Germany fears attacks with biological weapons

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The coronavirus epidemic may give rise to an increased danger of attacks with biological weapons, terrorism experts from the European Council have warned, according to the newspapers of the German group Funke. The new germ has shown “how vulnerable modern societies are to viral infections and the potential for intimidation they carry,” says a report by the European Council’s Commission to Combat Terrorism, whose members believe that extremist groups will not forget. the lesson learned with the pandemic. These highlight in the document that the use of harmful germs or other biological substances by extremists could be “extremely effective” and their effects could cause considerably greater damage than “traditional” attacks.

Biological attacks can paralyze societies for a long time, as well as spread fear and mistrust beyond affected communities. Recalling that some extremist groups have already experimented with bioterrorism, they affirm that all states can be victims of such attacks and that “the damage can be rapid and potentially global.” Experts from the Council of Europe demand a rapid and coordinated response by European states to this threat and the urgent creation of a surveillance system to detect suspicious cases. The German security forces have so far, however, registered no indication of preparations for biological weapons attacks. A spokesman for the German internal intelligence services points out in the newspapers of the Funke group that so far they have not detected “concrete or abstract plans of actions” or “serious ideas for bioterrorism activities.”

Federal Economy Minister Peter Altmaier is preparing new aid for small and medium-sized companies to reduce economic damage from the coronavirus epidemic. Companies with up to 259 employees may receive from June to December this year aid of up to 50,000 euros per month, according to the minister’s plans, which is echoed by the Neue Osnabrücker Zeitung newspaper. Applications may be submitted by firms from all sectors, as well as by freelancers and free professionals. Your billing must have remitted at least 60% in April and May. Companies that have already received other subsidies from the state or federal states may also benefit. Altmaier has an additional expense to cover these grants of 25,000 million euros.

The coronavirus epidemic is facilitating the recording of so-called micro-earthquakes by seismology experts. The restrictions and confinements ordered by the authorities have made the noise interference caused by human activity to be appreciably reduced, which has facilitated the records of the seismographs. “The reduction in earth movements has been clearly recordable at many seismic stations,” according to statements by Joachim Ritter of the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT), who stressed that the signals from earthquake records have been much better recognized. than before the pandemic. “I hope that at some stations we can see signals that we otherwise would not have noticed,” said Ritter. The researchers count on the registry of many more earthquakes, which they consider important for the prediction of the great earth tremors. “Normally the signals from small earthquakes are drowned out by more powerful noises,” said the KIT expert.

German railways Deutsche Bahn want to introduce a smart mobile app that warns their customers of crowded and crowded trains to avoid crowds and overcrowded convoys. The application will issue a warning to customers waiting for the arrival of a train when its occupancy exceeds 50%, reveals the digital Spiegel Online.

In this way they will be able to choose to take less frequented railway connections. The application will also be coordinated with the Deutsche Bahn reservation center to prevent tickets from being bought or made for those convoys that are considered too full of passengers. Deutsche Bahn has announced that starting this week it will normalize its train traffic in Germany after coronavirus restrictions lowered the occupancy of its trains by more than 90%.

United Kingdom

Johnson and Cummings don’t convince with their hollow justifications

  BY iñigo gurruchaga

BY iñigo gurruchaga

The covers are horrible for Boris Johnson. The faithful Daily Mail wonders, under a photo of the Prime Minister and his adviser, Dominic Cummings: “What planet do they live on?” The escape of Cummings, his wife and son to Durham to isolate himself, when she had symptoms of Covid, was “reasonable and legal” for Johnson and for others it is an exhibition of the cynicism of those who issue orders that they do not follow.

Chronology of events:

– 23.03: The Government orders confinement.

– 30.03. Downing Street reports that Cummings has symptoms and has isolated itself.

– 31.03. The family leaves for Cummings ‘parents’ home in Durham, according to ‘The Guardian’ and the ‘Mirror’. The father informs the local Police.

– 5.04. A neighbor sees Cummings in the garden of his parents’ house.

– 12.04. Cummings are seen strolling down the Tees River near Barnard Castle, 50 miles from their parents’ home.

– 14.04. Cummings is photographed on Downing Street.

– 19.04. A witness claims that he saw the Cummings strolling through a forest near Durham.

The three essential elements of Johnson’s defense of Cummings’ “reasonable and legal” conduct are: the family had “severe difficulties” in arranging care for their son at his London home, the parents “were to become incapacitated” and his advisor did it all “with the aim of preventing the virus from spreading.” This third argument is really irritating, except that …

Imagine that the Cummings ‘4-year-old son has a level of autism, or other need for support, that would require the presence of a person assisting him at his parents’ home if they were very ill. Johnson’s three essential phrases fill and fit together.

Even the ride on April 12 would be justified in those circumstances, except for the ‘savonarolas’ of the Covid, who do not stop proclaiming their own virtue. Let’s imagine that the parents left their son in Durham when they returned to London on the 13th. And that they went to look for him the following weekend.

Everything seems reasonable and, if it is not legal, perhaps Cummings, the British Government and others should be held accountable, but for having passed laws that prevented parents from doing so in those circumstances. Neither Johnson nor the Cummings have offered an explanation for these “severe difficulties” in obtaining assistance at their London home during their illness. And so the siege continues.


More than half of the Russian regions today intensify the de-escalation

  BY rafael m. doll

BY rafael m. doll

Along with a large number of European countries and the former Soviet Union, more than half of the 85 territorial entities that make up the Russian Federation today lift mandatory containment measures, many other restrictions issued to combat the coronavirus and go to the called the “second phase”, some even the “third”, the last before undertaking full normalization.

This was stated yesterday by the director of the Rospotrebnadzor control body, Anna Popova, in statements to the media. The Moscow province, according to its governor, Andréi Vorobiov, is one of the regions that is launching “second phase” today, after spending only one week in the first. Vorobiov said that they will open small restaurants and cafes, service businesses such as hairdressers and beauty salons, as well as dry cleaners and some commercial stores, but strictly controlling the capacity.

Since Saturday in the Moscow region, QR passes are no longer necessary to drive or use public transport. You can go outside to take walks or play sports. What is still required is to keep social distance and use gloves and a mask. As in the capital, the industry and building construction works have been operating since 18 May in the Moscow region.

In Siberia many regions, especially the less densely populated ones, pass the “third phase” and will allow the full circulation of people, they will open parks and even large shopping centers. However, in the city of Moscow, epicenter of the epidemic within Russia for having the highest population density, the containment measures will continue in force until at least May 31 and it will still be necessary to process QR codes to use any type transport, including private.

The only easing of the restrictions that begins today in the Russian capital is the resumption of the activity of most of the Multifunctional Centers of State Services (MFTs in its acronym in Russian) for the processing of a wide range of official procedures and the car sharing.

Meanwhile, the situation in the Caucasian republic of Dagestan continues to raise concern about the significant increase in infections registered in recent days. Medical reinforcements and forces of the Ministry of Civil Protection with disinfection teams have been sent to the area from Moscow. Dagestan ranks fifth in Russia in the number of confirmed cases of Covid-19 infection.

The de-escalation that is intensifying in Russia today, according to the infectious diseases specialist of the Russian Ministry of Health, Elena Malínnikova, “may provoke a second wave of infections, but we are prepared for it.” In an interview with the newspaper “Parlámentskaya Gazeta”, Malínnikova maintains that, if it occurs, “a resurgence of the Covid-19 cases would not be as serious as before, since a certain collective immunity has been created and the virus is weakening.” Russia has over 350,000 infected with coronavirus and has recorded more than 3,600 deaths since the start of the pandemic.


France launches a large concert to “refound” the health system

  BY paula rosas

BY paula rosas

France today begins a great consultation with all health actors to address the shortcomings of public health and draw up a plan to “re-found the health system”. This agreement, one of the promises of President Emmanuel Macron to face the Covid-19 crisis, should continue until mid-July and deal with issues such as wages, working time or organization of hospitals.

In March, Macron announced that a “massive investment and appreciation plan” would be launched for the public hospital. Today, Prime Minister Édouard Philippe will meet by videoconference with more than 3,000 representatives of unions and healthcare groups, representatives of nursing homes and general practitioners.

The sector, exhausted after more than two months to the limit, expects salary revaluations and a better endowment for hospitals and health centers, whose deficiencies have been revealed during the most critical moments of the crisis. The real tribute to the health workers “will be not to mock them with promises not kept,” assured this Sunday in “Le Journal de Dimanche” the president of the Hospital Federation of France, Frédéric Valletoux.

Today is two weeks since the start of the de-escalation, with figures that, for the moment, seem to give reason for hope, despite the fact that yesterday, for the first time since mid-April, the number of hospital admissions by Covid -19, increased slightly. But the government has its sights set on June 2, when the departments where the circulation of the virus has decreased may, in theory, reopen restaurants, cinemas or theaters. The decision must be made this week based on the data that the authorities handle.



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