CSV loses big, government gains small in poll
Luxembourg’s main opposition party, the CSV, would lose four seats in parliament if an election took place this week. That is the damning conclusion of the latest “Sonndesfro” (Sunday question) poll conducted by TNS Ilres for RTL and the Wort on voter intention. The poll shows the conservative CSV, once the traditional party of government, losing 4.3% of the vote compared to the October 2018 elections and falling to 17 seats in parliament. The Greens would also lose one seat, but its coalition with the left-wing LSAP and the liberal DP would be secured by those parties both winning one additional seat. The Pirate party, whose Sven Clement is proving popular with voters, would win two seats to take it to four MPs and the left-wing Déi Lénk would also make a gain of one to claim three seats in parliament. More analysis in our noon briefing.
Trump Organization indicted in Manhattan
Indictments against the Trump Organization and its CFO Allen Weisselberg are expected to be unsealed in court on Thursday afternoon in Manhattan, according to news sources. Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance Jr. has focused an investigation into allegations that the Trump Organization illegally misrepresented the value of some of its real estate assets to benefit from lower taxation and also to obtain more favourable loan and insurance deals. Trump’s former personal lawyer Michael Cohen has apparently been aiding the investigation and some observers think Weisselberg may also strike a deal to testify against the former president, who has not yet been personally charged. CNBC, The Washington Post, The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal all have details.
Nation branding back on track
Luxembourg’s nation branding effort has been relaunched and will focus on the grand duchy’s EU commitments and support of migration, development aid and sustainability. A document presented by foreign minister Jean Asselborn and nation branding head Beryl Koltz on Wednesday says it aims to promote Luxembourg as “a facilitator of innovative ideas that can contribute to a better world.” Delano has more.
China celebrates Communist centenary
The Communist Party of China has been celebrating the 100th anniversary of its founding with large celebrations in Tiananmen Square in Beijing. President Xi Jinping was centre stage at parades and a fly-over by fighter jets and helicopters. Xi said that the party had managed to create a modern China that is “a moderately prosperous society” but warned that it would never bow to foreign pressure and that anyone who tried to subjugate the country would “have their heads bashed bloodied against the Great Wall of Steel forged by over 1.4 billion Chinese people.” Reuters, The Guardian and The South China Morning Post have more.
The number of millionaires in Luxembourg has increased by 6.5% in the past year, according to a new report by Capgemini. There are now 42,800 such high net worth individuals living in the grand duchy, and their assets also rose by 8.3% over the last 12 months. Delano has details.
World wide web NFT sells for $5.4m
An NFT (non-fungible token) containing some 9,555 lines of original source code for the world wide web, written by its inventor Tim Berners-Lee in 1990-1991, has been sold in an online auction by Sotheby’s for $5.4m. The sale also includes a 30-minute animated visualisation and a digital poster of the code. In a letter that is also part of the package, Berners-Lee compares NFT technology to a book signed by an author. “I thought it could be fun to make an autographed copy of the original code of the first web browser,” he said. The BBC, Wired and CNBC report.
Former US secretary of defence Donald Rumsfeld, viewed as the architect of the invasion of Iraq in 2003, has died at the age of 88. A divisive figure, Rumsfeld famously ran into the Pentagon building to help the rescue effort on 11 September 2001, but also signed off on allowing interrogators to basically torture prisoners at Guantanamo. NPR, CNN and Reuters have more.
Bill Cosby release sparks outrage
Bill Cosby was released from prison on Wednesday after serving just over two years of a three to 10-year sentence for drugging and molesting ex-basketball player Andrea Constand. The decision by Pennsylvania's Supreme Court to overturn his conviction based on a "process violation" by the prosecution was, by the court’s own admission, unusual. The news was met with outrage by many commentators and advocates of the #MeToo movement. The BBC, The Hollywood Reporter and Fox News have more.
Tour de France crash spectator arrested
A 30-year-old French woman accused of involuntarily causing injury and putting the life of others at risk after causing a crash at the Tour de France in Brittany on Saturday is in police custody, Reuters reports. The woman was seen holding a cardboard sign that German rider Tony Martin hit, causing him to fall and bring down with him several other riders in the peloton. She apparently presented herself to a local police station later on Saturday.
Today’s breakfast briefing was written by Duncan Roberts