Orban sticks to his guns
Politico reports Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban has reacted sharply to the suggestion by the German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas for an end to the principle of unanimity on EU foreign policy decisions. “The EU looks like a pathetic paper tiger,” Orban said following another veto by Hungary on the declarations condemning China and Russia. In a statement on his website, he confirmed that he was not willing to condemn China for Hong Kong, nor for anything else.
Probe into tax details of US super-rich leak
The Wall Street Journal reports US federal authorities are investigating the release of wealthy Americans’ tax information. The probe follows the publication by ProPublica, a non-profit news organisation, of details about the reported income and tax payments of some of the richest Americans. The vast trove of Internal Revenue Service data showed that over a span of 15 years, billionaires like Warren Buffett, Bill Gates, Rupert Murdoch, Jeff Bezos, Elon Musk and Mark Zuckerberg paid little in income tax compared to their massive wealth – sometimes, even nothing.
EU COVID certificate’s fate to be known today
L’Echo says the fate of the EU’s COVID-19 digital certificate, the tool that will facilitate travel to the Union during the pandemic and contribute to economic recovery, will be made known later today. Yestrday, members of the European Parliament voted twice: once on the certificate to facilitate the free movement of people during the COVID-19 pandemic and a second vote on the citizens of third countries legally residing or residing in the territory of the Member States during the pandemic.
UK: COVID infections up by 90% in a week
The number of COVID infections in the UK, fueled by the Delta variant (formerly Indian) has inceased by 90%. The Times says yesterday’s data pointed to another 6,048 cases out of nearly a million swabs. But the effect of vaccines, which reached 69 million doses, continues for now to curb the impact on the number of daily deaths (13 in the last 24 hours) and on the total number of people currently in British hospitals (954).
Families’ elation as Mladić loses appeal
Euronews reports relatives of victims of the 1995 Srebrenica massacre have welcomed the decision by a UN Tribunal to uphold the genocide conviction of the former Bosnian-Serb military commander Ratko Mladić. They said they were satisfied he would spend the rest of his life in jail.
Coin, stamps’ success at auction
A coin and two stamps, auctioned at Sotheby’s in New York, have been described as a collector’s dream. The best result was a rare $20 gold coin bearing the date of 1933, sold, according to Reuters, for $18.9 million. Less well known was a stamp in a single copy, the legendary ‘‘one cent magenta” from Guyana of 1857, sold for ‘‘only” $8.3 million against the $9.5 million paid to buy the rare piece in 2014. A block of the “inverted jenny”, the American air mail stamp issued in 1918 with the plane incorrectly printed upside down, fetched $4.9 million.