Ursula von der Leyen, Germany’s defence minister, aims to become the first female European Commission president. Pictured: Ursula von der Leyen meets with Jean-Claude Juncker, the current head of the EU executive, in Brussels, 4 July 2019. Photo: European Commission
Trump doubles down on racist tweets, trade war hits Chinese GDP growth and Amazon Prime Day protests. Delano’s breakfast briefing for Tuesday.
Von der Leyen lays out promises ahead of EU confirmation vote
MEPs vote on the nomination of Ursula von der Leyen as European Commission president starting at 6pm. Ahead of what’s expected to be a tough ballot, von der Leyen made last minute pledges on cutting carbon emissions, an EU minimum wage and unemployment scheme, gender quotas on company boards, and promised to resign as German defence minister regardless of this evening’s outcome. Sources: Deutsche Welle, Financial Times, Guardian, Politico and Reuters.
Trump defends racist tweets
Donald Trump rejected criticism that his recent tweets about four congresswomen were racist, saying anyone “not happy” in the US “can leave.” One of the four, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, called the comments a “distraction”. Sources: Deutsche Welle, Guardian, NBC News and Reuters.
Trade war with US dampens Chinese economic growth
China’s economy grew 6.2% during the second quarter (compared to 6.4% in the first quarter), the lowest figure since 1992. But other numbers, such as industrial production, investment and retail sales, were better than expected. Sources: CNBC, Reuters and South China Morning Post.
Mnuchin expresses Libra doubts
The treasury secretary Steven Mnuchin said Facebook’s proposed cryptocurrency, Libra, could be abused by “money launderers and terrorist financiers”. Sources: BBC, Financial Times and Reuters.
Xoom into Europe
Paypal said it would expand Xoom, its international money transfer service which competes with Western Union, into 32 European markets, including Luxembourg. Source: Reuters and company press release.
Stella McCartney partners with LVMH
The French luxury goods group LVMH has taken a minority stake in the sustainable-focused British fashion house Stella McCartney. McCartney recently cut ties Kering, LVMH’s rival conglomerate. Sources: Financial Times, Guardian and New York Times.
Prime Day protests
Workers at Amazon facilities in Germany, Poland, Spain, the UK and US protested pay and working conditions during the e-commerce firm’s big “Prime Day” marketing push. Amazon said it “provided great employment opportunities with excellent pay”. Sources: AFP/The Local, BBC and Marketwatch.
FT examines EIB lending practices
The Financial Times profiled the European Investment Bank, which the newspaper called a “big-volume, ultra-conservative lender in a period of flux.”
Turing honoured by Bank of England
Alan Turing, a pioneering computer scientist whose codebreaking helped shorten the second world war but was later persecuted for being gay, will be the face of the new £50 note. Sources: BBC, CNN and Marketwatch.
Wednesday 17 July, 6pm: Free entry and free guided tour in English at Mudam. Thursday 18 July, 9pm: Comedy open mic night at the Updown Bar.
Ex-airport terminal now hotel
GQ visited the former TWA terminal building, originally designed by Eero Saarinen and opened in 1962, that was recently converted into a hotel at New York’s John F Kennedy airport.
Japanese car rental agencies discovered that roughly 1 in 8 of their customers use hired vehicles to catch up on sleep, make personal phone calls, practice speaking English, store luggage and other non-driving activities, according to the Guardian.