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Schulz reiterates need for tolerance and solidarity to fight #terrorism



20161212pht55717_originalPresident Schulz reiterated the need to use the weapons of tolerance, solidarity, friendship and humanity to fight Daesh, al-Shabaab and other terrorist organizations. He cited the bomb attacks in Turkey, Egypt and Somalia this weekend as the latest examples of a scourge that has plagued the whole world in 2016 and conveyed Parliament’s deepest sympathy to the families and friends of the victims of all these human tragedies.

To halt the terrorists’ efforts to spread fear among peoples and societies, we must reaffirm our values, tolerance, solidarity, friendship and humanity. This will be harder than dropping bombs, but our values are worth defending, insisted Mr Schulz. “If we were to give up the fight for these values, then the terrorists would have won.”

Schulz also reported that he had written to the Ethiopian and Egyptian governments about the cases of Ibrahim Hawala and Dr Merera Gudina.
Hawala was arrested as a minor for taking part in a protest demonstration and now faces the death penalty, and Dr Gudina was arrested on his return to Ethiopia after briefing the European Parliament on the political crisis there.

Outgoing MEPs
Pablo ZALBA BIDEGAIN (ES /EPP) is leaving the European Parliament. His seat is declared vacant as of 18 November 2016.

Agenda changesTuesday (13 December)

A full debate on the General revision of Parliament’s Rules of Procedure is added in the morning, as the second item, following the Commission Statement on the Clean Energy for All Package.
A Commission statement on the situation of the rule of law and democracy in Poland is moved from Tuesday to Wednesday afternoon.

A Commission statement on the situation of the rule of law and democracy in Poland is added as second item in the afternoon, after the Council and Commission statements on labour market reforms and labour relations in Greece.

A Commission statement on European Commission Recommendation on implementation of the EU Turkey statement and the reinstatement of Dublin transfers will be added in the afternoon, as the third item.

A statement by the Vice-President of the Commission/High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy on the attack against the Coptic cathedral in Cairo - freedom of religion and belief is added as seventh item in the afternoon.

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We’re disappointed by EU but a deal can be done, says Raab




Britain is disappointed by the European Union’s demand that London give more concessions to secure a trade deal but a deal is close and can be done, British Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab said on Friday (16 October), write Guy Faulconbridge and Paul Sandle.

“We are disappointed and surprised by the outcome of the European Council,” Raab told Sky News.

“We’ve been told that it must be the UK that makes all of the compromises in the days ahead, that can’t be right in a negotiation, so we’re surprised by that but the prime minister will be saying more on this later today.”

“Having said that, we are close,” Raab said of a deal. “With goodwill on both sides we can get there.”

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France reports more than 25,000 new coronavirus infections in past 24 hours




A doctor, wearing a protective mask and a protective suit, works in the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) where patients suffering from the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) are treated at the Bethune-Beuvry hospital in Beuvry, France. REUTERS/Pascal Rossignol

The French health ministry reported 25,086 new confirmed coronavirus cases in 24 hours on Friday (16 October), after reporting a record 30,621 on Thursday (15 October), writes Geert De Clercq in Paris.

It also reported that 122 people had died from coronavirus infection in hospitals in the past 24 hours, compared with 88 on Thursday. Including deaths in retirement homes - which are often reported in multi-day batches - the death toll increased by 178 on Friday.

The total number of infections since the start of the year now stands at 834,770, the cumulative number of dead at 33,303.

The number of people in hospital with COVID-19 rose by 437 to 10,042, exceeding 10,000 for the first time since mid-June, and the number of people in intensive care rose by 50 to 1,800, a level last seen in mid-May.

In the past seven days, France has registered nearly 14,800 new coronavirus infections, which is more than the 132,430 registered during the entire two-month lockdown from mid-March to mid-May.

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France will react with the greatest firmness after attack - PM




French Prime Minister Jean Castex
Denis Charlet/Pool via REUTERS

France will react with the greatest firmness after a school teacher was beheaded on the street of a Paris suburb on Friday after he had shown his pupils cartoons of the Prophet Mohammad, Prime Minister Jean Castex said on Saturday (17 October), writes Sybille de La Hamaide.

“Through one of its defenders, it is the Republic which has been struck in the heart by Islamist terrorism,” Castex wrote on Twitter.

“In solidarity with its teachers, the state will react with the greatest firmness so that the Republic and its citizens live, free! We will never give up. Never.”

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