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Virus: Berlin wants faster validation of vaccine in EU

BERLIN | Germany is pressing EU authorities to speed up the validation process for the COVID-19 vaccine, at a time when Britain, the United States or Canada have already started to use.

• Read also: All developments in the COVID-19 pandemic

• Read also: COVID-19 – François Legault lets plan a reconfinement from December 25

• Read also: COVID-19 – Netherlands adopts five-week lockdown

The services of Chancellor Angela Merkel and her Ministry of Health are pressuring the European Medicines Agency (EMA) and the European Union so that the vaccine from the American laboratories Pfizer and German BionNTech is approved by December 23, and not by December 29 as is currently planned, reports the German daily Bild published Tuesday.

He cites sources close to the German government. The information confirms the impatience signals already sent on Sunday by German Health Minister Jens Spahn.

“All BioNTech data is available, UK and US have already given their approval. A review of the data and approval by the MEA should take place as soon as possible, ”he said.

“Confidence in the ability of the European Union to act is at stake,” he warned.

In the meantime, other countries such as Canada, Singapore and Bahrain have also started their vaccination campaigns.

The irritation in Berlin is even greater since the vaccine was developed by a national company, BioNTech, and Germany is hit hard by the second wave of the pandemic.

The government has decided to impose partial confinement on the population from Wednesday and, initially, until January 10.

The Netherlands-based AEM is currently deliberating on issuing authorizations for several COVID-19 vaccines. She was the target of a cyberattack last week in which documents related to Pfizer and BioNTech were hacked.

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ALEXANDER VON SCHOENBURG: Why my fellow Germans DO want a Brexit deal

What happened yesterday regarding the Brexit talks was reminiscent of the Battle of Waterloo – at least the version taught in my German school.

The French had Britain on the brink of defeat, when Prussian troops stormed in and reprieved them.

Chief Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier – a former foreign minister of France, don’t forget – and his francophone troops were ready to declare all further negotiations futile and walk away when Germany’s EU ambassador relayed a message from Berlin.

Alexander Von Schoenburg (pictured), editor-at-large of Germany’s biggest-selling newspaper Bild

Our foreign minister Heiko Maas insisted it was time to end the doctrinaire approach and ‘start looking for a political solution’. If that meant talks had to go on beyond Sunday night, then so be it. As we have seen, his intervention proved decisive.

At around the same time, a press conference was taking place at Germany’s Bundeskanzleramt, the Chancellery.

It was designed to be solely devoted to explaining Germany’s new Covid measures but one journalist asked whether the Chancellor Angela Merkel was in favour of the Brexit negotiations continuing.

She replied: ‘One should try everything that is possible to reach an agreement.’

That word ‘everything’ highlights the difference between the German and the French positions.

From the very beginning of the Brexit talks, there have been two schools of thought prevailing on the continent. Pictured: Prime Minister Boris Johnson with EU's chief negotiator Michel Barnier and EU chief Ursula von der Leyen in Brussels

From the very beginning of the Brexit talks, there have been two schools of thought prevailing on the continent. Pictured: Prime Minister Boris Johnson with EU’s chief negotiator Michel Barnier and EU chief Ursula von der Leyen in Brussels 

From the very beginning of the Brexit talks, there have been two schools of thought prevailing on the continent.

The German approach has always been to offer Britain a tailor-made deal that is more favourable than the one reached with Norway, or even with Switzerland.

The argument being that the size of Britain’s economy justifies a more delicate approach. Contentious areas could be sidestepped via extended transitional periods.

The second school of thought, favoured by those in the Francophone block, argued the outcome had to be so detrimental to Britain that no other member state would ever again dare go down the road of secession. In short, Britain needed to be punished.

The running gag in Brussels was that whenever the French anti-secessionist general Michel Barnier was away and non-French-speaking civil servants were running the show, negotiations were constructive. When he had to leave the negotiating table and self-isolate after a colleague contracted Covid, for example, there are said to have been a few minor breakthroughs.

But when he returned to the negotiating table, the tone of the talks turned distinctly hostile, thanks to Barnier’s insistence that the UK must abide by EU regulatory changes made after it leaves the bloc.

Germany, of course, has much more to lose from a No Deal conclusion than France.

Last year we exported €80billion (£73billion) of goods and services to the UK – which is the world’s biggest buyer of German cars, accounting for almost one in five of our motoring exports. Volkswagen alone sold 200,000 cars in Britain last year. You are also big buyers of German pharmaceuticals, chemicals and petroleum products.

Volkswagen (pictured) alone sold 200,000 cars in Britain last year. You are also big buyers of German pharmaceuticals, chemicals and petroleum products

Volkswagen (pictured) alone sold 200,000 cars in Britain last year. You are also big buyers of German pharmaceuticals, chemicals and petroleum products

Given that our ‘golden decade’ of growth stuttered to a halt last year and the economy has since been devastated by the pandemic, the last thing we need is a tariff barrier to one of our biggest markets.

After all, Britain is not just any old member of the EU. The UK economy is bigger than the 11 smallest EU member states combined. In effect, the EU is shrinking from 27 member states to 16.

We are now at an historical turning point. On Friday, German foreign minister Maas rightly said that future generations will judge us harshly if we walk away from the talks now.

This amounted to a veto from Berlin against the EU Commission’s hawkish stance towards Britain. Monsieur Barnier’s strategy, to force Britain into a position of such despair that it would be forced to come grovelling back some time in the future, has effectively been rebuffed by Berlin.

From what I hear from those close to Ursula von der Leyen, the head of the European Commission, the EU had ceased negotiating in earnestness long before Prime Minister Johnson’s fruitless journey for that dinner in Brussels last Wednesday.

Ursula bossed him around in front of the cameras and served him fish and an Australian dessert – a not so subtle hint as to where this whole affair is heading.

But as Mr Johnson’s plane waited to take him back to London, journalists in Berlin were briefed that Chancellor Merkel was in favour of a face-saving solution for Britain – one that would preserve your sovereignty in so far as there is such a thing in a world growing ever more interdependent.

Alas, the sources told us, Mrs Merkel’s former protegee Ursula had told her in no uncertain terms that it is the prerogative of Brussels and of Brussels alone to conduct all last-minute negotiations and any interference from single national governments was regarded as unwelcome interference. This, Mrs von der Leyen insisted, was the only way to safeguard the interests of all member states collectively.

The sources told us, Mrs Merkel¿s (pictured) former protegee Ursula had told her in no uncertain terms that it is the prerogative of Brussels and of Brussels alone

The sources told us, Mrs Merkel’s (pictured) former protegee Ursula had told her in no uncertain terms that it is the prerogative of Brussels and of Brussels alone

Yesterday’s change of course is a sign of hope, that Paris – and with it Brussels – is coming to its senses.

It would be a grave misreading of Britain’s determination to take back control from the EU, to punish you now on the basis that a future government will knock on our door asking politely for re-entry.

Needless to say, the negotiations could still fail but, if they do, it could be a blessing in disguise.

Once you are out completely, even if it is on WTO-terms, you may well look back on 2020 as the year in which you managed to escape the dead hand of Brussels and regain your role as a global player with a distinctly more liberal, more entrepreneur-friendly and hence more attractive and innovative place to do business.

Ursula von der Leyen (pictured) might be slightly bossy ¿ but the good thing from your point of view is that she is not French but German

Ursula von der Leyen (pictured) might be slightly bossy – but the good thing from your point of view is that she is not French but German

A kind of Singapore on Thames is exactly what is feared most in Berlin and this is why Germany will do everything it takes to avoid a trade war and to get Monsieur Barnier and France off their high horse.

Ursula von der Leyen might be slightly bossy – but the good thing from your point of view is that she is not French but German.

In fact, she is from Lower Saxony, a place which not only has particularly close ties to Britain but is the region where Volkswagen’s headquarters is located.

With the entreaties of Mrs Merkel and Germany’s foreign minister Maas ringing in her ears, my prediction is that Mrs von der Leyen will go that extra mile the French seem incapable of going.

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‘Hitler’s alligator’ is preserved forever and will go on display in Russia

‘Hitler’s alligator’ is preserved forever and will go on display in Russia after dying at Moscow Zoo

  • Alligator rumoured to have belonged to Hitler has been preserved forever  
  • Saturn was discovered by soldiers after WWII and passed to the Red Army
  • The reptile became an icon of Moscow Zoo for generations of children 

An alligator rumoured to have belonged to Adolf Hitler has been preserved for posterity after dying this year at Moscow Zoo.

The 84-year-old reptile was found by British soldiers in Berlin after the Second World War and passed to the Red Army.

Named Saturn, the alligator was taken to the Soviet capital in 1946 and became an icon of Moscow Zoo for generations of children.

The alligator named Saturn is placed on display following its death in May of this year  

An alligator rumoured to have belonged to Adolf Hitler has been preserved for posterity after dying this year at Moscow Zoo

An alligator rumoured to have belonged to Adolf Hitler has been preserved for posterity after dying this year at Moscow Zoo

Known to have been a pre-war star attraction at Berlin Zoo in Nazi Germany, the story also circulated that the reptile had been in the Führer's personal pet collection. Adolf Hitler is pictured above

Known to have been a pre-war star attraction at Berlin Zoo in Nazi Germany, the story also circulated that the reptile had been in the Führer’s personal pet collection. Adolf Hitler is pictured above 

The beast’s skin was donated to the city’s Darwin Museum and after work by taxidermists the reptile will go on display in the New Year when C0vid-19 restrictions are eased.

Known to have been a pre-war star attraction at Berlin Zoo in Nazi Germany, the story also circulated that the reptile had been in the Führer’s personal pet collection, as suggested by famous Russian writer Boris Akunin.

Dmitry Vasilyev, a vet at Moscow Zoo, said there was no doubt that Hitler admired the alligator.

Saturn died in May, shortly after the 75th anniversary of the tyrant’s defeat.

The alligator was born in the wild in Mississippi in 1936 before being caught and shipped to Berlin Zoo

Master Anatoly Alexandrov at work. Saturn died in May, shortly after the 75th anniversary of the tyrant's defeat

Master Anatoly Alexandrov at work. Saturn died in May, shortly after the 75th anniversary of the tyrant’s defeat

Chief keeper Pavel Bogdanov (right) is pictured helping to transport the stuffed alligator

Chief keeper Pavel Bogdanov (right) is pictured helping to transport the stuffed alligator 

The head of the Anamniotes sector of the State Darwin Museum Dmitry Miloserdov poses with Saturn

The head of the Anamniotes sector of the State Darwin Museum Dmitry Miloserdov poses with Saturn

There is mystery over Saturn’s whereabouts after Berlin was bombed from November 1943.

He was eventually found by British soldiers three years later.

One theory is he ‘hid in basements, dark corners and sewage drains’, another that he was in the menagerie of a senior Nazi.

In the early 1990s, Saturn witnessed the Soviet collapse and reports said he had ‘tears in his eyes’ when tanks shot the nearby Russian parliament because it ‘reminded him of the bombing of Berlin’.

The museum said: ‘The installation of Saturn in the permanent exhibition is the culmination of six months of work by our taxidermists…

Known to have been a pre-war star attraction at Berlin Zoo in Nazi Germany, the story also circulated that the reptile had been in the Führer's personal pet collection. The alligator is pictured above before its death

Known to have been a pre-war star attraction at Berlin Zoo in Nazi Germany, the story also circulated that the reptile had been in the Führer’s personal pet collection. The alligator is pictured above before its death 

Saturn the alligator rumoured to have belonged to Adolf Hitler died at Moscow Zoo earlier this year

Saturn the alligator rumoured to have belonged to Adolf Hitler died at Moscow Zoo earlier this year 

‘No reptile of the museum has such a rich biography.

‘Moscow Zoo entrusted us with perpetuating the memory of the alligator Saturn.

‘He was, without exaggeration, a legend of the zoo and had seen a lot in his lifetime.’

Museum official Dmitry Miloserdov said it was ‘the second birth of Saturn – the story of how ‘Hitler’s alligator’ became immortal.’

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Black dancer ordered to whiten her skin to ‘blend in’ onstage at prestigious German ballet company 

Black dancer is ordered to whiten her skin to ‘blend in’ during performance of Swan Lake at prestigious German ballet company

  • Chloé Lopes Gomes was the first black dancer at the Staatsballet in Berlin
  • She claims she was subjected to racial discrimination by a ballet instructor 
  • The woman allegedly ordered the ballerina to whiten her skin and made derogatory comments about her not fitting in due to her race 
  • The unnamed woman has not responded to the allegations but the company has issued a statement promising an investigation

Germany’s most prestigious ballet company has come under fire after a black dancer said she was ordered to whiten her skin to ‘blend in’ during performances. 

Chloé Lopes Gomes became the first black dancer in the Staatsballet’s history when she joined the Berlin company in 2018.

But almost immediately the French ballerina was the target of racial discrimination, she told The Guardian. On Tuesday, the company released a statement announcing an investigation into ‘outdated and discriminatory styles of performance’.

Lopes Gomes, 29, claimed that an instructor frequently derided her in class and commanded that she apply white makeup to her body in order to ‘blend in’ with the other dancers during a performance of Swan Lake.

On another occasion, the same teacher refused to issue her with a white veil for a performance of the 19th-century ballet La Bayadère, saying she could not have one because she was black, the ballerina said. 

Chloé Lopes Gomes became the first black dancer in the Staatsballet’s history when she joined the Berlin company in 2018 but the French ballerina said she immediately became the subject of racist comments by a ballet mistress

Lopes Gomes was trained at Russia’s prestigious Bolshoi Ballet and did not speak German when she joined the Berlin company as a corps de ballet member in 2018. 

The teacher in question did not speak French or English so the pair communicated in Russian initially, which Lopes Gomes said meant her classmates did not pick up the offensive comments.   

She told The Guardian that these included being told she didn’t fit in because of her skin colour and said that the ballet mistress had her pose to recreate a painting of a black dancer surrounded white dancers. 

The teacher said she would show her friends that the Staatsballet ‘also has one of those’.  

Lopes Gomes said she complained about the teacher’s behaviour to the company’s co-artistic director at the time Johannes Öhman. 

He said she should never have to whiten her skin but that there was little he could do as the ballet mistress had a lifetime contract. 

For performances of Swan Lake, it is common practice for dancers to whiten their skin with powder but Lopes Gomes pointed out the futility of this in her case as no amount of powder would render her skin the same shade as the already white dancers who had made themselves even lighter with the powder. 

Lopes Gomes said she was told in October that her contract would not be renewed. The company cited the effects of the coronavirus pandemic as the reason for cutting staff.   

However, the ballerina has hired a lawyer to fight the decision, according to The Times.

Lopes Gomes said she was told in October that her contract would not be renewed. The company cited the effects of the coronavirus pandemic as the reason for cutting staff. However, the ballerina has hired a lawyer to fight the decision, according to The Times

Lopes Gomes said she was told in October that her contract would not be renewed. The company cited the effects of the coronavirus pandemic as the reason for cutting staff. However, the ballerina has hired a lawyer to fight the decision, according to The Times

The newspaper also reported that another member of staff at the Staatsballet has been accused of making ‘strange noises’ in front of Asian dancers, apparently intended to cruelly mimic their language, and of comparing a Mexican ballerina to Pocahontas – who was Native American. 

Interim artistic director, Christiane Theobald, commented on the allegations in a statement released by the company on Tuesday:

‘The racist and discriminatory behaviour that was brought to light in our company deeply moves us … The necessary skills and tools to deal with issues of discrimination need to be worked on thoroughly.’

The unnamed ballet mistress has declined to respond to the allegations against her.  

A number of influential figures in the dance world have voiced support for Lopes Gomes, including US ballerina Misty Copeland and dancers from the Ballet Opera de Paris and the English National Ballet. 

The scandal is the latest blow to Berlin’s ballet world, which was rocked by an investigation confirming years of physical and psychological abuse of pupils at the state ballet school.  

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Headlines UK London

The number of vacancies in London decreased by 50% during the pandemic

The British capital has suffered more than other European cities

The number of vacancies in London has decreased by 50% during the pandemic, writes The Guardian, citing research by Indeed, the largest job search site. In the UK as a whole, the number of vacancies decreased by 42%, which is significantly worse than in other countries.

The study authors compared the number of jobs available in November 2019 and November 2020. In Spain, their number decreased by 39%, in Italy and France – by 24%, in Germany – by only 17%.

In terms of capitals, the picture is as follows: in Madrid and Paris, the number of job advertisements fell by 40%, in Rome – by 35%, and in Berlin – by 25%.

Analysts say a huge amount of work in London is in the retail, hospitality and entertainment industries. The number of vacancies in these industries has dropped significantly, as they have been hit hardest during the pandemic.

Some shops and shopping centers have been forced to close due to falling sales, and hotels and entertainment centers are idle due to a lack of tourists – both foreign and local. Residents of other British cities have become less likely to travel to the capital: even on Black Friday, November 27, the number of visits to the center of the capital decreased by 83% compared to last year.

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Headline USA

German crime clan linked to Dresden art heist


The German crime family linked to last year’s spectacular art heist in Dresden is one of Berlin’s most notorious clans with a long record of gang violence and infamous crimes to its name.  

The Remmo family, regarded as one of the most dangerous players in the so-called ‘Arab mafia’ in Berlin, is in the spotlight once again after five of its members were named as suspects in last November’s Green Vault burglary. 

Three Remmo suspects were arrested for robbery and arson in a massive police raid on Tuesday while two others, twin brothers Mohamed and Abdul Majed Remmo, are wanted on the same charges. 

After family patriarchs moved to Europe from war-torn Lebanon in the 1980s, the clan first came to police attention following German reunification, beginning with the murder of a restaurant owner in 1992.  

Since then, their series of eye-catching raids has included the theft of a £3million giant gold coin from a Berlin museum and an £8million bank robbery which ended in the branch blowing up. 

The long list of crimes has led to numerous Remmo family members being jailed and some of their properties being seized – but their crime spree has not been halted. 

Abdul Majed Remmo

Suspects: Twin brothers Mohamed Remmo (left) and Abdul Majed Remmo (right) are wanted in connection with last year’s spectacular art heist in Dresden 

Bashir Remmo

Rabih Remmo

Under arrest: Bashir Remmo (left) and Rabih Remmo (right) were among three people arrested on Tuesday over last year’s jewel heist in Dresden 

Heist: CCTV footage shows a burglar smashing a display case in Dresden's Green Vault during the art theft in one of Germany's oldest museums last November

Heist: CCTV footage shows a burglar smashing a display case in Dresden’s Green Vault during the art theft in one of Germany’s oldest museums last November 

The Remmo family comes from an ethnic group called the Mhallami, who mainly live in Turkey and Lebanon. 

Hundreds of thousands of Turks emigrated to West Germany for work after World War II, while Lebanon’s 1975-90 civil war sent some people fleeing to Europe. 

These included the Remmos, who settled in Berlin and first attracted the attention of authorities following the fatal shooting of the Yugoslav restaurant owner in 1992. 

Two brothers were blamed for the killing and a raid of their apartment uncovered heroin as well as a supply of blank Lebanese birth certificates.   

In their early years, Remmo clan members were frequently arrested and jailed for drug dealing, theft and handling stolen goods. 

On one occasion, a prosecutor pleaded with the mother of some of the criminals to make them see the light, but she told him: ‘Prison makes a man’. 

While some Remmo relatives have pursued legitimate careers, others became involved in increasingly violent crimes as the years went on.  

2019: A room in the Green Vault in Dresden where priceless items which once belonged to Augustus of Saxony was burgled last year in what authorities suspect was the latest in the Remmo crime family's list of spectacular thefts

2019: A room in the Green Vault in Dresden where priceless items which once belonged to Augustus of Saxony was burgled last year in what authorities suspect was the latest in the Remmo crime family’s list of spectacular thefts 

2017: This giant gold coin, known as the Big Maple Leaf and worth around £3million, was stolen from a Berlin museum three years ago and two Remmo family members were convicted over their role in the theft earlier this year

2017: This giant gold coin, known as the Big Maple Leaf and worth around £3million, was stolen from a Berlin museum three years ago and two Remmo family members were convicted over their role in the theft earlier this year 

2014: Emergency workers at the scene of a Berlin bank which was blown up during an £8million robbery

2014: Emergency workers at the scene of a Berlin bank which was blown up during an £8million robbery 

Berlin has sometimes seen violent clashes between Remmo gangsters and rival clans which have ended in stabbings and shootings. One family member, Nidal Remmo, was shot dead in 2018. 

Another Remmo relative was accused of clubbing a man to death with a baseball bat in 2017, but was found not guilty last year in a verdict which prosecutors are appealing to a higher court. 

There were ugly scenes during the hearing as clan boss Issa Remmo, the father of the defendant, had to be wrestled away after rushing into the courtroom. 

One of the family’s most spectacular raids came in 2014 when a gang of robbers stormed the safe deposits of a Berlin bank and stole around £8million worth of cash, jewellery and gold bars.

The burglars poured petrol on the floor to cover their traces, causing an explosion which nearly destroyed the entire bank. 

DNA evidence eventually led to the conviction of Toufic Remmo, who was sentenced to eight years in prison in 2015. 

Three years later, German police and prosecutors seized 77 properties worth £9million which were allegedly bought with the proceeds from the robbery. 

Search for evidence: Police during a raid in Berlin on Tuesday which was linked to last year's burglary in Dresden

Search for evidence: Police during a raid in Berlin on Tuesday which was linked to last year’s burglary in Dresden 

Police officers wearing forensic gear work on a balcony of an apartment block in Berlin during Tuesday's raid

Police officers wearing forensic gear work on a balcony of an apartment block in Berlin during Tuesday’s raid 

Some of the properties were officially owned by a 19-year-old whose only declared income was state welfare payments.   

By the time of those raids in 2018, the family was already in the spotlight again over the theft of a giant £3million gold coin from Berlin’s Bode Museum. 

Stolen in 2017, the commemorative Big Maple Leaf coin has never been recovered and authorities suspect it was cut up into smaller pieces. 

Two cousins, Ahmed and Wissam Remmo, were convicted and imprisoned along with a friend who worked as a security guard at the museum, while another Remmo relative was found not guilty.  

Prosecutors said the burglars had broken in through a window, smashed a glass case with an axe and used a wheelbarrow and rope to hoist the coin into a car. 

The suspects were arrested by German special police commandos after investigators searched dozens of properties and recovered a ladder and wheelbarrow by railway tracks near the museum. 

The Remmo crime spree has long raised questions about how authorities could let them so brazenly flout the law for so long in a generally fairly low-crime country. 

German authorities would ideally like to deport or extradite some of the gangsters to Lebanon, but some of them have no citizenship there.   

A female police officer carries a box outside a building in Berlin's Kreuzberg district on Tuesday

A female police officer carries a box outside a building in Berlin’s Kreuzberg district on Tuesday 

Now, the family is under suspicion again over last year’s raid at the Green Vault, which was established in 1723 and contains the treasury of Augustus of Saxony. 

The robbers launched their brazen raid last November after causing a power cut and breaking in through a window before stealing priceless 18th-century jewellery and other valuables. 

The items stolen included a sword whose hilt is encrusted with nine large and 770 smaller diamonds, and a shoulderpiece which contains a 49-carat white diamond.

The director of Dresden’s state art collection, refused to put a value on the stolen items, calling them ‘priceless’, but estimates range up to €1billion. 

Prosecutors did not initially name the three German citizens arrested, but a spokesman confirmed they are members of the Remmo family.

They are also hunting another two suspects, 21-year-old twins Abdul Majed Remmo and Mohammed Remmo, over the Dresden heist.

All five are accused of ‘serious gang robbery and two counts of arson,’ said Dresden prosecutors.

Berlin’s top security official, Andreas Geisel, said the latest raids on Tuesday should serve as a warning to organized crime families in general.

‘Nobody should believe that he set himself above the rules of the state,’ Geisel said.  



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Prince Charles and Camilla Parker Bowles welcomed in Germany ahead of historic remembrance ceremony


Prince Charles and Camilla Parker Bowles became the first British royals to attend Germany’s Day of Mourning remembrance ceremony today. 

The couple were officially welcomed this morning by the country’s president Frank-Walter Steinmeier and his wife Elke Budenbender at Berlin’s Bellevue Palace, having arrived last night. 

The foursome, all donning face masks, posed for a socially distanced picture outside the 18th century building which is the principal official residence of the Federal President of Germany.

They then travelled to the New Guardhouse, home to the Neue Wache Central Memorial of the Federal Republic of Germany to the Victims of War and Tyranny to lay wreathes in tribute to the fallen.  

The royal couple stepped forward together and touched their wreaths in the German tradition of symbolically tidying the ribbons, before a moment of silence and a solo trumpeter playing The Good Comrade.

Dressed all in black, Charles, who celebrated his 72nd birthday yesterday, wore his military medals while Camilla donned a face mask adorned in poppies. 

Prince Charles and the Duchess of Cornwall pay their respects during a wreath laying ceremony at the Neue Wache memorial to mark Remembrance Day in Berlin

Charles knelt to lay his wreath alongside the German Defence Minister Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer, President of the Bundestag Wolfgang Schaeuble, German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier, President of the German Federal Council Reiner Haseloff and head judge of Germany's constitutional court Stephan Harbarth

Charles knelt to lay his wreath alongside the German Defence Minister Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer, President of the Bundestag Wolfgang Schaeuble, German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier, President of the German Federal Council Reiner Haseloff and head judge of Germany’s constitutional court Stephan Harbarth

Prince Charles and Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall pose for a picture next to German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier and his wife Elke Buedenbender prior a meeting at the presidential Bellevue palace in Berlin

Prince Charles and Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall pose for a picture next to German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier and his wife Elke Buedenbender prior a meeting at the presidential Bellevue palace in Berlin

Prince Charles and Camilla Parker Bowles were welcomed in Berlin today ahead of a remembrance ceremony to commemorate Germany's National Day of Mourning

Prince Charles and Camilla Parker Bowles were welcomed in Berlin today ahead of a remembrance ceremony to commemorate Germany’s National Day of Mourning

Charles, who celebrated his 72nd birthday yesterday, wore his military medals for the sombre occasion. The event aims to reflect the importance of British-German ties amid Brexit tensions

Charles, who celebrated his 72nd birthday yesterday, wore his military medals for the sombre occasion. The event aims to reflect the importance of British-German ties amid Brexit tensions

Prince Charles is pictured paying his respects as he stands and then kneels in the Neue Wache in front of a wreath of flowers laid on behalf of Britain's Royal Family

Prince Charles is pictured paying his respects as he stands and then kneels in the Neue Wache in front of a wreath of flowers laid on behalf of Britain's Royal Family

Prince Charles is pictured paying his respects as he stands and then kneels in the Neue Wache in front of a wreath of flowers laid on behalf of Britain’s Royal Family

The Duchess of Cornwall lays a posy of flowers by The Prince of Wales' Wreathe of Remembrance at the Neue Wache Central Memorial

The Duchess of Cornwall lays a posy of flowers by The Prince of Wales’ Wreathe of Remembrance at the Neue Wache Central Memorial

A wreath of flowers laid by Britain's Royals is pictured prior a ceremony on the national Memorial Day at the Neue Wache in Berlin. The note reads: 'In everlasting remembrance of all victims of conflict and tyranny - Charles'

A wreath of flowers laid by Britain's Royals is pictured prior a ceremony on the national Memorial Day at the Neue Wache in Berlin. The note reads: 'In everlasting remembrance of all victims of conflict and tyranny - Charles'

A wreath of flowers laid by Britain’s Royals is pictured prior a ceremony on the national Memorial Day at the Neue Wache in Berlin. The note reads: ‘In everlasting remembrance of all victims of conflict and tyranny – Charles’

The visit will culminate with the prince and duchess travelling to the Bundestag for the Central Remembrance Ceremony marking Germany’s National Day of Mourning – the first time members of the British monarchy have attended the event.

The German President attended the British Remembrance Day service at the Cenotaph in 2018 where he laid a wreath.

During the event, where readings will be given and a minute’s silence will be observed, Charles is set to give a historic speech urging the world to unite and stamp out hate crimes for the sake of future generations.

The prince is expected to say: ‘We must be resolute in addressing acts of unspeakable cruelty against people for reasons of their religion, their race or their beliefs, wherever they occur in the world. 

The royal couple were officially greeted by the country's president Frank-Walter Steinmeier and his wife Elke Budenbender at Berlin's Bellevue Palace

The royal couple were officially greeted by the country’s president Frank-Walter Steinmeier and his wife Elke Budenbender at Berlin’s Bellevue Palace

Wearing a purple velvet protective face covering, the Prince of Wales waves to onlookers as he leaves the Hotel Adlon in Berlin for the ceremony

Wearing a purple velvet protective face covering, the Prince of Wales waves to onlookers as he leaves the Hotel Adlon in Berlin for the ceremony

Camilla dressed all in black for the occasion and wore a face mask adorned in poppies as a tribute to the war dead

Camilla dressed all in black for the occasion and wore a face mask adorned in poppies as a tribute to the war dead

President Frank-Walter Steinmeier and his wife Elke Buedenbender at his official residence at Bellevue Palace, Berlin

President Frank-Walter Steinmeier and his wife Elke Buedenbender at his official residence at Bellevue Palace, Berlin

Prince Charles arrives for a meeting with German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier at Bellevue Palace in Berlin

Prince Charles arrives for a meeting with German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier at Bellevue Palace in Berlin

Charles is expected to deliver speech urging UK and Germany to 'act together' to fight the ongoing coronavirus pandemic and threat of climate change

Charles is expected to deliver speech urging UK and Germany to ‘act together’ to fight the ongoing coronavirus pandemic and threat of climate change 

The foursome, all donning face masks, posed for a socially distanced picture outside the 18th century building which is the principal official residence of the Federal President of Germany

The foursome, all donning face masks, posed for a socially distanced picture outside the 18th century building which is the principal official residence of the Federal President of Germany

‘We must stand alongside each other in determined defence of the future we owe our children and our grandchildren.’  

It’s the first time a member of the Royal Family has attended the sombre occasion and is the Prince of Wales and Duchess of Cornwall’s first joint official overseas visit since the pandemic began. The event aims to reflect the importance of British-German ties amid ongoing Brexit tensions.

This year marks the 75th anniversary of the end of the Second World War. The invitation to Prince Charles to give a speech at the ceremony is intended to shine a light on British-German relations.

Charles will also use the speech to indicate the need for collaboration across the globe to fight Covid-19 and speak about the threat of climate change, reports the Mirror. 

Prince Charles and the Duchess of Cornwall are led to sign the guest book at the presidential Bellevue palace, while President Frank-Walter Steinmeier and the First Lady look on

Prince Charles and the Duchess of Cornwall are led to sign the guest book at the presidential Bellevue palace, while President Frank-Walter Steinmeier and the First Lady look on

Prince Charles and his wife Camilla sign the guest book before a conversation at Bellevue Palace in Berlin this morning

Prince Charles and his wife Camilla sign the guest book before a conversation at Bellevue Palace in Berlin this morning

Charles will also use his speech to indicate the need for collaboration across the globe to fight Covid-19 and speak about the threat of climate change

Charles will also use his speech to indicate the need for collaboration across the globe to fight Covid-19 and speak about the threat of climate change

Charles will also use his speech to indicate the need for collaboration across the globe to fight Covid-19 and speak about the threat of climate change

It's the first time a member of the Royal Family has attended the sombre occasion and is the Prince of Wales and Duchess of Cornwall's first joint official overseas visit since the pandemic began

It’s the first time a member of the Royal Family has attended the sombre occasion and is the Prince of Wales and Duchess of Cornwall’s first joint official overseas visit since the pandemic began

German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier and First Lady Elke Buedenbender pose on the steps of Bellevue palace with Prince Charles and the Duchess of Cornwall on Germany's National Day of Mourning that commemorates victims of war and fascism

German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier and First Lady Elke Buedenbender pose on the steps of Bellevue palace with Prince Charles and the Duchess of Cornwall on Germany’s National Day of Mourning that commemorates victims of war and fascism

He is expected to explain that the ‘challenges’ to our future are manifest, ‘whether from this dreadful pandemic which threatens not just our public health but our prosperity and security; or from the existential threat to our planet, and our way of life, from climate change and catastrophic biodiversity loss.

‘These crises demand that we act together, and the partnership between the United Kingdom and Germany offers such a vital opportunity in this regard.

‘We are heavily invested in each other’s futures, such that our national interests, whilst distinct, will always be entwined.

‘As our countries begin this new chapter in our long history, let us reaffirm our bond for the years ahead.

Prince Charles and Camilla's last visit to Germany was in May 2019. The royal has travelled to the country more than 30 times since 1962, both on official visits and personal trips

Prince Charles and Camilla's last visit to Germany was in May 2019. The royal has travelled to the country more than 30 times since 1962, both on official visits and personal trips

Prince Charles and Camilla’s last visit to Germany was in May 2019. The royal has travelled to the country more than 30 times since 1962, both on official visits and personal trips

German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier welcomes Britain's Prince Charles, Prince of Wales at his arrival at the presidential Bellevue palace in Berlin

German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier welcomes Britain’s Prince Charles, Prince of Wales at his arrival at the presidential Bellevue palace in Berlin

Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, and First Lady of Germany, Elke Buedenbender, arrive carrying small bunches of flowers to lay alongside the wreaths. Pictured with President Frank-Walter Steinmeier and Prince Charles

Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, and First Lady of Germany, Elke Buedenbender, arrive carrying small bunches of flowers to lay alongside the wreaths. Pictured with President Frank-Walter Steinmeier and Prince Charles

The Neue Wache Central Memorial in Berlin, Germany, pictured on the National Day of Mourning, where wreaths were laid in tribute to the fallen

The Neue Wache Central Memorial in Berlin, Germany, pictured on the National Day of Mourning, where wreaths were laid in tribute to the fallen

Prince Charles and German federal State President Frank-Walter Steinmeier leave after they laid a wreath at the Neue Wache memorial to victims of war and tyranny

Prince Charles and German federal State President Frank-Walter Steinmeier leave after they laid a wreath at the Neue Wache memorial to victims of war and tyranny

Charles, pictured wearing his military medals, and President Frank-Walter Steinmeier leave after they laid wreathes at the Neue Wache memorial

Charles, pictured wearing his military medals, and President Frank-Walter Steinmeier leave after they laid wreathes at the Neue Wache memorial

The royal couple, pictured ahead of the ceremony, stepped forward together and touch their wreaths in the German tradition of symbolically tidying the ribbons

The royal couple, pictured ahead of the ceremony, stepped forward together and touch their wreaths in the German tradition of symbolically tidying the ribbons

Prince Charles, Prince of Wales (L) and German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier (C) pay their respect during a wreath laying ceremony on national Memorial Day

Prince Charles, Prince of Wales (L) and German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier (C) pay their respect during a wreath laying ceremony on national Memorial Day 

Charles looked sombre as he stood and paid his respects at the ceremony to to commemorate the National Day of Mourning in Berlin

Charles looked sombre as he stood and paid his respects at the ceremony to to commemorate the National Day of Mourning in Berlin 

The event aims to reflect the importance of British-German ties amid ongoing Brexit tensions. Pictured: the German flag alongside the Union Jack and the European Union flag

The event aims to reflect the importance of British-German ties amid ongoing Brexit tensions. Pictured: the German flag alongside the Union Jack and the European Union flag

‘Let us reflect on all that we have been through together, and all that we have learned. Let us remember all victims of war, tyranny and persecution; those who laid down their lives for the freedoms we cherish, and those who struggle for these freedoms to this day.’

The German National Day of Mourning takes place every year two Sundays before advent. It began in 1919 to remember the fallen of the First World War. 

This year, President Steinmeier changed the official text for the ceremony to include victims of political, racist, terrorist and anti-Semitic attacks in Germany in recent years. 

Prince Charles and Camilla’s last visit to Germany was in May 2019. The royal has travelled to the country more than 30 times since 1962, in both a public and private capacity. The Duchess of Cornwall made her first official visit to Germany in 2009.

The Prince of Wales is pictures arriving for the annual wreath laying ceremony, making his way to the Neue Wache memorial to mark Remembrance Day in Berlin

The Prince of Wales is pictures arriving for the annual wreath laying ceremony, making his way to the Neue Wache memorial to mark Remembrance Day in Berlin

Charles is pictured donning a black mask as he chats after leaving his car ahead of the annual wreath laying ceremony

Charles is pictured donning a black mask as he chats after leaving his car ahead of the annual wreath laying ceremony

Prince Charles and Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, are seen arriving with German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier for the annual wreath laying ceremony

Prince Charles and Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, are seen arriving with German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier for the annual wreath laying ceremony

People stand outside prior to the visit of Prince Charles, Prince of Wales and Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall to the Bellevue Palace

People stand outside prior to the visit of Prince Charles, Prince of Wales and Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall to the Bellevue Palace



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Headline USA

The Matrix 4 cast ‘flout Berlin’s party ban as they stage celebration scene’


The Matrix cast flout Berlin’s party ban by staging a fake film scene complete with cameras, lighting and attended by Keanu Reeves and his girlfriend

  • The Matrix 4 cast and crew reportedly attended a party at Studio Babelsberg
  • Attendees reportedly included Keanu Reeves and his girlfriend Alexandra Grant as well as the film’s creators Lana and Lilly Wachowski 
  • The guests allegedly enjoyed DJ sessions, pyrotechnics and wine and sake bars 
  • German Chancellor Angela Merkel banned parties in Berlin after Covid-19 spike

The cast of The Matrix 4 have reportedly flouted Berlin’s party ban by allegedly staging their own celebration scene for the upcoming movie.

According to reports, up to 200 cast and crew took part in a wrap party at Studio Babelsberg in Potsdam, Germany, under the code name “ice cream team event”.

In October, German Chancellor Angela Merkel asked Berlin residents to stop going to parties after a spike in coronavirus cases. 

On Monday 2 November, Merkel plunged Germany back into ‘lockdown lite’, ordering all bars and restaurants to close across the country. The Matrix 4 is said to have wrapped filming days later.    

According to reports, up to 200 cast and crew from The Matrix 4 took part in a wrap party at Studio Babelsberg in Potsdam, Germany, under the code name ‘ice cream team event’

The cast of The Matrix 4 reportedly flouted Berlin's party ban by allegedly staging their own celebration scene for the upcoming movie

The cast of The Matrix 4 reportedly flouted Berlin’s party ban by allegedly staging their own celebration scene for the upcoming movie

German newspaper, Bild, claims that guests enjoyed DJ sessions, pyrotechnics, wine and sake bars, with food stalls offering sushi and desserts

German newspaper, Bild, claims that guests enjoyed DJ sessions, pyrotechnics, wine and sake bars, with food stalls offering sushi and desserts

Attendees at The Matrix 4 celebration reportedly included Keanu Reeves and his girlfriend Alexandra Grant as well as the film's creators Lana and Lilly Wachowski. Pictured above, Keanu Reeves and Carrie-Anne Moss in The Matrix 4

Attendees at The Matrix 4 celebration reportedly included Keanu Reeves and his girlfriend Alexandra Grant as well as the film’s creators Lana and Lilly Wachowski. Pictured above, Keanu Reeves and Carrie-Anne Moss in The Matrix 4

Attendees at The Matrix 4 celebration reportedly included Keanu Reeves and his girlfriend Alexandra Grant as well as the film’s creators Lana and Lilly Wachowski.

German newspaper, Bild, claims that guests enjoyed DJ sessions, pyrotechnics, wine and sake bars, with food stalls offering sushi and desserts.

Other extreme details at the party allegedly included tattoo stations and Bedouin tents for the cast and crew.

A source told Bild that guests reportedly had a COVID-19 test in advance and had to attend the event with masks. They also claimed that there was no filming during the party. 

They told the German newspaper: ‘The mood was exuberant. There was a rapid [COVID-19] test for everyone in advance. Everyone had to come with a mask, but many didn’t wear them later.’

Other extreme details at the party allegedly included tattoo stations and Bedouin tents for the cast and crew

Other extreme details at the party allegedly included tattoo stations and Bedouin tents for the cast and crew

A source told Bild that guests reportedly had a COVID-19 test in advance and had to attend the event with masks.

A source told Bild that guests reportedly had a COVID-19 test in advance and had to attend the event with masks.

In October, German Chancellor Angela Merkel asked Berlin residents to stop going to parties after a spike in coronavirus cases.

In October, German Chancellor Angela Merkel asked Berlin residents to stop going to parties after a spike in coronavirus cases.

A spokesperson for Studio Babelsberg hit back at the reports and told Bild: ‘According to the production, it was the last day of shooting. It was a celebration scene … Hygiene requirements were adhered to.

‘The production deliberately put this shoot with many people involved at the end of the shoot.’

According to reports, indoor events can only take place with a registration with a maximum of 50 guests. Masks and social distancing must be adhered.  

It is believed that private events and meetings in Berlin can only have a maximum of 10 people, it was previously 25. Groups of 50 are permitted to meet outdoors.

A Potsdam spokesperson has claimed that the event wasn’t registered and the health department is the ‘examining’ the party photos.   

Merkel, who has also placed Germany on a four-week ‘lockdown lite’, said in October: ‘We must call especially on young people to do without a few parties now in order to have a good life tomorrow or the day after.’ 



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Headlines UK

Protesters in Rome clash with police amid rising tensions in Barcelona and Berlin


Anti-lockdown demonstrations intensified around Europe on Saturday night as protesters in Rome hurled Molotov cocktails, bottles and rocks at police and there were also rising tensions in Barcelona and Dresden. 

Early Saturday evening in Rome, a sit-in at the famed Campo dei Fiori ended in a clash with police as some in a crowd of a few hundred protesters began throwing bottles and firecrackers, before being dispersed by police with riot gear and truncheons.

Protesters also wielded banners, flares and the Italian flag before clashes with police saw one officer fall to the floor as others charged at demonstrators.  

In Barcelona, in Spain, protesters pelted police with rocks and other projectiles in what was a second night of disturbances in Spain’s second-largest city. Small fires also broke out as demonstrators set fire to wooden pallets.

There were also clashes in capital Madrid, along with the northern city of Logroño, where 150 people attacked police with stones, set fire to containers and looted shops, according to officers. 

Although not as ill-tempered as elsewhere, there were also protests in the German city of Dresden organised by anti-lockdown group Querdenken 571. 

The protests, which were a repeat of similar scenes in the past few days came in the context of new national lockdown measures across Europe in response to rising numbers of coronavirus cases and infections. 

Anti-lockdown demonstrations intensified around Europe on Saturday night as protesters in Rome hurled Molotov cocktails, bottles and rocks at police and there were also rising tensions in Barcelona and Berlin. Pictured: Protesters in Rome, Italy

In Barcelona, in Spain, protesters pelted police with rocks and other projectiles in what was a second night of disturbances in Spain's second-largest city. Small fires also broke out as demonstrators set fire to wooden pallets

In Barcelona, in Spain, protesters pelted police with rocks and other projectiles in what was a second night of disturbances in Spain’s second-largest city. Small fires also broke out as demonstrators set fire to wooden pallets

Small fires also broke out on the streets of Barcelona as demonstrators set fire to wooden pallets during clashes with police

Small fires also broke out on the streets of Barcelona as demonstrators set fire to wooden pallets during clashes with police

In Italy, as well as the clashes in Rome, there were also protests in Naples and Turin to criticise a new series of restrictions to aimed at stopping an alarming rise in coronavirus cases, even as the government considers more stringent measures to be announced as early as Monday.

They came as the country reported 31,758 new cases of the virus, a new daily record. The number of new fatalities stood at 297, nearly 100 more than the figure announced on Friday.   

The protests in Italy’s capital came a day after an unauthorised nighttime demonstration in the Renaissance city of Florence turned violent, when police sought to prohibit about 200 people from entering in the central Piazza della Signoria.

Clashes broke out between riot police and protesters, some of whom hurled Molotov cocktails, bottles and rocks, overturning trash bins and breaking security cameras.

Although not as ill-tempered as elsewhere, there were also protests in the German city of Dresden organised by anti-lockdown group Querdenken 571

Although not as ill-tempered as elsewhere, there were also protests in the German city of Dresden organised by anti-lockdown group Querdenken 571

The clashes in Italy came as the country reported 31,758 new cases of the virus, a new daily record. The number of new fatalities stood at 297, nearly 100 more than the figure announced on Friday. Pictured: A woman passes by as protesters clash with police in Rome on Saturday

The clashes in Italy came as the country reported 31,758 new cases of the virus, a new daily record. The number of new fatalities stood at 297, nearly 100 more than the figure announced on Friday. Pictured: A woman passes by as protesters clash with police in Rome on Saturday

Interior Minister Luciana Lamorgese said on Saturday that some of those protesting were seeking to exploit the coronavirus emergency

Interior Minister Luciana Lamorgese said on Saturday that some of those protesting were seeking to exploit the coronavirus emergency

Newspaper Lamorgese said the demonstrators included young people with criminal records, football hooligans and extreme-right activists who 'find an opportunity to exploit legitimate demonstrations

Newspaper Lamorgese said the demonstrators included young people with criminal records, football hooligans and extreme-right activists who ‘find an opportunity to exploit legitimate demonstrations

Interior Minister Luciana Lamorgese said on Saturday that some of those protesting were seeking to exploit the coronavirus emergency.

‘Unfortunately there are violent fringe elements trying to infiltrate the plazas in order to exploit the social and economic discomfort of this difficult moment,’ Lamorgese told Il Foglio newspaper.

Lamorgese said the demonstrators included young people with criminal records, football hooligans and extreme-right activists who ‘find an opportunity to exploit legitimate demonstrations.’

In Bologna some 50 miles (80 kilometres) away, a few hundred people also protested late Friday, most of them giving the fascist salute, La Repubblica daily reported. 

Italy’s government is eyeing a lockdown of the country’s major cities, beginning with Milan and Naples to try to slow the alarming rise in infections.

The new measures, that could be announced by Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte on Monday, are likely to involve prohibiting travel between regions and limiting business activity in metropolitan ‘red zones’.

Italy's government is eyeing a lockdown of the country's major cities, beginning with Milan and Naples to try to slow the alarming rise in infections. Pictured: The protests in Rome

Italy’s government is eyeing a lockdown of the country’s major cities, beginning with Milan and Naples to try to slow the alarming rise in infections. Pictured: The protests in Rome

The new measures, that could be announced by Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte on Monday, are likely to involve prohibiting travel between regions and limiting business activity in metropolitan 'red zones'

The new measures, that could be announced by Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte on Monday, are likely to involve prohibiting travel between regions and limiting business activity in metropolitan ‘red zones’

‘We are meeting with experts and considering whether to intervene again,’ Conte told Il Foglio.

The first European country to be hit hard by the pandemic in March, Italy underwent a more than two-month quarantine that devastated its already struggling economy.

On Sunday, Italy introduced new nationwide coronavirus restrictions, including the closure of all cinemas, theatres, gyms and swimming pools and the closing of restaurants and bars at 6:00 pm.

Conte had earlier hoped to wait for two weeks after the imposition of the latest measures to gauge their effectiveness before calling for more stringent measures, but the speed with which the virus is spreading may force his hand earlier.

The government has announced that five billion euros ($5.9 billion dollars) will be issued to the worst hit professions, including restaurants, taxi drivers and live entertainment venues.

The new earlier restrictions spurred a wave of demonstrations in Rome, Milan, Naples and Turin on Monday and Tuesday, marked by violence and vandalism, with riot police firing teargas at groups of young people hurling bottles and rocks.

In Spain, prime minister Pedro Sánchez on Saturday condemned a series of violent protests in cities across the country against restrictions imposed to curb the surge of COVID-19 after a six-month state of emergency came into effect this week

In Spain, prime minister Pedro Sánchez on Saturday condemned a series of violent protests in cities across the country against restrictions imposed to curb the surge of COVID-19 after a six-month state of emergency came into effect this week

Riot police shot blank bullets to try to disperse scores of protesters who were setting fire to rubbish bins in Madrid's main thoroughfare Gran Via

Riot police shot blank bullets to try to disperse scores of protesters who were setting fire to rubbish bins in Madrid’s main thoroughfare Gran Via

Earlier on Saturday, the president of the southern Campania region signed a new decree to suspend schools until November 14.  

In Spain, prime minister Pedro Sánchez on Saturday condemned a series of violent protests in cities across the country against restrictions imposed to curb the surge of COVID-19 after a six-month state of emergency came into effect this week. 

Riot police shot blank bullets to try to disperse scores of protesters who were setting fire to rubbish bins in Madrid’s main thoroughfare Gran Via.

Meanwhile, demonstrators pelted police with rocks and other projectiles in Barcelona in a second night of disturbances in Spain’s second-largest city.

In the northern Spanish city of Logroño, about 150 people attacked police with stones, set fire to containers and looted shops, police reported. Riot police were drafted in to quell disturbances in Haro, in the wine-growing region of La Rioja.

Mr Sanchez tweeted: ‘Only from responsibility, unity and sacrifice will we be able to defeat the pandemic that is devastating all countries. Violent and irrational behavior by minority groups is intolerable. It is not the way.’

A day before, about 50 demonstrators attacked police with stones in Barcelona, set rubbish containers on fire and looted shops. Fourteen people were arrested and 30 injured.

Earlier, local police said about 1,500 hotel and restaurant workers took part in a peaceful demonstration against restrictions imposed under the state of emergency which they claim will threaten their jobs. All bars and restaurants have been closed in the Spanish region of Catalonia, which includes Barcelona, until Nov. 13.

Similar disturbances happened in the cities of Burgos, Vitoria, Santander, Valencia and Zaragoza on Friday. 

Spain, one of the hardest-hit countries by COVID-19, this week imposed a state of emergency until early May, giving regions legal backing to decide curfews and restrict travel to try halt the rise of coronavirus infections.

Like other European countries, Spain has resorted to increasingly drastic measures to curb infections, although less stringent than those adopted by Germany or France. 

Demonstrators pelted police with rocks and other projectiles in Barcelona in a second night of disturbances in Spain's second-largest city

Demonstrators pelted police with rocks and other projectiles in Barcelona in a second night of disturbances in Spain’s second-largest city

Demonstrators also set fire to wooden pallets during the clashes with the Spanish authorities on Saturday

Demonstrators also set fire to wooden pallets during the clashes with the Spanish authorities on Saturday

Spain, one of the hardest-hit countries by COVID-19, this week imposed a state of emergency until early May, giving regions legal backing to decide curfews and restrict travel to try halt the rise of coronavirus infections

Spain, one of the hardest-hit countries by COVID-19, this week imposed a state of emergency until early May, giving regions legal backing to decide curfews and restrict travel to try halt the rise of coronavirus infections

In Dresden, Germany, protesters gathered and wielded placards in opposition to new lockdown measures introduced by Chancellor Angela Merkel. 

From Monday, all bars and restaurants will have to close, as will theatres, cinemas and leisure facilities. 

Unlike in the first lockdown, schools and shops will be allowed to stay open, as will takeaway services.   

Merkel, who announced the move Wednesday evening after agreeing it with regional governors, said it was necessary ‘to act, and now, to avoid an acute national health emergency’. 

The government plans to spend up to 10 billion euros ($11.7 billion) to compensate companies hit by the latest shutdown.

Merkel said in her weekly video message, ‘we will not leave companies that face difficulties because of the current crisis through no fault of their own alone. We want to help quickly and unbureaucratically.’

On Saturday, the national disease center, the Robert Koch Institute, reported 19,059 confirmed cases in the last 24 hours and 103 deaths. That’s up from the previous record set Friday of 18,681.

Germany’s total cases since the pandemic started has increased to 518,753 and its death toll to 10,452.  



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Bollywood

Priyanka Chopra strikes an impressive shot as she plays golf in Berlin while shooting for Matrix 4. Watch video


Priyanka Chopra, who is currently in Berlin, Germany, has found a fun activity to keep her busy in between shots. She is reportedly in the city to shoot for upcoming fourth instalment of the Matrix franchise.

On Monday, she took to Instagram to share a video of herself from a golf course–Golf und Land Club. The video shows her in an all-black outfit, with her hair tied in a high bun. She swigs the club back behind her head and strikes a clean shot. “In between ‘shots’ #PracticeMakesPerfect Thanks for your help @thlpntzk,” she wrote.

Last week, Priyanka had shared picture from the streets of Berlin as she took her pet dog Diana for a walk. “Alles wird gut. Everything will be ok #IssaVibe. @diariesofdiana,” she wrote. The actor also mentioned that her white sweats actually belonged to husband Nick Jonas and she had stolen them from him.

 

The Matrix 4 will bring back Keanu Reeves in the lead role. It was initially set to open on April 1, 2022 but will now debut on December 22 next year. Wachowski, who had created the franchise with her sister Lilly, is helming the movie from a script she co-wrote with Aleksandar Hemon and David Mitchell.

Keanu recently appeared as a guest on Andy Cohen’s radio show to talk about the movie. Talking about the project, which reunites him with Wachowski, the actor noted that Wachowski has “created a beautiful story and a beautiful script.” Other actors who star in the film include Yahya Abdul-Mateen II, Neil Patrick Harris, Jonathan Groff.

Priyanka will also be seen in Netflix movie, The White Tiger. Directed by Ramin Bahrani of Fahrenheit 451 and 99 Homes fame, is an adaptation of the 2008 Aravind Adiga’s novel of the same name. The film also stars Rajkummar Rao and marks the debut of newcomer Adarsh Gourav. Sharing first pictures from the movie recently, Priyanka said the film will chronicle Balram’s rise from a poor villager to a successful entrepreneur in India, showcasing how hunger and lack of opportunity can build and drive a human being’s “animal instinct of survival.”

Also read: Bigg Boss: When Pamela Anderson was paid a bomb for 3 days in the house, admitted she barely knew Salman Khan

“Rajkummar Rao, already one of the most prolific actors in India, will showcase depths very few can. The film is powerful. It will make you uncomfortable, and most importantly it will entertain you. Coming soon to Netflix globally,” she added.

Follow @htshowbiz on Twitter





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