Monday, 3 August 2020: Roma and Sinti survivors remember victims of genocide at Auschwitz, German leaders condemn protest against coronavirus rules, John Bolton criticises Trump’s plan to remove troops from Germany


Roma and Sinti survivors remember victims of genocide at Auschwitz: In 2015, the EU Parliament declared the 2nd of August the annual “European Roma Holocaust Memorial Day” to commemorate the 500,000 Roma – representing at least a quarter of their total population at that time – murdered in Nazi-occupied Europe. For the first time ever, members of the Roma and Sinti community on Sunday marked the Roma Holocaust Memorial Day in Auschwitz alongside Jewish representatives and German Christian leaders. EU Commission President Ursula von der Leyen wrote on Twitter that there was no room for antigypsyism in Europe, adding: “Prejudice is a disease best fought through education, challenging stereotypes and promoting respect and inclusivity.”,,

Refugee crisis worsening in southern Europe: More than 13,000 migrants have come to Italy this year via the Mediterranean Sea, which is about 9,000 more than in the same period last year. Felix Weiss of the “Sea Watch” refugee rescue organisation has reported that the mood on Lampedusa is threatening to deteriorate: “In the past months, almost 5,500 people have reached the island on their own. That is two or three boats a day.” The coronavirus outbreak has increased economic pressure on the local population. Tourism, the main driver of the island’s economy, has collapsed. Under these circumstances, offers of support from Rome meet with little response. The government wants to send a quarantine ship to the port of the Sicilian municipality of Porto Empedocle. The interior ministry wants asylum-seekers to go into quarantine there. But the mayor of the small port town has refused, fearing a risk to the vital tourism sector.

New rail route connects Prague, Vienna and Budapest: As international travel is reduced by the coronavirus pandemic, a private company has launched a new train service connecting Prague, Vienna and Budapest in the hopes it can compete with air travel. The drive from Prague to Budapest takes about seven hours. A direct flight between the Czech and Hungarian capitals takes only 90 minutes. But the railway service could still be competitive because of the transfer and waiting times that come with flying.

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German leaders condemn protest against coronavirus rules: German politicians warned Sunday of a resurgence of the virus and called for vigilance after thousands of people, defying calls to wear masks and take other precautions, protested in Berlin against measures to curb the pandemic’s spread. Health Minister Jens Spahn wrote on Twitter: “Yes, protests should be possible in corona times. But not like this.” Economy Minister Peter Altmaier said he wanted tougher action on Covid-19 rule breakers: “Anyone who deliberately endangers others must expect that this will have serious consequences for him,” he said. CSU leader Markus Söder has opposed further relaxation of restrictions as the number of new infections continues to rise: “We must expect coronavirus to come back on us with full force”, he said in an interview. “Many people have unfortunately become more reckless in dealing with the virus.” Berlin Mayor Michael Müller said the protesters had not considered the facts and thus risked the health of other people.,

Protests in Bulgaria continue: Over the weekend, thousands of Bulgarians once again protested against their government, calling for the resignation of Prime Minister Boyko Borissov and Attorney General Ivan Geschev, who is accused of acting in favour of the government. Borissov has refused to resign because of the pandemic.

Belgium extends travel bans for some EU regions: The Belgian foreign ministry on Saturday made a significant number of additions to its list of areas in Europe to which tourists are not authorised to travel due to surges in new coronavirus cases. The new additions to the ministry’s red list include Mayenne, in France, along with the Severoiztochen and Yugozapaden regions of Bulgaria, Switzerland’s Lake Geneva region (Geneva, Vaud and Valais) and various areas in Romania (Centre, Southeast, South Muntenia and Southwest Oltenia).

John Bolton criticises Trump’s plan to remove troops from Germany: Former US National Security Advisor John Bolton has criticised President Donald Trump’s decision to withdraw troops from Germany. “The withdrawal of the US from any of the positions we hold is not an advantage — neither for our country nor for the security of the West as a whole,” Bolton said. The decision to remove some 12,000 troops out of Germany is “a sign – and not a good one – of what lies ahead if Trump is re-elected,” he warned.

At least 40 infected on Norway cruises: At least 40 passengers and crew from a Norwegian cruise liner have tested positive for Covid-19. Four crew members on the MS Roald Amundsen were hospitalised on Friday when the ship arrived at the port of Tromsoe, and later diagnosed with the respiratory illness. The ship was scheduled to sail to Svalbard on Friday afternoon. That trip has been cancelled.,

Poland: 76th anniversary of the 1944 Warsaw Uprising
Germany: African migrants injured in gang attack near far-right venue
France: House of Commons approves artificial insemination for all women
Spain: Impending loss of 750,000 jobs in travel industry


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Trump’s niece says Merkel is smarter than Trump: US President Donald Trump’s niece believes German Chancellor Angela Merkel is far smarter than her uncle, she told dpa. “The woman could run circles around him intellectually,” Mary Trump said in an interview ahead of the publication of her tell-all book, “Too Much and Never Enough: How My Family Created the World’s Most Dangerous Man,” in Germany on 12 August. The clinical psychologist said the president’s contentious relationship with Germany is in part due to its powerful female leader. “Donald doesn’t do well with strong women,” she said.


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