EPA-EFE/STEPHANIE LECOCQ / POOL The European Commission launched on the day an antitrust competition inquiry into the sector of Internet of Things (IoT) for consumer-related products and services in the EU. style=”font-size:40px; line-height: 1.3em; font-weight: 800; padding:7px;”>EU opens probe into Poland’s state aid to expand LG Chem’s car battery plant

By New Europe Online/KG

epa08549416 EU Commissioner for Competition Margrethe Vestager gives a press conference on a sector inquiry on Competition at the European Commission in Brussels, Belgium 16 July 2020.
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The Commission said it will now investigate further to determine whether the initial concerns are confirmed. Poland’s €95 million state aid to chemical company LG Chem Group for investing in the expansion of its battery cell production facility for electric vehicles (EV) in Biskupice Podgórne in Poland’s Dolnośląskie region has prompted the European Commission to open an in-depth investigation to assess whether it complies with EU rules. It does not prejudge in any way the outcome of the investigation. We will carefully investigate whether Poland’s support was necessary to trigger LG Chem’s decision to expand its existing cell production facility in Poland, is kept to the minimum necessary and does not distort competition or harm cohesion in the EU,” she added. The opening of an in-depth investigation provides Poland and interested third parties with an opportunity to comment on the measure. “At the same time, we need to ensure that the aid is really needed to attract private investments to the region concerned, and avoid that the recipient of the aid gains an unfair advantage over its competitors at the expense of taxpayers. At this stage, the Commission has doubts that the planned public support complies with all relevant criteria of the Regional Aid Guidelines. In 2017, LG Chem decided to invest more than €1 billion in the expansion of its production capacity of lithium-ion cells and battery modules and packs for electric vehicles in its existing plant in the Dolnośląskie region of Poland. In particular it has doubts about whether the measure has an “incentive effect”; it has doubts about the public support’s contribution to regional development and its appropriateness and proportionality; and it cannot exclude at this stage that the public support exceeds the maximum permissible aid intensity for the project, the Commission said in a press release. “EU State aid rules enable Member States to foster economic growth in disadvantaged regions in Europe,” Competition Policy Commissioner  said. In 2019, Poland notified the Commission of its plans to grant €95 million of public support for the expansion.

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The huge vessel was carrying some 1,116 crew members on board, four of whom are in isolation after being in direct contact with a passenger infected with the the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus that causes the COVID-19 disease, according to a statement by the press office of the president of the northwestern region of Liguria. EPA-EFE/LUCA ZENNARO Italy has been under a national lockdown since 09 March, as the Mediterranean country has been ravaged by the novel coronavirus with a devastating toll of more than 9,000 deaths so far. EPA-EFE/LUCA ZENNARO

The MSC Splendida cruise ship approaches the port of Genoa, Italy, 27 March 2020. style=”font-size:40px; line-height: 1.3em; font-weight: 800; padding:7px;”>Italy will allow some cruise ships to return later this month

By Zoe Didili
Journalist, New Europe

epa08327347 The MSC Splendida cruise ship approaches the port of Genoa, Italy, 27 March 2020.
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The Italian government has given permission to its cruise industry to start sailing again in Mediterranean waters, after several months of lockdown, in a bid to boost its economy.  
  Over the weekend, the Mediterranean Shipping Company (MSC), a privately owned company based in Geneva, said it will have two departures from Italian ports this month, starting from August 16. In case cruise operations across Europe remained suspended throughout August, CLIA has predicted an economic loss of around €25.5 billion. The announcement was made on Friday by the country’s Prime Minister, Giuseppe Conte, who said that Italy will reopen its borders for cruise ships as of August 15. The return of the cruising industry comes at a rather challenging moment, as several European states are reporting an alarming surge in COVID-19 infections, and amid growing concerns over the safety of cruising ships, with hundreds of cases recorded on multiple ships. The company, which was the first global operator to announce the resumption of its operations after the Coronavirus outbreak paralysed all travelling, is planning to conduct a swab test of every passenger just before boarding, and those found positive, or show symptoms of illness, will be denied boarding. According to numbers published by the Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA), Italy’s cruise industry is worth of up to €14.5 billion and supports almost 53,000 jobs, being Europe’s largest industry. Similarly, Costa Cruises, owned by Carnival Corporation, announced on Tuesday that it was planning to resume its trips from Italian ports in early September, with its ships operating under the so-called “Costa Safety Protocol,” meaning the new regulations developed in line with Italian and EU health guidelines.

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On Wednesday morning, Borrell announced in a Twitter post that he will convene an extraordinary Foreign Affairs Council, to discuss the situation in Belarus and the Eastern Mediterranean, as well as the recent developments in Lebanon. “State authorities deployed disproportionate and unacceptable violence causing at least one death and many injuries. Police reportedly used stun grenades, rubber bullets, tear gas and water cannon, while at least one demonstrator is reported to have been killed. We will discuss urgent issues and address the situation in the Eastern Mediterranean, the Belarus Presidential elections, as well as developments in Lebanon. — Josep Borrell Fontelles (@JosepBorrellF) August 12, 2020

The announcement followed a request by Poland’s Prime Minister, Mateusz Morawiecki, who on Monday called on the chiefs of EU institutions to convene an extraordinary summit on Belarus, after violent clashes between protesters and police forces over the disputed presidential election shook the capital. The figures released by the country’s Central Electoral Committee (CEC) have led to violent clashes in Minsk, with videos circulating on the web showing police forces cracking down on demonstrators. The Union’s Foreign Policy chief, Josep Borrell has denounced Belarus’ presidential elections that gave long-time ruler Aleksander Lukashenko a sixth term in power, saying that elections were “neither free nor fair.” 
In a statement released on Tuesday, Borrell also said that the EU could take “measures against those responsible for the observed violence, unjustified arrests, and falsification of election results,” as the people of Belarus “deserve better.” 
“During the electoral campaign, the people of Belarus have demonstrated the desire for democratic change,” his statement reads. Thousands took to the streets across Belarus on Sunday evening, after a state-TV exit poll predicted a landslide victory for incumbent president Lukashenko, who has been running the country since 1994. He also called on Belarusian authorities to release “immediately and unconditionally” all detained, and to to initiate a “genuine and inclusive dialogue” with broader society to avoid further violence. Thousands of people were detained and the crackdown on freedoms of assembly, media and expression intensified,” the bloc’s foreign policy chief said. Borrell’s comments came amid growing criticism by NGOs, activists and politicians across Europe, who call the elections a fraud and urge Belarus to ensure its citizens’ fundamental human rights. I will call an extraordinary Foreign Affairs Council meeting this Friday afternoon.

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EPA-EFE/TATYANA ZENKOVICH The opposition does not recognise the results and has questioned the transparency of the counting process. style=”font-size:40px; line-height: 1.3em; font-weight: 800; padding:7px;”>EU’s top diplomat denounces Belarus’ vote, threatens sanctions

By Zoe Didili
Journalist, New Europe

epa08597401 A woman shows a victory sign at the site where a Belarusian protester died in the night before in Minsk, Belarus, 11 August 2020. EPA-EFE/TATYANA ZENKOVICH

A woman shows a victory sign at the site where a Belarusian protester died in the night before in Minsk, Belarus, 11 August 2020. Long-time President of Belarus Alexander Lukashenko won the elections by a landslide with 80 percent of the votes.

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Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden has chosen Kamala Harris as his pick for Vice President, according to a statement on Biden’s Twitter account, on 11 August 2020. EPA-EFE/ETIENNE LAURENT

Democratic candidate for Presidency and Senator, Kamala Harris delivers a speech during SEIU's Unions for All summit in Los Angeles, California, USA, 04 October 2019 (reissued 11 August 2020). EPA-EFE/ETIENNE LAURENT style=”font-size:40px; line-height: 1.3em; font-weight: 800; padding:7px;”>Biden picks Kamala Harris as VP nominee

By Zoe Didili
Journalist, New Europe

epa08598084 (FILE) – Democratic candidate for Presidency and Senator, Kamala Harris delivers a speech during SEIU’s Unions for All summit in Los Angeles, California, USA, 04 October 2019 (reissued 11 August 2020).

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I was proud then, and I’m proud now to have her as my partner in this campaign,” Biden added. Biden’s move came at a rather challenging moment for the incumbent president Donald Trump. Opposition voices were increasingly growing since May, following the death of George Floyd, an African-American man in Minneapolis, seen on video gasping for breath as a white police officer knelt on his neck. — Joe Biden (@JoeBiden) August 11, 2020

“Back when Kamala was Attorney General, she worked closely with Beau [Biden’s son]. The Coronavirus pandemic has infected more than 5.3 billion citizens, and has cost the life of more than 168,000 people, sparking an outcry over his handling of the pandemic. The announcement was made through a Twitter post by Biden on Tuesday morning, who described Harris as a “fearless fighter for the little guy, and one of the country’s finest public servants.”

I have the great honor to announce that I’ve picked @KamalaHarris — a fearless fighter for the little guy, and one of the country’s finest public servants — as my running mate. I watched as they took on the big banks, lifted up working people, and protected women and kids from abuse.   The former Vice-President of Barack Obama’s administration had pledged in March, to pick a woman as his VP. The Democratic Presidential nominee, Joe Biden has named California Senator Kamala Harris as his running mate, making history by picking the first Black and South Asian American woman to run for the post.
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EPA-EFE/JOHN THYS / POOL European Union nations leaders meet face-to-face for a third day to discuss plans to respond to the coronavirus pandemic and a new long-term EU budget. style=”font-size:40px; line-height: 1.3em; font-weight: 800; padding:7px;”>Poland calls for extraordinary EU summit to discuss post-election crackdown in Belarus

By Zoe Didili
Journalist, New Europe

epa08554448 Poland’s Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki arrives for the third day of the European Council in Brussels, Belgium, 19 July 2020. EPA-EFE/JOHN THYS / POOL

Poland's Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki arrives for the third day of the European Council in Brussels, Belgium, 19 July 2020.

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Poland’s Prime Minister, Mateusz Morawiecki has called on the chiefs of EU institutions to convene an extraordinary summit on Belarus, after violent clashes between protesters and police forces over a disputed presidential election shook the capital, Minsk. Thousands took to the streets across Belarus on Sunday evening, after a state-TV exit poll predicted a landslide victory for incumbent president Aleksander Lukashenko, who has been running the country since 1994. “The authorities have used force against their citizens, who are demanding change in the country. We must support the Belarusian people in their quest for freedom,” Morawiecki said in a statement on Monday. The country’s MFA also condemned the violence against protesters, and called on Belarusian authorities “to stop escalating the situation and to start respecting fundamental human rights”. The harsh reaction, the use of force against peaceful protesters, and arbitrary arrests are unacceptable,” the Polish MFA said in a statement. “In the face of the ongoing events in Belarus, the Polish Ministry of Foreign Affairs expresses its deep concern about the brutal pacification of post-election demonstrations. The Polish PM said he had written to the Commission President, Ursula von der Leyen and the head of the EU Council, Charles Michel, requesting a special summit. The figures released by the country’s Central Electoral Committee (CEC) have led to violent clashes in Minsk, with videos circulating on the web showing police forces cracking down on demonstrators.   Police reportedly used stun grenades, rubber bullets, tear gas and water cannon, while at least one demonstrator is reported to have been killed.
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According to Nogayev, oil exports amounted to 42 million tonnes – an increase of 0.4%. In 1H 2020, TCO spent $2 billion on Kazakh goods and services, including $1.4 billion for FGP (future growing project). Total recoverable crude oil in the Tengiz and Korolev fields is estimated to be 890 million to 1.37 billion metric tonnes (7.1 to 10.9 billion barrels). TCO has invested more than $34.9 billion on Kazakh goods and services since 1993. “In the first half 2020, TCO sold over 725,000 metric tonnes of LPG, 3.9 billion cubic metres of dry gas and over 1.3 million tonnes of sulfur,” the press service of TengizChevroil said. TCO completed its Sour Gas Injection and Second-Generation Plant (SGI/SGP) expansion project in 2008, which brought daily production capacity to approximately 75,000 metric tonnes per day (600,000 barrels) of crude oil and 22 million cubic metres per day (750 mmscf) of natural gas. The areal extent of the Tengiz reservoir is large, measuring 20 kilometres by 21 kilometres. In 2019, crude production was 28.6 million metric tonnes. Gas production for seven months of this year amounted to 33.4 billion cubic metres – an increase of 1% compared to the same period last year, Nogayev added. This is 1.4% lower compared to the same indicator in 2019,” the head of energy ministry said. Estimated oil in place in the Tengiz field is 3.2 billion metric tonnes (25.5 billion barrels) with 200 million metric tonnes (1.6 billion barrels) in the Korolev field. “From 1993 through 1H 2020, TCO made direct financial payments of over $150 billion to Kazakhstani entities,” the press service added. Meanwhile, US-Kazakh joint venture TengizChevroil (TCO) said on August 11 crude production in the first half of 2020 was 14.26 million metric tonnes (112.51 million barrels). Tengiz, the world’s deepest producing super giant oil field, was discovered in 1979. According to company, in the first half of 2020, direct payments to Kazakhstan totaled $3.9 billion. NUR-SULTAN, Kazakhstan – Oil and condensate production decreased by 1.4% in seven months of 2020, Kazakhstan’s Energy Minister Nurlan Nogayev told a government meeting on August 11. Earlier, Kazakhstan Prime Minister Askar Mamin said the decline in oil production is explained by the need to fulfill the agreements reached by OPEC+. The Tengizchevroil (TCO) partnership was formed on April 6, 1993, between Kazakhstan and Chevron. Current partners are Chevron, 50%; KazMunayGas, 20%; ExxonMobil Kazakhstan Ventures, 25%; LukArco, 5%. “Production of oil and condensate amounted to 51.5 million tonnes in the first seven months of this year.

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style=”font-size:40px; line-height: 1.3em; font-weight: 800; padding:7px;”>Kazakhstan reduces production of oil and condensate by 1.4%

By Kulpash Konyrova

Kazakhstan's giant Tengiz oilfield. CHEVRON
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EPA-EFE/Michael Kappeler / POOL style=”font-size:40px; line-height: 1.3em; font-weight: 800; padding:7px;”>German Foreign Minister to visit Beirut, ask for reforms

By Zoe Didili
Journalist, New Europe

epa08466610 German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas wears a face mask after a joint press conference with his Italian counterpart Di Maio in Berlin, Germany, 05 June 2020. EPA-EFE/Michael Kappeler / POOL

German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas wears a face mask after a joint press conference with his Italian counterpart Di Maio in Berlin, Germany, 05 June 2020.

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Anti-government protests in Beirut
Tens of thousands of protesters took to the streets of Beirut on Saturday, asking for accountability, after a massive explosion rocked the capital’s port on Tuesday, leaving almost 200 people dead, thousands injured and dozens still missing, whilst causing extensive damage to the capital. French President Emmanuel Macron was the first EU leader to visit the Middle Eastern country, to pledge his country’s emergency aid and to ask for political reforms. pic.twitter.com/Mmqt3rl3pe
— Heiko Maas 🇪🇺 (@HeikoMaas) August 9, 2020

The demands for political and economic reforms were also echoed by the International Monetary Fund (IMF), which has offered to double its support, provided that Lebanon advances its efforts in undertaking reforms. Germany itself pledged €20 million from humanitarian aid and development cooperation funds. We need to open the door for the people.” On Sunday evening, international donors pledged €250 million in humanitarian assistance for Lebanon, during a donor conference organised by French President Emmanuel Macron and the United Nations. Ich freue mich sehr, dass ich heute weitere 20 Millionen Euro aus Mitteln der humanitären Hilfe und der Entwicklungszusammenarbeit zusagen kann. Amid growing pressure from protesters seeking political reforms, the Lebanese PM had vowed to hold early elections, however, Diab’s announcement was not enough to satisfy the protesters who accused the government of negligence and corruption. Both the Lebanese PM and President said the explosion was caused by the detonation of 2,750 tonnes of ammonium nitrate that had been stored for six years without safety measures. On Monday evening, Lebanon’s Prime Minister Hassan Diab and his cabinet resigned, stating that “We will back down and stand with the people. Die Menschen in #Beirut brauchen unsere Hilfe und sie brauchen Anlass zur Hoffnung. Germany’s Foreign Minister, Heiko Maas is set to visit Beirut on Wednesday, to offer Berlin’s support to the Middle Eastern country that suffered a massive explosion last week, and to discuss the necessary reforms the country needs to undertake. The emergency aid will be “directly delivered to the Lebanese population,” and the country, which is on the verge of bankruptcy, will need to commit to economic and political reforms. “We will make it very clear to those responsible that we are ready to help, but we also believe that this country must be reformed,” Maas told public broadcaster Deutschlandfunk. On Sunday, videos circulating on the web showed protesters clashing with police forces and facing tear gas, rubber bullets, and birdshot fired from shotguns.

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EPA-EFE/ZURAB KURTSIKIDZE EPA-EFE/ZURAB KURTSIKIDZE

People hold portraits of Zelimkhan Khangoshvili in front of the German embassy in Tbilisi, Georgia, 10 September 2019. style=”font-size:40px; line-height: 1.3em; font-weight: 800; padding:7px;”>Slovakia expels three Russian diplomats with alleged link to Berlin murder

By Zoe Didili
Journalist, New Europe

epa07832635 People hold portraits of Zelimkhan Khangoshvili in front of the German embassy in Tbilisi, Georgia, 10 September 2019. Khangoshvili, a former militant activist, was shot dead in Berlin on 23 August.
Slovakia said on Monday it had expelled three diplomats from the Russian embassy in the capital, Bratislava, for a “serious crime,” with local media reporting it is related to the murder of a Georgian man in Berlin last year. The Foreign Ministry also cited an abuse of Slovak visas issued at the Slovak general consulate in Saint Petersburg, without providing further information. “According to information from the Slovak intelligence services, their activities were in contradiction with the Vienna convention on diplomatic relations,” a ministry spokesman said in an emailed statement, according to Reuters. The 40-year-old Georgian citizen of Chechen ethnicity, identified in reports on the killing as Zelimkhan Khangoshvili, fought against Russian troops in Chechnya, while he had previously survived multiple assassination attempts and fled, d to Germany in 2016. In June, German prosecutors charged a Russian man over the killing of a Georgian rebel fighter in Berlin’s Kleiner Tiergarten park last year and accused Moscow of having ordered the assassination. With the Russian diplomats forced to leave the country by 13 August, Russia said it will respond to the move.

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  “One of my daughters got vaccinated, so in this sense, she took part in the testing,” he added, before saying that his daughter was feeling fine despite a slight increase in their temperature, that quickly went “back to normal.”
Putin added that the so-called “Sputnik-V” vaccine, went through the necessary tests, as Russian healthcare regulators approved the vaccine. “It works effectively enough, forms a stable immunity and, I repeat, it has gone through all necessary tests,” the Russian President stressed. “This morning, for the first time in the world, a vaccine against the new coronavirus was registered” in the country, Putin said during a televised video conference call with government ministers. Russian President Vladimir Putin on Tuesday said that Moscow’s Gamaleya Institute has registered the world’s first COVID-19 vaccine for use, and that one of his daughters has got a shot. Russian officials said that large-scale production of the vaccine will begin in September, and mass vaccination is planned to start in October, while vaccination will be voluntary. His announcement came amid growing concerns over the safety of the vaccine, as it skipped the long-lasting Phase 3 trials, with scientists and the World Health Organisation (WHO) warning against cutting corners and urging Kremlin to follow international guidelines for the vaccine production.
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EPA-EFE/ALEXEI NIKOLSKY/SPUTNIK /KREMLIN POOL MANDATORY CREDIT

Russian President Vladimir Putin attends a meeting via a video conference with Bryansk region governor Alexander Bogomaz at the Novo-Ogaryovo residence outside Moscow, Russia, 26 May 2020. style=”font-size:40px; line-height: 1.3em; font-weight: 800; padding:7px;”>Putin says Russia has developed the first COVID-19 vaccine

By Zoe Didili
Journalist, New Europe

epa08445201 Russian President Vladimir Putin attends a meeting via a video conference with Bryansk region governor Alexander Bogomaz at the Novo-Ogaryovo residence outside Moscow, Russia, 26 May 2020. EPA-EFE/ALEXEI NIKOLSKY/SPUTNIK /KREMLIN POOL MANDATORY CREDIT

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EPA-EFE/Julien de Rosa EPA-EFE/Julien de Rosa

People wear a protective face mask in front of the Eiffel Tower, as part of measures to contain the spread of coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 which causes the Covid-19 disease, in Paris, France, 09 August 2020. At the request of the Paris Mayor, the protective face mask become obligatory in some districts of Paris from 10 August on. style=”font-size:40px; line-height: 1.3em; font-weight: 800; padding:7px;”>Paris makes masks compulsory in busy outdoor sites

By Zoe Didili
Journalist, New Europe

epa08593944 People wear a protective face mask in front of the Eiffel Tower, as part of measures to contain the spread of coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 which causes the Covid-19 disease, in Paris, France, 09 August 2020.

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The measure applies to major tourist spots, including the banks of the River Seine and Montmartre, with the Eiffel Tower, the Champs-Elysees and Arc de Triomphe being exempted from the restrictions. The new measure, that applies to everyone over the age of 11, will be in place for at least a month, and those not complying with new restrictions could face a €135 fine. New restrictions cover “areas with high frequentation of people”, said a deputy Paris major, Audrey Pulvar. Local authorities in several cities across the country, including Lille, Nice, Marseille and Toulouse, have already adopted similar measures, while wearing a face mask was already mandatory in closed public spaces, such as supermarkets and shops in the capital. It came amid an alarming surge of COVID-19 infections across the country, with new cases exceeding 2,200 daily, prompting fears of a second Coronavirus wave. As of Monday, August 10, face masks have become compulsory in busy outdoor areas in the French capital, Paris, in a bit to curb a surge in COVID-19 infections.  

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style=”font-size:40px; line-height: 1.3em; font-weight: 800; padding:7px;”>Reports say Belarus’ opposition candidate Tikhanovskaya ‘safe’ in Lithuania

By Zoe Didili
Journalist, New Europe

epa08580143 Belarusian opposition presidential candidate Svetlana Tikhanovskaya gestures to her supporters during a campaign rally in Baranovichi, some 150 km from Minsk, Belarus, 02 August 2020. EPA-EFE/TATYANA ZENKOVICH

Belarusian opposition presidential candidate Svetlana Tikhanovskaya gestures to her supporters during a campaign rally in Baranovichi, some 150 km from Minsk, Belarus, 02 August 2020. The presidential election in Belarus is scheduled to take place on 09 August 2020. EPA-EFE/TATYANA ZENKOVICH

Belarus’ opposition candidate Svetlana Tikhanovskaya has fled to Lithuania, after the country’s August 9 presidential elections showed long-time ruler Aleksander Lukashenko winning a sixth term. The news about the 37-year-old teacher and Belarus’ hope to change the status quo, were announced on Tuesday by Lithuania’s Foreign Minister Linas Linkevicius, through a Twitter post. Tikhanovskaya, who stood in for her husband as an opposition candidate after he was jailed in the run-up to the vote was reportedly ahead in dozens of polling stations across the country, however, Belarus’ Central Electoral Committee (CEC) only gave her 9.9% of the votes. On Monday, Lithuania’s ambassador to the EU, Jovita Neliupsiene called on Europe to declare Belarus’ presidential vote a fraud and to support those “fighting for the right to vote.”
  She is in #Lithuania. Thousands took the streets of the capital asking for fair elections, and at least one person has been left dead from the violent clashes with the police. Massive protests have been shaking the capital, Minsk, since Sunday evening, when a state-TV exit poll predicted a landslide victory for Lukashenko, who has been running the country since 1994. “No one life is worth what is happening,” Tikhanovskaya said in a video posted on Youtube before her departure for Lithuania. “Children are the most important things in our lives,” she added. Svetlana #Tikhanovskaya is safe. pic.twitter.com/6f9U2meoX0
— Linas Linkevicius (@LinkeviciusL) August 11, 2020

Tikhanovskaya left Belarus after she publicly rejected the outcome of a “rigged” election, that gave Lukashenko over 80% of the vote, filing a complaint for the recount of the votes. Her children had left the country prior to the elections, due to safety reasons.

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“But this is not a reason for worry. The situation has stabilised and is under the full control of the authorities and epidemiological services of the country. This allows us to make correct forecasts for the future, calculate human and material resources in order to be ready for a possible new wave,” Kozhakhmetov said. He also noted that 20,913 people continue to receive treatment for coronavirus in the country, another 4,713 are being treated on an outpatient basis. “Now 72 percent of the total number of patients with coronavirus in the republic have recovered. The country has created 3,640 mobile teams that consult patients. Over the past day, 741 people fell ill with the coronavirus, 23 people died. Since the beginning of the month, 13,208 people have been recorded with a diagnosis of “coronavirus infection with a negative PCR test”, 164 people have died. In addition, the number of ambulance calls has decreased by 62%. “We can say with full confidence that the country has passed the critical period,” he added. 70 patients are on mechanical ventilation,” Kodzhakhmetov said. NUR-SULTAN, Kazakhstan – The spread of coronavirus has stopped in Kazakhstan, Kazakh Health Ministry spokesman Bagdat Kozhakhmetov told a briefing on August 10. Thanks to the introduction of a new accounting methodology, we have verified data as close as possible to the real picture. “If we talk about the condition of patients, currently 246 are in serious condition, 69 are in an extremely severe degree. If in late June – early July up to 30,000 calls were received per day, now this number does not exceed 11,000. Meanwhile, after combining the statistics of patients with coronavirus infection with a positive and negative PCR test, Kazakhstan climbed to 26th place in the world ranking, Kozhakhmetov added. To date, the spread of coronavirus has stopped,” Kozhakhmetov stressed. According to him, 99,442 cases of coronavirus infection were recorded in Kazakhstan.
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KULPASH KONYROVA style=”font-size:40px; line-height: 1.3em; font-weight: 800; padding:7px;”>The spread of coronavirus has stopped in Kazakhstan

By Kulpash Konyrova

A man wearing a mask sits on a bench in a park in Nur-Sultan, Kazakhstan, August 10, 2020.
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  We need to open the door for the people,” Diab said in a televised address to the nation before presenting his resignation to Lebanese President Michel Aoun. The same day, international donors pledged $300 million in humanitarian assistance for Lebanon, during a donor conference organised by French President Emmanuel Macron and the United Nations. Lebanon’s Prime Minister Hassan Diab and his cabinet resigned on Monday evening, almost a week after a massive explosion devastated the capital and stirred anti-government demonstrations. Amid growing pressure from protesters seeking political reforms, the Lebanese PM had vowed to hold early elections, however, Diab’s announcement was not enough to satisfy the protesters who accused the government of negligence and corruption. Tens of thousands of protesters took to the streets of Beirut on Saturday, asking for accountability, after a massive explosion rocked the capital’s port on Tuesday, leaving over 200 people dead, thousands injured and dozens still missing, whilst causing extensive damage to the capital. On Sunday, videos circulating on the web showed protesters clashing with police forces and facing tear gas, rubber bullets, and birdshot fired from shotguns. Earlier in the day, the country’s Health Minister, Hamad Hasan had notified reporters about the government’s impending resignation, while the Justice Minister Marie Claude Najm, Information Minister Manal Abdel Samad, and Environment Minister Damianos Kattar, had already stepped down. “We will back down and stand with the people. Both the Lebanese PM and President said the explosion was caused by the detonation of 2,750 tonnes of ammonium nitrate that had been stored for six years without safety measures. The emergency aid will be “directly delivered to the Lebanese population,” and the country, which is on the verge of bankruptcy, will need to commit to economic and political reforms.
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Beirut governor said at least 200 people were killed in the explosion on 04 August and dozens are still missing. According to reports, anti-government protests continued in Lebanon despite the resignation of three ministers and several members of the parliament, as protesters are demanding the resignation of the government and all those responsible for the port explosion be held accountable. EPA-EFE/NABIL MOUNZER style=”font-size:40px; line-height: 1.3em; font-weight: 800; padding:7px;”>Lebanese government resigns amid protests over Beirut blast

By Zoe Didili
Journalist, New Europe

epa08595570 Protesters wave a Lebanese flag during protests near the parliament in Beirut, Lebanon, 10 August 2020. EPA-EFE/NABIL MOUNZER

Protesters wave a Lebanese flag during protests near the parliament in Beirut, Lebanon, 10 August 2020.

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The announcement came amid accusations that thousands were not allowed to vote, and that exit polls and official results from CEC have been rigged. I call on the Belarusian authorities to ensure that the votes in yesterday’s election are counted & published accurately. Thousands took to the streets across Belarus on Sunday evening, to protest a state-TV exit poll saying long-time leader Aleksander Lukashenko has won a landslide victory in the country’s August 9 presidential elections. Police reportedly used stun grenades, rubber bullets, tear gas and water cannon, while at least one demonstrator is reported to have been killed. — Ursula von der Leyen (@vonderleyen) August 10, 2020

EU Council President, Charles Michel, also tweeted that “violence against protesters is not the answer,” and called for the protection of fundamental human rights. In #FairElections we trust✌️ https://t.co/BfOfjR3oAO
— Jovita Neliupsiene (@Jovita_Pra) August 10, 2020 It’s a #European duty to call a fraud a fraud and to support those brave men & women today in 2020 fighting for the right to vote. The violent crackdown on protesters has been slammed by the European Commission chief, Ursula von der Leyen, who said that “harassment and violent repression of peaceful protesters has no place in Europe.”

Harassment & violent repression of peaceful protesters has no place in Europe. On Monday, Lithuania’s ambassador to the EU, called on Europe to declare Belarus presidential vote a fraud and to support those “fighting for the right to vote.”

#Belarus is #EU neighbourhood. Fundamental rights in #Belarus must be respected. The figures released by CEC have led to violent clashes in the capital, Minsk, with videos circulating on the web showing police forces cracking down on demonstrators. The country’s Central Election Commission (CEC) said on Monday incumbent president Lukashenko had won more than 80% of the vote, while his main rival, Svetlana Tikhanovskaya, who had reportedly won at a majority of polling stations, had only gathered 9.9%.
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style=”font-size:40px; line-height: 1.3em; font-weight: 800; padding:7px;”>Protests erupt in Belarus as Lukashenko claims election win

By Zoe Didili
Journalist, New Europe

epa08594405 A police truck, carrying demonstrators, makes its way through a crowd of opposition protesters after polling stations closed at the presidential elections in Minsk, Belarus, 09 August 2020. EPA-EFE/TATYANA ZENKOVICH

A police truck, carrying demonstrators, makes its way through a crowd of opposition protesters after polling stations closed at the presidential elections in Minsk, Belarus, 09 August 2020. Five candidates are contesting for the presidential seat, including the incumbent president Lukashenko. EPA-EFE/TATYANA ZENKOVICH

EPA-EFE/VERNON YUEN EPA-EFE/VERNON YUEN

Jimmy Lai (C), media tycoon and founder of Apple Daily, is escorted by police after he was arrested at his home in Hong Kong, China, 10 August 2020. On 10 August, under the new and controversial national security law, Hong Kong police arrested Jimmy Lai and raided the Apple’s Daily headquarter. According to media reports six others have also been arrested. style=”font-size:40px; line-height: 1.3em; font-weight: 800; padding:7px;”>Hong Kong media tycoon arrested under new security law

By Zoe Didili
Journalist, New Europe

epa08594568 Jimmy Lai (C), media tycoon and founder of Apple Daily, is escorted by police after he was arrested at his home in Hong Kong, China, 10 August 2020.

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“The police operation is still ongoing and does not rule out more arrests,” the police force said. Hong Kong media tycoon and pro-democracy activist, Jimmy Lai, has been arrested under a new national security law, and detained on suspicion of “colluding” with foreign forces. Earlier in August, police in Hong Kong have ordered the arrest of six pro-democracy activists living in exile, on suspicion of violating China’s new national security law for the city, according to reports by Chinese media. His arrest came amid Beijing’s crackdown on opposition activists in the semi-autonomous region, and amid growing concerns over freedom of expression and media freedom due to the recently adopted national security law. Lai’s arrest is based on a controversial law passed in June, aiming at tackling subversion, terrorism, separatism and collusion with foreign forces, with democracy activists across the world warning that the law will be used to eliminate dissent and tighten Beijing’s control.   Lai, known for his support for the region’s pro-democracy movement and criticism of Beijing, was arrested on Monday along with six others, including his son, while the newspaper he runs, the “Apple Daily,” was searched by around 200 police, who were confiscating documents.
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