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Europe

G20 pledges more than $21 billion for coronavirus fight

Issued on: 06/06/2020 – 08:56Modified: 06/06/2020 – 08:56 The Group of 20 rich and emerging economies has pledged more than $21 billion to fight the coronavirus, the group said early on Saturday. Advertising Read more "The G20, with invited countries, has coordinated the global efforts to support the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic. To date, G20 members and invited countries have pledged over US$21 billion to support funding in global health," the group said in a statement. The pledges will be directed towards diagnostics, vaccines, therapeutics, and research and development, the statement added. In April the group called on all countries, non-governmental organizations, philanthropies and the private sector to help close a financing gap estimated at over $8 billion to combat the COVID-19 pandemic. Saudi Arabia, the current G20 chair has pledged $500 million to support global efforts to combat the pandemic. It said then it would allocate $150 million to the Coalition for..

Europe

Frances Versailles to re-open after Covid-19 lockdown ease

Issued on: 05/06/2020 – 16:32Modified: 05/06/2020 – 16:32 France's sumptuous Palace of Versailles, built in the 17th century by the "Sun King" Louis XIV, throws its doors open to the public again on Saturday but with little certainty over when tourists will return as lockdown curbs are slowly eased. Advertising Read more Workers on Friday dusted the Hall of Mirrors and polished its gilded statues ahead of the reopening, which will see visitors required to wear face masks and follow a one-way route through the opulent 2,300-room complex. The coronavirus crisis has dealt a heavy financial blow to the palace and France's other leading cultural attractions. Ticket sales to the eight million people who passed through the palace gates in 2019 made up 75% of revenues. Four in every five visitors is foreign. "This financial model has been devastated. We have to start again," Catherine Pegard, who runs the palace, told Reuters. "We're not the only ones." Louis XIV crav..

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Madeleine McCann presumed dead, German prosecutor says

Issued on: 04/06/2020 – 14:59Modified: 04/06/2020 – 14:59 Madeleine McCann, the British girl who disappeared in Portugal in 2007 aged just three, is assumed to be dead and an imprisoned German child abuser is the murder suspect, a German prosecutor said on Thursday. Advertising Read more McCann vanished from her bedroom on May 3 during a family vacation in the Algarve while her parents were dining with friends nearby in the resort of Praia da Luz. Her disappearance sparked an international search, with missing posters of the little girl's face papered across the world and celebrity appeals for information that could help track her down and bring her abductors to justice. "We assume that the girl is dead," Braunschweig state prosecutor Hans Christian Wolters said. "The public prosecutor's office in Braunschweig is investigating a 43-year-old German national on suspicion of murder." German police said on Wednesday the suspect, who had lived near Praia da Luz, had mad..

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Covid-19 in Hungary: Are emergency powers being used against the opposition?

Issued on: 04/06/2020 – 12:36Modified: 04/06/2020 – 12:36 In Hungary, many opposition-run municipalities accuse the government of taking advantage of the emergency decrees passed to fight the Covid-19 pandemic and using the legislation for political purposes. Many large cities, including the capital Budapest, elected an opposition mayor during the local elections of October 2019. The ruling Fidesz party is accused of using its new powers to curb the management of those opposition-run cities, whether it's bRead More – Source [contf] [contfnew] france24 [contfnewc] [contfnewc]

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Putin declares state of emergency over Siberian diesel spill

Issued on: 04/06/2020 – 11:47Modified: 04/06/2020 – 11:47 Russian President Vladimir Putin on Wednesday ordered a state of emergency and criticised a subsidiary of metals giant Norilsk Nickel after a massive diesel spill into a Siberian river. Advertising Read more The spill of over 20,000 tonnes of diesel fuel took place on Friday. A fuel reservoir collapsed at a power plant near the city of Norilsk, located above the Arctic Circle, and leaked into a nearby river. During a televised video conference, Putin lambasted the head of the Norilsk Nickel subsidiary that runs the power plant, NTEK, after officials said it failed to report the incident. "Why did government agencies only find out about this two days after the fact? Are we going to learn about emergency situations from social media? Are you quite healthy there?" Putin asked NTEK chief Sergei Lipin in an unusually stern dressing-down. Norilsk Nickel said in a statement that NTEK had reported what happened in a "timely a..

Europe

Paris prosecutors seek trial for Kim Kardashian jewellery theft suspects

Issued on: 04/06/2020 – 06:05 The trial of 12 men accused over a Paris heist in which reality TV star Kim Kardashian was robbed of millions of dollars' worth of jewellery appeared one step closer after prosecutors asked for the case go to court, a source told AFP. Advertising Read more Five members of the gang stormed the luxury residence where Kardashian was staying during Paris Fashion Week in 2016, holding the star at gunpoint and making off with a huge diamond ring and other gems worth a total of nine million euros ($9.5 million). Prosecutors will seek to take the case to court for all 12 – who are currently at liberty but under legal supervision – charging them with armed robbery, kidnapping and criminal association, a judicial source said Wednesday. Examining magistrates must now decide whether the case will proceed to trial, the source added, although any trial is not expected to begin until 2021. Wearing police uniforms, the gang burst into Kardashian's apa..

Europe

Germany unveils 130 billion euro stimulus package to kickstart virus-hit economy

Issued on: 04/06/2020 – 01:55 Germany will plough 130 billion euros ($146 billion) into a stimulus package to kick-start an economy severely hit by the coronavirus pandemic, Chancellor Angela Merkel said Wednesday. Advertising Read more Under the wide-ranging measures outlined in a 15-page document, value-added tax will be temporarily slashed, families will receive 300 euros for each child, while those who purchase electric cars will see a government rebate doubled to 6,000 euros. "The size of the package will reach 130 billion euros for 2020 to 2021, 120 billion of which will be borne by the federal government," said Merkel. "We have an economic stimulus package, a package for the future and in addition, we're now dealing with our responsibility for Europe and the international dimension." Noting that millions of employees in Germany have been put on shorter working hours, Merkel said that "shows how fragile the whole thing is, and why we must succeed in giving the eco..

Europe

Covid-19: France records 81 new deaths as number of ICU cases continues to drop

Issued on: 03/06/2020 – 20:59Modified: 03/06/2020 – 20:59 France's coronavirus death toll rose by 81 on Wednesday, or 0.3 percent, to reach 29,021, which is the fifth-highest death toll in the world. Advertising Read more The rate of increase has decreased compared to Tuesday, when fatalities were up 0.4 percent, and the number of people hospitalised for Covid-19 disease has continued its long-running decline, the health ministry said in a statement. The number of confirmed cases rose to 151,677 from 151,325. The number of hospitalised patients continued to dropped to 13,514 on Tuesday, from 14,028 the day before, while the number of patients in intensive care units went doRead More – Source [contf] [contfnew] france24 [contfnewc] [contfnewc]

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WHO to resume suspended hydroxychloroquine trials for Covid-19 treatment

Issued on: 03/06/2020 – 20:20Modified: 03/06/2020 – 20:20 The World Health Organization announced Wednesday that clinical trials of the drug hydroxychloroquine will resume as it searches for potential coronavirus treatments. Advertising Read more On May 25, the WHO announced it had temporarily suspended the trials to conduct a safety review, which has now concluded there is “no reason” to change the way the trials are conducted. The UN health agencys decision came after a study published in The Lancet medical journal suggesting the drug could increase the risk of death among Covid-19 patients. The executive group of the so-called Solidarity Trial – in which hundreds of hospitals across the world have enrolled patients to test several possible treatments for the novel coronavirus – took the decision as a precaution. Hydroxychloroquine is normally used to treat arthritis but public figures including US President Donald Trump have backed the drug for Covid-19 prevention and tre..

Europe

Germany to lift travel warning to most European countries from June 15

Germany will lift its blanket travel warning for European nations from June 15, Foreign Minister Heiko Maas said Wednesday, as the continent looks to further ease restrictions imposed to contain the coronavirus. Advertising Read more Germany introduced an unprecedented warning against all foreign travel in mid-March. But with new infections sharply down, the government is looking for ways to restart the economy. “We have decided today that the travel warning for the named circle of countries will not be continued but replaced by travel advice,” Maas said, referring to EU nations, other Schengen countries and Britain. The individual advice will be for a total of 31 nations, “provided that there are no longer any entry bans or large-scale lockdowns in the respective countries”, he said. The advice could still include warnings against travel to certain countries, such as Norway and Spain, which still have their own entry restrictions in place. Germany will be watching contagion ..

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