Monday, 21 September 2020: Two US senators oppose vote on Supreme Court nominee before election, Protests in Madrid over lockdown measures, Berlin protesters demand EU action over Moria migrants


Two US senators oppose vote on Supreme Court nominee before election: US President Donald Trump said Saturday that he will choose a candidate to fill the late Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s Supreme Court seat next week and his candidate will be a woman. Republican Senator Lisa Murkowski said on Sunday that she will not support Trump’s nomination of a replacement before election day. “I did not support taking up a nomination eight months before the 2016 election to fill the vacancy created by the passing of Justice Scalia,” she added. “We are now even closer to the 2020 election – less than two months out – and I believe the same standard must apply.” The announcement made Murkowski the second Republican in the Senate, after Susan Collins of Maine, to announce her opposition to filling Ginsburg’s seat before 3 November.,

Cyprus blocks EU’s Belarus sanctions plan: EU sanctions on Belarus are being held up by Cyprus ahead of a key meeting of European foreign ministers this Monday. The island nation will not agree to the Belarusian sanctions unless the EU also puts sanctions on its neighbour, Turkey, in a separate row that has raised tensions in the Eastern Mediterranean. Turkey began drilling for oil and gas near Cyprus last year despite warnings from Brussels. Meanwhile, tens of thousands of protesters, once again, took to the streets in Belarusian capital city Minsk on Sunday, demanding an end to President Alexander Lukashenko’s rule. Anonymous hackers leaked the personal data of more than 1,000 Belarusian police officers in retaliation for a growing crackdown against protesters.,,,

UK, France, Germany oppose US deadline to reimpose sanctions on Iran: The UK, France and Germany said on Friday that the United Nations sanctions relief for Iran would continue after 20 September — a deadline set by the US to reimpose sanctions. In a letter to the UN Security Council, the European countries said that any decision to reimpose the UN sanctions would be incapable of legal effect.

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Although the government has suggested that the intended violation of international law is ‘specific and limited’, it is lamentable for the UK to be speaking of its intention to violate an international treaty signed by the prime minister less than a year ago.
Human rights lawyer Amal Clooney on Friday quit as the UK’s special envoy on media freedom because of British Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s plan to break international law by overriding parts of the Brexit Withdrawal Agreement.


Protests in Madrid over lockdown measures: More than 850,000 people in Madrid will face at least two weeks of tighter restrictions on movement to combat a rise in Covid-19 cases, the regional government announced Friday. People living in 37 areas of the region will be asked to stay home as much as possible. Protesters in some poorer areas of Madrid took to the streets on Sunday, complaining of discrimination by the authorities. The lockdown measures predominantly apply to areas of lower income and with higher immigrant populations.,

Berlin protesters demand EU action over Moria migrants: Thousands took to the streets of German cities on Sunday urging the EU to take action on refugees left without shelter after the Moria camp blaze on the Greek island of Lesbos. The emergency has highlighted Europe’s patchy response to a multi-year crisis that has seen more than a million migrants reach its shores, often on board flimsy vessels, after fleeing wars and poverty in the Middle East and beyond.,

Italians vote in regional elections and referendum: Italians are heading to the polls on Sunday and Monday to vote in a referendum on the size of parliament and in regional elections across the country. The referendum will decide whether parliament is cut form 945 members to just 600 with the lower house being cut down to 400 parliamentarians and the Senate to 200. Italians will also vote locally to elect 1,000 mayors and seven regional governors, another vote that was delayed due to the pandemic.

France sets another daily record for infections: France confirmed nearly 13,500 new Covid-19 cases over a 24-hour period on Saturday, setting another daily record in the number of infections in the country since the pandemic began. Germany also recorded its highest daily jump in infections since April with 2,297 new cases. The UK reported 4,422 new daily cases on Saturday, 100 more new cases than on Friday and the highest daily total since 8 May. After Poland reported record daily new Covid cases on Saturday, neighbouring Lithuania and Slovakia also logged their largest daily tallies since the pandemic began.,

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Greek newspaper insults Erdogan: A Greek newspaper’s website appeared to have been hacked after printing an expletive-laden headline that the Turkish government said insulted President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. On Saturday morning, the Dimokratia News homepage was replaced with a Turkish message that read: “The Turks are here, where are you?” By midday Turkish time, the message had been removed but the website was still down. Dimokratia published the headline on its front page on Friday, prompting the Turkish Ministry of Foreign Affairs to summon the Greek ambassador.


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