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Updated: 1 hour 7 min ago

Belgium tightens Covid rules as health system 'is cracking'

Fri, 12/03/2021 - 16:37
Belgium has introduced new measures to curb the surge of Covid-19 infections in the country, following the third emergency meeting of its federal and regional governments in three weeks.
Categories: European Union

[Ticker] Covid: Belgium might close schools and cultural activities

Fri, 12/03/2021 - 07:29
Today, Friday, Belgian governments are meeting again in order to decide on new Covid measures in order to stop the spreading of the virus as numbers are spiking. This time the concertation committee is gathering on the request of the Flemish minister-president Jan Jambon who suggested to close down all indoor events, including all concerts and theatre productions. The closing of schools is also on the agenda.
Categories: European Union

[Ticker] EU consumers can sue Facebook, judge advised

Fri, 12/03/2021 - 07:27
European consumer groups can sue US tech-giant Facebook for privacy violations, an advisor to the EU court in Luxembourg said Thursday. "Member states may allow consumer protection associations to bring representative actions against infringements of the protection of personal data," he said in a non-binding opinion, which judges follow in most cases. The legal action arose from a German online gaming dispute, with a final verdict to follow shortly.
Categories: European Union

[Ticker] French centre-right tilts toward Pécresse

Fri, 12/03/2021 - 07:25
Valérie Pécresse, a moderate conservative who has likened herself to former British and German leaders Margaret Thatcher and Angela Merkel, has emerged as a front-runner in primaries in France's centre-right Les Républicains party, Reuters reports. "I won't flinch. I have a project for a clean break, a project for the unashamed right," she said Thursday, ahead of elections against liberal incumbent Emmanuel Macron and far-right contenders in spring.
Categories: European Union

[Ticker] EU urged to blacklist Israeli spyware firm

Fri, 12/03/2021 - 07:17
Some 86 civil-society organisations including Access Now, Amnesty International, and the Digital Rights Foundation have urged EU countries to blacklist Israeli firm NSO, which produced the so-called Pegasus spyware, used against dissidents and journalists around the world. EU sanctions had the power to stop "violations or abuses that are of serious concern as regards to the objectives of the common foreign and security policy" their open letter said.
Categories: European Union

EU and US tighten screw on Lukashenko

Fri, 12/03/2021 - 07:16
The EU has blacklisted travel firms and Belarusian officials who helped create the migrant crisis with Poland.
Categories: European Union

[Ticker] Austria's ex-chancellor Kurz quits politics

Fri, 12/03/2021 - 07:10
Austrian former chancellor Sebastian Kurz, leader of the centre-right People's party (ÖVP) since 2017, suddenly announced on Thursday that he was quitting politics., The Guardian reported. Kurz became chancellor in 2017, but recently stepped down after being placed under investigation on allegations of corruption. Kurz said he was leaving politics to focus on his family since he recently became a father.
Categories: European Union

[Ticker] EU agency: Omicron to be over half of infections 'within months'

Fri, 12/03/2021 - 07:10
The European Centre for Disease Prevention said on Thursday the Omicron variant is expected to be detected in over half of all cases of Covid-19 in Europe within the next few months, Reuters reported. It is estimated that Omicron is likely to be more contagious than the current Delta variant. However, experts in the EU and abroad are still assessing Omicron's transmissibility and how effective vaccines are against it.
Categories: European Union

[Ticker] New German restrictions target the unvaccinated

Fri, 12/03/2021 - 07:10
The German government decided on Thursday to bar non-vaccinated people from entering business other than essential grocery stores and pharmacies, Reuters reported. "We have understood that the situation is very serious and that we want to take further measures in addition to those already taken," chancellor Angela Merkel told a news conference. Legislation to make vaccination mandatory is expected to be adopted early next year, taking effect from February.
Categories: European Union

Belgian impasse leaves asylum seekers on snowy streets

Fri, 12/03/2021 - 07:09
Asylum seekers have been sleeping in the streets, some for weeks, in the Belgian capital Brussels - as the government grapples over the lack of capacity to accommodate them despite months of debate over the issue.
Categories: European Union

EU 'missed chance' to set fossil-fuel subsidies deadline

Fri, 12/03/2021 - 07:09
MEPs failed to convince member states to set concrete and legally-binding deadlines for phasing out fossil-fuel subsidies and other environmentally-harmful subsidies .
Categories: European Union

EU energy ministers clash amid gas price uncertainty

Fri, 12/03/2021 - 07:09
EU energy ministers met on Thursday to debate spiking gas and electricity prices, and clashed over market reform - with some countries, led by Germany, opposing actions put forward by France and others.
Categories: European Union

ECJ told to dismiss Poland and Hungary rule-of-law challenge

Fri, 12/03/2021 - 07:09
A court ruling next year, in line with the opinion, would clear the way for the EU Commission to launch the mechanism against Poland and Hungary.
Categories: European Union

[Opinion] Covid: what Germany got right - and wrong

Fri, 12/03/2021 - 07:08
Objectively speaking, German politicians have earned a good report card for their management of the corona pandemic so far. Why then is there so much anger about the national coronavirus response?
Categories: European Union

[Podcast] Quick Take: Enrico Letta

Fri, 12/03/2021 - 07:08
Speaking at the Global Progressive Forum, former Italian prime minister Enrico Letta describes the victim-shaming of Italy and Spain during the financial crisis - and explains how a big bag of money from Brussels may be helping heal the wounds.
Categories: European Union

[Ticker] EU commission unveils proposal to digitalise justice systems

Thu, 12/02/2021 - 07:28
The European Commission unveiled on Wednesday a proposal to digitalise EU cross-border justice systems, aiming at making them more accessible and effective. Under the new draft law, the EU executive wants to tackle inefficiencies affecting cross-border judicial cooperation and barriers to access to justice in cross-border cases. Shifting paper-based communications to electronic formats would save up to €25m per year across the EU in postage and paper costs.
Categories: European Union

[Ticker] German ICUs expected to peak at Christmas

Thu, 12/02/2021 - 07:26
The fourth wave of infections surge is expected to peak by mid-December in Germany, which could mean having 6,000 intensive care being occupied by Christmas, the country's association for intensive care medicine (DIVI) said on Wednesday, according to Reuters. There are only 9,000 beds where patients can receive artificial respiration, compared to 12,000 from a year ago, DIVI said. Currently, there are some 4,600 Covid-19 patients in the ICU.
Categories: European Union

[Ticker] Report: First Omicron case found in the US

Thu, 12/02/2021 - 07:25
The first known case in the US caused by the Omicron variant is a fully vaccinated person who had previously travelled to South Africa, Reuters reported on Wednesday. Omicron has been reported in at least two dozen countries, including several EU member states, Canada, Australia, Japan, Hong Kong and Israel. The US government has asked fully vaccinated people to get a booster to increase protection against infection.
Categories: European Union

[Ticker] US urges Russia to pull back troops from Ukrainian border

Thu, 12/02/2021 - 07:21
The US urged Russia on Wednesday (1 December) to pull back its troops from the Ukrainian border, Reuters reported, warning that a Russian invasion would provoke hard-hitting sanctions. "We don't know whether president [Vladimir] Putin has made the decision to invade. We do know that he is putting in place the capacity to do so in short order," US secretary of state Antony Blinken said.
Categories: European Union

[Ticker] Ukraine president calls for direct talks with Russia 'to end war'

Thu, 12/02/2021 - 07:21
Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelensky on Wednesday called for direct negotiations with Russia to end an eight-year war with pro-Russian separatists in his country's eastern part. "We must tell the truth that we will not be able to end the war without direct talks with Russia," Zelensky told lawmakers. On Tuesday, Russia reportedly amassed 115,000 troops around Ukraine, in regions it has annexed and where it is backing separatist fighters.
Categories: European Union

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