Category Archives: Europe

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Germany will pay compensation to homosexuals dismissed from the army

The German government approved a law Wednesday to compensate gay soldiers who had been discriminated against in the army before the policy change 20 years ago. The AP reported.

The decision came two months after Defense Minister Annegret Kramp-Carrenbauer apologized for decades of discrimination.

A study commissioned by her ministry documented “systematic discrimination” in the Bundeswehr between 1955 and 2000.

The study argued that “same-sex orientation was seen as a security threat in the Bundeswehr up to the millennium’s end and made a career as an officer or non-commissioned officer impossible.

Kramp-Karrenbauer said the affected soldiers would be “rehabilitated” under the new legislation.

The law provides for the overturning of sentences handed down by military courts for consensual homosexual sex, with compensation of 3,000 euros for each of those sentences, as well as for soldiers who have been fired and deprived of promotion. The Ministry of Defense estimates that about 1000 people will apply for compensation.

“I know we can’t compensate for the personal injuries they’ve suffered, but with the verdict overturned and the lump-sum compensation paid, we want to send a message of redress to restore the dignity of these people who wanted nothing more than to serve Germany,” Kramp-Karenbauer said.

This is Germany’s last step to address past discrimination based on sexual orientation. In 2017, Parliament voted to overturn the sentencing of thousands of gay men under a law that criminalizes male homosexuality, which was zealously used in West Germany after World War II.

Britain has announced the largest economic decline in 300 years

At the end of the year, the country’s GDP will decrease by more than 11%. The economic consequences of such a fall will be long-lasting.

Great Britain will experience the biggest recession in 300 years. The gross domestic product of Britain will shrink by more than 11%. This was reported on Wednesday, November 25, by the press service of the British Treasury.

“The economy will shrink this year by 11.3%, which is the largest decline in production for more than 300 years… The economic losses are likely to belong. This means that in 2025 the economy will be about 3% less than expected in March,” said Finance Minister Rishi Sunak.

However, he expects that with the easing of quarantine restrictions, the British economy will begin to recover and grow by 5.5% next year and by 6.6% in 2022. In subsequent years, the economy is projected to grow by 2.3%, 1.7%, and 1.8%.

Recall that at Christmas in Britain and France will be released quarantine for five days.

Germany extended coronavirus restrictions until the end of the year

At that, the citizens of the Federal Republic are promised that they will be relaxed during the Christmas vacations.

The partial quarantine regime in Germany will be extended till December 20, Chancellor Angela Merkel reported after negotiations with heads of federal states. The briefing on Wednesday, November 25, was broadcast on the government website.

“So far, the measures will continue to operate until December 20. We assume that the restrictions will remain in force until early January,” Merkel said.

The Chancellor stressed that earlier restrictions have stopped exponential growth, but the number of infestations in the country is still too high.

“The infection curve has become smoother, but this result cannot be satisfied,” Merkel said.

It is noted that from early December private meetings will be allowed only for a maximum of five people from two families.

For the period from December 23 to January 1, that is, for all Christmas holidays and New Year’s Eve, the rules will temporarily soften: during this period will be allowed meetings with a maximum of ten people, regardless of which family. In addition, the authorities will tighten the rules of visiting retail outlets — for every 10 sq. m. of space one visitor will be allowed, and in regions with a particularly tense situation for schoolchildren from the eighth grade will be introduced education in several shifts.

The quarantine regime has been in force in Germany since November 2. It was originally planned that it will last until December, but the dynamics of infection did not decrease to the desired level. Restaurants, bars, and other gastronomic facilities are now closed in the country, and only skillful people are allowed to sell dishes and drinks. Fitness clubs, tattoo salons, swimming pools, cosmetic and massage studios, theaters, cinemas, and concert halls are closed. Such a regime is called “partial lockdown” in Germany, because schools and kindergartens, as well as shopping centers, operate.

According to the Robert Koch Institute, over 18.6 thousand new cases of coronavirus have been detected in Germany in the past 24 hours. All in all, more than 532 thousand people were infected in the country, died of COVID-19 — 14.7 thousand. The past day became a record day in Germany for the number of reported fatal cases from coronavirus — 410.

It should be reminded that earlier WHO noted a record increase in COVID-19 cases during the week. In the Americas, there was an increase in the rate of both new cases and patient deaths.

AstraZeneca shares are cheaper for the third consecutive day

The shares of the British pharmaceutical company AstraZeneca are cheaper for the third day in a row because of uncertainty about the effectiveness of its COVID-19 vaccine. This is evidenced by trading data.

Shares of AstraZeneca cheaper by 0.66% to 79.47 pounds sterling, and since the beginning of the week they have lost 4.4% of the value.

On Monday, AstraZeneca said that an interim analysis of clinical trials of the vaccine, developed jointly with scientists from Oxford, showed an average efficiency of 70%. According to the data from the pharmaceutical company, the participants received two different dosage options for the vaccine, one of them showed efficiency at 90% and the other at 62%.

Earlier Wednesday, Bloomberg Agency reported, citing Donald Trump Monceph Slowly, advisor to the administration of the current U.S. president, that the vaccine dosage, developed by AstraZeneca in conjunction with the University of Oxford, which showed high efficiency, was tested on volunteers under 55.

AstraZeneca Plc, one of the largest pharmaceutical companies in the world, was formed by the merger of British Zeneca Group Plc and Swedish Astra AB in 1999. The company develops, manufactures, and sells medicines for the treatment of gastrointestinal, cardiovascular, neurological, and oncological diseases.

In Scotland, tampons and pads will now be distributed free of charge

Scotland became the first country in the world to make feminine hygiene products such as pads and tampons available to women free of charge.

Reported by The Guardian.

The Free Supply of “Periodic Products” Act passed its final round in the Scottish Parliament on Tuesday. Now, local authorities must ensure that pads and tampons are available to all who need them.

This was made possible by a four-year campaign led by activist Monica Lennon that revolutionized public opinion about menstruation.

After the final decision, Lennon said it was “a proud day for Scotland”.

“It will make a huge difference in the lives of women and girls, as well as anyone who is menstruating. A few years ago, there was never an open discussion of menstruation in the Holyrood Chamber (Scottish Parliament), but now it is mainstream,” the activist said.