Browsing: European News

‘British tourists have been forced to sleep on sun loungers after two aftershocks struck the Greek island of Kos.

Thousands of holidaymakers fled into the streets as two aftershocks rocked the holiday destination.

A 4.4 magnitude tremor struck Saturday night at 8.09pm local time (6.09pm GMT), followed by a 4.6 magnitude shock 16 minutes later, according to the Athens Geodynamics Institute.

The first one was closest to the island, 13 miles to the northeast at a depth of 6 miles.

The tremors come as visitors still recover from the shock of a 6.7 magnitude quake that struck in the early hours of Friday morning. The tremor at just after 20.09 local time lasted for less than 10 seconds causing hotel rooms to shake and followed a series of smaller tremors.’

Read more: British tourists are forced to sleep on sun loungers hours after fleeing into the streets of Kos after TWO big aftershocks hit following killer earthquake 

‘Major German print publications have played to the tune of the German government in presenting the migrant crisis to the public, ignoring critical issues in their coverage of the biggest refugee flow into Europe since WWII, a new German study revealed.

After analysis of thousands of articles published in Germany between February 2015 and March 2016, researchers at the Hamburg Media School and the University of Leipzig found that major German publications failed to objectively cover the refugee crisis.

The report is available on the website of the Otto Brenner Foundation. According to German media, the full study will be officially published on Monday.

The investigation accuses mainstream newspapers such as Bild, Die Welt, the Sueddeutsche Zeitung, and the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, of being in lockstep with German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s refugee policy.’

Read more: German media failed to objectively report refugee crisis, sided with government agenda – study

‘German carmakers Volkswagen, Audi, Porsche, BMW and Daimler secretly worked together from the 1990s onwards on issues including polluting emissions from diesel vehicles, news magazine Der Spiegel reported Friday.

Volkswagen, facing tens of billions of dollars in compensation and fines after admitting to manipulating diesel emissions in 2015, reported the cartel to German competition authorities in a letter seen by the weekly, as did Mercedes-Benz maker Daimler.

“The German car industry agreed in secret working groups about technology in their vehicles, costs, suppliers, markets, strategies and even about the emissions treatment of their diesel vehicles,” the magazine reported.

Such cooperation between all of the country’s large car manufacturers could have included “behaviour infringing antitrust law,” according to the Volkswagen letter.

A spokesman for Volkswagen – which owns Audi and Porsche – told AFP Friday that the group would not comment on “speculation and conjecture.”‘

Read more: German car giants formed cartel to secretly collude on diesel emissions: report

‘More than 100 refugee minors remain missing after being smuggled into the UK illegally from France during the last 12 months, the Independent has learned, warning of potential sexual abuse of children by their smugglers.

Out of 167 children that were trafficked from France to the UK since last August, 104 minors remain missing, the Independent reported, citing figures provided by the Refugee Youth Service (RYS), a Calais-based charity.

Months after the Calais ‘Jungle’ was bulldozed by French authorities in October 2016, refugees, including unaccompanied minors, are still arriving on the banks of the English Channel, hoping to reach the UK. In response, Britain has scrapped the Dubs Amendment, allowing for the resettlement of 3,000 unaccompanied minors.’

Read more: Over 100 missing minors from Calais could be subjected to sexual abuse – report

‘While U.S. President Donald Trump was on a visit to France for the national Bastille Day celebrations in Paris, clashes in the capital’s migrant-dominated suburbs saw 13 security force members wounded and 897 cars burned.

The Interior Ministry said 368 people were placed in custody for riots and violence on the nights of 13 and 14 July — scenes which have become a regular occurrence in multicultural urban neighbourhoods of Paris at the start of Bastille Day celebrations each year.

“It is thanks to the large mobilisation of our security forces that there has been a significant reduction of the number of violent incidents, especially those involving fighting on the streets, committed on the fringes of the July 14 festivities,” stated Pierre-Henry Brandet, the spokesman for the Ministry of the Interior.

“Our security forces have been the target of intolerable attacks in the course of several episodes of urban violence,” he said, reporting that 13 police officers and soldiers were wounded in the clashes.’

Read more: During Trump’s Paris Visit Migrant Suburbs Saw 900 Cars Burned in Scenes of ‘Intolerable Urban Violence’

‘The number of cases filed by asylum seekers challenging the decisions of immigration authorities in German courts has brought the legal system to the brink of collapse, a top German judge has warned in an interview.

The sheer number of cases filed has overwhelmed the civil courts of the country, said Robert Seegmuller, chairman of the Association of German Administrative Law Judges while speaking to the publishing house Redaktionsnetzwerk Deutschland (RND).

“The situation is dramatic for administrative courts,” Seegmuller told RND. “We are now completely stretched to our limits.”

Seegmuller had been complaining since spring about the number of lawsuits being filed against the Federal Office for Migration and Refugees (BAMF). Thousands of applicants have challenged the decisions delivered on their cases by the BAMF, including deportation orders back to potentially unsafe countries such as Afghanistan.

Based on RND’s estimations, there are approximately 250,000 asylum-related cases waiting to be brought before the courts.’

Read more: ‘Everything will collapse’: German courts ‘overwhelmed’ by asylum seeker claims

‘Poland’s senate approved a controversial reform of the Supreme Court early Saturday, despite warnings from the European Union, appeals from Washington and massive street protests against the measure.

The legislation, which was pushed through by parliament Wednesday, was approved by 55 senators, with 23 opposed and two abstentions.

During the 15-hour debate thousands of demonstrators took to the streets nationwide to protest the law, which reinforces political control over the Supreme Court.

After the vote, protesters gathered in front of parliament shouting “Shame!” “Traitors!” and “Democracy!”

The reform of the Supreme Court, which supervises lower courts, still needs to be signed by President Andrzej Duda, himself from the ruling conservative Law and Justice (PiS) party, to become law.’

Read more: Poland MPs approve court reform in defiance of protests, EU

‘Brussels is seeking to block the UK Government from carrying out criminal record checks on EU nationals who apply for settled status in Britain post Brexit.

EU negotiators want the European Court of Justice (ECJ) to oversee the implementation of any agreement on citizens’ rights, a move which has received criticism from the UK.

Britain’s current proposals would see anyone who has already lived in the UK for five years given a new “settled status”, securing their position in the country.

Anyone arriving after the triggering of Article 50, but before a notional cut-off date, yet to be set, would also have the chance to stay for five years and gain the status.

However, the proposals would restrict the right of EU citizens in the UK to bring over family members and would also result in a loss of protection of the ECJ.’

Read more: Brexit: Brussels aiming to block UK from carrying out criminal record checks on EU nationals


‘French President Emmanuel Macron’s official portrait has yet again become a heated topic of internet and media discussion, after a local official calculated the hefty sum it would take from local budgets to frame the new leader’s outsize picture.

The French president’s official portrait had only just slipped out of the public eye over its style and contents, but now finds itself back at the center of attention after the sizing format of the picture caught people’s attention.

The new portrait is a few centimeters bigger than those of Macron’s predecessors, meaning French municipalities may have to spend more than €2.7 million (US$3.1 million) to frame it, according to Romain Senoble, the mayor of the commune of Forges, Seine-et-Marn.

The official had reportedly posted his calculations on Facebook, before the mayor of Montereau-Fault-Yonne, James Chéron, took to Twitter to share the possible hefty budget burden.’

Read more: Size matters? Framing of Macron’s extra-large official portrait ‘could cost €2.7million’

‘It’s hard not to feel the overwhelming urge to take the best care of yourself possible when you hear what happens to elderly people in nursing homes. While horror stories involving specific incidents of mistreatment hit the headlines every now and then and can be extremely disturbing, a much more insidious problem is doing even more harm to nursing home residents: overmedication.

The latest study out of Norway shows just how extensive this problem is. When researchers studied the medical records of around 1,000 Norwegian nursing home residents over the course of six years and interviewed their relatives using questionnaires, they found that medication use for mental illness was remarkably high whether residents had dementia or not.

Patients who showed symptoms like hallucinations, aggressive behavior, and irritability were more likely to be given psychotropic drugs. In addition, they noted that many patients continued to take these medications even after their symptoms improved, placing them at a higher risk of falls, strokes, and even early death.’

Read more: It’s not just in America: Norwegian nursing homes are also over-medicating their senior citizens