Brexit: Furious UK rejects ‘eye-watering’ EU demand
The Daily Expess says British Prime Minister Boris Johnson has ‘furiously’ rejected paying the ‘extortionate’ Brexit divorce bill. As part of the Brexit deal with the EU, Britain agreed to pay a divorce fee to the bloc, estimated to be around €41 billion. But new Brussels estimates put the sum at €47.5 billion, prompting the UK Government to hit out. The bill includes the UK’s share of the bloc’s debts and liabilities during its 47 years of membership, and includes paying for infrastructure projects and pensions of Brussels officials.
EU ‘CO2 emissions reduction package’ next week
L’Echo quotes European Commissioner for Economic Affairs Paolo Gentiloni saying Brussels ispreparing “a great package” on the reduction of CO2 emissions. He said the proposal, to be presented next week during the G20 high-level fiscal symposium, will be based on three elements: the extension of the CO2 emissions trading system to new sectors; the revision of the 20-year-old directive on energy taxation, which encourages fossil fuels; and a study of a carbon border adjustment mechanism. Regarding the carbon tax, Gentiloni said it was “now or never”.
Haiti asks UN, US for troops
Haiti has asked the United Nations and the United States for troops to protect key infrastructure as the country reels from Wednesday’s asassination of President Jovenel Moise. CNN reports the White House saying that there were no plans at present to send military forces. Meanwhile, UNICEF has said it was “deeply concerned” that about a third of all children in Haiti – some 1.5 million – are in urgent need of help due to growing violence, limited access to drinking water, health and nutrition, the interruption of education and protection services during COVID-19, and hurricanes.
New peak of COVID cases hits the UK
The Guardian says a new peak of COVID infections has hit the UK. According to government data, in the last 24 hours, 35,707 have been registered (now 99% fed by the Delta variant). On the other hand, total hospital admissions (about 100 more patients) remain in a lower proportion – thanks to the effect attributed to vaccinations – while the daily deaths even drop from 35 to 29. The vaccines administered meanwhile exceed 80 million, with double dose to 65.3% of over 18s and at least one dose to almost 87%.
Tighter lockdown returns in Sydney
Sydney Morning Herald reports five million Sydney residents are no longer allowed to leave their homes “unless absolutely necessary”. The announcement came as infections set a new record (44 new cases in 24 hours) with the Delta variant now out of control and where less than 10% of the population is vaccinated. Sydney is now in its third week of lockdown.
15 more bodies found in Florida apartment debris
The Miami Herald says teams working on the debris of an apartment bloc that partially collapsed in Florida two weeks ago, have pulled another 15 bodies from the wreckage, bringing the number of confirmed dead to 79. The recovery left 61 people still missing and feared dead.
7,800 in Maracana Stadium for Copa America final
O Globo reports that authorities in Rio de Janiero, a city worst hit by the pandemic, have given the green light for 7,800 fans to attend the Copa American final between Brazil and Argentina, to be played in the early hours of Sunday morning (2 am Malta time). The match, which will take place at the iconic Maracana Stadium, will be the first to have spectators since the tournament started. The stadium will be only at 10% of the ground’s overall capacity. Strict COVID-19 measures will be observed. Meanwhile, early this morning, Columbia won third place, beating Peru 3-2.