Your Evening Briefing
Here are today’s top stories for Europe.
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Donald Trump is facing the deepest crisis of his young presidency. Democrats now accuse the president of obstruction of justice over reports he asked the recently fired FBI director to drop a probe into another recently fire aide, Michael Flynn. That’s an impeachable offense—if proven. The swirl of scandal is now prompting Republicans to demand information from the White House. If you’re also a little confused, here’s a guide to what we know about the Russia investigations. And there’s some better news for the president, too. Even though Trump’s approval rating is low, we’ve found little evidence that voters of Middle America regret giving him their support in last year's elections. — Siraj Datoo
Anyone need a desk? The first quarter of this year saw the biggest jump in London office vacancies since 2009. Investors pulled back from London real estate immediately after last year’s Brexit vote, fearing that the U.K.’s departure from the European Union would cause a collapse in demand for office space. Though modern office buildings are all the rage in central London, the number of unoccupied older properties is growing.
“Well done!” It was a fairly innocuous message from a London trader. Now it’s being used as evidence in a case alleging that Deutsche Bank was running a criminal organization while trying to help Italian bank Monte dei Paschi to conceal losses. A three-judge panel will now have to consider whether there were additional, aggravating circumstances to the charges the German lender already faces in Milan. That could lead to higher fines if the bank is convicted.
One last wave. Polish workers, seen as the most mobile in the EU, are thinking about staying home as unemployment falls and salaries rise in Poland. A survey by recruiting and human services provider Work Service showed the number of Polish workers considering emigration dropped by more than a quarter in the past year. The U.K. is the number one destination for those who are thinking about a move.
The Scottish wind superpower that wasn’t. Scottish politicians successfully fought Donald Trump in court three times after he complained that the sight of wind turbines would spoil his golf resort. The wind turbines were a pivotal part of the nationalist-led government’s goal to become Europe’s wind energy hub. But more targets were missed than met, and instead of the 950 offshore turbines Scotland envisioned by the end of 2017, it has only 63. With Scottish independence back in the political mix, the plans are under scrutiny again.
How much is that airfare? Passengers face potential costs of $1 billion if the U.S. widens its laptop ban to include flights from Europe, according to airline industry lobby group IATA. While the existing restriction on devices affects 350 U.S.-bound flights from the Middle East per week, extending it to Europe would impact 390 a day, or more than 2,500 a week, IATA says. CEO Alexandre de Juniac told us why the ban could cause “significant” diruption in the trans-Atlantic business market.
It’s good to be ranked 119th. Andrew “Beef” Johnson, a pudgy Brit with a lumberjack beard and a big, toothy smile, first grabbed the golf world’s attention in April 2016 when he won the Spanish Open. After his victory he declared he couldn’t wait to get home to London to “get hammered” and see his mother. He’s the sport’s newest folk hero, and fast-food chain Arby’s is along for the ride.
Compiled by Siraj Datoo and Leila Taha