AstraZeneca vaccine safe and effective in new trial data | Reuters


More evidence that the AstraZeneca vaccine is safe, so why is the EU continually coming out against this vaccine and not any of the others.

First we had Macron and Merkel then the blood clot scare followed by 17 European countries suspending use of the vaccine all of this without any reliable justification.

Is all this because of the AstraZeneca connection with the UK or do they wish their populations to catch COVID-19? If it is the latter this will be very disturbing. For while blood clots are not registered as one of the side effects of the vaccine, blood clots are down as one of the possible consequences of contracting COVID-19.

No wonder the take up rates of having the vaccines in Europe are very disappointing and while this is a very real cause of concern within Europe, it is also a very real concern in the rest of the World, including the UK. As by not having an effective take up rate this is leading to possible more mutations, some, which could well reduce the effectiveness of the vaccines, leaving those of us who have been vaccinated open to contracting COVID-19 with maybe serious consequences.

This, I feel is the EU playing with politics and a further punishment for the UK leaving the EU.

The EU need to get over themselves for they are the reason for Europe starting a possible 3rd wave of Coronavirus, due to their shambolic dealings with measures to combat COVID-19. Slowing in vaccine approvals, slow in placing vaccine orders, having less effective contracts of purchasing of COVID vaccines.

On the face of it the best thing the UK did was coming out of the EU, as the EU is much too bureaucratic.

Now the EU is threatening to stop companies exporting Vaccines, especially to the UK, when they have many supplies of vaccines in storage in the EU.  This is showing the EU in their true colours.

 

Source: AstraZeneca vaccine safe and effective in new trial data | Reuters

The EU Parliament’s Procedure to Decide on the Immunity of Catalan MEPs Carles Puigdemont, Clara Ponsatí and Toni Comín to Begin Tomorrow Monday


I do hope that the EU Parliament come down on the side of Catalan leaders Puigdemont, Ponsatí and Comín, rather than the Spanish authorities.

For the leaders Puigdemont, Ponsatí and Comín were following their convictions and the wishes of the Catalonian population in the 2017 independence referendum.

For, if, the results of any referendum are not abided by, then what is the point of having a referendum.

However, the EU and some countries within the EU are not good in progressing the views of referendums, has can be seen with the UK Brexit referendum of 2016 and previously referendums in Ireland in 2001 and 2008, Greece in 2019 and France and The Netherlands in 2005, .

Lets hope on this occasion the views of the Catalonian population will be upheld.

Josep Goded

Tomorrow Monday, November 16th, the European Parliament’s Committee on Legal Affairs will start discussing whether to lift the immunity of Catalan leaders Puigdemont, Ponsatí and Comín. This comes at the request of Spanish authorities, who have openly expressed their desire to have them extradited in order to jail them for their roles in the 2017 independence referendum, even though Belgian justice recently rejected the extradition of exiled Catalan leader Lluís Puig arguing that the Supreme Court did not have the authority to issue a European arrest warrant against him.

The ultra-conservative Bulgarian MEP Angel Dzhambazki will be the head of the committee and will present the case, which will then be discussed by the rest of MEPs on the committee.

Monday’s session will be held virtually due to Covid-19 restrictions. Puigdemont, Comín and Ponsatí will be summoned for a hearing at a later date. The debate on their immunity is…

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Macron announces bonus package for homecare workers amid COVID-19 crisis – Reuters


French President Emmanuel Macron said on Tuesday the country’s 320,000 homecare workers would each be granted a COVID-19 bonus of 500 euros, a package worth 160 million euros (144.3 million pounds).

 

Source: Macron announces bonus package for homecare workers amid COVID-19 crisis – Reuters

Coronavirus: Number of infected in France not enough to prevent second wave, warn scientists | Euronews


The Institut Pasteur estimated that 3.7 million people — 5.7% of the population — will have been infected with COVID-19 by May 11 but that 70% is needed for herd immunity.

Source: Coronavirus: Number of infected in France not enough to prevent second wave, warn scientists | Euronews

Watch: Paris tests ‘flying taxi’ as future of city transport | Euronews


However, the company says its journey has not all been plain sailing. During a preview on Monday morning before the official tests launched, Paris river police ordered the Bubble to stop its activity.

Co-founder Alain Thebault said regulatory issues from the City of Paris have stymied progress, leading the company to pursue projects in Switzerland and the US rather than solely in France.

“We are waiting for the authorisation to have a commercial line between east and west…but have a look, there is absolutely nobody on the river,” he said, adding that France is becoming “like a museum” where tech innovation is too highly regulated.

Paris has one of the densest urban transport networks in the world, with more than 650 trains running simultaneously at rush hour and 4.7 billion trips made by public transport in the Paris region in 2016, according to figures from Paris transport network Île-de-France Mobilités.

Last Friday Parisians faced travel chaos as a strike against pension reform by all unions of the Paris transport network (RATP) crippled movement around the city, with ten of its 16 metro lines closed.

To combat pollution, Paris tightened regulations in July, banning cars with diesel engines registered between 2001 and 2005 and trucks from 2006 to 2009 within the A86 ring-road area.

The city council plans to continually tighten regulations until 2030, when only electric or hydrogen-fueled cars will be allowed on Greater Paris roads.

 

Source: Watch: Paris tests ‘flying taxi’ as future of city transport | Euronews

France and UK to take ‘urgent action’ on English Channel migrants | Euronews


British Home Secretary Priti Patel has promised more joint action between the UK and France to prevent migrants crossing the English Channel.

Patel met her French counterpart Christophe Castaner in Paris on Thursday, soon after dozens of migrants were intercepted on five boats off the British coast, and one boat made a landing on a beach in Sussex.

Over 900 migrants have successfully made the crossing between the UK and France in 2019, with the Home Office returning at least 65 people.

Meanwhile, legal proceedings brought against a number of smugglers. In July and June, two men were jailed for assisting unlawful immigration to the UK, one in Britain and the other in France. In May, a French national was jailed for selling 39 boats to migrants.

Read More: A flipper and a plastic bottle float: the story of one Iraqi man’s deadly asylum bid

In January, the UK and France agreed a joint action plan which included £6 million in new security equipment including CCTV coverage of beaches and ports. The two countries also agreed to return migrants that make the crossing.

“We’ve been working extremely closely with our French colleagues to tackle the use of small boats but we both agreed more needs to be done,” Patel said.

“It’s vital we ensure our collective expertise is used to stop the boats from leaving French shores and dismantle the criminal networks driving this activity.”

But Catherine Woollard, secretary general of the European Council on Refugees and Exiles, told Euronews that the numbers of migrants crossing the Channel remained “very small”.

“An alarmist approach on the part of UK politicians and media is likely to contribute to the growing xenophobia in the country, as well as generating the risk of disproportionate action,” she said.

At its narrowest, the stretch of water between the UK and France is just 33 kilometres. But poor weather conditions and a huge amount of commercial shipping makes the English Channel a dangerous crossing even for experienced navigators.

Many of the boats being used by migrants and smuggling gangs are small inflatable dinghies, which are often overcrowded to maximise profits for smugglers.

On August 23, the body of an Iraqi national – Niknam Masoud – was found off the Belgian coast after it is believed he attempted to swim to the UK from France.

 

Source: France and UK to take ‘urgent action’ on English Channel migrants | Euronews

Irony of history: How Channel Tunnel breakthrough miner Graham Fagg became a Brexiteer | Euronews


Ahead of the 25th anniversary of the May 6, 1994 opening of the Channel Tunnel, retired mining worker Graham Fagg shared his memories of the moment he broke through to meet a French colleague tunnelling from the other side.

By a twist of fate, Fagg voted for Brexit in the 2016 referendum yet he sees no contradiction with his act of unification.

“I worked on the Channel Tunnel and done the breakthrough, but I actually voted for Brexit. But I don’t see that it’s incompatible,” the 70-year-old told AFP news agency.

The retiree made history on December 1, 1990, when he and his French counterpart Philippe Cozette, made the junction between their respective parts of the tunnel some 100 metres below sea level.

Less than four years later, on May 6, 1994, Queen Elizabeth II and French president Francois Mitterrand cut the ribbon on the new rail link.

Since then the railway line connecting the south-east of the United Kingdom to the north of France has been used by almost 430 million passengers and 86 million vehicles.

For many Britons, the tunnel has come to symbolise the country’s integration with the continent as a member of the European Union.

‘Brexit won’t drive us apart’

Fagg said he supported joining the European Economic Community — the forerunner to the EU — in a 1975 referendum but had not envisaged it would become a political union.

“We voted for a trade deal,” he explained. “I can’t remember anybody ever saying to me, ‘we’re going to turn it into a federal Europe. We’re going to set all the rules and you’ve got to obey them’.”

A lifelong resident of the southeast English port town Dover, where 62% of people backed Brexit in the 2016 referendum, Fagg insisted he wants close future ties with Europe.

 

Source: Irony of history: How Channel Tunnel breakthrough miner Graham Fagg became a Brexiteer | Euronews