#AceNewsReport – Oct.10: Some policymakers and traders have speculated additional gas has been deliberately withheld to make a diplomatic point and accelerate the approval of the Nord Stream 2 pipeline….
#AceDailyNews says according to media report Russia’s pipeline gas export monopoly #Gazprom has met commitments for long-term contracts, its clients confirm. But it has not raced to book extra pipeline capacity for spot buyers, despite European calls for more supplies now they want a license for ‘Nordstream2‘ according to RT News and will provide all the Gas needed for prices to fall …
Others say Russia has withheld gas to create a shortage, drive up prices and increase export revenues, similar to the way the OPEC+ producer group raises oil prices and its revenues: The other possibility is Russia has not supplied more gas because it faces its own shortage and wants to rebuild domestic stocks after they were depleted by a cold winter in 2020/21.
Why Europe faces steep winter energy bills
LONDON, Oct 8 (Reuters) – Households across Europe face much higher winter energy bills due to a global surge in wholesale power and gas prices and consumer groups have warned the most vulnerable in the region could be hit by fuel poverty as a result.
WHY THE HIGH PRICES?
Energy companies pay a wholesale price to buy gas and electricity, which they then sell to consumers. As in any market, this can go up or down, driven by supply and demand.
Prices typically rise in response to more demand for heating and people turning lights on earlier in winter, while those in the summer period are usually lower.
But prices have sky-rocketed due to low gas storage stocks, high European Union carbon prices, low liquefied natural gas tanker deliveries due to higher demand from Asia, less gas supplies from Russia than usual, low renewable output and infrastructure outages.
Benchmark European gas prices at the Dutch TTF hub have risen by more than 400% since January, while benchmark German and French power contracts have more than doubled.
#AceNewsReport – Oct.05: The week-long operation, which was led by France and supported by Europol, involved law enforcement bodies from Bulgaria, Cyprus, Finland, Italy, Latvia, the Netherlands and Spain…….
#AceDailyNews reports that a major Europe-wide sting operation identifies ‘human trafficking for labour exploitation on farms & vineyards …..
The action week resulted in:
12 arrests (8 in France and 4 in Spain)
54 suspected traffickers identified (27 in France, 21 in Italy, 2 in Latvia, 4 in Spain)
269 possible victims of exploitation identified, 81 of which of trafficking of human beings (17 in Cyprus, 91 in France, 134 in Italy, 24 in Spain and 3 in Latvia)
704 locations (vineyards, farms and others) checked
273 vehicles checked
4 014 people checked
126 new investigations initiated (14 in Finland, 93 in France, 2 in Italy, 9 in Latvia, 4 in the Netherlands and 4 in Spain)
Focus on seasonal workers
Law enforcement authorities carried out inspections in working places identified as more vulnerable to exploitation, such as farms and vineyards. The checks focused on the working conditions of the employees. Non-EU nationals have been identified as most vulnerable to exploitation in seasonal employments, while EU nationals are reported to be exploited in the agricultural sector year-round. The action days targeted criminal networks and facilitators involved in the trafficking of human beings, specialised in ‘brokering’ employment on the illegal market. Labour exploitation is a very lucrative criminal activity, damaging the health and rights of the victims. A successful operation in France dismantled a criminal network, which has generated an estimated € 5 million in damages for victims and authorities. During the actions against this network, authorities searched 25 locations and arrested winegrowers, service providers and intermediaries.
The fight against human trafficking for labour exploitation requires a consolidated, cross-border effort by different authorities. During this action week, the European Labour Authority organised the first joint inspection, which took place in France and involved officers from the Bulgarian General Labour Inspectorate.
Europol coordinated the action days and facilitated the information exchange between the participating countries. Europol provided analytical and operational support 24/7 and facilitated the real-time exchange of communication between the participating authorities.
Headquartered in The Hague, the Netherlands, Europol supports the 27 EU Member States in their fight against terrorism, cybercrime, and other serious and organized crime forms. Europol also works with many non-EU partner states and international organisations. From its various threat assessments to its intelligence-gathering and operational activities, Europol has the tools and resources it needs to do its part in making Europe safer.
In 2017 the Council of the EU decided to continue the EU Policy Cycle for the 2018 – 2021 period. It aims to tackle the most significant threats posed by organised and serious international crime to the EU. This is achieved by improving and strengthening cooperation between the relevant services of EU Member States, institutions and agencies, as well as non-EU countries and organisations, including the private sector where relevant. Trafficking of human beings is one of the priorities of the Policy Cycle. From 2022, the mechanism becomes permanent under the name EMPACT 2022+.
In France, a criminal network, which generated an estimated €5 million, was dismantled. Twenty-five locations were searched and a number of winegrowers, service providers and intermediaries were arrested.
#AceNewsReport – July.23: The group are alleged to have had contacts across Europe, in France, Germany the Netherlands and Poland…..
#AceDailyNews reports that seven arrests have been made as NCA dismantles Albanian people smuggling network suspected of bringing hundreds to the UK these were among those detained by NCA officers in a series of raids in south London, Surrey, Oxfordshire and Hartlepool yesterday (20 July) was the alleged ringleader of the people smuggling network, which investigators believe used lorries and hired vans to transport individuals from northern France.
Over a period of six months between July and December 2020 six such attempts were stopped by Border Force officers carrying out searches of vehicles at the Channel Tunnel terminal in Coquelles, near Calais.
All have subsequently been linked to the OCG under investigation by the NCA.
In one of those attempts, in August last year, two vans were intercepted within half an hour of each other, each carrying ten Albanian migrants.
The drivers of all the stopped vehicles were arrested and investigated by Immigration Enforcement.
In May 2021 two further attempts linked to the network were stopped, as NCA investigators shared intelligence with French and German counterparts which led to vehicles containing migrants being halted by police before they could reach the coast.
In some cases migrants are believed to have paid the OCG between �20,000 and �25,000 to reach the UK. NCA financial investigators have identified numerous bank accounts alleged to belong to the network, each showing tens or even hundreds of thousands of pounds in turnover.
All seven arrested today are now being questioned on suspicion of offences including conspiring to facilitate illegal entry to the UK and money laundering.
The operation, which involved around 100 officers, was supported by the Metropolitan Police and Immigration Enforcement. Approximately �30,000 cash was also detained.
NCA Branch Commander Richard Harrison said: We believe these arrests will have significantly disrupted an organised criminal network responsible for smuggling potentially hundreds of people into the UK illegally: The network claimed to provide a top of the range service and charged accordingly, using complicit drivers to transport migrants in hired vehicles: This activity represented a significant threat to both the safety of the migrants involved and the security of UK border controls.”
NCA Deputy Director Andrea Wilson added: This operation shows that people smugglers are right at the top of the NCA’s target list: It is a form of criminality that sees people exploited for profit by criminals who have no regard for human life: Those involved in organised immigration crime should know that our officers are working day and night with partners in the UK and abroad to find them, disrupt and dismantle their business models and bring them to justice: I also have a message today for drivers, commercial or otherwise, who would consider assisting these organised criminal networks by transporting migrants on their behalf.
#AceWeatherReport – July.17: The death toll from devastating floods in Germany reached 133 on Saturday, police said, bringing the total number of those killed in Europe to 153: Rescuers resumed the search for survivors with hundreds still missing on Saturday morning as desperate families released pictures of their loved ones.
GERMANY: Death toll after Europe flash floods hits 133 as Rescuers continue hunt for survivors Such is the scale of the human tragedy that economic cost-counting has barely begun, though one official said bluntly that total will certainly be in the ‘billions’ according to MailOnline
It is just the latest episode in the evolving weather crisis in central Europe, with more than 130 people killed across Germany, marking the country’s deadliest floods since at least 1962 when more than 300 people were killed in flooding in Hamburg.
At least another 23 people were killed in neighbouring Belgium where a ‘tsunami-like’ torrent of water inundated parts of Leige and Verviers, causing the Meuse and Vesdre rivers to burst their banks.
There are fears that toll could rise considerably with hundreds of people still missing, mostly from the hard-hit Ahrweiler region, south of Bonn, where whole villages were destroyed as the Ahr river broke its banks.
Names, pictures, and details of the last contact with ten people who are unaccounted for were published in German outlet Bild as part of a campaign to help find the missing.
A family were among the missing on Saturday morning. Pictures of Hans Neufeld, 71, wife Ella, 59, and their son Frank, 22, were submitted by the couple’s first son Harry, 30.
He said they were last seen at home in Bad Neuenahr-Ahrweiler in the early hours of Thursday, when flood waters started rising significantly. ‘Since then, there has been no trace,’ he said.
Karl-Heinz Zimmermann, a 93-year-old grandfather from Bad Neuenahr was reported missing by his granddaughter Sandy Zimmermann. She said she last spoke to him around 10pm on Thursday evening.
‘He wanted to go to bed normally, and didn’t feel threatened by the water’, she said. ‘But now the whole house is full of mud and nobody can be reached there. I tried to call him all day – over and over again. The fire brigade doesn’t know where he is either.’
European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen, Belgium’s Prime Minister Alexander De Croo, and vice Prime Minister Pierre-Yves Dermagne, visited the disaster zone in Belgium on Saturday.
It comes after a landslide in the flood-damaged town of Blessem, near Cologne, killed ‘several’ people on Friday as Germany’s worst flooding crisis in decades continued to worsen
A second family – Nicole Berg, Patrick Berg, and their son Dennis – were also among the missing. Their pictures were submitted to Bild by Nicole’s sister Katja who said her sibling was last online on Wednesday 10pm.
Gerhard Hubner, 60 was also among the missing. His picture was submitted by housewife Christina Drothen, 36, who said he was last seen at his house in Ahrweiler on Wednesday evening.
Julia Dillenburger, 39, from Bad Neuenahr-Ahrweiler, was another. She was last heard from in the early hours of Thursday after she escaped her basement flat for her neighbours apartment on the first floor.
Husband and wife Aida Maria, 74, and Klaus Wolfgang Huber, 76, were last heard from on Wednesday evening. Aida, who is Ecuadorian, has lived in Bad Neuenahr-Ahrweiler since 2005. Her niece said there has been no sign of the pair since the flood.
Diana Janko, 60, was last seen a few days ago on Facebook video call. She recently told loved ones she wanted to go to the hospital, but has failed to pick up her phone for several days.
German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier and Prime Minister of North Rhine-Westphalia Armin Laschet visited Erftstadt fire department to get an overview of flooding in the region on Saturday.
‘A lot of people have lost everything they spent their lives building up — their possessions, their home, the roof over their heads,’ Steinmeier said after meeting rescue workers and others in the town of Erftstadt.
‘It may only be possible to clear up in weeks how much damage needs to be compensated,’ he said.
Steinmeier said that people in the affected areas are counting on continuing support.
‘Many people here in these regions have nothing left but their hope, and we must not disappoint this hope,’ he said.
Dutch caretaker Prime Minister Mark Rutte visited flooded parts of the city of Venlo on Friday.
He said the region faced ‘three disasters.’
‘First, there was corona, now these floods, and soon people will have to work on cleanup and recovery,’ he said. ‘It is disaster after disaster after disaster. But we will not abandon Limburg,’ the southern province hit by the floods.
His government has declared the flooding a state of emergency, opening up national funds for those affected.
It comes after thousands of villagers in western German prayed for a miracle on Friday night amid fears a nearby dam could collapse and inundate their homes with water.
The villages in the Euskirchen region, near the city of Bonn, were evacuated with 4,500 told to flee their homes after cracks started appearing in the dam holding back the nearby Steinbach reservoir.
Engineers warned the dam was dangerously close to collapse after a huge amount of water was dumped into the reservoir as three months’ worth of rain fell on the region in just one week, causing widespread devastation.
The dam is designed to vent excess water, but its drainage system has been blocked by debris including trees and rubble from destroyed buildings. The strain was clearly visible Friday as huge cracks appeared in the soil reinforcing the front of the dam.
By Saturday, waters were receding across much of the affected regions, laying bare the extent of the damage.
German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier planned to travel Saturday to Erftstadt, southwest of Cologne, where a harrowing rescue effort unfolded on Friday as people were trapped when the ground gave way. At least three houses and part of a mansion in the town’s Blessem district collapsed.
The German military used armoured vehicles on Saturday to clear away cars and trucks overwhelmed by the floodwaters on a nearby road, some of which were still at least partly submerged. Officials feared that some people did not manage to escape in Erftstadt, but on Saturday morning no casualties had been confirmed.
In the Ahrweiler area, police warned people of a potential risk from downed power lines and urged curious visitors to stay away.
Around 700 people were evacuated from part of the German town of Wassenberg, on the Dutch border, after the breach of a dike on the Rur river. Volunteers across Germany have collected clothes and taken them emergency accommodation for flood victims.
Train lines and roads remained blocked in many areas of eastern Belgium. The national railway service said traffic would start returning to normal on Monday.
Parts of northern France were also underwater by Saturday morning, following days of heavy rainfall.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel said on Friday she was planning to visit the disaster zone, hours after King Philippe and Queen Mathilde of Belgium visited Pepinster, where the water has continued to rise.
The visit comes just hours after a landslide in the town of Blessem, near Cologne, killed an unknown number of people when waterlogged ground collapsed into a nearby gravel pit – taking homes, cars, and families with it.
Helicopters circled overhead following the collapse, looking for anyone left to save. It is thought 55 people were evacuated from the town overnight, but an unknown number returned in the morning to check the damage when the landslide struck.
Such is the scale of the devastation and human tragedy that economic cost-counting has barely even begun, though one German official said bluntly that the cost is certainly in the ‘billions’.
A bird’s eye view of Valkenburg, the Netherlands as the shocking floods in Europe continued to sweep through the continent on Friday
Authorities in the German state of Rhineland-Palatinate said 63 people had died there, including 12 residents of an assisted living facility for disabled people in the town of Sinzig who were surprised by a sudden rush of water from the nearby Ahr River.
In neighboring North Rhine-Westphalia state officials put the death toll at 43, but warned that the figure could increase.
German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier said he was ‘stunned’ by the devastation caused by the flooding and pledged support to the families of those killed and to cities and towns facing significant damage.
‘In the hour of need, our country stands together,’ Steinmeier said in a statement. ‘It’s important that we show solidarity for those from whom the flood has taken everything.’
Rescuers sought to save people trapped in their homes in the German town of Erftstadt, southwest of Cologne. Regional authorities said several people had died after their houses collapsed when the ground beneath them sank suddenly. Aerial photos showed what appeared to be a massive sinkhole.
‘We managed to get 50 people out of their houses last night,’ county administrator Frank Rock said. ‘We know of 15 people who still need to be rescued.’
Speaking to German broadcaster n-tv, Rock said authorities had no precise number yet for how many had died in the flash floods that turned roads into wild raging torrents, ripping up cobblestones, collapsing homes and flipping parked cars into piles of rubble.
‘One has to assume that under the circumstances some people didn’t manage to escape,’ he said.
Authorities were still trying to account for hundreds of people listed as missing, but cautioned that the high number could be due to duplicated reports and difficulties reaching people because of disrupted roads and phone service.
After Germany, where more than 100 people have died, Belgium was the hardest hit by the floods that caused homes to be ripped away.
Belgian Interior Minister Annelies Verlinden told the VRT network Friday that the country’s official confirmed death toll had grown to 20, with 20 other people still missing.
Water levels on the Meuse Rriver that runs from Belgium into the Netherlands remains critical, and several dikes were at risk of collapsing, Verlinden said.
Authorities in the southern Dutch town of Venlo evacuated 200 hospital patients due to the looming threat of flooding from the river.
Flash floods this week followed days of heavy rainfall in Western Europe. Thousands of people remained homeless in Germany after their houses were destroyed or deemed at-risk by authorities.
The governor of North Rhine-Westphalia, who is hoping to succeed Chancellor Angela Merkel as the nation’s leader after Germany’s election on September 26, said the disaster had caused immense economic damage to the country’s most densely populated state.
‘The floods have literally pulled the ground from beneath many people’s feet,’ Gov. Armin Laschet said at a news conference. ‘They lost their houses, farms or businesses.’
Federal and state officials have pledged financial aid to the affect areas, which also includes the state of Rhineland-Palatinate, where at least 60 people died and entire villages were destroyed.
Malu Dreyer, the governor of Rhineland-Palatinate state, said the disaster showed the need to speed up efforts to curb global warming.
She accused Laschet and Merkel’s center-right Union bloc of hindering efforts to achieve greater greenhouse gas reductions in Germany, Europe’s biggest economy and a major emitter of planet-warming gases.
‘Climate change isn’t abstract anymore. We are experiencing it up close and painfully,’ she told the Funke media group.
Steinmeier, the German president, echoed her calls for greater efforts to combat global warming.
‘Only if we decisively take up the fight against climate change will we be able to limit the extreme weather conditions we are now experiencing,’ he said.
Experts say such disasters could become more common in the future.
‘Some parts of Western Europe … received up to two months of rainfall in the space of two days. What made it worse is that the soils were already saturated by previous rainfall,’ World Meteorological Organization spokesperson Clare Nullis said.
While she said it was too soon to blame the floods and preceding heat wave on rising global temperatures, Nullis added: ‘Climate change is already increasing the frequency of extreme events. And many single events have been shown to be made worse by global warming.’
Defense Ministry spokesman Arne Collatz said the German military had deployed over 850 troops to help with flood effeorts but the number is ‘rising significantly because the need is growing.’ He said the ministry had triggered a ‘military disaster alarm.’
Italy sent a civil protection officials, firefighters and rescue dinghies to Belgium to help in the search for missing people from the devastating floods.
In the southern Dutch province of Limburg, which also has been hit hard by flooding, troops piled sandbags to strengthen a 1.1-kilometer (0.7 mile) stretch of dike along the Maas River and police helped evacuate low-lying neighborhoods.
Caretaker Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte said the government was officially declaring flood-hit regions a disaster area, meaning businesses and residents are eligible for compensation. Dutch King Willem-Alexander visited the region Thursday night and called the scenes ‘heart-breaking.’
Meanwhile, sustained rainfall in Switzerland has caused several rivers and lakes to burst their banks. Public broadcaster SRF reported that a flash flood swept away cars, flooded basements and destroyed small bridges in the northern villages of Schleitheim und Beggingen late Thursday.
Erik Schulz, the mayor of the hard-hit German city of Hagen, 50 kilometers (31 miles) northeast of Cologne, said there had been a wave of solidarity from other regions and ordinary citizens to help those affected by the floods.
‘We have many, many citizens saying `I can offer a place to stay, where can I go to help, where can I registered, where can I bring my shovel and bucket?’,’ he told n-tv. ‘The city is standing together and you can feel that.’
‘In less that 10 minutes, the water rose by almost a metre,’ said Isabelle Bervoets, surveying the wreckage of her restaurant in Grez-Doiceau, Belgium.
The Train river that passes through the small community is one of those that burst its banks following days of torrential rain.
At least 20 Belgians died and 19 are missing, with scores more fatalities in neighbouring Germany.
But the economic toll in the Brabant region is all too clear, along city riverfronts, blocked train tracks and drowned factories – as well as in Isabelle’s restaurant.
The ground is a sea of mud, there is a stench of sewage, bar stools are scattered everywhere, the fridge in the wine cellar is wrecked, and Isabelle’s frustration with local authorities is overflowing.
‘I’m pretty furious with the commune,’ the 53-year-old said. ‘It was some young folk who brought us sand bags. I called the town hall but they didn’t have any.’
Not far away, Amandine Bosquet is surveying the wreckage of her family home, stacking damp cardboard boxes. ‘Everything on the ground floor, we’ve lost,’ the young woman says.
Belgium’s King Philippe is due to visit the flooded region later in the day, and Prime Minister Alexander de Croos was to give a news conference.
Meanwhile the vast tide of mud and water is draining down the Train through the Brabant’s green but densely populated valleys, into the Dyle, the Meuse and on to the hard-hit Netherlands.
The region experienced flooding in 2002 and 2005.
‘But since then, we’ve seen nothing like it, and we’d never imagine it hitting us so quickly,’ says Bervoets.
Chaudfontaine, Theux, Verviers, Pepinster, Spa – dozens of cities, towns and villages have been hit.
Liege was threatened with evacuation of the town centre, but after splashing the top of its embankment, the Meuse failed to break its way into the city.
Cars lie in market squares, stacked up like damp firewood.
Scout camps were evacuated. A train derailed. Rescue helicopters and boats plucked up families and terrified pets and took them to safety.
Rescue teams have flown in from France, Italy and Austria to help the Belgian authorities.
Pepinster, a small town outside Verviers, bore the brunt of the disaster within Belgium, with the town centre turning into a river and more than a dozen houses collapsing.
‘It’s a disaster, a tsunami,’ the local mayor, Philippe Godin, told AFP.
A day after the wave rushed through there’s no electricity, no drinking water, unreliable mobile reception and, Godin adds: ‘You have to think of the people who have lost everything, their memories. It’s terrifying.’
Heavy rainfall has caused extensive damage in Roermond, the Netherlands, but no casualties have been reported
In the western German district of Ahrweiler, up to 1,300 people are unaccounted for, the authorities say. A spokeswoman for the local government said mobile networks had been put out of action, making it impossible to contact many people.
The village of Schuld (population 700) was almost entirely destroyed. A major dam near the Belgian border, the Rurtalsperre, is at capacity and overflowing slightly, officials say.
Some 15,000 police, soldiers and emergency service workers are at the scene to aid with search and rescue, while helicopters picked stranded residents from roof tops and tanks cleared roads of fallen trees and debris.
In the town of Erftstadt-Blessem, floodwaters caused a row of houses to collapse wholly or partially. Calls for help could be heard coming from the buildings, whose residents could only be reached by boat.
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BBC Chronicle of a disaster foretold Scientists have condemned politicians for failing to protect their citizens from extreme weather events such as the floods in northern Europe and the US heat dome.They have been predicting for years that summer rainfall and heatwaves would become more intense due to human-induced climate change.Hannah Cloke, Professor of Hydrology at the University of Reading, said: “The deaths and destruction across Europe as a result of flooding is a tragedy that should have been avoided. “Forecasters issued alerts early in the week, and yet the warnings were not taken seriously enough and preparations were inadequate.”The fact that other parts of the northern hemisphere are currently suffering record-breaking heatwaves and fires should serve as a reminder of just much more dangerous our weather could become in an ever-warmer world.”Scientists say government must both cut the CO2 emissions that are fuelling extreme events, AND prepare for more extreme weather.Yet in the UK – hit by severe flooding on Monday – the government’s advisory climate change committee recently told ministers the nation was even worse prepared for extreme weather than it was five years ago. It said the government was keeping only a fifth of its pledges to cut emissions.And only this week the UK government told people that they don’t need to reduce flying because technology will solve the emissions problem – a notion that most experts consider a gamble.Speaking during a meeting with US President Joe Biden in Washington DC, Mrs Merkel expressed her “deepest condolences” to everyone across the region who had lost loved ones after “a day of worry and despair”.”I fear we will only see the full extent of this tragedy in the coming days,” she said. She also pledged government support with rescue efforts and with reconstruction, saying to the German people that the government “will not leave you alone in this difficult, terrible hour”.In Belgium, dramatic footage of the floods showed cars being swept away along a street in the city of Verviers. A curfew was in place overnight because of the risk of looting. Residents of Liège, Belgium’s third-largest urban area after Brussels and Antwerp, were ordered to evacuate. Local officials said those unable to leave should move to the upper floors of their buildings. The Meuse river, which flows through the city, stabilised on Friday morning, with small overflows in some areas. Officials are also concerned that a dam bridge in the area may collapse and urged people to help each other.”The crisis situation is exceptional and solidarity must prevail,” the local authority said in a statement.Belgium’s King Philippe and Queen Mathilde visited a crisis centre in Chaudfontaine, southeast of Liège, set up for affected residents.EPABelgium’s King Philippe and Queen Mathilde (left) visited a crisis centre in Chaudfontaine on ThursdayIn the Netherlands, King Willem-Alexander and Queen Maxima inspected damage in Valkenburg, close to the Belgian and German borders, where flooding engulfed the town centre and forced the evacuation of several nursing homes.The country has reported no casualties but thousands of people in towns and villages along the Meuse river have been urged to leave their houses quickly. In the Dutch city of Maastricht, 10,000 people were ordered to evacuate.
#AceHealthReport – Mar.21: The European Union could stop AstraZeneca from exporting its COVID-19 vaccine from the bloc if the British-Swedish pharma company does not meet its supply obligations, European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said in comments published on Saturday.
‘EU warns AstraZeneca of export ban if bloc not supplied first: European Commission head Ursula von der Leyen has upped the pressure on pharma company AstraZeneca, threatening to forbid planned exports until the firm fulfils its obligations to Europe in comments on Saturday’
“We have the possibility to forbid planned exports. That is the message to AstraZeneca: You fulfill your contract with Europe before you start delivering to other countries,” von der Leyen told newspapers from the Funke Media Group.
She said the company had delivered only 30% of the doses promised in the first quarter of 2021. She also pointed out that although the contract with AstraZeneca had stipulated that the EU would receive vaccines from factories in the EU and Britain, “we have received nothing from the Britons, while we deliver vaccines to them.”
Despite the confidence exuded by von der Leyen here, the EU is having grave problems with its vaccination drive.
Von der Leyen referred to statistics showing that at least 41 million doses of coronavirus vaccine had been exported from the EU to 33 countries, despite a shortfall in vaccine supplies in the bloc itself. According to the commission, 9 million doses have gone from the EU to the UK and a million to the US.
“I cannot justify to European citizens why we export millions of vaccine doses to countries that produce vaccines themselves — and from whom nothing comes back,” von der Leyen said. “And I can barely justify exports to countries that have a much higher vaccination rate and far fewer infections than the EU.”
She called on other countries to reciprocate the EU’s openness and said the bloc was inviting national leaders for discussion.
Vaccination programs in the EU, including Germany, have been comparatively slow in getting underway, partly because of a lack of doses.
#AceNewsReport – Sept.18: Croatia has closed seven of its eight border crossings with Serbia overwhelmed by a huge surge of refugees turned away by Hungary. PM said Croatia will not accept or accommodate asylum seekers any longer.
“We cannot register and accommodate these people any longer,” Prime Minister Zoran Milanovic told reporters on Friday. “They will get food, water and medical help, and then they can move on. The European Union must know that Croatia will not become a migrant ‘hotspot.’ We have hearts, but we also have heads.” On Thursday Croatia closed most of its road border crossings with Serbia leaving only one on the main road linking Belgrade and Zagreb at Bajakovo. The decision came as over 13,000 refugees entered the country after Hungary closed its borders on Wednesday failing to cope with the refugee flow. Police told Reuters that about 500 refugees had been detained after crossing into the south of Hungary from Croatia on Thursday.
Some of the refugees appear to be stuck on the border between Croatia and Hungary. Reuters reported on Thursday that a convoy of more than 10 buses which was heading towards the Croatian city of Osijek was turned towards the Hungarian border. Refugees were offloaded at the Croatian border village Beremend, according to a Reuters reporter at the scene. Hundreds of migrants were also witnessed on Friday at a petrol station by a road in the Croatian border town of Beli Manastir.
Scuffles between refugees erupted on Friday at the Croatian Beli Monastir train station as the people were boarding the trains bound for Zagreb. Some were injured and received first aid.
Some were injured and received first aid.
Dozens of refugees staged a silent sit-in protest at the Serbian-Hungarian border near the town of Horgos on Friday. They held placards which read: “We don’t have houses anymore. We will live here,” and “This is shame for Europe.”
The site was a scene of violence on Tuesday, when police used water cannon and teargas to push back refugees attempting to enter Hungary.
Milanovic said on Friday he has called a session of Croatia’s National Security Council. Interior Minister Ranko Ostojic told N1 Television that “it’s a matter of time” before Croatia closes all borders.
Columns of asylum seekers were expected to turn to Slovenia, however the Interior Ministry said on Friday that Slovenia does not intend to open a corridor for the refugees heading to Western Europe to pass through.
“At the moment we have no basis on which we could form a corridor,” Interior Ministry state secretary Bostjan Sefic told reporters.
All the banks everywhere will be open,” Deputy Finance Minister Dimitris Mardas told ERT television adding that bank customers “can deposit cash [and] they can transfer money from one account to the other.”
He also noted that if someone doesn’t want to take €60 on Monday and wants to take it on Tuesday, they can withdraw €120 or €180 on Wednesday. Banks in the country have been closed since June 29, after the Greek government imposed capital controls. On Thursday the ECB increased the cap on emergency funding that Greek lenders can draw from their domestic central bank by €900 million.
Following tough negotiations, Greece finally struck a preliminary rescue deal with its creditors on Monday, which is hoped, would help to prevent an imminent financial catastrophe.
#AceNewsReport – FRANCE:Exclusive Interview:June.14: While France is taking a hard anti-Russian stance due to the Ukrainian crisis, other European nations are busy signing new billion-dollar contracts with Russia, said Philippe Migault, a military expert from the French Institute of International and Strategic Affairs.
Since French companies don’t have access to the two main global arms markets – the United States and China – they face fierce competition for markets in the Middle East and Asia.
That is why voluntarily losing the Russian market, one of the most promising and emerging arms markets in the world, is a silly move on behalf of the French government, Migault told Sputnik France in an exclusive interview.
“We risk regretting this very soon,” the military expert said.
France had the opportunity to deliver two Mistral-class helicopter carriers to Russia; however, Paris complied with Washington’s pressure and decided to cancel the $1.3 billion contract.
France went against its own idea of economic patriotism, highly regarded during the current economic crisis, by abandoning the Mistral deal. Economic patriotism requires the support of exports and the protection of jobs, but France did the exact opposite by cancelling the arms deal
#AceBreakingNews – G7:June.07: The UK is to send an extra 125 military trainers to Iraq to help in the battle against Islamic State, the PM has said.David Cameron made the announcement at the G7 in Bavaria ahead of a meeting with the Iraqi prime minister on 8 June.
UK to send further 125 military trainers to help Iraqi soldiers in battle against Islamic State, PM announces http://t.co/NOV23UrCu0
#AceNewsReport – GERMANY:June.07: The crisis in Ukraine and the Greek economy are expected to top the agenda of the two-day G7 summit in southern Germany. However, the event has been overshadowed by mass demonstrations by anti-globalization protesters, who plan to hold more rallies.
“There is something of an international taboo over pointing the finger and stirring up concerns,” Cameron said in a statement on Friday, as cited by Reuters.
“At international summits, leaders meet to talk about aid, economic growth and how to keep our people safe. But we just don’t talk enough about corruption. This has got to change. We have to show some of the same courage that exposed FIFA and break the taboo.”
British PM David Cameron says Europe must stay united on sanctions against Russia over Ukraine conflict despite pain, Reuters reports.
“We need to make sure Europe remains united,” Cameron told reporters at the G7.
“It (sanctions) has an impact on all countries. (But) Britain hasn’t let our pre-eminence in financial services get in the way of taking a robust response to Russian-backed aggression and I don’t think other countries should either.”
The President of the European Council Donald Tusk says the G7 group would like to see Russia back at the forum’s table.
“We would all prefer to see Russia at the table of the forum so that it can become the G8 group. But our group is a community of values and that is why Russia is not with us today and will not be invited as long as it acts aggressively against Ukraine or other countries,” Tusk said in a press conference.
Meanwhile, it seems as though the protesters have reached the end of the line as they tried to make their way towards the Schloss Elmau hotel.
Ruptly producer Denise Reese, who is at the scene, says there is a relaxed atmosphere and there does not seem to be any hint of trouble at the moment. There are about 500 demonstrators present.
British Prime Minister David Cameron has arrived in Bavaria for the G7 summit. He plans to push EU officials to speed up negotiations to speed up a multi-billion dollar trade deal between the bloc and the US.
His intervention would come after the EU’s chief negotiator said in April that talks to clinch the so-called Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) would stretch into 2016.
British Prime Minister David Cameron (L) receives flowers from children during a welcoming ceremony at Munich airport, Germany, June 7, 2015. (Reuters / Lukas Barth)
“We launched this at a G8 that was ours in Lough Erne in 2013,” one British official told reporters, which was cited by Reuters. “That was over 700 days ago, and the prime minister feels we should be making swifter progress.”
Barack Obama and Angela Merkel meeting some of the locals.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel and U.S. President Barack Obama meet local inhabitants as they visit Kruen, southern Germany, June 7, 2015. (Reuters / Daniel Karmann / Pool)
Barack Obama said before the start of the G7 summit that leaders would discuss what they perceive to be Russian “aggression” in Ukraine, as well as the threats posed by extremism and climate change.
“So over the next two days in Schloss Elmau we’re going to discuss our shared future, the global economy that creates jobs and opportunity, maintaining a strong and prosperous European Union, forging new trade partnerships across the Atlantic, standing up to Russian aggression in Ukraine, combating threats from violent extremism to climate change,” Obama said, as cited by Reuters.
U.S. President Barack Obama toasts with beer as he visits Kruen, southern Germany, June 7, 2015. (Reuters / Hannibal Hanschk)
Before getting down to business, the US president managed to enjoy a traditional Bavarian lunch with the German Chancellor Angela Merkel.
Ruptly producer Denise Reese has been following the protesters on their march towards the Schloss Elmau hotel.
Demonstrators blocked a road leading to the Schloss Elmau hotel with a sit-down protest. This forced those attending the G7 summit to make the final stretch of their journey by helicopter, Reuters reports.
Bavarian police said on Twitter that 12 protesters had sat down in the road. After the police talked to them, seven of the demonstrators left voluntarily, while five were dragged away forcibly.
Meanwhile, protesters against the G7 summit said that police used a chemical substance on up to 400 people, a spokesperson for the Stop G7 movement told the Sputnik news agency. The spokesperson added that several people suffered injuries after the substance was emitted.
Freedom Outpost: Europe is known for its soccer fan clubs who are widely called “soccer hooligans.” These call themselves the GnuHonnters, a take on the English term “new hunters.” Their motto is: “Comrades in spirit. Many colors, but one entity.” It refers to the fact that they support different soccer clubs.
Now they are united under the banner “hooligans against [Islamic] Salafists” (HoGeSa) and they are fed up with the Muslim supremacy in Europe so on Sunday they decided to unite forces and demonstrate in Cologne Germany.
Clashes soon erupted between police forces and HoGeSa protesters were at least 13 officers were injured, the German news agency DPA reported.
#AceWorldNews – GENEVA – October 21 – Tens of thousands of doses of experimental Ebola vaccines could be available for “real-world” testing in West Africa as soon as January as long as they are deemed safe, a top World Health Organization official said Tuesday.
Dr Marie Paule Kieny, an assistant director general for WHO, said clinical trials that are either under-way or planned in Europe, Africa and the U.S. are expected to produce preliminary safety data on two vaccines by December.
#AceWorldNews – WASHINGTON – October 20 – The State Department is renewing its global terrorism alert for Americans travelling abroad, saying it sees a heightened risk of reprisal attacks from the Islamic State group and its supporters.
In a new “worldwide caution” issued on Friday, the department said terrorist groups continue to plot strikes against Americans and U.S. interests in Africa, Asia, Europe and the Middle East.
It said authorities believe there is “an increased likelihood” of reprisal attacks from Islamic State militants since the U.S. and its coalition partners launched military action against the group in Iraq and Syria.
The alert replaces an existing warning issued in April and also notes the growing threat of kidnapping perpetrated by terrorists.
#AceNewsServices – BRUSSELS VIEW – October 20 – Britain risks “alienating” friends in Europe by loose talk of migration curbs, the outgoing European Commission chief is to warn.
“It is an illusion to believe that space for dialogue can be created if the tone and substance of the arguments you put forward … offend fellow member states”, Jose Manuel Barroso is to say in a speech at the Chatham House think tank in London on Monday (20 October).
“It would be an historic mistake if on these issues Britain were to continue to alienate its natural allies in Central and Eastern Europe, when you were one of the strongest advocates for their accession”.
The speech describes EU freedom of movement as a “basic right, which cannot be decoupled from other single market freedoms”.
It also urges the British government to make the case for the EU ahead of an in/out referendum in 2017.
“This case is one which needs to be made nationally. It is now high time to get out there and dispel the illusions”.
Barroso’s speech comes amid a shrill debate on EU immigration in the UK.
The ruling Conservative Party wants to renegotiate Britain’s obligation to the EU treaty principle amid electoral gains by the anti-immigrant Ukip party.
British media report one idea is to cap the number of net migrants to 100,000 a year by limiting national insurance numbers issued to unskilled workers.
#AceNewsServices –UNITED STATES (Washington) – September 13 – While the Islamic State group is getting the most attention now, another band of extremists in Syria – a mix of hardened jihadis from Afghanistan, Yemen, Syria and Europe –
poses a more direct and imminent threat to the United States, working with Yemeni bomb-makers to target U.S. aviation, American officials say.
At the centre is a cell known as the Khorasan group, a cadre of veteran al-Qaida fighters from Afghanistan and Pakistan who travelled to Syria to link up with the al-Qaida affiliate there, the al-Nusra Front.
But the Khorasan militants did not go to Syria principally to fight the government of President Bashar Assad, U.S. officials say.
Instead, they were sent by al-Qaida leader Ayman al-Zawahiri to recruit Europeans and Americans whose passports allow them to board a U.S.-bound airliner with less scrutiny from security officials.
Known as Lashkar-e-Khorasan (LeKh), the group’s only purpose is to identify, capture and execute people allegedly working for what is described as a web of local spies created by the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA).
#AceWorldNews – GERMANY (Berlin) – September 12 – Germany has banned the Islamic State in order to prevent the militants from recruiting young jihadists in Germany or from using fighters returning to Europe to carry out attacks.
“The terrorist organization Islamic State is a threat to public safety in Germany as well,” Reuters quoted Interior Minister Thomas de Maiziere as saying.
Over 400 Germans have reportedly joined IS in Iraq and Syria and about 40 have died, some in suicide attacks.
More than 100 jihadists are back in Germany including “some with combat experience who have learned to hate,” the minister said.