Macron and Merkel try to showcase EU unity as Brexit looms

French President Emmanuel Macron welcomes German Chancellor Angela Merkel as she arrives for a dinner to discuss European matters ahead of next week’s EU Summit, at the Elysee Palace in Paris, France, October 13, 2019. (Reuters)
Updated 16 October 2019

Macron and Merkel try to showcase EU unity as Brexit looms

  • The leaders on Wednesday will first visit Airbus headquarters, as a symbol of European industrial cooperation
  • The French and German delegations, including key ministers from both governments, will discuss global trade tensions

TOULOUSE: French President Emmanuel Macron and German Chancellor Angela Merkel are meeting in southern France, one day before a key EU summit that may approve a divorce deal with Britain.

The leaders on Wednesday will first visit Airbus headquarters, as a symbol of European industrial cooperation, before holding bilateral talks and a French-German Cabinet meeting in the city of Toulouse.

Macron and Merkel will discuss Brexit as EU and British officials scramble to make a deal before Thursday’s summit in Brussels — the last before the U.K’s scheduled departure from the EU on Oct. 31.

The French and German delegations, including key ministers from both governments, will also discuss global trade tensions, the fight against climate change, European defense projects and how to defend EU copyright rules, Macron’s office said.


India reports over 8,000 new coronavirus cases

Updated 31 May 2020

India reports over 8,000 new coronavirus cases

  • Confirmed infections have risen to 182,143, with 5,164 fatalities

NEW DELHI: India reported more than 8,000 new cases of the coronavirus in a single day, another record high that topped the deadliest week in the country.
Confirmed infections have risen to 182,143, with 5,164 fatalities, including 193 in the last 24 hours, the Health Ministry said Sunday.
Overall, more than 60 percent of the virus fatalities have been reported from only two states — Maharashtra, the financial hub, and Gujarat, the home state of Prime Minister Narendra Modi. The new cases are largely concentrated in six Indian states, including the capital New Delhi.
Public health experts have criticized the Modi government’s handling of the outbreak. A joint statement by the Indian Public Health Association, Indian Association of Preventive and Social Medicine and Indian Association of Epidemiologists, which was sent to Modi’s office on May 25, said it was “unrealistic” to eliminate the virus at a time when “community transmission is already well-established.”
India has denied of any community transmission even though new cases have continued to mount significantly.
The health experts said that the infections were rising exponentially despite the “draconian lockdown,” which began March 25.
The restrictions have slowly been relaxed, with the government announcing Saturday a phased “Unlock 1” plan from June onwards that allows more economic activities. The restrictions in so-called containment zones — areas that have been isolated due to the outbreaks — will remain through June 30.
Modi, who addressed the nation through his monthly radio program on Sunday, said India was faring better than other countries.
India has a fatality rate of 2.8 percent.
There are concerns that the virus may be spreading through India’s villages as millions of jobless migrant workers return home from cities during the lockdown. Experts warn that the pandemic is yet to peak in India.