Global Review – 28th October

EU Court fines Poland €1million a day

The EU Court of Justice has condemned Poland to pay the European Commission a daily penalty of one million euros for failing to suspend the application of national provisions relating to the jurisdiction of the disciplinary chamber of the Supreme Court. The ruling said that compliance with the provisional measures ordered on July 14, by the EU Court, is necessary in order to avoid serious and irreparable damage to the legal order of the European Union as well as to the values ​​on which the Union is founded, in particular that of the rule of law. Commenting on the ruling, Piotr Muller, spokesman for Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki, wrote, “The question of the organization of the judiciary is the exclusive competence of member states”, adding that “The Polish government has publicly spoken of the need to introduce changes in this sector. The path of punishment and blackmail towards our country is not the right one”.

Xi urges a ‘new arms situation’

Chinese President Xi Jinping has urged the creation of a “new situation” in the construction and management of military weapons and equipment, part of the efforts to reach a world-class category of armed forces. He was speaking at a conference attended by the military leaders who discussed a report on the detailed implementation of strengthening the army and the construction of a “modern management of weapons and equipment to create a completely new situation”.

Taiwan President sure the US will defend them

Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen has told CNN she was sure and confident that the United States would defend the island in case of aggression by China. The leader of Taiwan, the island thrust into the centre of rising tensions between the United States and China, said the threat from Beijing was growing “every day” as for the first time she confirmed the presence of American troops on Taiwanese soil “for training purposes”. Earlier this month, China’s military sent a record number of warplanes into the air around Taiwan while diplomats and state-run media warned of a possible invasion.

Pope to visit Canada for indigenous reconciliation

Pope Francis has agreed to visit Canada to assist with ongoing reconciliation efforts with indigenous groups, the Vatican said on Wednesday. The trip follows disturbing revelations this spring about the indigenous children who died while attending residential schools. The Pope has already invited an indigenous delegation from Canada to the Vatican and three groups will meet with him between 17 and 20 December. The date of the papal visit to Canada has not yet been announced.

COVID cases on the rise in Europe

As Johns Hopkins University notched 245,643 new COVID-19 cases, EU health commissioner Stella Kyriakides has warned that infections were on the rise again in all member states and has appealed for citizens to follow rules and get vaccinated. Eastern European countries – notably Poland, the Czech Republic, Bulgaria and Hungary – are seeing new cases surge to the highest levels since the beginning of the pandemic.

UK Chancellor Sunak’s spending spree

The UK budget features heavily in this morning’s London papers. The Guardian sums it up as “spend now, cut taxes later”, and says that Chancellor Rishi Sunak intends to cut taxes before the next general election. It also reports green groups have criticised cuts to air passenger duty for domestic flights just days before the COP26 climate summit in Glasgow. “The bankers’ budget” is how the Daily Mirrordescribes it, under the headline “Champagne for the rich… real pain for the poor”. The paper says that the “tax on bubbly [is] cut as the cost of living is set to soar”. Under a picture of Sunak and the prime minster lifting beer kegs, the Daily Mail declares: “The drinks are on us”. While the paper says business rates have been slashed and beer and Prosecco is cheaper, it does have a warning for the chancellor: “Keep your tax cut vow”.

Banned anti-Biden song kicks Adele out of No.1 spot

A controversial new rap song mocking US President Joe Biden has rocketed to the top of the iTunes charts, booting Adele from the No.1 spot – even after getting banned on YouTube and Instagram for spreading “harmful false information.” Let’s Go Brandon, released last week by avowed President Donald Trump supporter Bryson Gray, has been sitting at No.1 since Sunday, when it refused to fulfill the lyrical request of Adele’s much-hyped comeback single Easy On Me. The 30-year-old rapper, whobelieves his single shot to No.1 because of the YouTube ban, composed his song earlier this month in response to NBC’s coverage of a NASCAR race in Alabama on October 2, when crowds were heard chanting, F**k Joe Biden, but an NBC anchor insisted they were actually chanting, Let’s go, Brandon, in reference to a win by race car driver Brandon Brown.

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