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29th Mar 2020

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Ticker

UK health minister tests positive for coronavirus

The UK's health minister, Matt Hancock, announced on Friday he had also tested positive for the Covid-19 virus, just hours after British prime minister Boris Johnson announced he was self-isolating in Downing Street after testing positive. As of Friday, 14 ...

Ticker

Orban: coronavirus exposes EU 'weaknesses'

"The government still wants a strong Europe, but the EU has its weaknesses," Hungarian PM Viktor Orban said in a radio interview on Friday, a day after EU leaders failed to agree on a robust economic and financial plan to offset the pandemic's fallout. "In ...

Ticker

Court orders Netherlands to pay colonial victims

A court in The Hague ordered the Dutch state to pay compensation to victims of colonial massacres in the 1940s, the Guardian reports. The court found that 11 men had been killed as a result of actions by Dutch soldiers, mostly by summary executions. Eight ...

Letter

EU doctors: bring refugees on Greek islands to safety

As doctors in Europe, we call on the leaders of our governments and of the European Union to take immediate action to ensure the safety of refugees. In recent years, the refugee camps on the Greek Islands have become increasingly overcrowded. The corona ...

Ticker

Belgian cat 'infected by coronavirus'

Belgian virologist Steven Van Gucht said during Friday's daily national coronavirus press conference that for the first time a cat was found infected by the coronavirus, Belgian national broadcaster VRT reports. He added that so far this is a isolated case ...

Ticker

UK PM Johnson tests positive for coronavirus

UK prime minister Boris Johnson has tested positive for Covid-19. "Over the last 24 hours I have developed mild symptoms and tested positive for coronavirus," he said Friday morning, in a tweet. "I am now self-isolating, but I will continue to lead the ...

Ticker

EU agrees Libya naval mission after Greek solution

EU countries have agreed to launch an air and sea surveillance mission, Operation Irini, in the Mediterranean in April to help stop Libya arms smuggling, diplomats told Reuters Thursday. Austria and Hungary had opposed it on grounds it would pull in ...

Coronavirus

Russia's top coronavirus 'fake news' stories

Russia's top coronavirus fake news stories were about Western plots - a theme also popular in Chinese disinformation. There was little hope of educating people who believed that type of thing, propaganda experts said. But some of the lies had "real-world ...

Ticker

US to upgrade its nuclear bombs in Europe

The US is planning to modernise its nuclear arsenal on European soil, Deutsche Welle writes. The US has positioned nuclear bombs across Europe as a deterrent against Russia. While the precise number of American weapons stored in Europe is unknown, ...

Ticker

US surpasses China and Italy with 82,404 corona cases

The US has surpassed China and Italy with more than 82,000 cases according to Johns Hopkins' University in Washington, the Guardian writes. A lack of early action and setbacks in testing could be to blame. During a Coronavirus Task Force briefing, US ...

Coronavirus

WHO warning on lockdown mental health

The coronavirus crisis and the restrictive measures that many countries are taking to contain the outbreak can have a negative impact on people's mental health and well-being, the World Health Organization (WHO) has warned. "Isolation, physical distancing, ...

Virus: Frontex tells officers to keep guarding Greek borders

The EU's border agency Frontex has told its officers they must maintain border checks between Greece and Turkey in light of the pandemic. In an internal staff email sent last week and seen by EUobserver, Frontex's executive director Fabrice Leggeri said ...

Coronavirus

EU heads struggle to find joint virus response

EU leaders wrangled over how the bloc should fight the economic fallout from the coronavirus on Thursday (26 March). During a six-hour videoconference, EU leaders debated how they should pool resources, as Germany and the Netherlands rejected the idea of ...

Opinion

Poland's sham presidential election in a pandemic

Some 25 countries have decided to postpone their upcoming elections, with the last few - mostly regional or in tiny states - being held in early March. Even Vladimir Putin postponed his constitutional referendum. The only nation-wide election organised ...

Ticker

EP president rejects allowance for stay-at home MEPs

European Parliament president David Sassoli said MEPs should only claim a daily €323 allowance if they are traveling to Brussels or Strasbourg. "If they aren't going to Brussels or Strasbourg then it is not paid," he said, when asked if he had endorsed the ...

Ticker

Belgium to decide on further coronavirus measures

Belgium's national security council will decide on Friday whether new measures are needed to contain the virus after law enforcement asked for more clarity. "A cycling tour of 70km is not essential. It's probably better to quantify a certain margin for ...

Coronavirus

Von der Leyen warns 'end selfishness' in virus crisis

EU countries need an "all for one" spirit instead of an "only for me" response to be successful in managing the coronavirus crisis, EU Commission president Ursula von der Leyen said Thursday (26 March). The EU executive president spoke only a few hours ...

Stakeholder

Chinese ambassador to EU: put trust before politics

This spring is never going to be the same again. The explosive spread of Covid-19 caught the world by surprise, and it couldn't show more clearly just how closely connected we are. As the pandemic looms large, China and the EU stand together in solidarity. ...

Ticker

Europe can 'bend the trend', von der Leyen says

"The numbers in the last few days show that we can bend the trend but only if we all do our share," EU Commission president Ursula von der Leyen told MEPs on Thursday. Von der Leyen criticised EU countries that introduced export bans on medical gear and ...

Ticker

Spanish laboratories warn China test kit 'imprecise'

Microbiology laboratories of Spanish hospitals have warned that much-awaited rapid tests for coronavirus do not work well, El País newspaper reported on Thursday. The Spanish government announced this week that 340,000 of these test kits have arrived from ...

Ticker

Do not repeat 'mistakes from 2008 crisis', NGO warns

Greenpeace on Thursday called for an EU response to the coronavirus that focussed on saving lives while making society fairer, greener and more resilient to a future crisis, as EU leaders hold a videoconference. "Governments and the EU should not repeat ...

Ticker

WTO: economic impact of virus bigger than 2008

The World Trade Organisation's chief said on Wednesday that projections show the economic downturn and job losses caused by the coronavirus pandemic would be worse than the 2008 recession, Reuters reports. "This pandemic will inevitably have an enormous ...

Ticker

Poland: Virus could hurt green investments

Poland has raised doubt on its ability to pay for EU zero carbon-linked investment due to virus crisis costs, its climate ministry told the Reuters news agency. "As a consequence of this crisis our economies will be weaker .... completion of some important ...

Ticker

EU sates drastically short of masks, ventilators

EU states have just one-tenth of the ventilators, face masks and other equipment they need to fight coronavirus, according to an internal European Commission document seen by the Reuters news agency. "Commission internal estimates show that the ' ...

Coronavirus

EU leaders at odds on virus-hit economy

EU leaders will hold their third discussion by videoconference on Thursday (26 March) afternoon on how to tackle the spread of coronavirus and its devastating economic fallout. EU leaders are expected to back efforts by the European Commission to redirect ...

Opinion

Renew MEPs raise alarm on coronavirus civil liberties

At this hour, the European Union is facing its biggest test ever. The fight to overcome the corona crisis demands our common determination. As the conditions in hospitals become increasingly precarious and the death toll rises, our thoughts are with the ...

Coronavirus

EU courts still issuing verdicts despite pandemic

A lone judge will read out 16 verdicts in an almost empty chamber in the EU Court of Justice in Luxembourg at 9.30AM on Thursday (26 March). One senior jurist, called an advocate general, will also read out non-binding legal opinions on other cases. A ...

Analysis

How much will coronavirus hurt European democracy?

Democracy has also been infected by the coronavirus. All normal, everyday features of a healthy democracy are suffering from the pandemic, as checks on governments weaken due to the all-out fightback. Elections are being postponed across Europe, ...

Coronavirus

Polish MEP makes false claims on EU parliament infections

The European Parliament has confirmed six people working there have so far have been infected by Covid-19, including one who recently died. That figure was announced after a Polish conservative MEP, Karol Karski, stated on Polish television that 43 people ...

Coronavirus

Coronavirus threat to EU farm seasonal workers

The restrictive measures taken by many member states to respond to the coronavirus outbreak make it difficult for EU farmers to either plant or harvest products - which is disrupting the sector across the continent. EU agriculture and fisheries ministers ...

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