New riots in The Hague, protests Europe-wide
A new night of protests against the Dutch government’s anti-coronavirus measures ended with demonstrators throwing stones and fireworks at the police and setting police cars ablaze in The Hague.Dutch police responded by firing warning shots and using water cannons. A number of persons have been arrested. On Friday violence broke out in Rotterdam, when the police shot and wounded at least two people, and arrested 51.
Austria: Tens of thousands of protesters, many from far-right groups, marched through Vienna on Saturday after the Austrian government announced a nationwide lockdown beginning Monday, to contain skyrocketing coronavirus infections. Many waved signs with slogans such as “no to vaccination” and “enough is enough”.
Demonstrations against virus restrictions also took place in Switzerland, Croatia, Italy, the Czech Republic and Northern Ireland on Saturday. Protesters rallied against coronavirus restrictions and mandatory COVID-19 passes needed in many European countries to enter restaurants, Christmas markets or sports events, as well as mandatory vaccinations.
Slovakia: Starting tomorrow, Slovakia is banning people who haven’t been vaccinated from all non-essential stores and shopping malls. They also will not be allowed to attend any public event or gathering and will be required to test twice a week just to go to work.
Greece: Greece, too, is targeting the unvaccinated. Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis announced a battery of new restrictions for the unvaccinated, keeping them out of venues including bars, restaurants, cinemas, theatres, museums and gyms, even if they have tested negative.
Italy: In Rome, some 4,000 demonstrators took part in a sit-in at the Circus Maximus – almost all without masks, waving the Italian flag and chanting “Libertà, libertà”. There were moments of tension in Milan, where suddenly a couple of hundred no Green Pass protesters appeared running towards Piazza del Duomo, blocked in extremis by the police.
WHO ‘very worried’ about COVID-19 surge in Europe
The World Health Organisation is ‘very worried’ about the spread of COVID-19 in Europe as the continent battles a fresh wave of infections. Speaking to the BBC, regional director Dr Hans Kluge warned that 500,000 more deaths could be recorded by March unless urgent action is taken. Dr Kluge said an increase in mask wearing could immediately help. He also called for increased vaccine uptake.The warning comes as several nations report record-high infection rates and introduce full and partial lockdowns.
Tennis: Peng appears in public event in Beijing
Chinese tennis star Peng Shuai appeared at a Beijing tennis tournament today, according to official photos from the event, after international pressure to obtain information on her health. Peng appears in a blue jacket and white sport pants at the Fila Kids Junior Tennis Challenger Finals, according to photos posted on the official China Open Weibo account. The two-time Grand Slam doubles champion had not been seen publicly since she claimed earlier this month that former Vice Premier Zhang Gaoli “forced” her into sex during an extramarital affair lasting several years.
$15 million compensation for Elijah McClain’s family
A record sum of $15 million has been awarded by Colorado City authorities as compensation to the family of Elijah McClain for his death. The 23-year-old autistic African American died in 2019 in the city of Aurora, three days after being stopped by some agents and injected with a powerful sedative.The case had renewed public attention after the killing of George Floyd. The compensation is the highest sum ever agreed in the state for such an incident and one of the highest in the US, after Minneapolis paid $27 million to Floyd’s family.
More than 70 migrants drown in Med
The UN migration agency said that 75 migrants drowned in the Mediterranean Sea north of Libya earlier this week as they attempted to reach Italy by boat. The International Organization for Migration reported the latest tragedy in a tweet on Saturday, attributing the information to 15 survivors who were rescued by fishermen and brought to the port of Zuwara in northwestern Libya. It did not immediately provide further information. More than 1,300 men, women and children have died so far in 2021 trying to cross the Central Mediterranean from Libya and Tunisia to Italy and Malta according to IOM.
Queen’s first wedding anniversary without Philip
Queen Elizabeth celebrated her first wedding anniversary – the 74th – without Prince Philip by her side. The couple married on November 20, 1947 and spent more than seven decades together until Philip’s death in April at the age of 99. The 95-year-old sovereign resumed her commitments only recently after being forced to retire due to a bad back pain at the concluding rite of the Remembrance Day commemorations in honor of the war dead last Sunday.