Tuesday, 13 October 2020: Belarus threatens to use firearms against protesters, EU to sanction Russia over Navalny poisoning, Europe plans tougher measures against big tech


Belarus threatens to use firearms against protesters: A senior Belarus interior ministry official has warned that police were ready to use firearms against protesters as the country is entering its third month of unrest over the disputed presidential election. He claimed that the anti-Lukashenko protests had grown “extremely radicalised”. Opposition representatives, on the other hand, said the police were increasingly cracking down on people protesting peacefully. EU foreign ministers agreed on Monday to impose sanctions on Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko, widely seen as having stolen the recent election. Lithuania has recalled six more diplomats from Belarus.
dw.com, tagesspiegel.de, nytimes.com, deutschlandfunk.de

EU to sanction Russia over Navalny poisoning: EU foreign ministers have decided to impose sanctions on Russians suspected of poisoning Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny with a nerve agent. At a meeting in Luxembourg, France and Germany urged their EU partners to freeze the assets of those suspected of involvement and ban them from travelling in Europe under sanctions to combat the use and spread of chemical weapons.
reuters.com, apnews.com

Europe plans tougher measures against big tech: European regulators are reportedly preparing a hit list of up to twenty big tech companies that would be subject to strict new rules. The “Financial Times” reported Sunday that the list of large internet companies would be forced to share data with rivals and be more transparent in their data collection under the EU proposal. The companies on the list would also be subject to tighter regulations than smaller internet companies.
ft.com, marketwatch.com

EU project aimed at drastically reducing food waste: 20% of all food produced in the EU ends up either in landfill sites or as animal feed. Experts say solving this problem requires a combined effort; they believe that in doing this, everyone from producers to consumers will be able to bring something to the table – and all will benefit. Futuris has been investigating the current strides being taken toward creating that joined-up system and helping reduce food waste – which is one of the aims of the EU’s Farm to Fork Strategy.

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Controversial reform: EU starts negotiations on rule of law mechanism spiegel.de
Gas dispute: Turkish ship resumes energy search in waters claimed by Greece politico.eu
Tourism: European tourism sector worries about new Covid measures wsj.com
Strengthening minimum income protection in the pandemic: Council of the EU adopts conclusions consilium.europa.eu
Nagorno-Karabakh: Turkey wants Armenian forces to leave Azeri lands dw.com


The violence perpetrated by the Lukashenko regime continues.
German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas has criticised Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko.


Failures at Austrian ski resort sped up spread of Covid in Europe: An independent commission has found that Austrian national and local authorities made “momentous miscalculations” by first hesitating and then rushing to evacuate an Alpine ski resort that has been described as the “ground zero” of the coronavirus first wave in Europe. Ischgl should have been closed by local authorities on 9 March after infections of guests and bar staff became known, according to the panel. Then, the mishandling of the resort’s evacuation caused chaos which may have accelerated the spread of the virus.
theguardian.com, bloombergquint.com

Greece wants to build new refugee camp on Lesbos: Greek Migration Minister Notis Mitarachi has announced that a new permanent camp will be built on the island of Lesbos next year to replace the facility that burned down last month. A tent camp on Lesbos was hastily put together after the Moria camp was destroyed in a fire back in September.

Attack on police station shocks France: Dozens of people armed with fireworks and metal rods besieged a police station outside Paris early Sunday, authorities said, prompting new calls for tougher government action. French Interior Minister Gérald Darmanin announced that he would meet this Tuesday with police unions, who have been pressing for months for concrete measures to improve working conditions.

Protesters scale Eiffel Tower: Extinction Rebellion activists have scaled the Eiffel Tower to hang a banner reading “rebel”, kicking off a week of events aimed at shining a spotlight on global inaction on the climate crisis. A group of climate protesters could be seen standing on top of the Paris monument’s first stage on Sunday.

France is taking precautions for Brexit without a trade pact spiegel.de
Spain: Unusual national holiday faz.net
Air pollution: Polish children exposed to four times more pollution than French, study finds euractiv.com
Alarming Covid numbers: Belgium is not ruling out new quarantine de.euronews.com


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Facebook bans Holocaust denial: Facebook is banning posts that deny or distort the Holocaust and will start directing people to authoritative sources if they search for information about the Nazi genocide. Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg announced the new policy Monday, the latest attempt by the company to take action against conspiracy theories and misinformation ahead of the US presidential election three weeks away.


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