The European Commission estimates that 400,000 people in the EU die every year because of airborne pollution.
Photo: Veeterzy/Creative Commons
Six countries taken to court over air quality, EU to use blocking statute on Iran, Facebook chief to face European Parliament representatives. Delano’s breakfast briefing.
EU seeks court action over air pollution
European commissioner for the environment Karmenu Vella announced on Thursday that the EU will take six members states to court over their air quality limits. European Scientist reports that France, Germany, the UK, Hungary, Italy and Romania have failed to propose credible, effective and timely measures to reduce pollution as soon as possible. Vella said they had “received sufficient ‘last chances’ over the last decade to improve the situation.” The Commission estimates that 400,000 people in the EU die every year because of airborne pollution. “It is my conviction that today’s decision will lead to improvements for citizens on a much quicker timescale,” Vella said.
Juncker: duty to protect companies in Iran
European Commission president Jean-Claude Juncker has vowed to protect European companies doing business with Iran against any sanctions imposed by the United States. Speaking at the EU summit on Sofia, Juncker said it was the EU’s “duty” to “neutralise the extraterritorial effects of US sanctions in the EU.” To this end, the EU will introduce the so-called “blocking statute”, which prohibits EU companies from complying with foreign sanctions laws. But, The New York Times reports that some European companies, including Danish container shipping company, A.P. Moller-Maersk, Italian steel maker Danieli, French oil giant Total have already withdrawn or scaled back their business dealings with Iran.
Zuckerberg to meet EP
Facebook chief executive Mark Zuckerberg will meet with European Parliament representatives in Brussels as early next week. The Washington Post says that the closed doors meeting will involve the leaders of EP political groups and its expert on civil liberties, justice and home affairs. Facebook said it “appreciates the opportunity for dialogue, to listen to their views and show the steps we are taking to better protect people’s privacy.”. But some parliamentarians are disappointed that Zuckerberg will not face a public grilling as he did in the United States.
Stan Lee seeks damages
The Guardian reports that Marvel superhero creator Stan Lee is suing his former company POW! Entertainment. Lee alleges co-founder Gill Champion and CEO Shane Duffy brokered a “sham deal” to sell POW! to a China-based company. He is seeking more than $1bn in damages.