Euractiv – Beatriz Ríos / Leaders edge closer to deal as EU recovery fund talks enter fourth day
- After hours of bilateral meetings which began at midnight on Sunday, European Council president Charles Michel called time at 6am on Monday morning. Michel is expected to present a new proposal that would rebalance the share of grants and loans at the request of the ‘Frugal Four’ states.
- Italy, Spain, Portugal and Greece would like to see a more ambitious recovery fund with sufficient firepower to prop up their public finances weakened by the health crisis and the lockdown measures to contain it. The EU is facing the worst recession in its history with economic output expected to fall by 8.3% across the bloc, according to the European Commission’s latest forecast, and up to 10% in the hardest-hit countries.
- The attitude of the frugals have caused unease among the rest of member states, particularly France and Germany who have sought to mediate in the negotiation, and fear that they are threatening a vitally needed financial support package necessary.
- The past few hours have seen public, open confrontation between member states. Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte described the negotiation as “the vast majority of countries” that “defend the European project” versus the “so-called frugal”. According to an EU source, chancellor Angela Merkel and President Emmanuel Macron even threatened to leave the negotiations
- Politico – David M. Herzesnhorn and Rym Momtaz / Emotions raw as EU budget summit stretches into fourth day
The Guardian – Staff and agencies / UK expected to suspend Hong Kong extradition treaty as China relations sour
- The UK is expected to suspend its extradition treaty with Hong Kong, according to multiple reports, amid a package of measures to be unveiled by foreign secretary Dominic Raab on Monday. It follows similar moves by the US or Canada in response to China’s new security law on Hong Kong.
- The UK has already promised that up to 3 million Hong Kong residents will be offered the chance to settle in the UK, and a path to permanent citizenship, in the wake of Beijing’s imposition of a sweeping and ill-defined national security law on Hong Kong.
- Beijing remains angry at the UK government’s decision last week to exclude Huawei from the 5G network, reversing a decision in January allowing it a limited role. The Chinese ambassador to the UK, Liu Xiaoming, said Beijing was still evaluating its response to the Huawei ruling.
- The government says Hong Kong’s new national security law violates the Sino-British Joint Declaration which was supposed to guarantee Hongkongers’ way of life for 50 years after the handover of the former British colony in 1997.
- Bloomberg – Kitty Donaldson / U.K set to halt Hong Kong extradition pact in ugly China fight.
Washington Post – Vannessa Williams and Sean Sullivan / Biden under pressure to shatter “cement ceiling” by naming a black woman to be his running mate
- Biden’s tenure with Obama was an eight-year relationship of trust, candor and respect, he says, a bond forged as fellow senators and presidential campaign rivals-turned-friends. As Biden told supporters recently, he wants someone who is “simpatico with me, both in terms of personality as well as substance.”
- But as Biden enters the final stretch of a decidedly unconventional search process — he has promised to pick a woman, and is vetting several African American contenders who would make history amid a growing racial justice movement.
- The killing of George Floyd, a black man who pleaded for his life as a Minneapolis police officer knelt on his neck for nearly nine minutes, has forced the nation to confront institutional racism and discrimination in a way that it didn’t even during the tenure of the first black president. Some activists have said that by choosing a black woman, Biden would make a statement.
- Black women consistently overperform for Democratic candidates, posting higher turnout rates than any other group during the presidential contests of 2008 and 2012. Although their percentage of the vote dropped in 2016, they still supported Clinton at a higher rate than any other group, with 94 percent casting their ballots for her.
- The Atlantic – Christian Paz / Joe Biden’s vicepresident could be the more powerful in history.
Bloomberg – Mari Yamaguchi and Victoria Milko / Arab world’s first missions to Mars starts with launch in Japan
- A United Arab Emirates spacecraft rocketed into blue skies from a Japanese launch center Monday at the start of a seven-month journey to Mars on the Arab world’s first interplanetary mission.
- Amal is set to reach Mars in February 2021, the year the UAE celebrates 50 years since the country’s formation. In September that year, Amal will start transmitting Martian atmospheric data, which will be made available to the international scientific community, Sharaf said.
- “It’s a huge step in terms of space exploration to have a nation like the UAE taking that giant leap to send a spacecraft to Mars,” said Fred Watson, Australia’s astronomer-at-large. “Being on route to a planet like Mars is an exceptional achievement.”
- Two other Mars missions are planned in coming days. China aims to explore the Martian surface with an orbiter and rover and to search for water and ice with a launch expected around Thursday. The U.S. plans to send a rover named Perseverance to search for signs of ancient life and collect rock and soil samples for return to Earth. Japan has its own Mars mission planned in 2024.
- Financial Times – Simon Kerr / UAE shoots for Mars in Arab’s world first space mission
Today’s long reads:
- The Atlantic – Adam Serwer / John Lewis was an American founder
- New York Times – David D. Kirkpatrick, Matt Apuzzo and Selam Gebrekidan / Europe said it was pandemic ready. Pride was its downfall.
The selected pieces do not necessarily reflect the views of Javier Solana and EsadeGeo. The summaries above may include word-for-word excerpts from their respective pieces.