League Government will prioritize tax cuts over deficit

League Government will prioritize tax cuts over deficit

Italy’s ruling League party main economic spokesman, Claudio Borghi, has made clear that his party wants to pursue an ambitious tax cuts program, even if that means a surging deficit. “We need to pursue a tax cut and it is obvious that a small proportion will be funded with the deficit,” Borghi told RAI public TV on Monday. The League is leading in the polls, has withdrawn its confidence in the 14-months coalition government, and is calling for snap elections as soon as possible. The League’s leader, Matteo Salvini, filed…

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Merkel meets Orban on the anniversary of the Iron Curtain amid new disagreements

Merkel meets Orban on the anniversary of the Iron Curtain amid new disagreements

German Chancellor Angela Merkel recalled the importance of a “humane” Europe Monday (19 August) as she took part in commemorations in Hungary to mark the 30th anniversary of a pivotal moment in the fall of the Iron Curtain in 1989. Speaking alongside her Hungarian counterpart Viktor Orban – with whom she has clashed in recent years over the issue of migration – Merkel said the “Pan-European Picnic” held at the Austro-Hungarian border in 1989 reflected the values of “solidarity, freedom and a humane Europe”. The two leaders were addressing a…

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Catholic Church continues to confront LGBT people in Visegrád Four

Catholic Church continues to confront LGBT people in Visegrád Four

The rhetoric of the Catholic Church members against the LGBT community is becoming increasingly aggressive in four eastern EU countries, with priests comparing the LGBT movement to the plague and calling it an “ideology” with totalitarian features. In the past weeks, LGBT issues have moved to the top of the agenda in Poland, which faces a parliamentary election on 13 October, and quickly spread to the other Visegrád countries – Hungary, Slovakia and the Czech Republic. Family policy and traditional values have always been a crucial topic for the Polish…

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How do Power-to-X technologies actually work?

How do Power-to-X technologies actually work?

P2X, P2Y, PtG, PtL, power-to-gas… These somewhat cryptic terms stand for energy conversion processes that can be used to store surplus power from renewable sources and help meet climate targets. But whether they will actually reduce emissions depends on many different factors, EURACTIV Germany reports. Detractors of renewable energies often make the point that they are intermittent sources of electricity: solar panels and wind turbines need sunshine or strong winds to generate power at full capacity. This is why storing surplus electricity production at times of high output is seen…

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Iranian tanker in center of confrontation with West leaves Gibraltar

Iranian tanker in center of confrontation with West leaves Gibraltar

The Iranian tanker caught in a standoff between Tehran and the West left Gibraltar on Sunday night, shipping data showed, hours after the British territory rejected a US request to detain the vessel further. British Royal Marines seized the tanker in Gibraltar in July on suspicion it was carrying oil to Syria, a close ally of Iran, in violation of European Union sanctions. That triggered a series of events that have heightened tensions on international oil shipping routes through the Gulf. The Grace 1, renamed the Adrian Darya 1, left…

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lly Stone excluded for the rest of the series

lly Stone excluded for the rest of the series

England’s hopes of hitting Australia with pace this summer now rest solely on Jofra Archer after Olly Stone was ruled out for the remainder of the season with the recurrence of a stress fracture to his lower back. The 25-year-old Warwickshire fast bowler made his Test debut against Ireland last month and was then an unused squad member for Ashes series-opener at Edgbaston, only for lower back soreness to see him initially stood down for two weeks. But with further scans revealing a stress fracture – the same injury that…

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British Airways faces a record EU fine for serious breach of data

British Airways faces a record EU fine for serious breach of data

The European Commission is ready to impose a £183.4 million fine on British Airways for its failure to protect the personal details of 500,000 customers. The penalty for a perceived violation of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) would set a new record; the UK’s Information Commissioner confirms that since June 2018 the company’s weak security allowed user traffic to be diverted from its website to a fraudulent page. The company that admitted the failure in September 2018 is planning to contest the fine. Under EU rules, any organization that…

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EU plans to reduce steel import quotas after industrial protests

EU plans to reduce steel import quotas after industrial protests

The European Commission has proposed boosting measures to protect against a rise in imports spurred by US tariffs after steel companies said the European industry was under threat. The Commission said in a statement on Wednesday (14 August) it planned to cut an increase in import quotas to 3% from 5% effective from 1 October. In June, senior steel executives including from Outokumpu, Salzgitter, and a division chief at ArcelorMittal, urged the Commission to scrap or postpone the 5% increase which took effect on 1 July. EU quotas had been…

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The U.S. agency believes that July 2019 is the hottest month in the history of the planet.

The U.S. agency believes that July 2019 is the hottest month in the history of the planet.

July 2019 temperatures were the hottest ever recorded globally, the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) said Thursday (15 August), confirming earlier observations by the European Union. “Much of the planet sweltered in unprecedented heat in July, as temperatures soared to new heights in the hottest month ever recorded. The record warmth also shrank Arctic and Antarctic sea ice to historic lows,” the agency said. According to the NOAA, the average global temperature in July was 0.95 degrees Celsius above the 20th century average of 15.8 degrees Celsius, making…

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Hong Kong Airport reopens after nightly clashes, massive protests

Hong Kong Airport reopens after nightly clashes, massive protests

Hong Kong’s airport resumed operations on Wednesday (14 August), rescheduling hundreds of flights that had been disrupted over the past two days as protesters clashed with riot police in a deepening crisis in the Chinese-controlled city. Ten weeks of increasingly violent clashes between police and pro-democracy protesters, angered by a perceived erosion of freedoms, have plunged the Asian financial hub into its worst crisis since it reverted from British to Chinese rule in 1997. About 30 protesters remained at the airport early on Wednesday while workers scrubbed it clean of…

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