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EU approves $282.5 million to support new environment projects

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Brussels: The European Commission (EU) on Friday approved an investment package worth 264.8 million euros ($282.5 million) to support 96 new projects spanning to 21 member states.

According to reports, these new projects, selected from more than 1,000 applications, are funded under the LIFE program for the environment.

The European Commission will co-finance the projects by providing 160.6 million euros.

“Money invested in environmental projects is money well spent. I am delighted to see that our LIFE program will support many innovative projects, and I am sure they will make a vital contribution,” said Karmenu Vella, EU Commissioner for Environment, Maritime Affairs and Fisheries.

Among member states, Spain has had the largest number of environmental projects at 28, followed by Italy at 21.

The LIFE program is the EU’s funding instrument for the environment and climate action. It has been running since 1992 and has co-financed more than 4,000 projects across the EU and in third countries, mobilizing 7.8 billion euros and contributing 3.4 billion euros

(Inputs from IANS)

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Google May Shut Down its Google News Service in EU

Traditional media outlets tend to blame Google for sucking up much of the advertising revenue which used to prop up print newspapers, the Guardian reported

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Google News may shut down in EU over 'link tax'. Pixabay

Google may shut down its Google News service in the European Union (EU) if a proposed “link tax” for using news stories comes into force in member countries, The Guardian reported.

According to the new copyright directive, adopted by the European Parliament on September 12, tech giants must pay for work of artists and journalists which they use.

To put the rule changes into effect, individual member countries would have to draft local laws.

Google is deeply concerned about the current proposals, which are designed to compensate struggling news publishers if snippets of their articles appear in search results, Richard Gingras, the search engine’s Vice President of News told the Guardian.

The future of Google News could depend on whether the EU was willing to alter the phrasing of the legislation, he said.

“We can’t make a decision until we see the final language,” he was quoted as saying.

Google, Main One
A Google logo is seen at the company’s headquarters in Mountain View, California, VOA

This is not the first time an attempt is being made to charge Google for links. In 2014, Spain passed a law requiring aggregation sites to pay for news links.

Google then decided to close down the service for Spanish consumers.

Traditional media outlets tend to blame Google for sucking up much of the advertising revenue which used to prop up print newspapers, the Guardian reported.

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But many news websites also depend on the service to drive traffic to their websites.

Google News is not directly a profit-making business for the company, while it does encourage users to spend more time on the company’s websites, Gingras said, adding that the search giant does not put any advertising in Google News. (IANS)