BERLIN — Martin Selmayr was on a mission. The European Parliament election was still nine months off, but across the Continent populist forces were already roiling the political debate. Selmayr, who as the European Commission’s secretary-general is the institution’s top civil servant, was in Berlin to warn his compatriots that winter was coming. Standing on a sun-drenched rooftop overlooking what remains of the German capital’s imperial splendor in mid-September, the EU’s most-powerful bureaucrat took to a microphone to deliver an urgent appeal to an exclusive audience of senior German officials, including members of Chancellor Angela Merkel’s inner circle. “Make this election a competition for the best solutions for Europe, not a battle for or against Europe,” he urged them. What Selmayr didn’t say was that the Commission had joined forces with one of Europe’s most powerful foundations to keep the European debate on track. … [Read more...] about Europe, Inc.
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You can't blame the Americans at Monsanto any more. Europe's most politically inflammatory chemical — the ubiquitous weedkiller glyphosate — is now well and truly a German problem. Shareholders of the German chemical giant Bayer staged a full-blown revolt at a heated 13-hour meeting in Bonn on Friday, arguing that the management failed to see the company was inheriting a raft of nightmarish litigation associated with glyphosate, when it bought U.S. agrichemical giant Monsanto for $66 billion last year. The investors are furious that a blue-riband European company is now potentially exposed to billions of dollars of claims over the glyphosate-based weedkiller Roundup, created by Monsanto. Two U.S. court verdicts over the past year found that the world's most popular herbicide caused cancer, hauling shares in Bayer down about 40 percent since August. Bayer has appealed those decisions but is now facing an avalanche of some 13,400 claims. Ultimately only 44.48 … [Read more...] about Glyphosate revolt rocks Germany Inc
design Updated 24th January 2019 Vatican's Swiss Guards wear new 3D-printed helmets Written by Delia Gallagher, CNN For more than 500 years, Swiss Guards have protected the Pope at the Vatican wearing metal helmets which scorched their skin in the hot Roman sun -- but those days are over for the 120 members of the Holy See's private army. The old metal helmet has been replaced by a 21st century high-tech, 3D-printed version, made of UV-resistant PVC, a common type of plastic. The first wave of 95 helmets out of a total shipment of 150 has arrived at the Swiss Guard headquarters in the Vatican on Tuesday, where cadets prepared to wear them for the first time. They often have to stand still for several hours during papal events and Swiss Guard Nicolas Albert says the new helmet's hidden air vents are a major improvement. "There is more space between your head and the top of the helmet which lets the air flow through," he said. The new helmet is made of PVC, a type of … [Read more...] about Vatican’s Swiss Guards wear new 3D-printed helmets
German industry today launched a major offensive to ensure the next European Commission will take a harder line on China. Ahead of this year's European election, Germany's most influential industry federation is calling on Brussels to ramp up EU defenses against what it sees as unfair competition from Beijing. Crucially, its 54-point plan, obtained by POLITICO, seeks a bigger role for the European Commission's powerful competition unit as the EU tries to combat China's subsidized exports, industrial overcapacity and corporate buyouts. The proposals from the Federation of German Industries (BDI) offer a sign that Berlin and the EU are likely to gravitate toward a tougher position against Beijing after the departure of the more China-friendly U.K. from the 28-member bloc. "The People's Republic is establishing its own political, economic and social model," said BDI President Dieter Kempf. Politicians could no longer afford to "simply ignore the challenges China poses to the EU … [Read more...] about German industry seeks to push harder EU line on China
174 Comments By Newley Purnell and Newley Purnell The Wall Street Journal BiographyNewley Purnell @newley newley Google+ [email protected] Tripp Mickle Tripp Mickle The Wall Street Journal BiographyTripp Mickle @trippmickle [email protected] Dec. 18, 2018 10:20 a.m. ET Auto rickshaws drive past Apple iPhone X ads in Mumbai. Photo: francis mascarenhas/Reuters NEW DELHI—Amit Rajput, who runs a counter selling iPhones in a busy electronics shop here, cuts a lonely figure. He is lucky to sell one device a day, compared with the 10 or more smartphones his colleagues at desks for Samsung Electronics Co. , Nokia Corp. and China’s Oppo sell daily in the same store. As customers walk past his display, he recalls a different time in 2013 when he sold as many as 80 iPhones a day. Now most people want to pay less than $300 for their devices—a fraction of what Apple Inc.’s AAPL 1.30% newer models cost. Smartphone makers, facing … [Read more...] about ‘It’s Been a Rout’: Apple’s iPhones Fall Flat in World’s Largest Untapped Market