Coronavirus is death knell for Scottish fishing industry | DW | 01.04.2020

As the worst of the winter weather recedes and Easter approaches, Fraserburgh harbor in northeast Scotland ought to be teeming with activity. Under clear skies, dozens of trawler boats would — in normal times — be setting off for the bountiful fishing grounds of the North Sea, or returning to unload their catch. But these are not normal times, and the port sits silent. A full four-fifths of the fleet is currently tied up, estimates veteran Fraserburgh skipper Mark Robertson. Like businesses the

Scotland's shameful record: Homelessness fuels highest drug-death rate in Europe

It's a bitterly cold night in Glasgow, Scotland's largest city. Kevin Barry Duffin's hat is pulled low against the winter chill, and he warms his hands with a steaming cup of coffee. His smile is broad as he approaches for a chat; but behind the homeless man's eyes, there is sadness. "First it was codeine. Then heroin when I was 26. Now, in the last four years, it's been coke. I was abused growing up. That's what's f---ed me up. I took drugs to cover the pain," he says. Kevin is one of dozens

Brexit And The Regions: Fear Of No Deal Disaster In England’s Industrial Heartlands

Visualise Brexit. Big Ben may spring to mind, or the prime minister at his podium in Downing Street. But Britain’s E.U. departure isn’t a London phenomenon. It was on the streets of Hartlepool, Walsall, and Dudley—not Westminster—that the Leave campaign prevailed. Brexit was forged in England’s former industrial heartlands—and now, as trade talks commence, the regions’ message is clear: do not ignore us. Devastated by steep decline in the 1980s, decades of regeneration have shaped the economies

Coronavirus: Is The U.K. Prepared?

Britain is on edge. Coronavirus’s steady creep is starting to look more like a surge: a thousand cases in South Korea, fifteen dead in Iran, over three hundred infected in Italy. The U.K.’s health secretary confessed this week that he is “pretty worried”; a jarring understatement to Brits already battling the virus. That group is currently small—a dozen or so—but experts are clear: the worst is still to come. ‘Covid-19’, the disease’s official designation, has brought chaos to China. With almo

Power Politics: Reshuffle Reveals Johnson And Cummings’ Iron Grip

It was billed as a moderate shake-up. A few fresh faces—particularly in the junior ranks—but effectively a continuity Cabinet, one committed to carrying out the Conservatives’ winning manifesto. Did nobody tell Dominic Cummings? Boris Johnson’s tough-as-nails top aide was in no mood for compromise this morning, forcing from office Britain’s second most powerful politician. Sajid Javid—now former Chancellor of the Exchequer—had been given an ultimatum: sack your senior staff, or you’re finished.

Far-Right Upset At German Election Is A Warning Moderates Had Better Heed

In Germany this week—as the nation marks 75 years since the fall of fascism—the spectre of far-right rule reared its head. A startling series of events saw Alternative für Deutschland (AfD), a party of ardent nationalists, play kingmaker in a regional election. The result is likely to be undone—but Germany’s guiding post-war principle, to keep power in moderate hands, has been punctured. The drama played out in Thuringia, an eastern state governed in recent years by the left-wing Die Linke part

After UK leaves EU on January 31, what will change?

On Friday evening, as the clock strikes eleven, Britain will leave the European Union. More than three and a half years since the EU referendum, during which the country has seen two general elections and much political wrangling, the wishes of 17.4 million Britons will be realised. • What price will the developing world pay for Brexit? But do not expect an end to the drama. January 31 marks a single page-turn in the Brexit odyssey and the next chapter could be just as fraught. A transition p

U.K.’s Trading Future Far From Clear As Brexit Looms

We’re on the final straight. After four frenzied, fascinating years, on Friday 31st, Brexit will happen. At the stroke of 11:00 p.m., the wish of 17.4 million Brits will be realized. For the first time in four decades, the U.K. will be truly standing on its own two feet. An independent trading nation, bridled by Brussels no more. Well, not exactly. At the end of the month, Britain will indeed cease to be an EU member. There will be no more U.K. MEPs, no British commissioner, no ministers in at

2020: The Year The Greens Take Europe?

As record temperatures roasted Europe last summer, eco-fever swept the land. Surging atop the political agenda like never before, environmentalism—once the reserve of an entitled fringe—took centre stage—and, in some areas at least, it shows little sign of stopping. In Austria, the new decade just hours old, history was made: the country’s Greens agreed to enter national government. They will serve alongside the People’s Party, right-wing conservatives, signalling a curious crossing of the cont

Huawei: Britain’s Brexit Future At Stake As U.K. And U.S. Clash

Is Huawei the right way? It’s a question bedevilling Britain’s Boris Johnson—one he will soon have to answer. There are no easy options. Entrust the Chinese tech giant with Britain’s 5G future, and he’ll incur the wrath of Washington; but kowtow to the Americans, and he risks nobbling his nation’s networking potential. It’s a delicate decision that could, in time, define Brexit Britain’s place in the world. Johnson’s Huawei dilemma is years in the making. His predecessor, Theresa May, backed pl

Malta’s Prime Minister Muscat Under Fire As Journalist Murder Probe Takes Another Turn

The moment police swooped on a multi-million dollar yacht trying to slip from Maltese waters last month, Joseph Muscat’s days were numbered. On board was a murder-linked businessman with alleged ties to the prime minister’s top team. His arrest lit the fuse on festering public fury, and soon the streets outside Castille— Muscat’s official residence—convulsed in protest. The island nation’s leader vowed to see the crisis through; but on Sunday, his time ran out. Assailed on all sides, Muscat prom

Stuck In A Bloody Counter-Terror Quagmire, France Calls For Help In West Africa

On Monday night, France’s counter-terror stalemate in the Sahel struck a new low. Manoeuvring to engage militants on the ground, an attack helicopter collided mid-air with a troop transport chopper. Thirteen French personnel perished—the heaviest toll of a single incident in a generation. The tragedy is, for many, emblematic of France’s faltering West African mission, which, six years in, looks no closer to success. When President François Hollande deployed troops to the Sahel in 2013, his inte

The Climate Election? Johnson And Corbyn Grapple With Green Fervour

It ought to be a wholly red, white, and blue election, given the focus on Brexit; but Britain’s ballot battle is starting to look rather green. A year of unprecedented protests and activism has forced climate change into voters’ minds like never before. Over half the electorate now say global warming could be a deciding factor come polling day, giving those on the campaign trail plenty to ponder. Environmentalism’s ascendancy in the political arena is striking. Ahead of the 2017 election, scarc

Tories Slammed For Fact-Check Stunt, But Was That Part Of The Plan?

As Britain's electoral hopefuls duked it out before a live studio audience last night, the delicate divide between truth and spin narrowed. For little over an hour, the Conservative’s press office Twitter account was fashioned as “factcheckUK,” an apparently non-partisan body fastidiously debunking Labour’s “lies.” It has been condemned as a deeply cynical stunt—but in the war for digital dominance, it has perhaps achieved its main objective: attention. So glued to ITV’s Boris Johnson versus Je

Brexit Party Leader Nigel Farage Under Pressure To Pull Back In Labour Seats

Give an inch in politics, and you risk losing a mile. Just ask Nigel Farage. He adopted the Brexit high ground on Monday, pledging to stand down candidates in Conservative-held seats for fear of splitting the Leave vote. But now they want more. Joined by some of Brexit’s biggest bankrollers, senior Tories are calling on Farage to forfeit his foremost electoral target: Labour’s Leave-backing heartlands. Brexit Party candidates would contest 600 seats in the coming election, Farage declared last

Concern For Migrants At Europe’s African Land Borders

Clinging desperately to the truck’s undercarriage, it’s hard to imagine the boy’s terror. What horrors drove him to the Spanish border, we’ll never know. The 13-year-old dropped under the lorry’s wheel, and his tiny body was crushed. Another life lost in Europe’s unremitting migrant crisis; but not, like most, amid the misery of a Mediterranean crossing. The child died attempting entry at one of Europe’s two land borders with North Africa - frightening frontiers where human rights are in free fa

A New Order? Sir Lindsay Hoyle In The Brexit Hot Seat After Speaker Election

Murderous monarchs were once the Speaker’s foremost problem—deliver to the palace an unwelcome message, and their days were numbered. Even now, tradition dictates that those duly elected be dragged to the chair, so undesirable is the job. But as Sir Lindsay Hoyle was hauled to the head of the House of Commons this week, his thoughts will have been on a prospect more daunting even than killer queens: Britain’s Brexit bedlam. In gentler times, you’d likely not notice a new Speaker in the chair. T

Boris Bruised By Trump’s Brexit Intervention - But Corbyn Is Buoyant

Boris’s Brexit boat is listing heavily, and there’s a Trump-sized hole to blame. In an incendiary intervention last night, the American lit up Britain's nascent election race, casting doubt on his counterpart’s headline EU divorce deal - and gifting rival Jeremy Corbyn an electoral open goal. Crushing a time-honoured convention, an alacritous Mr Trump weighed in on the contenders during a radio phone-in. He offered Boris a personal boost - “he’s a fantastic man” - but skewered his hard-fought B

The Dutch 'Burqa Ban' could have huge consequences

The Hague, August 9. The protesters march silently, a sizzling intensity surrounding them. No beating drums, no blaring megaphones. Just signs. I want to speak, reads a fluttering banner; I am robbed, states another. Police officers flank the noiseless procession – their job is to keep the peace. But should the veiled women stray into a public building – a hospital, say – that dynamic would change. In theory, at least. The Netherlands has joined a growing list of European nations to adopt a so-c

Turkey is Ready To Invade Kurdish Territory In Syria

“We say this about the east of Euphrates; either we will clear the region of the terrorists together, [or] Turkey will enter there and clear by ourselves” – the strident words of Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu. Those with a vested interest in Syria would be wise to heed his uncompromising tone. Twice already President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has threatened military advancement into Syria, and twice he’s followed through. Now, the Turkish strongman is poised to push further into Kurdish-h
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