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Wednesday, 6 April 2022: EU to ban Russian coal imports, EU allies expel 200 Russian diplomats, US, UK, Australia team up on hypersonic weapons
6. April 2022


Reaction to Bucha: EU to ban Russian coal imports, EU allies expel 200 Russian diplomats: Ukrainian troops recaptured territory around Kyiv on Saturday as Russian forces pulled back and left in their wake scenes of destruction and horror, including the abandoned bodies of dead civilians. Ukrainian officials laid the blame for the killings in Bucha squarely at the feet of Russian troops, with the president calling them evidence of genocide. Almost two hundred Russian diplomatic staff have been expelled from European countries this week in a direct expression of governments’ outrage at the killings of Ukrainian civilians. Europe is planning to cut deeper into the Russian economy with a new round of sanctions that includes a ban on coal imports. EU Commission President Ursula von der Leyen and EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell will visit Kyiv this week.,,,,

  • NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg: „This is unbearable brutality that Europe has not witnessed in many decades.“
  • US Secretary of State Antony Blinken: „This is the reality of what’s going on every single day as long as Russia’s brutality against Ukraine continues.“
  • Poland describes Russia under Putin as a “totalitarian-fascist state”

US, UK, Australia team up on hypersonic weapons: The US, the UK and Australia will start joint work on hypersonic missile technology and electronic warfare capabilities under the umbrella of the AUKUS security pact. In March, Russia said it had used a hypersonic missile to strike an ammunition warehouse in western Ukraine. Last year, China reportedly tested two hypersonic weapons, causing alarm at the Pentagon.

Meta: Facebook owner briefly blocks hashtags tied to Bucha killings.

Countries pledge €695 million to aid Moldova: Representatives of over 30 international organisations and countries gathered in Berlin on Tuesday to pledge €695 million in financial aid to Moldova. The country, the poorest in Europe, is facing economic collapse due to the ongoing war in Ukraine on its eastern border. The small ex-Soviet country has taken in more Ukrainian refugees per capita than any other country. The sanctions against Russia are hitting Moldova, which is heavily dependent on Russian gas imports, particularly hard. Gas prices have skyrocketed since the outbreak of the war and are approximately 360% higher than they were last September. More than a quarter of the population spends around 25% of its income on energy resources alone.,

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UN climate change report warns incremental change is not enough: Whether humanity can change course after decades of inaction is largely a question of collective resolve, according to the latest report from the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. Human carbon pollution has already pushed the planet into unprecedented territory, ravaging ecosystems, raising sea levels and exposing millions of people to new weather extremes. At the current rate of emissions, the world will burn through its remaining “carbon budget” by 2030.

EU launches process to slash Hungary’s funds: The EU Commission has announced that it will trigger a conditionality mechanism linking EU funds to the rule of law. Hungary is the first country to face proceedings under the new power, which gives the EU the authority to cut millions in EU payouts to countries where it determines rule-of-law breaches are putting the bloc’s budget at risk. Budapest says Brussels is withholding the greenlight over its controversial law that all-but bans LGBTIQ content in public, but the Commission has denied this, instead highlighting the need for more effective anti-graft measures.,

Stricter environmental regulations for large industrial and agricultural enterprises: The EU wants to stop industrial and agricultural enterprises from polluting the air, water and soil with harmful substances. In addition, citizens should be better informed about the emissions of individual companies. In the event of violations, they could file complaints more easily.

Top EU court says phone data cannot be held indiscriminately: The EU’s top court ruled that national authorities cannot retain phone data in a „general and indiscriminate“ manner, but could use specific information to tackle some very serious crime. Some circumstances, such as particularly serious crime regarded as a threat to national security, could justify data retention but only in a narrower scope or for a limited time.

Poland vetoes EU tax reform again: Poland is opposing the EU’s efforts to introduce a global minimum corporate levy of 15%. G20 countries agreed on the initiative last fall in a wider bid to obliterate tax havens and ensure that tech giants pay their fair dues. Poland is now the only EU country standing in the way of the deal after previous holdouts — namely Estonia, Hungary, Malta and Sweden — had withdrawn their vetoes ahead of Tuesday for this month’s gathering of finance ministers, following minor changes to the bill. Tax initiatives in the EU require unanimous support to become law.

Spain, Netherlands propose ideas to reform EU fiscal rules: In a joint paper, the Dutch finance minister Sigrid Kaag and her Spanish counterpart Nadia Calviño call for a reform of EU fiscal rules that would “reinforce fiscal sustainability in a more effective and efficient manner” and enable the public investments that are needed to implement the green and digital transitions.

Pay-transparency measures: EU companies with at least 50 employees should be fully transparent regarding pay, and MEPs want them to tackle any potential gender pay gap. If pay reporting shows a gender pay gap of at least 2.5% (versus the 5%proposed by the Commission), member states would need to ensure employers, in cooperation with their workers’ representatives, conduct a joint pay assessment and develop a gender action plan.

EU to take action against use of Pegasus spy software: Europe would be much better able to convince the rest of the world of the value of data protection if Pegasus and other controversial software were not used here, EU Commission Vice-President Vera Jourova said in an interview. The Pegasus software made by Israeli manufacturer NSO is capable of reading all data from mobile phones attacked with it. In addition, Pegasus can switch on the camera and microphone of the respective device unnoticed.

Fish exports hardly worthwhile: Brexit hits the Falkland Islands hard
Green Deal: Updated guidelines for trans-European energy infrastructure
Roaming regulation: Mobile roaming with no extra fees to continue, following Council approval
Regulating the crypto industry: EU lawmakers faced with sexist and racist abuse from crypto advocates
Investment committee: First InvestEU projects to receive €1.9 billion in budget guarantees


I say: it is a destruction of the future, far beyond Russia and Ukraine.
German Chancellor Olaf Scholz has warned of the serious, worldwide consequences of the Russian war in Ukraine.


Putin congratulates Orban and Vucic on election wins: Hungary’s nationalist Prime Minister Viktor Orban has been congratulated by Russian President Vladimir Putin after he won a fourth term by a landslide in the country’s general election. Putin also congratulated Serbia’s leader Aleksandar Vucic on his re-election victory and said he hoped to build on their „strategic partnership“, the Kremlin said.,

French presidential rivals seize on death of Jewish man as ‘antisemitic attack’: The death of a young Jewish man in Bobigny, north of Paris, has shocked France and sparked outrage among French presidential candidates, who seized on it to denounce criminality and a possible antisemitic attack.

  • Macron’s far-right rival, Le Pen, reaches all-time high in presidential second-round vote poll
  • Macron warns of dangers of extremism at election rally

Corsica: Clashes with police as thousands march for murdered nationalist: A demonstration by thousands of supporters of murdered Corsican nationalist Yvan Colonna turned violent on Sunday amid fears the clashes with police could delay talks between the island’s political leaders and the French government. The clashes involved more than 100 young people – often hooded and wearing gas masks – in front of the prefecture in the city of Ajaccio.

Ukrainian refugees: Slovak minister survives no-confidence vote: Slovakia’s Interior Minister Roman Mikulec will remain in his post, as Parliament didn’t oust him in a no-confidence motion held at an extraordinary session last week. The extraordinary meeting was initiated by Smer-SD. According to the opposition, the minister is unable to manage the refugee crisis caused by the war in Ukraine and has entrusted it to small private companies.

Coronavirus in Europa:

  • EU health ministers call for common approach to 2nd boosters for elderly
  • German man suspected of having 90 Covid jabs to sell vaccination cards
  • Infected people are allowed back on Spain’s beaches

Greece repays IMF debt two years ahead of schedule: Greece has paid off its entire debt from the financial crisis to the International Monetary Fund (IMF), two years ahead of schedule. Greece’s EU bailout lenders gave the formal go-ahead last week for the early repayment of the outstanding loans worth €1.86 billion. Three successive bailouts totalling some €260 billion between 2010 and 2018 prevented Greece from going bankrupt and exiting the shared euro currency. Successive Greek governments were forced to implement painful budget cuts and tax hikes that led to a surge in unemployment and poverty.

Ferrero announces recall of Kinder Eggs, other chocolates in Germany: The Italian candy manufacturer Ferrero has announced a recall on some chocolate products in Germany as a precaution. The announcement comes after a possible link to a salmonella outbreak in the UK.

Spanish conservatives tap veteran Núñez Feijóo as new leader: Spain’s main opposition party has appointed a veteran conservative politician as its new chief to turn a page on an ugly internal clash that precipitated the fall of a once-promising young leader and infused new life into far-right rivals.

Germany closes Russian darknet market Hydra: Investigators said on Tuesday that they had shut down the German servers for Hydra, a Russian darknet marketplace that was used to sell drugs, forged documents, intercepted data, and other illegal digital services.

Overall crime down in Germany, but child porn, cybercrime up: Germany’s overall crime rate continues to decline, but the country has seen a steep increase in the distribution of child pornography and cybercrime, top security officials said Tuesday. The distribution of child pornography in Germany more than doubled last year, going up 108.8% in 2021 compared to the year before, officials told a news conference on the country’s annual crime statistics report.

UK plans to privatise Channel 4: British culture secretary Nadine Dorries is pushing ahead with controversial plans to privatise Channel 4, with the government backing proposals to sell off the broadcaster after 40 years in public ownership. Channel 4 has said it is “disappointed” at the government’s decision to proceed with plans to privatise the broadcaster without “formally recognising the significant public interest concerns which have been raised”.,

Jamie Wallis MP comes out as trans and speaks of rape ordeal: Politicians have praised a Welsh MP for his bravery after he tweeted he has gender dysphoria and has been a victim of rape and blackmail. Jamie Wallis, who was elected in 2019, is the first MP to come out as trans.

Netherlands: Software glitch halts trains across the Netherlands
Austria: Private investigator behind ‚Ibizagate‘ scandal convicted of drug trafficking
Outraged reactions: Czech President Zeman pardons close associate
Paris attacks: Last surviving suspect tells court he chose not to detonate his bomb


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Bulgarian MEP fined for appearing to give Nazi salute: Angel Dzhambazki, a nationalist Bulgarian MEP who appeared to give a Nazi salute inside the European Parliament, was fined over €2,000 on Tuesday, but he said he would challenge the decision. Dzhambazki denied that the gesture, which was caught on camera, was a Nazi salute, saying he was waving goodbye.