Welcome to European Tribune. It's gone a bit quiet around here these days, but it's still going.
by Bernard (bernard) on Sat Jan 2nd, 2021 at 06:44:07 PM EST
by Bernard (bernard) on Sun Jan 3rd, 2021 at 01:24:12 PM EST
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Germany's COVID vaccine procurement labeled a 'gross failure' - DW
Experts and politicians slammed the German government on Saturday for failing to ensure a sufficient supply of vaccine doses ahead of the country's coronavirus vaccination drive.

As a member of the EU vaccine procurement scheme, Germany is reliant on regulators at the European level granting authorization of the vaccine to prevent COVID-19 infection.

But the EU has taken longer than countries like the UK, US and Canada to give the go-ahead.

So far, only the BioNTech-Pfizer vaccine is permitted in EU member states, but the block as a whole only made an order for 300 million doses during the summer, in the belief that more vaccine alternatives would be available.

Frauke Zipp, a neurologist and member of the advisory Leopoldina Academy of Sciences, on Saturday slammed German lawmakers for their lack of foresight over vaccine procurement.

"I consider the current situation a gross failure," she told Die Welt newspaper. "Why didn't they order much more of the vaccine during the summer just to be safe?"

by Bernard (bernard) on Sun Jan 3rd, 2021 at 03:00:04 PM EST
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Could the 5-day shelf of the miracle vaccine been the deal killer?
by Cat on Sun Jan 3rd, 2021 at 06:19:46 PM EST
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Scarce doses and empty vaccination centres: Germany's vaccine rollout headache
Pfizer supply chain competition edition, ES decentralized "exposure"
by Cat on Sun Jan 10th, 2021 at 06:37:38 PM EST
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Let's recap: In the month across the imperial basket (USD, GBP, EURO), simultaneous SURGE of SAR-CoV-2 cases AND COVID-19 deaths messed the curves; Pfizer supply chain discipline has collapsed; "experts" have detected purported statistically insignificant cases of SAR-CoV-2 "variants" circulating in S. Africa and UK (initially, more transmissible/not more deadly, now more transmissible AND deadly); purchasing authorities are re-allocating orders of Pfizer-substitute, Phase III trial vaccines which have not been officially licensed for general use.

Moderna says it believes vaccine will work against new variants
"Moderna said it plans to publish data from its tests against the variants on the website bioRxiv."

by Cat on Mon Jan 25th, 2021 at 06:34:00 PM EST
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Moderna making booster shot to fight Covid-19 variants
wide-spectrum sell sheet developing ...
by Cat on Mon Jan 25th, 2021 at 09:16:39 PM EST
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by Cat on Fri Jan 29th, 2021 at 06:57:36 PM EST
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That is what viruses do.

She believed in nothing; only her skepticism kept her from being an atheist. -- Jean-Paul Sartre
by ATinNM on Sun Jan 31st, 2021 at 05:05:55 AM EST
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EU locks horns with AstraZeneca on vaccine deliveries amid 'supply shock'
"Under advance purchase deals sealed during the pandemic, the EU makes down-payments to companies to secure doses, with the money expected to be ["]mostly used["] to expand production capacity."
by Cat on Mon Jan 25th, 2021 at 10:43:00 PM EST
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Sweden wants clarity on vaccine doses before paying Pfizer
"To extract the sixth dose, low dead volume syringes or needles, which only retain a low amount of solution after an injection, are needed."
by Cat on Tue Jan 26th, 2021 at 04:55:38 PM EST
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Coronavirus: Europe looks for a way out of vaccine fiasco, 8 manufacturers for about 2B doses, but so far ...
EU Health Commissioner Stella Kyriakides said after the talks that the company's answers had not been satisfactory. "The new schedule is not acceptable," she told DW. "The EU prefinanced the development and production of vaccine against COVID-19 with a total of € 2.7 billion ($3.3 billion) and wants to see the return. Which doses have been produced, where and to whom have they been delivered?" she said. "The EU wants the prefinanced and preordered doses. The contract needs to be fully fulfilled."
Sanofi to help produce 100 million Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine doses
The French company will aim to help supply more than 100 million doses of the vaccine this year from its German plant in Frankfurt, CEO Paul Hudson told Le Figaro newspaper on Tuesday...."Since our main vaccine is a few months late, we asked ourselves how we could be of assistance now," Hudson was quoted as saying
by Cat on Tue Jan 26th, 2021 at 10:16:58 PM EST
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EU seeks access to AstraZeneca's Covid-19 vaccines produced at UK plants
[AstraZeneca CEO] Soriot said that vaccines meant for the EU were produced in four plants in Belgium, the Netherlands, Germany and Italy.

But EU Commission officials said on Wednesday that under the contract, the company had also committed to providing vaccines from two factories in Britain. They added the firm had not provided sufficient explanations on why doses could not be shipped from stocks at factories which experienced no production problem, like those in Britain.

< wipes tears >
by Cat on Wed Jan 27th, 2021 at 06:54:01 PM EST
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Can the EU win a case against AstraZeneca? I'm not convinced, Tory barrister dissembling
Both contracts (the one, published previously, which I used as an example in my last post, and today's) are what the EU calls advance purchase agreements, or APAs.
< wipes tears >
What our courts say is that if you wanted the contract to say X, you should have written it as X. If they wanted a strict guarantee, they should have written in a strict guarantee. If parties write they must use best efforts, it means they must use best efforts. Attempts to erode that or increase the burden bump headfirst into this problem.
norms and international law contagion story developing ...
by Cat on Fri Jan 29th, 2021 at 05:31:22 PM EST
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Looks like the Commission is as hopeless with PDF files as the US Army. Information that was supposed to be hidden, such as how much the vaccines cost, turns out to be easily readable.
by gk (gk (gk quattro due due sette @gmail.com)) on Fri Jan 29th, 2021 at 08:25:05 PM EST
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Would it work under Belgian law?

If so, it would come as surprise to me. But then, I am not qualified in Belgian law. Where Belgian law differs from our law it does so by having a `good faith' principle in contract.

And selling doses to other countries while being under contract to use their reasonable best efforts to deliver the due doses, doesn't sound not very much as a `good faith' interpretation.

I did not in the contract see where disputes would be settled, so I assume Belgium. If it legally matters I also noticed in the contract that AstraZeneca kept Astras old adress as the common adress, so AstraZeneca is incorporated in Sweden.

by fjallstrom on Tue Feb 2nd, 2021 at 09:09:47 AM EST
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by Cat on Sat Jan 30th, 2021 at 03:52:16 PM EST
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EU requests inspection of AstraZeneca vaccine production in Belgium
EIA search for WMD, sort of. NL, DE, IT dodge bullets. Erdogan prepares alibi. US, UK update purchase orders.
by Cat on Thu Jan 28th, 2021 at 07:14:05 PM EST
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Maas did not provide details on the idea. However, he pointed President-elect Joe Biden's call to create a network of democratic nations.
He warned that "the belief in cohesion, in democracy as the most humane form of government, and in the persuasive power of science and reason" can only be preserved together. In order to achieve this, there were "no better, closer, more natural partners in the 21st century than America and Europe," Maas told dpa.
by Cat on Sat Jan 9th, 2021 at 05:46:23 PM EST
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Europe still has insufficient self-confidence to say they should simply tell the US how to do it.
by asdf on Sun Jan 10th, 2021 at 02:05:17 AM EST
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U.S., Canada, Britain, Australia condemn Hong Kong arrests of activists, national security threat
Hong Kong's most prominent pro-democracy advocates were arrested as authorities said last year's unofficial vote to choose opposition candidates in city elections was part of a plan to "overthrow" the government.

On Thursday, U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said Washington may sanction those ["]involved in the arrests["] and will send the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations to visit Taiwan.

by Cat on Sun Jan 10th, 2021 at 03:39:01 AM EST
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network of democratic nations REPORTS: Refugees stuck in hopeless situation at EU border in Bosnia, EU remains shut
by Cat on Sun Jan 10th, 2021 at 03:55:03 PM EST
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by Cat on Sun Jan 10th, 2021 at 06:15:39 PM EST
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by Cat on Sun Jan 10th, 2021 at 08:21:39 PM EST
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by Cat on Thu Jan 14th, 2021 at 05:03:47 PM EST
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'Sapere aude'
by Oui (Oui) on Thu Jan 14th, 2021 at 07:05:03 PM EST
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At least she won't be in a classroom anymore, but it's just another demonstration of how being a teacher in the US is just about holding a credential and not actually knowing anything.
by rifek on Sun Jan 17th, 2021 at 01:31:54 AM EST
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As a school therapist, she has no doubt encountered paedophilia, knows that people lie about it, and knows that the more powerful you are, the more likely you are to get away with it. That makes her a prime candidate for conspiracy theories. It doesn't make her a bad person. She should stop listening to the nutbags and keep her day job.

It is rightly acknowledged that people of faith have no monopoly of virtue - Queen Elizabeth II
by eurogreen on Thu Jan 21st, 2021 at 06:26:58 PM EST
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Exclusive: Do we need to sanction each other? German minister asks after Blinken call
Nord Stream 2, China intersectionality (vaccine supply TBD)
by Cat on Thu Jan 28th, 2021 at 12:51:50 AM EST
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Pompeo non grata, or just too busy? Secretary of state cancels Europe trip - Politico.eu
But other officials said the cancellation was more a case of American snobbery being answered by European snubbery: Pompeo abandoned the trip because European officials balked at seeing him after last week's deadly riot by Trump supporters at the U.S. Capitol.

Earlier Tuesday, before news of Pompeo's cancellation, the European Commission said that no EU official would meet the secretary of state. A spokesman declined to elaborate further on the reasons or decision-making process.

Pompeo had also planned to see Luxembourg Foreign Minister Jean Asselborn, but European officials said that meeting was called off. A day after the violent uprising at the Capitol, Asselborn had told Luxembourg Radio that Trump was a "political pyromaniac who must be brought before a court."

by Bernard (bernard) on Wed Jan 13th, 2021 at 07:13:16 PM EST
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Brussels protest over police brutality turns violent
A protest in Brussels over the death of a man while in police custody turned violent Wednesday as demonstrators clashed with officers and Belgian King Philippe's car was even caught in the cross-fire.

Protesters threw projectiles, while the police used tear gas to disperse the crowd, which gathered outside a police station near Gare du Nord. According to De Standaard, 116 people were arrested and five police officers were injured during the protest.

The demonstration, which at its peak attracted some 400 people, according to police, was organized after a man identified as Ibrahima B., 23, died following his arrest on Saturday under circumstances that are still under investigation.

Police said they have opened an internal inquiry into the case.

Ibrahima's death has raised further scrutiny of Brussels police and complaints of police brutality following other high-profile cases in which young men, mostly of Middle Eastern or North African descent, have been killed while interacting with officers.

by Bernard (bernard) on Thu Jan 14th, 2021 at 07:04:26 PM EST
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Dutch government quits over 'colossal stain' of tax [extortion]
"The cabinet would remain in place for now in a caretaker capacity to manage the coronavirus crisis, Rutte said."
by Cat on Fri Jan 15th, 2021 at 05:47:39 PM EST
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Geert Wilders' questionable American patron
US American donations to the hairshirt crusader's legal defense fund are tax deductible.
by Cat on Sat Jan 23rd, 2021 at 03:41:32 PM EST
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Rioting Dutch youths torch COVID testing center
"Last Sunday, COVID lockdown skeptics clashed with riot police on horseback in a central square in Amsterdam. A total of 143 people were detained."
by Cat on Mon Jan 25th, 2021 at 01:25:22 AM EST
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Germany: Merkel's party chooses Armin Laschet as leader  - Guardian
Angela Merkel's continuity candidate, the centrist conservative Armin Laschet, has beaten one of her longest-standing rivals in the contest to lead Germany's Christian Democratic Union.

In a digitally-held party congress, Laschet beat the conservative hardliner Friedrich Merz by 521 to 466 votes in a run-off vote, following a strong speech that emphasised social cohesion and held up recent scenes from Washington DC as a warning example of divisive leadership.

The third candidate on the ballot, the foreign policy specialist Norbert Röttgen, came last in the first round of votes.

'Mutti' is so popular in Germany that Laschet, who's seen as very close to her, had the best shot at winning the CDU leadership. Will it be enough to succeed Merkel at the Chancellorship next September?

Armin Laschet, Angela Merkel loyalist, is new CDU leader - DW

Now he is Merkel's second successor in the office of party chief. Whoever holds this position traditionally becomes the party's candidate for chancellor and, if the Christian Democrats can form a governing majority, has the first shot at the chancellery. But whether Laschet will also compete for that position has long been unclear.

"A state premier who successfully governs a population of 18 million can also be Germany's chancellor," emphasized Laschet a few days ago.

The candidate is due to be decided only after regional elections in two German states, a good two months from now. That decision will be made in coordination with Markus Söder, the head of the Christian Social Union (CSU). The head of the CDU's sister party in the state of Bavaria denies persistent rumors that he may want to be the conservative alliance's candidate for chancellor. But German bookmakers have Söder top of their list.

by Bernard (bernard) on Sat Jan 16th, 2021 at 01:35:41 PM EST
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by generic on Sat Jan 16th, 2021 at 01:51:22 PM EST
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Armin Laschet, Angela Merkel loyalist, is new CDU leader

'Sapere aude'
by Oui (Oui) on Sat Jan 16th, 2021 at 01:49:44 PM EST
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by generic on Sat Jan 23rd, 2021 at 12:29:57 PM EST
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El Nacional: Catalonia postpones elections till May 30th due to coronavirus situation:
With the agreement of almost all parties - the PSC being the major exception - Catalonia's parliamentary elections have been postponed for more than three months, due to the coronavirus situation. Catalan vice president Pere Aragonès this Friday afternoon signed the decree that replaces the original 14th February date with a new appointment with the polls on 30th May. "Maintaining the schedule as it had been planned was an unacceptable risk in terms of public health and an obstacle to getting voters to turn out as required for the elections," he said in an address. He also thanked the parties for their willingness and understanding to accept the new date.
by IdiotSavant on Sat Jan 16th, 2021 at 11:39:58 PM EST
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Navalny Returns to Moscow ... Prison

In German exile, he got no headlines. Navalny is competing with Trump's exit now ..,

From the diaries ...

Khodorkovsky - The Interpreter - Henry Jackson Society (UK)

'Sapere aude'

by Oui (Oui) on Mon Jan 18th, 2021 at 08:32:03 PM EST
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European countries struggle to make most of Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine doses
...Confusion over Pfizer/BioNTech vial volumes emerged in December, when U.S. hospital pharmacists realised that preparing the vaccine, by mixing it with saline solution [!], yielded enough liquid for at least six 0.30 ml doses.

They initially threw the extra dose away, since vials were labeled for five. ...

by Cat on Tue Jan 19th, 2021 at 07:05:13 PM EST
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Amazon sues EU antitrust regulators [EC] for letting Italian case go ahead
"Amazon took its case to the Luxembourg-based General Court, Europe's second-highest, on Tuesday, asking it to annul the EU's decision to exclude Italy from the wider investigation, a court filing shows.[...] The case is T19/21."
by Cat on Wed Jan 20th, 2021 at 06:44:18 PM EST
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Amazon to hike fees for Spanish users [sic] after new digital tax
"Amazon announced a similar move in France after the government there also approved a "Google tax".
by Cat on Fri Jan 22nd, 2021 at 03:25:09 PM EST
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case (n +1) inciting insurrection
by Cat on Sat Jan 23rd, 2021 at 04:58:24 PM EST
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