Another down day?…EU court annuls approval of KLM, TAP aid
TOKYO (AP) – Global shares fell today, tracking a decline on Wall Street that was led by big technology stocks. The price of Bitcoin sank again after the China Banking Association warned of risks associated with digital currencies. France’s CAC 40 fell 0.9% in early trading, while Germany’s DAX plunged 1.2%. Britain’s FTSE 100 dropped 1.3%. In Asia trading, Japan’s benchmark Nikkei closed 1.3% lower. The Shanghai Composite slipped 0.5%. Markets were closed in Hong Kong and South Korea. Another down day is anticipated on Wall Street, with Dow futures down 0.7% and S&P 500 futures down 0.8%.
BRUSSELS (AP) – A top European Union court has annulled the EU’s approval of 3.4 billion euros ($4.1 billion) in state aid for the Dutch carrier KLM. But the court has suspended its immediate application because of the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the industry. In a similar ruling backing a challenge from Irish air carrier Ryanair, the court also annulled the EU’s decision to back state aid to the TAP Portuguese carrier for a potential total of 1.2 billion euros, but also suspended its application pending a new EU decision. In both cases, the Luxembourg-based General Court says the European Commission had to come up with more complete reasoning why such aid could be granted.
BRUSSELS (AP) – European legislators have adopted a proposal to combat online piracy of live sporting events that includes the option to remove illegal broadcasts within half an hour. EU lawmakers also called on the European Commission to amend the legislation on intellectual property rights for live sporting events because they are not protected by the bloc’s copyright rules. The report was adopted with 479 votes in favor, 171 against and 40 abstentions. MEPs say the new rules should not target viewers who are often not aware that the content they are watching is illegal.
BEIJING (AP) – Chinese online nationalism has a new target: The popular Thai drama “Girl from Nowhere” distributed by Netflix. Comments online complain the Facebook page for the series showed the flags of Taiwan, the island democracy claimed by the ruling Communist Party as part of its territory, and of Hong Kong, where the party is trying to crush pro-democracy activism. “Girl from Nowhere” joins a growing list of foreign retailers, airlines, hotels and other brands that have been attacked online in China over Taiwan, Xinjiang, Tibet, human rights and other politically charged issues. Some comments complained the flags show support for “splitting China,” or promoting formal independence for self-ruled Taiwan.
PARIS (AP) – It’s a grand day for the French. Cafe and restaurant terraces are reopening today after a pandemic shutdown of more than six months deprived people of what feels like the essence of life in France. The French government is lifting restrictions incrementally to stave off a resurgence of COVID-19 and to give citizens back some of their signature “joie de vivre.” As part of the first stage, France’s 7 p.m. nightly curfew is being moved back to 9 p.m. Museums, theaters and cinemas are reopening along with outside areas of restaurants, meaning the French once again can enjoy their country’s celebrated cafe society.