A letter to the Nobel committee praised Donald Trump, here with South Korean president Moon Jae-in in Seoul in November 2017, for his “peace through strength policies” and for his “work to end the Korean War”.
Photo: White House Photo/Andrea Hanks
Republicans send letter to Nobel committee, data mining company files for insolvency, EU budget under fire, Facebook loses Irish appeal, EU calls Abbas remarks unacceptable and Macron’s “delicious” faux pas. Delano’s breakfast briefing for 3 May.
Trump nominated for Nobel Peace Prize
As predicted by none other than satirical news reporter Jonathan Pie (at 2’38” in this video, which contains strong language), US president Donald Trump has been nominated for the 2019 Nobel Peace Prize. 18 Republican members of the US Congress sent a letter to the Nobel committee in Norway on Wednesday saying the president should be considered for the prize “in recognition of his work to end the Korean War, denuclearize the Korean peninsula and bring peace to the region.” The Guardian reports that the rules for a Nobel nomination are “relatively loose” and that for the 2018 Peace Prize, which will be announced in December, the committee has received 330 nominations. The 2017 winner was the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons, which is ironic, perhaps, given that the Republicans' letter praises Trump’s “peace through strength policies”.
Cambridge Analytica to shut down
Faced with no clients and mounting legal fees, following what it calls a “siege of media coverage”, the company at the heart of the recent Facebook data mining scandal is to close for business. Cambridge Analytica has filed applications to commence insolvency proceedings, it says in a statement. The company complains that it has been “the subject of numerous unfounded accusations” and that it has been “vilified for activities that are not only legal, but also widely accepted as a standard component of online advertising in both the political and commercial arenas.” The Guardian reports that when its reporters went to Cambridge Analytica’s Fifth Avenue offices in New York, “it appeared all the staff had already left the premises.”
Kurz critical of EU budget proposals
Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz has said he the European Commission’s new EU budget proposals place too heavy a burden on the net contributors. An Associated Press article, published by The Washington Post, cites Kurz as telling reporters that “an acceptable solution is still a long way away” and that he expects “hard and long negotiations” before the €1,135 billion for the 2021-2027 period is approved. Kurz said he thought the withdrawal of the UK, which will leave a hold in contributions to the budget, should be taken as an opportunity to become more economical and more efficient. Instead, the Commission is proposing to breech the previously set cap of 1% of the union’s gross national income.
Schrems-Facebook set for ECJ
Austrian privacy activist Max Schrems will not face a delay in his case against Facebook being heard at the European Court of Justice, an Irish court has ruled. The tech giant had sought a stay in order to appeal to the Irish Supreme Court over the matter. But, Reuters reports that High Court Judge Caroline Costello on Wednesday refused the request. “I am of the opinion that the court will cause the least injustice if it refuses any stay and delivers the reference immediately to the Court of Justice,” she said on Wednesday. Schrems brought the case to court in order to highlight his belief that transfer data outside the 28-nation European Union by tech giants failed to provide EU consumers sufficient protection from U.S. surveillance.
EU slams Abbas speech
The European Union has joined international condemnation of the speech delivered on Monday by Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas. Reuters reports that the European External Action Service said in a statement the speech “contained unacceptable remarks concerning the origins of the Holocaust and Israel’s legitimacy.” Abbas had had told a meeting of the Palestinian National Council that based on conclusions drawn from books he had read, he thought “that animosity toward Jews was not because of their religion” but because of their activities in the financial sector among other things. The EEAS statement released on Wednesday went on to says that “Antisemitism is not only a threat for Jews but a fundamental menace to our open and liberal societies.”
Macron’s “delicious wife” remarks grab attention
Media in Australia and around the world have delighted in highlighting what might have been a slip of the tongue from Emmanuel Macron in calling Malcom Turnball’s wife “delicious”. The remark came as the French president thanked the Australian prime minister at a joint press conference in Sydney on Wednesday. As The Guardian points out, the use of the word “delicious” was probably a false-friend translation of “délicieux”, which is better translated as “delightful” when used to describe a person.