Tag Archives: Western Europe

Italy is considering extending the COVID-19 state of emergency until January 31, media say | Instant News

FILE PHOTOS: People walking beside a test site at Fiumicino Airport in Rome, Italy, September 23, 2020. REUTERS / Remo Casilli / File Photo

ROME (Reuters) – Italy is considering extending to January 31 next year its state of emergency over the COVID-19 crisis, two national newspapers said on Thursday.

The state of emergency, which expires in mid-October, gives the government greater powers, allowing officials to more easily bypass the bureaucracy that hinders many decision-making in Italy.

Dailies Il Messagero and Corriere della Sera said a cabinet meeting discussed the issue on Wednesday night.

“It’s not official yet … while at first (the government) talked about pushing it back to December 31, as long as the (government) meeting was considered to be beyond the end of the year, given that cohabitation with the virus was destined to last a long time,” said Il Messaggero.

Reporting by Maria Pia Quaglia; Written by Giulia Segreti; Edited by Clarence Fernandez


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Coronavirus has directly affected the earnings of the German industrial company: Ifo | Instant News

FILE PHOTOGRAPH: A worker controls a blast furnace wiretap at Europe’s largest steel plant owned by German industrial conglomerate ThyssenKrupp AG in the western German city of Duisburg, December 6, 2012. REUTERS / Ina Fassbender / File Photo

BERLIN (Reuters) – The income situation in Germany’s mighty industrial sector is only improving slowly and the coronavirus crisis is still directly affecting the earnings of industrial companies, Germany’s Ifo agency said Thursday.

Ifo said the industrial company earnings indicator was at -32 points in September, a slight increase from -43 points in May, when Ifo last asked companies about their earnings.

Reporting by Michelle Adair; Edited by Riham Alkousaa


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Color it black: British post boxes change color in honor of Black British people | Instant News

LONDON (Reuters) – Four distinctive British red postboxes have been painted black and gold and decorated with images by or famous black Britons, in a new way to celebrate Black History Month.

One of Britain’s most recognizable symbols, the red pillar box appears on countless postcards and souvenir items, while tourists can often be seen posing for photos next to the post box.

The Royal Mail said it had selected one post box in each of Britain’s four constituent sections – England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland – and painted it black with a gold stripe across the top. They will stay that way during October, which is Black History Month.

In Britain, the post box chosen was located close to the heritage center of the Black Cultural Archives in Brixton, an area south of London that has long been a center for the Caribbean community and other black minority groups.

The Brixton postbox features an image of the painting “Queuing in the RA” by British-Nigerian artist Yinka Shonibare, which appears on a limited edition stamp issued by the Royal Mail in 2018 celebrating the Royal Academy art gallery.

Shonibare is famous for works that grapple with cultural identity and colonial heritage, such as “The Nelson Ship in a Bottle”, a replica of the HMS Victory wrapped in a giant bottle and with 37 sails made of African cloth.

According to the British Arts Fund, which obtained the artwork for exhibition in London, it “considers the legacy of British colonialism and its expansion in trade and the Empire, made possible through the freedom of the sea and the new trade routes that Nelson’s victory provided.”

Scotland’s black post box, located in Glasgow, features a picture of Walter Tull, who was the first black player to be signed by the city’s Rangers football team before being killed in action during World War One.

In the Welsh capital, Cardiff, a black post box features an image of Jamaican-born nurse Mary Seacole, who cared for wounded soldiers during the 1853-1856 Crime War.

In Northern Ireland’s capital Belfast, the post box selected features an image of comedian Lenny Henry, who according to Royal Mail “was instrumental in helping multi-cultural societies embrace multi-cultural comedy.”

The Royal Mail is the latest agency to have been involved with Britain’s Black heritage in recent months, jolted by the Black Lives Matter movement and by protesters’ dropping of a statue of a slave trader in the city of Bristol in June.

Among other changes, other slave trader statues have been removed by officials in London, a concert hall in Bristol has changed its name to itself and a charity that manages hundreds of stately country estates published an in-depth report on how the properties benefit from slavery and colonialism.

This trend was met with backlash, with some in the media and some politicians calling it a “hoax”. The government has warned a number of major cultural institutions including the British Museum that their public funding could be called into question if they remove statues or other controversial objects.

Reporting by Estelle Shirbon; Edited by Alexandra Hudson


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Johnson said the internal market bill protects jobs, growth and trade | Instant News

A small toy figure seen in front of the British and European Union flags emblazoned in this illustration, 17 October 2019. REUTERS / Dado Ruvic / Illustration

LONDON (Reuters) – British Prime Minister Boris Johnson says the controversial internal market bill, which sets out the technical details for post-Brexit trade between parts of the UK’s constituencies, is aimed at protecting jobs across the country.

“All this bill is actually transferring power back from Brussels to Edinburgh,” he said in response to a question from the Scottish nationalist Westminster leader.

“What this law does is protect jobs, protect growth, protect trade in Great Britain and that is the most important thing.”

Reporting by Guy Faulconbridge, Written by Paul Sandle; edited by Stephen Addison


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Germany is “moving in the right direction” on Huawei restrictions, US officials say | Instant News

BRUSSELS (Reuters) – Germany’s decision to restrict Chinese mobile equipment maker Huawei is the right approach, a senior US official said on Wednesday, urging Berlin to support the NATO alliance by removing Chinese technology from Europe’s next-generation mobile networks.

Keith Krach, the US deputy secretary of state for economic affairs, said he had met German officials and executives during his current visit to Europe.

“We see things moving in the right direction in Germany … There really is no future with Huawei,” he told reporters in an online forum.

(This story has been rewritten to correct a typo in the title)

Reporting by Robin Emmott and Toby Sterling, editing by Marine Strauss


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