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  1. #1071
    Biệt Thự Triển's Avatar
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    Sep 2011

    Spain imposes national Covid curfew as global infection cases soar

    Spain declared a national state of emergency Sunday to tackle a second coronavirus wave as the World Health Organization (WHO) reported a third straight day of record new infections around the world.

    France set a daily record of more than 50,000 Covid-19 cases, while Chinese officials began mass testing to cover 4.75 million residents in the far northwest after 137 new infections were discovered there.

    In the United States, which has the world's worst toll at around 225,000 deaths, challenger Joe Biden accused President Donald Trump's administration of waving "the white flag of defeat" after his chief of staff Mark Meadows said: "We are not going to control the pandemic."

    The WHO has warned that some countries are on a "dangerous track", with too many witnessing an exponential increase in cases, and called on authorities to take decisive action to curb the spread of the disease.

    The UN agency's figures showed that 465,319 cases were declared on Saturday alone, half of them in Europe, which it said was at an especially critical juncture with winter looming.

    Covid-19 has now claimed the lives of 1.1 million people and infected more than 42 million globally.

    WHO head Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus called for global solidarity in a future rollout of any vaccine, warning that "vaccine nationalism will prolong the pandemic, not shorten it."

    As the disease continued its relentless march across Europe, Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez announced the new state of emergency and overnight curfews across the entire country except for the Canary Islands.

    Spain was the first EU member state to pass the bleak milestone of one million cases and has been joined since by northern neighbour France.

    "The situation we are going through is extreme," Sanchez said.

    'It's going to destroy us'

    Italy -- the epicentre of the first European outbreak -- also ramped up restrictions on daily life, ordering the closure of theatres, cinemas and gyms and shutting bars and restaurants early.

    Governments are struggling to balance new restrictions against the need to revive economies already battered by earlier draconian lockdowns after the virus first emerged in the Chinese city of Wuhan late last year.

    But populations weary of social isolation and economic hardship have bristled at the tougher measures.

    "This is going to destroy us," Augusto D'Alfonsi, who owns the Torricella family-run fish restaurant in Rome, told AFP after the new measures were announced.

    "We've already lost 50 percent of our customers this year. Without government aid, we're done for."

    Dozens of far-right protesters in Rome clashed with riot police overnight during a demonstration against a curfew, setting off fireworks, burning bins and throwing projectiles.

    Police in Berlin also broke up a protest against curbs, and launched an arson investigation after an attack on a building that housed the public health agency.

    There has been opposition to tighter curbs in Spain as well, but some said they accepted the need for controls.

    "The curfew is good for those who are drinking in the street a lot lately, because at our age people go out a lot, they are uncontrolled and then what happens, happens," said 17-year-old student Juan Pelayo in the town of Valladolid.

    Pensioner Jose Benitez, 76, said in Barcelona: "It is beginning to worry me, because if I catch it at my age, I won't make it."

    'Screw this thing up'

    The United States remains the hardest-hit country on the planet, and on Saturday it set a daily record for new Covid-19 cases for the second straight day, at nearly 89,000, with a further surge expected as cold weather arrives.

    The virus has become a central issue ahead of the November 3 election, with Biden and Trump sparring over the president's handling of the pandemic.

    US Vice President Mike Pence's chief of staff tested positive for Covid-19 on Saturday, the latest in a list of figures connected to Trump's administration to do so.

    "The idea that somehow this White House has done anything but completely screw this thing up is nonsense," said Trump's predecessor Barack Obama, who hit the campaign trail on Saturday to campaign for Biden, his former deputy.

    After the US, the worst affected countries are Brazil, India, Mexico and Britain, while Colombia is the latest country to record one million confirmed coronavirus cases.

    The disease has not spared politicians, with Bulgaria's prime minister joining a growing list of leaders who have tested positive for coronavirus.

    Covid-19 is also hitting festive events.

    In Germany, Frankfurt became the latest city to cancel its traditional Christmas market.

    It usually attracts more than two million visitors who come to sip mulled wine, nibble on roasted chestnuts and shop for seasonal trinkets among a cluster of wooden chalets.


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  2. #1072
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    Sep 2011

    EU taps Chinese technology linked to Muslim internment camps in Xinjiang

    In the fight against coronavirus, the EU is using thermal cameras produced by Chinese tech giant Hikvision. The firm has been linked to the oppression of Uighurs and other Muslim minorities in China's Xinjiang province.

    Two EU institutions are using technology produced by China's Hikvision, a firm that has been accused of providing surveillance equipment to Muslim internment camps in the country's northwest Xinjiang province.

    Hikvision describes itself as "the world's leading video surveillance products supplier."

    The Chinese tech giant has its European base in the Netherlands and has not been subject to any EU sanctions or blacklist measures.

    Officials at the European Parliament and the European Commission acquired the company's thermal imaging cameras as part of the fight against the spread of the new coronavirus.

    The gadgets can detect a high temperature or fever, which is a common symptom of COVID-19.

    Anyone with a temperature of more than 37.7°C (99.86°F) is denied entry.

    Ministers, parliamentarians, senior diplomats, and staffers are asked to briefly stare into one of Hikvision's cameras as soon as they enter the buildings in question.

    Many will have been unaware they will come face to face with a firm accused of contributing to human rights abuses in China.

    Hikvision's thermal cameras are being used at the entrances of European Parliament

    Trump blacklisted Hikvision last year

    US President Donald Trump's administration decided to blacklist the Chinese company in October last year.

    Washington added Hikvision to what is known as the US Entity List, a register of companies believed to pose a threat to national security or US foreign policy interests.

    The move bans American companies from doing business with the firm without the government's approval.

    In return, Hikvision is effectively barred from buying American products or software.

    The Trump administration says the company has been "implicated in the implementation of China's campaign of repression, mass arbitrary detention and high-technology surveillance against Uighurs, Kazakhs, and other members of Muslim minority groups."

    The US also accuses the company of being linked to the Chinese military, a charge the tech giant denies.
    European Parliament, Commission turn to Hikvision

    The allegations surrounding Hikvision's business dealings in Xinjiang are in the public domain.

    Yet staff at the EU institutions acquired the company's thermographic cameras when they brought in new coronavirus safety measures to fight the pandemic.

    The cameras have been placed at entrances throughout the European Parliament.

    A DW journalist also saw similar Hikvision equipment installed at the European Commission's main offices, the Berlaymont and Charlemagne buildings, in the heart of the Belgian capital's European quarter.

    A Hikvision thermographic camera at the main entrance of the Berlaymont building, the European Commission's headquarters

    Two staffers, speaking on condition of anonymity, said the EU's executive arm will bring in more thermal screening hardware at other offices in the Belgian capital. The Commission has some 60 buildings in Brussels.

    A European Commission spokesperson, however, told DW that Hikvision equipment will not be used for the rest of the buildings.

    Hikvision has faced repeated accusations over its alleged links to brutal "re-education camps" in Xinjiang.

    A leaked German Foreign Ministry report, obtained by DW in January of this year, said an estimated 1 million Uighurs in China are being detained without trial.

    Ethnic Kazakhs, Kyrgyz, and members of other Muslim minority groups are also being imprisoned, the report said.

    In July this year, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo called the detention centers "concentration camps" — a term disputed by Beijing.

    This building, photographed in September 2018, is part of a detention center in Xinjiang

    These allegations were put to Hikvision, in which the Chinese government holds a 40% controlling stake via the state-owned China Electronics Technology Group Corporation.

    A Hikvision spokesperson, in an emailed statement to DW, said: "Hikvision takes all reports of human rights very seriously and recognizes our responsibility for protecting people. We have been engaging with governments globally to clarify misunderstandings about the company and address their concerns."

    Hikvision, however, did not comment on DW's specific questions on the company's reported connection to the detention centers and other security contracts with authorities in Xinjiang.

    A January 2020 report by the ethics council for the Norwegian government's pension fund said Hikvision signed five security and surveillance contracts in 2017 with the public authorities in Xinjiang worth more than €230 million ($273 million).

    They included tenders for surveillance technology at internment camps, the report said.

    It described another contract as providing "a network of around 35,000 cameras to monitor schools, streets and offices" and the "installation of facial recognition cameras at 967 mosques."

    The ethics council's report recommended divesting from the company due to "an unacceptable risk that Hikvision, through its operations in Xinjiang, is contributing to serious human rights abuses."

    Last month, Norges Bank, which manages the investments, said “the company is no longer in the fund's portfolio."

    Hikvision has said in the past that it has no access to any data processed by its hardware and no information is sent to Beijing.

    DW reported in February how technology is used to subject the Uighurs and other Muslim minorities to draconian methods of tracking and arrest.

    EU talks tough on China

    EU officials' use of Hikvision technology seems to be at odds with the bloc's own policy goals, given that it has been a repeated critic of China's human rights record.

    The European Parliament gave its annual human rights prize to Uighur activist Ilham Tohti in 2019, who has been jailed for life.

    On Sunday, his daughter Jewher tweeted that she had not had any contact with him for three years.

    European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen told Beijing at an EU-China summit in June that "human rights and fundamental freedoms are non-negotiable."

    European Council President Charles Michel, who chairs the regular meetings of EU leaders, has also been critical of Chinese repression.

    "We will not stop promoting respect for universal human rights, including those of minorities such as the Uighurs," the ex-Belgian PM said in a speech to the UN General Assembly last month.

    European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen and European Council President Charles Michel give an online press conference after the EU-China summit in June 2020

    EU urged to cut Hikvision ties

    German Green MEP Reinhard Bütikofer, who heads the European Parliament's China delegation, said that DW's revelations of the use of Hikvision technology were "extremely disturbing."

    "It points to a shameful lack of due diligence in procurement," he told DW in a telephone interview. "Hikvision is a tech company that is deeply complicit in the terrible oppression of the Uighur people in Xinjiang which borders on genocide."

    Bütikofer said EU officials should "immediately create transparency and draw the adequate consequences: i.e. sever any direct or indirect business relationship with Hikvision."

    Charlie Weimers, a Swedish MEP from the European Conservatives and Reformists group, said: "The EU should have no dealings whatsoever with a Chinese firm that is alleged to be involved in some of the most abhorrent human rights abuses in the world."

    "Nobel Prize winners should adhere to a higher standard," he added.

    In 2012, the EU won the Nobel Peace Prize for its contribution to "peace and reconciliation, democracy and human rights."

    Question marks over EU procurement

    DW has been unable to locate any public tenders for the equipment on the EU's procurement websites.

    Parliamentary insiders, who work on the European Parliament's budget committee, also say there is no trace of them in any public EU records.

    Internal rules say that contracts can be kept secret if they are linked to "special security measures."

    The European Parliament and the European Commission were asked to provide the documents linked to the hardware's acquisition.

    Officials at both institutions did not provide them by the time of publication.

    Given that neither Hikvision, nor its European subsidiaries, have been blacklisted by the EU, there is no suggestion of any illegality.

    "The equipment is neither connected to Parliament's IT network, nor registers any data," said a European Parliament spokesperson in a written response to DW.

    The spokesperson declined to confirm if Hikvision technology was being used in Brussels.

    When DW provided photos of the cameras, she said: "We cannot comment further on anything related to security."

    A spokesperson for the European Commission, in a written statement to DW, has since said the cameras were "purchased under an existing framework contract."

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  3. #1073
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    Sep 2011

    Ba Lan là nơi khai phóng nền dân chủ thoát khỏi ách cộng sản của toàn cõi Đông Âu. Khối Warsaw tan rã. Liên Xô tan rã. Những năm gần đây, nhờ gia nhập EU mà Ba Lan có những bước dài thịnh vượng về kinh tế. Nhưng chính trị đi dần về hướng độc tài. Phía sau sự độc tài có hệ thống là một thành trì tư pháp chuyên môn phục vụ cho chính phủ. Nếu so sánh với các quốc gia cộng sản thì không khác gì cả, khi tòa án tối cao không phục vụ cho dân chúng mà phục vụ cho đảng phái chính trị, chính phủ. Xóa dần nền dân chủ lành mạnh và cuộc sống tự do mọi mặt của nước này.

    Poland's churches become sites of protest amid abortion row

    For the first time in Catholic Poland, people are protesting in churches. There has also been pandemonium in parliament. The unrest comes after the Constitutional Court decided to tighten abortion laws.

    Protests against the tightening of abortion legislation have a long tradition in Poland — but never before has the country seen protesters enter churches and disrupt services. At the weekend, 20 young men and women held a sit-down protest in front of the altar of a church in Poznan, chanting and holding up banners. The disruption was so massive that the priest broke off the Mass.

    Catholic Church under fire

    Protesters holding banners that read "You have blood on your hands," "Women's hell" and "Let us pray for the right to abortion" also tried to enter churches in other cities. Several church buildings, including the cathedral in Warsaw, were spray-painted with slogans such as "Abortion is okay" and "Abortion without borders." In Poznan and a Warsaw suburb, memorials to Pope John Paul II were desecrated — an extraordinary act in view of the fact that he is a kind of national saint for many Polish people even today.

    Wroclaw has also seen large protests in front of churches

    Every day, thousands of people have been taking to the streets in a wave of protests triggered by a Constitutional Court decision last week to tighten Poland's abortion laws. The move came at the request of a group of right-wing conservative members of parliament who wanted to avoid going through parliament and turned directly to the Constitutional Court instead.

    It was to be expected that the constitutional judges would rule in the interests of the government and thus the interests of the Catholic Church. The court has for years been in the hands of judges loyal to the national conservative PiS government who were appointed as part of a judicial reform that the EU has long criticized as undermining democracy in Poland.

    'This is war'

    Up to now, abortion has been legal in Poland if the mother's health was at risk, in case of severe fetal defects and when a pregnancy was brought about by rape. Under the new law, terminations will be banned even if a fetus has a severe congenital defect.

    The judges argued that abortions would violate the protection of life enshrined in the constitution. Fetal defects were the reason given for most of the approximately 1,000 legal abortions performed in Poland every year. The court ruling thus practically outlaws abortion.

    It has met with fierce criticism. It is a "shameful political judgment dictated by right-wing fundamentalists," a "war against women," said the Akcja Demokracja (Action Democracy) non-governmental organization. In the past, it had already collected 200,000 signatures against tougher abortion legislation.

    Many demonstrators have carried banners proclaiming "This is war."

    Far right backs church

    Ultra-right groups have said they will create a "national guard" to protect the Catholic Church and church buildings from riots.

    "The left-wing groups say it is a war. We are taking part in this war," said Robert Bakiewicz, head of a radical nationalist association named Marsz Niepodleglosci (Independence March).

    Police have been out in force at the protests

    We are "in the middle of a neo-Bolshevik revolution," he said on Monday in front of a church in Warsaw. "The time for peace and tolerance for barbarians is over."

    That same church saw clashes between demonstrators and right-wing radicals on Sunday when the latter blocked the entrance to the church and tried to drive protesters from the church steps. On Monday evening, police stood guard at the entrance to another church in Warsaw where hundreds of protesters had gathered with whistles, drums and banners. A group of right-wing radicals stood behind the police officers, also aiming to protect the church. In the future, they say, want to be active everywhere as part of the planned "national guard."

    "We will defend every church, every residential area, every town and village," Bakiewicz said.

    Protest in parliament

    On Tuesday, the sixth straight day of demonstrations, the protests reached parliament when the left-liberal opposition criticized the harsh court decision and blocked the lectern.

    Lawmakers held up banners calling for the legalization of abortion. Some had brought wire coat hangers, which have for years been regarded as a symbol for drastic abortion methods in the country. Security guards surrounded the deputy prime minister and PiS leader, Jaroslaw Kaczynski, as the situation began to get out of hand. The TVP state TV broadcaster described the opposition's protest as "left-wing fascism that is destroying Poland."

    Poland, people say, is currently mired in a culture clash between liberalism and conservatism. Agata Bielik-Robson, a Polish philosopher and publicist, argued in an interview with Newsweek Polska that the ruling PiS is looking to find new enemy stereotypes because the last government crisis left it weakened.

    Thousands have been taking to the streets every day

    "There are new elements of the culture war that are currently attracting all radical forces," Bielik-Robson said, naming them as the fight against gender theory, against LGBTQ+ and against abortion and against alleged "elements of the civilization of death" that come from the liberal West.

    The Constitutional Court's ruling gives the Catholic Church, the ruling PiS and other right-wing conservative parties most of what they have been advocating for many years on the issue of abortion. And this is despite the fact that in opinion polls, the vast majority of Polish society has repeatedly spoken out against tightening abortion legislation.

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  4. #1074
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    Sep 2011

    Quốc hội Phần Lan thảo luận về công xúc tu sỉ và quyền tư ẩn điện tử: bỏ bót kẻ nào phát tán hình ảnh khiêu dâm, tình dục, không có sự đồng ý của đối tượng, người nhận.

    In Finland, sexting could become a crime

    Sending unsolicited sexual photos could earn you jail time, under a reform being debated in Finland's parliament. Lawmakers argue non-consensual sexting is equivalent to unwanted physical contact.

    Six months in prison would certainly take the sexiness out of showing off your privates to an unwilling recipient. Finnish parliamentarians debating a reform of the country's sexual harassment laws are considering whether sending sexual content without permission should be classified as a crime equal to unwanted physical contact, which currently can be punished with fines or jail time.

    A main target of the proposed changes: Unsolicited "dick pics," the crudely-nicknamed genre of genital selfies often disseminated without an invitation.

    Matching #MeToo gains

    Social Democratic lawmaker Matias Mäkynen says it's a no-brainer to change the law. "Sexual harassment is sexual harassment [whether] you grab someone inappropriately or if you talk inappropriately or if you send a picture inappropriately," he told DW. "It's not about the format or the way you are harassing, but that you are acting in a way that that hurts other people."

    Finnish parliamentarian Matias Mäkynen wants tough measures against sending unsolicited sexual material

    Mäkynen is on the parliamentary legal affairs committee and says legislation must evolve with technology. "The internet and social media have changed the way people are harassed and how people are becoming victims of different crimes," he said. "This is partially a result of the 'MeToo' discussion and everything that has been discussed internationally for years." It's expected the outcome of the consultative process will be presented to the government within the next few months and then would need parliamentary approval.

    Perpetrators could face fines or jail time under proposed changes to Finland's sexual harassment laws

    German lawmakers recently approved harsher penalties for those who film or photograph a woman's neckline or under her skirt without consent. Under the legislation passed by the lower house of the German parliament, the crime will be punishable by a fine or a prison sentence of up to two years.

    Would criminalization of intimate photos change anything?

    Medical student Kia Kivisilta has volunteered for years as a counselor for teens in Helsinki schools and welcomes the added protection she feels the possibility of prosecution would provide.

    "This should be done — definitely, and as soon as possible," Kivisilta told DW. "I don't know anyone who has not gotten [inappropriate photos] — literally every one of us has gotten at least one. So it's a bit scary." The 24-year-old says she has on occasion confronted an uninvited sender but she knows she's the exception. "Someone who is 12 or 15 will never do that because they don't have the courage," she said.

    Like Mäkynen, Kivisilta considers sexual harassment on social media to be the equivalent of the unwanted touching she herself has experienced on a city bus, but she's concerned that far too many people her age and younger find it normal, even though Finnish schools teach students otherwise. "If it would be criminalized," she said, "then it would be shown to the kids more strongly that this is not okay."

    Kivisilta says, however, she doesn't think the women she knows would decide to prosecute those who send offensive photos, rather than just deleting the material. She thinks teens will fear being blamed themselves for somehow inviting the unwanted attention.

    Kivisilta's partner Timothy Colangelo, an IT expert who has also helped counsel foreign students in Finland, hoped tougher laws would be a deterrent to those perpetrators who now "feel protected because it's anonymous enforcement cannot do anything because it's a privacy issue."

    Outing abusers? There's an app for that

    But outside the realm of law enforcement, outraged recipients already have the power to do their own exposing. In 2017, Swedish app developer Per Axbom said he'd had enough. "I saw the opportunity to empower recipients of dick pics and shift the power balance between the parties," he wrote at the time. He created the "Dick Pic Locator" app to extract photos' metadata in case those who receive the explicit material want to make it public.

    "Whereas I see lots of reasons why it would be important to protect the possibility of being anonymous," Axbom explained, "this is not one of them."

    Mäkynen said that in a public comment period which just ended, no one spoke against the proposed changes on the harassment laws. "I don't see any way that this this wouldn't happen," he said. He hopes other European countries follows Helsinki's lead.

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  5. #1075
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    Sep 2011

    "Lockdown light" - vào cửa hẹp để mưu cầu sinh tồn.

    Will Germany go into lockdown?

    The German government had hoped to avoid a second standstill of the country's society and economy. But with rapidly rising coronavirus cases, a U-turn seems likely.

    German Chancellor Angela Merkel has not hidden her deep concern about the swiftly increasing coronavirus infection rates in Germany. On Wednesday, the chancellor will meet the premiers of Germany's 16 states in a video conference to discuss the situation.

    Ahead of the meeting, Merkel's spokesman Steffen Seibert said they would look at what the federal government and the states could do together in order to break the worrying trend. Everyone was aware that "every day counts."

    In almost pleading tones, Merkel used her video podcast at the weekend to call upon Germans to keep their distance from each other, reduce all contact and stop traveling. On Monday at a meeting of her party, the center-right Christian Democrats, she described the situation as "highly dynamic" and "dramatic." Germany could soon be in a "difficult position" with regards to the number of intensive care beds, she added.

    On Tuesday the country's disease control agency, the Robert Koch Institute, reported 11,400 new cases — one of the highest daily counts since the pandemic began.

    Merkel plans 'lockdown light'

    According to the German tabloid daily Bild, Merkel will propose a type of "lockdown light" at Wednesday's meeting. Bars and restaurants would have to close as they did in the spring and large events would be banned. Schools and kindergartens would only be closed in areas with extremely high infection rates.

    This would fit with what Vice-Chancellor and Finance Minister Olaf Scholz said on Tuesday: Additional measures are now necessary to curb the wave of infections.

    "And they should be uniformly put in place across Germany and comprehensible for everyone," said Scholz.

    Recently the swathe of variable rules in each state has caused a feeling of uncertainty across the country.
    'The smouldering fire has become a burning stove'

    Berlin-based physicist Dirk Brockmann, who uses mathematical models to examine how infections spread, stressed the seriousness of the situation. "The smoldering embers of the summer have reignited to become a stovetop on fire that we have to bring back under control," he told DW.

    Calculations make a lockdown seem inevitable

    He also believes it is very likely that people in Germany will have to get used to further strict restrictions. "Depending on the political decisions, we need to put in place another lockdown. The infection curves of every neighboring country show that this is the only way to get our infection curve under control and force a drop in new cases." The restrictions up until now, for example, a partial curfew in Berlin, have not curbed infection rates.

    "We can make the comparison with Israel, where the second wave of infections began and then authorities tried a light lockdown — but it did not work," Brockmann added. "Only with a very strict, very short but nationwide lockdown can the numbers be brought down."

    People prepare for a lockdown

    Leading virologists, epidemiologists, and other scientists who have advised the German government through the pandemic openly support the idea of a second, moderate lockdown. The experts have been unanimous: Without a lockdown, the already exponential rise in coronavirus infections will be unstoppable.

    Scientists believe it is likely that next week will see the daily infection rate reach 20,000 people. Scarcely two weeks ago, when infection rates stood at just over 2,000, Chancellor Merkel had warned that Germany could see 19,000 daily cases by Christmas — and was accused of fear-mongering by her critics.

    People in Germany appear to expect further restrictions. According to a survey by the German Press Agency, around two-thirds of those polled expect businesses, restaurants and schools to once more close because of the high number of cases.

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  6. #1076
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    Sep 2011

    30 ngày phép?

    24 Giờ Phép - Đan Nguyên

    Germany to impose one-month partial lockdown

    German Chancellor Angela Merkel has announced tough new measures from Monday, November 2, in an attempt to curb the spread of the coronavirus pandemic. But will the German people be compliant?

    German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Germany's state premiers announced on Wednesday a new partial lockdown to begin on Monday, November 2.

    The so-called nationwide "lockdown light" is a less intense version of the measures that brought German society and economic activity to a standstill in the spring.

    Shortly after Merkel's announcement, French President Emmanuel Macron announced a new lockdown across France.

    New restrictions for the next month

    • Restaurants and bars will close, except for take-away
    • Large events will be canceled again
    • Unnecessary travel is strongly discouraged
    • Overnight stays in hotels for tourist purposes is banned
    • All those who can work from home should do so and employers should ease a transition into working from home
    • Meetings in public will be restricted to just two households of up to 10 people total.
    • Entertainment facilities such as theaters and cinemas will be closed
    • Public recreation centers such as swimming pools, gyms and saunas will be closed
    • No crowds at sports events

    What is allowed

    • Schools and kindergartens will remain open
    • Church services and protests will be allowed to continue due to constitutional concerns
    • Nursing home residents will be allowed to receive visitors
    • Shops will remain open, with one customer allowed per 10 square meters (108 square feet)
    • Borders remain open

    'Serious situation'

    Merkel said in a press conference: "We are in a very serious situation."

    "We must act, and now, to avoid an acute national health emergency."

    She said the number of people in intensive care units has doubled in the past 10 days, and that in many areas it was no longer possible to track and trace infection chains. In 75% of cases, the source of infection is unknown.

    "If infections continue at this rate, we will be at the limits of the capacities of our health system," she said.

    "That is why this is a difficult day today, also for political decision-makers, I want to say this explicitly because we know what we are putting people through," she said.

    State and federal leaders will meet again in two weeks to assess if the new measures are having enough of an effect, and recalibrate if needed.

    Business support

    Merkel promised that firms hit by the new measures would receive economic support. Companies with up to 50 employees and the self-employed will receive 75% of their income in support.

    "We will compensate affected companies, institutions and clubs," she said.

    According to media reports, a total of €10 billion ($11.8 billion) has been earmarked for support.

    Larger companies will be reliant on EU rules for assistance and this will vary from company to company.

    Emergency loans will be made available for self-employed workers such as artists and stage hands, while small businesses with less than 10 employees will gain access to very cheap loans.

    Public mood

    Until now, Merkel's government has enjoyed high levels of support for the measures put in place to tackle the pandemic and Germany has fared relatively well compared to many of its European neighbors.

    But public mood has been shifting and criticism among the population of government-ordained measures is on the rise.

    Wednesday saw Germany's highest rate of new daily infections yet — over 14,000 — and the latest figures show that only around 25% of Germany's intensive care beds are still available.

    Mounting dissatisfaction

    Compared to the beginning of October, 5% more people now say that the measures currently in place do not go far enough (32% in total), according to the statistics agency Infratest. At the same time, the number of people for whom the measures go too far increased by 4% to 15% of people in total. A slim majority (51%) feel that the current measures are sufficient, but this number is 8% less than at the start of October.

    Some of those who vehemently oppose further restrictions are fearful of the economic impact. Many Berlin restaurant owners, for example, have said they would probably have to close down their business if faced with a second lockdown. They have already seen losses after the closure in the spring, followed by rules that forced them to adhere to social distancing regulations and then the curfew imposed last month.

    Several news outlets also reported that financing the new measures would push the amount of debt Germany was in for 2021 well over €100 billion ($117 billion). Finance Minister Olaf Scholz had planned a sum of €96 billion to help businesses ride out the pandemic next year, but the new aid package could cost €10 billion more.

    The opposition pro-business liberal Free Democrats have spoken out against another shutdown of the hospitality sector. "I believe it is unnecessary and unconstitutional," party leader Christian Lindner wrote on Twitter before Wednesday's meeting.

    'Lockdown fantasies'

    For many in Germany, the question of individual freedom is at least as important as a thriving economy. Leaders of the far-right Alternative for Germany (AfD), which is the largest opposition party in the German federal parliament, have been among those the most widely critical of further restrictions.

    "No measures — including lockdowns — have had a demonstrable influence on the infection rate, but the lockdown fantasies of government politicians are becoming increasingly absurd," the AfD parliamentary leader Alexander Gauland said in a statement on Tuesday.
    Germany has seen anti-lockdown protests in recent months, with some groups protesting under the banner of "Querdenker" — people who "think outside the box." A demonstration in Berlin at the weekend coincided with an arson attack on the Robert Koch Institute, Germany's public health agency — although no suspects have yet been identified.

    Protesters espousing conspiracy theories and far-right groups have joined the demonstrations, drawing criticism and ridicule from the left and more liberal quarters. But surveys show that there is a growing number of people critical of restrictions, who believe that fighting the virus should be a question of personal responsibility. The most recent survey shows that a narrow majority of Germans agree with this view: 54% compared to 43% who say authorities should put restrictions in place.

    Berlin vs. the states

    As Germany is governed by a federal system, one of the key questions during the pandemic response has been how much of a say the central government in Berlin should have, as health policy is the mandate of the 16 states. This has led to a "patchwork" of regulations across the country, with travel bans or curfews in some places and no restrictions in others. The new lockdown measures are designed to counter this.

    The most recent survey shows over two thirds (68%) of people want regulations to be unified across the 16 states. Additionally, 78% said they wanted the states to "work more closely together" in pandemic response.

    There have been calls for the parliaments at federal and state levels to be involved in decision-making, with MPs from all political parties speaking out against decision-making behind closed doors.

    A European role model?

    Despite the increasing infection rates, Germany still stands on good ground compared to other European countries. Even with the high daily infection figures seen in late October, in terms of cases per 100,000 inhabitants Germany remains well below rates in Switzerland, the Czech Republic and Belgium.

    France and the UK are among the countries that have introduced partial or localized lockdowns in recent weeks in an effort to curb the number of cases. Germany is hoping to take action before cases reach the rates seen there, in two of the worst-affected nations in the world.

    Germany's relatively strong acceptance of measures up until now may have been key in the low infection and death rates. But surveys show that 50% of Germans believe that efforts by police and authorities to enforce the restrictions have not gone far enough.

    The challenge is to make sure the German people accept the new measures — and to enforce them. Relying on goodwill and compliance, as the chancellor called for in her most recent video podcast, may not go far enough.

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    Last edited by Triển; 10-28-2020 at 09:40 PM.

  7. #1077
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    Sep 2011

    "Giải ngân trang": tuyệt thực!

    EU Parliament member begins hunger strike for financial transaction tax

    The French politician is demanding the EU to levy a "real" financial transaction tax, which could fund health and social programs. Similar taxes have been proposed before, but they have all failed to be put into action.

    French European Parliament member Pierre Larrouturou went on a hunger strike Wednesday to demand better allocation of funds for health and social affairs.

    "I will stay in Parliament day and night without food," Larrouturou told AFP.

    In a tweet, Larrouturou said he was trying to "put pressure on [German Chancellor Angela] Merkel and [French President Emmanuel] Macron." He said his goal "is not to die but to avoid millions of deaths."

    In the tweet, he added a link to the Climate and Jobs Pact, which calls for a tax on financial transactions so that the European Union (EU) can fulfill its aims in climate protection and health policy.

    "It is obscene to hear that there is no money for health, the climate, employment, while financial markets have never done so well," wrote Larrouturou, who heads the Nouvelle Donne (New Deal) political party.


    Larrouturou said the tax would make it possible to pay off the debts from the €750 billion ($881 billion) EU coronavirus recovery fund that was passed over the summer. In the agreement, the EU heads of government introduced a similar financial transaction tax, but without a concrete timetable. Discussions on such a tax have been going on for several years without success.

    kbd/sri (AFP, dpa)

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  8. #1078
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    Sep 2011

    Lại cắt cổ. Nước Pháp ơi tui phẫn nộ và chia buồn cùng các bạn.

    France attack: Three stabbed to death in 'Islamist terrorist attack'

    Three people have died in a knife attack at a church in Nice, in what French President Emmanuel Macron said was an "Islamist terrorist attack".

    He said France would not surrender its core values after visiting the Notre-Dame basilica in the southern city. Thousands of troops are being deployed to protect churches and schools.

    In Nice, one elderly victim was "virtually beheaded", officials said. Another woman and a man also died.

    A male suspect was shot and detained.

    Anti-terror prosecutors have opened an investigation into the attack and France has raised its national security alert to its highest level.

    French media are quoting sources close to the investigation as saying the attacker was a 21-year-old Tunisian migrant, however the authorities have not provided any details.

    Nice Mayor Christian Estrosi spoke of "Islamo-fascism" and said the suspect had "repeated endlessly 'Allahu Akbar' (God is greatest)".

    Two other attacks took place on Thursday, one in France and one in Saudi Arabia.

    A man was shot dead in Montfavet near the southern French city of Avignon after threatening police with a handgun.

    Separately, a guard was attacked outside the French consulate in Jeddah in Saudi Arabia. A suspect was arrested and the guard taken to hospital.

    Speaking after visiting Nice on Thursday, President Macron said: "If we are attacked once again it is for the values which are ours: the freedom, for this possibility on our soil to believe freely and not to give in to any spirit of terror.

    "I say it with great clarity once again today: we won't surrender anything."

    Reuters - President Macron (third from left) has promised a crackdown on Islamic extremism in France

    Meanwhile, Mr Estrosi compared the attack to the recent murder of teacher Samuel Paty, who was beheaded close to his school outside Paris earlier this month.

    Police have not suggested a motive for the attack in Nice. However, it follows days of protests in some Muslim-majority countries triggered by President Macron's defence of the publication of cartoons that depicted the Prophet Mohammed. There have been calls in some countries for a boycott of French goods.

    What is known about the attack in Nice?

    Two of those who died were attacked inside the church, the elderly woman and a man who was found with his throat cut, reports said.

    A woman managed to flee to a nearby cafe after being stabbed several times, but died later.

    EPA - The suspect was detained minutes after the attack at the basilica

    It later emerged that a witness had managed to raise the alarm with a special protection system set up by the city.

    Chloe, a witness who lives near the church, told the BBC: "We heard many people shouting in the street. We saw from the window that there were many, many policemen coming, and gunshots, many gunshots."

    Tom Vannier, a journalism student who arrived at the scene just after the attack, told the BBC that people were crying on the street.

    Four years ago Nice was the scene of another terror attack, when a Tunisian drove a truck into crowds celebrating Bastille Day on 14 July, killing 86 people.

    Getty Images - Police say the attack happened shortly after 09:00

    Disorientated and frightened

    The terrorist threat level in France is as high now as it was in 2015-16, the terrible days of Charlie Hebdo, Bataclan, the Nice lorry-killer and the murder of Father Hamel in his church in Rouen. Things were bad enough then - and many more people died in those attacks. So why does this outbreak of Islamist violence feel somehow more scary?

    One reason must be the symbolism of the Samuel Paty beheading. That a simple history teacher could be murdered - and not randomly but actually selected for murder - has been deeply unsettling for French people. Likewise the targeting today of Christian worshippers in Nice.

    But it is also the context: the instant logic of action-response that followed President Macron's robust defence of secularism at Samuel Paty's memorial 10 days ago. All it took was a speech, then there were the threats, then there were the deaths.

    With a new Covid lockdown providing an eerie backdrop to these events, small wonder the French are feeling disoriented and frightened.

    What has the reaction been?

    A minute's silence was held in the National Assembly, where Prime Minister Jean Castex had just been giving details of the Covid-19 lockdown measures coming into force on Thursday night.

    Announcing the raising of the "vigipirate" national security alert system to its highest level, Mr Castex said the Nice attack was "as cowardly as it is barbaric".

    The French Council of the Muslim Faith condemned the knife attack and spoke of its solidarity with the victims and their families.

    British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, tweeting in English and French, said the UK stood "steadfastly" with France.

    Turkey, which has seen ties with France sour in recent days over remarks by Mr Macron, strongly condemned the "savage" knife attack.

    Vatican spokesman Matteo Bruni said the killings had "brought death to a place of love and consolation".

    He said Pope Francis had been informed of the situation and was "close to the mourning Catholic community".

    What's the context?

    Thursday's attack has echoes of another attack earlier this month near a school north-west of Paris. Samuel Paty, who was a teacher in Conflans-Sainte-Honorine, was beheaded days after showing controversial cartoons of the Prophet Muhammad to some of his pupils.

    The murder has heightened tensions in France and the government's attempt to crack down on radical Islam has angered Turkey and other countries.

    Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan was among those calling for a boycott of French goods.

    The situation worsened after a cartoon on Mr Erdogan appeared in the satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo.

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  9. #1079
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    Sep 2011

    Bovid nhức đầu.

    'Wrong direction': rising UK COVID-19 cases increase pressure for change

    LONDON (Reuters) - COVID-19 infections are rising so persistently in the United Kingdom that unless something can be done to reduce infections, the “reasonable worst case” scenario of 80,000 dead could be exceeded, scientists said on Friday.

    Britain has recorded more than 20,000 new coronavirus cases a day on average over the last week, but the government has resisted a new national lockdown even as France and Germany reintroduce country-wide restrictions.

    British government scientists said that numbers were heading in the “wrong direction”.

    They said the “reasonable worst case” planning scenario for the winter of reaching 500 deaths a day and a toll of over 80,000 is in danger of being exceeded unless infection numbers are cut, according to papers published by the government’s science advisers on Friday.

    In the paper, dated Oct. 14, advisers said that the exceeding of the worst case scenario might continue for three or four weeks if infections were brought down. But since then, they have risen further.

    New COVID-19 cases in England increased by around 51,900 each day last week, up nearly 50% on the week before, an official survey said on Friday. [L8N2HL5C2]

    That suggested that the incidence of new infections was still rising steeply and had not levelled off, in contrast to the previous week’s survey.

    “The UK was one of the hardest hit countries in the world in the first wave. It would be particularly tragic if we repeat this experience,” Professor James Naismith of the University of Oxford said, adding that the figures suggest 1% of the population of Engalnd had COVID-19.

    The “R” number was 1.1-1.3, down from 1.2-1.4, the UK’s Government Office for Science said. That means on average every 10 people infected will infect between 11 and 13 other people.

    Though the dip in reproduction “R” number showed that local measures were having an effect, government scientists caution that numbers of infections will not fall unless it is brought below 1.

    Foreign minister Dominic Raab said on Friday said a national lockdown in England was not inevitable as he restated his faith in the government’s localised approach.

    “We’ve seen some evidence since we started putting in place this tiered approach that the rate of increase has slowed,” Raab told BBC TV.

    The government has adopted a three-tiered system of restrictions for local areas. On Friday the government said West Yorkshire would enter the top tier of restrictions from Monday. Scotland, Wales and North Ireland run their own policies on fighting the pandemic.

    Adding to Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s headaches, a poll by Ipsos MORI indicated falling support for the government. It found that the opposition Labour party had overtaken Johnson’s Conservatives, with Johnson himself recording his lowest net satisfaction as prime minister.

    Labour were on 42%, with the Conservatives on 37%.

    Reporting by Alistair Smout and Paul Sandle; Editing by Angus MacSwan


  10. #1080
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    Sep 2011

    Biểu tình vì tự do ... thân thể.

    Thousands in Warsaw join biggest protest so far against abortion ruling

    By Alicja Ptak, Alan Charlish

    WARSAW (Reuters) - Tens of thousands of Poles joined a march in Warsaw on Friday, the biggest in nine days of protests against a ruling by the country’s top court last week that amounted to a near-total ban on abortion in the predominantly Catholic nation.

    Defying strict rules that restrict gatherings to five people during the coronavirus pandemic, demonstrators walked through central Warsaw streets carrying black umbrellas, a symbol of abortion rights protests in Poland, and banners that read “I think, I feel, I decide” or “God is a woman”.

    Military police lined the streets, some of in riot gear, as the demonstration began.

    Organisers and the city of Warsaw said some 100,000 people took part, one of the largest protest gatherings in years, following a Constitutional Court ruling on Oct. 22 outlawing abortions due to foetal defects. It ended the most common of the few legal grounds left for abortion in Poland and set the country further apart from Europe’s mainstream.

    Daily protests have taken place across the country in the past week, and have turned into an outpouring of anger against five years of nationalist Law and Justice (PiS) rule and the Roman Catholic church, which is an ally of the government.

    Far-right groups which support the court ruling also turned out in small gatherings in Warsaw on Friday, and TV footage showed police clashing with them to keep one group away from the protesters.

    The leader of the abortion rights movement in Poland, Marta Lempart, told activists to report any attacks and to resist any threats of prosecution or fines for taking part. “We are doing nothing wrong by protesting and going out on the streets,” she told a news conference.

    After the ruling goes into effect, women will only be able to terminate a pregnancy legally in the case of rape, incest or a threat to their health.

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