Jury awards Depp $15 million in libel case, $2 million to Heard
A US jury awarded Johnny Depp $15 million in a libel lawsuit he brought against ex-wife Amber Heard for claiming she was abused in a ‘Washington Post’ op-ed. But the same jury also awarded Heard $2 million in her countersuit, finding that she was defamed when Depp’s lawyer claimed her allegations of abuse were ‘a hoax’. Depp’s award is a far cry from the $50 million he demanded. The verdicts bring an end to a televised trial that Depp had hoped would help restore his reputation, though it turned into a spectacle of a vicious marriage. Fans, overwhelmingly on Depp’s side, lined up overnight to grab a seat in the courtroom. Spectators who couldn’t get in lined up on the street to cheer Depp and jeer Heard whenever either appeared outside.
Poland funds linked to independence of judges – von der Leyen
The approval of the Polish recovery and resilience plan “is linked to clear commitments by Poland on the independence of the judiciary that must be respected before any effective payment can be made,” European Commission president Ursula von der Leyen, said yuesterday in a note greeting the green light to the Pnrr of Poland. “I look forward to the implementation of these reforms,” she added. The Pnrr of Poland, reads the Commission, provides for intermediate objectives relating to aspects of the independence of the judiciary, of particular importance for improving the investment climate and creating the conditions for effective implementation of the recovery plan. The positive assessment adopted by the Commission will earn Poland €35.4 billion – €23.9 million in grants and €11.5 million in loans. The plan includes 42.7% of measures dedicated to climate transition, and 21.3% to the digital one. The EU Council now has four weeks to adopt the Commission proposal.
EU seal to sanctions postponed
The meeting of 27 EU ambassadors that was supposed to give the formal green light to the sixth package of sanctions ended after Hungary asked to exclude Russian Patriarch Kirill from the list of EU sanctions. As a consequence, new “negotiations” would have to be opened with Budapest in a new meeting.
Russians enter the centre of Severodonetsk
The Ukrainian Defense Ministry has annouinced that “the enemy has reached the centre of Severodonetsk and is trying to gain a foothold there”. A Ministry spokesman is quoted saying: “Now the enemy has concentrated its maximum reserves there to reach the Lugansk region border. Their main tactical objective now is to take full control of the city of Severodonetsk. They also want to surround Lysychansk.”
Moscow lies, sanctions do not hit grain – Blinken
US Secretary of State Antony Blinken has accused Moscow of telling “lies” when it claims that Western sanctions prevent it from exporting cereals. He noted the restrictions “provide for exemptions for food”. Blinken added that the “best” way to avoid the risks of an escalation is for Moscow to “stop the aggression against Ukraine”. But at the moment, he added, the US still expects “many months” of conflict.
Do not use wheat as a weapon of war – Pope
Pope Francis has appealed for nations in the Russia-Ukraine conflict “not to use wheat, staple food, as a weapon of war”. Launching the appeal at the end of the general audience, the Pope said: “The blocking of grain exports from Ukraine on which the lives of millions of people depend, especially in the poorest countries, is of great concern’ guarantee the universal human right to feed.”
Economic hurricane warning
JPMorgan’s chief executive Jamie Dimon has warned the world to “get ready” for the economic hurricane caused by the Fed and the war in Ukraine. He recalled that in the past week he had in fact spoken of ‘storm clouds’ over the economy, but now, he says, “I change into a hurricane”, adding that no one knows its extent, or if it will be a “minor” phenomenon or one like that hit New York in recent years.
5 dead in Tulsa shooting
Five people were killed in Tulsa, Oklahoma, when a man armed with a rifle broke into the campus of St. Francis hospital, before taking his own life. First indications show he wanted to hit a hospital doctor in particular. The police said the shotgun used was semi-automatic. Wednesday’s incident in Tulsa came on the heels of mass shootings that have reignited debates about gun control.
Too many weapons and violence, says NY mayor
New York Mayor Eric Adams is evaluating the possibility of declaring a state of emergency for violence with firearms in the city, according to ‘The New York Times’. The daily quotes sources, according to which Adams intends to appoint a ‘tsar’ to prevent violence in the city. Between 2019and 2021, firearms incidents in New York doubled from 777 to 1,562, rising to the highest levels since 2006.
‘Queen kicks off the party’
The majority of Thursday’s UK national papers lead with the launch of the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee celebrations. “It is a moment that has been 70 years in the making,” the Daily Express reports, as Britain celebrates its first Platinum Jubilee for a reigning monarch. The paper shows the Queen posed on a window seat at Windsor Castle in a photograph issued on Wednesday by Buckingham Palace. The Daily Telegraph reports on the Queen’s message to the nation that it can look to the future with “confidence and enthusiasm”. Millions of people are expected to thank the Queen for her lifetime of service, the i reports, adding that celebrations will start today with Trooping the Colour in London and the lighting of beacons throughout the UK and Commonwealth.
202 new Monkeypox cases in the EU
Over 200 monkeypox cases have been confirmed in EU member states and 136 confirmed cases have been reported outside the EU, according to the latest bulletin of the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC). The new cases include: Spain (69), Portugal (59), the Netherlands (20), Germany (16), France (12), Italy (9), Belgium (6), Czech Republic (4), Ireland (2), Sweden (2), Finland (1), Malta (1) and Slovenia (1). Since the beginning of the epidemic, 321 cases have been confirmed in the EU and 557 in the rest of the world.
Football: Ukraine stun Scots to set up Wales play-off final
A heroic Ukraine roused a performance of spirit, endeavour and courage that stunned Scotland and earned them a historic World Cup play-off final against Wales. Andriy Yarmolenko and Roman Yaremchuk struck either side of half-time, before Callum McGregor gave Scotland hope late on. But Artem Dovbyk sealed a Qatar 2022 showdown in Cardiff on Sunday with the last kick of the ball.While images of fans watching on in war-torn Ukraine circulated, 3,500 fans bedecked in light blue and yellow celebrated wildly in Glasgow.
Impressive Argentin beat Italy in the Finalissima
Lionel Messi and Angel di Maria shone as Argentina beat Italy at Wembley in the Finalissima – a renewal of the contest between the champions of Europe and South America. Messi’s run and cross set up the opener for Lautaro Martinez, who then turned provider for Di Maria to chip a second. Substitute Paulo Dybala rounded off a handsome win in injury time. Italian defender Giorgio Chiellini played the first half of what was his 118th and final international match. The contest is the first between the two continental champions in 29 years. It is a revival of the Artemio Franchi Cup, competed for twice before – in 1985, when France beat Uruguay and in 1993, when Argentina beat Denmark on penalties.