Europe

Dozens injured as trains crash near Prague

PRAGUE, Czech Republic (AFP) — Dozens of people were injured, four of them seriously, when a passenger train collided with a stationary freight train near Prague on Tuesday evening, emergency services said. “We have treated four people with serious injuries and taken them to hospitals in Prague,” regional emergency service spokeswoman Petra Effenbergerova told AFP, adding that two helicopters had been deployed. “We have also treated 29 people with lighter injuries. They are being transported […]

Polish embassy opens new office, renders service amid COVID-19

(Eagle News) – The Embassy of Poland in Manila recently opened its new office at Taguig City, rendering essential consular and diplomatic services to Filipinos and Polish citizens alike amidst the COVID-19 pandemic. Chargé d’affaires Jaroslaw Szczepankiewicz said that the embassy’s new office, located at the Bonifacio Global Center, was the venue for the recently concluded Polish presidential elections. “How to do elections during the lockdown? It was very complicated,” Szczepankiewicz shared, revealing that Polish […]

Second virus wave in UK could see 120,000 deaths: study

LONDON, United Kingdom (AFP) — A second coronavirus wave in Britain this winter could see 120,000 deaths in hospitals alone in a “reasonable worst-case scenario”, scientists warned on Tuesday. The Academy of Medical Sciences report, commissioned by the government’s chief scientific adviser Patrick Vallance, urged immediate action to mitigate a second wave. With hospitals also battling seasonal flu cases, a second wave could eclipse the current outbreak resulting in up to 120,000 deaths between September […]

France uncovers ‘massive fraud’ of coronavirus wage payouts

  PARIS, France (AFP) — The Paris prosecutor’s office said Friday that it was investigating “massive fraud” across France by people falsely claiming temporary wage assistance for employees laid off during the coronavirus lockdown. As the crisis hit, the government quickly introduced a system to pay around 84 percent of net salary for people no longer able to work. Thousands of firms applied for the payments, allowing millions of people to avoid a sudden drop […]

Ukraine: Forest fires under control

KIEV, Ukraine (AFP) — Ukrainian firefighters have brought under control forest fires that have killed five people and left dozens homeless, the interior ministry said on Thursday. Large-scale blazes erupted on Monday in the eastern Lugansk region and engulfed a village not far from the front line of Ukraine’s war with Moscow-backed separatists. On Thursday, interior ministry spokesman Artem Shevchenko told AFP the situation was “better” and that the fires had been localized but declined […]

Ukraine pins hopes on weather to beat deadly forest fires

by Yuliya Silina SMOLYANYNOVE, Ukraine (AFP) — Forest fires in eastern Ukraine that have killed five people and left dozens homeless are being brought under control by firefighters, officials said on Wednesday. Interior Minister Arsen Avakov said the situation was improving and he had seen no new fires during a fly-over with President Volodymyr Zelensky and other senior officials. The blaze began on Monday in Lugansk region and engulfed Smolyanynove, a village just 20 kilometres […]

Britain to reveal post-coronavirus recovery plan

by Roland JACKSON LONDON, United Kingdom (AFP) — The British government will on Wednesday unveil a mini-budget to kickstart economic growth after the coronavirus shutdown, with a jobs scheme for young people and investment in infrastructure among the big ticket measures. Britain has suffered Europe’s deadliest outbreak of COVID-19 and a nationwide shutdown led to the worst economic contraction among the G7 leading industrialized states. In a statement to parliament at 1130 GMT, finance minister […]

France rules out ‘total lockdown’ in case of new COVID-19 spike

PARIS, France (AFP) — The French government said Wednesdeay it is preparing for a second wave of COVID-19 cases that could emerge in the coming months, but will not respond with another nationwide lockdown to contain the outbreak. “My aim is to prepare France for an eventual second wave, while preserving our daily life, our economic and social life,” new Prime Minister Jean Castex said in an interview on RTL television. “But we’re not going […]

Hundreds battle deadly Ukraine forest fire

KIEV, Ukraine (AFP) — Hundreds of firefighters and rescue workers rushed to deal with a forest fire that has killed six people in eastern Ukraine, the interior minister said on Tuesday. Water-bombing planes were also sent to the scene of the blaze in the Lugansk region, which is partially under the control of pro-Russia separatists, Arsen Avakov said. Firefighters initially battled back the flames but it spread again, helped by gusts of wind and soaring […]

WHO studying evidence on airborne virus transmission

by Robin MILLARD GENEVA, Switzerland (AFP) — The WHO said Tuesday it would study fresh evidence on airborne transmission of the coronavirus, after an international group of scientists concluded it could spread far beyond two metres. The World Health Organization said it would put out a new scientific brief within days, rounding up the knowledge about how the virus can be transmitted and ensuring its guidance stays in line with the evidence. The two-metre (yard) […]

WHO monitoring China bubonic plague situation

GENEVA, Switzerland (AFP) — The World Health Organization (WHO) said Tuesday it was monitoring a case of bubonic plague in China after being notified by the authorities in Beijing. A herdsman in China’s northern Inner Mongolia region was confirmed at the weekend to have the bubonic plague. Two other cases were confirmed in Khovd province in neighbouring Mongolia last week involving brothers who had eaten marmot meat, China’s state news agency Xinhua said. “Bubonic plague […]

Eight hurt in Athens train derailment

ATHENS, Greece (AFP) — Eight passengers were injured in a train derailment outside of the Greek capital Athens Tuesday, emergency services said. An electric train linking the port of Piraeus near Athens to the northern suburbs derailed as it entered the station at Kifissia just after midday, according to initial reports from firefighters. “Seven women and one man were slightly injured and transferred as a precaution to two hospitals in Athens,” a manager of the […]