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Fuel taxes have been raised, millions of trees have been planted, and the use of petrol cars has been discontinued. Brussels unveils environmental package today



The European Commission today unveils the ‘Fit for 55’ legislative package following the approval of the European Climate Law in April, which enshrines in European legislation the goal of achieving climate neutrality by 2050 and reducing greenhouse gas emissions. at least 55% by 2030.

The package of 13 legislative proposals includes new policies and regulations covering areas such as renewable energy, energy efficiency, construction, land use and emissions trading systems.

The package is expected to contain amendments to existing laws (for example, amendments to the directive on energy taxation and CO2 regulation for vehicles) and proposed new legislation. That make the directive legally binding to achieve 32.5% energy savings by 2030.

Here are some of the measures that could be announced today, according to an EU observer:

  • Making charging electric vehicles and refueling hydrogen for heavy vehicles as easy as refueling a traditional fuel vehicle – the EU has set a goal of one million charging points for electric vehicles by 2025 and three million by 2030;
  • Tighter CO2 emission limits for cars and vans in the EU and a ban on new gasoline and diesel vehicles from 2035;
  • The introduction of a tax on fossil fuels used in the aviation industry such as kerosene, oil and diesel, which will be gradually increased over ten years;
  • Airlines will have to stock up on a variety of fuels when departing from European airports, which will include a 2% share of environmentally friendly aviation fuel from 2025, which will grow to 63% by 2050.
  • It is also expected that the exemption from taxes on aviation fuel (kerosene) will end, and tax cuts will be applied to environmentally friendly fuels;
  • For maritime transport, the new legislative proposal is expected to introduce “targets for the intensity of greenhouse gas emissions”;
  • The EU is expected to raise its current energy efficiency target of 32.5% energy savings by 2030 and make it legally binding;
  • Brussels to strengthen the “sustainability criteria” used to determine whether a certain forest biomass can be considered renewable, with a commitment to protect EU old growth forests;
  • The EU should also present a forestry strategy that aims to plant three billion trees by 2030;
  • Brussels will propose a new stand-alone emissions trading system for the construction and road sectors;
  • Brussels wants to further discourage companies from relocating production to countries outside the EU with less stringent environmental regulations, preventing the phenomenon of “carbon leakage”;
  • A border carbon emissions mechanism could be proposed, which has raised concerns in both the United States and China, which fear protectionist measures, and which aims to ensure that European companies are not affected by the new environmental standards that come into force. in a public space.
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Following the submission of the package in question, a set of 13 legislative proposals will be submitted to the European Parliament and the EU Council, which represents all member states that will enter into inter-institutional negotiations to approve the package of measures, the process. this is expected to take several months.

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Salman Rushdie attacked with knife, police say writer suffered neck and stomach injuries



British writer Salman Rushdie was the target of an attack this Friday at an event in New York State. The Booker Prize-winning author was preparing to speak at the Chautauqua Institute and witnesses say they saw a man run onto the stage, where he attacked the interviewer and Rushdie, who suffered neck and stomach injuries, police said. with a knife.

The NYPD identified the suspect in the attack as Hadi Matar, 24, from Fairview, New Jersey, and believe he acted alone. Authorities said there were no threats prior to the event, but said they did not know the reason for the attack.

After the attack, Salman Rushdie, 75, was airlifted to a local hospital. The severity of the injury is not yet known, but New York Gov. Katie Hochul said the writer is alive and “getting the help he needs.” The author’s spokesman, Andrew Wylie, said in an emailed statement that “Rushdie is in surgery” but did not provide any details.

Part of the audience took to the stage shortly after the incident, which took place around 11 am local time (4 pm in mainland Portugal). According to an Associated Press correspondent, the writer was lying on the floor, assisted by a lifeguard who later fled the scene. Henry Reese, the interviewer, also suffered a minor head injury. Reese is the co-founder of a non-profit organization that provides sanctuary for exiled writers who are at risk of persecution.

The attacker was immobilized and detained by the police, but no information has yet been received. British newspaper The Guardian cites eyewitness accounts who say they saw a man wearing a black face mask run onto the stage and attack Rushdie as he sat down. Paula Voell, a retired journalist, said: at the Buffalo News: “We saw the man run a few steps across the stage, and there was horror – the whole audience reacted, and probably 15 people ran out onto the stage to try to look at him.”

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Iran ordered the assassination of Rushdie in 1989.

The author of The Satanic Verses, published in 1988, was sentenced to death by Iran’s leader Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini a year after publication on charges of blasphemous labor for Muslim believers. This decision forced Salman Rushdie to live in an unknown area under police protection, and a fatwa issued by the Iranian leader promising a three million dollar reward to anyone who kills the writer ultimately became the source of the rupture of diplomatic relations between Britain and Iran. The Iranian government has long distanced itself from Khomeini’s decree, but anti-Rushdie sentiment persists.

In 2012, the Iranian Religious Foundation increased the bounty for Rushdie’s assassination to $3.3 million. At the time, Rushdie downplayed the threat, saying there was “no evidence” that people were interested in the reward. In the same year, the writer published his memoirs “Joseph Anton Memory”, about the “fatwa”.

Author of about two dozen works, Rushdie received the Booker Prize in 1981 for Midnight’s Children, also awarded the Booker Prize in 1993, and in 2008 for The Best of Booker. “O Último Suspiro do Mouro” earned him the Withbread Prize in 1995 and the European Union Literary Prize in 1996.

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EU President considers visa ban for all Russians – Newsroom



“A total freeze on Russian visas by all EU member states could be another very effective sanction,” Czech Foreign Minister Jan Lipavsky said in a statement obtained by AFP.

Lipavsky said he would make the offer at an informal meeting of EU foreign ministers in Prague at the end of August.

The Ukrainian authorities are demanding such a step from the EU, but this has divided the countries of the block, which are forced to unanimously adopt sanctions.

“During this period of Russian aggression, which the Kremlin continues to intensify, one cannot speak of ordinary tourism for Russian citizens,” Lipavsky said. Otherwise, the Czech Republic has stopped issuing visas to Russians since February 25, the day after Russia invaded Ukraine.

The EU has so far adopted six packages of sanctions against Russia.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky called on Western countries to ban all Russian citizens from entering their territory in an interview with the Washington Post this week.

Last week, Finnish Foreign Minister Pekka Haavisto unveiled a plan to limit tourist visas for Russians.

Kaja Kallas, Estonia’s prime minister, also on the border with Russia, earlier this week urged the EU to stop issuing visas to Russians.

“Visiting Europe is a privilege, not a human right,” he tweeted on Tuesday. Lipavsky said the move would send “a very clear and direct signal to Russian society.”

This would show that “the Western world does not tolerate the aggression and hateful rhetoric of the Russian regime against free and democratic countries that do not pose a threat to Russia,” he added.

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Shooter shot dead while trying to break into FBI office



A gunman who tried to break into an FBI office in Cincinnati, Ohio, was killed by law enforcement on Thursday after several hours of clashes.

The incident at the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) office in Cincinnati comes after authorities warned of an increase in threats against federal agents in the days following Monday’s searches of former President Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago in Florida.

The FBI said in a statement that early Thursday morning, a gunman attempted to “break into” an office in Cincinnati, Ohio.

“An alarm went off, armed FBI agents arrived, and the suspect fled,” the federal police said.

Police sources said the man was wearing a bulletproof vest and was chased down the freeway and then abandoned his car on nearby country roads bordering forests and farmland near Interstate 71, about 45 miles (72 km) ) northeast of Cincinnati.

“After the car stopped, a shootout broke out between the police and the suspect,” the federal police said.

The man fled to a cornfield, where he was surrounded by police, who unsuccessfully tried to negotiate with him to surrender to the authorities, an Ohio police spokesman said in the evening.

The 42-year-old man died at the scene after pointing a gun at the police, who opened fire.

FBI Director Christopher Wray announced on Wednesday that the FBI had received threats following the search of Trump’s home, calling them “deplorable and dangerous.”

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