Wednesday, 1 December 2021: NATO allies must prepare for the worst in Ukraine, Josephine Baker becomes first Black woman honoured at the Pantheon in Paris, EU advice on inclusive language withdrawn after rightwing outcry


NATO allies must prepare for the worst in Ukraine: NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg warned Tuesday that the US-led military organisation must prepare for the worst as concern mounts that Russia could be preparing to invade Ukraine. “We are very concerned about the movements we’ve seen along Ukraine’s border. We know that Russia often combines those efforts with internal efforts to destabilise a country. That’s part of the playbook, and we’re looking at it very closely,” US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said. “Any renewed aggression would trigger serious consequences,” Blinken warned. German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas also said “Russia would have to pay a high price for any form of aggression.” Ukraine’s Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal said the military build-up of Russian troops near the Ukrainian border and the ongoing standoff between Belarus and the EU are „absolutely connected.“ Russian President Vladimir Putin on Tuesday warned NATO against deploying its troops and weapons to Ukraine, saying it represents a red line for Russia and would trigger a strong response. UK Foreign Secretary Liz Truss has urged NATO allies to block the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline, warning that Moscow would exploit its position if Europe nations became reliant on it for energy.,,,

Nuclear talks with Iran: Europeans urge concrete progress.

Omicron Covid variant present in Europe at least 10 days ago: The Omicron variant of COVID-19 was present in Europe at least 10 days ago and already appears to be spreading in the Netherlands and elsewhere. “We have found the Omicron coronavirus variant in two test samples that were taken on November 19 and 23,” the Dutch health ministry said in a statement on Tuesday.

  • EU court upholds Parliament’s coronavirus rules
  • Incoming German Chancellor Olaf Scholz wants mandatory coronavirus vaccination for Germans by February
  • Greece makes vaccines mandatory for people 60 or older, with fines for not complying
  • Portugal has re-imposed COVID-19 travel restrictions. Could other EU nations do the same?
  • Austria’s shops allowed to open Sunday before Christmas
  • EU-wide trade with fake digital vaccination certificates on the rise

Missing Chinese tennis star Peng Shuai: The EU urged China on Tuesday to provide proof of tennis star Peng Shuai’s well-being. „The EU requests the Chinese government to provide verifiable proof of Peng Shuai’s safety, well-being and whereabouts,“ a statement said, while also urging Chinese authorities to carry out a „full, fair and transparent investigation into her allegations of sexual assault.“

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European Court of Auditors president rejects accusations: Following a report by French newspaper „Libération“ on the misuse of housing allowances, expenses and official cars as well as violations of the duty of attendance by members of the European Court of Auditors in Luxembourg, its President Klaus-Heiner Lehne went on the offensive on Tuesday. The EU Parliament’s Committee on Budgetary Control, which is responsible for the control of the Court of Auditors, gave Lehne one and a half hours to present his point of view. The German, a former CDU politician, rejected all accusations against himself as well as against other members of the Court of Auditors „in the strongest possible terms“.

EU Commission accused of maladministration over GDPR enforcement: The Irish Council for Civil Liberties filed a formal complaint against the European Commission before the European Ombudsman on Monday for failing to monitor enforcement of the EU’s data protection law, known as the GDPR, and for not holding Ireland accountable.

Euro zone inflation rate hits a record 4.9% for November: The euro zone’s inflation rate has risen to a record high in November, preliminary data showed Tuesday, prompting further questions about what the European Central Bank will do next with its monetary policy. Headline inflation came in at 4.9% for the month, compared to the same month last year. The figure was the highest on record in the 25 years that the data has been compiled.

Energy price surge: EU Commission downplays food shortage fears amid
Inclusive administration: EU Parliament sets out two-year diversity roadmap
Eastern neighbours trio make rounds in Brussels before summit
Afghanistan: Dozens of former Afghan security forces dead or missing under Taliban, report says; World Bank works to redirect frozen funds to Afghanistan for humanitarian aid only;


In the face of high sovereign debt, monetary policy should be wary of any pressure to maintain its very loose course longer than the price outlook dictates.
The European Central Bank should keep an arm’s length from governments by resisting pressure to bankroll indebted states or pursue goals other than price stability, ECB policymaker Jens Weidmann said on Tuesday.


Hungary approves referendum on limiting LGBTQ representation in education: Hungary’s parliament passed a resolution on Tuesday which will empower the government to hold a referendum on LGBTQ issues. Lawmakers from the ruling Fidesz party approved four referendum questions pertaining to sex education programmes in schools and the availability to children of information regarding sexual orientation. The ballot paper will also question whether voters support the unrestricted presentation of media content that „influences the development of underage children.“ Opposition lawmakers abstained from voting on the bill.;

French far-right commentator Eric Zemmour announces presidential run: Far-right commentator Eric Zemmour said Tuesday that he will stand in France’s presidential election next year, confirming his political ambitions after he dominated the headlines for weeks with provocative comments about immigration. Zemmour, a former journalist who has been convicted of inciting hatred, becomes the top contender to challenge Marine Le Pen, the leader of the more established far-right National Rally, for a place in a second round against President Emmanuel Macron.

Josephine Baker becomes first Black woman honoured at the Pantheon in Paris: Josephine Baker, the American-born entertainer and civil rights activist who first achieved fame in Paris in the 1920s and 1930s, was given France’s highest honour on Tuesday when she was inducted into the French Pantheon, the nation’s mausoleum of heroes. Baker is the first performing artist, first Black woman and first American to be honored with a Pantheon induction — a move whose time, her supporters say, has come.,

Polish lawmakers endorse restricting access to border areas: Poland’s lawmakers approved new regulations Tuesday that authorise the government to declare areas along the nation’s borders off-limits to everyone except residents and people who live, work or study in the designated no-access zones. A state of emergency introduced along the Poland-Belarus border in September expires on Thursday. The regulations approved Tuesday are intended to replace it and provide a measure for a long-term access ban.

Advancing lava from La Palma volcano poses new threat to La Laguna neighbourhood: The volcano on La Palma, in Spain’s Canary Islands, is once again posing a threat to a neighbourhood that has already been evacuated on three different occasions since the eruption began on 19 September.

Greece to curb coal use by 2028 as part of climate law
Netherlands: Onyx coal-fired power plant to shut with Dutch government support
Italy: 5Stars will finally become political party
Austria: Judiciary to take action against corruption
Germany: ‚Afrocensus‘ results: What is it like to be Black in Germany?


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EU advice on inclusive language withdrawn after rightwing outcry: An internal European Commission document advising officials to use inclusive language such as “holiday season” rather than Christmas and avoid terms such as “man-made” has been withdrawn after an outcry from rightwing politicians.


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