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The virus was also imported in a small percent from Italy, Russia, Australia and the Philippines (2%). “Those who returned from the US created transmission chains,” Dr. The findings showcased that in the rest 30% of the patients, the virus originated from Europe, namely from Belgium (8%), followed by France (6%), the UK (5%) and Spain (3%).   According to a study published on Monday by Tel Aviv University (TAU), more than 70% of those in Israel who contracted the Coronavirus were infected by a strain that originated in the US. Although flights from Europe were halted in late February, the flights from the US only stopped on March 9, when Israel closed its borders to anyone coming from abroad and being unable to undergo a two-week quarantine in the country. Adi Stern of the School of Molecular Cell Biology and Biotechnology at TAU’s George S. “There was this gap in policy, and this gap allowed people to return from the US who thought that they could go wherever they wanted, so they probably spread the virus that way,” Stern commented on the matter. Wise Faculty of Life Sciences, told the Jerusalem Post. As of publication, Israel has recorded more than 16,600 cases and 279 deaths.

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EPA-EFE/ABIR SULTAN

Dogs rest near people with face masks on a statue of Tel Aviv in the port of Tel Aviv, Israel, 14 May 2020. Media reports that as the temperatures in Israel rise above 35 degrees Celsius, even though the government has not officially authorized bathing restrictions, many people fill the beaches of Tel Aviv after they were closed for more than a month in order to prevent the spread of the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus which causes he Covid-19 disease. style=”font-size:40px; line-height: 1.3em; font-weight: 800; padding:7px;”>Report says 70% of COVID-19 cases in Israel likely linked to US, not EU or China

By Zoi Didili
Journalist, New Europe

epa08421771 Dogs rest near people with face masks on a statue of Tel Aviv in the port of Tel Aviv, Israel, 14 May 2020. EPA-EFE/ABIR SULTAN

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The poll was conducted on April 24-27 and a total of 1,608 people were asked across Russia. However, its death toll remains significantly low compared to neighbouring nations, being below 3,000. While the country is denying under-reporting Coronavirus fatalities, experts are questioning the accuracy of the information provided by the Russian authorities. Vladimir Putin’s approval rate has fallen to historic low levels amid the Coronavirus pandemic, as the Covid-19 cases in Russia surpassed 300,000 on Wednesday. “This accumulating volume of course creates a big burden, firstly on the health care system, and on the other hand, generates a high mortality rate,” Sobyanin said. Yet, Moscow’s Mayor Sergei Sobyanin warned that the Coronavirus death rate in the capital will be “significantly” higher in May compared to the previous month. On May 20, Russia recorded its lowest total of new coronavirus cases since May 1, reporting 8,764 new cases and 135 deaths. The Russian President’s approval rate fell from 63% in March to 59% in April, its lowest level in more than two decades, according to a poll carried out by the independent Levada Center.  
  The country has recorded the second-highest number of Covid-19 cases worldwide, after the US.

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EPA-EFE/ALEXEI NIKOLSKY / SPUTNIK /KREMLIN POOL MANDATORY CREDIT

Russian President Vladimir Putin addresses the nation on further support for citizens and the economy amid the ongoing pandemic of the COVID-19 disease caused by the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus, via teleconference call at Novo-Ogaryovo state residence outside Moscow, Russia, 12 May 2020. style=”font-size:40px; line-height: 1.3em; font-weight: 800; padding:7px;”>Putin’s approval rate lowest in 20 years as COVID-19 cases in Russia top 300k

By Zoi Didili
Journalist, New Europe

epa08415278 Russian President Vladimir Putin addresses the nation on further support for citizens and the economy amid the ongoing pandemic of the COVID-19 disease caused by the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus, via teleconference call at Novo-Ogaryovo state residence outside Moscow, Russia, 12 May 2020. EPA-EFE/ALEXEI NIKOLSKY / SPUTNIK /KREMLIN POOL MANDATORY CREDIT
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EU member state ministers have agreed on a trade talks mandate with the UK. EPA-EFE/STEPHANIE LECOCQ

EU Commission Vice-President for Interinstitutional Relations and Foresight Maroš Šefčovič. style=”font-size:40px; line-height: 1.3em; font-weight: 800; padding:7px;”>EU Battery Alliance to strengthen autonomy in key industrial ecosystems

By New Europe Online/KG

epa08246982 European Commission Vice President Maros Sefcovic gives a press conference after a General Affairs Council at the European Council in Brussels, Belgium, 25 February 2020. EFE/STEPHANIE LECOCQ

Šefčovič asks to keep the momentum based on the increased uptake of electric vehicles

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He said their consumer uptake is on the rise, while major car manufacturers are announcing a broader portfolio of EV models, amounting to over 210 by 2021. The industry proposed an Acceleration Plan set to create up to 1 million jobs in a European battery ecosystem worth €210 billion by 2022. Registrations of battery electric vehicles (BEV) in Europe doubled during the first months of 2020, while overall passenger cars fell by 25.6% compared to the same period last year, Forbes reported. Moreover, he stressed that Europe has seen the most rapid growth of any region in planned battery production capacity: it is set to reach a global share of more than 14 percent by 2024, overtaking the United States and Asia, excluding China. At a video meeting between EU Commission Vice-President for Interinstitutional Relations and Foresight Maroš Šefčovič and European Investment Bank (EIB) Vice President Andrew McDowell and high-level industry representatives on May 19, the Commission reiterated its support for a strong European battery ecosystem to strengthen Europe’s strategic autonomy in key industrial ecosystems, while fostering the green and digital transition. Šefčovič asked to keep the momentum based on the increased uptake of electric vehicles, the expected electric vehicle production trends and EU’s prospects of self-sufficiency in the lithium industry. EIB backing is expected to reach € 1billion in 2020, he added. “Accelerating our work is both, possible and needed. The Commission will therefore continue to mobilise all industrial actors, Member States and the EIB to shift things into a higher gear – leveraging investment, establishing a fit-for-future regulatory framework and building our raw materials resilience,” Šefčovič added. “The corona crisis has further highlighted the importance of the rationale behind the European Battery Alliance – to bolster Europe’s resilience and strategic autonomy in critical industrial sectors and in key, game-changing technologies,” Šefčovič said, hailing the private sector’s maintained momentum thanks to the traction created by the Battery Alliance. The Commission Vice President noted that electric cars are increasingly going mainstream in Europe. At the EU Battery Alliance meeting on May 19, McDowell reaffirmed EIB’s commitment to supporting an independent EU battery industry in line with the EU’s decarbonisation and green recovery objectives. Europe is making significant progress in becoming self-sufficient in the lithium industry, Šefčovič said, adding that four sustainable mining projects totalling €2 billion are underway in Europe and are set to meet up to 80% of Europe’s lithium needs in the battery sector by 2025, thus boosting our strategic autonomy. Data by the European Alternative Fuels Observatory (EAFO) shows that electric cars still only accounted for 4% of total. Together with high-level representatives from industry, Šefčovič assessed the impact of the COVID-19 crisis on the battery ecosystem. According to the Commission, the initiatives under the European Battery Alliance will contribute to the EU’s recovery, following the unprecedented coronavirus pandemic.
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Kurz announces the extension of the measures slowing down the ongoing pandemic of the COVID-19 disease caused by the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus, until 30 April 2020. EPA-EFE/HELMUT FOHRINGER / POOL EPA-EFE/HELMUT FOHRINGER / POOL

Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz speaks behind a safety glass during a press conference at the Austrian Chancellery in Vienna, Austria, 06 April 2020. style=”font-size:40px; line-height: 1.3em; font-weight: 800; padding:7px;”>Austria says alternative to Franco-German coronavirus recovery is in the works

By Zoi Didili
Journalist, New Europe

epa08345466 Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz speaks behind a safety glass during a press conference at the Austrian Chancellery in Vienna, Austria, 06 April 2020.
They suggested that the European Commission borrows money on financial markets in the European Union’s name, which would be repaid gradually from the bloc’s long-term budget. Following the announcement, Kurz tweeted that Austria’s position “remains unchanged,” meaning that the country will continue to back the Coronavirus recovery through the provision of loans. We expect the updated #MFF to reflect the new priorities rather than raising the ceiling. The funds disbursed to countries worst-hit by the pandemic would come in the form of grants and not loans, to ensure that the debt of already weak economies will not increase. We are ready to help most affected countries with loans. The leader of the Austrian People’s Party (ÖVP) also said he had discussed with the Prime Ministers of Denmark, Sweden and the Netherlands on the upcoming long-term budget proposal by the Commission. “Our position is clear: we want to show solidarity with states that were hit particularly hard by the crisis but we believe that loans are the right way, not grants,” Kurz was quoted as saying in the Oberoesterreichische Nachrichten newspaper, in an interview published on May 20. Our position remains unchanged. — Sebastian Kurz (@sebastiankurz) May 18, 2020

The EU’s Executive Body is expected to present its updated budget proposal for the bloc’s Multiannual Financial Framework for 2021-2027, on May 27. On Monday, the leaders of Europe’s two largest economies, Angela Merkel and Emmanuel Macron proposed a €500 billion EU rescue fund to enhance the bloc’s fiscal response to the Coronavirus crisis. Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz said on Tuesday that the “Frugals four” were preparing a counter-proposal to the Franco-German recovery initiative unveiled the previous day.

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According to Bakondi, the lifting of Coronavirus restrictions will “activate the migration routes,” and will put the country at risk, as “illegal immigrants are currently a threat not only to internal security but also to public health because it is not known how many of the 130,000 people on the Balkan route were infected with the coronavirus.”
  Hungary “will not accept” last week’s EU top court’s ruling which said that holding migrants and asylum seekers in a transit zone on the Hungarian-Serbian border amounts to detention, the security advisor to the government, Gyorgy Bakondi has said. ECJ also called for the release of the four persons stuck in the borders with Serbia, if the court finds that they are held with no valid reason. On May 14, the European Court of Justice (ECJ) ruled that migrants and asylum seekers in Roszke transit zone were held in unlawful detention under EU law, and requested that Hungary reconsiders the asylum applications submitted by the Afghan and Iranian migrants, as the neighbouring Serbia also refuses to readmit them. “The persons concerned cannot lawfully leave that zone of their own free will in any direction whatsoever,” reads ECJ’s ruling, which also added that the conditions in the Roszke transit zone amount to a “deprivation of liberty”. Following the announcement, Bakondi on Friday told public television M1 that Hungary would not change its “proven” migration policy because the “the political goals of strangers are promoted in Hungary rather than the will of Hungarians.”
The Coronavirus pandemic and the closure of Europe’s internal borders has led to a decrease in the number of migrants attempting to cross the borders. “The government will not accept the ruling of the European Union’s Luxembourg-based court on transit zones and will investigate whether their operation is in conflict with the Hungarian constitution,” Bakondi told Hungarian television M1 on Tuesday.
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EPA-EFE/Zsolt Szigetvary HUNGARY OUT EPA-EFE/Zsolt Szigetvary HUNGARY OUT

Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban (C) and his Slovakian counterpart Peter Pellegrini (C-L) during their visit at the transit zone for migrants in Roszke on the Hungarian-Serbian border, Hungary, 13 February 2020. style=”font-size:40px; line-height: 1.3em; font-weight: 800; padding:7px;”>Hungary to reject EU top court’s ruling on migrant transit zones

By Zoi Didili
Journalist, New Europe

epa08215485 Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban (C) and his Slovakian counterpart Peter Pellegrini (C-L) during their visit at the transit zone for migrants in Roszke on the Hungarian-Serbian border, Hungary, 13 February 2020.

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“We will attract the brightest and the best from around the globe, boost the economy and help our communities to unleash this country’s full potential”, she added. The Immigration and Social Security Co-ordination (EU Withdrawal) Bill would take Britain out of the EU’s free movement rules. He added that the system sends a signal that anyone earning less than £25,600 (€28,500) is “unskilled”. British cabinet ministers backed an immigration reform bill, which is part of the move towards the government’s new points-based immigration system, to be introduced from 2021. “It’s a bill that will result in many thousands of EU nationals losing their rights in this country overnight and which will extend the reach of the hostile environment still further”, said SNP immigration spokesman Stuart McDonald. Under the new system, the government would be able to significantly curb low-paid and “low-skilled” immigration, particularly from eastern and central Europe. According to the opposition, the bill suggests thousands of front-line health service staff are “unwelcome” in the country. “We’re ending free movement, taking back control of our borders, and delivering on the people’s priorities by introducing a new UK points-based immigration system which will bring overall migration numbers down”, home secretary Priti Patel said when she announced the new system in February. It received a second reading by 351 votes to 252 – majority 99. Shadow home secretary Nick Thomas-Symonds said that, under the new scheme, nurses, doctors, shop workers, and staff who came to the UK from overseas and have been central to the coronavirus response, would be ineligible.

style=”font-size:40px; line-height: 1.3em; font-weight: 800; padding:7px;”>UK bill aimed at curbing EU migration makes headway with lawmakers

By Elena Pavlovska
Journalist

epa08419405 A handout photograph released by the UK Parliament shows British labour leader Keir Starmer during Prime Minister Questions at the House of Commons in London, Britain, 13 May 2020. EPA-EFE/UK PARLIAMENTARY RECORDING UNIT HANDOUT MANDATORY CREDIT: UK PARLIAMENTARY RECORDING UNIT HANDOUT EDITORIAL USE ONLY/NO SALES

A handout photograph released by the UK Parliament shows British labour leader Keir Starmer during Prime Minister Questions at the House of Commons in London, Britain, 13 May 2020. EPA-EFE/UK PARLIAMENTARY RECORDING UNIT
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“Digital immunity passport aims to diminish fears and stimulate societies all over the globe to move on with their lives amidst the pandemic”, said Transferwise founder Taavet Hinrikus. Radisson hotels are among the first to test the passport. However, in April, the World Health Organisation warned against coronavirus immunity passports: “At this point in the pandemic, there is not enough evidence about the effectiveness of antibody-mediated immunity to guarantee the accuracy of an ‘immunity passport’ or ‘risk-free certificate’”, the WHO warned in a note. The team includes local medical experts, state officials and technology entrepreneurs, including founders of the global tech firms Transferwise and Bolt. “We are seeking every solution to have our employees back to work and clients sleeping in our hotels again”, said Kaido Ojaperv, CEO of Radisson Blu Sky Hotel at Tallinn. The passports are being developed by the NGO Back to Work. Due to similar coronavirus tallies, Estonia, Lithuania and Latvia reopened the borders toward one another from May 15. Estonia has started to test one of the world’s first digital immunity passports for workers, aiming to create conditions for a safer return to workplaces after the coronavirus lockdown is lifted. A digital immunity passport collects testing data and enables people to share their immunity status with a third party, using digital authentication. Italy and Germany objected the so-called “travel bubbles”, saying they are discriminatory and could trigger tourism wars.
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Estonian government has declared an emergency situation due to coronavirus hits Estonia and, as of 17 March, closed its borders, as well confirmed that residents of the twin border cities of Valka (Latvia) and Valga (Estonia) will still be able to cross the international border in an exception to allow people who live in the twin city to freely travel between work and home. EPA-EFE/Valda Kalnina style=”font-size:40px; line-height: 1.3em; font-weight: 800; padding:7px;”>Estonia begins testing digital immunity passports for workers

By Elena Pavlovska
Journalist

epa08301238 Estonian police officer is checking documents at the Valga-Valka border crossing point, Latvia, 17 March 2020. Estonian government has declared an emergency situation due to coronavirus hits Estonia and, as of 17 March, closed its borders, as well confirmed that residents of the twin border cities of Valka (Latvia) and Valga (Estonia) will still be able to cross the international border in an exception to allow people who live in the twin city to freely travel between work and home. The exception also allows for the area to function as normally as possible in the emergency situation, which also means keeping economic damages as low as possible. EPA-EFE/Valda Kalnina

Estonian police officer is checking documents at the Valga-Valka border crossing point, Latvia, 17 March 2020. The exception also allows for the area to function as normally as possible in the emergency situation, which also means keeping economic damages as low as possible.

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Experts fear that unemployment will continue to rise in the coming months. Some 7.5 million people have been furloughed through the government scheme covering 80% of wages up to £2,500. The United Kingdom’s Office for National Statistics said on Tuesday that the country had 450,000 fewer people in work in April compared with March, because of the coronavirus crisis. Analysts say the sharp increase in unemployment would have been much higher without the government’s emergency wage subsidy scheme. Hours worked by those in employment raised by 25% in April, while the average pay declined and the number of available jobs halved. About 856,500 people signed up for universal credit and jobseeker’s allowance benefits in April, the office said. “In March employment held up well, as furloughed workers still count as employed, but hours worked fell sharply in late March, especially in sectors such as hospitality and construction”, said Jonathan Athow, deputy national statistician for economics at the office.

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EPA/ANDY RAIN Britain’s unemployment figures have fallen by 58,000 to 1.91 million, official figures have indicated 21 January. style=”font-size:40px; line-height: 1.3em; font-weight: 800; padding:7px;”>UK unemployment increased sharply in April

By Elena Pavlovska
Journalist

epa04573185 A job centre in London, Britain, 21 January 2015. Its the lowest level for more than six years. EPA/ANDY RAIN

A job centre in London, Britain, 21 January 2015. Britain's unemployment figures have fallen by 58,000 to 1.91 million, official figures have indicated 21 January. Its the lowest level for more than six years.

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TURKMENGAS style=”font-size:40px; line-height: 1.3em; font-weight: 800; padding:7px;”>Investment volume in Turkmen oil and gas grows in first 4 months

By Kulpash Konyrova

Facilities of Turkmengas oil and gas complex.
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The volume of diesel fuel production amounted to more than 600,000 tonnes, polypropylene – 28,600 tonnes, liquefied gas – more than 70,000 tonnes. First of all, investments are directed to the technical and technological re-equipment of oil and gas enterprises: to purchase equipment, materials, specialized equipment. Over 650,000 tonnes of gasoline was produced, that is, almost 90,000 tonnes more than in the same period last year. In total, from 2016 to 2020, about 40 billion manat was allocated to strengthen the material and technical base of the oil and gas industry. So, in general, over 4 months of this year, more than 3.2 million tonnes of oil and gas condensate and about 25 billion cubic metres of natural gas were produced in Turkmenistan. The total volume of investments spent in the fuel and energy complex of Turkmenistan over the four months of this year amounted more than 3.735 billion manat ($ 1 – 3.5000 manat), that is 1.3 billion manat more than the same period last year, Turkmenportal reported on May 20. This allowed to significantly expand the front of exploration and drilling, accelerate the industrial development of oil and gas prospective areas, Turkmenportal reported.

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EPA/MYKHAYLO MARKIV Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko accepted the resignation of Dinpropetrovsk governor Igor Kolomoisky and replaced him with Valentyn Reznychenko, the presidential press service reported. style=”font-size:40px; line-height: 1.3em; font-weight: 800; padding:7px;”>US federal court begins investigating Kolomoisky’s alleged money laundering activities

By Elena Pavlovska
Journalist

epa04678001 A picture made available on 25 March 2015 shows Igor Kolomoisky, the governor of Dnipropetrovsk region, at the Presidential Office in Kiev, Ukraine, 30 April 2014. EPA/MYKHAYLO MARKIV

A picture made available on 25 March 2015 shows Igor Kolomoisky, the governor of Dnipropetrovsk region, at the Presidential Office in Kiev, Ukraine, 30 April 2014. Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko accepted the resignation of Dinpropetrovsk governor Igor Kolomoisky and replaced him with Valentyn Reznychenko, the presidential press service reported.

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Before becoming Ukraine’s president, Volodymyr Zelensky starred in a comedy show on a TV channel owned by the oligarch and the two had a personal relationship. Kolomoisky controls an energy, media, and real estate empire. After the government takeover of the bank, Kolomoisky launched a series of lawsuits to win it back. Zelensky said he supported the firing because he was not doing enough to fight corruption. Ukrainian billionaire Igor Kolomoisky is under investigation by a United States federal court for allegedly laundering hundreds of millions of dollars in US real estate, US media reported. Kolomoisky is accused by Ukraine’s regulators of creating a scheme to use money from the country’s largest bank and funnel it into properties, including landmark office towers and steel facilities across the US. Ukraine regulators found a $5.5 billion shortfall in the records of PrivatBank, which Kolomoisky cofounded in the 1990s. The suit claims the two men did an elaborate fraud with the help of people inside the institution through sham loans to shell companies they owned in Cyprus, the Caribbean, and elsewhere. Ryaboshapka told the media he was ousted because of the investigation on Kolomoisky. In March, the Ukrainian parliament dismissed Ruslan Ryaboshapka as the country’s prosecutor-general. The fraud involved the bank’s major shareholders, Kolomoisky and another Ukrainian billionaire, Gennady Bogolyubov. US federal agents have met with Riaboshapka and investigators from the National Anti-Corruption Bureau of Ukraine to discuss the case against Kolomoisky. They said they have tracked millions of dollars that were wired into the US from companies owned by Kolomoisky and Bogolyubov to snatch up properties. To keep the bank from collapse, the government tapped into taxpayer funds to plug the hole. According to the suit, $622.8 million was funneled to companies that were used to buy the real estate. As the loans matured, new ones would be issued by the bank to pay them off.

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TengizChevronOil style=”font-size:40px; line-height: 1.3em; font-weight: 800; padding:7px;”>Number of coronavirus-infected workers grows at Kazakhstan’s Tengiz field

By Kulpash Konyrova

Workers at the Tengiz oilfield in Kazakhstan.

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The annual volume of oil production is 25-26 million tonnes. A special working group should determine measures to stabilise the situation with coronavirus at the Tengiz field, the statement added. NUR-SULTAN, Kazakhstan – There are 935 cases of coronavirus among the employees of 42 contractors at Kazakhstan’s giant Tengiz oil field in western Kazakhstan, the operational headquarters in Atyrau region said in a statement on May 20, adding that COVID-19 was detected in 22 camps out of 92. A disinfection was carried out in all centres while 1,725 ​​field workers are monitored in quarantine hospitals, the statement read. Сhief sanitary doctor of Kazakhstan Aizhan Esmagambetova noted on May 20 that, due the increase of COVID – 19 cases at Tengiz, a government commission was sent to Atyrau region.   Tengiz is the largest oil and gas field in western Kazakhstan, which is being developed by the Kazakh-American joint company TengizChevroil.

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style=”font-size:40px; line-height: 1.3em; font-weight: 800; padding:7px;”>Schinas says no ‘mini-Schengens’ after crisis eases

By Zoi Didili
Journalist, New Europe

Margaritis Schinas

Margaritis Schinas, Vice-President of the European Commission in charge of promoting our European Way of Life

European Union, 2020 Source: EC – Audiovisual Service / Photographer: Xavier Lejeune

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“We think we could create a mini-Schengen allowing people to travel without border checks, tests or subsequent quarantine in mid-June,” said the Czech Foreign Minister Tomas Petricek on Tuesday, following two videoconference meetings with his Slovak and Austrian counterparts. The EU chief referred to the creation of ‘travel bubbles’ in the Baltics, as the leaders of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania decided on May 6 to lift a travel ban imposed to contain the spread of Coronavirus, and to open their common borders to restore free movement of citizens. “When it comes to opening up the tourism and travel and hospitality areas, there is no room for discrimination and every measure taken has to be based on our guidelines and has to be non-discriminatory in nature,” Schinas told Euronews in an interview on Tuesday. Schinas’ comments came also amid announcements made by the leaders of three Central European countries, namely Slovakia, Austria, and the Czech Republic, which floated the idea of creating ‘mini-Schengen’ within the EU. “If they do that … it would be nice to open the borders with Germany, Austria, Hungary and hopefully also Slovakia on June 15,” the Czech Prime Minister Andrej Babis commented on the matter. European Commission Vice-President Margaritis Schinas has clarified that there will be no ‘mini-Schengen’ zones across the EU once the Coronavirus pandemic eases. “There is no way that returning to Schengen normality from the existing restrictions in our internal borders should be replaced by some sort of regional mini-Schengens that fragment our single market and discriminate against the non-participating member states. This is not possible,” the EU Executive’s VP for ‘promoting our European Way of Life’ added. Austria and Germany have already announced they will open their borders to each other on June 15. Echoing the line of the European Commission, Schinas proposed instead, that regions and countries with similar epidemiological data can use this “intermediary phase” of lifting internal border checks, to ease Coronavirus restrictions for travellers and tourists. While the decision came into effect on Friday, Schinas said he didn’t want the so-called ‘Baltic bubble’ to be a long-term feature.
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EPA-EFE/Fernando Bizerra ATTENTION: This Image is part of a PHOTO SET

Gravediggers take a selfie while working in the Vila Formosa cemetery, in Sao Paulo, Brazil, 18 May 2020 (issued 19 May 2020). 'It is one body after another, we do not stop.' Throughout Brazil, nearly 17,000 Covid-19 deaths and more than 250,000 coronavirus infections are recorded. A day without respite in which there is no time to pray to the deceased. ‘It is one body after another, we do not stop.’ Throughout Brazil, nearly 17,000 Covid-19 deaths and more than 250,000 coronavirus infections are recorded. Twelve hours and 62 burials. Twelve hours and 62 burials. EPA-EFE/Fernando Bizerra This is the daily routine of the gravediggers of the Brazilian cemetery of Vila Formosa, the largest in Latin America, in the middle of a coronavirus pandemic. This is the daily routine of the gravediggers of the Brazilian cemetery of Vila Formosa, the largest in Latin America, in the middle of a coronavirus pandemic. style=”font-size:40px; line-height: 1.3em; font-weight: 800; padding:7px;”>Brazil overtakes UK, now has third-highest coronavirus cases

By Elena Pavlovska
Journalist

epa08432203 Gravediggers take a selfie while working in the Vila Formosa cemetery, in Sao Paulo, Brazil, 18 May 2020 (issued 19 May 2020). A day without respite in which there is no time to pray to the deceased.

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His predecessor, Luiz Henrique Mandetta, was dismissed last month after questioning Bolsonaro’s flouting of social distancing guidelines. The death toll from the virus as of Wednesday stands at 17,983. Experts warned, however, that due to low-scale testing, the actual figures could be 15 times higher. He also made an official visit to meet with Trump in March, but after returning, more than 20 of Bolsonaro’s aides tested positive for the virus. Brazil has overtaken the United Kingdom and became the country with the third-highest number of confirmed coronavirus infections. The country has recorded 271,885 cases, placing it behind only the United States and Russia. Bolsonaro has and accused China of stoking hysteria, saying the pandemic has been orchestrated to harm him and US president Donald Trump. Earlier, health minister Nelson Teich resigned from his post after less than a month on the job, because he rejected the president’s support of the unproven drug chloroquine and refused to recommend it to patients with the disease. President Jair Bolsonaro downplayed the virus and slammed lockdown measures as he pushed to reopen businesses: “Unemployment, hunger and misery will be the future of those who support the tyranny of total isolation”, he tweeted on Saturday. Manaus, the hardest-hit Brazilian city, has had to resort to mass graves amid a dramatic rise in burials.

On 19 May, China imposed an 80 percent tariff on barley imports from Australia. On 19 May, China imposed an 80 percent tariff on barley imports from Australia. style=”font-size:40px; line-height: 1.3em; font-weight: 800; padding:7px;”>China imposes massive tariffs on Australia barley imports

By Elena Pavlovska
Journalist

epa08432859 President of the Western Australian Farmers Federation and mixed grains farmer Rhys Turton walks on his empty barley fields near York, Western Australia, Australia, 19 May 2020 (issued 20 May 2020). EPA-EFE/RICHARD WAINWRIGHT AUSTRALIA AND NEW ZEALAND OUT EPA-EFE/RICHARD WAINWRIGHT AUSTRALIA AND NEW ZEALAND OUT

President of the Western Australian Farmers Federation and mixed grains farmer Rhys Turton walks on his empty barley fields near York, Western Australia, Australia, 19 May 2020 (issued 20 May 2020).

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The tariffs are expected to cost Australian farmers at least $500 million annually. It is up to the people to decide. Eat Australian beef?’”, Cheng said. Maybe the ordinary people will say ‘Why should we drink Australian wine? The government is considering taking China to the World Trade Organization. Prime minister Scott Morrison said his proposed inquiry would not be targeted at China, but ambassador Cheng Jingye responded that Chinese consumers could boycott Australian products and universities because of the calls for the inquiry. Analysts have said that three of the slaughterhouses combined produce some 35% of beef exports to China. Last week, China suspended imports from four major Australian beef suppliers over labeling issues. Beef exports to China bring Australia some €1 billion each year. On Monday, China announced it was imposing 80.5% anti-dumping and anti-subsidy duties on Australian barley after claiming that barley farming was heavily subsidized by the government. Farming groups complained that “this imposed duty makes Australian barley less competitive into the Chinese market and has placed significant downward pressure on barley values offered to Australian growers”. China has followed through on its threat to impose crippling tariffs on Australian barley from Tuesday. The move follows a diplomatic dispute over Australia’s push for an independent probe into the origins of the coronavirus pandemic. The Australian barley industry said it was deeply disappointed with China’s “punitive tariffs”. “If the mood is going from bad to worse, people would think ‘why should we go to such a country that is not so friendly to China?’ The tourists may have second thoughts.

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TONGO EPA/RITCHIE B. Tsai held an official news conference answering questions about Taiwan’s economic development, regional peace and stability and other political issues. EPA/RITCHIE B. TONGO

Taiwan's President Tsai Ing-wen speaks during a press conference in Taipei, Taiwan, 20 August 2016. Tsai held an official news conference answering questions about Taiwan's economic development, regional peace and stability and other political issues. style=”font-size:40px; line-height: 1.3em; font-weight: 800; padding:7px;”>After WHO setback, Taiwan to press for global participation

By Elena Pavlovska
Journalist

epa05501649 Taiwan’s President Tsai Ing-wen speaks during a press conference in Taipei, Taiwan, 20 August 2016.
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The rival Nationalists, led by Chiang Kai-shek, fled to Taiwan,about 160 kilometres off China’s east coast. Taiwan will strive to “actively participate” in global bodies despite its failure to attend the meeting of the World Health Organization’s decision-making body, the World Health Assembly, president Tsai Ing-wen said. Tsai is being sworn in for her second and final four-year term today. Tsai says she would not accept Beijing’s political terms that would “downgrade Taiwan”. Beijing refuses to acknowledge the sovereignty of the country, born of a civil war in China that brought Mao Zedong’s Communists to power on the mainland in 1949. According to her, Taiwan will push for active participation in international bodies and deepen its cooperation with like-minded countries. China considers Tsai to be a separatist, charges she strongly denies. Meanwhile, China constantly provokes Taiwan with the military exercises it conducts in the island’s vicinity. Despite pressure from the United States, Japan, the United Kingdom, Germany, Australia, New Zealand and others, Taiwan was still unable to take part in this week’s meeting of the assembly. China insists that Taiwan can only participate under the “one China” principle. Taiwan has never declared independence, though it has its own foreign ministry and military. Taiwan attended the WHO assembly as an observer from 2009-2016 when Taipei-Beijing relations warmed, but China blocked further participation after the election of Tsai.