BRUSSELS (AP) — The European Union has approved 2.9 billion euros in subsidies from 12 member countries to develop a project aiming at developing the electric battery industry. The EU’s executive commission had already cleared a 3.2 billion-euro plan subsidized by seven countries in December 2019 to support research and innovation in a sector where Europe is lagging behind Asian competitors. The EU, which expects that demand for batteries will grow quickly in the coming years, said Tuesday that the latest public funding is expected to unlock an extra 9 billion euros in private investment.
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Spanish giants Real, notorious for their high coaching turnover, have axed Rafael Benitez after just seven months in charge and installed Zinedine Zidane as his replacement. Pellegrini is well aware of how unforgiving life at the Bernabeu can be after being sacked after just one season in 2010 despite accruing a club record points tally in the Primera Division. There may again be speculation over Pellegrini’s future at City, with Pep Guardiola persistently linked with his position, but after three years at the Etihad Stadium he feels he has been given much greater support. The 62-year-old said of Real: “At least I finished the year! But I knew from the beginning I was not to continue for the next year. There were some important differences with the president. “I am sorry about Rafa Benitez because I think he is a manager that deserves respect but it is not strange what has happened at Real Madrid in the last five or six years. “Yes, (it is) absolutely different (at City). It is another way to think about the role of the manager. A lot of things are different. “That is why one team is changing manager every year, and at this team it is not the policy of the owners to change immediately when you don’t win a title. Different projects for each club.” Pellegrini has warned Zidane that not only will managing the team be tough, but working in those conditions particular to Real will also be highly challenging. He said: “Always to manage a big team is very difficult, Real Madrid is a very difficult team. But it is more difficult in the way they manage the club than the position of the manager.” Pellegrini’s immediate concern is Wednesday’s trip to Everton for the first leg of their Capital One Cup semi-final. It is the first of three clashes against the Toffees this month with a Barclays Premier League meeting next week and the cup second leg a fortnight after that. Pellegrini, who oversaw League Cup success two years ago, said: “It is important when you are in a competition always to try and win it. We have won three previous games already and now we are in a semi-final. It is a double game of 180 minutes. “I think that for the team, the club, for everyone, it is always important to win a title. It is very beautiful when you finish at Wembley, full of people, so it is very important for us to win.” Everton have earned plaudits for their attack this season but their defence has looked vulnerable, something underlined in their recent 4-3 loss to Stoke. But Pellegrini said: “We are not going to change our style of play because Everton concede less or more goals. We normally try to play as an offensive team, to create options, to try to score the most amount of goals we can. “We don’t think it will be easy because Everton conceded some goals in the last game, because every game is different. We are going to try to continue our style and I hope we can score goals.” Press Association Manuel Pellegrini is not surprised by the latest changes at former club Real Madrid and is grateful for the stability he has enjoyed at Manchester City.
BARNES FILEAge: 34Height: 6-foot-7College: UCLACareer statistics: 8.0 ppg, 4.5 rpg2014-15 statistics: 9.4 ppg, 3.2 rpgSeaons pro: 12 Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Error “Yeah, I couldn’t even imagine dealing with everything that he’s dealing with,” Crawford said. “But he’s found a way. He’s a professional, he’s played well and I’m happy for him. When he’s playing like that, it makes our team better.”Crawford said everyone on the team has Barnes’ back.“He knows that we’re all here for him,” Crawford said. “Whenever he wants to talk and whatever he needs, we’re here for him.”Barnes and his wife separated in mid-October during training camp. It affected his game, to be sure, because he could not buy a basket during the exhibition schedule.Barnes began the regular season by averaging just 7.5 points and 2.5 rebounds in 14 games in November. He shot 43.1 percent from the field, 35.7 from 3-point range, which was not too shabby considering he at one time during the preseason was shooting just 9.3 percent (3-for-31) from the field.Barnes then averaged 9.9 points and 3.8 rebounds in 17 games in December, shooting 48.8 percent – 39.4 percent from beyond the arc. He had a high of 26 points Dec. 13 at Milwaukee. And in five games in January, he’s averaging 12.8 points and 3.5 rebounds while shooting 48.9 percent.Barnes, a 6-foot-7 small forward out of UCLA who formerly played with the Lakers, is feeling better. That’s for sure.“You never like to blame anything,” he said of the early troubles. “I just couldn’t hit a shot. But I had a lot of stuff going on, you know? So things are starting to clear up somewhat and I’m back to playing basketball.” Coach Doc Rivers has noticed.“I don’t know the off-the-court stuff, you know, I don’t want to get into that. But on the court, I think he’s playing extremely free,” Rivers said during the recent homestand. “That’s what we need him to do.”This has not been an easy split. According to reports on TMZ and other publications, Barnes and his wife might have separated because of “trust” issues stemming from Govan allegedly forging her husband’s signature on a loan document.One thing’s certain, Barnes has learned a lot about himself during the ordeal.“Just that you’ve gotta stay mentally tough, man,” he said. “Everybody goes through it. When I go through it or when we (pro athletes) go through it, it’s on a world stage, especially with my ex being a reality TV star.“So just stay mentally strong, making sure my kids are always OK, first and foremost. And then when I have basketball, I have basketball. And then when basketball is done, I focus on the rest of the bull(bleep).”Barnes is shooting 44.4 percent (12 of 27) from 3-point range this month – 52.9 percent (9 of 17) the past three games. His focus is where it belongs. On his twins, whom he obviously adores, and that deep 3-ball from the corner he likes to bury. Matt Barnes of the Los Angeles Clippers sat at his locker before a recent game at Staples Center. He listened as a reporter began to pose a question and he began making sounds while slightly nodding his head as if to indicate he knew where the reporter was going.How tough has it been to concentrate on being an NBA professional when you are going through the trials and tribulations of a separation and possible divorce?“Um … very difficult,” he said. “You know, especially when your ex is an attention seeker.”Barnes in 2012 married Gloria Govan, who starred on “Basketball Wives: LA.” As the story goes, their relationship was on full display on the show during a pre-marriage breakup in 2011. They have twin sons, the cutest little guys who are often with Dad in the locker room after games. The look on Barnes’ face when discussing the situation tells a story. There’s pain, yet strength.“I’m really out here earning my money right now, to say the least,” said Barnes, whose 25-13 team plays Wednesday night at 7:30 at Portland (29-8). “My job is to focus and play basketball. But, you know, people don’t realize that we have a lot more going on in our lives than just basketball.“I’m a father going through a situation, so I just thank my teammates and my coaches for really understanding what I’m going through and working with me through this. And knowing what I’m capable of and believing in me.”PHOTOS: Matt Barnes and Gloria GovanTeammate Jamal Crawford winced, and then smiled slightly, when he was asked about how well Barnes has handled his personal turmoil.