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Politics • European • United Kingdom
Environment Department in the UK considers total ban on fur sales after Brexit
Environment Department in the UK considers total ban on fur sales after Brexit
Credit: unsplash.com / Juliane Liebermann

According to reports Zac Goldsmith, minister at the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, is considering a ban on all fur sales in the United Kingdom following the leave of the European Union's single market.

A spokesperson for the department has commented on the reports that "fur farming has rightly been banned in this country for nearly 20 years. Once our future relationship with the EU has been established there will be an opportunity for the government to consider further steps it could take in relation to fur sales".

Politics • European • Germany
Germany: Ex-AfD faction spokesman Christian Lüth secretly filmed talking about the gassing of migrants

The former press spokesman of the AfD Bundestag faction who has been on leave since spring, Christian Lüth, has been dismissed with immediate effect. Previously a video of him had been aired in a TV documentary where he speaks of "shooting" and "gassing" in connection with migrants.

Politics • European • European Union
EU Commission removes upload filters from digital package
Archive - protest against European Upload Filters in 2019
Archive - protest against European Upload Filters in 2019 Credit: unsplash.com / Markus Spiske

In a new proposal the legislators at the European Commission have removed a general filter obligation for uploaded content to digital platforms.

The original proposal would've required operators of digital communication platforms who want to continue to enjoy freedom from liability - the non-responsibility for content published by users - should proactively check for violations. This includes checking for copyright infringements or illegal content such as child pornography.

Whether and what replaces the filter obligation is currently still open.

Politics • European • Spain
Spanish Supreme Court confirms the removal of Quim Torra as head of Catalonian government
Spanish Supreme Court confirms the removal of Quim Torra as head of Catalonian government
Credit: Generalitat de Catalunya / Wikimedia Commons

The Supreme Court has ended this Monday the mandate of Quim Torra at the head of the Generalitat de Catalunya the Government of Catalonia.

He has been removed for a crime of disobedience imposed for failing to comply with the order of the Central Electoral Board to remove, during the election campaign, a banner supporting the imprisoned supporting the imprisoned pro-independence leaders.

Politics • European • Germany
Friedrich Merz 'regrets' controversial gay chancellor remarks
Friedrich Merz
Friedrich Merz Credit: Olaf Kosinsky (Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike 3.0)

German politician Friedrich Merz says he now "regrets" comments made when asked whether he would have reservations if an LGBT+ chancellor were to lead Germany.

During a video interview for the Bild newspaper, Merz replied to the question with: "No. Concerning the question of sexual orientation, as long as it is within the law and does not affect children — which at this point, for me, would be an absolute limit — it is not an issue for public discussion."

Merz is the leading candidate for the position of chair of the centre-right Christian Democrats (CDU). Whoever is selected for the role would likely become the party's candidate to replace Angela Merkel as chancellor.

Merz' answer sparked an outcry from German politicians, especially as one of his rivals for the position of CDU chair, Health Minister Jens Spahn, is openly gay.

Another gay politician, deputy chair of the centre-left Social Democrats (SPD), Kevin Kühnert tweeted: "This is how someone works who cannot hide the fact that he cannot deal with the normalization of homosexuality."

Politics • European • United Kingdom
Liberal Democrats in the United Kingdom are set to commit to a universal basic income
Ed Davey (right)
Ed Davey (right) Credit: Foreign and Commonwealth Office (Open Government Licence v3.0)

As the first major national party in the United Kingdom, the Liberal Democrats are set to vote on universal basic income policies on the first day of their annual conference.

The motion is expected to pass and is supported by party leader Sir Ed Davey.

Politics • European • France
Paris: 4 wounded in knife attack near ex-Charlie Hebdo site

Four people were wounded in a knife attack Friday near the former offices of satirical newspaper Charlie Hebdo in Paris, and two assailants are on the run, police said.

Politics • European • European Union
EU Commission presents plans for EU asylum system reform
EU Commission presents plans for EU asylum system reform
Credit: Amio Cajander / Wikimedia Commons (Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike 2.0)

The European Commission has presented plans for faster asylum procedures at the external borders, more deportations and the appointment of a "repatriation coordinator".

In case of high refugee numbers, all member states are to be obliged to show "solidarity" with the countries of arrival - be it through the reception of refugees or through assistance with deportations. At the same time, the Commission is planning more legal possibilities for immigration.

Politics • European
Lukashenko has been sworn in as Belarusian president
Modification: Added background
Modification: Added background Credit: Serge Serebro, Vitebsk Popular News / Wikimedia Commons

Without previous announcement Alexander Lukashenko has been sworn in as president of Belarus for a sixth term.

Thousands of people have moved to protest the move and people have been detained by Belarusian security forces. In addition water cannons have been used in order to disperse the protesting crowds.

Politics • European • Spain
Madrid requests the "urgent" logistic intervention of the Army and the incorporation of 300 non-EU doctors

The Governing Council of the Community of Madrid has decided this Wednesday to ask the central Executive for the intervention of the Army in the region to help exercise the Covid-19 virus containment strategy.

Government spokesperson and vice-president, Ignacio Aguado, has stated that they "have decided to formally request from the Government of Spain in a meeting this Thursday urgent military logistical support for the installation of tents, testing and disinfection work in each of the basic health areas with restrictions in place".

Politics • European • United Kingdom
Theresa May criticises Johnson's government over Brexit bill
Theresa May
Theresa May Credit: EU2017EE Estonian Presidency (Creative Commons Attribution 2.0)

The former prime minister of the United Kingdom Theresa May has stated in a Commons speech that "the government is acting recklessly and irresponsibly with no thought for the long-term impact on the standing of the United Kingdom in the world" referring to the new Brexit bill that would be in breach with international law.

She added that "the government didn’t really understand what it was signing up to when it signed the withdrawal agreement".

Politics • European • Spain
Spain: Prime Minister meets Madrid chief over joint Covid-19 measures
Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez and Madrid regional premier Isabel Díaz Ayuso
Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez and Madrid regional premier Isabel Díaz Ayuso Credit: La Moncloa

Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez met Madrid regional premier Isabel Díaz Ayuso on Monday to coordinate measures against the spread of the new coronavirus, as the Madrid region has become the epicentre of the Covid-10 crisis in Spain, with more than one-third of all newly reported infections.

Sánchez stated that "Madrid needs a special plan."

The harshness of the second wave in the Community forces a change in the political climate, and the face-to-face between Pedro Sánchez and Isabel Díaz Ayuso signalled a thaw in months of frosty relations.

Politics • European
Czech Health Minister warns the country could declare coronavirus state of emergency

In a televised debate Sunday, Health Minister Adam Vojtech stated the Czech government could declare a state of emergency if a recent spike in Covid-19 cases continues in the coming days.

Vojtech said: "Should we need to have some deeper measures (against the epidemic), then the emergency state will be necessary."

The Czech Republic reported a total of 48,306 cases as of Saturday, Health Ministry data showed.

Politics • European • United Kingdom
Johnson considers new restrictions amid surging COVID-19 cases
UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson
UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson Credit: EU2017EE Estonian Presidency (Creative Commons Attribution 2.0)

PM Boris Johnson is considering tougher restrictions in England as the country sees "a second wave" of COVID-19, among them a ban on households mixing and reducing opening hours for eaters.

Mr Johnson said he did not "want to go into bigger lockdown" but that stricter measures might be necessary to curb infections. "Clearly when you look at what is happening, you have got to wonder whether we need to go further than the rule of six that we brought in on Monday," Johnson added.

Politics • European • France
France reports daily record of Covid-19 cases
Paris Place Charles de Gaulle  during the Covid-19 lockdown
Paris Place Charles de Gaulle during the Covid-19 lockdown Credit: ERIC SALARD (Creative Commons Attribution 2.0)

The French health authorities reported 13,498 new confirmed Covid-19 cases Saturday, a new record for daily cases. Since the beginning of the outbreak 442,194 were infected in the country.

France also reported 29 deaths in the last 24 hours, bringing the death toll to 31,274.

Politics • European • United Kingdom
"National lockdown is the last line of defence" – Matt Hancock
"National lockdown is the last line of defence" – Matt Hancock
Credit: Richard Townshend / Wikimedia Commons (Creative Commons Attribution 3.0)

UK Health Secretary Matt Hancock won't rule out a second nationwide lockdown to curb the spread of COVID-19, telling Sky News that while a "national lockdown is the last line of defence", the government would do "whatever is necessary to keep people safe in a very difficult pandemic."

Politics • European
Alexander Lukashenko says he asked Russia to supply new weapons to Belarus
Alexander Lukashenko and Vladimir Putin
Alexander Lukashenko and Vladimir Putin Credit: Kremlin

Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko said Wednesday he had asked the Russian president to supply Belarus with new weapons.

During a visit of the Russian Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu to Minsk, Lukashenko stated: "I also asked the Russian president to provide certain types of weapons to us. I told him: when you come, we will see what things we need to strengthen in terms of the Union State."

Politics • European
Police Arrest Six Suspects in Moria Fire

Greek police arrested six foreigners on Tuesday for the allegedly starting the fire that ravaged the Moria refugee camp on the Greek island of Lesbos.

The authorities' main hypothesis about the origin of the fire, which started on the night of Tuesday and Wednesday last week, is that the fire was started by a protest of refugees who refused to be detained after testing positive for Covid-19.

Politics • European • European Union
President of the European Commission proposes stricter EU climate goals
President of the European Commission proposes stricter EU climate goals
Credit: European Parliament from EU / Wikimedia Commons (Creative Commons Attribution 2.0)

The President of the European Commission Ursula von der Leyen has proposed stricter climate goals for the European Union in her first State of the European Union address. Following her proposal, 55 percent of emissions should be cut until 2030, compared to 1990.

Politics • European • Spain
Madrid to impose targeted lockdowns amid rising Covid-19 infections
Madrid to impose targeted lockdowns amid rising Covid-19 infections
Credit: Diario de Madrid / Wikimedia Commons (Creative Commons Attribution 4.0)

Madrid, one of the worst-hit regions in Spain, will introduce targeted lockdowns and other restrictions in areas with faster spreading Covid-19 infections.

"Madrid wants to flatten the curve before the arrival of autumn and the complications that cold weather could bring," so deputy regional health chief Antonio Zapatero, adding that regional lockdowns will most likely affect southern, working-class neighbourhoods where Covid-19 infections have been rising since August.

Politics • European • Germany
Germany confirms that Vienna will likely be declared Covid-19 risk area
Germany confirms that Vienna will likely be declared Covid-19 risk area
Credit: unsplash.com / Dimitry Anikin

According to a report by STANDARD the German government has stated that "since September 5, there have been significantly more than 50 new infections per 100,000 inhabitants [in Vienna], so we feel compelled to take action".

The Austrian newspaper states that a final decision to declare Vienna a risk area will likely be made Wednesday afternoon.

Politics • European • European Union
German government announces it will allow 2750 refugees from Moria into the country
German government announces it will allow 2750 refugees from Moria into the country
Credit: Offical Statement via Twitter

The spokesperson of the German government Steffen Seibert has announced that 1553 people, that have already been granted a protective status by the Greek government, will be allowed to come to Germany from the multiple Greek islands.

In addition, unaccompanied minors and children in need of medical treatment as well as their families will be allowed into Germany and receive asylum and help. In total 2750 people will be allowed into the country.

The government states that in addition to this measure it aims to find a European solution for the help of refugees.

Politics • European
Vladimir Putin promises a €1.26 billion loan to Belarus at Lukashenko meeting
Vladimir Putin promises a €1.26 billion loan to Belarus at Lukashenko meeting
Credit: Kremlin

During a visit of Alexandar Lukashenko to Sochi, Russian President Vladimir Putin said Moscow would grant a loan worth €1.26 billion to Belarus. Putin also supported Lukashenko's initiative to reform Belarus's constitution.

Putin told Lukashenko, at the joint press conference: "I am sure that, considering your political experience, the work in this direction would be organised on the highest possible level."

Russia announced they would also continue the pre-planned joint military drills. At the same time, Putin emphasised that Russian soldiers would "return to their permanent deployment locations" after the routine ends.

Politics • European • France
Marseille, Bordeaux: Stricter Coronavirus measures to curb spread of virus
Bordeaux, France during lockdown in March, 2020
Bordeaux, France during lockdown in March, 2020 Credit: Patrice CALATAYU from Bordeaux, France / Wikimedia Commons (Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike 2.0)

Marseille and Bordeaux announced stricter measures to prevent the further spread of the Coronavirus. Work from home should be implemented wherever possible. Public transport companies are asked to reorganise to prevent overcrowding during rush hours. Major events are ordered to cancel or postpone. Sale of alcohol on the street after 8pm is now also forbidden in Marseille.

Christophe Mirmand, the government’s top official in greater Marseille area: "The virus has accelerated despite the obligation to wear a mask introduced earlier this summer. We need to take action to ensure health services can cope."

Politics • European
Belarus: At least 100,000 rally against Lukashenko in Minsk
Protest rally against Lukashenko, 13 September 2020. Minsk, Belarus
Protest rally against Lukashenko, 13 September 2020. Minsk, Belarus Credit: Homoatrox (Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike 3.0)

For the fifth weekend in a row, protesters took the streets in Belarus against President Alexander Lukashenko under the slogan "We won’t let him sell the country." According to news agencies, at least 100,000 people joined the rally in Minsk, with Police claiming they had detained over 400 people in the city.

The Russian Government has stepped up support, offering to potentially restructure Belarusian debt, and providing banking liquidity. It has also said Russian riot police could be made available if needed.

Lukashenko will meet Vladimir Putin Monday in the Russian resort of Sochi. It will be their first face-to-face encounter since Belarus’s presidential election on August 9.

Politics • European • France
"Clear worsening" of Coronavirus spread in France, 42 départements on "red" alert
"Clear worsening" of Coronavirus spread in France, 42 départements on "red" alert
Credit: unsplash.com/Camille Brodard

France recorded almost 10,000 new Coronavirus cases on Thursday – highest daily record since March. 42 départements are now put on 'red' alert. The French government is currently avoiding tougher restrictions even though the Coronavirus is "circulating more and more"

Prime Minister Jean Castex announced that testing for priority cases will be fast-tracked and additional testers will be recruited. Mandatory quarantine for people who have tested positive is down to seven days instead of fourteen. 

Politics • European • United Kingdom
England puts Portugal back on Covid-19 quarantine list
Torre de Belém, Lisbon, Portugal
Torre de Belém, Lisbon, Portugal Credit: Berthold Werner (Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike 4.0)

British transport minister Grant Shapps announced that travellers from mainland Portugal to England would have to quarantine from 03:00 UTC on Saturday. The announcement comes just weeks after the country was put on the safe list.

Travellers from the Portuguese islands of the Azores and Madeira are still allowed to skip quarantine.

Politics • European • Austria
Austria triples expenditures for security of Jewish institutions

Instead of the current funding contract, the Austrian government plans on determining the funding for the security of Jewish institutions by law in the future.

In addition, it is planned that the founding will be more than tripled to around €4 million.

Politics • European • France
French new Covid-19 cases at a record high
Paris Champs-Élysées during the Covid-19 lockdown
Paris Champs-Élysées during the Covid-19 lockdown Credit: ERIC SALARD (Creative Commons Attribution 2.0)

France reported 9,843 new Covid-19 infections Thursday, the highest single-day total since the start of the outbreak.

The French Government will hold a cabinet meeting on Friday with President Emmanuel Macron stating he hopes any new measures would not be too restrictive.

Politics • European • Austria
Austria reports first Covid-19 cases in schools days after reopening
The Andersen Kindergarten in the Hügelpark in Hietzing, Vienna
The Andersen Kindergarten in the Hügelpark in Hietzing, Vienna Credit: Herzi Pinki (Creative Commons Attribution 3.0)

According to a spokesperson of the government "there are no major clusters at educational institutions" after three cases of Covid-19 have been reported in three different schools in Vienna and 13 cases at multiple kindergartens.

The classmates of the infected students now need to go into quarantine for ten days since their last contact with the infected person.