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‘It’s a bad joke’: Energy ministers blast proposed EU gas cap

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EU power ministers criticised the European Fee’s newest proposal to determine the first-ever EU-wide cap on gasoline costs as unfit and a “unhealthy joke” forward of a gathering in Brussels.

Their disagreements over the proposed cap, which is excessive on the power ministers’ agenda, might delay the approval of two separate packages of emergency measures to deal with the power disaster.

“It is completely unenforceable, inefficient and out of scope,” Teresa Ribera, Spain’s minister for the ecological transition, stated on Thursday morning. “It is a unhealthy joke.”

Her Maltese counterpart, Miriam Dalli, stated the cap, as designed by the European Fee, was “not match for goal” and “positively not dynamic in nature.”

“The concurrent situations which might be being imposed makes it unbelievable or virtually subsequent to not possible to really set off this corrective mechanism,” Dalli instructed reporters. “That’s not what we requested for.”


In the meantime, the Netherlands, a rustic staunchly against any worth intervention, stated the instrument was “flawed” and doubtlessly “dangerous” to the EU’s safety of provide and monetary stability.

“Extra homework must be executed,” stated Dutch Power Minister Rob Jetten.

The Czech Republic, which holds the rotating presidency of the EU Council, meant to carry a dialogue across the worth cap and transfer forward with two separate laws: one about joint gasoline purchases and a second on faster-permitting guidelines for renewable applied sciences.

However a gaggle of 15 pro-cap international locations, that are deeply unhappy with the European Fee’s draft, pushed to hyperlink the worth cap with the opposite two packages and safe the joint approval of the three measures at a later stage, as soon as amendments have been secured.

Luxembourg, Austria, Finland, Denmark, Eire, Estonia and the Netherlands opposed this concept, diplomats instructed Euronews, however the Czech Republic appeared to just accept the compromise and convene a brand new extraordinary assembly in mid-December. 


On the core of the dispute is the draft unveiled simply two days in the past by the European Fee.

The chief has designed a “last-resort” cap that can apply to the Dutch Title Switch Facility (TTF), Europe’s essential hub for gasoline commerce. The platform has seen abrupt ups and down since Russia launched the invasion of Ukraine and disrupted world power markets.

The proposed cap shall be routinely activated however provided that two key situations are met:

  1. If TTF costs attain or surpass €275 per megawatt-hour for at the least two weeks.
  2. If TTF costs are €58 greater than the market reference of liquefied pure gasoline (LNG) throughout at the least 10 consecutive buying and selling days.

On high of that, the Fee launched a sequence of “safeguards” that may outright droop the mechanism in case of unexpected and undesirable penalties, corresponding to a drop in provides or a lack of liquidity.

“We’re able to facilitate an settlement and assist handle issues,” stated Kadri Simson, European Commissioner for power. “That is an extraordinary device for extraordinary occasions.”

Value vary below query

For the 15 member states who’ve spent the final months advocating for a forceful and far-reaching intervention, the situations are so stringent and particular that the cap shall be rendered powerless.


“The situations appear to be designed in order that the worth cap is rarely enforced,” Ribera stated. “This proposal may stimulate a hike in costs reasonably than include them.”

For Ribera, the €275 mark demanded by the Fee is excessively excessive and static.

The bloc has solely surpassed that barrier a handful of days through the summer season when the TTF suffered record-breaking spikes. Present TTF costs have ranged between €115 and €125 per megawatt-hour.

“If now we have gasoline costs of €275 (per megawatt-hour) throughout 15 days, Europe won’t ever recuperate from that financial shock,” Ribera stated, suggesting as an alternative a dynamic worth vary with a premium connected.

Her Greek counterpart, Kostas Skrekas, echoed her feedback and stated Europe was paying “the costliest pure gasoline on the planet.”


“Placing a ceiling at €275 just isn’t really a ceiling,” Skrekas instructed reporters. A variety of €150 euros and €200 could be “a sensible ceiling,” he added.

France, Italy, Belgium and Malta additionally expressed criticism concerning the European Fee’s draft textual content and the tight situations for activation which have been launched.

Among the many group of nations thought-about to be sceptical about worth intervention, emotions have been additionally blended.

The proposal is “flawed” and carries a “lot of dangers” for the safety of provide and monetary stability, stated Dutch Power Minister Rob Jetten. “I am very essential however from a unique perspective,” he stated.

For Germany, a rustic whose essential precedence is to safe as a lot gasoline as doable to offset the lack of Russian provides, the proposal goes in “the correct course” and just some “minor modifications” could be required.


“For us, it’s essential that the safeguards are in place and we keep away from the rationing of gasoline in Europe,” stated Sven Giegold, Germany’s state secretary for the financial system and local weather motion.

“The rationing of gasoline could be the incorrect response for residents and companies in such a disaster.”

Estonia, which shares related issues to Germany’s, additionally voiced a usually optimistic opinion.

“The proposal on the desk is OK, just about. However the measure must be non permanent and solely work for excessive worth hikes,” stated Riina Sikkut, Estonia’s minister of financial affairs and infrastructure.

“Safety of provide is paramount. Europe nonetheless must be a beautiful gasoline market. We can not put that below query.”



Don Lee-Starring ‘Men of Plastic’ Sells Strongly for Showbox

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“Males of Plastic,” a present comedy movie starring the larger-than-life Korean American actor Don Lee (aka Ma Dong-seok) has racked up gross sales in 32 territories for distributor Showbox.

Lee is the star of the crime motion movie sequence that kicked off with “The Outlaws” and which was adopted by “The Roundup,” this 12 months’s largest movie in Korea with a $100 million cumulative.

“Males of Plastic” which sees Lee enjoying a small-time entrepreneur who units up a mega studio in Apgujeong, the center of Korea’s cosmetic surgery trade, was launched in Korea final week. Produced by Lee and directed by Lim Jin-sun, it has earned $3.34 million to this point and holds second place on the field workplace going into its second weekend.

The movie was licensed to Film Cloud for Taiwan, Purple Plan for Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia, Brunei, Vietnam, At Leisure for Japan, CJ ENM HK for Thailand, Eagle Worldwide for Inflight, Viva Communications for The Philippines, Lotus Photos for Mongolia and Edko Movies for Hong Kong. North American rights have been licensed to Capelight, Showbox advised Selection.

Lee is a former boxer and bodybuilder who was born in Korea, raised within the U.S. and returned to Korea to look in additional than 80 movies the place he has developed a cult following. He has had vital roles within the “Alongside With The Gods” hit movie pair, and “The Gangster, The Cop, The Satan.” Internationally, he could also be finest recognized for his starring function in breakout zombie horror movie “Practice to Busan” or a supporting function in Marvel’s “The Eternals.”


Lee has not too long ago wrapped “The Roundup: No Manner Out,” the third movie within the “Roundup” franchise and has plunged straight into making a fourth movie, “The Roundup: Punishment.”

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Ukraine calls on US to back tribunal to try Kremlin for war crimes

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Kyiv has referred to as on the U.S. to assist it create a tribunal that might examine and take a look at Russian management for the warfare crimes dedicated in Ukraine for the reason that warfare started extra 9 months in the past.

“Peace is inconceivable with out justice. And justice is inconceivable with out judiciary,” head of Ukraine’s presidential workplace Andriy Yermak mentioned in Wednesday message directed on the White Home. “To begin a prison and unprovoked warfare is to open the door to hundreds of crimes of varied ranges dedicated throughout hostilities and within the occupied territory.”

In a dialogue held by the U.S. Institute of Peace and the Atlantic Council, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy’s right-hand man argued it’s not sufficient to analyze and take a look at warfare crimes dedicated on the person stage.

A lady walks amid destroyed Russian tanks in Bucha, within the outskirts of Kyiv, Ukraine, Sunday, April 3, 2022.
(AP Picture/Rodrigo Abd)



Yermak mentioned that Russian management have “head[ed] the hell of aggression” by ordering the warfare in Ukraine to start with and may subsequently be held accountable for the atrocities dedicated. 

“Ukraine appeals to you and america of America to help our efforts to determine a particular tribunal for the crime of Russian aggression,” he mentioned in a dialogue attended by U.S. assume tank officers, prime Ukrainian management and U.S. Reps. Invoice Keating, D-Mass., and Joe Wilson, R-S.C.

Fox Information Digital couldn’t instantly attain the State Division for touch upon the U.S.’s place in relation to holding the Kremlin instantly accountable for crimes dedicated by its troops.

Ukraine’s attraction to Washington comes only one week after the European Union threw its weight behind the push to create a particular tribunal.

Particulars on what the tribunal would appear like stay unclear although reporting final month urged that the EU has proposed the creation of both a global treaty or a hybrid court docket that might depend on a nation-based authorized system that encompasses worldwide justices.

A convoy of pro-Russian troops moves along a road in Mariupol, Ukraine, on Thursday, April 21.

A convoy of pro-Russian troops strikes alongside a highway in Mariupol, Ukraine, on Thursday, April 21.
(REUTERS/Chingis Kondarov)


The EU argued you will need to set up a tribunal that had the backing of the UN though hundreds of investigations have been opened into alleged warfare crimes by Western nations and the Worldwide Felony Court docket (ICC), as not all nations, together with the U.S. and Russia, acknowledge the jurisdiction of the ICC.

Though the U.S. has a posh relationship with the ICC and doesn’t acknowledge its authority over U.S. residents, Beth Van Schaack, Ambassador-at-Massive for International Felony Justice, mentioned earlier this week that the U.S. can nonetheless support the court docket.

“Within the midst of all this exercise on the Court docket, the Biden-Harris Administration launched a sorely wanted reset of the U.S. relationship with the ICC,” she mentioned. “Though america signed the Rome Statute, we aren’t a full get together. Nonetheless, there’s a lot that we will do, and have performed, to advance the work of the Court docket.”

Bags with dead bodies are seen during the exhumation in the recently retaken area of Izium, Ukraine, Friday, Sept. 16, 2022. Ukrainian authorities discovered a mass burial site near the recaptured city of Izium that contained hundreds of graves. 

Baggage with lifeless our bodies are seen throughout the exhumation within the not too long ago retaken space of Izium, Ukraine, Friday, Sept. 16, 2022. Ukrainian authorities found a mass burial website close to the recaptured metropolis of Izium that contained tons of of graves. 
(AP Picture/Evgeniy Maloletka)


Van Schaack mentioned the U.S. will proceed to work with the court docket to assist apprehend Russian perpetrators accountable for crimes in Ukraine.

The U.S. mentioned it might additionally assist with witness safety and in joint investigative efforts relating to worldwide crimes. 

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Brazilians want one thing from their football team: Hexa

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Brazil’s soccer group appears to have restored a few of its mojo. However is that sufficient to win the World Cup in Qatar?

Judging by the temper again house, the reply is sure. Not many are doubting that the Seleção will win the title for a sixth time and the primary time in 20 years.

Hemerson Cabral, 35, has seen many adjustments within the constructing he works as a janitor in São Paulo, Brazil’s largest metropolis.

For the reason that World Cup began final month, extra Brazilian flags have been hanging out of home windows and residents are immersed within the event.

“When Brazil are taking part in, many individuals end work so that they get again house earlier to observe it with the household or with the neighbours,” Cabral mentioned, including that he believes Brazil will beat France within the closing.


“They’re the one impediment. It will likely be an awesome match and Brazil will win. The ambiance at Brazil matches is second to none. I don’t suppose there are soccer followers like us. We enter the pitch with the gamers.”

Brazil’s blue and white jerseys being offered [Luana Ferreira/Al Jazeera]

Cabral isn’t the one one to consider within the Hexa (a sixth World Cup title for Brazil). In accordance with a survey carried out by Apoema analysis, 71 % of Brazilians suppose Brazil will win the title this yr.

Soccer has been the nation’s major speaking level in the previous couple of weeks. Everybody has an opinion. The World Cup and the group are dominating conversations in bars, work conferences and taxi rides.

Rio de Janeiro is internet hosting a FIFA Fan Pageant, the place folks can watch the matches and live shows. Town can be internet hosting themed events till the ultimate on December 18.

The World Cup can be serving to companies increase their gross sales. Brazilian jerseys are seen in all places.


When the World Cup began, Cintia Sampaio, 30, was stunned by the demand for jerseys at her store in João Pessoa.

“The gross sales began to extend through the elections [in November] as a result of folks wore it [jersey] for the politics facet of issues,” Sampaio mentioned.

“The World Cup began simply after the elections, and it was insane. I used to be promoting lots of of jerseys every day, and it was so busy on the store that I didn’t have the possibility to have breakfast or lunch.”

Sampaio added that the blue jerseys have grow to be extremely popular this yr.

“I don’t have them now.”

Brazil football
Extra reproduction jerseys being offered in Brazil through the World Cup [Luana Ferreira/Al Jazeera]

Brazil’s ardour for soccer is plain, however some folks have been involved politics might outshine the matches. Not like different years, the World Cup vibe simply took over the nation when the competitors began on November 20.

In the previous couple of years, Brazil has grow to be extremely divided by politics and nationwide icons such because the Brazilian flag and yellow jersey have grow to be an emblem of the intense proper.

Now, the streets are coated with inexperienced and yellow, and the temper throughout the nation appears lighter, due to soccer.

“I feel we’re going by a second of renovation within the nation, we’re happier,” mentioned Melissa Paulino, 31.

“At the very least for me, it brings an additional degree of pleasure and vitality to help Brazil. I consider the Hexa is coming now. It has been 20 years since we received the World Cup, so it’s time, proper?”

Like many others within the nation, Paulino’s routine adjustments when Brazil performs. She makes certain to be free so she will give attention to the sport.


“It has been a very long time since I felt so thrilled. I’ve combined emotions concerning the match towards Croatia. I’m additionally nervous as a result of we are able to’t lose.

“I don’t have a ritual for watching the match but when I put on one thing when Brazil wins, I preserve sporting it for the subsequent matches. As you may think about, the jersey I wore through the 7-1 [Brazil’s loss to Germany in World Cup 2014 semi-finals] doesn’t exist any extra.”

Followers of Brazil rejoice in Sabara, Minas Gerais state [Washington Alves/Reuters]

However regardless of the widespread hope and optimism, some Brazilians consider the present facet isn’t one of the best the nation has seen.

Luciano Valente, 44, is worried as a result of “the gamers are infantile, and so they depend on Neymar an excessive amount of”.

“We received most matches as a result of the groups we confronted weren’t on the prime of their video games,” Valente mentioned. “Any further, we’re going to compete with groups which might be extra aggressive and ready. Do we now have an opportunity to win? Certain, however we want emotional intelligence.”

Even those that aren’t often soccer followers appear to benefit from the World Cup vibe.


Rosa Maria Ferreira, 72, likes watching the video games alone at house. “I consider we’re going to win 4-0 towards Croatia.”

Brazil received the final of its 5 world titles in 2002. Gabriel Furtado, 15, was not born then.

“I’ve by no means seen Brazil win a World Cup, so I’ve excessive expectations this yr. I consider we now have many probabilities to win. I’m thrilled, I feel we’re going to beat Croatia,” mentioned Furtado.

Like Paulino, Furtado additionally believes he may help the Seleção.

“I watch it with my household or with my faculty pals. Brazil received the matches I watched at house, so the quarter-final, I’ll watch it with my household.”

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