Tourism agency Visit Berlin shows the finger, or flips the bird, to anti-maskers in a new campaign in the German capital. Photo: Visit Berlin
Berlin flips off anti-maskers, Gramegna’s anti-austerity budget, US voters turn out early, Thailand imposes anti-protest measures, hugging tiger wins top wildlife photo prize. Delano’s breakfast briefing.
France imposes city curfews
Paris and eight other large French cities--Grenoble, Lille, Lyon, Aix-Marseille, Montpellier, Rouen, Saint-Etienne and Toulouse--are being placed under a 9pm-6am curfew starting this Saturday. French president Emmanuel Macron made the announcement on Wednesday evening because, he said, intensive care wards across the country “are under unsustainable pressure”. Anyone but essential or shift workers caught breaking the curfew could face a fine of €135, rising to €1,500 for repeat offenders. The FT, BBC and France24 have details.
Berlin campaign gives finger to anti-maskers
Meanwhile, in the German capital, tourism agency Visit Berlin has developed an ad featuring an elderly woman wearing a mask and showing the contemptuous middle finger gesture next to the slogan: “The middle finger to everyone without a mask. We stick to corona rules.” A spokesperson told The Guardian that they wanted a campaign that used language “that suits the Berlin character and that underscores the dramatic pandemic situation”. CNN and Deutsche Welle also cover the story.
Trade associations call for efforts to find deal
The FT reports on a joint statement from the presidents of Germany’s BDI, Italy’s Confindustria, and France’s Medef business associations urging EU leaders to increase efforts in trade negotiations with the UK. They want to avoid what they called a “brutal split” that would have “cascading consequences” including tariffs, delays and blockages.
UK-EU negotiations: Johnson to decide on Friday
Meanwhile, the BCC and Telegraph report that UK prime minister Boris Johnson will wait until after the European Council summit ends on Friday to decide whether to cease trade negotiations with the EU. Johnson had set a deadline of 15 October for a deal to be in place.
Gramegna eschews austerity
Luxembourg finance minister Pierre Gramegna presented his budget for 2021 to parliament on Wednesday and said that debt hovering around the limit of 30% for a few years before going down again “is a better perspective than that of an ideological austerity programme or sacrificing innovation and investments.” As Delano reported, the government expects to spend €21.8bn in 2021, compared to revenue of €19.3bn.
Luxembourg test infrastructure under strain
In the grand duchy covid-19 cases per 100,000 rose to 129 during the week of 5 to 11 October--a period in which a further six patients died. Health minister Paulette Lenert has said that no further restrictions are required right now, but she did say a trend for people requesting a covid-19 test without prescription is placing further strain on infrastructure. Delano reported yesterday.
Luxembourg schools cases
Figures released on Wednesday show that more than 230 school students across all ages, as well as 36 primary school teachers and 19 high school professors, have tested positive since the beginning of the new school year. Delano has details.
US voters smash early turnout records
More than 14 million US voters have already cast their ballots for the 2020 presidential election, according to the United States Elections Project, The Guardian reports. Forbes cites a YouGov/The Economist poll that found on Tuesday that that 68% of those who have already cast their ballot said they voted for Joe Biden, while just 29% voted for Donald Trump.
Thailand imposes protest restrictions
The Thai government has introduced emergency legislation to stop what it calls “unlawful public gatherings” in the wake of protests by a student-led democracy movement that is demanding the resignation of prime minister Prayuth Chan-ocha and curbs on the king's powers. The BBC and Aljazeera report.
UK clashes over 3-tier status
Meanwhile, in the UK the government is expected to decide on Thursday whether to impose tier 3 restrictions on Manchester. Several other northern cities, including Liverpool, have had to close pubs that do not serve food and ban household mixing under the tier 3 orders. Opposition leader Kier Starmer has called for a 2-week national “circuit breaker” lockdown, which scientists say could halve deaths. The Guardian, Sky News and BBC have more.
Something for the weekend
Friday 16-Sunday 18 October: watch locally produced English-language film “Skinwalker” at Kinepolis Kirchberg or Belval, or at one of the regional cinemas. Saturday 17 October: culture centre Neimënster down in the Grund is hosting an open day starting at 11am. Saturday 17 & Sunday 18 October: The TNL is staging “Why?”, the latest multi-disciplinary theatre production by Peter Brooks and Marie-Hélène Estienne--with English surtitles. Sunday 18 October: the first in the new series of “Cinéma du Sud” screenings takes place at Carré at 6.30pm.
Hugging tiger wins photo prize
Sergey Gorshkov’s photo of a female Siberian tiger rubbing herself against the bark of a tree in a Russian forest has won him the Wildlife Photographer of the Year title. The judges praised the photo’s lighting, colours and texture. “It’s like an oil painting,” said chair of judges Roz Kidman-Cox according to the BBC.
Today’s breakfast briefing was written by Duncan Roberts