‘He Knew How to Fight’: European Parliament President Dies at 65

David Sassoli, president of the European Union’s parliament, died in a hospital on Tuesday at the age of 65 after months of poor health, the Associated Press reported.

Sassoli, a socialist and former Italian journalist, had been hospitalized since late December 2021 due to abnormal immune system functioning, his spokesperson said, the AP reported. He had been struggling with poor health since he became ill with pneumonia due to the legionella bacteria in September.

European Council President Charles Michel said Sassoli was a “sincere and passionate European. We already miss his human warmth, his generosity, his friendliness and his smile,” the AP reported.

Read More

Pfizer’s Comirnaty Available Abroad, Not in U.S.

New York-based Pfizer has sold and shipped hundreds of millions of doses of its Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved COVID-19 vaccine Comirnaty to the European Union (EU) despite saying last week that it is not being shipped in the United States. 

“Pfizer Inc. (NYSE: PFE) and BioNTech SE (Nasdaq: BNTX) today announced they will supply an additional 100 million doses of COMIRNATY®, the companies’ COVID-19 vaccine, to the 27 European Union (EU) member states in 2021,” Pfizer said in an April press release. “This announcement is a result of the European Commission’s (EC) decision to exercise its option to purchase an additional 100 million doses under its expanded Advanced Purchase Agreement signed on February 17, 2021. This brings the total number of doses to be delivered to the EU to 600 million.”

Read More

Commentary: The Russia-Ukraine Crisis, the History Our Media Got Wrong

Russia’s looming invasion of Ukraine presents a clear and present danger to the safety of the European Union and a direct challenge to the NATO alliance, but only now are our major media waking up to this dire threat to Western security. We must now confront urgent questions: Did the United States strengthen Russia, did it weaken Ukraine, and did it do so under the nose of these media?

First, a quick run-through of American actions that strengthened Russia. In his 2009 inaugural address, Barack Obama promised to approach adversaries with an open hand, not a closed fist. For this, he won a Nobel Peace Prize, an oxymoronic name, equivalent to the Affordable Care Act.

Read More

European Efforts to Purge ‘Christmas’ from Seasonal Lexicon Meet Resistance

Moves by officials in the EU and U.K. to cleanse the insufficiently inclusive term “Christmas” from holiday season nomenclature are meeting resistance amid signs that authorities may be backtracking from a sweeping top-down campaign to weed out speech rooted in traditional Western usage that could be construed as insensitive to minorities.

In the European Union, an internal document by EU Commissioner for Equality Helena Dalli, first reported on by Italian daily Il Giornale, recommends that expressions that are offensive to minorities or “aren’t inclusive enough” — including “Christmas” — shouldn’t be used ahead of the Christmas season.

Read More

European Union LGBT Ambassador Does Photoshoot as Trans Virgin Mary

Riccardo Simonetti, LGBT ambassador to the European Union Parliament, dressed as a transgender Virgin Mary for the cover of a Berlin-based queer magazine.

The photos show a bearded Simonetti in a tunic and veil, holding a baby who is presumably representing Jesus. In another photo he is holding the baby with another man, who appears to represent Joseph, wrapping his arms around Simonetti.

Read More

Thousands of Migrants Stuck in Between Belarus and Poland as Tensions Flare

Thousands of migrants are stranded at the Belarus-Poland border, with Belarus and Russia performing military demonstrations amid rising tensions in the region, CNN reported Friday.

Up to 2,000 people are trapped between Poland and Belarus, enduring hunger and hypothermia in the freezing forests and camps along the border, CNN reported. The number of migrants at the border has the potential to grow to 10,000 people in the near future if the situation doesn’t change, according to Belarusian authorities.

Read More

Google Loses Antitrust Legal Battle, $2.8 Billion Fine Upheld

The European Union (EU) General Court upheld a ruling Wednesday that Google violated EU antitrust law by preferencing its own shopping service in search results.

The European Commission, the EU’s top regulator, ruled in 2017 that Google’s practice of prioritizing its online marketplace in its search results was anti-competitive, slapping the tech giant with a roughly $2.8 billion fine. Google appealed the decision, but the EU General Court, the second-highest court in the continent, upheld the ruling Wednesday.

Read More

Commentary: America Gone Mad

After three weeks in Europe and extensive discussions with dozens of well-informed and highly placed individuals from most of the principal Western European countries, including leading members of the British government, I have the unpleasant duty of reporting complete incomprehension and incredulity at what Joe Biden and his collaborators encapsulate in the peppy but misleading phrase, “We’re back.”

As one eminent elected British government official put it, “They are not back in any conventional sense of that word. We have worked closely with the Americans for many decades and we have never seen such a shambles of incompetent administration, diplomatic incoherence, and complete military ineptitude as we have seen in these nine months. We were startled by Trump, but he clearly knew what he was doing, whatever we or anyone else thought about it. This is just a disintegration of the authority of a great nation for no apparent reason.”

Read More

European Union Health Agencies See ‘No Urgent Need’ for COVID-19 Boosters Among Fully Vaccinated

The two leading European health agencies determined Thursday that COVID-19 booster shots are not necessary for fully vaccinated individuals who do not have compromised immune systems.

The European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control and the European Medicines Agency issued a statement saying the current priority should be vaccinating all eligible individuals. Booster shots should be considered only for those with compromised immune systems.

Read More

Facebook’s WhatsApp Hit with $265 Million Fine for Violating Personal Data Laws

European Union regulators imposed a $265 million fine on Facebook-owned messaging service WhatsApp on Thursday for failing to adequately inform consumers what it did with their data.

The fine, issued by the Data Protection Commission (DPC), related to WhatsApp’s failure to provide consumers with certain information about how it shared their personal data with other Facebook-owned companies, according to the agency’s announcement. This omission by WhatsApp violated the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), the EU’s data protection and privacy law governing how tech companies collect and share user information.

Read More