The French parliament approved a levy on the sales of large internet firms. France’s president, Emmanuel Macron, has two weeks to sign the bill. Donald Trump ordered an inquiry into whether or not the measure “unfairly targets American companies.” Library picture: Donald Trump and Emmanuel Macron are seen during a press conference at the Élysée Palace in Paris, 13 July 2017. Photo: Shutterstock.com
Boeing changes 737 chief, British-Iranian tensions and AIIB summit gets underway in Luxembourg. Delano’s breakfast briefing for Friday.
France parliament passes digital tax anyway
The French senate passed a controversial 3% turnover tax on big digital firms on Thursday, despite the US saying on Wednesday it would start an investigation that could lead to retaliation. The tax applies to around 30 companies, mainly US giants such as Amazon, Apple, Facebook, Google and Microsoft, and one French online advertising firm. Paris says the tax complies with its international agreements. Amazon “applauded” the Trump administration for taking action. Sources: BBC, Bloomberg, CNBC, Financial Times and the Guardian.
Dow passes 27,000 mark and S&P hits 2,999.91
US stock markets closed on record highs, after the Trump administration cancelled plans to force pharmaceutical companies to give discounts to American patients and the US Federal Reserve chair hinted at interest rate cuts. Sources: CNBC, CNN and the Wall Street Journal.
Opioid maker agrees to settlement
The pharmaceutical firm Reckitt Benckiser will pay $1.4bn in fines to US authorities to settle claims over how it marketed highly addictive painkillers. The company has denied wrongdoing. Sources: Financial Times, Guardian and NPR.
Deutsche Bank faces 1MDB inquiry
The US justice department is investigating Deutsche Bank over its work for the scandal-ridden Malaysian development fund 1MDB. Sources: Guardian, Reuters and Wall Street Journal.
British ships in Gulf on alert after Iran incident
The Royal Navy said Iranian boats attempted to block a British tanker in the Strait of Hormuz. Iran’s foreign minister called the allegations “worthless”. Sources: BBC, Guardian and Reuters.
Man in French right-to-die case passes away
Vincent Lambert, the French man at the centre of a years-long legal battle over removing him from life support, has died. He had been in a vegetative state since a motorcycle accident 11 years ago. Sources: CBS News, France 24 and RFI.
Cathedral reconstruction funds slow to arrive
The Catholic church said it has only received €38m of the €850m promised to rebuild Notre-Dame de Paris. Sources: CBS News, Observer and RFI.
Here are 5 science & technology stories you may have missed
AI: A new California law requires chatbots to disclose that they are chatbots, per the New Yorker. Data protection: The UK Information Commissioner’s Office will fine the Marriott hotel group £99,200,396 (roughly €110,200) for the hack of 383m guest records discovered last year, per ZDnet. E-commerce and beyond:Buzzfeed compiled an extensive list of Amazon brands and services. Biology: Parrots are pretty much the only animal aside from humans that dance in sync with the beat, a researcher told The Atlantic. Thermal dynamics:Wired asked if you should wear white or black clothes when it’s hot outside (answer: it depends).