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Solve et Coagula | New Europe


From Nunzio Apostolico representing Pope Benedict in the United States, Cardinal Carlo Maria Viganò was transferred to the to the Diocese of Ulpiana (Pristina Kosovo) after he publicized a 7,000 word letter asking for the resignation of Pope Francis, accusing him of covering up sexual abuse and giving comfort to a “homosexual current” in the Vatican.

Today, from Pristina, he wrote the following open letter to US President Donald Trump.

June 7, 2020 Holy Trinity Sunday

Mr. President,

In recent months we have been witnessing the formation of two opposing sides that I would call Biblical: the children of light and the children of darkness. The children of light constitute the most conspicuous part of humanity, while the children of darkness represent an absolute minority. And yet the former are the object of a sort of discrimination which places them in a situation of moral inferiority with respect to their adversaries, who often hold strategic positions in government, in politics, in the economy and in the media. In an apparently inexplicable way, the good are held hostage by the wicked and by those who help them either out of self-interest or fearfulness.

These two sides, which have a Biblical nature, follow the clear separation between the offspring of the Woman and the offspring of the Serpent. On the one hand there are those who, although they have a thousand defects and weaknesses, are motivated by the desire to do good, to be honest, to raise a family, to engage in work, to give prosperity to their homeland, to help the needy, and, in obedience to the Law of God, to merit the Kingdom of Heaven. On the other hand, there are those who serve themselves, who do not hold any moral principles, who want to demolish the family and the nation, exploit workers to make themselves unduly wealthy, foment internal divisions and wars, and accumulate power and money: for them the fallacious illusion of temporal well-being will one day – if they do not repent – yield to the terrible fate that awaits them, far from God, in eternal damnation.

In society, Mr. President, these two opposing realities co-exist as eternal enemies, just as God and Satan are eternal enemies. And it appears that the children of darkness – whom we may easily identify with the deep state which you wisely oppose and which is fiercely waging war against you in these days – have decided to show their cards, so to speak, by now revealing their plans. They seem to be so certain of already having everything under control that they have laid aside that circumspection that until now had at least partially concealed their true intentions. The investigations already under way will reveal the true responsibility of those who managed the Covid emergency not only in the area of health care but also in politics, the economy, and the media. We will probably find that in this colossal operation of social engineering there are people who have decided the fate of humanity, arrogating to themselves the right to act against the will of citizens and their representatives in the governments of nations.

We will also discover that the riots in these days were provoked by those who, seeing that the virus is inevitably fading and that the social alarm of the pandemic is waning, necessarily have had to provoke civil disturbances, because they would be followed by repression which, although legitimate, could be condemned as an unjustified aggression against the population. The same thing is also happening in Europe, in perfect synchrony. It is quite clear that the use of street protests is instrumental to the purposes of those who would like to see someone elected in the upcoming presidential elections who embodies the goals of the deep state and who expresses those goals faithfully and with conviction. It will not be surprising if, in a few months, we learn once again that hidden behind these acts of vandalism and violence there are those who hope to profit from the dissolution of the social order so as to build a world without freedom: Solve et Coagula, as the Masonic adage teaches.

Although it may seem disconcerting, the opposing alignments I have described are also found in religious circles. There are faithful Shepherds who care for the flock of Christ, but there are also mercenary infidels who seek to scatter the flock and hand the sheep over to be devoured by ravenous wolves. It is not surprising that these mercenaries are allies of the children of darkness and hate the children of light: just as there is a deep state, there is also a deep church that betrays its duties and forswears its proper commitments before God. Thus the Invisible Enemy, whom good rulers fight against in public affairs, is also fought against by good shepherds in the ecclesiastical sphere. It is a spiritual battle, which I spoke about in my recent Appeal which was published on May 8.

For the first time, the United States has in you a President who courageously defends the right to life, who is not ashamed to denounce the persecution of Christians throughout the world, who speaks of Jesus Christ and the right of citizens to freedom of worship. Your participation in the March for Life, and more recently your proclamation of the month of April as National Child Abuse Prevention Month, are actions that confirm which side you wish to fight on. And I dare to believe that both of us are on the same side in this battle, albeit with different weapons.

For this reason, I believe that the attack to which you were subjected after your visit to the National Shrine of Saint John Paul II is part of the orchestrated media narrative which seeks not to fight racism and bring social order, but to aggravate dispositions; not to bring justice, but to legitimize violence and crime; not to serve the truth, but to favor one political faction. And it is disconcerting that there are Bishops – such as those whom I recently denounced – who, by their words, prove that they are aligned on the opposing side. They are subservient to the deep state, to globalism, to aligned thought, to the New World Order which they invoke ever more frequently in the name of a universal brotherhood which has nothing Christian about it, but which evokes the Masonic ideals of those want to dominate the world by driving God out of the courts, out of schools, out of families, and perhaps even out of churches.

The American people are mature and have now understood how much the mainstream media does not want to spread the truth but seeks to silence and distort it, spreading the lie that is useful for the purposes of their masters. However, it is important that the good – who are the majority – wake up from their sluggishness and do not accept being deceived by a minority of dishonest people with unavowable purposes. It is necessary that the good, the children of light, come together and make their voices heard. What more effective way is there to do this, Mr. President, than by prayer, asking the Lord to protect you, the United States, and all of humanity from this enormous attack of the Enemy? Before the power of prayer, the deceptions of the children of darkness will collapse, their plots will be revealed, their betrayal will be shown, their frightening power will end in nothing, brought to light and exposed for what it is: an infernal deception.

Mr. President, my prayer is constantly turned to the beloved American nation, where I had the privilege and honor of being sent by Pope Benedict XVI as Apostolic Nuncio. In this dramatic and decisive hour for all of humanity, I am praying for you and also for all those who are at your side in the government of the United States. I trust that the American people are united with me and you in prayer to Almighty God.

United against the Invisible Enemy of all humanity, I bless you and the First Lady, the beloved American nation, and all men and women of good will.

+ Carlo Maria Viganò

Titular Archbishop of Ulpiana
Former Apostolic Nuncio to the United States of America

 

 



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Coronavirus live news: Europe halts delivery of faulty Chinese face masks; WHO says Covid-19 may never go | World news


Medical workers in Indonesia are complaining of persistent delays to an increase in coronavirus testing promised by their president, Joko Widodo, Reuters reports.

The south east Asian nation, the world’s fourth most populous, has the highest coronavirus death toll in east Asia outside China, and one of the lowest global testing rates.

Indonesia reported 568 new coronavirus cases on Thursday, taking the total to 16,006, with 1,043 deaths. It has so far conducted around 50 tests per 100,000 people, compared with 2,500 per 100,000 in neighbouring Singapore.

Widodo promised in April that 10,000 tests would be performed each day, but the goal is yet to be reached, with testing rates on average hovering at less than half that figure. Health experts have urged Jakarta to rapidly increase its testing rate to determine the true spread of the virus across the Indonesian archipelago, saying that without sufficient data the full extent of the outbreak will remain unknown.

A man covers his face with a shirt instead of a face mask while in a queue to get the Takjil, food for breaking the Ramadan fast, in central Jakarta.

A man covers his face with a shirt instead of a face mask while in a queue to get the Takjil, food for breaking the Ramadan fast, in central Jakarta. Photograph: Muhammad Zaenuddin/ZUMA Wire/REX/Shutterstock

“We can’t even get the results after two weeks,” Meneldi Rasmin, a consulting doctor at Persahabatan Hospital in Jakarta, told Reuters.

“So we cannot determine whether it’s COVID-19 or not. We can only judge them (the patients) from clinical symptoms,” he said, attributing the delay to limited equipment capacity.

In between his rounds at Persahabatan Hospital where medical staff move about in white protective gear, Rasmin called for testing capacities to be scaled up not only in the capital, but across the sprawling country.

“Early detection by rapid testing should take place in every small district. Local clinics should take control, instead of (centralized) rapid testing,” he said.
“It should be organized at the community level, working together with the district authority.”



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The coronavirus crisis opens a new fracture in Europe – VoxEurop (English)



How has the mobility of Europeans evolved with the different measures and degrees of containment to slow the spread of the Covid-19 epidemic? Follow the changes thanks to the application developed by our partners from Civio.

By 15 March, half of the people who regularly walk along the streets of European capitals had vanished. Europe had already recorded around 40,000 confirmed cases of Covid-19. A few days later, the number of people on the streets continued to fall, while the number of those infected kept growing. In the following weeks the number of pedestrians was around 30% of the regular levels. And it has remained that way until now, almost a month and a half later, when we are experiencing a slight resurgence in mobility thanks to confinement measures being relaxed in some countries. On Friday, 17 April, the occupation of European streets rose above 40% of the usual levels for the first time in a month. By then, there were more than 765,000 confirmed cases and more than 76,000 deaths in the European Union.

But this comeback to normal is not homogeneous across Europe. Cities such as Athens, Zagreb, Copenhagen and Berlin have seen an increase in the number of passers-by over the last week. In Madrid, Rome and Paris, with much more restrictive measures, the occupation is still very low, almost always flat and below 20%. As of 17 April, Italy (more than 22,000), Spain (more than 19,000) and France (almost 18,000) are the three EU countries with the highest number of covid-related deaths. The exception: Lisbon, where pedestrian mobility is similar, below 20%, even if the number of deaths in Portugal (657 on 17 April) is far from the figures in Spain, Italy and France.

Other European capitals opted from the very beginning for more lax measures, allowing mobility and keeping shops open. In Stockholm, for example, street pedestrian traffic has rarely fallen below 50% of the usual level. And on 18 April it reached 77%. Something similar happens in Helsinki, which barely went below 50% and was close to 80% on Saturday.

The road traffic levels match almost exactly the patterns seen with pedestrians. The drop in the number of cars on the road has also been drastic, but not as much. The number of vehicles compared to the usual figure in European capitals has been around 40%. But, as with pedestrian mobility, on 18 April we saw the first clear peak in growth in the last month, with Europe-wide levels reaching 45% of normal traffic.

Once again, the difference between Central/Northern Europe and Southern countries is substantial. Traffic in Rome remains at around 20%, as in Athens, Lisbon or Madrid, while Paris stays at 10%. Meanwhile, Copenhagen, Prague and Stockholm are already close to pre-crisis levels, at around 80% of their usual ones. Berlin is getting close to that.

Only one in ten planes flying

Air traffic has experienced the sharpest and most homogeneous fall in the crisis. On 15 March, traffic in the main airports of each country was already below 20% of their usual activity. Nowadays, it doesn’t even reach 10%.

In most cases, the fall in flights happened in the third week of March, between the 15th and 22nd, in line with the Commission’s recommendation which urged all member countries to close their borders, with only some exceptions: residents of the Schengen area travelling home, health workers, cross-border ones, carriers, diplomats, armed forces, or people travelling for humanitarian reasons or “imperative family reasons”. The Commission recommends that these restrictions remain in place until at least 15 May.

In Italy, the first European country to be hit by the coronavirus and the first to implement confinement measures (first regionally, then expanded to the whole country on 9 March), air traffic had already decreased by then, to about 30% in the second week of March, the first week we have data for.

This decline in flights was abrupt in Riga, Bratislava, Nicosia, Warsaw or Madrid. In other European capitals the shift was somewhat milder, with more progressive restrictions, as in Zagreb, Sofia or Dublin. Eventually, almost all European countries followed the recommended border closure. Except Ireland. This is the reason why traffic at Dublin airport is much more progressive and didn’t fall below 30% until 27 March. On that date, Ireland was one of the European countries with the least number of deaths (19) and had just over 1,800 confirmed cases.



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The Day After (II): What Europe?



“The Day After” for the European Union, the so-called “bloc”, will either have to stay as is and sooner, rather later, dissolve. Or it will have to change in an attempt to survive. This will be difficult as huge organisations like the EU do not historically adapt, but disappear. And yet, the instinct for survival is very strong, and the bloc may radically adapt to the “new norm” because if it doesn’t, its servants will not lose a little, but all.

Maintaining the “status quo ante”

The bloc may stay as-is – an apolitical power structure, ruling half a billion people by a self-reproduced, non-accountable administrative machine, without any democratic legitimisation.

This is the same bloc from which the United Kingdom withdrew and is the EU which ordinary citizens left behind when they entered into house isolation last month. If this will be the bloc that re-surfaces once Europe’s residents are released, it will continue living in its own world, further distancing itself from its own citizens and soon will collapse.

After returning to society, ordinary people will be different. If the Brussels nomenklatura remains the same, it will face a problem, a big problem. Most people after the long home detention will be different. Most, at least for a while, will be better people because they would have spent time with themselves and their families and would have discovered that moderation is a virtue, while forced minimalism, once they are used to it, gives a different dimension to life.

As for the European Union, the inmates who spent day and night in front of a screen sensed that the EU had no political role in the crisis. The bloc has been judged by its citizens as having been “in absentia”.

Indeed, Viktor Orban dissolved the Hungarian Parliament in an unprecedented “coup d’état” and Brussels ignored it, displaying no political capacity to handle the situation.

Dad, is America far away? Shoot-up and swim…

Leaders emerge from confrontations, and the virus crisis is the world biggest confrontation since the Second World War. Whether it’s a confrontation between China and the Western World or between humankind and nature, makes no difference. In any instance, new leaders will emerge. This is typical after large events. Think of what great leaders Europe had after World War II and during the Cold War – Francoise Mitterrand, Helmut Kohl, Aldo Moro, Margaret Thatcher and many others who were followed by mediocracies in the years of peace.

The emergence of new leaders is now in the making. In this process, the bloc does not participate as the Brussels bureaucracy although it is the most sophisticated administrative machine of the world. It is politically sterile. It is composed of civil servants and only civil servants who, in the absence of political leaders, began making political decisions. That is what undermined the European project.

In the emerging post-crisis new world, the European Union is needed more than ever, ironically, for the same reasons it was established seven decades ago – to unite Europeans and contain Germany. At that time it was to guarantee that Berlin didn’t dominate Europe again with its Panzers, and today it’s to be sure Germany doesn’t attempt to dominate Europe again with its Deutsche Mark, which masquerades as the euro.

Maintaining and strengthening the European Union, turning it into a united nation that is citizen useful and friendly, is the only way to keep alive the best European achievement of all time.

This will be a difficult task. The European Commission, the presumed government of Europe, must attempt it. It is hard to do so as it must give up all privileges its employees have accumulated and turn them into ordinary civil servants.

Once the bloc’s civil servants realise that if the union disintegrates, their pensions will be paid (if they will be paid) by their own countries of origin and will be at the level of national pensions, they will certainly behave.

The change we need

There are some ideas about the changes the bloc needs to make in order to survive. The most important change is the “presumed government of Europe” must become “the government of Europe” and must become political.

Europe has serious survival problems to address, more than ever, and they are all political. They require political solutions that no administration can give no matter how good it is and how well it is paid. That is why the government of the bloc must become political, democratic, accountable, and at the service of citizens.

“The Day After” sequel of New Europe will provide food for thought to all those pretending they rule Europe from their couch but have a better sense than anybody else about the threats to their jobs and pensions when everything will return to the “new normal”.

In the next episodes, we will provide some ideas as to how the European Commission should change in an attempt to survive. How to make the bloc political; how to bring the Directors General down to earth at the service of the political personnel; how to restore accountability; how to reduce over-regulation; how to restore transparency especially in money matters; how to redefine the role of the cabinets and other unpleasant suggestions, yet essential for the survival of the Union, in the post virus era.

(to be continued)

Related Articles:

The Day After: a new Yalta in the making



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China to supply Europe with masks and medical equipment



In a tweet published on Wednesday, European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen announced that China will provide Europe with medical equipment and test kits, following talks with the country’s Prime Minister Minister Li Keqiang.

China’s medical supplies include 2 million surgical masks, 200,000 N95 masks and 50,000 testing kits, as the EU27 bloc is running out of medical equipment, having recording dozens of thousands of COVID-19 cases.

On Wednesday, a group of 300 Chinese intensive-care doctors began to arrive in Italy, the worst-affected country by Coronavirus outside China. To date, Italy has 41,035 confirmed cases and 3,405 deaths.

Belgium’s Health Minister Maggie De Block announced on Wednesday that the Chinese billionaire Jack Ma and founder of e-commerce colossus Alibaba would ship 500,000 masks and 30,000 test kits, to be distributed among the health providers.





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UK coronavirus response: What does Britain know that Europe doesn’t?


Flanked by the country’s chief scientific and medical advisers, the Prime Minister announced that his government was moving to the “delay” phase of its plan to tackle the outbreak, and warned Britons that they were facing their “worst public health crisis for a generation” and should be prepared “to lose loved ones before their time.”

And yet, faced with such grave prospects, would the UK be taking the same stringent precautions as other affected countries? No, was the answer. At least not for now.

The British government has repeatedly said it does not believe that banning large-scale gatherings and closing schools — like Italy, France, Germany and Spain have done — would be effective in preventing the spread of the disease.

This comes despite the fact that parts of the British Isles, including the Republic of Ireland and Scotland (which is in the UK but has a separate healthcare system), are now emulating their continental neighbors.

However, with Johnson under pressure to do the same, the government said late on Friday it was planning to publish emergency legislation to ban large events.

“Ministers are working with the chief scientific adviser and chief medical officer on our plan to stop various types of public event, including mass gatherings, beginning next week,” a Whitehall source told PA Media.

“We are also talking to businesses and other bodies about the timing of moving towards much more widespread working from home.

“We have drafted emergency legislation to give the government the powers it needs to deal with coronavirus, including powers to stop mass gatherings and compensate organizations.”

The reason the UK has held off stricter “social distancing” measures appears to be rooted in the government’s prediction that the outbreak may not peak until 14 weeks from now — and that people will not be willing to drastically alter their ways of life and stick to the new rules for over three months, so there’s little point imposing more restrictions just yet.

The latest recommendation for Britons is to self-isolate for seven days if they begin to experience a persistent cough or high temperature, and to continue with rigorous hygiene like frequently washing their hands and disinfecting surfaces.

Government ministers claim their decisions are being led purely by science. That science, they say, currently suggests that it would be beneficial for the country to build up some sort of herd immunity to the novel coronavirus strain in the long run. In short, authorities do want some Britons to get the bug, especially since for many, its symptoms will not be particularly debilitating.

The approach has divided opinion in the medical community. Some experts have accused Johnson of failing to grasp the severity of the situation, while others have praised the government for refusing to bow to continent-wide pressure to clamp down on the public’s movements.

As of Friday, the number of confirmed cases in the UK stood at 798, with 10 deaths. However, the government’s chief scientific adviser Patrick Vallance has admitted it was possible that 5,000 to 10,000 people may already be infected. And with testing capacity now about to be ramped up to 10,000 people a day, numbers will surely rise.

Medics warn of complacency

Government scientists said they have noticed that the virus typically results in a mild infection initially for patients with no underlying health conditions, which lasts about five days, but for the elderly or infirm, the pathogen enters a second phase thereafter, prompting an immune response that causes much of the damage that kills.

The experts’ hope is that the UK’s new plan will push the disease’s peak past the traditional end of the flu season in April and into the summer, when the country’s hospitals will be under less strain.

Our connected world made coronavirus spread. It may also be what saves us from it

But many prominent members of the medical community are unconvinced by the government’s approach. Doctors on the front line of intensive care units have warned about the potential lack of respirators, as seen in Italy and China when cases peaked there, and said that if staff become sick themselves, access to experienced labor could become a problem.

The editor-in-chief of the influential journal The Lancet criticized the UK’s response to the crisis. “To avoid an unmanageable catastrophe in the UK, we need to be honest about what seems likely to happen in coming weeks. We need urgent surge capacity in intensive care. The NHS is not prepared,” Richard Horton tweeted Thursday.

“I am not being alarmist. What is happening in Italy is real and taking place now. Our government is not preparing us for that reality. We need immediate and assertive social distancing and closure policies. We need to prepare the NHS. This is a serious plea.”

For a country that until fairly recently routinely imposed quarantines on family pets, it’s ironic that Johnson’s “island mentality” — made famous by his enthusiastic support for leaving the European Union — seems not to stretch to public health, for ministers dismissed the suggestion Britain could shut its borders as US President Donald Trump ordered this week.

‘He’s not doing a Trump’

Some scientists did offer words of support for the UK’s measures.

“I am the first to admit that I’m not Boris Johnson’s biggest fan. But I’m relatively impressed that unlike other political leaders, who’ve kind of bowed to the pressure of each other and their populations to implement school closures — which we don’t have enough evidence to know if it will make a difference or not — Johnson is listening to the current evidence that’s out there,” Dr. Clare Wenham, assistant professor of global health policy at the London School of Economics, told CNN.

“He’s not doing a Trump and shutting down borders, which we know will have no effect. He’s taking a rather measured approach now — but yes, it’s a gamble.”

Putin and Xi are using the coronavirus crisis to extend their control. Across the world, Trump struggles to keep up

Wenham added that she believed the government’s priority was to avoid panic, and ensure the public’s cooperation with prevention measures.

“It’s a political gamble if they get it wrong. If all the countries that implemented school closures and mass travel and mass gatherings see reductions in rates, and the rates in the UK are soaring — that’s a gamble,” she said.

“We know for example that shutting schools works for influenza because children are super-spreaders. We don’t know if that’s true for coronavirus yet. But I think the government is saying ‘look, we don’t yet know if kids are super-spreaders. So, why cause all the havoc of disrupting people’s lives?'”

Keith Neal, emeritus professor in the epidemiology of infectious diseases at the University of Nottingham, also said he backed moves to contain the outbreak.

“The plans are sensible, it is very easy to say more needs to be done, but there is little evidence to make any decision,” he told PA Media.

But former health secretary Jeremy Hunt told the BBC that many people “will be surprised and concerned” by the lack of action in controlling movements. “I think it is surprising and concerning that we’re not doing any of it at all when we have just four weeks before we get to the stage that Italy is at.

“You would have thought that every single thing we do in that four weeks would be designed to slow the spread of people catching the virus.”

‘Spray, pay and pray’

Where the government has been more comfortable making decisive moves is on the economy.

New Chancellor Rishi Sunak this week put emergency funds on the table in his maiden budget — not just to shore up the UK’s National Health Service at a time of emergency, but also to shield small- to medium-sized businesses and the “gig economy,” replete with freelancers, from the effects of having staff off sick or working from home in isolation.

In a coordinated approach, the Bank of England also cut rates and announced stimulus.

The strategy was dubbed “Spray, pay and pray” by the Financial Times’ Lex column.

And therein lies the clue: Downing Street seems to think the panic caused by the new strain of the virus — or Covid-19 as it has become known — could be more dangerous in the long run than the actual illness itself.

Whether the gamble of “keeping calm and carrying on” in the face of the coronavirus is the appropriate approach, only time will tell.

Tara John contributed to this report.





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Turkey opens borders for refugees and migrants to travel to Europe – Channel 4 News


Hundreds of refugees and migrants are gathering on Turkey’s border with Greece after Turkey said it would no longer prevent them from crossing towards Europe.

Buses have been seen transporting people from Istanbul as Turkey attempts to put pressure on the EU to provide more support for refugees coming from Syria.

In Syria itself, tensions remain high after 34 Turkish soldiers were killed this week and fierce fighting continues as the Turkish-backed Syrian rebels try to halt the advance of Russian-backed government forces.



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Britain heralds end of ‘cheap labour from Europe’ with #Brexit immigration system


Britain will prioritize access for high-skilled workers from around the world in its post-Brexit points-based immigration system, the government said on Tuesday (18 February), setting out its plans to put an end to a reliance on “cheap labour from Europe”, writes Kylie MacLellan.

Concern over the impact of high levels of immigration from the European Union was one of the key drivers behind Britain’s 2016 vote to leave the bloc and the government has said it plans to bring overall migration numbers down.

The new system will assign points for specific skills, qualifications, salaries or professions and only give visas to those who have enough points. It will come into force from Jan. 1, 2021 and will treat EU and non-EU citizens the same.

“We have got a number of routes through the points-based immigration scheme that will enable people to come here with the right kind of skills that can support our country and our economy,” Interior Minister Priti Patel said.

But business groups said that many firms relied on overseas labour and cautioned there might not be enough domestic workers to tend crops, care for patients and serve food – a deficit that could undermine the world’s fifth largest economy.

EU citizens will not need a visa to enter Britain as a visitor for up to six months.

The Home Office said it would follow a recommendation made last month by the Migration Advisory Committee (MAC), an independent body which advises the government, to lower the minimum general salary threshold for skilled migrants to 25,600 pounds ($33,330) a year, from 30,000 pounds.

Skilled workers will need to meet criteria including specific skills and the ability to speak English, the government said, and those applying will need to have a job offer.

There will be no specific entry route for low-skilled workers, something the government hopes will help reduce the number of migrants.

“We need to shift the focus of our economy away from reliance on cheap labour from Europe and instead concentrate on investment in technology and automation. Employers will need to adjust,” the government said in a policy document setting out its plans.

The MAC estimated the impact of the government’s planned salary and skills thresholds would mean around 70% of European Economic Area citizens who have arrived in Britain since 2004 would not have been eligible for a visa.

Students will be covered by the points-based system, the government said, while there will be separate initiatives for scientists, graduates, National Health Service workers and those in the agricultural sector.

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Change is happening now in Europe – VoxEurop (English)


Key climate hazards are already affecting Europe and will increasingly do so, a series of maps published by the European Environment Agency (EEA) reveals.

Impacts, calculated through different greenhouse gas emissions scenarios and climate models, can only be reduced by keeping the global temperature increase well below 2°C as the Paris Agreement requires.

“Climate change is happening now and will get more serious in the future, even if global efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions prove effective,” the EEA says. “However, the impacts will be much less severe if efforts to reduce emissions are successful […] Any higher emissions scenario would lead to considerably greater climate change.”

In particular, the EEA maps show scenarios based on escalating droughts, food insecurity, heavy rain, flash floods, forest fires and sea level rise – all interconnected.

Most of Europe experienced more droughts, both meteorological and hydrological, over the 21st century. The largest future increase is projected for southern Europe, “where competition between water users such as agriculture, industry, tourism and households will increase” and cause significant farm losses.

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Indeed, among others, this issue is linked to changes in the agriculture sector. While food security is not currently at risk, “cascading impacts of climate change from outside Europe may further affect agricultural income and price levels in Europe through changes in trade patterns,” explains the EEA. As farmer’s incomes are further influenced by the policies in place, they can protect themselves, for instance, adapting crop varieties, changing sowing dates and improving irrigation.

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On the other hand, a higher intensity of rain in most parts of Europe would, in turn, increase the risk of floods. Central and eastern Europe may see increases in heavy rain of up to 35%, followed by Southern Europe at 25%.

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As for forest fires, unprecedented in several European countries, the danger coincided with record droughts and heatwaves in 2017 and 2018. The projected increase in Southern Europe is about 30-40% even for a low emissions scenario, but improved prevention and effective fire suppression can help.

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Finally, all coastal regions in Europe have experienced an increase in absolute sea level and most regions have experienced one in sea level relative to land. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) special report on the ocean and cryosphere projected a rise in sea level between 0.29m and 1.10m over the 21st century. Areas in danger include the coasts of Belgium, Netherlands, north-west Germany, Denmark, southern Sweden, southern and western France and north-east Italy with Venice.

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All in all, global warming is leading to adverse impacts on all aspects of the European society. That’s why tailored adaptation measures have to be prioritised. “Minimising the risks from global climate change requires targeted actions to adapt to the impacts of climate change, in addition to actions to reduce greenhouse gas emissions,”  the EEA suggests.



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Brussels extends Russia sanctions | New Europe



The European Union extended on 12 December the economic sanctions against Russia over the ongoing conflict in Ukraine, for six more months.

The measures were first implemented in 2014 after Moscow annexed Ukraine’s Crimean peninsula, and were set to expire in January. According to the United Nations, about 13,000 people have died since the beginning of the conflict.

The announcement follows the Paris meeting between Russia’s President Vladimir Putin and Ukraine’s President, Volodymyr Zelensky. During the meeting, they agreed a ceasefire and a prisoner exchange, but failed to agree on other key issues.

The talks were mediated by French President Emmanuel Macron and German Chancellor Angela Merkel, who, after the meeting, recommended an extension of the restrictive measures against Moscow, till the end of July 2020.

The EU’s economic sanctions against Russia include: limited access to EU capital markets for certain Russian banks and companies; export and import ban on trade in arms; export ban for dual-use goods for military use or military end users in Russia; as well as reducing Russian access to technologies that can be used for oil production.



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