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EU leaders try to retake control of coronavirus response

EU leaders try to retake control of coronavirus response

Europe's leaders on Tuesday moved to assert control over their initially haphazard response to the fast-spreading coronavirus epidemic, announcing an array of measures aimed at containing the outbreak, blunting an unfolding economic shock, and reassuring an increasingly panicked public.But it was far from clear that any of it would work.The new measures, including plans for a fast injection of €7.5 billion in assistance to health care systems, small businesses and other hard-hit sectors of the economy, were announced by European Council President Charles Michel and Commission President...

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David M. Herszenhorn
March 10, 2020
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Former Clinton aide seeks to rewrite anti-tech lobbying rule book

Former Clinton aide seeks to rewrite anti-tech lobbying rule book

From an office in London's diamond district, Ben Scott has his eyes set on Big Tech.The former tech policy aide to Hillary Clinton  leapfrogging between elections from Germany to Canada looking for ways to counter the rise of online misinformation and halt the growing dominance of social media giants.Now, the bespectacled 42-year-old, who worked with Clinton when she was Secretary of State and during her failed 2016 presidential bid, is reentering the fight with a new lobbying shop called . It aims take on the power of Silicon Valley companies just as officials from Brussels to Ottawa look...

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Mark Scott
March 10, 2020
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Spain to go into lockdown

Spain to go into lockdown

Spain will declare a nationwide lockdown on Saturday, according to Spanish media reports.It will become the second European country, after Italy, to take such a measure.People will be asked to stay home except for buying food and going to work.Coronavirus cases have risen by more than 1,500 in less than 24 hours, according to the Spanish health ministry.New numbers published by the ministry show that the total number of confirmed cases in Spain rose from on Friday at 6 p.m. to on Saturday at 11:30 a.m.On Friday, Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez a national "state of alarm," giving his...

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Rym Momtaz
March 14, 2020
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EU weighs into German-American spat over vaccine company

EU weighs into German-American spat over vaccine company

Brussels has entered into an ill-tempered diplomatic skirmish between Germany and the U.S. over a company that is developing a vaccine against coronavirus.CureVac, a company based in the German town of Tübingen, hit the headlines over the weekend when Germany's that U.S. President Donald Trump was attempting to snatch up exclusive rights to the business's coronavirus vaccine, developed in cooperation with a publicly funded German institute.While the report has pitched U.S. and German officials into a war of words, the European Commission said Monday it would offer the company a guaranteed...

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Hans von der Burchard
March 16, 2020
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Dozens arrested in Brussels riots during lockdown

Dozens arrested in Brussels riots during lockdown

At least 43 people were arrested following riots in the Brussels neighborhood of Anderlecht Saturday night, Belgian media reported.Violence erupted Saturday afternoon, with groups of young people throwing rocks and pieces of glass at police officers, according to reports. At one point, a man wearing a balaclava fired three shots in the air with a gun that appeared to have been stolen from police, . Police later confirmed a weapon had been stolen and that it is investigating the theft.The riots followed the death of a 19-year-old on Friday night. The man, identified as Adil, was riding a...

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Jillian Deutsch
April 12, 2020
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Coronavirus fuels calls to clamp down on EU wildlife trade

Coronavirus fuels calls to clamp down on EU wildlife trade

MEPs and environmental groups are demanding a stronger clampdown on trade of exotic animals in the EU | Sam Panthaky/AFP via Getty ImagesThe coronavirus — but some say it's still a man-made catastrophe caused by the booming international trade in wild animals.Scientists the new virus originated in bats and jumped to humans via a pangolin host at a live animal market in Wuhan, China. The scaly anteater is one of the world's illegally trafficked animals, and is eaten and used in traditional medicine in China, which has  the trade of wild animals in response to the crisis.Now members of the...

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Eddy Wax
April 3, 2020
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EU moves to limit exports of medical equipment outside the bloc

EU moves to limit exports of medical equipment outside the bloc

Brussels on Sunday imposed an EU-wide export ban for some medical protective equipment in a bid to keep sufficient supplies within the bloc, European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen announced.On Monday, the Commission will also launch joint public procurement with member countries for testing kits and respiratory ventilators and present guidelines to national governments on border measures, she said. The Commission is already in the process of jointly procuring face masks for 20 countries."We need to protect our health workers, who are in the first line of defense against the...

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Lili Bayer
March 15, 2020
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Downing Street: UK will say ‘no’ if EU asks for Brexit extension

Downing Street: UK will say ‘no’ if EU asks for Brexit extension

LONDON — The U.K. would refuse any European Union request to extend the Brexit transition period, Downing Street said Thursday.The prime minister's official spokesman said the U.K. needed "legislative and economic flexibility" to manage its response to the coronavirus pandemic and would not seek more time to secure a trade deal with the EU."We will not ask to extend the transition period, and if the EU asks we will say 'no.' Extending the transition would simply prolong the negotiations, prolong business uncertainty and delay the moment of control of our borders. It would also keep us bound...

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Annabelle Dickson
April 16, 2020
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Dispute over ‘political’ crimes looms over Assange extradition

Dispute over ‘political’ crimes looms over Assange extradition

It’s an oft-heard refrain from high-profile criminal defendants: that the case against them is entirely “political.” That contention rarely carries the day in a court of law, but Julian Assange’s case may be the rare one where it finds some traction.Judges normally have little patience for such arguments, but legal experts say the WikiLeaks founder could have a better shot because of the extradition process needed to bring him to the U.S. for trial on the computer hacking indictment unsealed Thursday — just after he was dragged out of the Ecuadorian Embassy in London by British police.Like...

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Josh Gerstein
March 10, 2020
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Brexit could delay UK access to a coronavirus vaccine 

Brexit could delay UK access to a coronavirus vaccine 

LONDON — The U.K.’s efforts to "take back control" may have yet another unintended consequence — compromising the country’s ability to secure a coronavirus vaccine quickly and cheaply.Current best estimates put the delivery date for a vaccine over a year away. That’s beyond the Brexit transition period, meaning that the U.K. could by then be outside the authority of the EU’s medicines regulator, the European Medicines Agency.If the ongoing negotiations don't result in some form of alignment with the EMA’s approvals, the U.K. could come off as second best, with drugmakers prioritizing the EU...

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Ashleigh Furlong
March 10, 2020
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