German Chancellor Angela Merkel will not attend the G7 summit in Washington due to the coronavirus pandemic, the German Press Agency reported Saturday, citing government spokesperson, Steffen Seibert.
U.S. President Donald Trump said on May 20 that he was aiming for a real G7 summit in Washington in late June as a sign of normalisation after the outbreak of the pandemic.
The summit was originally scheduled for June 10-12 at the presidential retreat of Camp David, Maryland.
In March, however, the U.S. government cancelled the arrangement because of the pandemic and scheduled a video conference instead.
Merkel had initially left open whether she would accept Trump’s invitation to participate in a video conference.
In whatever form this meeting takes place, “whether as a video conference or otherwise, I will definitely fight for multilateralism.
“That is very clear, both in the G7 and the G20,’’ the chancellor said on May 20.
Kanye West Announces 2020 Presidential Bid
Kanye West has announced his plans to run for president in 2020.
The 43-year-old Billionaire rapper made the announcement on Saturday night, July 4, via his official Twitter account.
He wrote: “We must now realize the promise of America by trusting God, unifying our vision and building our future. I am running for president of the United States! #2020VISION.”
The announcement was endorsed by Tesla and SpaceX CEO, Elon Musk who tweeted: “You have my full support!”
You have my full support!
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) July 5, 2020
Recall that at the MTV VMAs in 2015, West first announced that he would be running for president in 2020. “As you probably could have guessed by this moment, in 2020, I have decided to run for president,” he said.
Last November, during a speech at the Fast Company Innovation Festival, he announced again he would be running in 2024. When the audience laughed at his announcement, West replied, “What y’all laughing at? We would create so many jobs! I’m not going to run, I’m going to walk.”
French President, Emmanuel Macron Appoints Jean Castex As New PM
President Emmanuel Macron on Friday named senior French civil servant Jean Castex, who drew up the policy for easing the coronavirus lockdown, as his new prime minister as part of a government reshuffle.
“The president of the Republic has named Jean Castex as prime minister and mandated him to form a government,” the presidency said in a brief statement.
Recall that Prime Minister Edouard Philippe and his entire government resigned Friday, July 3, as Macron’s ruling party reels from dire local election results and the president prepares to tackle the economic crisis resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic.
In other news, former French prime minister, François Fillon and his Welsh wife, Penelope, were sentenced to jail on Monday, June 30, for embezzling public funds as part of the “fake job” scandal.
A French court found Francois guilty of charges of creating a fake job for his wife, which paid her over €1 million ($1.13 million) using taxpayer money.
UN Suspends 2 Officials In Viral Car-Sex Video
Two employees of the United Nations mission in Israel have been suspended without pay after a viral video featured a sex act in their official vehicle, as it drove down a major street in Tel Aviv.
Recall that in the 18-second video, a woman in a red dress was seen straddling a man in the back seat of clearly marked white UN vehicle. Another man appears to be asleep in the passenger seat.
In a statement released on Thursday July 2, the UN said the men in the video have been identified as staff members of the United Nations Truce Supervision Organization (UNTSO), UN military observers based in Israel.
Stéphane Dujarric, the spokesman for the UN’s secretary general said the two staff members have been suspended without pay until the investigation into the incident has concluded.
Dujarric told BBC;
“Their suspension was appropriate given the seriousness of the allegations of failing to observe the standards of conduct expected of international civil servants.
“UNTSO has re-engaged in a robust awareness-raising campaign to remind its personnel of their obligations to the UN Code of Conduct.”
The UN maintains strict regulations barring sexual misconduct by staffers and has come under fire for violations in recent years. A report by the UN confirmed 175 allegations of sexual exploitation and abuse by staffers in 2019. Sixteen claims were substantiated, fifteen were found to be unsubstantiated, and the rest are still investigated.
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