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Germany did not follow correct procedure in seeking the extradition, from Italy, of a rapist, named as Christian B., on a European Arrest Warrant, an EU court adviser has said. Christian B. is also wanted in connection with kidnapping Madeleine McCann, a British toddler, in Portugal in 2007. He has served most of his rape sentence in Germany and could soon go free. The EU court usually follows advisers' opinions.
The European Commission offered preferential trade terms and €33m in immediate aid to Lebanon on Thursday, after a huge explosion in its port, which prompted fresh protests against government corruption and incompetence. "The commission stood ready to explore how to boost our trade relations in this challenging time, in particular in the form of further preferential trade and customs facilitation," commission president Ursula von der Leyen said.
Four former board members and a retired senior executive are to face charges for "fraud, indirect false certification, and criminal advertising" over the Dieselgate scandal, the German prosecutor in Munich said Thursday. The four join three others already on trial from German car maker VW, which owns Audi, and which admitted, in 2015, to introducing "defeat devices" in their cars to cheat on diesel-emissions tests.
People coming from Belgium to Britain from 4AM on Saturday will have to self-quarantine for 14 days or risk fines of up to £1,000 (€1,100), UK authorities announced Thursday night. The coronavirus infection figures in Belgium jumped 46 percent in recent days, Belgium said the same day. Figures also climbed steeply in Greece, France, and Spain, while Germany introduced mandatory tests for travellers coming back from high-risk regions.
Bulgarian prime minister Boyko Borissov on Wednesday said he would be willing to step down to avoid a government collapse following weeks of protests, reports Reuters. "I am ready to leave at any time. I do not want any tension because of me," he said. "I will hold talks with my coalition partners and offer options including one where I would leave and the government continues."
The European Commission on Wednesday announced it had prolonged anti-dumping duties on imports of Chinese corrosion-resistant steel. "The decision aims to counter circumvention of the existing EU trade defence measures," it said, in a statement. The EU had in early 2018 imposed up to 27.9 percent import duties on certain corrosion-resistant steels from China.
Sweden's economy has contracted 8.6 percent in the April-to-June period from the previous three months. The country had eschewed some of the more restrictive Covid-19 lockdowns, when compared to other EU member states. Spain's economy over the same period slumped by 18.5 percent, France by 13.8 percent, and Italy by 12.4 percent. The EU as a whole saw a 11.9 percent contraction.
The next nominated US ambassador to Germany, Douglas Macgregor, holds xenophobic and pro-Kremlin views, according to interview footage unearthed by US broadcaster CNN. Muslims wanted to "turn Europe into an Islamic state" and Germany had opened the gates to "Muslim invaders" he once said on Fox News, a right-wing TV channel in the US. Eastern Ukrainians under Russian occupation were "Russians", he also said on RT, a Russian propaganda outlet.
The head of a German doctors union warned that the spike in covid-19 cases is a signal that the second wave of the virus is already hitting the country. "We are already in a second, shallow upswing," Susanne Johna, the president of Marburger Bund, told the Augsburger Allgemeine newspaper on Tuesday. Germany has registered over 212,000 cases and more than 9,000 deaths.
Some 47 percent of Germans are happy the US is pulling 12,000 soldiers out of Germany, according to a survey by pollster YouGov for the DPA news agency, and some 25 percent would like all US soldiers to leave. Some 66 percent also wanted the US to remove nuclear weapons from Germany. The poll came after US president Donald Trump announced the move to punish Germany on defence and trade.
A US decision to build new military bases in Poland is the "crowning glory" of the Polish government's foreign and defence policy, Polish defence minister Mariusz Błaszczak said Tuesday. The US intelligence, infantry, and aviation facilities are to be staffed by some 1,000 troops on a "rotational" basis, but Błaszczak said it meant an "enduring" US presence. The Russia-deterrent forces will join 4,500 US soldiers already on rotation in Poland.
Coronavirus infections have risen by 58 percent in Belgium in the past week to reach 535.4 per day, while the rate of infection per 100,000 inhabitants went up 200 percent in two weeks, according to Belgian public health body Sciensano. Belgium is a part-amber, part-red zone for coronavirus in Europe, along with Romania, Spain, and other isolated hotspots. Large parts of France, Poland, Sweden, and the UK are also amber.

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