Foreign ministers from the world's leading economies met face-to-face for the first time in two years on Monday, after a coronavirus-extended pause. Britain, which holds the G7 rotating presidency, has billed the event as a chance to reassert its influence and play a greater role in dealing with perceived threats from China and Russia . US, UK discuss Russia, China and Iran Dominic Raab, the UK foreign secretary, spoke alongside US Secretary of State Antony Blinken after the two met on Monday. They discussed NATO's withdrawal from Afghanistan, Iran, China and the threat posed by Russia. The pair warned Moscow that it must start respecting international law. Raab accused Russia of "saber-rattling" with its recent actions on the border with Ukraine . "The door for positive relations and diplomacy is always open to us," Britain's top diplomat told journalists. "But what has got to change is Russia's behavior," he said. "Whether it is the brinkmanship and the … [Read more...] about G7 foreign ministers meet ahead of Cornwall summit
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The European Union heads of state and government on Friday are set to discuss the bloc's social affairs strategy for the next decade at a high-level conference in Portugal. The meeting comes amid a crisis triggered by the pandemic, leaving thousands of people unemployed. The northern city of Porto will host EU chiefs and 24 of the 27 leaders, with Germany's Angela Merkel, the Netherlands' Mark Rutte and Malta's Robert Abele dialing in remotely. The conference also includes social partners and civil society. As they gather in person for the first time this year, those attending the summit must show negative COVID-19 tests, and social distancing rules remain in place. The leaders are also due to welcome Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi via video conference for an EU-India summit on Saturday. What is on the agenda? The coronavirus pandemic has pushed social issues to the top of the EU meeting agenda. Participants will discuss welfare and social protection as well as … [Read more...] about EU leaders to talk over social strategy in Porto summit
RYANAIR has been told to pay up to around £350 in compensation to customers who were affected by pilot strikes three years ago. Thousands of flights were cancelled or delayed in 2018 during summer when pilots and cabin crew walked out over strike action. The Sun reported at the time that 100,000 passengers, or around 600 flights, were affected. Ryanair refused to cough up compensation for affected customers, but the High Court ruled yesterday that the budget airline must pay out. Passengers flying to or from an EU airport get compensation if the flight is delayed for three hours or more — or if it’s cancelled and the airline is to blame. Payouts for short haul flights are around £218 (€250) and up to roughly £349 (€400) if it’s a long-haul one. But Ryanair said the 2018 strikes were due to “extraordinary circumstances”, and said it therefore didn’t have to pay up. Airline watchdog The Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) sued the airline later that year, arguing … [Read more...] about Ryanair told to pay up to £350 compensation to thousands of customers over pilot strikes THREE years ago
When Joe Biden boasted to world leaders last month that the US would halve its greenhouse emissions by 2030 from 2005 levels — urging his counterparts from countries like China and India to commit to stronger action — the US president left environmentalists unconvinced. The cuts are more ambitious than previous targets to burn less fossil fuel. But they will not stop the US from overshooting its fair share of the emissions that can be released to meet the 2015 Paris Agreement pledge to keep warming well below 2 degrees Celsius, and ideally 1.5C, according to independent research project Climate Action Tracker. This is a question of justice: The US has polluted the atmosphere more than any other economy on the planet and also has more money to deal with it. Factoring in those inequalities, Biden's pledge is "very close to or just within" the range of cuts needed to reach 2C, said Andreas Geiges, a researcher at Climate Analytics, which jointly runs the project. But it falls … [Read more...] about Climate justice: Do pledges ignore unequal emissions?
Australian cricketers Adam Zampa and Kane Richardson are on their way home after a frantic last minute dash to flee India hours before the borders closed. The Royal Challengers Bangalore players flew to Mumbai from their IPL bubble in Chennai on Monday planning to return home via Doha but were blindsided by Australia's ban on passenger flights from India. But the relieved pair managed to get tickets to Doha on Wednesday before securing seats on a chartered flight back to Australia, The Australian reported. Zampa and Richardson will land in Australia on Thursday and undergo 14 days of hotel quarantine. The pair fled as India's Covid crisis worsened on Wednesday with another 360,000 new cases. They were among almost 40 Australian players, coaches, officials and broadcast staff in the sub-continent nation for the Indian Premier League (IPL). Australian cricketer Adam Zampa (pictured with fiancee Harriet) has raced home to Australia before the borders with India … [Read more...] about Inside Aussie cricket stars’ 11th-hour escape from Covid-ravaged India – making it back Down Under with hours to spare