Global Review – 4th December

Libya criticises EU over migration policy

Libya’s foreign minister Najla Mangoush has criticised a system meant to deter migrants from attempting to reach European shores, claiming that it failed to address the root of the problem and only served the interests of EU member states. Speaking via video call at the Mediterranean Dialogues, she said, “Please do not push the problem in our lap and please do not point your fingers at Libya and portray us as a country which abuses and disrespects refugees. We are tired of beating around the bush, and all these superficial solutions being offered. It’s time to state the problem and face it instead of…keep repeating it again and again.” Her comments are the latest stab at EU policies that fund forces such as the Libyan coastguard, which intercepts migrant boats, brings them back to shore and detains those on board.

Pope denounces torture of migrants

Pope Francis wrapped up his two-day visit to Cyprus on Friday in Nicosia with a mass for migrants that included a strongly-worded condemnation of the “slavery” and “torture” endured by asylum-seekers in camps. The Pope denounced the “indifference” that the West shows incomers: “It reminds us of the history of the last century, of the Nazis, of Stalin, and we wonder how this could have happened.” He went on to criticise the “developed civilisations of the West” who refuse to accept migrants or send them back to countries where they would be “confined, tortured and enslaved”.

Europe surpasses 75 million COVID-19 cases

Europe crossed 75 million coronavirus cases on Friday, according to a Reuters tally, as the region braces for the new Omicron variant. More than 15 countries in Europe have reported confirmed cases of the new variant. Even before the discovery of Omicron, Europe was the pandemic’s epicentre with 66 out of every 100 new infections each day coming from European countries. The UK has so far reported the highest total number of coronavirus cases in the region followed by Russia, France and Germany.

Over 8b. vaccines administrations worldwide

The vaccines administered in the world against COVID have exceeded 8 billion. Data from Johns Hopkins University shows 8,111,274,899 injected doses globally, of which 1.16 billion in the last 28 days.

Ukraine, Biden: I will not accept Putin’s red line

“I will not accept anyone’s red line”: this is how Joe Biden replied to journalists who asked him if he would accept Vladimir Putin’s stance on Ukraine. “We have known Russia’s actions for a long time and my prediction is that we will have a long discussion,” added the US president referring to the future virtual summit with his Russian counterpart. US intelligence has found the Kremlin is planning a multi-front offensive as soon as early next year involving up to 175,000 troops, according to US officials and an intelligence document obtained by The Washington Post.

Eitan finally home

After 84 days from his abduction by his maternal grandfather, 6-year-old Eitan, who survived the Mottarone accident, has returned home to Italy. A few days ago in Israel the Supreme Court had rejected the appeal presented by the maternal grandfather Shmuel Peleg and ordered that the child be returned to Italy with the paternal aunt, Aya Biran, his tutor. A policeman of the Pavia Mobile Squad said “Eitan was happy” and that he told him “I’m happy to be back home”.

Parents on the run after manslaughter charge

Police are searching for James and Jennifer Crumbley after charging them with involuntary manslaughter after their 15-year-old son Ethan was accused of murdering four classmates in a school shooting. According to authorities, Ethan opened fire on Tuesday at Oxford High School, killing four classmates with a gun purchased by his father. The 15-year-old now faces several charges as an adult, including murder.

Hippos at Belgian zoo test positive for COVID-19

The two hippos at Antwerp Zoo tested positive for coronavirus after a vet noticed their noses were “expelling snot”. The huge animals, who are mother and daughter, are not in great peril. The mother, 41, and daughter, 14, have tested positive amid rising human cases in Belgium and Europe in recent weeks. The infections at Antwerp Zoo are not the first time that zoo animals have tested positive during the pandemic, but most cases are thought to have been among cats and monkeys. Antwerp Zoo is now closed to the public, and Hermien and Imani have been placed in an isolated social bubble.

Horst Eckel: Germany’s last 1954 World Cup winner dies

German football is mourning the death of Horst Eckel, the last surviving member of West Germany’s 1954 World Cup-winning side. He was 89. Eckel was a pillar of the West German football team that won the 1954 FIFA World Cup after pulling off the “Miracle of Bern” when his team defeated favourites Hungary 3-2 in the final after trailing 2-0. The victory helped signal West Germany’s ‘political and economic awakening nine years after the end of World War II.

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