G7 pledge on vaccines, Netanyahu officially ousted


G7 leaders pose for the press at the end of the summit in Carbis Bay, Cornwall. The final communiqué from the world leaders has been criticized for not going far enough on the covid pandemic and climate change. Photo: UK G7   

Bitcoin upgrade, Bettel and Bausch head to Nato, honours for Fiona Godfrey and US army vet, protests against Catalan pardons, Cuba halts dollar deposits and a sports roundup. Delano’s breakfast briefing.

Mixed reaction to G7 communiqué

The G7 summit ended in Cornwall on Sunday amid a flurry of criticism of the pledges made in a wrap-up communiqué issued by the world leaders. Summit host Boris Johnson said that the promise to deliver 1 billion vaccine doses to the UN Covax distribution mechanism was a “big step towards vaccinating the world”, but the WHO has set a target of 11 billion and critics were also disappointed that the leaders had not pushed for patent transfers to boost production in Africa. The backing of a minimum corporate tax of 15% on multinational companies and a watered-down statement on China also elicited criticism. The BBC, CNBC, The Guardian and Reuters have summaries and analysis.

End of an era as coalition ousts Netanyahu

The Israeli parliament voted by the narrowest of margins in favour of a new coalition government on Sunday, bringing to an end Benjamin Netanyahu’s 12-year reign as prime minister. Right-wing nationalist Naftali Bennett will lead the new government until September 2023, when centrist leader Yair Lapid will take the reins for a further two years. The unprecedented coalition includes parties with vastly different ideologies, among them the Arab Raam party. It also features a record number of nine female ministers. The Times Of Israel, Haaretz, The Jerusalem Post and the BBC have details and analysis.

Bitcoin miners agree Taproot upgrade

An upgrade of cryptocurrency Bitcoin called Taproot has been approved by stakeholders for a November makeover that will mean greater transaction privacy, improved efficiency and the unlocking of potential for smart contracts. The upgrade, and especially the smart contracts enhancement which makes self-executing agreements on the blockchain cheaper and smaller, has excited many crypto analysts and bitcoin miners. CNBC, Financial Express and BTC Manager have more.

Bettel and Bausch head to Nato meet

Prime minister Xavier Bettel and defence minister François Bausch are in Brussels on Monday for a meeting of Nato government leaders including US president Joe Biden. On the agenda are how the alliance will meet new challenges such as cyber-attacks and other technological issues, the security implications of climate change, and cooperation between Nato and the EU. Reuters and Sky News have a look at what’s at stake.

Honour for Fiona Godfrey

Luxembourg resident Fiona Godfrey has been awarded an OBE in the Queen's Birthday Honours List. She was cited alongside her co-chair at citizens’ rights pressure group British in Europe, Jane Golding, for their “services to UK Nationals in Europe.” More on the British in Europe website.

Thousands protest Catalan pardons

A protest in Madrid’s Colón Square on Sunday against government plans to pardon 12 Catalan politicians attracted tens of thousands of people, many waving red and yellow national flags. Over 60% of Spaniards oppose granting the pardons for the separatist leaders, who were found guilty of sedition for organising an illegal independence referendum. The BBC and Reuters report.

Cuba halts dollar deposits

Cuba has announced that its banks will temporarily halt cash deposits in dollars as of 21 June. The move comes “in view of the obstacles that the US embargo creates for the national bank system to deposit abroad,” a statement on state TV said. Deposits in the euro, Japanese yen, Canadian dollars and British pounds will continue to be accepted. The Miami Herald and Reuters report.

Swiss vote against climate change measures

Switzerland’s voters have defeated by 51% to 49% government proposals on taxes for car fuel levy and airline tickets. The vote leaves government climate change policy in tatters. Environment minister Simonetta Sommaruga said, “it will now be difficult to achieve the climate targets.” The BBC and Swissinfo.ch have details.

Sports roundup

Football: after a weekend dominated by the collapse and on-pitch resuscitation of Danish player Christian Eriksen, Sunday’s matches at Euro2020 saw wins for England, Austria and the Netherlands. Tennis: Novak Djokovic came back from two sets down against Greek player Stefanos Tsitsipas to claim his second French Open title and his 19th grand slam on Sunday. The BBC has a report. On Saturday unseeded Czech Barbora Krejcikova won the women’s title, as the BBC also reports. She also won the women’s doubles on Sunday with fellow Czech Katerina Siniakova, as per The Guardian. Cricket: England fell to defeat by New Zealand in the second and final test of the short series on Sunday. The Guardian reports.

Illinois veteran gets Luxembourg medal

96-year old US Army veteran Nick Scull has been presented with the Luxembourg Order of Merit by Luxembourg ambassador to the United States, Gaston Stronck. Scull was on the frontlines in Hosingen during the Battle of the Bulge. “Mr. Scull is a hero, he is a great man and without his service Luxembourg, today would not be a free country,” Stronck said. WGEM has a report.

Today’s breakfast briefing was written by Duncan Roberts