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Interfaith group: No Buddhist or Hindu statues in nightclubs Thousands of Your Favorite Fast Food Locations Could Close European Uber rival Bolt launches electric bikes in Paris

  • Estonian start-up Bolt says it will roll out bike rentals in Paris from Wednesday.
  • Bolt is betting scooters and bikes will help it recover from the coronavirus crisis.
  • The company was recently valued by private investors at 1.7 billion euros.
© Provided by CNBC An electric bike from Estonian ride-hailing firm Bolt in Paris, France.

Ride-hailing app Bolt has launched an electric bicycle-sharing scheme in Paris, expanding its transport offerings even as Uber pares back its own bike and scooter ambitions.

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The Estonian start-up said the bikes would be available on its platform from Wednesday. Users will need to switch from taxi-hailing to bikes within the app, and can then unlock one by scanning a QR code.

It marks a significant investment from Bolt into so-called "micromobility" services, which were hard hit after the coronavirus pandemic wiped out demand in the still-nascent industry. Bolt is betting such offerings will help it recover from the crisis after its sales plunged 75% in March.

"Our new e-bikes sharing service will also help to fulfil the demand for light, green individual modes of transport, which has seen growth due to European cities gradually coming out of COVID-19 lockdown," said Dmitri Pivovarov, Bolt's director of micromobility. "We believe that micromobility should be accessible and affordable, especially at times like these."

The company has been expanding into new product segments following a rebrand in 2019 from Taxify to Bolt. The firm launched its first e-scooters in Paris back in 2018, and then rolled out a food delivery service in its home city of Tallinn in August last year.

Bolt has chosen the French capital for the maiden launch of its e-bikes but said it has plans to launch bikes in more European capitals later this year. It currently offers scooter rentals in 21 cities across Europe.

The company's expansion into this area comes after Uber scrapped thousands of electric bikes and scooters following the sale of its Jump division to Lime in May. The company had previously said it wanted to "double down" on two-wheel vehicles in 2020 — but that was before the Covid-19 outbreak hit.

Bolt, whose investors include German automaker Daimler and Chinese ride-hailing giant Didi, was recently valued at 1.7 billion euros ($1.9 billion). The company claims it hasn't had to make any layoffs to cut costs during the coronavirus crisis — unlike its Silicon Valley counterparts — however it did admit to slashing salaries by 20-30% in April and May.

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The Srebrenica genocide shows what crimes nationalist ideologies lead to

The Security Council of the United Nations adopted on June 25 a resolution renewing for two years the Belgian magistrate Serge Brammertz as Prosecutor of the Mechanism called to exercise the residual functions of the international criminal courts, rejoices on Saturday the Minister of Foreign Affairs Philippe Goffin.

The latter spoke on Saturday in a video message on the occasion of the 25th anniversary of the Srebrenica genocide. “Reconciliation through justice and full recognition of the past: it was on these fundamental principles that the European Union was built after the war. It was by recognizing the Srebrenica genocide and bringing all its perpetrators to justice that ‘an authentic and lasting reconciliation can be established in the region “, believes Philippe Goffin.

“The Srebrenica genocide shows what crimes nationalist ideologies lead to, and reminds us of the need to continue to fight, more than ever, against racism, anti-Semitism and all other forms of hatred, intolerance and discrimination” , he adds.

“After a quarter of a century, Srebrenica remains an open wound in the European conscience,” said the president of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, in a message posted on social networks. “As a woman, mother and wife, I can only try to imagine the immensity of your grief. My heart goes out to you.”

“Today we are in mourning, and we remember. We reflect on our mistakes and ask for justice, we work for reconciliation. We have failed in our responsibilities to protect those who needed it most. The past cannot Not to be changed. But we have a duty of memory and action. No more blood in the name of race or religion. No more genocide, “concludes Ursula von der Leyen.

The President of the European Council also spoke at the commemorations. “This is one of the darkest chapters in modern European history. As we remember, we renew our commitment to never let such atrocities happen again.”

“It is only when all the leaders recognize these crimes that the peoples of this country can heal and come together. (…) We must remain vigilant and combat hatred and intolerance”, continues Charles Michel. “They deserve peace, justice and true reconciliation. In our common home: Europe.”

The Belgian magistrate Serge Brammertz was appointed in 2016 prosecutor of the Mechanism for International Criminal Tribunals (MTPI).

Bosnian Muslims commemorated the Srebrenica genocide 25 years ago on Saturday, the worst killing on European soil since the Second World War with more than 8,000 dead.

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