European Space Agency’s Largest Budget Ever – Here Comes Future Moon Mission

The European Space Agency (ESA) announced a budget increase to $15.866 billion. The expansion of the budget was finalized on November 28. The ESA is an intergovernmental organization of 22 member states dedicated to the exploration of space. Established in 1975 and headquartered in Paris. The national bodies who sit on ESA’s governing council are: Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, The Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland and the United Kingdom.

Libyan Forces Loyal to Haftar Shoot Down Italian Drone

Forces lоуаl tо Fіеld Marshal Khаlіfа Hаftаr аnnоunсеd that they shot down аn Itаlіаn drоnе flying іn аn area undеr its іnfluеnсе. Hаftаr’ѕ spokesman ѕаіd the plane wаѕ shot dоwn by аn anti-aircraft mіѕѕіlе іn nоrthеrn Tarhuna, ѕоuthеаѕt оf Trіроlі. Thе Italian Dеfеnѕе Mіnіѕtrу ѕаіd thе plane crashed іn Libya during іtѕ раrtісіраtіоn in Operation Sаfе Sеаѕ.

Venice Put on Alert as New Floods Loom

Venice is preparing on Saturday for a further increase of floods that have ravaged the city in recent days, and led the authorities to declare a state of emergency throughout the region. Civil protection officials have issued a red alert for the Venice region, drawing attention to the occurrence of “violent gusts” in the city. Meteorological services predict thunderstorms this weekend, which, combined with high tide, could dangerously raise the water level.

Over 500 Migrants Stranded in the Mediterranean Sea – No Port Willing to Let Them Dock

The Norwegian ship Ocean Viking saved another 105 migrants from Libya on Monday. There are a total of 356 people on board. At the same time, 150 migrants remain “trapped” on the Spanish Open Arms ship near the Italian island of Lampedusa. Italian Deputy Prime Minister Matteo Salvini has ordered all  Italian ports closed for refugees and illegal migrants. Meanwhile, some migrants have reportedly been waiting on ships for over ten days.

Salvini Pulls the Plug, Plunges Italians to Fall Election

You can’t say he didn’t warn us.  Thursday, after a summer-long beach tour, right-wing Interior Minister, Matteo Salvini, effectively pulled the plug on the Italian government.  Evidently on his instruction, his Northern League voted with the opposition in the Senate to stop his coalition partners in the populist Five Star Movement from blocking a high-speed rail link between Turin and Lyon.  Salvini, who also serves as one of the country’s Deputy Prime Ministers, had been toying with the idea since dominating the country’s elections to the European Parliament in May.

Germany Rescue Ship Changes Course Towards Malta – Salvini Turns Them Away

The German aid organization, Sea-Eye wants to bring 65 rescued migrants to Malta. Italian Interior Minister Matteo Salvini forced the ship in Lampedusa to turn back. The German rescue ship “Alan Kurdi” had been waiting for hours in front of the Italian island. Italy’s Interior Minister Matteo Salvini had strictly forbidden the ship to enter the port.

Italian Demolition: The Last Two Piles of Genoa Bridge Destroyed by Explosive

Morandi bridge in Genoa has totally disappeared. The two main piles of the building were destroyed with explosive Friday, June 28, more than ten months after the collapse of part of the roadway, an accident which killed 43 on August 14, 2018.

The detonation was triggered at 9 a.m. and about 4,500 tons of concrete and steel collapsed in seven seconds in a cloud of dust, under the eyes of many Genoese who came to watch the spectacular demolition. Reconstruction of the bridge began in February this year, with the dismantling of various sections between smaller pillars.

European Roundup: News, Notes, and New National Elections

Austria:

The country’s youngest-ever Chancellor officially became it’s shortest-serving, and the first since the war to be brought down by a vote of no-confidence on Monday. Already headed for snap elections in the fall, the move was largely seen as necessary by the newly-enlarged opposition to avoid giving Sebastian Kurz an advantage. If Austrians were cross with Kurz, they sure didn’t show it on Sunday. His People’s Party (ÖVP) gained two seats, at the expense of his now-former coalition partners, the Freedom Party (FPÖ), and Greens.

Breakdown of Europe’s Economic Troubles by Country

Are Markets Pricing in a Global Slowdown?