World promises Lebanon 250 million euros to be delivered “directly” to the population

World promises Lebanon 250 million euros to be delivered “directly” to the population

World leaders on Sunday (9 August) pledged more than €250 million for disaster-struck Lebanon, conference host France said, with the emergency aid to be delivered “directly” to a population reeling from the deadly port blast in Beirut. Fifteen government leaders including US President Donald Trump took part in the virtual conference hosted by French President Emmanuel Macron and the UN, pledging solidarity with the Lebanese people and promising to muster “major resources” in the coming days and weeks. A joint statement issued after the meeting in which representatives of nearly…

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Sharp fall in the number of job vacancies in Flanders

Sharp fall in the number of job vacancies in Flanders

The Flemish Employment Minister Hilde Crevits (Christian democrat) has told journalists that last month there was sharp fall in the number of job vacancies in our region. Last month the number of job vacancies on the books at the Flemish Employment and Vocational Service VDAB was well down on the number of vacancies in July 2019. The news of the sharp year-on-year decrease in July comes after the hopeful figures released for the month of June. In June VDAB had received as many new vacancies as had been the case…

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Polestar 2 first drive: Why Tesla might not be the competition for this particular EV

Polestar 2 first drive: Why Tesla might not be the competition for this particular EV

Polestar, the one-time performance brand of Volvo, has now branched out on its own as a fully-fledged automaker. It took a big step forward in its mission to be a real player in the electric vehicle (EV) space, with the introduction of its latest offering, the Polestar 2. Now I was a fan of its first vehicle, the performance-hybrid Polestar 1, which is only being sold in minimum quantities in the U.S. at a price north of $150,000. The Polestar 1 got the brand [which is owned by China’s Geely…

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Zelenskiy’s friend, oligarch, accused by the US of stealing and laundering billions of dollars

Zelenskiy’s friend, oligarch, accused by the US of stealing and laundering billions of dollars

The Justice Department of the United States accused on Tuesday (6 August) Ihor Kolomoysky, an oligarch considered close to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy, of stealing billions from a bank he owned, and of laundering this money over the world. Zelenskiy, a former comedian, is known to have longstanding business ties to Igor Kolomoisky, one of Ukraine’s most powerful oligarchs. Civil cases in the US allege that Kolomoisky helped siphon $5 billion from PrivatBank, a Ukrainian bank that he and Gennadiy Boholiubov opened in 1992. They fleeced the bank out of…

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EU invests €350 million in plant to create greenest PSU available

EU invests €350 million in plant to create greenest PSU available

The European Investment Bank issued a €350 million loan on Thursday (30 July) to a Swedish company that hopes to corner a significant share of the global battery market by building the greenest power packs available. Northvolt is currently constructing its gigafactory in northern Sweden, where the firm intends to use 100% renewable energy and locally-sourced raw materials to manufacture lithium-ion battery cells, predominantly for use in electric vehicles. The EIB already stumped up funding for a demonstrator project back in 2018, which did enough to convince the Luxembourg-based lender…

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Moscow shouts about the planned tax on carbon emissions in the EU

Moscow shouts about the planned tax on carbon emissions in the EU

Russia’s economic development minister warned last week that the EU’s plans to deploy a carbon tax at the bloc’s borders will not be in line with World Trade Organisation (WTO) rules, just as Brussels doubled down on the idea of green tariffs. Maxim Reshetnikov said that Moscow “is extremely concerned by attempts to use the climate agenda to create new barriers”, following a meeting of the BRICS emerging economy nations last Thursday (23 July). “We see a danger in this, including in the initiative to create a carbon adjustment mechanism…

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Norwegian mega-carbon capture project worth 2.1 billion euros gets approved

Norwegian mega-carbon capture project worth 2.1 billion euros gets approved

The Norwegian government’s decision to fund the scale-up of carbon-capture-storage (CCS) technology with more than €2 billion got the green light from a state aid regulator on Friday (17 July). It is the largest tranche of funding ever approved by the European Free Trade Association (EFTA) body. Norway has been cleared to pay 80% of the costs on a large-scale CCS project by the state aid regulator of the EFTA, which hailed the plan as a “groundbreaking step towards tackling climate change”. EFTA’s Surveillance Authority (ESA) ensures that Norway, Iceland…

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BMW signed a contract for 2 billion euros with a Swedish company

BMW signed a contract for 2 billion euros with a Swedish company

German carmaker BMW signed a battery-supply contract worth €2 billion with Swedish manufacturer Northvolt this week, in the latest example of Europe’s big auto firms preparing for a massive ramp-up in electric vehicle production. Northvolt will start building batteries in northeast Sweden from 2024 at a factory powered by renewable energy, which will also be able to recycle used power packs. Carmakers are now scrambling to secure a share of the projected output. BMW’s Andreas Wendt, a member of the firm’s management board, said that “signing this contract is another…

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EIB official: 200 billion euros needed to create broadband infrastructure in rustic territories of the EU

EIB official: 200 billion euros needed to create broadband infrastructure in rustic territories of the EU

Europe will need to invest approximately €200 billion in order for citizens in its rural areas to have broadband access of at least 100 megabits per second, according to Harald Gruber, the projects head of division of digital infrastructure at the European Investment Bank (EIB). Speaking at an event organised by EURACTIV on 9 July, Gruber emphasised the need to push the private sector in this direction. “Clearly this is not achievable with subsidies, so you have to use public money smartly,” Gruber said, adding that it is essential to…

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Analysts state that EU budget plan misses the mark regarding climate goals

Analysts state that EU budget plan misses the mark regarding climate goals

A European Commission proposal for the European Union’s long-term budget and recovery fund risks leaving a huge shortfall in the “green” investment needed to meet Europe’s climate goals, researchers said on Tuesday (14 July). With the coronavirus pandemic plunging the EU into a deep recession, leaders from its 27 countries will meet in Brussels on Friday to attempt to agree the bloc’s budget for 2021-27 and an economic stimulus fund. The EU Commission has proposed a €1.85 trillion package, which it says will drive a recovery in Europe’s virus-hit economies…

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