New prime minister Alexander De Croo (left) and Socialist Party chairman Paul Magnette (right) pose with King Philippe before a meeting on Wednesday to confirm Belgium’s new government, some 652 days after the previous one collapsed. Photo: Alexandros Michailidis / Shutterstock
Saarland visits under 24 hours allowed; new election debate rules; Jacinda’s cannabis confession; Bolsonaro slams Biden; Russia offers peace talks; Milan fashion. Delano’s breakfast briefing.
De Croo to head new Belgian government
Flemish Liberal Alexander De Croo will be sworn in as the new prime minister of Belgium today after political factions managed to agree a coalition made up of seven parties. The country has had caretaker governments since elections in May 2019 proved inconclusive. But this week’s negotiations, including a 24-hour session led by De Croo and Francophone socialist leader Paul Magnette, provided a breakthrough says Deutsche Welle. 44-year old De Croo, who served as deputy prime minister and finance minister in successive governments, began his career in the private sector and speaks French very well, according to a profile by Politico. The Guardian says the new government has been dubbed the Vivaldi coalition, because the parties are said to represent the colours of the four seasons.
Transparency and more money for grand ducal family
Prime minister Xavier Bettel on Wednesday presented the broad outlines of a draft law that will radically change the way the grand ducal court operates and also increase the annual budget allocated to running the royal household. The legislation, which is based on recommendations from the Waringo report, aims to make the “constitutional monarchy more modern and transparent”, Bettel told parliament. See our own story for details.
Covid-19 latest: Turmes tests positive and Saarland allows 24-hour visits
Delano reported yesterday that Luxembourg’s energy minister Claude Turmes has tested positive for covid-19 after self-quarantining following prolonged contact with another person who had coronavirus. Meanwhile, Saarland’s premier Tobias Hans announced that travel to the German state for less than 24 hours will not require a negative Covid-19 test, broadcaster Saarländischer Rundfunk reported via Twitter. Luxembourg’s reproduction rate was at 0.8 on Wednesday evening after 78 new cases of Covid-19 were reported from the 7,072 tests carried out on residents in the previous 24 hours, according to official health ministry figures.
US election debates face rule change
A tsunami of negative reaction to what has been described as the worst US presidential election debate of all time on Tuesday has led the Commission on Presidential Debates to consider drastic changes to the rules of engagement ahead of the next round. Sources suggest that cutting off a candidate’s microphone if they violate the rules is one option under consideration. President Donald Trump and former vice president Joe Biden are scheduled to face off again in Miami on 15 October. More details from CNBC, CNN, The New York Times and Fox News.
Bolsonaro’s anger over Biden’s Amazon remarks
Brazilian president Jair Bolsonaro slammed what he called “coward threats” made by US presidential candidate Joe Biden during Tuesday’s now infamous election debate. Biden had called for an end to deforestation, but Bolsonaro said Brazil was taking action and argued that “the greed of some countries towards the Amazon is a well-known fact.” Reuters and Aljazeera have more.
Russia hopes to broker Nagorno-Karabakh peace
Russian foreign minister Sergei Lavrov has made calls to the governments of Armenia and Azerbaijan with an offer to host peace talks as the heavy fighting over the disputed Nagorno-Karabakh region continues. The foreign ministry said Lavrov had urged a halt to “warlike rhetoric”, according to the BBC.
Arden’s cannabis confession
Cleveland was not the only city hold to a lively election debate this week. Auckland hosted a lively and sometimes humorous debate between New Zealand prime minister, Jacinda Ardern, and National party leader, Judith Collins. Arden, whose Labour party holds a comfortable lead in the polls, at one stage admitted to using cannabis in the past. More from The Guardian and a verdict from The Spinoff.
Timothy Ray Brown, the first person known to be cured of HIV infection, has died of cancer at the age of 54 at his home in Palm Springs, California. Brown was living in Berlin when he received bone marrow and stem cell transplants in 2007 and 2008. The BBC and Sky News have details.
Best of Milan
For those that missed it, Reuters, The Cut and Harper’s Bazaar have galleries showcasing their selection of the best new trends from Milan Fashion Week.
Top tips for cooks
Bored Panda has collated 30 valuable pieces of advice from professional chefs on how to avoid common mistakes when cooking or baking. Things you shouldn’t do include storing tomatoes in the fridge, stirring stews and other pot dishes in a circular motion and pressing burgers to make them cook faster.
Today’s breakfast briefing was written by Duncan Roberts