Great Britain

Health
New Covid-19 strain detected in United Kingdom possibly up to 70% more transmissible
New Covid-19 strain detected in United Kingdom possibly up to 70% more transmissible
Credit: Ashley Winkler for Pendect

A Covid-19 variant discovered in England is massively accelerating the spread of the virus. According to experts, the mutation could also be responsible for the increase in Germany.

According to Prime Minister Boris Johnson, the new variant of the coronavirus discovered in Great Britain is, according to initial findings, significantly more contagious than the known form. But there was no evidence that vaccines were less effective, Johnson told reporters in London.

Regional News • Europe • European Union
European Parliament sets deadline for Brexit deal until Sunday
European Parliament sets deadline for Brexit deal until Sunday
Credit: Courtesy of Twitter / Manfred Weber

The European Parliament has given the negotiations on a possible trade pact with Great Britain until Sunday. With just two weeks to go before the end of the Brexit transition period on 31 December, the European Union is still negotiating a follow-up deal with Britain that would avoid tariffs and serious trade barriers. However, according to British government sources, the negotiating parties are still very far apart on key issues.

The European Parliament has given the negotiations on a possible trade pact with Great Britain until Sunday. If a finished text is available by midnight, it is prepared to schedule a special session for ratification, according to a decision by the parliament's leadership.

Regional News • Europe
Italy reports 28,352 new Covid-19 cases and 827 deaths
Italy reports 28,352 new Covid-19 cases and 827 deaths
Credit: Adam Nieścioruk

The Italian Health Ministry reported 827 Covid 19-related deaths and 28,352 new infections in the country. Italy was the first Western country to be hit by the virus and has seen 53,677 COVID-19 fatalities since its outbreak emerged in February, the second-highest toll in Europe after Great Britain.

While Italy's daily death tolls have been amongst the highest in Europe over recent days, the rise in hospital admissions and intensive care occupancy has slowed, suggesting the latest wave of infections was receding. The northern region of Lombardy, centred on Italy's financial capital Milan, remained the hardest hit area on Friday, reporting 5,389 new cases from a previous 5,697.

Business • Media & Advertising
Netflix removes free test month in some countries
Netflix removes free test month in some countries
Credit: Illustration: Pendect, Ashley Winkler – Logo via Netflix (Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike 4.0)

Netflix, the largest video streaming provider, has cancelled the free trial period in many countries without notice.

Markets, including the United States, Canada, Great Britain, Australia and Japan have switched over to a model where the second month is free.

The 30-day trial subscription is no longer available in Germany and France either. In some other countries, nothing has changed yet.

Regional News • Europe • United Kingdom
British government evaluates building a bridge between Scotland and Northern Ireland
British government evaluates building a bridge between Scotland and Northern Ireland
Credit: unsplash.com / K. Mitch Hodge

According to the government, Prime Minister Boris Johnson commissioned a corresponding study on Saturday. Among other things, the study is to focus on the feasibility of a bridge between Scotland and Northern Ireland.

Johnson had recently repeatedly expressed sympathy for such a project. Such a bridge would have a length of at least 32 kilometers. In addition, the project is to focus on the possible expansion of air, road and rail links in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. The results of the study should be available in the middle of next year.

Regional News • Europe • European Union
European Union announces legal action against Great Britain
European Union announces legal action against Great Britain
Credit: © European Union 2019 – Source: EP / Wikimedia Commons (Creative Commons Attribution 4.0)

The European Union is taking legal action against Great Britain for violation of the withdrawal agreement. Commission President Ursula von der Leyen has announced that the EU Commission has sent a letter to the British government over the new British Market Act passed by the House of Commons which is intended to override parts of the already valid withdrawal agreement with the EU.