International

EU threatens to block Covid-19 vaccine exports to UK and other stories

European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen has suggested a potential block on the number of vaccines being shipped out of the EU to the UK and other countries with high vaccination rates. 

In a media conference on the European Commission’s response to Covid-19 Ursula von der Leyen stated that she wanted to see reciprocity and proportionality in exports and to ensure that the EU is receiving its “fair share”. 

The President of the Commission also stated that over the past six weeks the EU had refused just one out of more than 300 requests for overseas vaccine shipments. 

The UK rollout of the Covid-19 vaccine has been one of the swiftest with over 25 million having received the first dose. 

EU plans to kick-start summer travel with digital Covid certificate

European Union officials have said that a digital travel certificate should be provided to citizens across the EU “without discrimination”.

The aim of this certificate is to help enable anyone vaccinated against Covid-19 or who has tested negative or recently recovered, to travel anywhere within the EU.

Some member states argue that a vaccine passport system would be discriminatorily for those unable to get vaccinated, such as young people who aren’t deemed a priority for mass vaccination.

EU Commission president Ursula von der Leyen said the pass would help provide a “common path to a gradual, safe and lasting re-opening”.

Glue-trapping of birds banned by EU Court

“Song Bird” by Conrad Kuiper is licensed under Creative Commons

The European Court of Justice has ruled that trapping birds on glue-covered branches cannot continue to be allowed, even as a tradition.

This comes after the European Commission warned French hunters last summer that this practice didn’t align with the EU laws on hunting and capturing of birds.

The Court ruling said: “A Member State may not authorise a method of capture of birds … [that] is likely to cause harm other than negligible harm to the species concerned”.

Yves Verilhac, of France’s League for the Protection of Birds (LPO), said: “These cruel, outdated methods will begin falling like dominoes”.

Yemen Houthis ‘regret’ deadly migrant centre fire

The Houthi movement have spoken about the fire at a migrant detention centre in the capital Sanaa earlier this month. 

The rebel movement have expressed “deep regret” at the fire which has been described by the Houthis as “accidental” 

According to a senior Houthi official the fire in the migrant centre killed 44 migrants and left 193 hurt. 

An independent investigation has been demanded the United Nations.

Celeb Bitcoin scam: Teen hacker pleads guilty

A US teenager has pleaded guilty to hacking several high-profile Twitter accounts in a large-scale Bitcoin scam.

Graham Ivan Clark was 17 when he hacked the twitter accounts of celebrities, including Bill Gates, Elon Musk and Barack Obama.

On the 15 July last year, these hacked celebrity accounts encouraged followers to donate bitcoin to coronavirus-relief projects.

Mr Gates’s account was hijacked to say “You send $1,000, I send you back $2,000.”

More than $117,000 (£84,200) of the cryptocurrency collected from the scam has been handed to the authorities to be given back to the victims.

During his sentence Clark will be banned from using computers without supervision from law enforcement.

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