PARIS – French Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire urged German carmaker Daimler on Friday to reconsider plans to sell its factory in Hambach, France. The carmaker said earlier on Friday it would seek to sell the factory where it produces electric and combustion-engined variants of its two-seater Smart vehicles, as part of an overhaul of its production system. “Daimler must keep all options open, including keeping the site,” Le Maire said."French finance minister urges Daimler to reconsider plan to sell Hambach site"
ISTANBUL – A Turkish court on Friday sentenced a former local head of Amnesty International to more than six years in jail and convicted three other activists on terrorism-related charges for holding a meeting about digital security, the rights group said. Amnesty Turkey said on Twitter that seven other defendants, detained three years ago during a crackdown following an attempted coup in July 2016, were acquitted in a case which fuelled concern over Ankara’s human…"Turkish court convicts four rights activists on terrorism-related charges"
MADRID – Spanish Economy Minister Nadia Calvino said on Friday that all the debt issued by the European Union to help its member states deal with the consequences of the COVID-19 crisis will eventually be paid back. The debt will be sustainable as it will finance projects to help the EU resume the economic growth that was interrupted by the coronavirus crisis, she said in a virtual panel held by French think tank Cercle des…"Spanish minister says all EU COVID-19 debt will be repaid"
– The European Union is overestimating the emissions-cutting potential of climate action schemes outlined in its next budget and should change its methodology for assessing their effectiveness, auditors said. The executive European Commission has pledged to spend 25% of the bloc’s 2021-27 budget — setting aside roughly 320 billion euros at current prices — to help the 27-nation EU become “climate neutral” by 2050. But the European Court of Auditors (ECA) said in a report…"EU overestimates impact of its climate spending, auditors say"
BRUSSELS – The European Commission said on Friday it had given conditional approval for the use of COVID-19 antiviral remdesivir following an accelerated review process. The EU executive said the drug, produced by Gilead Sciences Inc , was the first medicine authorised in the European Union for treating COVID-19 following a “rolling review” begun by the European Medicines Agency at the end of April. The agency reviews data as they become available on a rolling…"EU grants conditional clearance to COVID-19 antiviral remdesivir"
LONDON – The British government will begin holding daily televised briefings with journalists later this year, throwing open a decades-old behind-closed-doors relationship between reporters and politicians. Prime Minister Boris Johnson said the move was to meet public demand for information direct from ministers, building on the perceived success of the government’s daily news conferences during the coronavirus pandemic. “People have liked more direct detailed information from the government about what’s going on,” Johnson told LBC…"British government to hold White House-style televised briefings"
MOSCOW – Russia has decided to reopen its embassy in Libya, the Interfax news agency cited Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov as saying on Friday. Lavrov said a ceasefire in the Libyan conflict, proposed by Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi alongside Libya’s eastern commander Khalifa Haftar in Cairo on June 6, fitted into decisions taken at an international conference in Berlin regarding the situation in the North African country. Lavrov was speaking at the start of…"Russia to reopen embassy in Libya – Ifax cites foreign minister"
BRUSSELS – The Mediterranean Shipping Company (MSC) overtook Ryanair in the top 10 rankings of Europe’s biggest carbon dioxide emitters in 2019, a list that is still dominated by big coal-fired power plants, European Union data showed. Data compiled by Brussels-based think tank Transport & Environment (T&E) showed MSC emitted an estimated 10.72 million tonnes of carbon dioxide in 2019, ranking it seventh in the EU, rising above Ryanair at No. 8, which produced an…"Shipper MSC joins coal plants and Ryanair in top 10 list of EU polluters"
BERLIN – Germany fears that Hong Kong’s autonomy is being “eroded” and Berlin will raise issues such as human rights with China during its presidency of the EU that began this month, Chancellor Angela Merkel said on Friday. “Based on an open dialogue, we also speak about the rule of law and human rights, as well as the future of Hong Kong where we are concerned that the important principle of ‘one country, two systems’…"Germany fears erosion of Hong Kong’s autonomy, Merkel says"
ROME – Poor Italians are significantly more likely to die of the coronavirus than higher-income groups, the country’s first significant study into the disease’s disproportionate social impact showed on Friday. Italy is one of the world’s worst-hit countries with almost 35,000 COVID-19 deaths since its outbreak emerged on Feb. 21 and it was the first European nation to report large-scale infections. In its annual report, national statistics bureau ISTAT studied mortality rates for each month…"Coronavirus mortality in Italy is highest among poor, study shows"