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Europe

45 arrested across Europe and Brazil as authorities seize ‘record haul’ of cocaine

Forty-five people have been arrested in a major international operation against a drug-trafficking network between Brazil and Europe, Europol announced on Friday. The European police agency also revealed that more than 52 tonnes of cocaine were also seized by law...

Europe

Russia moves to protect Putin from prosecution

The Russian parliament's lower house - the Duma - has backed a bill granting Russian presidents and their families immunity from criminal prosecution after they leave office. It is among constitutional amendments approved in a referendum in July. Supporters of...

Europe

Why Portugal fears a backlash if Trump is re-elected US president

If the diplomatic spat between Portugal and the United States is anything to go by, Lisbon will be among the European capitals with most to lose on Tuesday. Another four years of Donald Trump in the White House could see Washington follow through on its threats to the Portuguese. [contfnewc] [contfnewc] [contfnewc] Washington has put pressure on Lisbon to ban Chinese telecoms giant Huawei from its future 5G network infrastructure. European countries have been trapped in the middle of a geopolitical battle over Huawei and 5G infrastructure, with the US alleging Beijing could use the networks for cyberespionage. The company denies the allegations. In June, according to Portuguese press reports, Lisbon decided not to place any restrictions on who could bid to supply its 5G infrastructure. In an interview with the Portuguese newspaper Expresso (subscription required), published on September 26, the US ambassador to Portugal, George Glass, said the Portuguese have to choose between “i..

Europe

Vienna attacker acted alone and had tried to join so-called Islamic State, say authorities

The man who killed four people in a shooting rampage in Vienna on Monday had sought to join the so-called Islamic State (IS) and most likely acted alone, Austrian authorities said on Tuesday. Authorities have named the gunman, who was carrying an assault rifle and a fake suicide vest, as Austrian-North Macedonian dual national Kujtim Fejzula. [contfnewc] [contfnewc] [contfnewc] He was shot dead by police. The 20-year old had previously served time in prison following an April 2019 conviction for an attempt to travel to Syria to join IS. He was granted early release from his 22-month jail term in December under juvenile law, authorities said. Authorities had initially feared that multiple gunmen were involved in the attack, but Interior Minister Nehammer told reporters early in the afternoon that evidence showed no indication there had been other assailants. [contfnewc] He added that 14 people close to the suspected perpetrator had been detained and that 18 properties in and arou..

Europe

Coronavirus: Italy has highest daily death toll in six months, Hungary, Netherlands set new measures

Italy recorded its highest daily COVID-19 death toll in nearly six months on Tuesday as Hungary and the Netherlands tightened restrictions to further in an effort to combat the virus. According to figures from the Italian health ministry, 353 people died from COVID-19 in the country in the previous 24 hours — the highest daily increase since May 6. More than 39,400 people have now lost their lives in the pandemic in the southern European country, while the number of infections recorded grew by 28,244 to nearly 760,000. In the Netherlands, the government said the partial lockdown imposed three weeks ago is starting to pay off with the number of infections going down by 5 per cent week on week to just over 64,000 recorded over the past seven days. The weekly death toll has, however, increased to 435 from 329 previously, prompting the government to announce further restrictions for the next two weeks, including a ban on public meetings of more than two people not in the same family. ..

Europe

Pope expresses support for same-sex civil union laws in new documentary

Issued on: 21/10/2020 – 17:54 Pope Francis says in a film released on Wednesday that homosexuals should be protected by civil union laws, in some of the clearest language he has used on the rights of gay people. Advertising Read more "Homosexual people have a right to be in a family. They are children of God and have a right to a family. Nobody should be thrown out or be made miserable over it," Pope Francis says in the documentary "Francesco" by Oscar-nominated director Evgeny Afineevsky. "What we have to create is a civil union law. That way they are legally covered. I stood up for that," he said. The pope appeared to be referring to when he was archbishop of Buenos Aires and opposed legislation to approve same sex marriages but supported some kind of legal protection for the rights of gay couples. Papal biographer Austen Ivereigh told Reuters that the pope's comments in the film were some of the clearest language the pontiff has used on the subject since his election ..

Europe

Popping the digital filter bubble

Issued on: 21/10/2020 – 10:36 Ever wondered why 2 people can search for the same thing online and get 2 totally different results? The answer is online echo chambers and digital filter bubbles – social media and search engines that skew our access to information and algorithms that artificially promote content they think should suit us. Those invisible chains shrink our freedom to learn and be confronted with new ideas. Want to break free? France 24 can help you pop the filter bubbles around you! Advertising Read more Social networks have revolutionised how we access information. In France, over a quarter of people get their news from social networks – second only to television. And for young people, the change is even more drastic: 47% of the under-35s say their primary source of information is social media (Ifop, 2019). And we’re not just passive consumers of information online now – everyone can also generate content, leading to a vast quantity of news and views online. Sift..

Europe

UK govt suffers defeat in House of Lords over controversial Brexit bill

Issued on: 21/10/2020 – 07:40 Britain’s upper house of Parliament delivered a resounding condemnation of the government’s contentious new Brexit legislation on Tuesday, as a standoff continued between the U.K. and the European Union over future trade relations. Advertising Read more The House of Lords voted 395-169 to add words to the Internal Market Bill expressing “regret” for the legislation and saying it “would undermine the rule of law and damage the reputation of the United Kingdom.” The bill breaches part of the legally binding Brexit withdrawal agreement by allowing Britain to override key provisions on Northern Ireland, the only part of the U.K. that shares a land border with the EU. The U.K. government says the bill is needed as an insurance policy to ensure smooth trade among all parts of the U.K. no matter what happens after Brexit. The bloc sees it as a flagrant breach of an international treaty that British Prime Minister Boris Johnson himself signed less than a ..

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