Early results saw significant gains for the Democrats in the House of Representatives
Democrats en route to take back control of House of Representatives, member states divided over EU digital taxation and the English word that marked 2018. Delano’s breakfast briefing for Wednesday.
Democrats were close to retaking control of the House of Representatives as results were still coming in from the US midterm elections. At the time of writing, they had secured around a dozen seats previously held by Republications, reports The Guardian. Reuters said the Trump and Republicans’ “divisive campaign” over race, immigration and cultural issues had enabled them to maintain their majority in the US Senate. The change means Democrats could force investigations into President Trump’s finances and Russian election interference, AFP reports.
Madagascar presidential election
The US wasn’t the only country going to the polls this week. On Wednesday it’s the turn of Madagascans, who will choose their president for the next five years. Aljazeera reports the 36 hopefuls include four former presidents, three former prime ministers, a pastor and a rock singer. Political tensions have been high in the country since it became independent of France. A recent poll put Andry Rajoelina, who took power after a military-backed coup in 2009, in the lead.
A small number of EU member states is blocking a bid to levy a 3% tax on big internet firms, according to The Guardian. Ireland, Sweden and Denmark criticised the idea on Tuesday. Meanwhile a dozen EU countries are drawing up their own digital taxes. Politico reports that France is willing to wait two years for the idea to take shape but only if a deal is signed before the end of 2018. Germany, meanwhile, raised concerns of a US retaliation.
Leave is not forever
EU chief Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier has said Britain can reapply to join the EU after Brexit, if it changes its mind, Politico reports. Barnier was quizzed on Tuesday in Brussels about the implications of a second referendum. A UK poll with 200,000 people showed a 6 percentage point swing from Leave to Remain.
Word of the year
“Single-use” was named as the Collins Dictionary word of the year for 2018, The Guardian reports. Collins lexicographers monitored a 4.5b-word corpus to draw up the list of notable words. “Single-use” was used in relation to plastic, which could be on the way out after a series of public awareness-raising TV programmes and campaigns. The European Parliament in October backed a ban on single-use plastics, which endanger marine life and enter the human body as it breaks down.