Nicaragua in Crisis: What to Know | Council on Foreign Relations


Not long ago Nicaragua seemed to be an island of calm in an otherwise turbulent corner of the world.

The country was one of the poorest in the hemisphere and long ruled by a leftist autocrat and his wife, but its economy was plugging along and its streets were peaceable, particularly in comparison to its Northern Triangle neighbors—El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras.

But now it is coping with its own political and economic crisis.

What happened? How did conditions spiral so quickly?

Source: Nicaragua in Crisis: What to Know | Council on Foreign Relations

Macron unveils Franco-German plan to give electric battery industry a jolt | EURACTIV.com


France will invest €700 million over the next five years into projects to boost the European electric car battery industry and reduce its carmakers’ reliance on dominant Asian rivals, President Emmanuel Macron said on Wednesday.

“The project will lead to the building of two battery factories, one in France and the other one in Germany,” Macron said in a speech to the Paris-based International Organization of Motor Vehicle Manufacturers.

The plan comes after Germany in November set aside €1 billion to support battery cell production to reduce dependence on Asian suppliers and shore up jobs at home that may be at risk from the shift away from combustion engines.

Source: Macron unveils Franco-German plan to give electric battery industry a jolt – EURACTIV.com

The beacon of sustainable finance in Europe must not lose its flame | EURACTIV.com


It’s been exactly a year since the HLEG released its Final Report. The long-awaited recommendations were well received and highlighted the critical role of public policy in shifting capital flows to support the ambitions of the Paris Agreement and Agenda 2030.

A few short months later, the European Commission released its Action Plan on Financing Sustainable Growth and soon after released the three legislative proposals that have shaped the progression of work since then, covering the disclosure of sustainability risks, a pan-European taxonomy to classify environmentally friendly activities, and low-carbon benchmarks.

However, other HLEG proposals are lagging somewhat behind. The work on investors’ duties, which covers a whole set of recommendations as to how sustainability risks should be integrated in investment decisions is one example. We did not see the omnibus proposal recommended by the HLEG, and work on this topic is progressing slowly.

Source: The beacon of sustainable finance in Europe must not lose its flame – EURACTIV.com

CO2 removals ‘increasingly necessary’ to avoid climate disaster, scientists warn | EURACTIV.com


As global emissions continue to rise, hopes of containing the planet’s warming “well below 2°C” – the headline target of the Paris Agreement – are fading by the day, according to a new report by the European Academies Science Advisory Council (EASAC).

This means carbon removal technologies “will need to take on increased importance in the EU’s climate change strategy this year and in the near future,” EASAC said in a new report published on Tuesday.

Source: CO2 removals ‘increasingly necessary’ to avoid climate disaster, scientists warn – EURACTIV.com

At Munich, Russia and China Widen Rift Between US and Europe | Time


During his speech to the Munich Security Conference in 2007, Russian President Vladimir Putin made a prediction that many in the West dismissed. He said the Western system of alliances — with its “one master, one sovereign” sitting in Washington, D.C. — would eventually “destroy itself from within.”

That speech has aged remarkably well. Twelve years on, as world leaders gathered in Munich again for their annual summit, the Europeans in attendance admitted that Putin had been right. As German Chancellor Angela Merkel put on Feb. 16, the global order had “collapsed into many tiny parts.”

Source: At Munich, Russia and China Widen Rift Between US and Europe | Time

Damian Collins Is Leading Britain’s War Against Facebook | Time


The stunt was devised by Damian Collins, the leader of a U.K. parliamentary investigation into disinformation and “fake news.” The scope of that investigation ranges from Russian election interference to the changing landscape of traditional media, and from Brexit to Trump via Cambridge Analytica.

On Monday, Collins published the final report of that investigation, which proved to be a damning indictment of Facebook.

The report accuses Facebook of “intentionally and knowingly” violating data privacy and competition laws; labels top executives “digital gangsters;” and calls for urgent action to regulate social media and investigate Facebook’s alleged lawbreaking.

The culmination of 18 months of careful evidence-gathering, the scathing report now makes the U.K. one of the loudest voices calling for legal constraints on Facebook’s power.

Source: Damian Collins Is Leading Britain’s War Against Facebook | Time

“Hollywood is now irrelevant,” says IAC Chairman Barry Diller


“Hollywood is now irrelevant,” Diller said on the latest episode of Recode Decode, hosted by Kara Swisher. “… It was these six movie companies essentially were able to extend their hegemony into everything else. It didn’t matter that they started it. When it got big enough, they got to buy it. For the first time, they ain’t buying anything. Meaning they’re not buying Netflix. They are not buying Amazon.”

“In other words, it used to be if you could get your hands on a movie studio, you were sitting at a table with only five other people,” he added. “And so that table dominated media worldwide. That’s over.”

Source: “Hollywood is now irrelevant,” says IAC Chairman Barry Diller

Honda to close British car plant as Brexit looms | Reuters


Honda will close its only British car plant in 2021 with the loss of up to 3,500 jobs, a major departure of Japanese investment announced just over a month before the United Kingdom is due to leave the European Union.

The automaker, which builds more than a tenth of the 1.5 million cars made in Britain, said the move was not related to Brexit and it needed to focus activities in regions where it expects to sell most cars, after struggling in Europe.

But the timing of the announcement about the Swindon plant, just 38 days before Brexit, comes after a series of warnings from Japan that it would pull investments if they are no longer economically viable after Britain leaves the bloc.

Source: Honda to close British car plant as Brexit looms | Reuters

How Amazon scrapped its plans for a New York headquarters | Reuters


Abruptly scuttling its Big Apple plans blindsided Amazon’s allies and opponents alike.

The company said the decision came together only in the last 48 hours, made by its senior leadership team and Jeff Bezos, Amazon’s founder, chief executive and the richest person in the world.

Yet by some measures the decision was months in the making, as community opposition signaled to the company that it was not entirely welcome.

Source: How Amazon scrapped its plans for a New York headquarters | Reuters

Factbox: Through the Brexit Looking Glass – What happens next? | Reuters


Britain’s parliament last month demanded Prime Minister Theresa May renegotiate a Brexit divorce deal that the other members of the European Union say they will not reopen.

With just six weeks until the United Kingdom is due by law to leave the EU, the options include a disorderly Brexit, a delay to Brexit or no Brexit at all.

Full Coverage: The Road to Brexit

Source: Factbox: Through the Brexit Looking Glass – What happens next? | Reuters

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