Venezuelan president Nicolas Maduro, pictured, said on Thursday he would close the border with Brazil. Photo: Shutterstock
Venezuelan border shutdown, Ryanair & Wizzair fined over hand baggage charges, and stark food sustainability warning. Delano’s breakfast briefing for Friday.
Venezuela border closure
President Nicolas Maduro will close Venezuela’s border with Brazil “until further notice”, in a stand-off over allowing in humanitarian aid. He called the aid a “provocation”, suggesting it will be followed by US military intervention. His words come after the US recognised opposition leader Juan Guaido as interim president. Guaido was said to be leading a convoy to the Colombian border, which Maduro has said he is considering shutting. More on this from Aljazeera, BBC news, The Guardian, and Reuters.
Ryanair & Wizzair fines
Low-cost airlines Ryanair and Wizzair were fined €3m and €1m respectively for charging passengers to take a small suitcase into the plane cabins, euronews reports. Issuing the fines, Italy’s Competition Authority said that hand baggage is considered an essential element of air transport and under European legislation unavoidable supplements must be included in the price of the basic service.
Stark food sustainability warning
“The foundations of our food systems are being undermined” by our failure to protect biodiversity, a stark report from the Food and Agriculture Organisation has spelled out. It concluded there was an “urgent need to change the way food is produced.” Read more on this from The Guardian, catch the BBC news video, or read the original report.
US to leave peacekeepers in Syria
As the final days of the Caliphate in Syria come close an end, the US has said it will leave a “small peacekeeping group” of 200 American troops in the country for a period of time after a US pullout, Reuters reports. This is a change from an earlier comment by president Donald Trump who, in December, ordered a complete withdrawal.
Actor accused of lying to police
US actor Jussie Smollett paid two men to stage a racist and homophobic attack on him because he was unhappy with his salary on the TV show “Empire”, according to Chicago police. If convicted of lying to police over the attack, he could face up to three years in prison. More on this from Reuters, The Guardian, and BBC news.
Space launches & touchdowns
Israel launched its first lunar lander into space as part of a privately funded mission from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Florida, on Thursday, Reuters reports. If successful, it will make Israel the fourth nation to achieve a controlled touchdown on the moon’s surface. Remaining in space, on Thursday Japan’s Hayabusa 2 successfully touched down on Ryugu asteroid to gather samples, The Guardian reported.
Tour de Denmark
The 2021 Tour de France will start in Copenhagen, Denmark, with a 13-kilometre time trial around the bike-friendly capital. The route was revealed on Thursday. More from euronews.