Another tough day? … EU court overturns approval of KLM and TAP aid

TOKYO (AP) – Global stocks fell today, following a decline on Wall Street led by big tech stocks. The price of Bitcoin fell again after the China Banking Association warned of the risks associated with digital currencies. France’s CAC 40 fell 0.9% early in trading, while Germany’s DAX plunged 1.2%. The UK FTSE 100 fell 1.3%. In Asia, the Japanese benchmark Nikkei closed down 1.3%. The Shanghai Composite slipped 0.5%. Markets were closed in Hong Kong and South Korea. Another day of decline is expected on Wall Street, with Dow futures down 0.7% and S&P 500 futures down 0.8%.

BRUSSELS (AP) – High-level European Union court overturned EU approval of € 3.4 billion ($ 4.1 billion) in state aid to Dutch carrier KLM . But the court suspended its immediate application due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the industry. In a similar ruling supporting a challenge by Irish air carrier Ryanair, the court also overturned the EU’s decision to back state aid to Portuguese carrier TAP for a potential total of € 1.2 billion, but also suspended its request pending a new EU decision. In both cases, the Luxembourg-based Tribunal said the European Commission needed to find a more complete reasoning on why such aid could be granted.

BRUSSELS (AP) – EU lawmakers have adopted a proposal to tackle online piracy of live sporting events that includes the possibility of removing illegal broadcasts within half an hour. EU lawmakers have also called on the European Commission to change the legislation on intellectual property rights for live sporting events, as they are not protected by Union copyright rules. The report was adopted with 479 votes in favor, 171 against and 40 abstentions. MEPs say the new rules should not target viewers who are often unaware that the content they are watching is illegal.

BEIJING (AP) – Chinese nationalism online has a new target: the popular Thai drama “Girl from Nowhere” distributed by Netflix. Online comments complain that the show’s Facebook page showed the flags of Taiwan, the island democracy claimed by the ruling Communist Party as part of its territory, and Hong Kong, where the party is trying to crush the pro-democracy activism. “Girl from Nowhere” joins a growing list of foreign retailers, airlines, hotels and other brands that have come under attack online in China in Taiwan, Xinjiang, Tibet, human rights and other questions of a political nature. Some comments have complained that the flags are showing support for “dividing China” or promoting the formal independence of self-governing Taiwan.

PARIS (AP) – It’s a big day for the French. Sidewalk cafes and restaurants reopen today after a pandemic shutdown of more than six months that has deprived people of what feels like the essence of life in France. The French government is gradually lifting restrictions to prevent a resurgence of COVID-19 and give citizens back part of their “joie de vivre” signature. As part of the first stage, the 7 p.m. nighttime curfew in France is reduced to 9 p.m. Museums, theaters and cinemas reopen as well as outdoor restaurant areas, meaning the French can once again enjoy the famous coffee society of their country.

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