Yes, we’re sorry it’s a little late. Here’s what’s been going on in the Eurozone and the world.
Purchasing Managers’ Index for July fell to 55.8 from June’s 56.3 but is still above the 50 level. This suggests that the economy slowed down just a bit at the start of Q3 but has maintained a decent pace. If the euro zone PMI is maintained, there will be a third quarter GDP growth of 0.6 percent compared to the 0.4 percent predicted. Last quarter’s GDP growth was at 0.5 percent. Germany and France missed expectations which prompts many of the bloc’s members to increase the pace of business activity. The euro hit a 23-month high against the weakening dollar. The region’s export may be less attractive due to the stronger currency. Eurozone growth was expected to be slightly stronger in 2018 due to solid momentum as per the International Monetary Fund published upgraded forecast.
The labor market improved in April as the number of unemployed fell by 233,000, which was a larger drop than March’s 58,000. The unemployment rate fell from March’s 9.4% to 9.3% in April, the lowest rate since May 2009. Unemployment rate fell in Italy (11.1%) and Spain (17.8%), but was stable in France (9.5%) and Germany. Greece has the highest unemployment rate (23.2%), followed by Spain and Cyprus.
United States President Donald Trump visited Europe during the 3rd week of May. He visited Riyadh, Tel Aviv, Jerusalem, and Bethlehem from May 20-23 prior to going to Rome and Vatican City and ended his European visit on May 25 in Brussels.
The Brexit vote forced the government to pay more interest on its debt resulting in a higher budget deficit and higher inflation. The deficit in June stood at 6.854 billion pounds, 43 percent higher at the same time last year. The budget deficit widened by 8.9 percent at 22.8 billion pounds in the first three months of the financial year, compared to the same months last year. Debt interest spending jumped 33 percent in June to 4.9 billion pounds.
2,500 products sold in Britain have shrunk in size since January 2016. The phenomenon dubbed “shrinkflation” has been blamed on last year’s Brexit referendum. This has caused the British pound to drop and made important ingredients more expensive. The trend is more pronounced in food items particularly sugar, jam, syrups, chocolate and confectionery which roughly accounts to 80 percent of shrinking products.
Charlie Gard’s parents ended their legal fight to take him to the US for treatment. The couple ended the case since it was too late to treat Charlie’s rare genetic condition. His parents were not able to overturn rulings in the High Court, Court of Appeal and Supreme Court in London, and failed to persuade judges at the European Court of Human Rights to intervene. Nucleoside therapy in New York was opposed by London’s Great Ormond Street Hospital. They stated that the experimental treatment would be futile.
Spain’s GDP is on track to grow this year as much as it did in 2016 which was 3.2 percent in 2015. Exports, investment, and consumption have shown signs of acceleration. The Madrid government raised its official forecast for this year from 2.7 percent growth from 2.5 percent.
Catalonia is moving towards abandoning long work hours and lunch breaks which has a direct impact on health. It also affects people’s work-life balance and family life. Late clock outs mean dinner is not eaten before 9pm. Add other miscellaneous activities in the evening and people end up going to bed around midnight. An alliance of 110 companies, trade unions, educational groups and social activists signed up to a working hours reform pact, which proposes to make working days shorter, flexible, and compact.
A bill has been passed to legalize same sex marriage. Chancellor Angela Merkel allowed lawmakers a free vote on the issue has become all but law. When Germany’s senate approves the bill, homosexuals couples in Germany will have the same rights as heterosexual couples to marry and jointly adopt children.
Linda Wenzel, 16-year-old German girl who ran away from home in 2016 who allegedly joined ISIS, was captured by Iraqi forces in Mosul. If proven as a member of ISIS her case will go to the general federal prosecutor in Germany. It is unknown if she will return to Germany and she could be put on trial in Iraq.
The Greek Island of Kos was rocked by a 6.7 magnitude earthquake early Friday July 21 killing 2 people and injuring many others. The epicenter was also close to the Turkish port city of Bodrum. Many historic sites have suffered extensive damage due to the natural disaster. There were no reports of collapsed buildings.
Poland’s President Duda vetoes controversial law to replace Supreme Court judges with government nominees. The president gave in to the pressure of nationwide protests. This sets the right-wing government to clash with the European Union. European Council President Donald Tusk warns that this could lead to the marginalization of Poland in Europe. Sanctions may be imposed by the European Council if the reforms were not scrapped.
China will launch an ‘unhackable’ internet communication. It will use quantum cryptography to encrypt the system. Quantum communication offers more secure methods of communication that’s why China is pouring massive resources in the project. Previous encryption technology hides the key behind a very difficult mathematical problem. Faster and more powerful computers are making decryption easier. Quantum communication works by sending the encryption key by embedding it in particles of light. Intercepting the light particles either alters or destroys it, in theory makes it more secure.
11 dead and dozens found overheated inside a tractor trailer in San Antonio Texas. The driver, James Matthew Bradley Jr. claims that he had no idea that undocumented immigrants were inside the trailer that he was hauling. He was charged with knowingly transporting undocumented immigrants. The tractor-trailer was found parked at a Walmart in San Antonio early Sunday morning after an employee at the store called police.
You might say goodbye to Microsoft Paint soon. The application may not be available in the new update of Windows 10. The application is not in active development and could be removed. Microsoft Paint has been featured in all Windows releases since Windows 1.0. Don’t panic yet because Paint will still be available in the Windows Store for free but it won’t receive updates.