Tag: European Union

Late in the Game, Russia Steps Up to Covid-19

VILNIUS, Lithuania — “I was stuck at home for too long, had to go for a ride,” a friend from Moscow shouted into his phone several weeks ago, trying to outyell the noise around him on a trip, it turned out, to St. Petersburg. “We’re going to hit a bar here and get some drinks, […]

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Autocrats’ Dilemma: You Can’t Arrest a Virus

CAIRO — When the virus hit, the strongmen hit back as they know best. For Egypt’s president, Abdel Fattah el-Sisi, that meant deploying chemical warfare troops, clad in protective suits and armed with disinfectant, to the streets of Cairo, in a theatrical display of military muscle projected via social media. Russia’s leader, Vladimir V. Putin, […]

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European Banks Prepared for a Crisis. But Not This One.

FRANKFURT — It was supposed to be a drill. Government overseers would test whether European banks could survive a hypothetical perfect storm that included a steep economic downturn, plunging stock prices and a collapse in consumer spending. But before bank regulators could begin their planned stress test this year, they were confronted with the real […]

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How Did the E.U. Get the Coronavirus So Wrong?

Few countries have covered themselves with glory in the battle against Covid-19. Western Europe, currently the center of the pandemic, has had its share of poor preparation, planning, and coordination. It been hit hard: Italy has more than 120,000 cases and more than 15,000 dead — the highest number in the world. Spain is not […]

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Hungary’s Leader Grabbed Powers to Fight the Virus. Some Fear Other Motives.

BUDAPEST — In the days since the Hungarian Parliament gave Prime Minister Viktor Orban the right to rule indefinitely by decree, nominally in the name of combating the coronavirus pandemic, his government has been energized by much other than the disease. First, his deputy briefly toyed with a plan to strip powers from city mayors, […]

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Iran Says U.S. Sanctions Are Taking Lives. U.S. Officials Disagree.

As Iran struggles with a devastating coronavirus outbreak, a broken economy and a severe shortage of medical equipment, it says that American trade sanctions are taking Iranian lives and has called for the United States to lift them on humanitarian grounds. Iran’s plea is gaining traction around the globe, winning support from allies like Russia […]

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What the Coronavirus Means for Climate Change

Something strange is happening. Not just the illness and death sweeping the planet. Not just the closing of borders and bars and schools, the hoarding of wipes and sanitizer, the orders — unimaginable to most Americans weeks ago — to “shelter in place.” Something else is afoot. In China and Italy, the air is now […]

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Europe Fumbled Coronavirus at First. Can It Manage the Pandemic Now?

BRUSSELS — With the rapid spread of the new coronavirus, the flattened world has developed a few speed bumps. With trade disrupted and economies paralyzed, some consider that the nation-state is back, as if it ever went away. For countries like the United States, China and Russia, that is normality. But for the European Union, […]

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Surging Traffic Is Slowing Down Our Internet

WASHINGTON — In late January, as China locked down some provinces to contain the spread of the coronavirus, average internet speeds in the country slowed as people who were stuck inside went online more and clogged the networks. In Hubei Province, the epicenter of infections, mobile broadband speeds fell by more than half. In mid-February, […]

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Europe’s Leaders Ditch Austerity and Fight Pandemic With Cash

LONDON — A British prime minister from the party of Margaret Thatcher has effectively privatized the national railway system, while forsaking budget austerity in favor of aggressive public spending. Germany has set aside its traditional detestation for debt to unleash emergency spending, while enabling the rest of the European Union to breach limits on deficits. […]

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Netflix, Prime Video, and YouTube Limit Video Streaming Quality in EU Due to Coronavirus

As the COVID-19 (Coronavirus) pandemic forces companies and governments all over the world to advise people to work from home, video streaming services like Netflix, Prime Video, and YouTube have started downgrading video quality in some regions. This is to help preserve the internet bandwidth for people working from home. Yesterday, the European Commission had […]

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Will ‘Helicopter Money’ and the ‘Big Bazooka’ Help Rescue Europe?

Don’t worry about government deficits so much and start spending. Get ready to use the “big bazooka” by issuing eurobonds. Drop cash from the sky. As Europe’s policymakers race to prop up the economy while the coronavirus rips through the continent, everything is on the table. “Extraordinary times require extraordinary action,” Christine Lagarde, the president […]

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A French Call to Arms Against the Virus

PARIS — With the spread of the coronavirus accelerating at an alarming rate in France, President Emmanuel Macron addressed the nation Monday evening with a call for mobilization. Before millions of television viewers, he looked directly into the camera and declared, “We are at war.” In 20 minutes, he said it six times. Mr. Macron […]

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Macron Declares France ‘at War’ With Virus, as E.U. Proposes 30-Day Travel Ban

BRUSSELS — Adopting martial language, President Emmanuel Macron ordered the French to stay at home for at least the next 15 days, as France put in place some of the most severe measures in Europe to try to curb the raging coronavirus. The aggressive move by France came as other countries in the region introduced […]

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Europe Needs Solidarity. And Ventilators and Masks and Beds.

HAMBURG, Germany — Europe may be the epicenter of the coronavirus pandemic, as the World Health Organization said last week. But for all those struck down by the virus — past and to come — the crisis has brought Europe’s nations one consolation: When faced with the choice between economic damage and human suffering, they […]

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Europeans Erect Borders Against Coronavirus, but the Enemy Is Already Within

BRUSSELS — The “gilded museum” of Europe is hollow and echoing. The great squares and stadiums are empty, the museums shut, the churches hesitant about services, the fine restaurants and cool bars shuttered. The coronavirus is not only spreading, but also infecting societies with a sense of insecurity, fear and fragmentation. Above all, it has […]

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Boris Johnson Pressed to Move Brexit Deadline Amid Coronavirus Threat

LONDON — As leaders on both sides of the English Channel batten down the hatches for the coronavirus, Prime Minister Boris Johnson is coming under rising pressure to ask the European Union for an extension in its negotiations to reach a trade agreement — in effect, putting off the next stage of Brexit until the […]

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Turkey Steps Back From Confrontation at Greek Border

BRUSSELS — Turkey has signaled that it is winding down its two-week operation to aid the movement of tens of thousands of people toward Europe, following a tough on-the-ground response from Greek border guards and a tepid diplomatic reaction from European politicians. Migrants at the Greek-Turkish land border began to be transported back to Istanbul […]

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Coronavirus Tests Europe’s Cohesion, Alliances and Even Democracy

BRUSSELS — The rapid spread of the new coronavirus presents a severe test for democracies, for the European Union as an institution and for the trans-Atlantic alliance. And so far, it has been every nation for itself. While Italy begged for aid, the European Union appeared to delay and fumble, with member states ignoring calls […]

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Europe Wants a ‘Right to Repair’ Smartphones and Gadgets

LONDON — Hoping to replace that two-year-old smartphone in a few months? The European Union wants you to think twice about doing that. The bloc announced an ambitious plan on Wednesday that would require manufacturers of electronic products, from smartphones to tumble driers, to offer more repairs, upgrades and ways to reuse existing goods, instead […]

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Radical Changes Urged for Huge E.U. Farm Program

Europe’s $65-billion-a-year farm program needs to change radically if it is to protect the environment and support small farmers, a group of European scientists said in a paper published in the journal “People and Nature” on Monday. The 21 authors of the paper said a planned overhaul of Europe’s farm policy is inadequate. They said […]

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This Is Life Under Lockdown in Italy

MILAN — You glance at the headlines, just before going to bed on a Saturday evening, to discover your town has been put in lockdown. Or is about to be. It’s not clear. Apparently, the order hasn’t been signed yet. Social media shows people rushing to the station, mainly for the last trains south. This […]

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