Italian police’s blitz against NoVax
Italian anti-terrorism police have carried out a blitz throughout Italy against so called “NoVax” members, after investigations led to the belief they intended to build rudimentary do-it-yourself bombs and procure knives to strike at a NoVax demonstration in Rome tomorrow. After numerous searches in various regions, in which weapons were also found, eight arrests were made. Police discovered that violent no-vaxers wanted to hit the government and journalists.
Critics slam UK migrants’ pushback plan
Refugee groups in the UK and abroad have slammed the UK government’s plan to turn back migrants crossing the English Channel as “impractical, dangerous and illegal”. France stressed it will not tolerate any “financial blackmail” or flouting of international law, following reports that British Border Force staff were to receive training on how to turn back migrant boats before they reach the English coast. At a meeting between UK Home Secretary Priti Patel and her French counterpart Gérald Darmanin this week, Patel demanded French authorities do more to stem the flow of migrants reaching UK shores.
‘Taliban rounding up Afghan journalists’
The European Asylum Support Office reports the Taliban have rounded up Afghan journalists, in house-by-house searches, following a blacklist of all people with suspected ties to the previous administration or US-led forces. Some 100 media outlets have stopped working and dozens of TV and radio stations stopped their broadcasts or were kidnapped by the Taliban forcing several hundred Afghan journalists to leave the country. Meanwhile, new protests took place in Afghanistan despite the ban on demonstrations sanctioned by the Talibans, who ordered people to stay at home.
Germans investigate ‘Russian hacker attacks’
The Federal Attorney General of Karlsruhe has opened an investigation into alleged hacker attacks by Russia in the German election campaign. The prosecutor’s office said that for months, the “Ghostwriter” hacker group had been trying to access private emails of members of the Bundestag and the Landestag (the Chamber of Regions). They believe that Russian security authorities and the military secret services of the GRU are behind the attacks.
‘Day of Wrath’ today in Gaza
Hamas and the Islamic Jihad in Gaza have announced a ‘Day of Wrath’ for today to protest the decision to transfer Palestinian detainees following the escape of six of them from Gilboa prison three days ago. Hamas appealed to the Palestinian people to protest the occupation’s arrogance and its aggression on prisoners, asking them to “go clash with the enemy’s army”.
Biden announces measures to boost vaccination rates
US President Joe Biden has announced a series of measures to boost vaccination rates against COVID-19. These include federal employees to get inoculated and mandating that large employers ensure their workers are vaccinated or tested weekly for the virus. He voiced dismay that some Americans were refusing to take the vaccine amid a jump in cases and deaths from the virus largely driven by unvaccinated people. He condemned what he called “pandemic politics”. About 80 million eligible people out of a population of almost 330 million have yet to have a single vaccine shot.
Austrian kept dead mother in cellar for pension purposes
A man kept the mummified corpse of his mother in a basement for over a year while continuing to receive her pension payments, Austrian police say the 89-year-old woman, who reportedly had dementia, died of natural causes in June last year. Her son, 66, is said to have put her body in his cellar and used ice packs and bandages to mask the smell. Police believe he may have illegally received about €50,000 in payments. The suspected fraud only came to light after a new postman delivering the woman’s benefits in the western Tyrol region was refused a request to see her, police said in a statement. That sparked an investigation, and led to the subsequent grisly discovery.
Football: Messi supersedes Pelè’s record
With a hat-trick from Lionel Messi, Argentina beat Bolivia 3-0 in a qualifying match for the 2022 World Cup and the Paris Saint-Germain star beats the record for goals with a South American national football team held by Pelè. Messi scored in the 14th, 64th and 88th minutes in front of 25,000 spectators at the Monumental stadium in Buenos Aires, open to the public for the first time since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. In his 153rd appearance with Argentina, Messi beat the record of the legendary Brazilian footballer (77) with 79 goals. The world record holder for international goals is Portugal’s Cristiano Ronaldo with 111 goals, the most recent against Ireland last week.