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Sarkozy, Merkel to thrash out euro crisis plan

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French President Nicolas Sarkozy hosts German Chancellor Angela Merkel on Monday to thrash out details of a plan to save the euro at the start of a pivotal week for the single currency.

The meeting comes as Italy kicked off the crucial week with a draconian austerity package of cuts, taxes and pension reforms to be presented to parliament on Monday.

Ireland’s Prime Minister Enda Kenny is also to announce a 3.8 billion euro austerity budget on Monday, a day after warning citizens to brace for years of economic hardship during a historic television address.

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Merkel and Sarkozy are to meet for a working lunch in Paris, having vowed to propose European Union treaty changes to create what Merkel has dubbed a “European fiscal union with strict rules” and Sarkozy calls “true economic government”.

The two leaders are to hold a joint press conference after the lunch, which is to start at 1230 GMT.

Whatever proposals emerge from the talks must be seen as a credible guarantee that eurozone governments will at last bring their deficits under control and thereby satisfy restive markets.

European Central Bank chief Mario Draghi has said he could then take action, and many hope the ECB will intervene to protect European banks from a credit crunch and buy bonds to rein in soaring rates on government borrowing.

After Monday’s Franco-German mini-summit, EU leaders will have three days to digest the two countries’ proposals before Thursday, when an EU summit begins in Brussels and the ECB board meets in Frankfurt.

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Some countries may be obliged by national law to put any new treaty proposed by Sarkozy and Merkel to a referendum, which might delay or even derail its implementation.

Sarkozy and Merkel have sought to take charge of the debt crisis, working so closely together that the media have dubbed them “Merkozy” and running the risk of alienating smaller EU states wary of Franco-German domination.

Europe’s main stock markets advanced at the start of trading on Monday, with investors reassured by the Italian austerity measures and hopes of a breakthrough this week.

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London’s FTSE 100 index climbed 0.56 percent at 5,583.57 points, Frankfurt’s DAX 30 gained 0.93 percent to 6,137.87 points and in Paris the CAC 40 added 1.32 percent to stand at 3,206.67.

In Rome, the cabinet gave its go-ahead to the crisis-busting plan on Sunday estimating that it would save 20 billion euros ($27 billion) but warning that it would not prevent the economy from slipping back into recession next year.

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“This is a decree to save Italy,” Prime Minister Mario Monti told reporters after the cabinet meeting. Italy will “put its deficit and debt under strong control,” he said.

Milan’s stock market opened 2.02 percent higher to 15,787 points as investors hailed the approval of the austerity budget.

Italy, the eurozone’s third-biggest economy, is desperate to prove to its European neighbours that it should be part of the discussions on saving the eurozone — rather than being seen as one of its biggest problems.

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In Dublin, Kenny said the Irish government would need to cut public spending by 2.2 billion euros and raise 1.6 billion euros in extra taxes to meet its obligations.

Ireland has had four austerity budgets in just over three years after its Celtic Tiger economic boom turned to bust when a property bubble collapsed and triggered a banking crisis.

Amid concern that the eurozone crisis will trigger a global economic downturn, US Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner has also been dispatched to Europe, where he arrives on Tuesday to pressure leaders to take effective action on the debt crisis.

Eurozone banks meanwhile deposited the biggest amount of overnight funds at the ECB for more than a year on Sunday, official data showed Monday, in a signal of banks’ wariness of lending to each other.

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Banks put 332.71 billion euros on deposit for 24 hours at the European Central Bank, the highest amount since June 2010.


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George Floyd’s brother tears up discussing condolence phone call from Trump: ‘It hurt me’

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The brother of George Floyd described the condolence phone call he received from President Donald Trump during a Saturday interview on MSNBC.

Philonise Floyd was interviewed by the Rev. Al Sharpton on "Politics Nation."

While Derek Chauvin has been arrested and charged with third degree murder, the other three officers involved in the killing remain free.

"They all need to be convicted of first degree murder and given the death penalty," Floyd said.

"What was the conversation with President Trump like?" Sharpton asked.

"It was so fast," Floyd replied.

"He didn't give me an opportunity to even speak. It was hard, I was trying to talk to him, but he just kept like pushing me off, like 'I don't want to hear what you're talking about.' And I just told him I want justice. I said that I couldn't believe they committed a modern-day lynching in broad daylight."

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Bill Barr slammed by ex-FBI official for ignoring the right-wing ‘Boogaloo Bois’ infiltrating protests

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Attorney General Bill Barr was slammed by the former assistant director for counterintelligence at the Federal Bureau of Investigation on Saturday for misleading Americans about the source of violence at the protests over the killing of George Floyd while in police custody.

"There's evidence developing, Brian, that the organization we're seeing of the most violent protesters is coming from a couple of disturbing places," both, by the way, there's disparate in terms in being from the right or the left. here's what those who monitor these groups and sites are seeing.

"We're seeing a far-right group, one group for example known as the Boogaloo Bois, who on their private Facebook page and social media outlets are calling for violence, calling for people to show up," Frank Figliuzzi told MSNBC's Brian Williams.

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Trump is the ‘greatest troll in the history of the internet’ and Twitter needs to ‘pull the plug’: NYT columnist

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President Donald Trump would face an existential crisis if Twitter were to enforce it's own rules and hold him accountable -- and one New York Times columnist wants to see it happen.

"C’mon, @Jack. You can do it," Maureen Dowd wrote, referring to Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey with his username on the platform.

She urged Dorsey to "just pull the plug on him."

"You could answer the existential question of whether @realDonaldTrump even exists if he doesn’t exist on Twitter. I tweet, therefore I am. Dorsey meets Descartes," she explained. "All it would take is one sweet click to force the greatest troll in the history of the internet to meet his maker."

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