’s Brexit negotiator, Michel Barnier, is due to meet MEPs on the EU Parliament’s Brexit Steering Group in an extraordinary meeting on Wednesday to respond to Johnson’s election. French President Emmanuel Macron said he wished to work with Johnson as quickly as possible and would call him when he was officially prime minister.,,

Greta Thunberg holds speech in French parliament: Swedish climate activist Greta Thunberg implored politicians in the French parliament on Tuesday to listen to scientists. She warned that the biggest danger was not being inactive – the real danger was when companies and politicians were making it look like real action was happening, when in fact almost nothing was being done. She said just for quoting scientific facts, young environmentalists received unimaginable amounts of hate and threats. Berlin will implement diesel driving bans starting in September. The EU Commission has made it clear that it is not working on a ban of artificial turf., (Thunberg); (Berlin); (Artificial turf)

Italy could block new migrant mechanism: Fourteen EU members have agreed on a new solidarity mechanism plan to resettle rescued migrants, French President Emmanuel Macron announced on Monday. But Italian Interior Minister Matteo Salvini, whose country is at the forefront of the migrant influx into Europe, said he was against France and Germany deciding all the migration policies while ignoring the demands of the most exposed countries. Italy received almost all of the migrants rescued by humanitarian groups at sea until the government closed all the country’s ports to charity ships. After the meeting, which he did not attend, Salvini reiterated that Italy should not continue to be the refugee camp of Brussels, Paris, and Berlin.

Britain wins support for Hormuz naval mission: France, Italy and Denmark gave initial support for a British plan for a European-led naval mission to ensure safe shipping through the Strait of Hormuz, three senior EU diplomats said on Tuesday. Britain tested the idea to senior EU diplomats at a meeting in Brussels, saying it would not involve the EU, Nato or the US directly. British foreign ministry and defence officials have also discussed a possible mission, which would likely involve not just ships but aircraft too, directly with their Italian, Spanish, French and German counterparts. Germany has emphasised that it would not provide military contribution to a mission ensuring safe shipping through the Strait of Hormuz.

Trade conflict: EU Trade Commissioner Malmström accuses US of obstructing tariff negotiations


She also didn’t sound like the Nobel Peace Prize winner for fear.
French Republican politician Fabrice Brun was one of the few Republicans to ignore the party’s boycott against the visit of Swedish climate activist Greta Thunberg.


France’s parliament approves CETA trade deal: France’s lower house of parliament approved the EU-Canada trade deal on Tuesday. The legislation will now head to Senate before being signed into law by French President Emmanuel Macron at a later date. The Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) took effect on a preliminary basis in September 2017, but it must also be approved by each EU member state to become permanent.

Former French environment minister de Rugy cleared of overspending: Two reports have cleared Francois de Rugy of excessive spending a week after de Rugy resigned as France’s environment minister. The reports by the prime minister’s office and France’s parliament were ordered after a week of French media reports with claims that de Rugy used taxpayers’ money to pay for lobster and fine wine dinners, allegedly consumed with friends. The report by the prime minister’s office concluded that de Rugy had followed the rules.

Austrian government employee allegedly destroyed hard drives: Austrian prosecutors are probing a staffer of former chancellor Sebastian Kurz on suspicion of shredding evidence, possibly linked to the Ibiza scandal that brought down the government in May, media reports and an official said over the weekend. According to information from the magazine “Falter”, a staff member of the Austrian Chancellery had destroyed five hard drives instead of just one. He also used an external specialist company instead of in-house experts to destroy the hard drives.,

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Spain’s Sanchez loses first bid to be confirmed as PM: Spanish Socialist leader Pedro Sanchez failed to get enough support in parliament to be reappointed as prime minister. Sanchez needed 176 votes — an absolute majority — to be confirmed as PM in Tuesday’s vote. He got 124, with 170 voting against. Sanchez will face parliament again on Thursday, and this time needs a simple majority of votes to become prime minister. He has led the government as a caretaker in the interim, but could be forced to hold new elections if he cannot win confirmation.,

Italy: Banks to rescue Carige via depositor protection fund
Germany: Eritrean survives suspected racist shooting
Greece: Mitsotakis commemorates victims of fire disaster in Mati
Poland: Homophobia more widespread than in most other eastern European countries

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Chinese carmaker buys 5% Daimler stake: Daimler and China’s BAIC are the latest carmakers to take their relationship to the next level. The German owner of Mercedes-Benz confirmed Tuesday that its Chinese partner, BAIC, has acquired 5% of its shares. Daimler, which since 2013 has held a stake in BAIC’s Hong Kong-listed unit, said it welcomed BAIC’s investment. Mercedes-Benz cars are manufactured in China via a partnership between the two companies.,


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