US military aircraft crashes in the North Sea

Pilot missing after F-15 aircraft crash.

US military aircraft crashes in the North Sea

LONDON — A U.S. Air Force pilot is missing after a fighter jet crashed in the North Sea during a routine training mission Monday morning.

The F-15 aircraft, from the 48th Fighter Wing based at RAF Lakenheath in the east of England, crashed at around 9:30 a.m. local time, with one pilot on board.

A search and rescue mission is underway. The cause of the crash is currently unknown.

Colonel Will Marshall, commander of the 48th Fighter Wing, also known as the Liberty Wing, said: “We will provide updates as they become available while prioritizing respect and consideration for the pilot’s family. We’re extremely grateful for the timely response of our U.K. counterparts in support of these recovery efforts and remain hopeful that our Liberty Wing airman will be located and recovered.”

A Downing Street spokesperson said a U.K. search and rescue team was “working closely with the U.S.”

A spokeswoman for HM Coastguard, quoted by the BBC, said a helicopter had been sent from Humberside in north-east England along with lifeboats

“Following a Mayday broadcast by HM Coastguard, other vessels nearby are heading to the area,” the spokesperson said.

Source : Politico EU More   

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Macron hints at post-coronavirus reset for presidency

French president sketches out the main themes of the next two years of his mandate.

Macron hints at post-coronavirus reset for presidency

PARIS — Emmanuel Macron sent strong signals on Sunday that he plans to reset his presidency by pivoting to more environmentally-friendly economic policies with more social welfare and less dependence on foreign production.

After announcing that all coronavirus related restrictions would be lifted across the country starting Monday, except for restrictions on large gatherings, Macron sketched out the main themes of the next two years of his mandate.

“Our first priority is to rebuild a strong, environmental, sovereign economy [with strong social] solidarity,” Macron said in a pre-recorded televised address on Sunday. “This economic, environmental reconstruction with social welfare will be the key to our independence.”

Macron’s focus on social solidarity, eco-friendliness and ramped up national industrial capacities is a departure from his traditional policies and the clearest sign yet of how he plans to reinvent his political program to regain public support. The coronavirus crisis forced him to suspend some of his most emblematic economic reforms and exposed France’s dependence on China, which weakened its initial response to the epidemic.

Early on in his presidency, he had urged more European sovereignty on issues like military capabilities and the rollout of next-generation 5G mobile networks which he qualified as strategic, but the push for national industrial capacities in the medical field started during the crisis and is now being expanded.

Macron on Sunday also advocated again for the European recovery fund as set out by a Franco-German initiative, saying it would be “an unprecedented step in our European adventure and the consolidation of an independent Europe that gives itself the ability to affirm its identity, its culture, its singularity in the face of China, of the U.S. and the global disorder we are seeing.”

Macron also promised to grant more powers to local authorities, without going as far as explicitly mentioning decentralization, in a country with a hyper-centralized governance.

And he tried several times to defend his track record in managing the crisis and persuade the French people that the country had handled it well, arguing the government had taken unprecedented economic measures that most other governments can’t afford, such as pumping €500 billion into the economy under various schemes.

“I want you tonight to measure this fully. In how many countries was all this done? That’s fortunate and it shows the strength of our state and our social model,” Macron said. “We can be proud of what was done, and of our country.”

Macron’s approval ratings have been steadily slipping after an initial bump at the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic, with a majority of French people disapproving of the government’s handling of the crisis, and a widespread perception that Germany handled the situation better.

Macron is mulling a government reshuffle, among other options, and promised to flesh out his plans in another speech in July.

Source : Politico EU More   

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