China EU

The latest breaking news, politics and current affairs from Europe. 
South China Morning Post
  1. Scientists were reporting early signs that some recent mutations of the virus that causes Covid-19 may modestly curb the effectiveness of two current vaccines, although they stress that the shots still protect against the disease.Coronavirus cases have surged past 96 million worldwide, fuelled by the emergence of the new variants including one that was first detected in Britain and has now spread to more than 60 nations, according to the World Health Organization. The one that emerged in South…
  2. Dozens of British music stars including Elton John, Ed Sheeran and conductor Simon Rattle say musicians have been “shamefully failed” by the British government, which has left them facing post-Brexit restrictions on touring in the European Union.In a letter published on Wednesday in the Times of London, more than 100 musicians including Sting, Pink Floyd’s Roger Waters and Roger Daltrey of The Who, along with the heads of major arts institutions, said the new UK-EU trade deal that took effect…
  3. Three Muslim groups refused on Wednesday to back an anti-extremism charter pushed by French officials following a spate of jihadist-inspired attacks, dealing a blow to a flagship initiative of President Emmanuel Macron’s government.The charter rejects “instrumentalising” Islam for political ends and affirms equality between men and women, while denouncing practices such as female circumcisions, forced marriages or “virginity certificates” for brides.French Council of the Muslim Faith (CFCM), a…
  4. European Union envoys on Thursday struck a preliminary agreement on having antigen tests for Covid-19 carried out in any member country recognised by all 27 countries in the bloc, diplomats said.The move, to be followed with a written procedure and discussed at an EU leaders’ summit on Thursday, aims to make Covid-19 testing more widespread and faster.Unlike PCR (polymerase chain reaction) tests that involve getting a swab from the nasal cavity behind the nose that is analysed in a lab, antigen…
  5. Germany is set to be the first country to ban mass culling of male chicks in the poultry industry, the government said on Wednesday after approving a draft law ending the controversial practice.The measure passed by the cabinet envisages a ban on mass chick killing from 2022 in “a significant step forward for animal welfare”, Agriculture Minister Julia Kloeckner said in a statement.In many poultry businesses, male chicks are separated from females soon after hatching and shredded or gassed as…
  6. The carcass of a huge whale has been recovered from the waters off southern Italy, the coastguard said Wednesday, calling it “probably one of the largest” ever found in the Mediterranean.The dead mammal was spotted in the sea on Sunday near the popular tourist destination of Sorrento by coastguard divers who were first alerted to the presence of a smaller whale, which has since disappeared into the sea.The coastguard said it recovered the carcass overnight on Tuesday and then towed the whale…
  7. Lawyers for a British newspaper group that Meghan Markle is suing for publishing a private letter to her estranged father called on Tuesday for a full trial to “shed light” on the case.The Duchess of Sussex launched legal action against Associated Newspapers, which publishes The Mail on Sunday and MailOnline website, for printing extracts of the letter to Thomas Markle.The letter was written in August 2018, a few months after Meghan Markle married Prince Harry, and asked her father to stop…
  8. A powerful explosion apparently caused by a gas leak ripped the facade off a residential building in central Madrid on Wednesday, killing three people and injuring at least 11 more, according to the city’s mayor.Images from the scene showed the walls on the top four or five storeys of the residential building in the heart of the La Latina neighbourhood had been blown out, with vast quantities of debris spreading far and wide.Government representative Jose Manuel Franco told Spain’s public…
  9. Some British hospitals resemble a “war zone” due to the influx of coronavirus patients in the country’s latest wave of the disease, the government’s chief scientific adviser said on Wednesday.Britain is gripped by a new strain of the virus, heaping fresh pressure on overstretched health services, and overwrought medical staff.A record 1,610 deaths were recorded on Tuesday, although overall case numbers have started to fall.“When you go into a hospital, this is very, very bad at the moment with…
  10. The UK coronavirus strain has spread to at least 60 countries, the World Health Organization reported Wednesday, after the incoming US president Joe Biden led a moving tribute to 400,000 American victims.Covid-19 has claimed more than two million lives globally since it was first detected in the Chinese city of Wuhan more than a year ago, while the total number of reported cases is edging towards 100 million, according to a Johns Hopkins University tally.The arrival of mass inoculation drives…