Johnson replaced by ice sculpture in TV debate
Channel 4, a British public broadcaster, “empty chaired” Boris Johnson, the UK’s prime minister, during a climate debate between party leaders. Johnson was substituted by a melting ice sculpture. His Conservative party lodged a formal complaint with the country’s media regulator and allegedly threatened to review Channel 4’s charter if it wins next month’s general election. Sources: BBC, Buzzfeed News, Channel 4 News, The Guardian, New York Times and Sky News. Background: Johnson was empty chaired by Luxembourg’s prime minister, Xavier Bettel, during a visit to the grand duchy in September, which drew Conservative criticism.
EU parliament wants climate action
The European Parliament declared a “climate emergency”, calling for the EU to cut greenhouse gas emissions faster than previously agreed and for the bloc to become climate neutral by 2050. Sources: Deutsche Welle, Euractiv, Financial Times and The Guardian.
Trump resumed Taliban talks
Luxembourg votes against EU tax avoidance scheme
12 EU countries, including Luxembourg and Ireland, blocked draft EU rules that would have required large companies to publicly report profits and taxes paid on a country-by-country basis. Sources: The Guardian, Irish Times and Politico.
Investors want shorter trading day
European asset managers are supporting their UK counterparts in calling for shorter stock market trading hours, to boost diversity and improve liquidity. Source: Financial Times. Earlier this month: CNBC and The Independent.
Rivals accuse Google of unfair shopping results
A unit of Axel Springer and 40 other shopping comparison sites have told the European Commission that Google still favours its own listings despite the tech giant paying a €2.4bn fine in 2017. Google said the 41 firms only represent 6.8% of comparison sites it searches. Sources: Reuters, The Telegraph and ZDnet.
Blocked teen back on Tiktok
The social media site Tiktok has reversed its ban on a 17 year old user who posted messages criticising China’s treatment of its Uighur minority disguised as makeup tips. Sources: BBC, CNBC and Reuters.
Rescued koala bear did not survive
Saturday 30 November-Sunday 1 December: 59th edition of the International Bazaar. Tuesday 3 December & Wednesday 4 December, 5:30pm-7:30pm: House of Entrepreneurship workshops on complying with GDPR. Wednesday 4 December, 8:30am-10am: British Chamber of Commerce workshop on the workplace of the future. Thursday 5 December, 8:15am-9:30am: Delano Breakfast Talk on reviewing AML/KYC processes. Tuesday 10 December, 6:30pm: Delano Live 2019 in review and look ahead at 2020 (enter to win free passes). Friday 13 December, 12noon: British Chamber of Commerce Christmas luncheon.
Here are 3 business & finance stories you may have missed
British energy providers: National Grid set up holding companies in Luxembourg and Hong Kong, and SSE set up a subsidiary in Switzerland, to safeguard against the Labour party’s pledge to nationalise utilities if it wins next month’s UK general election, per Marketwatch. Health & safety: An Amazon fulfillment centre in New York City had a worker injury rate three times the US national average during the last four months of 2018, but Amazon called the report “biased and unreliable,” per Gizmodo. Diversity: 10.5% of venture capital firm partners in the US are named David, Michael or Jeff, per Crunchbase News.
Here are 5 science & technology stories you may have missed
Robotic score: Bloomberg looked at the startups using artificial intelligence to compose music, including Luxembourg-based Aiva Technologies. Artificial intelligence: Researchers are testing Ikea furniture assembly robots, per The Register. Astronomy: A recent study suggests the universe is a relatively spry 11.4bn years old, not the previously accepted age of 13.7bn years old, per the Associated Press. Telecommunications: Meteorologists have warned that a recent international agreement will not prevent 5G mobile networks from interfering with weather observation satellites, per Nature. Space race: Luxembourg has been joined by Portugal, Paraguay, the Philippines and at least 9 other smaller countries in launching space agencies in the past decade, leading MIT Technology Review to declare that “the age of the small space agency is here.”
Cinematic fashion statements
Today’s breakfast briefing was written by Aaron Grunwald