Europe Daily Briefing: UK ready to 'do without EU trade deal', ECB's 'green objectives', Covid misinformation sites to receive $

Your round-up of the issues leading today's agenda

Your round-up of the issues leading today's agenda


  • Boris Johnson warned Germany’s Angela Merkel that the U.K. is ready to do without a trade deal if the European Union wasn’t prepared to compromise, Bloomberg says. The prime minister spoke to the chancellor Tuesday, as Brexit negotiators held informal talks over a private dinner. Negotiations are stuck over questions including fishing rights, the future influence of EU courts in U.K. laws, and how far Britain will be able to loosen its rules and still enjoy access to the single market.

     
  • European Central Bank president Christine Lagarde has hinted that the bank could use its asset purchase program to focus on green objectives. Speaking to the Financial Times, Lagarde highlighted a commitment to look at “greener” changes to operations at the euro zone’s central bank, including its bond buying. “I want to explore every avenue available in order to combat climate change,” she said. “This is something that I hold very strongly.” 

     
  • Digital advertising platforms run by Google, Amazon.com Inc. and other tech companies will funnel at least $25 million to websites spreading misinformation about Covid-19 this year, according to a study released Wednesday, according to Bloomberg. Google’s platforms will provide $19 million, or $3 out of every $4 that the misinformation sites get in ad revenue. OpenX, a smaller digital ad distributor, handles about 10% of the money, while Amazon’s technology delivers roughly $1.7 million, or 7%, of the digital marketing spending these sites will receive, according to a research group called the Global Disinformation Index. GDI made the estimates in a study that analyzed ads running between January and June on 480 English language websites identified as publishers of virus misinformation. Some of the ads were for brands including cosmetics giant L’Oreal SA, furniture website Wayfair Inc. and imaging technology company Canon Inc. The data exclude social-media and online-video services, so the true total is likely much higher.

 

  • Death rates among immigrants from sub-Saharan Africa doubled in France and tripled in the Paris region at the height of France’s coronavirus outbreak, finds a study from the French government’s statistics agency, The Guardian reports. The INSEE agency’s findings, published on Tuesday, are the closest France has come to acknowledging with numbers the disproportionate impact of the virus on the country’s black immigrants and members of other overlooked minority groups.

 

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