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Germany Partially Closes Borders Despite E.U. Criticism

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Germany Partially Closes Borders

Germany partially closed its borders with the Czech Republic and Austria’s Tyrol on Sunday over a troubling surge in coronavirus mutations, earning a swift rebuke from the European Union.
A thousand police officers were mobilised to ensure strict border checks, a reminder of the much-criticised early days of the pandemic when EU countries hastily closed their frontiers to each other.
At the Kiefersfelden crossing in southern Bavaria, masked officers in yellow high-visibility jackets were out in sub-zero temperatures, stopping each vehicle coming from Austria.
Under the new rules, only Germans or non-German residents are allowed through.
Exceptions are made for essential workers in sectors such as health and transport, as well as for urgent humanitarian reasons, the German interior ministry has said. Everyone must be able to provide a recent negative coronavirus test.
Among those turned back was Austrian driver Irene, who said she would now have to make an hours-long detour.
Germany partially closed its borders with the Czech Republic and Austria’s Tyrol on Sunday over a troubling surge in coronavirus mutations, earning a swift rebuke from the European Union.

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A thousand police officers were mobilised to ensure strict border checks, a reminder of the much-criticised early days of the pandemic when EU countries hastily closed their frontiers to each other.
At the Kiefersfelden crossing in southern Bavaria, masked officers in yellow high-visibility jackets were out in sub-zero temperatures, stopping each vehicle coming from Austria.
Under the new rules, only Germans or non-German residents are allowed through.

Exceptions are made for essential workers in sectors such as health and transport, as well as for urgent humanitarian reasons, the German interior ministry has said. Everyone must be able to provide a recent negative coronavirus test.
Among those turned back was Austrian driver Irene, who said she would now have to make an hours-long detour.
The restrictions are aimed at slowing the spread of more contagious variants that first emerged in Britain and South Africa, and have created new virus hotspots along the Czech border and in Austria’s Tyrol region.
At the German-Czech border crossing in Bad Gottleuba, a police spokesman said the checks had caused waiting times of around one hour. Traffic is expected to be heavier from Monday, he added.
By Sunday afternoon, German police had checked more than 1,700 vehicles and denied entry to more than 500.

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Foreign

Celebrated Turkish Actor Risks Jail For President ‘Insult’

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Celebrated Turkish Actor Risks Jail For President ‘Insult’

Mujdat Gezen’s half-century career as an acclaimed Turkish writer and actor has included awards, a stint as a UN goodwill ambassador and a taste of prison after a 1980 putsch.
Now aged 77, the wry-witted comedian and poet with an easy smile and a bad back risks returning to jail on charges of insulting Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.
He is in danger of becoming the latest victim in the Turkish leader’s years-long battle with what he dismissively calls “so-called artists”.
Gezen landed in court with fellow comedian Metin Akpinar, 79, over comments the pair made during a television show they starred in on opposition in 2018.
His partner, Akpinar went one step further, saying that “if we don’t become a (democracy); the leader might end up getting strung up by his legs or poisoned in the cellar”.

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These are risky comments to make in a country still reeling from a sweeping crackdown Erdogan unleashed after surviving a failed coup in 2016.
Their trial is coming with Erdogan rattled by a burst of student protests that hint at Turks’ impatience with his commanding rule as prime minister and president since 2003.
Prosecutors want to put the two veteran celebrities behind bars for up to four years and eight months. The verdict is expected on Monday.
Thousands of Turks, from a former Miss Turkey to school children, have been prosecuted for insulting Erdogan on social media and television.
Bristling at the jokes and comments, Erdogan warned in 2018 that his critics will pay the price.
The knock on the door reminded Gezen of how he ended up being dragged before the courts after spending 20 days in jail when a military junta overthrew Turkey’s civilian government at the height of the Cold War in 1980.

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Election campaign begins in Ivory Coast

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Ivory Coast Election

Campaigning for parliamentary elections in Ivory Coast began on Friday, with the March 6 vote coming four months after a presidential election marred by violence.

The opposition boycotted the presidential poll, calling for “civil disobedience”. But it has decided to take part in the vote to elect members of a National Assembly currently dominated by the ruling party.

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For the first time in a decade, the branch of the Ivorian Popular Front (FPI) led by former president Laurent Gbagbo will put forth candidates, as part of coalition called Together for Democracy and Sovereignty (EDS).

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Libya’s Interior Minister Escapes Assassination Attempt

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Libya’s Interior Minister Escapes Assassination Attempt

The powerful interior minister of Libya’s unity government survived an assassination attempt Sunday on a highway near the capital Tripoli.
Fathi Bashagha’s convoy “was fired on from an armoured car while he was on the highway. His police escort returned fire. Two of the assailants were arrested and a third is in hospital,” the source said, adding that “the minister is fine”.

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Bashagha, a heavyweight in Libyan politics, was returning from a routine visit to a new security unit overseen by his department, the same source said.
The 58-year-old has served as interior minister in the North African country’s UN-recognised Government of National Accord since 2018 and has staked his reputation on battling corruption.
Libya has been riven by violence since a 2011 NATO-backed uprising that toppled and killed dictator Moamer Kadhafi.
Two rival administrations, backed by an array of militias and foreign powers, have vied for control of the oil-rich country.
Bashagha had been seen as a favourite to lead a new interim government under UN-led peace efforts following an October ceasefire last year.
The post finally went to businessman Abdul Hamid Dbeibah, a 61-year-old engineer, who has called for reconstruction, democracy and reunification in Libya.

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#COVID19NIGERIA Situation Report

The #COVID19Nigeria situation report for 21st July, 2020 has been published. Our daily reports provide a summary of the epidemiological situation & response activities in Nigeria

The #COVID19Nigeria situation report for 21st July, 2020 has been published. Our daily reports provide a summary of the epidemiological situation & response activities in Nigeria

@Africa CDC

The African Union and Africa CDC will virtually rollout the Partnership to Accelerate COVID-19 Testing (PACT) in Africa tomorrow 4 June, 2020 at 11.00 am Eastern Africa Time.

The African Union and Africa CDC will virtually rollout the Partnership to Accelerate COVID-19 Testing (PACT) in Africa tomorrow 4 June, 2020 at 11.00 am Eastern Africa Time.

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"Also found worthy of honour was Bashir Abubakar, an Asst Comptroller-General of Customs, who rejected a bribe of $412,000 per container offered him by drug traffickers seeking to bring 40 containers of Tramadol into Nigeria. A fine example of incorruptibility, worthy of emulation"

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