Countries’ emissions pledges still fall short of global climate goals, UN says

BRUSSELS – Countries’ latest pledges to cut emissions would fail to avert catastrophic climate change, the United Nations said on Friday, as pressure grows on polluters including China and India to set more ambitious targets before the COP26 summit in November. The U.N. COP26 conference aims to secure more ambitious climate action from the nearly 200 countries who signed the 2015 Paris Agreement and agreed to try to limit human-caused global warming to 1.5 degrees…

"Countries’ emissions pledges still fall short of global climate goals, UN says"

Slovenia makes vaccinations mandatory for govt staff from Oct 1

SARAJEVO – Slovenia’s public sector employees, except for those working in education, will have to show proof of vaccination or of a recent recovery from COVID-19 infection to enter their working spaces from Oct. 1, Health Minister Janez Poklukar said on Friday. The move is yet another government attempt to persuade people to get inoculated. “The basic purpose of the measure is to prevent the spread of infections in the workplace and, consequently, to ensure…

"Slovenia makes vaccinations mandatory for govt staff from Oct 1"

EU fails to confirm if women, young adults at higher clot risk from AstraZeneca shot

– Europe’s drugs regulator said on Friday it could not confirm if women and young adults were at a higher risk of rare blood clots with low platelets following vaccination with AstraZeneca’s COVID-19 vaccine after it studied available data. Limitations in the way the data was collected meant that the European Medicines Agency could not identify any specific risk factor that made the condition, thrombosis with thrombocytopenia syndrome (TTS), more likely, it said .

"EU fails to confirm if women, young adults at higher clot risk from AstraZeneca shot"

U.S. House Speaker Pelosi cautions Britain over Northern Irish peace deal

LONDON – U.S. House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi cautioned Britain on Friday that if the Northern Irish peace deal was destroyed then there would be no post-Brexit trade deal with the United States. The United States has expressed grave concern that a row between London and Brussels over the implementation of the 2020 Brexit treaty could undermine the Good Friday accord, which effectively ended three decades of violence. “If there is destruction of the…

"U.S. House Speaker Pelosi cautions Britain over Northern Irish peace deal"

EU launches health crisis body to prepare for future pandemic

BRUSSELS – The European Commission launched on Thursday a health crisis body that will coordinate EU spending of almost 30 billion euros ($35.3 billion) to prepare for a future pandemic. The new health emergency preparedness and response authority (HERA) will assess potential health threats, promote research, ensure the availability of critical production and help build stockpiles. If a new health crisis struck, it would activate emergency funding and help coordinate monitoring, procurement and purchase of…

"EU launches health crisis body to prepare for future pandemic"

Factbox-EU priorities in Indo-Pacific shift to counter China

BRUSSELS – The European Union set out a formal strategy on Thursday to increase its presence in the Indo-Pacific and counter China’s rising power, although Australia’s decision to cancel an arms contract with France may complicate cooperation. [L1N2QI0R7] Here are the main focus areas of the EU’s strategy: – TRADE: The EU will work to finalise trade negotiations with Australia and New Zealand, seek a deal with India and strengthen stronger ties with countries where…

"Factbox-EU priorities in Indo-Pacific shift to counter China"

After Australia arms deal flop, EU to launch Indo-Pacific plan

BRUSSELS – The European Union will set out a formal strategy on Thursday to boost its presence in the Indo-Pacific and counter China’s rising power, although Australia’s decision to cancel an arms contract with France may complicate cooperation. Led by France, Germany and the Netherlands, which first set out ways to deepen ties with countries such as India, Japan and Australia, the 27-member bloc wants to use the plan to show Beijing that it is…

"After Australia arms deal flop, EU to launch Indo-Pacific plan"

Italy to make COVID ‘Green Pass’ mandatory for workers – minister

ROME – Italy is to make a COVID-19 “Green Pass” mandatory for public and private sector workers, a minister said on Wednesday, becoming the first European country to do so as it tries to accelerate vaccination rates and stamp out infections. The pass, a digital or paper certificate showing someone has received at least one vaccine dose, tested negative or recently recovered from the virus, was originally conceived to ease travel among EU states. But…

"Italy to make COVID ‘Green Pass’ mandatory for workers – minister"

Portugal fully vaccinates 80% of population against COVID-19

LISBON – Portugal has fully inoculated 80% of its population against the coronavirus, official data showed, becoming one of the world’s most vaccinated nations as authorities gradually drop most COVID-19 restrictions. According to a tracker, Portugal and the United Arab Emirates have the same rate of complete vaccinations, jointly leading the world. The southern European nation, which at the start of this year battled what was then the world’s worst coronavirus surge, has vaccinated around…

"Portugal fully vaccinates 80% of population against COVID-19"

Polish ruling party set to renew bid for passage of media reform bill

WARSAW – The leader of Poland’s ruling party has signalled it will try to overturn the Senate’s rejection of a media bill which opponents say is intended to silence a U.S.-owned channel that is critical of the government. The bill outlines reforms that would strengthen a ban on companies from outside the European Economic Area controlling Polish broadcasters. It has been denounced by the United States as an infringement of media freedoms. In his first…

"Polish ruling party set to renew bid for passage of media reform bill"