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Germany coronavirus: Hundreds arrested in German ‘anti-corona’ protests

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Germany coronavirus: Hundreds arrested in German 'anti-corona' protests

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Media captionThousands took to the streets of Berlin to rally against coronavirus restrictions

Police in Berlin have arrested 300 demonstrators during protests against Germany’s coronavirus restrictions.

Some 38,000 people took to the streets in the city for mostly peaceful demonstrations.

Later hundreds of protesters, many from the far right, tried to storm the Reichstag, the home of Germany’s federal parliament.

A number of people were arrested and German politicians condemned the attack as “shameful” and “unacceptable”.

Some of those involved had insignia from the far-right Reichsbürger (Reich Citizens) movement. Vice Chancellor Olaf Scholz said: “Nazi symbols as well as Reichsbürger and Imperial German flags have no place in the German Bundestag.”

Earlier some 200 people were arrested at one rally, which the authorities blamed on right-wing agitators who were said to have thrown stones and bottles.

Rallies protesting against coronavirus restrictions took place in other European cities with some demonstrators calling the virus a hoax.

Thousands gathered in London’s Trafalgar Square to protest against issues including coronavirus restrictions and 5G. Signs reading “masks are muzzles” and “new normal = new fascism” were held up.

Similar protests took place in Paris, Vienna and Zurich.

What happened in Berlin during the day?

The rally had originally been banned but a court eventually allowed it to go ahead.

Police ordered one group near the Brandenburg Gate to disperse for flouting safety rules, then arrested 200 after stones and bottles were thrown.

“Unfortunately, we have no other option,” Berlin police said on Twitter. “All the measures taken so far have not led to compliance with the conditions.”

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Protesters were closely packed in places, and sat together on the ground at one point.

A second group of about 30,000 met peacefully close by to hear speeches.

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Reuters

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Attila Hildmann spoke to protesters outside the Russian Embassy on Unter den Linden

Among those arrested was cookery author and conspiracy theorist Attila Hildmann, who had addressed crowds through a loudspeaker.

Although Germany has so far not seen the wave of cases affecting some parts of Europe, its infection rate has been growing. New case numbers are reaching highs last seen in April.

Who was involved in the Berlin protests?

Mr Geisel said people protesting outside the Russian Embassy on Unter den Linden were “right-wing extremists” and that seven police officers had been injured.

Some protesters then broke through a cordon at the Reichstag building and were dispersed by police using pepper spray.

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Reuters

Image caption

Some protesters broke through to the Reichstag before being dispersed

German news site Deutsche Welle reported that flags and T-shirts supporting the far right could be seen among the crowd.

The demonstration to the west of the Gate at the Victory Column was organised by the Stuttgart-based movement Querdenken 711 (or Lateral Thinking 711). The group has more than 16,000 followers on Facebook and communicates largely through encrypted messaging service Telegram.

It believes that coronavirus regulations infringe on basic rights and freedoms enshrined in Germany’s constitution and wants them to be lifted.

The group previously organised a protest in Berlin on 1 August dubbed the “day of freedom”. Thousands joined, including some from the far right and some conspiracy theorists who do not believe Covid-19 exists.

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EPA

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Protesters near the Victory Column hold a banner reading “first wave, second wave, permanent wave?”

The protests have also gained support from Robert F Kennedy Jr. The anti-vaccination campaigner, also the son of assassinated US Democratic presidential hopeful Robert F Kennedy and nephew of assassinated US President John F Kennedy, is at the demonstrations in Berlin.

Mr Kennedy told the crowd at the Victory Column that his uncle had famously addressed Berlin in 1963 to counter totalitarianism and that “today Berlin is again the front against totalitarianism”, warning of a surveillance state and the power of 5G phone networks.

Photos shared online also showed flags and slogans linked to the conspiracy theory QAnon. The wide-ranging, unfounded conspiracy theory says that US President Donald Trump is waging a secret war against elite Satan-worshipping paedophiles in government, business and the media, among other claims.

Image copyright
Reuters

Image caption

The protests have drawn a range of different groups

Participants also included families and children. Some people have said they just want the right to protest.

One demonstrator, Stefan, a 43-year-old Berlin resident, told Agence France-Presse: “I’m not an extreme right-wing sympathiser, I’m here to defend our fundamental freedoms.”

Counter-protests against the main march also took place, with about 100 people at one rally. “You are marching with Nazis and Fascists,” shouted some participants, according to broadcaster RBB.

What are Germany’s Covid-19 measures?

The country was one of the most effective in enforcing the framework of response referred to as prevent, detect, contain and treat.

It has been particularly effective in keeping the death rate among the over 70s lower.

It began relaxing physical distancing in early April but continued to track infections, which have seen a rise in August.

On Thursday, Chancellor Angela Merkel and the 16 federal states introduced a minimum €50 (£45; $59) fine for failing to wear a face mask where ordered. A ban on major public events was also extended until next year.

Mrs Merkel said: “We will have to live with this virus for a long time to come. It is still serious.” She said it would become more challenging in the winter.

Germany has recorded 242,000 infections, fewer than the other major European nations. Its figure of 9,297 deaths is considerably lower than the numbers in Russia, the UK, Spain, France and Italy, Johns Hopkins University research shows.

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Russia expels five Portuguese diplomats | War in Ukraine

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“This morning, the Portuguese Ambassador in Moscow was summoned to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation, who was informed of the expulsion of five embassy employees who will have to leave Russia within 14 days,” the Portuguese Foreign Ministry said on Thursday. Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the report said.

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“Ukraine is in for a very unpleasant surprise” — Obozrevatel

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You have free access to all Observer articles as a subscriber.

It was a quick change. On Monday, Mikhail Kodaryonok, a retired colonel and television commentator, criticized Russian President Vladimir Putin’s military strategy. This Wednesday afternoon, also on Russian state television, the army has completely changed speech, anticipating a “very unpleasant surprise” for Ukraine.

Mikhail Kodarenok mentioned Russian attacks on American howitzers in Ukraine, suggesting that they would remain a target for Russian forces “in the near future.” “They will be searched for, discovered and hit,” the colonel in the reserve assured, adding that soon only “memories” would remain of them.

Assuring that this goal would be “achieved,” the colonel turned to the news of the victories that Ukraine would win over Russian troops.“There are only rumors Indeed, there are even rumors that [a Ucrânia] allegedly has great success in counterattacks, ”said Mikhail Khodarenok, describing these rumors as “inaccurate.”

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To demonstrate the failure of the Ukrainian forces, a retired colonel recalled the Snake Islands plan. Mikhail Khodarenok noted that Ukraine needed to achieve “air supremacy”, and that “in the coming months” it would be “impossible” for the Ukrainian armed forces to accomplish such a feat.

In addition, in the naval sphere, the official also devalued Ukraine: “They need to achieve superiority at sea,” especially in the Black Sea, which “is out of the question.” “At best, it will take years, if not decades.”

“And therefore, when they talk about the ability of Ukraine to counterattack, this is a big exaggeration,” Mikhail Khodarenok hinted, believing in the success of the Russian offensive. He predicted that “a very unpleasant surprise” awaits Ukraine in the near future.

“As much as we hate to admit it, the whole world is against us.” Retired colonel denounces Putin’s strategy on state television

These statements contrast with those that Mikhail Kodarenok made on Monday: “They [os ucranianos] determined to fight to the last man. Ultimately, victory on the battlefield is determined by the high morale of the personnel.who sheds blood for ideas for which he is ready to fight.

Also on Monday, the retired colonel acknowledged that “the main drawback of the Russian military-political position is that we are, in a sense, in complete geopolitical isolation and that, as much as we hate to admit it, practically the whole world is against us.” . “The situation will frankly worsen,” spoke on Monday, anticipating a scenario with “a million armed Ukrainian soldiers.”

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Madrid rejects Russia’s unjustified expulsion of 27 diplomats – columnist

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The Spanish government has rejected Russia’s decision to expel 27 employees of the Spanish embassy in Moscow, arguing that reciprocity in this case is not justifiedbecause they did not violate the Vienna Convention.

Spain rejects the decision taken today by the Russian Federation to expel a total of 27 employees of the Spanish Embassy in Russia,” the Spanish Foreign Ministry said in a statement.

Madrid then explains that Russian authorities justify this decision with the principle of “reciprocity” after the expulsion of 27 employees of the Russian embassy in Madrid, notified last April, adding, however, that “the expulsion then accepted by the Spanish authorities was based on duly substantiated security reasons, which do not exist in this case.”

The Spanish Ministry of Foreign Affairs guarantees that the employees of the embassy in Moscow “always” fully complied with the obligations set forth Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations and Vienna Convention on Consular Relations.

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Russia announced this Wednesday that it was expelling 27 Spanish and 24 Italian diplomats in response to similar measures taken by those countries after invading Ukraine.

The announcement of the expulsion of Italians and Spaniards was made by the Russian Foreign Ministry a few minutes after the announcement of the expulsion of 34 French diplomats and a day after the decision to expel two Finnish diplomats was made.

The number of Spanish and Italian diplomats now considered persona non grata it is identical to the Russian diplomats whom the governments of two European countries decided to expel from their countries in April.

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According to Spanish Ambassador to Moscow Marcos Gomez Martinez, who was summoned to the Russian ministry on Wednesday morning, diplomats from the embassy in Moscow and the consulate general in St. Petersburg were sent to Moscow. will have to leave Russia within seven days.

On April 5, the Spanish government decided to expel 27 diplomats and officials from the Russian embassy in Spain as a sign of rejection of the “horrible actions” of the Russian troops, the “escalation of war crimes” and in “protection of security interests.” » Spain.

The Spanish performer did not directly mention the massacre organized by Russian soldiers in the Ukrainian city of Bucha, Kyiv region.

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