Europe

Technology • Internet & Web
Facebook Dating launches in Europe
Facebook Dating launches in Europe
Credit: Facebook

Facebook Dating, the company's competitor to various dating apps, has launched in Europe today. Facebook claims the service has created 1.5 billion matches since its international launch in 2018.

"Facebook Dating won’t suggest your Facebook friends as potential matches, but if you choose to use Secret Crush, you can select up to nine of your Facebook friends or Instagram followers who you’re interested in," so the company in a statement.

Regional News • Europe
Sweden to ban China's Huawei and ZTE from upcoming 5G networks
Sweden to ban China's Huawei and ZTE from upcoming 5G networks
Credit: Kārlis Dambrāns (Creative Commons Attribution 2.0)

The Swedish Post and Telecom Authority (PTS) announced Tuesday a ban to telecom equipment from Chinese companies Huawei and ZTE in Sweden's 5G network. According to PTS, the ban is over a security assessment made by the Swedish Armed forces.

Sweden is the home of Ericsson, one of Europe's leading telecom equipment suppliers.

Sports • Soccer
Robert Lewandowski named Europe's player of the year by UEFA
Robert Lewandowski named Europe's player of the year by UEFA
Credit: Twitter (Reproduction)

Bayern Munich striker Robert Lewandowski was named Europe's best male footballer of 2020 on Thursday by the UEFA, European football's governing body.

The 2019/20 season was one of the greatest in Bayern's 120-year history, and no player contributed more to it than Lewandowski. The Poland striker scored in every game en route to the UEFA Champions League final in Lisbon, picking up 15 goals and six assists as well as the trophy he had coveted for so long. He also hit 34 goals in 31 Bundesliga matches and six in five German Cup games.

Regional News • Europe • European Union
EU Commission removes upload filters from digital package
Archive - protest against European Upload Filters in 2019
Archive - protest against European Upload Filters in 2019 Credit: unsplash.com / Markus Spiske

In a new proposal the legislators at the European Commission have removed a general filter obligation for uploaded content to digital platforms.

The original proposal would've required operators of digital communication platforms who want to continue to enjoy freedom from liability - the non-responsibility for content published by users - should proactively check for violations. This includes checking for copyright infringements or illegal content such as child pornography.

Whether and what replaces the filter obligation is currently still open.

Lifestyle • Citytrips
Cluj-Napoca, a city in Romania, in the finals for European Capital of Innovation
Cluj-Napoca, a city in Romania, in the finals for European Capital of Innovation
Credit: European Commission

The finals include the following cities: Espoo (Finland), Helsingborg (Sweden), Leuven (Belgium), Valencia (Spain), Vienna (Austria), and Cluj-Napoca (Romania).

The winner of the competition, to be announced on September 24, receives €1 million, which is to be used in consolidating activities which innovate the infrastructure. The five runners-up will receive  €100,000 each.

Regional News • Europe
Heavy fires break out in refugee camp Moria

The refugee camp Moria has heavily suffered from multiple fires that were fanned by strong winds. Many of the 12,000 migrants and refugees living in the camp have fled to surrounding areas or started making their way to Mytilini, the capital of the island Lesbos.

Regional News • Europe
United Kingdom threatens to back out of parts of EU withdrawal treaty

According to reports from the Financial Times, the United Kingdom's government under prime minister Boris Johnson plans to render some regulations from the EU withdrawal treaty void.

The British government allegedly plans to pass laws on Wednesday that could override parts of the Brexit agreement on state aid and border regulations with Ireland.

Business • Jobs & Careers
German labor union IG Metall calls for 4-day work week
German labor union IG Metall calls for 4-day work week
Credit: unsplash.com / carlos aranda

The largest labor union in Germany, the IG Metall who represents workers from industrial jobs such as car manufacturing and is the largest industrial union in Europe, has called for a four day work week.

The transformation to electric mobility, further automation, and digitization could lead to future cuts in the workforce of the German automotive companies, fueled by the Covid-19 recession. According to the union chairman Jörg Hoffmann, a four day work week could be the answer to structural changes in the automotive industry in order to prevent future job cuts.

Major German companies such as Daimer and Bosch have already made agreements to reduce working hours in order to retain specialists but cut costs at the same time.

Business • Jobs & Careers
CEO of Just Eat Takeaway announces intention to stop using gig economy workers
CEO of Just Eat Takeaway announces intention to stop using gig economy workers
Credit: unsplash.com / Clay Banks

In the past, the CEO of Just Eat Takeaway has relied on the gig economy work model, where workers have flexible work hours but fewer or no benefits compared to regular staff, for his Takeaway.com business that he founded 20 years ago.

He has now stated that "it's our intent to not have those in Europe", referring to gig workers and added that he does not want people that deliver food from restaurants to clients to face harder working conditions.

"We want to be certain they do have benefits, that we do pay taxes on those workers" as they are "a large multinational company with quite a lot of money and we want to insure our people".

Regional News • Europe • France
Europe urges France to ban glue trap for birds

France is one of the last country to maintain a traditional hunting practice of coating branches with glue to capture birds. As it is against European laws, France might face significant fines, hence the new French government is currently considering outlawing this practice.

Hunting lobby is vigorously protesting and denounces a new persecution against hunters.

Technology • Smartphones, Hardware & Gadgets
Japanese startup Donut Robotics invents tech "smart mask" that can translate Japanese into 8 languages
Japanese startup Donut Robotics invents tech "smart mask" that can translate Japanese into 8 languages
Credit: Donut Robotics (Reproduction)

The white "c-mask" by Japanese startup Donut Robotics that can translate Japanese into eight different languages. The tech smart mask needs to be worn over standard face masks to ensure protection and can amplify the mask wearer’s voice, make calls, transcribe speech and translate languages. The first 5,000 masks will be shipped to Japanese buyers in September but the company is looking to expand their market into China, the US and Europe at a later date.

Transportation • Air Transportation & Traffic, Flying
Airbus to reduce production of A350
Airbus A350
Airbus A350 Credit: wallycacsabre (Creative Commons Attribution 2.0)

Airbus announced Thursday that it will reduce the production of the A350 aircraft to only five units per month, due to the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on the company's second-quarter results. Airbus had already reduced the A350 production from 9.5 to 6 planes per month in April.

The company is cutting up to 15,000 jobs to deal with the crisis, which it expects to hold output down by 40% for some two years compared with pre-crisis levels.

CEO Guillaume Faury stated, “We believe it is going to be a long and slow recovery,”.

Regional News • Americas • United States
US Secretary of Defense announces details and costs for troop withdrawal from Germany
US Secretary of Defense announces details and costs for troop withdrawal from Germany
Credit: William King (Public Domain)

The Secretary of Defense Mark Esper has formally announced the decision of the Pentagon to withdraw around 11,900 troops from Germany.

According to US defence officials the relocation of the troops will take years and Esper has acknowledged that it will cost billions to execute. Around 6,400 troops will return to the United States while around 5,400 troops will stay in Europe according to the plans of the Pentagon.

Business • Real Estate, Housing & Infrastructure
Google announces new internet subsea cable connecting United States and Europe
Google announces new internet subsea cable connecting United States and Europe
Credit: Google

Google has announced that it'll build a new subsea internet cable to connect the United States, the United Kingdom and Spain. The so-called "Grace Hopper" cable will be used to "better resilience for the network that underpins Google’s consumer and enterprise products" according to the press announcement.

The new cable connection will be the first private one for Google between the United States and the United Kingdom as well as Google's first one to Spain. The latter one will be connected to the planned "Google Cloud region in Madrid" and used to integrate it into the global infrastructure. Google has signed the contract with the subsea cable provider SubCom and expects the project to be completed in 2022.

Sports
F1 2020 season extended with 3 races at Nürburgring, Portimão and Imola
F1 2020 season extended with 3 races at Nürburgring, Portimão and Imola
Credit: Ferrari

Formula One's preliminary schedule has been extended into October and November with the addition of 3 new rounds in Europe (Germany, Portugal and Italy). Those races replace the races in the Americas, now officially ruled out for 2020.

Reports in sports media suggest that the final calendar could see 15 to 18 races, with at least Bahrain and Abu Dhabi tracks expected to be added as season closers.

Health
Second Ebola vaccine receives approval by European Commission
Second Ebola vaccine receives approval by European Commission
Credit: Government of Prince Edward Island (Creative Commons Attribution 2.0)

The medical and pharmaceutical company Johnson & Johnson has received approval for their Ebola vaccine by the European Commission.

Both components of the two-dose vaccine for the prevention of the virus have been approved and the company hopes that this will lead to "accelerated registration" in African countries. J&J is the second company to receive approval for an Ebola vaccine after Merck.

Sports • Golf
2020 Ryder Cup postponed to September 2021
Phil Mickelson during Ryder Cup 2018
Phil Mickelson during Ryder Cup 2018 Credit: Franck BITON (Creative Commons Attribution 2.0)

The Ryder Cup was postponed until 2021 in Wisconsin due to the Covid-19 pandemic. After weeks of discussions between the PGA of America, the European Tour and the PGA Tour the event, scheduled for September 25-27 at Whistling Straits had to be moved to September 24-26 in 2021.

The next Ryder Cup to be held in Europe has also been moved by a year to 2023 in Rome.

That is the second time in the last two decades the Ryder Cup was postponed, the first time was in 2001, after the September 11 terrorist attacks.

Regional News • Europe • European Union
Catalonia to make face masks mandatory starting Thursday
Men wearing face masks in public
Men wearing face masks in public Credit: unsplash.com/Marco Testi

The Spanish region Catalonia will make it mandatory to wear face masks in all public spaces, even if people can maintain a safe distance of 1.5 metres. The Catalan government’s spokesperson Meritxell Budó announced the final decision will be made during a Civil Protection Meeting on Wednesday but the order is set to take effect on Thursday.

Regional News • Europe • European Union
European Union will bar most travelers from dozens of countries, including U.S. and Russia
European Union will bar most travelers from dozens of countries, including U.S. and Russia
Credit: unsplash.com/Miguel Ángel Sanz

A European vacation won't be happening for many this summer. On Friday, E.U. officials announced that most travelers from a list of dozens of countries that still haven't contained the coronavirus outbreak wouldn't be allowed into the E.U. as they are considered a risk.

Among those countries are Russia and the United States. Chinese travelers will be allowed to visit but only if E.U. travelers won't be barred from entering China.

Transportation • Cars & Automobiles
Volkswagen in talks to acquire French car rental firm Europcar
Europcar in the Hamburg Airport
Europcar in the Hamburg Airport Credit: Hamburg Airport

Reuters reports that German carmaker Volkswagen approached French car rental firm Europcar, that struggles to cope with the economic impact of the Covid-19 pandemic. The deal, if completed, would signal a reversal of strategy for Volkswagen, that sold Europcar in 2006 for €3.32 billion.

In May, Europcar's competitor Hertz filed for bankruptcy protection.