Uber stripped of license to operate in London: In a surprise move Friday, Transport for London (TfL) rejected the application for a licensing renewal for Uber Technologies to continue as a private car hire operator. Uber’s current license expires on Sept. 30.
TfL rejected the application citing Uber’s “approach to reporting serious criminal offenses”. TfL added the firm has demonstrated it is not a “fit and proper” for-hire firm. London Mayor Sadiq Khan backed the decision by TfL, saying it’s a mistake “to license Uber if there was any way this could pose a threat to Londoners’ safety or security.”
Uber has vowed to appeal the denial, saying the company is far from perfect, but is willing to work with London authorities to operate as a safe private-hire company.
Spanish government attempts to nationalize Catalonia police: Ahead of the expected independence referendum scheduled for Oct. 1, the autonomous region of Catalonia has rejected Spanish control over its police force.
Attempting to exert control in the region, Madrid’s State Prosecutor in the region ordered all local Mossos d’Esquadra police to be placed under the control of the Spanish Ministry of the Interior.
In advance of the referendum, which has been declared illegal by Madrid, over 3,000 Spanish national police have arrived and assumed control over government offices in the region.
Macron overhauls French labor rules; thousands protest in Paris: Over the heated objections of labor unions and left-wing activists, French President Emmanuel Macron signed sweeping national work reforms into law on Friday.
Enacted by decree, Marcon’s new labor rules allow small firms to negotiate working conditions independent from collective bargaining with trade unions or the national labor code. The decrees also cap labor compensation and will make it easier for firms to layoff workers.
Macron said his gesture will stimulate foreign investment and spur economic prosperity.
Responding on Saturday at the behest of National Assembly member Jean-Luc Melenchon, tens of thousands took to the streets of Paris to march and protest against Macron’s reforms.
“Grab your pots next Saturday to make as much noise as possible,” Melenchon said during a speech at the Place de la Republique . “This is what our message will be: You make our lives miserable. You prevent us from dreaming so we will prevent you from sleeping.”
Raqqa offensive nears recapture of city from ISIS: After three months of intense fighting, U.S.-backed Kurdish and Arab fighters assaulting the de-facto Islamic State (ISIS) capital of Raqqa say the campaign to retake the city from militants is near an and.
Syrian Democratic Forces say “80 percent of Raqqa has been liberated” and ISIS has been confined to the center of the city.
London-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights believes ISIS’ supply of food and munitions have nearly run out.
Seized in 2014, Raqqa is among the last ISIS stronghold in Syria. Once home to over 200,000 citizens, it is estimated the six-year civil war and battle against ISIS has led to thousands of deaths and less than 15,000 residents remaining in the city.
European Commission moves forward with digital tax: One week in advance of European Union (EU) ministers meeting in Berlin, the European Commission is weighing a levy on internet advertisements from firms which European finance ministers say don’t pay a “fair share” of taxes.
The solution is not a profit tax, but a tax on revenue, or a “withholding tax.”
The “A Fair and Efficient Tax System in the European Union for the Digital Single Market” was adopted on Thursday. A comprehensive study on effective measures to raise revenue, the proposal seeks to lay taxes on large tech firms, Google, Apple, Amazon and Facebook particularly, to prevent them from shifting profits to countries with lower taxes.
[Daily Mail] [AP] [Euronews] [The Independent] [The Telegraph] [Asharq al-Awsat]