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There is a dead end in Europe, so next weekend the clock will turn back.

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At dawn on Sunday, European clocks will move back one hour and enter winter time.

This convention, followed in Portugal for about a century, has been questioned in recent years. In the EU, even a proposal is being put forward to stop its following. In the absence of a decision, delayed by the unforeseen circumstances of recent years, the tradition remains.

A dead end with no end in sight

In Europe, the discussion dates back to 2018. The European Commission published a public opinion poll according to which 84% of Europeans are in favor of ending the change of time twice a year.

In 2019, the European Parliament voted to promote the measure. Everything pointed to the fact that the end was inevitable, and everything depended only on negotiations in the European Council. It was predicted that the clocks would be moved for the last time in 2021, but this did not happen.

The European Council considered that this measure lacked an impact assessment and referred the matter to the European Commission. This is where the deadlock begins, which continues to this day. On the official website of the European Parliamentthe measure is “pending the position of the Council in the first reading” and it appears that negotiations have not started yet.

Along the way, other, more pressing issues have emerged, on which European efforts have focused, from Brexit to the pandemic and, more recently, to war. However, due to the upcoming European elections, the proposal may no longer have the necessary consensus, and it is not clear when this issue will return to the Council’s agenda.

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A solution for everyone will be very difficult to find

Apart from the legislative process, the practical contours of this measure will require careful discussion.

IImplementing a single measure will be difficult as it will mean more hours of sunshine for some and less for others. On the other hand, allowing each country to choose its own time (without reference to geographic location or current time zones) can lead to huge chaos. From Europe with three time zones, we could potentially have many national timetables.

Even harmonizing schedules with neighboring countries can be problematic. For example, with the UK leaving the EU, such a measure could mean different timetables in Ireland and Northern Ireland.

In addition, there are still countries, such as Portugal and Greece, who intend to keep the time change twice a year, because they believe that the constant change to daylight saving time or winter time will not bring benefits.

But where did the time change come from then?

The first local experiments in which time change was agreed upon date back to the 18th century, but the first official time change occurred in the 20th century. In 1916, due to hostilities, the German Empire changed the time in order to adjust working hours to the sundial and thus save coal. This measure was followed by other European countries, including Portugal.

Over the course of the century, a variant of this timetable has changed over time and between countries.

Currently all European countries (except Iceland) follow EU Decree of 2000 which synchronized the changes in European time to ensure consistency within the single market. Thus, it was found that changes occur in last Sunday in October (one hour behind) and last Sunday in March (one hour ahead).

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Europe, however, is on the side of the minority, which still keeps the changes between summer and winter. According to Statistica, only 40% have made changes in 2021. But this was not always the case, as at some point in their history, more than 140 countries had seasonal schedules.

In addition to Europe, winter time is preserved in the United States (with the exception of the states of Arizona and Hawaii). This may change soon. In an unusual consensus, the US Congress approved on March 15 The sun protection law, which aims to abolish the change of time. The plan is to have clocks in the US reset for the last time next year, but the measure has yet to pass the House of Representatives or be passed by the president.

Why change now?

The initial argument in favor of the schedule was energy savings. However, research on this is inconclusive or shows residual savings. The energy saved at the end of the day seems to be offset by the energy wasted in the early morning when, for example, we need to turn on the light to get ready to leave the house.

At present, the protection of winter time is mainly associated with the idea of ​​having more light in the morning, especially for children in schools and farmers in the fields.

However, the number of arguments in favor of ending temporary changes has increased. Over the years, there have been several studies linking wintertime to various harmful effects, from a decrease in labor productivity to an increase in heart attacks, street crime and traffic accidents.

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Depending on the latitude, the change in time may dictate that night falls in the middle of the day in many cities and towns during the cold season. This is when, in terms of trade, later twilight is associated with higher consumption.

In recent years, the argument based on human biology has also gained weight. new evidence scientific studies have emerged that show that about half of our genes are regulated by some kind of biological clock (circadian rhythm, functions that the body repeats in cycles of about 24 hours and which are also influenced by external stimuli).

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Vladimir Putin has delayed the invasion of Ukraine at least three times.

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Putin has repeatedly consulted with Russian Chief of the General Staff Valery Gerasimov and Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu about the invasion, Europa Press told Ukraine’s chief intelligence director Vadim Skibitsky.

According to Skibitsky, it was the Russian Federal Security Service (FSB), which is responsible for counterintelligence and espionage work, that put pressure on Gerasimov and other military agencies to agree to launch an offensive. .

However, according to the Ukrainian intelligence services, the FSB considered that by the end of February sufficient preparations had already been made to guarantee the success of the Russian Armed Forces in a lightning invasion.

However, according to Kyiv, the Russian General Staff provided the Russian troops with supplies and ammunition for only three days, hoping that the offensive would be swift and immediately successful.

The head of Ukrainian intelligence also emphasized the cooperation of local residents, who always provided the Ukrainian authorities with up-to-date information about the Russian army, such as the number of soldiers or the exact location of troops.

The military offensive launched on February 24 by Russia in Ukraine caused at least 6.5 million internally displaced persons and more than 7.8 million refugees to European countries, which is why the UN classifies this migration crisis as the worst in Europe since World War II (1939-1945). gg.). ).

At the moment, 17.7 million Ukrainians are in need of humanitarian assistance, and 9.3 million are in need of food aid and housing.

The UN has presented as confirmed 6,755 civilian deaths and 10,607 wounded since the beginning of the war, stressing that these figures are much lower than the real ones.

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Life sentence for former Swedish official for spying for Russia

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A Stockholm court on Monday sentenced a former Swedish intelligence officer to life in prison for spying for Russia, and his brother to at least 12 years in prison. In what is considered one of the most serious cases in Swedish counterintelligence history, much of the trial took place behind closed doors in the name of national security.

According to the prosecution, it was Russian military intelligence, the GRU, who took advantage of the information provided by the two brothers between 2011 and their arrest at the end of 2021.

Peyman Kia, 42, has held many senior positions in the Swedish security apparatus, including the army and his country’s intelligence services (Säpo). His younger brother, Payam, 35, is accused of “participating in the planning” of the plot and of “managing contacts with Russia and the GRU, including passing on information and receiving financial rewards.”

Both men deny the charges, and their lawyers have demanded an acquittal on charges of “aggravated espionage,” according to the Swedish news agency TT.

The trial coincides with another case of alleged Russian espionage, with the arrest of the Russian-born couple in late November in a suburb of Stockholm by a police team arriving at dawn in a Blackhawk helicopter.

Research website Bellingcat identified them as Sergei Skvortsov and Elena Kulkova. The couple allegedly acted as sleeper agents for Moscow, having moved to Sweden in the late 1990s.

According to Swedish press reports, the couple ran companies specializing in the import and export of electronic components and industrial technology.

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The man was again detained at the end of November for “illegal intelligence activities.” His partner, suspected of being an accomplice, has been released but remains under investigation.

According to Swedish authorities, the arrests are not related to the trial of the Kia brothers.

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Ukraine admitted that Russia may announce a general mobilization

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“They can strengthen their positions. We understand that this can happen. At the same time, we do not rule out that they will announce a general mobilization,” Danilov said in an interview with the Ukrainska Pravda online publication.

Danilov believed that this mobilization would also be convened “to exterminate as many as possible” of Russian citizens, so that “they would no longer have any problems on their territory.”

In this sense, Danilov also reminded that Russia has not given up on securing control over Kyiv or the idea of ​​the complete “destruction” of Ukraine. “We have to be ready for anything,” he said.

“I want everyone to understand that [os russos] they have not given up on the idea of ​​destroying our nation. If they don’t have Kyiv in their hands, they won’t have anything in their hands, we must understand this,” continued Danilov, who also did not rule out that a new Russian offensive would come from “Belarus and other territories.” .

As such, Danilov praised the decision of many of its residents who chose to stay in the Ukrainian capital when the war broke out in order to defend the city.

“They expected that there would be panic, that people would run, that there would be nothing to protect Kyiv,” he added, referring to President Volodymyr Zelensky.

The military offensive launched on February 24 by Russia in Ukraine caused at least 6.5 million internally displaced persons and more than 7.8 million refugees to European countries, which is why the UN classifies this migration crisis as the worst in Europe since World War II (1939-1945). gg.). ).

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At the moment, 17.7 million Ukrainians are in need of humanitarian assistance, and 9.3 million are in need of food aid and housing.

The Russian invasion, justified by Russian President Vladimir Putin on the need to “denazify” and demilitarize Ukraine for Russia’s security, was condemned by the international community at large, which responded by sending weapons to Ukraine and imposing political and economic sanctions on Russia.

The UN has presented as confirmed 6,755 civilian deaths and 10,607 wounded since the beginning of the war, stressing that these figures are much lower than the real ones.

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