Category: <span>Europe</span>

WHO chief for Europe urges countries to keep up coronavirus quarantines
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WHO chief for Europe urges countries to keep up coronavirus quarantines

Issued on: 17/09/2020 – 16:26

The World Health Organizations European director warned national governments Thursday against reducing the quarantine period for people potentially exposed to the coronavirus, even as he acknowledged that COVID-19 “fatigue” was setting in with growing public resistance to the measures needed to control the pandemic.

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Dr. Hans Kluge said that “even a slight reduction in the length of the quarantine” could have a significant effect on the spread of the virus which returned to “alarming rates of transmission” in Europe this month.

Kluge insisted that countries should only reduce the standard two-week quarantine period if it was scientifically justified. He offered to convene scientific discussions on the issue, if necessary.

WHO Europes 53-country region recorded more than 300,000 confirmed coronavirus cases in the last week, and more than half of the countries reported a rise of more than 10% in cases over the last two weeks, he..

Poland’s Law and Justice left to rule alone, after United Right coalition collapse
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Poland’s Law and Justice left to rule alone, after United Right coalition collapse

Leading politicians of Poland’s Law and Justice party on Friday announced the collapse of the ruling coalition and the creation of a minority government after a political disagreement during a parliamentary vote on a bill beefing up animal protection.

Late on Thursday night many members of the ruling United Right coalition either voted against the bill or abstained.

The ‘United Right’ political alliance, led by the Law and Justice Party (PSi), had been in power since 2015.

For now, PSi will carry on as a minority Government, but negotiations could make it permanent or bring elections forward.

The announcement Friday morning came after justice minister Zbigniew Ziobro and his party members refused to vote for an animal welfare bill which powerful Law and Justice leader Jarosław Kaczyński proposed.

Kaczyński, 71, is a lawmaker in parliament and has no official government role, but he is widely understood to be Poland’s dominating political force, deciding government policies and app..

Coronavirus pandemic: Intensive care capacities in Marseille close to overload
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Coronavirus pandemic: Intensive care capacities in Marseille close to overload

Issued on: 17/09/2020 – 15:02Modified: 17/09/2020 – 17:00

While French health authorities reported new 9,784 confirmed coronavirus cases on Wednesday, the third-highest number of daily additional infections on record since the end of the winter, intensive care capacities in France's southern city of Marseille are close to overloaded, the directRead More – Source

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Belarusian Opposition Leader Denounces Lukashenko Meeting With Putin
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Belarusian Opposition Leader Denounces Lukashenko Meeting With Putin

Belarusian opposition leader and human rights advocate Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya has expressed regret that President Alexander Lukashenko met with Russian President Vladimir Putin, as a leading human rights organization accused Belarusian security forces of unlawfully arresting thousands of people and torturing hundreds of others.

The two authoritarian leaders met Monday at a Black Sea resort in Sochi, when Putin granted the Belarusian government a $1.5 billion loan during a period of unrest in Belarus. The meeting was their first since mass protests erupted in Belarus after Lukashenko was reelected to a sixth term in an election widely viewed as rigged.

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Navalny aides say Novichok nerve agent found on hotel water bottle
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Navalny aides say Novichok nerve agent found on hotel water bottle

Issued on: 17/09/2020 – 20:37

Aides of Russian opposition figure Alexei Navalny said Thursday that German experts found Novichok nerve agent on a water bottle taken from the hotel room where he stayed before being taken ill.

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The bottle appears to have been key evidence for Germanys conclusion that the 44-year-old lawyer and outspoken critic of President Vladimir Putin was poisoned with the military-grade nerve agent.

Specialists from a German military laboratory found traces of Novichok on a bottle of “Holy Spring” water Navalny left in his hotel room in the Siberian city of Tomsk, his spokeswoman Kira Yarmysh said in a video statement.

The discovery “means that Navalny was poisoned before he left the hotel and not in the airport or on the plane,” Yarmysh said.

Navalny collapsed last month on a flight from Tomsk to Moscow after a campaign trip to support opposition candidates in local elections.

Previously aides had suggested he had been poisoned by a c..

UN Sets Up Emergency Shelters for Lesbos Refugees After Fire
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UN Sets Up Emergency Shelters for Lesbos Refugees After Fire

GENEVA, SWITZERLAND – U.N. officials say they are erecting temporary shelters at lightning speed to accommodate thousands of refugees and migrants left homeless by the fire that destroyed the Moria Reception Center on the Greek Island of Lesbos last week.

Asylum seekers are sleeping in makeshift shelters or out in the open, in fields, groves and parking lots.

The U.N. agencies say they are working at top speed and expect to have enough emergency shelters set up soon to protect the more than 12,000 refugees and migrants who were forced to flee their flaming camp.

The U.N. refugee agencys representative in Greece, Philippe Leclerc, said his agency is providing hundreds of tents and distributing basic relief, including blankets, sleeping bags, mats and other items to cover peoples essential needs.

“We have also provided chemical toilets and hand washing stations and are ready to provide additional water, hygiene and sanitation support that may be required. To prevent and mitigate the ..

French court rules transgender woman cannot be recognised as childs mother
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French court rules transgender woman cannot be recognised as childs mother

Issued on: 16/09/2020 – 21:05

Frances highest court ruled Wednesday that a transgender woman cannot be officially recognised as the biological mother of the child she conceived with her wife, in a ruling described as “scandalous” by her lawyer.

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To become one of the six-year-old girls two legal mothers, the 51-year-old transgender woman would have to adopt her, the Cour de Cassation ruled.

Born male, the applicant was recognised as a woman by French authorities in 2011. She then had a child with her wife in 2014, having not undergone the operation to have her male reproductive organs removed.

She has fought ever since to be recognised as the childs second mother, not father.

In 2018, an appeals court in the city of Montpellier ascribed her the status of “biological parent”, a new category.

But the Cour de Cassation threw out most of that ruling on Wednesday, and refered the case back to a lower court for a new hearing.

The womans lawyer, Clelia Richard,..

Britains PM Johnson has every hope of avoiding no-deal Brexit
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Britains PM Johnson has every hope of avoiding no-deal Brexit

Issued on: 16/09/2020 – 20:48Modified: 16/09/2020 – 20:49

Prime Minister Boris Johnson on Wednesday said he had full confidence that Britain and the EU would avoid a potentially disastrous cliff-edge “no deal” at the end of this year.

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But he refused to back down on controversial new legislation that he openly admits will break international law and which has put his government at loggerheads with Brussels.

The proposed law, which overrides parts of the Brexit treaty relating to trade in Northern Ireland, could torpedo already fraught trade talks with the European Union.

The prospect of a “no deal” is looming larger with the talks deadlocked, and both sides insisting agreement must be struck by next month for it to be implemented at the end of the year.

Johnson told MPs that a “no deal” was “not what this country wants and its not what our EU friends and partners want from us”.

“Therefore I have every hope and expectation that that will not be the outcom..

Maria Kolesnikova charged with causing harm to Belarusian national security
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Maria Kolesnikova charged with causing harm to Belarusian national security

Maria Kolesnikova, the Belarusian opposition figure who was detained last week, will face charges of harming national security, authorities said.

The Investigative Committee of Belarus – the country’s security services – released the information on their official Telegram channel.

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“Investigators today brought charges against Maria Kolesnikova under Part 3 of Article 361 (calls for actions aimed at causing harm to the national security of the Republic of Belarus, committed using the media and the Internet) of the Criminal Code of the Republic of Belarus. She is in custody. The investigation continues,” it read.

Kolesnikova was taken into custody last week following an incident at Belarus’s border with Ukraine where she reportedly tore her passport up to avoid being exiled from the country.

According to Article 361: “The actions provided for by parts 1 or 2 of this article, committed with the use of mass media or the global computer network Internet are punish..

Airpnp: Polish activists cause a stink with toilet-sharing app stunt
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Airpnp: Polish activists cause a stink with toilet-sharing app stunt

An urbanist movement in Warsaw grabbed headlines in Poland when it shared adverts for a new app that purported to allow users to rent out their toilets for a fee.

“We all have basic physiological needs,” the advert for Airpnp (Air Poo and Pee) read. “Many of us have trouble using public toilets. It is often difficult to quickly find a toilet that is near or clean enough. Now you don’t have to worry about that anymore.”

It’s unclear how many went to download the app or were put off by the multiple hygiene-related issues the concept throws up.

Regardless, the app was later revealed as a fake. It was all a stunt to highlight an alleged lack of public toilets in the Polish capital.

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An urbanist movement in Warsaw grabbed headlines in Poland when it shared adverts for a new app that purported to allow users to rent out their toilets for a fee.

“We all have basic physiological needs,” the advert for Airpnp (Air Poo and Pee) rea..