This image of a fire trucking burning in Hamm was published on 25 July 2019 at around 3pm by Luxembourg’s fire brigade. Photo credit: CGDIS
ECB prepares for stimulus, EIB cuts off Turkey through Christmas and BA restarts Cairo flights. Delano’s breakfast briefing for Friday.
Heatwave produced record highs
Several record high temperatures were broken on Thursday, after many had been broken on Wednesday. Meteolux said the mercury at its Findel weather station hit 39C on Thursday, breaking the previous record high of 37.9C set in August 2003. The temperature could hit 35C-36C across Luxembourg today. Record highs elsewhere in Europe on Thursday: Belgium (40.6C), Netherlands (40.7C), Germany (42.6C) and France (46C). Sources: BBC, Deutsche Welle and The Guardian.
Brush fire in Hamm
A field in Hamm caught fire yesterday around 2pm. The blaze produced a large amount of smoke and spread to the nearby forested area, but was contained at 7:35pm, according to Luxembourg’s fire brigade, the CDGIS. Two service stations in Pulvermühle were temporarily evacuated as a precaution. No injuries were reported, although a fire truck was totally destroyed. Other vegetation fires were reported yesterday in Kayl and Beyren, the CDGIS said in a press release.
A German trade union federation called earlier this month for siesta-length lunch breaks during heatwaves. Source: Deutsche Welle.
EU says UK cannot change Brexit terms
EU leaders poured cold water on Boris Johnson’s plan to renegotiate the UK’s Brexit deal. The EU’s chief Brexit negotiator, Michel Barnier, said Johnson’s demand to remove the so-called Irish backstop was “unacceptable”. The European Commission president, Jean-Claude Juncker, told Johnson the UK already had the best possible deal. Sources: BBC, Financial Times and The Guardian.
ECB preparing stimulus package
The European Central Bank kept interest rates stable this week, but said it could cut them and restart quantitative easing to boost the eurozone’s stagnant economy, perhaps by October. Sources: BBC, Financial Times and The Guardian.
EIB suspends most lending to Turkey
The European Investment Bank has frozen almost all financing of Turkey-related projects until the end of the year due to a “strategic” review. Source: Reuters.
Amazon delivery costs hurt profits
Second quarter revenue was up at Amazon, but so were costs, driven by its one-day shipping investments, and the e-commerce giant missed its profit target. Sources: BBC, Financial Times and Reuters.
Google ad sales grow
Second quarter revenue and earnings at Google’s parent, Alphabet, beat analyst expectations, sending its share price up by around 8%. Sources: Financial Times, Marketwatch and Reuters.
Apple acquires Intel’s 5G chip unit
Apple bought the majority of Intel’s smartphone modem chip business for $1bn as Apple prepares to introduce new 5G devices. Sources: Ars Technica, Financial Times and Reuters.
BA resumes Cairo flights
British Airways will start flying to the Egyptian capital again today after suspending service for a week due to security concerns. Sources: AFP, BBC and Deutsche Welle.
Here are 8 science & technology stories you may have missed
The interwebz: The European Commission has reversed course and will let EU nationals living in the UK keep their .eu internet domains after Brexit, per The Register. Cybercrime, part 1: The US treasury department estimated that American businesses lose an average of $301m each month due to email scams, per ZDnet. Cybercrime, part 2: There’s been a rash of Deliveroo accounts being hacked, particularly in the UK and US, per Forbes. Privacy, part 1: Police in the US city of Orlando have stopped an Amazon facial recognition system pilot programme after 15 months, stating they were never able to test images, per The Register. Privacy, part 2: Amazon offered some users $10 for access to their internet browsing data, per The Atlantic. Biology: “The United States is currently experiencing an uptick in bird-on-human attacks,” per The Cut. Mathematics: It is some time away, but quantum computing could make today’s cryptographic protection obsolete, per MIT Technology Review. This is fairly mindblowing: Physicists in the US are searching for a possible “mirror universe” which might contain the dark matter that researchers have so far been unable to detect, per NBC News.
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