EU to issue formal complaints to carmakers over emissions collusion: Handelsblatt | Reuters


The European anti-trust watchdog plans to send formal complaints to BMW, Daimler and Volkswagen this spring, in which the EU regulator will make detailed allegations regarding collusion on emissions of diesel engines, Handelsblatt reported on Wednesday.

In a so-called “Statement of Objections” the EU is expected to detail its allegations, which may result in fines for the carmakers.

Source: EU to issue formal complaints to carmakers over emissions collusion: Handelsblatt | Reuters

Satellite images show buildings still standing at Indian bombing site | Reuters


High-resolution satellite images reviewed by Reuters show that a religious school run by Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM) in northeastern Pakistan appears to be still standing days after India claimed its warplanes had hit the Islamist group’s training camp on the site and killed a large number of militants.

The images produced by Planet Labs Inc, a San Francisco-based private satellite operator, show at least six buildings on the madrasa site on March 4, six days after the airstrike.

The image is virtually unchanged from an April 2018 satellite photo of the facility. There are no discernible holes in the roofs of buildings, no signs of scorching, blown-out walls, displaced trees around the madrasa or other signs of an aerial attack.

Source: Satellite images show buildings still standing at Indian bombing site | Reuters

U.N. urges social media, investors to promote human rights in Myanmar | Reuters


Social media firms and foreign investors must do more to ensure they support human rights in Myanmar, U.N. Special Rapporteur Yanghee Lee said on Tuesday, suggesting Facebook was failing to treat parties to the country’s conflict even-handedly.

Myanmar has been trying to attract foreign investors and divert attention from 730,000 Rohingya Muslims who have fled the country since 2017. A U.N. inquiry blamed the exodus on a military campaign with “genocidal intent”, which the government denies.

Source: U.N. urges social media, investors to promote human rights in Myanmar | Reuters

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Division! Brexit stretches arcane British parliament to breaking point | Reuters


After months of drama and delay, the country’s fate could be decided next week in a series of Brexit votes in which lawmakers must choose one of two wood-panelled corridors to shuffle down inside the neo-gothic Westminster palace.

Each vote, known as a division, takes about 15 minutes. If it takes too long, the Serjeant-at-Arms, dressed in shiny black shoes, knee-high socks and a long woollen suit, will be sent bearing a ceremonial sword to investigate.

Rich in pageantry and theater, Westminster’s parliamentary format has been adapted, modernized and exported to more than two dozen countries across the globe.

But with less than a month until Britain is due to leave the European Union on March 29, the largely unreformed template is struggling to deliver on a deeply divisive decision that has shattered the traditional left versus right party loyalties.

Source: Division! Brexit stretches arcane British parliament to breaking point | Reuters

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U.N. rights boss regrets Israel dismissal of Gaza killings report | Reuters


United Nations human rights chief Michelle Bachelet said on Wednesday that she regretted Israel’s “immediate dismissal” of a U.N. report on its security forces killing protesters in Gaza “without addressing any of the very serious issues raised”.

Independent U.N. investigators found last week that Israeli security forces may have committed war crimes and crimes against humanity in killing 189 Palestinians and wounding more than 6,100 at weekly protests in Gaza last year.

Source: U.N. rights boss regrets Israel dismissal of Gaza killings report | Reuters

Philip Morris paid for India manufacturing despite ban on foreign investment  | Reuters


Philip Morris International Inc has for years paid manufacturing costs to its Indian partner to make its Marlboro cigarettes, circumventing a nine-year-old government ban on foreign direct investment in the industry, internal company documents reviewed by Reuters showed.

The Indian government in 2010 prohibited foreign direct investment (FDI) in cigarette manufacturing, saying the measure would enhance its efforts to curb smoking.

Restricting foreign investment leaves cigarette manufacturing largely in the hands of domestic players, and is supposed to prevent any foreign-funded expansion.

A year after the government’s decision, Japan Tobacco exited India, citing an “unsustainable business model”.

Source: Exclusive: Philip Morris paid for India manufacturing despite ban on foreign investment – documents | Reuters

Breadth of Trump probe poses challenge for Dems | TheHill

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The House Judiciary Committee’s newly launched probe into President Trump’s administration, business and campaign is likely to dominate the panel’s work over the coming months.

The investigation threatens to dog the president well into the 2020 race, and Trump is already lashing out at House Democrats for “playing games” and trying to bruise his reelection chances.

Source: Breadth of Trump probe poses challenge for Dems | TheHill

Trump to battle investigations with condemnation and lawyers


The White House has beefed up its legal team. Its political team is ready to distract and disparage. And President Donald Trump is venting against Democratic prying.

Trump’s plan for responding to the multiplying congressional probes into his campaign, White House and personal affairs is coming into focus as newly empowered Democrats intensify their efforts.

Deploying a mix of legal legwork and political posturing, the administration is trying to minimize its exposure while casting the president as the victim of overzealous partisans.

“It’s a disgrace, it’s a disgrace for our country,” Trump said at the White House on Tuesday as he accused Democrats of “presidential harassment.”

Source: Trump to battle investigations with condemnation and lawyers

Five economic development takeaways from the Amazon HQ2 bids


Amazon’s decision to cancel its New York headquarters investment has led to intense debate among academics, politicians, and civil society.

The split culminated Amazon’s very public search process in which 238 U.S. cities submitted detailed bids to the company to host its “second headquarters,” or HQ2. Many of these bids remain secret, shielded from public records laws due to exceptions to public disclosure of economic development projects, or the use of non-public entities, such as Chambers of Commerce, to submit the bid.

But for 26 publicly-released bids, we have a rare opportunity to peek under the hood of U.S. regional economic development.

Here are five main takeaways from a review of these bids.

.. The Amazon HQ2 process highlights what is both right and what is wrong about economic development in the United States.

Source: Five economic development takeaways from the Amazon HQ2 bids

How a focus on national service can unify our divided country

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A proven technique in peace talks, labor disputes, and many other types of difficult negotiations is to begin by finding some type of common ground upon which antagonistic parties can agree. But in today’s political climate, everything seems difficult.

So why not seek the common ground of helping our young people benefit from the experience of service—service of a kind that changes almost everyone who does it for the better?

Source: How a focus on national service can unify our divided country