Stability Pact reform: EU flagship on net primary expenditure
The European Commission has adopted the guidance communication for the reform of EU economic governance. Net primary expenditure (without taking into account interest charges on debt) will be used as an indicator to define fiscal adjustment paths and for the surveillance of public accounts. The new system requires the Commission and EU member-states to agree on an adjustment path for the accounts over four years (extendable to seven), indicating priority reforms and investments. The repayment plan must be approved by the Board and its application will be monitored periodically. The Pact reform will require legislative changes but not changes to the Treaties. “We want to finally put growth and stability on the same level and work effectively to achieve both,” says EU Economy Commissioner Paolo Gentiloni. European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen addeed: “Debt sustainability and growth go hand in hand. Our new Stability and Growth Pact will focus on what matters. We need a simple and transparent common framework and stronger ownership by member states.”
‘Non-shipwrecked migrants on board NGO ships’ – Meloni
Italian Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni has claimed that on board the NGO ships carrying shipwrecked migrants seeking safe havens, there are migrants. She told elected representatives of her Fratelli d’Italia Party, “People have come aboard in international waters by trans-shipment from other naval liaison units and the ship that has taken charge of them is equipped to accommodate them and provide for all their needs. Legally, therefore, we are not talking about ‘castaways’ – a qualification resorted to under the SAR regime.” She underlined that “the Italian government is complying with all international conventions and the ban imposed on these NGO ships is justified and legitimate”.
‘Good day for America and democracy’ – Biden
US President Joe Biden has called the US midterm elections “a good day for America and democracy” after the Democrats seemingly defied bad polls to hold off a Republican surge. Biden also took a shot at former US president Donald Trump by declaring that a giant red wave “didn’t happen”. As of late Wednesday, Republicans were leading Democrats in the House 206-177, with 218 seats needed to win the majority. The Senate was still too close to call, with Republicans currently holding 49 seats and the Democrats 48. If Republicans do claim majority, Biden said he would work with them but would not support “any Republican proposal that’s going to make inflation worse”. Biden said it was his “intention” to run for president again in 2024.
Trump blames Melania
A furious Donald Trump spent the morning after the midterm elections lashing out at those he believed gave him bad advice – including his wfe Melania – as several of the candidates he endorsed in pivotal races came up short. Melania had advised him to back Mehmet Oz in the Pennsylvania senate race. Maggie Haberman of ‘The New York Times’ tweeted: “Trump is indeed furious this morning, particularly about Mehmet Oz, and is blaming everyone who advised him to back Oz, including his wife, describing it as not her best decision, according to people close to him.” Haberman added that there are people urging Trump to reschedule his expected 2024 presidential campaign announcement that’s currently expected to occur next week.
Dead Pennsylvania state lawmaker wins reelection
A Pennsylvania state lawmaker who died of cancer last month was re-elected by a crushing margin, news reports quoting preliminary results said. Tony DeLuca, a Democrat who represented a Pittsburgh suburb in the lower house of the state legislature, crushed Green Party challenger Zarah Livingston. But Deluca died of lymphoma on October 9 at the age of 85. It was too late to get his name off the ballot in Tuesday’s nationwide US legislative elections. DeLuca retained his seat with 86% of the votes in his race, with 98% of the ballots counted. A special election will now be held to decide who gets his seat.
China ponders climate compensation mechanism
China would be willing to help create a mechanism to help poorer countries negatively impacted by climate change, even as it has no obligation to do so, China’s climate envoy Xie Zhenhua told the COP27 climate conference in Egypt on Wednesday. A Chinese delegation spokesperson later said that while Beijing was willing to “cooperate” with developing countries, they would not make a financial contribution”, with Xie adding that China had already given hundreds of millions of dollars for such mitigation efforts.
Covid outbreak sparks curbs in southern China
Covid restrictions have increased in manufacturing powerhouse Guangzhou, following increasing outbreaks of coronavirus. The city accounted for 2,555 of the country’s 8,494 new infections on Wednesday. Authorities are opting for smaller lockdowns, shutting down district by district.
‘Over 100,000 Russian troops killed, wounded in Ukraine’
More than 100,000 Russian military personnel have been killed or wounded in Ukraine, with Kiev’s forces likely suffering similar casualties, top US General Mark Milley said Wednesday. The figures provided by the American Chief of Staff, in remarks at the Economic Club of New York, are the most precise to date from the United States government more than eight months into the war. Milley also said there is a chance for talks on ending the war, and that military victory may not be possible for either Russia or Ukraine.
Russia orders pullout from Kherson
Russian Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu on Wednesday ordered his troops to withdraw from the occupied Ukrainian city of Kherson and take up defensive lines on the opposite bank of the River Dnipro. In televised comments, General Sergei Surovikin, in overall command of the war, reported to Shoigu that it was no longer possible to keep Kherson city supplied. “I understand that this is a very difficult decision, but at the same time we will preserve the most important thing – the lives of our servicemen.”
‘UK Military Killed 64 Afghan Children’
The British Army paid compensation to the relatives of 64 children killed over nine years of military action in Afghanistan, according to the publication of a new investigation on Wednesday. Action on Armed Violence said the analysis, showed that between 2006 and 2014, the army compensated for 38 incidents involving 64 confirmed child fatalities.
Man detained for hurling eggs at King Charles, Camilla
A man was detained after “eggs went flying” towards King Charles and his wife Camilla during a special visit to the English city of York. The protester allegedly threw raw eggs at the royal couple as they were entering York through a medieval gateway where monarchs are traditionally welcomed to the city. None appeared to hit Charles and Camilla who appeared to be briefly surprised, but not perturbed.
Jennifer Aniston reveals fertility struggles
Jennifer Aniston has opened up about work, life and – for the first time – IVF in a wide-ranging and rare interview in today’s last issue of ‘Allure’ magazine. The 53-year-old star revealed for the first time that she had tried throughout her late 30s and 40s to have a baby. “All the years of speculation … It was really hard. I would’ve given anything… So here I am today. The ship has sailed.”
Schumacher’s Ferrari fetches record $15 m at auction
The Ferrari in which Formula One legend Michael Schumacher won the 2003 World Championship title sold for nearly $15 million at auction in Geneva on Wednesday. “This remarkable car has achieved a world record price for a modern-era Formula One,” the Sotheby’s auctioneer said after the F2003-GA, Chassis 229 car went under the hammer for 13 million Swiss francs ($13.2 million). When taxes and fees were added on, the final price stood at 14.6 million francs ($14.9 million), the auction house said later. The previous record was held by another Schumacher-driven Ferrari, an F2001 model sold by Sotheby’s in New York in 2017 for $7.5 million. The final price was offered by a bidder from Europe after a bidding war of more than 40 minutes.