Angela Merkel – Merkel against US patent plan, Jersey tensions, Qatar finmin arrested – Delano
Berlin opposed to lifting vaccine patent protections
The German government has rejected Washington’s proposal to temporarily suspend intellectual property rights for covid-19 vaccines. The Biden administration said the move would boost global vaccine production. But “the limiting factor in vaccine manufacturing is production capacity and high quality standards, not patents,” stated a spokeswoman for Angela Merkel, the German chancellor. “The protection of intellectual property is a source of innovation and it must remain so in the future.” Earlier, Ursula von der Leyen, the European Commission president, said the EU was “ready to discuss” the US proposal, but did not express support for it. Sources: BBC, DW, Financial Times, The Guardian and New York Times.
Berlin proposes new climate goals
The German government said the country would target climate neutrality by 2045, five years earlier than its previous proposal, which was struck down by the country’s constitutional court. Sources: Bloomberg, DW, Euractiv, The Guardian and Reuters.
Jersey fishing tensions mount & recede
Mount: The European Commission said Jersey’s implementation of a new commercial fisheries license regime violated the terms of the EU-UK trade deal. Sources: Financial Times, The Guardian and Politico. Recede: Two British navy ships will return to their home port after French fisherman ended their protest off the Jersey coast. Sources: BBC, Channel 4 News and Reuters.
When to expect UK election results
Returns from polls held across the UK on Thursday–including for the Scottish and Welsh assemblies, and for local councils and mayors across England–are expected starting later today and through Monday. Sources: BBC, The Guardian and Telegraph.
US pledges support for Ukraine
Antony Blinken, the US secretary of state, told Ukraine’s president “that we stand strongly with you” during a meeting in Kyiv, referring to the recent buildup of Russian troops on the country’s border. Sources: BBC, Financial Times, France 24 and Reuters.
Qatar finance minister detained
Ali Sharif al-Emadi, Qatar’s finance minister since 2013, was arrested for questioning in an alleged corruption case. He has not yet made any public comment or appeared in court. Sources: Bloomberg, Financial Times and Reuters.
Arcelormittal posts ‘strongest quarter in a decade’
Luxembourg’s steelmaking giant Arcelormittal reported higher than expected first quarter earnings. Sources: Bloomberg, Delano, Reuters and Seeking Alpha.
AB Inbev chief stepping down
Carlos Brito will step aside after 15 years as CEO of AB Inbev on 1 July. The brewery group owns the Diekirch and Mousel brands in Luxembourg, as well as international brands including Beck’s, Budweiser, Corona and Jupiler. Sources: CNBC, Financial Times, Marketwatch and Seeking Alpha.
Rio Tinto shareholders reject ex-CEO pay package
61% Rio Tinto shareholders voted against a £2.7m bonus for the mining group’s former chief executive Jean-Sébastien Jacques, who left the company after it destroyed an Aboriginal heritage site. He still took home £7.2m. Sources: CityAM, Financial Times, The Guardian and Reuters.
SES announces share buyback
Shares in Luxembourg satellite operator SES were up after it posted strong earnings and said it would launch a €100m share buyback programme. Sources: Broadband TV News, CNBC, Delano and Via Satellite.
Luxtrust appoints new CEO
Digital identity provider Luxtrust named Fabrice Aresu its new chief executive. Sources: Delano and Paperjam.
ING switching branch opening hours
Starting in June, 12 out of 16 ING Luxembourg branches will be open by appointment only. Source: Paperjam.
Soc Gén to continue telework policy
The CEO of French banking group Société Générale told the Financial Times that many of its employees would be allowed to work from home 2 or 3 days a week after the pandemic.
Amazon delays Prime Day in Canada & India
E-commerce behemoth Amazon postponed its annual Prime Day sales in Canada and India due to the pandemic. Sources: Bloomberg, CNBC and Financial Times.
Latest Luxembourg covid-19 update
Out of 8,667 PCR tests conducted on 5 May, 162 Luxembourg residents were positive for covid-19. That is a rate of 25.52 new cases per 100,000 inhabitants (compared to 33.24 on 28 April). The reproduction rate was 0.84, below the target threshold of 1.00 (compared to 0.97). There were 86 covid-19 patients in hospital (compared to 95), including 33 in intensive care (compared to 36). One person died due to the coronavirus on Wednesday, bringing the national total to 801. A cumulative 220,251 vaccine doses have been administered, including 59,824 people who have received two inoculations (the government does not indicate how many people have received the single-dose J&J jab). Source: health ministry. Latest: Delano.
Here are 5 science & technology stories you may have missed
Climate change: “It is absolutely possible” that the entire world could be run on 100% renewable energy in the future, according to experts Gizmodo interviewed. Health: At least 11% of women experience at least one miscarriage during their lifetime and there are roughly 23m miscarriages worldwide each year, according to a series of papers in The Lancet, per the AFP. Psychology: Vox explained why marketers like to offer ‘free’ trials. Space exploration: The Griffin spacecraft carrying the Viper rover is scheduled to launch in 2023, when it will search for water ice on the Moon, per The Register. Space exploration: Nasa astronauts could bring homemade food on the board the space shuttle, per Task & Purpose.
Getting involved in Critical Mass
In a pair of guest contributions to Delano, find out why someone joins a Critical Mass ride and what organisers aim to accomplish.
Today’s breakfast briefing was written by Aaron Grunwald