Tag Archives: Europe

The COVID-19 antibody test passed the first major experiment in the UK with an accuracy of 98.6% – Telegraph | Instant News


(Reuters) – British ministers made plans to distribute millions of free coronavirus antibody tests after a version supported by the British government passed its first major trial, the Daily Telegraph newspaper reported on Friday.

The fingerprint test, which can find out within 20 minutes whether a person has been exposed to the corona virus, was found to be 98.6% accurate in a secret human trial held in June, the newspaper reported.

He added that the test was developed by the UK Rapid Test Consortium (UK-RTC), a partnership between Oxford University and leading diagnostic companies in the UK.

The only UK antibody test approved so far involves blood samples sent to a laboratory for analysis, which can take days, The Telegraph said.

Anticipating regulatory approval in the coming weeks, tens of thousands of prototypes have been produced at factories throughout the UK, the report added.

The ministers hope that the AbC-19 lateral flow test will be available for use in a mass screening program before the end of the year, the newspaper reported.

“It was found to be 98.6 percent accurate, and that is very good news,” said Chris Hand, leader of the UK-RTC, as quoted by The Telegraph.

“We are now improving with our partners to produce hundreds of thousands of doses every month,” Hand said, adding the government health department was in talks with the UK-RTC about buying millions of tests before the year ends.

The test will likely be free and will be ordered online instead of being sold in supermarkets, according to a plan quoted by the newspaper.

“While this test will help us better understand how coronaviruses spread throughout the country, we do not yet know whether antibodies show immunity from re-infection or transmission,” a spokesman for the Department of Health and Social Care was quoted as saying by the newspaper.

Reporting by Kanishka Singh in Bengaluru; Editing by Sandra Maler

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Italian Mafia eyeing billions of EU recovery funds | Instant News


ROME (AP) – Italian anti-mafia investigators issued a dramatic warning Friday that the mafia will plan to get hundreds of billions of euros in EU recovery assistance after a pandemic.

When EU leaders gather in Brussels about the amount and conditions of assistance, the paramilitary general who heads the Italian anti-mafia investigative agency DIA says the mafia has certainly mapped out a strategy to exploit some of the money, including through corruption or exploiting the country’s bureaucracy which is notoriously slow, inefficient.

General Carabinieri Giuseppe Governale in an interview with state television RAI likened the windfall to aid after COVID-19 destroyed much of Europe’s economy for massive reconstruction after World War II.

“Hundreds of billions (euros) will flow to Europe and Italy, and at this point, the Mafia will not stand and watch,” Governale said. “Mafia will dive into this sea” money.

Some Italian crime syndicates often use intimidation or deception to win public works contracts in the country.

As a measure of how the mob mobs affected the local government that gave the lucrative contract, the nearly 900-page DIA semi-annual report to Parliament about the state of the state crime syndicate noted that more than 50 municipalities in Italy – mostly in the south, traditional mafia power base, but also as far north as the Alps – currently run by local prefects, after investigators determine that the crime boss has conditioned elected city officials.

The report reviews investigations into organized crime in the last six months of 2019. But with most of Europe struggling to regain its economic footing after months of being locked up by the corona virus, the DIA decided to sound an alarm that EU funds would be seen as a manna for the mafia Italy, which in recent decades has deeply infiltrated the country’s economy.

With the Italian economy stagnating for years even before the pandemic, the mafia has used much of their billions of euros in cocaine and other drug trafficking revenues to buy troubled hotels, pharmacies, restaurants, car dealers and clothing stores. In particular ‘ndrangheta, considered the most powerful crime syndicate in Italy and one of the world’s major criminal organizations, is in a good position to make purchases, especially given the tourism and retail sectors have been destroyed by lockdowns.

“The international economy will need liquidity, and in this case, the clan (‘ndrangheta) will compete with markets that require a substantial financial infusion,” the DIA report said.

It recommended that the Italian system to prevent financial crime by the mafia must be “resilient, adaptable and dynamic.” The adjective can also apply to Italian crime syndicates, especially ndrangheta, which have proven to be usually one step ahead of investigators, as regretted by Italian authorities.

The mafia quickly took advantage of the European economic crisis a decade ago, especially in Italy, either through moneylenders or by using puppets to become partners in legitimate companies. When business fails, the mafias take over, using poorly earned income to make ‘clean’ money for themselves.

The DIA said his warning transcended Italy’s borders mainly because, investigators said, “the ndrangheta in particular and the mafia of other countries had taken root in most of Europe and beyond and the recession triggered by the pandemic had” taken a global dimension. ”

At the micro level, researchers note that Italian mafias, including Cosa Nostra in Sicily, can turn to time-tested methods to help families at risk of poverty.

Especially in southern Italy, crime syndicates have long tried to lick citizens, relying on their loyalty to help elect local politicians who are seen as lenient by the masses.

DIA said ‘ndrangheta is likely to benefit from hospital waste treatment from the COVID-19 case. As for Naples-based Camorra, the syndicate used its clan based in northeastern Italy to explore the sale of protective masks from China, but ignored the offer “just because it was determined to be a little profitable,” the DIA said.

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German police arrest ‘Black Forest Rambo’ after a six day hunt World News | Instant News


German police have arrested an armed suspect accused of stealing officers’ weapons, after a six-day hunt for “Black Forest Rambo”.

The man, referred to by the police as Yves Rausch, she hasI’ve been on the run since last Sunday morning after arresting four officers and stealing their firearms in what his mother claimed was a “panic” moment.

After information from two witnesses, Rausch, 31, was found sitting in a bush “with four weapons visible in front of him”, said Juergen Rieger, head of the search operation.

The suspect also had an ax in his lap and one more weapon, and there was a letter in front of him, said Rieger. Rausch was slightly injured in the arrest, as was a member of the special forces, which was cut with an ax.

“I am relieved, happy and grateful that the extraordinary situation for our city has ended,” Uwe Gaiser, mayor of the village of Oppenau, told reporters.

The drama began on Sunday, when police were called to a forest hut on the outskirts of Oppenau in Baden-W├╝rttemberg after seeing a “suspicious” figure in combat equipment carrying bows and arrows, but were caught when guards pulled a man. shooting at them.

A 200-strong police unit had spent the previous five days combing the forest, using helicopters, heat detectors, and sniffer dogs to limit abandoned buildings, caves and old bunkers, but to no avail.

Rausch, who is registered as having no permanent residence, is believed to have been living outside for some time. “We assume that the 31-year-old moves confidently through the rough terrain around Oppenau and knows the area very well,” police said.

Whether Rausch has political motives or decided to run away from the police suddenly is unclear.

A two-page text calling for “harmonious life in and in nature” which according to Rausch left in a local restaurant has been described in several German media as his “manifesto”.

The Bild newspaper said the contents of the text bore a close resemblance to the 35,000 neo-Luddite Industrial Society essays and its Future by Theodore Kaczynski, better known as the Unabomber, who tried to spark a revolution in the US with national bombardment. campaign between 1978 and 1995.

However, police said on Friday they did not believe Rausch as the text writer left at the restaurant.

According to Der Spiegel magazine, Rausch was convicted of “incitement of people” when he was 15 years after making a mark on a building to read “the Jews left”. In 2010, he was sentenced to three and a half years in prison for a painful bodily injury after shooting an acquaintance with automatic arrows.

Speaking to German local media, friends and family said the 2010 incident was a tragic accident and that Rausch, who was trained as a carpenter in prison, posed no threat to the local population.

In an interview with Mittelbadische Presse, her mother said that she had “experienced bad things” while in prison and that pointing a gun at the police must have “panicked at the last moment” triggered by fear of returning.

Speaking to the local radio station BigFM, a friend identified only as “Sebastian” said Rausch was “a beautiful, kind, polite and accommodating man”, adding: “He did not want to go back behind bars. He was afraid they would catch him again and that’s why he will react like this. “

According to his mother, Rausch used a forest hut where a confrontation with the police took place as his home, planting vegetables and carving wood gnomes that he hoped would sell.

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UPDATE 1-Brazil is considering allowing early withdrawal from pensions | Instant News


(Update with citations and regional context)

By Marcela Ayres

BRAZILIA, July 17 (Reuters) – Brazilian Finance Minister Roberto Funchal said on Friday that the government was analyzing the possibility of allowing Brazilians to withdraw money from their retirement funds early, as an emergency measure amid the coronavirus virus crisis.

The move has been permitted in Peru and is currently being discussed in Chile.

“People know it has benefits, but it can come at some cost,” Funchal said, without offering further details, in a live online broadcast.

Funchal raised questions about whether allowing withdrawals could jeopardize Brazilian Treasury bonds, which are invested by pension funds. He did not give a clear answer, saying the ministry of economics was still debating the move.

Similar concerns arose in Peru when a withdrawal was proposed there in March, and finally the central bank offered liquidity to pension funds so they would not sell Peruvian government bonds to fund withdrawals.

As the coronavirus crisis continues, Brazil and other countries are debating whether to expand emergency financial support to citizens.

Funchal warned that the government is committed not to increase overall public spending this year, which means that any coronavirus support needs to be balanced.

He estimates that the ratio of gross debt to Brazilian GDP will reach 98% by the end of the year. (Reporting by Marcela Ayres; writing by Marcelo Rochabrun Editing by Chris Reese and Alistair Bell)

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