US warns Poland over broadcaster spat

Amendments to Polish media law would restrict ownership of foreign companies.

US warns Poland over broadcaster spat

Future American investment could be in jeopardy if Poland refuses to renew the license of a U.S.-owned broadcaster, Washington warned Warsaw.

Poland’s ruling coalition, led by the Law and Justice (PiS) party, has proposed a media bill that would see licenses granted only to broadcasters that aren’t majority-owned by entities from outside the European Economic Area. Critics warn the law is an attempt to void the license of TVN24, a television station owned by Discovery of the U.S. that is often critical of the government and which is seeking to renew its broadcast permit before it expires in September.

Speaking to TVN24 on Thursday, U.S. State Department Counselor Derek Chollet said: “This is a very significant American investment here in Poland. And there will be knock-on effects perhaps, if the [TVN24] license is not renewed, to future U.S. investments.”

Poland plunged in the 2021 World Press Freedom Index, compiled by the NGO Reporters Without Borders, falling to 64th position out of 180 countries, down from 18th place in 2015.

Source : Politico EU More   

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UK food workers given exemption from isolation rules

U-turn by the British government means daily testing will replace isolation for some key workers.

UK food workers given exemption from isolation rules

LONDON — Supermarket depot workers and food manufacturers are among the occupations exempted from the U.K.’s isolation rules if they have contact with someone who later tests positive for the coronavirus.

The U.K. government announced late Thursday that daily coronavirus tests will be introduced for workers on an exemption list to avoid the need for isolation. Up to 500 testing sites will be set up at speed, including at the largest supermarket distribution centers, with rollout planned to start next week.

“Daily contact testing of workers in this vital sector will help to minimize the disruption caused by rising cases in the coming weeks, while ensuring workers are not put at risk,” said Health Secretary Sajid Javid in a statement.

The announcement comes following concern that the U.K.’s food supply is under pressure because so many workers have been notified by the NHS Test & Trace app that they have been in contact with someone with COVID. Just yesterday, Secretary of Business Kwasi Kwarteng said he was “concerned” by risks of food shortages but insisted workers should isolate if they are “pinged” by the app.

Industry representatives welcomed the announcement but said they urgently needed more information about exactly which jobs would be covered by the new testing system.

Some working in the energy sector, digital infrastructure, food production and supply, waste, water, veterinary medicine, medical supplies, transport, emergency services, border control and local government are also on the exemption list.

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Source : Politico EU More   

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