Tag Archives: Social affairs

Germany’s top bishop regrets ‘shameful’ image of church | World | Instant News

BERLIN (AP) – The president of the German bishops’ conference said on Thursday that the country’s Roman Catholic church was suffering from a “disgraceful image” amid mounting anger over the Cologne archbishop’s handling of reports of past sexual abuse by priests, but he defended self. his overall record of dealing with the problem.

The Archbishop of Cologne, Cardinal Rainer Maria Woelki, faces discontent after hiding for months a study he was conducting into how local church officials reacted when priests were accused of sexual harassment.

Woelki cited legal issues regarding the publication of studies conducted by law firms. He has created a new report, which is supposed to be published on March 18.

There has been criticism within Woelki’s German church. The chairman of the German bishops’ conference, Bishop of Limburg Georg Baetzing, described crisis management in Cologne as “catastrophic” but said earlier this week that the conference had no “sovereignty” to intervene.

After a regular meeting of the country’s bishops, Baetzing said on Thursday they are taking the impact on the church “very seriously”.

A Cologne court this month announced that it increased the number of appointments available to people wishing to leave the church officially to 1,500 from 1,000 starting in March, amid strong demand.


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Italy’s Lombardy is back in a viral crisis when Brescia is on the rise | Instant News

Brescia, with a population of around 1.2 million, has seen its daily cases go from the mid-100s in early February to 901 on Wednesdays and 973 Thursdays, due to clusters of infections traced to British variants. Doctors said the number of COVID-19 patients being treated at major public hospitals rose from an average of around 200 to 300 recently.

“We can’t talk about the third wave from our point of view, just because the second wave never really ends,” said Dr. Cristiano Perani, head of the emergency room at the General Hospital of Brescia. “The increase is gradual, but has increased acceleration in recent weeks. “

Lombardy, Italy’s most populous region, has imposed a new lockdown on Brescia and is changing its vaccine strategy to direct the jabs it has on nearby provinces and cities in neighboring Bergamo. The goal of this strategy is to inoculate as many people as possible as quickly as possible in the worst affected areas.

Guido Bertolaso, who is in charge of the vaccine campaign, said the region would pass the 30% reserve the national government recommended to remain available for the second dose, and that from Thursday it would start vaccinating residents aged 60-79, much earlier than. scheduled. Lombardy recently began vaccinating people over 80, after giving health care workers and residents of nursing homes a priority.

The goal of the strategy, Bertolaso ​​said, is to create “health care” in the area with blanket vaccinations. This approach is based on studies from the UK and Israel – and even on the Lombardy data itself – which showed reduced infection rates as more people were vaccinated with just one dose.

“This is war,” Bertolaso ​​said.

Brescia’s deputy mayor, Laura Castelletti, said residents were willing to accept the new lockdown measures – which include the closure of all schools and child care centers – as long as the vaccination schedule accelerates.

“We are ready to make sacrifices if the vaccination campaign runs 24/7,” he said.

Brescia and Bergamo were the two Italian provinces hardest hit during the first wave of the pandemic, which started this time last year and quickly turned Lombardy into the epicenter of the spread in Europe.

Lombardy as a whole still accounts for nearly a third of Italy’s 96,974 confirmed COVID-19 deaths, and a fifth of the 2.87 million confirmed infections. Italy has the sixth highest confirmed death toll in the world, and the second in Europe after Britain.

The Italian vaccine campaign, which has delivered 3.92 million doses, has been slowed by delays in deliveries from three EU supplying pharmaceutical companies: Pfizer-BioNTech, Moderna and AstraZeneca.

It was not immediately clear whether the health ministry would direct any vaccine to Lombardy, given the previously established quota that had provided the most doses there.

Italy’s virus czar, Domenico Arcuri, did not respond to Fontana’s request in a statement on Thursday but boasted that the injections showed a “comforting increase” this week, averaging around 100,000 a day nationwide.

Nearly two months after Italy began its vaccination campaign on December 27, the tiny Republic of San Marino gave its first dose on Thursday. San Marino, a city-state of about 33,800 people surrounded by Italy, had to buy a dose of Russia’s Sputnik V after a delay in receiving the dose administered from Italy.

“This is the most effective weapon we have against this disease,” said Dr. Enrico Rossi, who was among the first to be inoculated. “It’s kind of a nightmare this year but we hope it will end.”


Follow all AP pandemic coverage at https://apnews.com/hub/coronavirus-pandemic, https://apnews.com/hub/coronavirus-vaccine and https://apnews.com/UnderstandingtheOutbreak


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Italy orders food delivery service to treat motorists better | World | Instant News

By FRANCES D’EMILIO Associated Press

ROME (AP) – Italy is pursuing an online food delivery company, with a prosecutor lamenting Wednesday that food-delivered cyclists, many of them immigrants, are practically being treated like slaves.

Milan prosecutors said four major shipping companies in Italy had been given 90 days to improve their treatment of motorists, including providing safe bicycles, accident compensation, employment contracts and training, among other job protections.

Authorities also issued a fine of 733 million euros ($ 880 million). Prosecutor Tiziana Siciliano said the delivery “represents a fundamental relationship, without which business cannot function.”

The Italian news agency LaPresse said three out of four companies issued statements expressing surprise and arguing that they offered people flexibility and security of delivery.

With cafes and restaurants closed entirely or partially for months under pandemic restrictions, motorists carrying take-out food boxes are crammed into big cities and towns to help keep many Italians eating and safe in their homes.

The four companies have about 60,000 cyclists and motorbikes, almost none of whom work on any contracts, pension contributions, paid vacations, sick leave or accident benefits, prosecutors in Milan said.


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Germany: Expected first verdict in Syria torture trial | World | Instant News

Activists hope to increase similar cases, both in Germany and elsewhere, against perpetrators of gender-based violence in Syria, Kaleck added.

Raslan is accused of overseeing the “systematic and brutal torture” of more than 4,000 prisoners between April 2011 and September 2012, which resulted in the deaths of at least 58 people. A verdict in his case is expected later this year.

Al-Gharib was one of Raslan’s underlings. When he was a sergeant major, his unit was allegedly involved in chasing and detaining at least 30 people after the demonstration in Douma, and then taking them to a detention center where they were tortured.

Al-Gharib left Syria in 2013 and came to Germany in 2018. The two men were arrested a year later.

Steve Kostas, a senior lawyer at the New York-based Open Society Justice Initiative, praised Germany for leading the prosecution. He said other countries should resume prosecution immediately, especially countries where the Syrian government perpetrators are known to live.

“Although this verdict will be made against one perpetrator, the evidence shows the scale and systematicity of the Syrian government’s torture program,” said Kostas, whose group represents the four victims in the Raslan case. Two clients left because of concerns about them or them. family safety.


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Germany remembers victims one year after racist killings National | Instant News

HANAU, Germany – Germany is commemorating victims of a racist shooting in Hanau, near Frankfurt, on Friday, one year after 10 people were shot dead by an extremist in a city near Frankfurt.

The assailant, identified as Tobias R, went on a rampage on the night of 19 February 2020, targeting nine people of foreign descent before killing his mother and then shooting himself.

The attack left a grieving community as well as criticism from the authorities, who are accused of not doing enough to prevent the attacks or support the family afterwards.

“Clarification and reckoning of the past is … the responsibility of the state to the public and especially to relatives,” said German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier in a speech to mark the event.

Steinmeier acknowledged that a mistake had been made by the authorities, saying he was “deeply depressed that our country could not fulfill its promises for protection, security and freedom.”

He challenged the public not to “let evil acts divide us.”

“Let us not ignore the evil forces in our midst – hatred, marginalization, indifference. But let us believe … in our strength to stand together,” he said.

The 43-year-old gunman published pamphlets online before the shooting accompanied by conspiracy theories and racist slander.

Armin Kurtovic, whose son Hamzah was killed, said he grapples daily with questions about how the crime happened and why it was not prevented.

“Since then, the world around us has not moved. Nothing is like it used to be,” he said.

He called for the crime to be investigated but said there was a lack of will to do so. “During this year, we have been trying to find answers to our own questions, because we were not listened to by the authorities and were rejected many times.”

Another victim’s relative sent a video message echoing his calls, saying questions urgently needed to be answered and further efforts were made to fight racism.

Church bells rung in Hanau and the surrounding city and district at night to mark the attack.

Former national football star Rudi Voeller opened a memorial and lit candles while reading the names of the victims: Ferhat Unvar, Hamza Kurtovic, Said Nesar Hashemi, Mercedes Kierpacz, Sedat Gurbuz, Gokhan Gultekin, Kaloyan Velkov, Vili Viorel Paun and Fatih Saracoglu.

Speaking on the eve of the memorial, Foreign Minister Heiko Maas said that no one could argue that they did not see the Hanau attacks coming given the statistics gathered by domestic intelligence in previous years.

He noted that more than 33,000 far-right extremists live in Germany, 13,000 of whom are willing to use violence, and the trend is increasing.

“Why don’t we hear the alarm bells?” the foreign minister asked.

Maas spoke of “everyday racism in government and city offices, in shops, in schools, buses and trains” that must be stopped.

On Friday, demonstrations took place across the country, including in big cities such as Berlin, Hamburg and Munich.

In Hamburg, 2,000 people attended several rallies under the banner “Solidarity from Hamburg to Hanau,” calling for an investigation into the incident.

In Hanau itself, demonstrations to commemorate this one year anniversary were organized by an alliance of local youth groups under the banner of “Don’t forgive, don’t forget. Together fight racism.”

(c) 2021 Deutsche Presse-Agentur GmbH (Hamburg, Germany)

Visit Deutsche Presse-Agentur GmbH (Hamburg, Germany) at www.dpa.de/English.82.0.html

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Copyright 2021 Tribune Content Agency.


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