Friday, 15 October 2021: Syrian migrant found dead on Polish-Belarusian border, Bow-and-arrow attack in Norway appears to be terrorism, Schallenberg’s message sent from Kurz’s Twitter account

⊂ EUROPE ⊃

Syrian migrant found dead on Polish-Belarusian border
apnews.com

  • Germany’s Foreign Minister Heiko Maas said Thursday airlines that fly would-be migrants to the EU should ask themselves whether they want to be part of a „smuggling ring“ run by Belarus‘ authoritarian leader Alexander Lukashenko
  • His comments came as his country sees a significant rise in the number of migrants arriving via Belarus and neighbouring Poland
  • Maas: „Every day, hundreds of desperate people arrive at the airport in Minsk. Lukashenko is luring them with false promises to send them on a dangerous and illegal journey into the EU.“
  • The Polish parliament on Thursday approved plans for a wall on the border with Belarus to keep out migrants politico.eu
  • Polish police said Thursday they have found the body of a Syrian migrant near the border with Belarus apnews.com

COVID-19 pandemic:

  • Italy is bracing itself for further unrest and labour market mayhem as Covid health passes will be mandatory for all workers in Italy from Friday theguardian.com
  • Luxembourg’s Prime Minister Xavier Bettel has said he has received death threats and been forced to step up his personal protection following the announcement of government proposals to extend the CovidCheck scheme luxtimes.lu
  • Hungary will help Romania treat 50 Covid patients in need of intensive care romania-insider.com
  • The European Medicines Agency (EMA) has started a real-time review of AstraZeneca’s antibody-based Covid therapy ema.europa.eu
  • Latvian President Egils Levits tested positive for Covid on Thursday reuters.com

European Innovation Council announces new wave of start-up champions
ec.europa.eu

  • EU Commission’s European Innovation Council has selected 65 innovative start-ups and small and mid-size enterprises (SMEs) to receive 363 million euros of funding for breakthrough innovations
  • Each company will receive a combination of grant financing and equity investment of up to 17 million euros to develop and scale up their ground-breaking innovations in healthcare, digital technologies, energy, biotechnology, space and other
  • This is the first batch of companies that will be funded under the fully-fledged European Innovation Council (EIC) Accelerator

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Slovenian Prime Minister Jansa calls MEPs „Soros puppets“: Janez Jansa sparked controversy on Thursday with a since-deleted tweet pushing far-right conspiracies in an attempt to discredit the leader of a European Parliament delegation visiting his country. The Slovenian prime minister, whose country currently holds the rotating presidency of the Council of the EU, tweeted a picture showing a number of politicians above the phrase „13 of the 226 known Soros puppets in the EU parliament“ — a reference to George Soros, a Hungarian-born Holocaust survivor who went on to become a billionaire. Soros is the subject of many antisemitic conspiracy theories. European Parliament President David Sassoli issued a tweet on Thursday afternoon calling on Jansa „to cease the provocations“ against MEPs.
politico.eu, dw.com

Global Hunger Index: 811 million people are going hungry: The global fight against hunger is dangerously off track, and the world is drifting farther away from its binding goal of ending hunger by 2030. Over the past two years, economic fallout from the pandemic, climate change and armed conflict have fuelled a sharp increase in the number of people going hungry around the world, according to the report by nongovernmental organisations Welthungerhilfe and Concern Worldwide. Throughout the world, around 811 million people are going hungry, and 41 million are on the brink of a famine.
globalhungerindex.org, reliefweb.int, dw.com

Climate Transparency Report: Carbon emissions from rich countries rose rapidly in 2021. bbc.com

Afghanistan:

  • The US State Department plans to resume regular evacuation flights from Afghanistan before the end of the year wsj.com
  • Pakistan International Airlines announced Thursday that it was suspending flights to Afghanistan due to what it described as unworkable conditions imposed by the Taliban cnn.com
  • Turkey’s foreign minister on Thursday met with a high-level delegation of Afghanistan’s new Taliban rulers apnews.com
  • Amnesty International: Taliban systematically exclude women and girls from education amnesty.org
  • Russian President Vladimir Putin warns of battle-hardened extremists entering Afghanistan n-tv.de

Brexit: UK Brexit chief David Frost heads to Brussels Friday; EU Commission Vice-President Maros Sefcovic says EU will not renegotiate NI Protocol politico.eu; bbc.com
Pegasus Project wins Daphne Caruana Galizia journalism prize euractiv.com
EU Rule of Law Mechanism: European Parliament Committee in favour of action against Commission faz.net
Data analysis: MEPs support Europol authorisation for Big Data analysis heise.de
United Nations: United States officially rejoins UN Human Rights Council cnn.com

⊂ QUOTE OF THE DAY ⊃

There is no single market without the European Court of Justice.
EU Ambassador to the UK Joao Vale de Almeida pushed back Thursday against British demands for the ECJ’s role to be cut out of the Brexit deal.
bbc.com

⊂ COUNTRIES ⊃

Bow-and-arrow attack in Norway appears to be terrorism
cnn.com, theguardian.com, npr.org

  • Norwegian police have named the suspect in Wednesday’s bow-and-arrow attack in the southern town of Kongsberg that left five people dead and three injured
  • Norwegian Police Security Service (PST) chief Hans Sverre Sjovold told reporters on Thursday that the attack „appears as if it may be an act of terrorism“ but noted that is important the investigation goes ahead and „we get to clarify what the motives of the accused are.“
  • Police said the suspect was a Muslim convert with previous criminal convictions who had been flagged as a possible Islamic extremist. He will be undergoing a psychiatric evaluation
  • The attack took place just as Norway was in the midst of a change of government, which took place Thursday morning
  • Labour leader Jonas Gahr Store assumed the role of prime minister on Thursday
  • Store’s centre-left government includes two survivors from Norway’s deadliest attack on the island of Utoya, the killing of 77 people by the far-right extremist Anders Behring Breivik in 2011

Schallenberg’s message sent from Kurz’s Twitter account
apnews.com, reuters.com, twitter.com, tagesspiegel.de

  • Former Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz was sworn in Thursday as a member of parliament after resigning last week amid corruption allegations
  • Kurz is one of the targets of an investigation into suspected bribery and breach of trust. Kurz’s junior coalition partners, the Greens, had demanded his replacement
  • The new Chancellor, Alexander Schallenberg, was ridiculed by critics as a mere pawn of his predecessor Kurz, after a message of his was mistakenly sent instead from Kurz’s Twitter account
  • In connection with the corruption scandal surrounding Kurz, the detained pollster Sabine B. has been released
  • Following pressure from the opposition, the governing coalition of the ÖVP and the Greens wants to stop the deletion of e-mails from the Chancellery spiegel.de

At UN court, Armenia accuses Azerbaijan of ethnic hatred: Armenia urged judges at a United Nations court Thursday to order Azerbaijan to release Armenians detained during a six-week war last year and to stop promoting ethnic hatred. Azerbaijan urged judges to reject the requests as the two nations faced off in a Hague courtroom.
apnews.com

Court orders French state to fix consequences of its climate failures: A French court has ordered the state to honour its commitments on cutting carbon emissions and to find ways to repair the damage for exceeding them. It ruled in favour of four NGOs who brought the case against the French government in 2019 to focus attention on the failures to fight climate change.
rfi.fr

Greece, Egypt sign deal for first subsea power link between Europe and Africa: Greece and Egypt on Thursday clinched an agreement that sets the stage for an undersea cable that will transmit power produced by renewables from North Africa to Europe, the first such infrastructure in the Mediterranean.
reuters.com

Spain: Germany’s Chancellor Angela Merkel receives Spain’s Carlos V European Award dw.com
Germany: Economists slash German growth forecast as supply problems hit ft.com
Spain: Government details expansive budget plan english.elpais.com
Austria: New Foreign Minister Linhart starts visit in Sarajevo derstandard.at
Greece: Return of right-wing extremism dw.com
Italy: Court suspends Giulio Regeni murder and kidnapping trial theguardian.com

⊂ POLITJOBS ⊃

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⊂ LAST BUT NOT LEAST ⊃

Banksy artwork that self-shredded sells for record $25.4 million at auction: A work by British street artist Banksy that sensationally self-shredded just after it sold at auction three years ago fetched 18.5 million pounds — $25.4 million — on Thursday, a record for the artist. The piece consists of a half-shredded canvas in an ornate frame bearing a spray-painted image of a girl reaching for a heart-shaped red balloon.
cbsnews.com

 

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