Dutch government slashes highway speed limit to tackle climate change

(CNN)Motorists in the Netherlands will soon have to slow down to do their bit to tackle climate change. The Dutch government has little room for maneuver. Last year, it was told by a court to take urgent measures to reduce emissions. The court also ordered the government to ensure that the country’s emissions in 2020 will be at least 25% lower than those in 1990. The court’s decision forced the government to put a number of large construction projects on hold. Writing on his official Facebook account Wednesday, Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte said the new speed limit was a “rotten measure,” but added it was necessary in order to protect jobs and builders. The Netherlands is particularly vulnerable to …

PR pitch to Ola reveals the inner workings of UK ride-hailing politics

A UK PR firm pitching to run an account for Ola has proposed running a campaign to politicize ride-hailing as a tactic to shift regulations in its favor. The approach suggests that, despite the appearance of ride-hailing platforms taking a more conciliatory position with regulators that are now wise to earlier startup tactics in this space, there remains a calculus involving realpolitik, propaganda and high-level lobbying between companies that want to enter or expand in markets, and those who hold the golden tickets to do so. In 2017 Estonia-based ride-hailing startup Taxify tried to launch in London ahead of regulatory approval, for example, but city authorities clamped down straight away. It was only able to return to the UK capital …

‘Its revenge’: Ukraine’s ex-central banker blames oligarch for attacks

Accusations levelled by Valeria Gontareva against Ihor Kolomoiskiy provide test for Ukraines new president It is possible that when a car drove into Valeria Gontareva at a pedestrian crossing in Knightsbridge, central London, in late August it was merely an accident. But soon after, while Gontareva was recovering in hospital, her sons car was set on fire back home in Kyiv. A few days after that, her family home in the Ukrainian capital was also burned down. For Gontareva there is no doubt that the attacks are part of a disturbing pattern. Its revenge, she said, appearing for an interview in a wheelchair in the lobby of the luxury central London apartment block where she now lives. Gontareva made a …

Private search engine Qwants new CEO is Mozilla Europe veteran Tristan Nitot

French startup Qwant, whose non-tracking search engine has been gaining traction in its home market as a privacy-respecting alternative to Google, has made a change to its senior leadership team as it gears up for the next phase of growth. Former Mozilla Europe president, Tristan Nitot, who joined Qwant last year as VP of advocacy, has been promoted to chief executive, taking over from François Messager — who also joined in 2018 but is now leaving the business. Qwant co-founder, Eric Leandri, meanwhile, continues in the same role as president. Nitot, an Internet veteran who worked at Netscape and helped to found Mozilla Europe in 1998, where he later served as president and stayed until 2015 before leaving to write a …

Hopes of clean break with EU are nonsense, says ex-Brexit official

A no-deal exit would trigger complex negotiations, argues former top DexEU civil servant Claiming a no-deal Brexit represents a clean break with the European Union is nonsensical, according to Philip Rycroft, the former permanent secretary at the Department for Exiting the EU. Boris Johnson has promised to extricate the UK from the EU on 31 October come what may and has hinted that he could Civil servants do their job for governments of the day, delivering the policies of the government of the day, and thats just as true for Brexit as for anything else. He said claims his erstwhile colleague Olly Robbins had sought to stymie the governments negotiating efforts were complete nonsense. Robbins left Whitehall as Johnson took …

Boris Johnson vows to use powers of persuasion to win new Brexit deal

PM rejects calls for article 50 extension and says he may ignore law blocking no deal Boris Johnson has said he will win a new Brexit deal at next months EU summit by using his powers of persuasion, and rejected calls for a further extension to article 50. The prime minister said he had no plans to accept new legislation that would require him to write to the EU asking for a pointless delay to Brexit. Weve spent a long time trying to sort of fudge this thing and I think the British public really want us to get out. They dont want more dither and delay, he said during a visit on Friday to a farm near Banchory, Aberdeenshire, …

Pound Off Lows But Still Under Pressure as Brexit Showdown Looms

Photographer: Miles Willis/Bloomberg wouldn’t delay the country’s exit from the European Union, and left the The pound may not have much room to recover for now, according to Valentin Marinov, head of G-10 currency strategy at Credit Agricole CIB, who says Johnson is laying the groundwork for a confrontation with the House on Tuesday. “Risks of an early vote are still on the table,” Marinov wrote in an email, noting that the prime minister’s speech hadn’t sustained the pound’s rally. Sterling remains 0.78% lower on the day versus the dollar, and around 90.92 pence versus the euro. The currency may drop as low as $1.10 if a mandate is secured for a no-deal departure from the EU, according to Lee …

Boris Johnson Adopts Cute PuppyDog in Crucial Brexit Week

Boris Johnson welcomed his newly adopted Jack Russell puppy to his London home as the U.K. prime minister called an emergency meeting of his Cabinet, prompting fresh speculation there will be a general election. Just weeks ago the 15-week-old dog, named Dilyn according to a post on Twitter by Johnson’s partner Carrie Symonds, faced death after being abandoned by a south Wales puppy farmer as his misaligned jaw meant he would be difficult to sell. He was saved by a volunteer-run rescue charity in south Wales. Johnson’s predecessor, Theresa May, was encouraged to get a dog to increase her appeal to voters, but refused because she was concerned about who would look after it. Published on Updated on Original Article …

No-deal Brexit would shrink UK’s global influence, say ex-ambassadors

Former senior diplomats write to PM urging him to signal a different approach at G7 summit Leaving the European Union without a deal would vastly shrink the UKs international influence and would represent the biggest unilateral abandonment of long-term British interests in modern history, a group of former ambassadors have claimed. In a letter, signed by 25 former senior diplomats and published in the Times, they urged Boris Johnson to signal a different approach at this weekends energetic partner to its international allies after Brexit. The Britain I lead will be an international, outward-looking, self-confident nation, he said. We will be an energetic partner on the world stage. We will stand alongside our G7 allies to solve the most pressing …

Mussolinis birthplace cashes in on the surge of far-right tourism

Thousands of curious visitors and fascists descend on the Apennine town Dressed in black T-shirts, their arms inked with tattoos, Fabrizio and Mameli Gamberini are on their yearly homage trip to Predappio, the birth town and burial place of Benito Mussolini. Were fascists, Mameli proudly admits as she leaves Predappio Tricolore, a souvenir shop teeming with Mussolini memorabilia, on Friday morning. We come every year at the end of July to buy a few new keepsakes, visit his tomb and leave some flowers in his honour. The couple, from Varese, are in Predappio, a town nestled among the hills of the Appenines in the Emilia-Romagna region, to celebrate the 136th anniversary of the Italian dictators birth on 29 July. Interactive …

When it comes to elections, Facebook moves slow, may still break things

This week, Facebook invited a small group of journalists — which didn’t include TechCrunch — to look at the “war room” it has set up in Dublin, Ireland, to help monitor its products for election-related content that violates its policies. (“Time and space constraints” limited the numbers, a spokesperson told us when he asked why we weren’t invited.) Facebook announced it would be setting up this Dublin hub — which will bring together data scientists, researchers, legal and community team members, and others in the organization to tackle issues like fake news, hate speech and voter suppression — back in January. The company has said it has What is not at all clear is how quickly Facebook acted to removed …