By Michelle Martin and Alastair Macdonald BERLIN/BRUSSELS (Reuters) - Germany re-imposed border controls on Sunday after Europe's most powerful nation acknowledged it could scarcely cope with thousands of asylum seekers arriving every day. A day before deeply divided European Union ministers tackle the migrant crisis, the U.N. refugee agency also called on every member state to take in a share of asylum-seekers under a Brussels plan which some countries are fiercely resisting. Berlin announced that the temporary measure would be taken first on the southern frontier with Austria, where migrant arrivals have soared since Chancellor Angela Merkel effectively opened German borders to refugees a week ago. "The aim of these measures is to limit the current inflows to Germany and to return to orderly procedures when people enter the country," said German Interior Minister Thomas de Maiziere. Open borders among the European countries which signed the Schengen Treaty are a crucial part of the EU project, but controls can be re-introduced, provided they are only temporary. "The free movement of people under Schengen is a unique symbol of European integration," the EU's executive Commission said in a statement. "However, the other side of the coin is a better joint management of our external borders and more solidarity in coping with the refugee crisis." At an emergency meeting on Monday, interior ministers from the EU's 28 member states will discuss Commission proposals to redistribute about 160,000 asylum seekers across the bloc. "We need swift progress on the Commission's proposals now," the Commission said in a statement issued as tens of thousands of people fleeing war and poverty in Syria and other parts of the Middle East, Asia and Africa made their way north. EU envoys meeting on Sunday evening in Brussels failed to break the deadlock, with some eastern states still refusing to accept binding quotas of refugees. They argue the plan will draw more people to Europe and disrupt their homogeneous societies. Amid the political bickering among European governments, the crisis claimed yet more lives. On Sunday 34 refugees, almost half of them babies and children, drowned off a Greek island when their boat sank, the coast guard said. LIMIT OF ABILITY Germany, Europe's largest and richest economy, has become a magnet for migrants making journeys by sea and land, often via Turkey and the Greek islands, and then onwards through the Balkans, Hungary and Austria. Police said around 13,000 arrived in the southern German city of Munich alone on Saturday, and another 3,000 on Sunday morning. Now Germany has joined smaller and poorer countries such as Greece and Hungary that are struggling to manage the huge flow of desperate people. As trains for Germany were stopped, groups of refugees and migrants camped out in an underground carpark in the Austrian city of Salzburg, near the border. Traffic backed up along one of the highways between the two countries. Austrian news agency APA quoted Chancellor Werner Faymann as saying that Vienna would not introduce additional border controls for now but that the effect of Germany's decision on Austria was hard to predict. Trains from Austria to Germany would be stopped until 5:00 a.m. (0300 GMT) on Monday, the interior minister of the state of Bavaria said. A Reuters photographer also saw a German police checkpoint on one of the Austrian roads into Germany. German police on the border with Austria said they had detained 22 smugglers since Berlin implemented border controls. Forty-four migrants also were rounded up and taken by bus to registration centers, a police spokesman said. Germany made clear it wanted EU partners to share the burden of welcoming thousands of refugees. "It's true: the European lack of action in the refugee crisis is now pushing even Germany to the limit of its ability," Economy Minister Sigmar Gabriel, who is also vice-chancellor, told the website of Der Tagesspiegel newspaper. With large numbers of migrants stuck in squalid and chaotic conditions on European borders, or trudging along the side of motorways, Merkel last weekend stopped enforcing the EU's "Dublin" rules under which asylum seekers should register in whichever member state they first arrive in. De Maiziere defended Merkel's decision but insisted the Dublin rules were still valid. "We need to quickly return to orderly procedures now," he added. "We can't allow refugees to freely choose where they want to stay - that's not the case anywhere in the world." Most asylum seekers are refusing to stay in the poorer southern European countries where they arrive, such as Greece, and are instead making their way to Germany or Sweden where they anticipate a warmer welcome. Many Germans have greeted the arrivals with cheers and volunteers are flooding in to help. CENTRAL EUROPE WARYCentral European countries are hostile to European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker's plan for spreading refugees around the bloc, and reject any suggestion of compulsory quotas. "We are helping, we are ready to help, but on a voluntary basis," Czech Prime Minister Bohuslav Sobotka said on Sunday. "The quotas won’t work." In neighboring Slovakia, Interior Minister Robert Kalinak said he would try to block quotas. "They don't make any sense ... and don't solve the crisis in any way," he said in a TV interview. Poland said it might accept more migrants, but only if the EU secures its external borders; separates those who need help from economic migrants; and allows Warsaw a say in screening them from the point of security. Meanwhile, the migrants continued to risk all on their journeys. The Greek coastguard said the 34 drowned off the island of Farmakonisi, almost certainly the largest death toll in those waters since the migrant crisis began. In the space of 90 minutes, a Reuters photographer saw 10 dinghies packed with refugees arriving from Turkey on the Greek island of Lesbos. Further up the refugee route, 8,500 migrants entered Macedonia from Greece between Saturday evening and Sunday afternoon, the UNHCR said. Hungarian state TV M1 reported that 8,000 to 10,000 migrants had crossed into Austria at Hegyeshalom by 6 p.m. and several thousand more were expected by the end of the day. (Additional reporting by Jens Hack, Michael Shields, Tom Miles, Michele Kambas, Robert Muller, Bardh Krasniqi Alkis Konstantinidis, Francois Murphy, Sandor Peto, Marcin Goettig, Tatiana Jancarikova and Michael Dalder; Writing by David Stamp; Editing by William Hardy, Dominic Evans and Paul Simao)
- The Independent
Town in northern California sees spike in crimes perpetrated against Asian Americans
- The Independent
‘You are saying things that are not correct’, says infuriated NIAID director
- The Daily Beast
Sean Rayford/GettyNew body-camera footage shown Tuesday to the family of Andrew Brown Jr. showed sheriff’s deputies “standing on the pavement unloading their weapons” on the 42-year-old Black man as he tried to drive away, the family’s lawyers said Tuesday.The family and one member of their legal team were able to view 19 minutes of about two hours of body-camera footage taken during the April 21 incident. The six new videos included snippets from different body cameras and dash footage. Previously, they’d only been shown about 20 seconds of edited footage, but a North Carolina judge ruled on April 28 that they could see more footage.“At no point did we see Mr. Brown pose a threat to the law enforcement that was there. It was absolutely and unequivocally unjustified,” Chance Lynch, one of the Brown family lawyers, said during a press conference after viewing the extended footage.The description of the new footage corroborates what Chanel Lassiter, another family attorney, said two weeks ago after viewing the original snippet. At the time, Lassiter said that Brown’s hands were on the steering wheel when authorities opened fire—and that he tried to drive away to “evade being shot” before crashing into a tree.Brown was shot at about 8:30 a.m. while deputies were serving a search warrant and arrest warrant at his house in Elizabeth City on felony drug charges. The Pasquotank County Sheriff’s Department released almost no details about the incident for days and, due to North Carolina laws, were unable to release the body-cam footage without a judge’s order.But during a hearing last month about releasing the footage, Pasquotank County District Attorney Andrew Womble insisted that the footage showed that Brown's car moved and “made contact with law enforcement” twice before deputies opened fire.Lynch said on Tuesday that Brown was in his car and appeared to be on the phone when he was “ambushed” by the officers. He said he believed that “at no point” did Brown see the seven deputies initially approach his car.While he did not go into details about what prompted the initial shot, Lynch said the gunfire prompted Brown to “put the car in reverse, putting several feet, if not yards, away from the police who were there” before he turned his steering wheel to the left to drive away. At all times, Lynch noted, Brown’s “hands were visible.”“At no point did we ever see any police officer behind his vehicle. At no point did we ever see Mr. Brown make contact with law enforcement,” Lynch said, adding that Brown was apparently trying to leave the scene as officers were unloading their weapons. “We did not see any actions on Mr. Brown’s part that he made contact with them or tried to go in their direction. In fact, he did the opposite. While there was a group of law enforcement were in front of him, he went in the opposite direction.”‘Tragic Day Here’: Deputy Fatally Shoots North Carolina Black Man While Serving Search WarrantLynch said that the “final shot” to Brown’s head made him “lose control...and collide with a tree.” But there were at least six “bullet holes in the passenger side of his car,” he added. The “windows were shattered” and at least one bullet even went through the front windshield, he said.He said that after deputies pulled Brown out of the car and laid him “face-first flat on the ground” and checked on the fatal bullet wound, they “begin to search his home.”“The video I saw [two weeks ago] was pretty much the same as what I saw today. Just a few more details. He wasn’t in the wrong at all. What’s in the dark will come to the light,” Khalil Ferebee, one of Brown’s sons, said Tuesday. “We will get justice.”Attorneys for Brown’s family have previously asked Womble to recuse himself because of his ties to the sheriff’s department and to ensure “fairness, transparency, and pursuit of the ends of justice.”“We do not believe we will have a fair set of eyes looking at this going forward,” Bakari Sellers, another attorney, said Tuesday. He said that while the family were not shown the full two hours of footage from the incident, they believe what was shown today “tells the entire story of what happened to Andrew Brown Jr.”An independent autopsy commissioned by the family’s lawyers concluded that Brown was shot at least five times in his car—including one “kill shot to the back of the head” while his hands were on the steering wheel. The autopsy, performed by Dr. Brent Hall, showed that while Brown sustained four bullet wounds to his right arm, the fatal shot penetrated his brain and skull and never exited his head.Pasquotank Chief Deputy Daniel Fogg said that the arrest warrant operation was classified as “high-risk” because Brown was a convicted felon with a history of resisting arrest. The search warrant, first obtained by WAVY, revealed that Brown was being watched for over a year and had allegedly sold drugs to an informant. Court records show that Brown had a history of criminal charges since the 1990s, including a misdemeanor drug-possession conviction and at least two pending felony drug charges.However, Brown’s family has said no drugs or weapons were seized from the 42-year-old’s property or car, according to Harry Daniels, one of their lawyers.Three of the seven officers—Investigator Daniel Meads, Deputy Sheriff II Robert Morgan, and Corp. Aaron Lewellyn—fired their weapons during the incident and are on administrative leave. The four other deputies—Lt. Steve Judd; Sgt. Michael Swindell; Sgt. Kendall Bishop; and Sgt. Joel Lunsford—were cleared after a follow-up investigation.The shooting, just hours after a Minneapolis jury found ex-cop Derek Chauvin guilty of murdering George Floyd, prompted hundreds of North Carolinians to take to the streets in protest.The FBI also opened a federal civil rights investigation into the incident death while North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper called for a special prosecutor to be appointed “to help assure the community” and Brown’s family that a “decision on pursuing criminal charges is conducted without bias.”The release of body-camera footage comes after weeks of legal hurdles put up by the state, city, and local law-enforcement officials. Under North Carolina law, body-camera footage cannot be released unless there is a court order because it is not considered to be a public record.While the judge ruled on April 28 that Brown’s family could see the footage, he said the public would have to wait at least 30 days in order to allow authorities to pursue criminal charges.Read more at The Daily Beast.Get our top stories in your inbox every day. Sign up now!Daily Beast Membership: Beast Inside goes deeper on the stories that matter to you. Learn more.
- The Independent
Republican who backed Arizona ‘audit’ based on Trump’s election lies now says it ‘makes us look like idiots’
‘Looking back, I didn’t think it would be this ridiculous. It’s embarrassing to be a state senator at this point,’ says Arizona State Senator Paul Boyer
- The Independent
Caitlyn Jenner mocked for rambling interview insisting ‘a guy called Lee’ and other ‘budget people’ helped her understand California’s $3 trillion economy
Jenner describes how her experience of selling ‘a billion dollars worth of exercise equipment’ has helped her develop leadership skills
- The Independent
Republicans accuse Democrats of ‘rigging’ elections as divided Senate to consider voting rights bill
Amy Klobuchar says ‘stakes could not be higher’ as deadlocked committee vote signals battle ahead on For The People Act and filibuster
It is not clear where the bodies came from but local media suggest they may be Covid-19 victims.
- The Independent
Colonial pipeline: 17 states declare emergency over hack as energy secretary tells people not to ‘hoard’ fuel
‘There should be no cause for hoarding gasoline,’ Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm says
- The Independent
Republicans in the Senate Rules Committee rejected an amendment to the For The People Act that would ban states from restricting volunteers from handing out food or water to people standing in line to vote. The amendment was proposed by Senator Jon Ossoff of Georgia – where Republicans have recently passed a law that criminalises giving out food and water to voters at the polls – as part of his Voter Access to Water Act. Republicans have claimed that allowing people to hand out food and water would encourage electioneering at the polls, which is already illegal.
- LA Times
In the first full day of back-and-forth aerial bombardment, both Israel and Hamas land deadly strikes. Is all-out war next?
- The Independent
Secret Service agents are prohibited from dating the people they are protecting
- The Independent
Fallout from cyberattack continues as hacking incident takes on geopolitical dimension
- The Independent
The families have been pushing the international community to take action since last summer’s protests
Speaking at a news briefing on the coronavirus pandemic, the European Medicines Agency's head of biological health threats and vaccines strategy Marco Cavaleri cautioned against making "premature" moves to deploy booster COVID-19 shots. "We need to have data that show in the field, either real-world evidence or clinical trials, that show what is the level of protection that is retained by the vaccines that we currently have." The European Union has already begun ordering COVID-19 booster vaccines and Britain and the United States have also begun preparing plans to offer third doses before the winter.
- The Independent
Senate to consider sweeping federal election legislation as Republicans endorse dozens of bills to limit ballot access in nearly every state
- USA TODAY
A CDC advisory committee will meet Wednesday to decide whether to recommend Pfizer-BioNTech's COVID-19 vaccine for adolescents ages 12-15.
Windfarm CEO Sarah Merrick says being involved in all areas of her business has paid dividends.
- The Daily Beast
David Talukdar/GettyThe Biden administration’s decision to throw its weight behind a proposal for a temporary waiver of COVID-19 vaccine patents has been dubbed a game-changer in the fight against the pandemic. But major pharmaceutical companies and public health officials in India—one of the countries most devastated by the virus—warn that the move alone will do very little to speed up the global production and distribution of vaccines.Sudharshan Jain, secretary-general of the Indian Pharmaceutical Alliance (IPA)—an association of big Indian pharma companies based in Mumbai—said that he sees the announcement as a “positive” yet limited step for equitable access to the vaccine, not just in India, but across the globe.“Intellectual property rights are important to protect innovation, but it is imperative that these laws do not act as a hindrance to the accessibility of medicine needed to defeat this pandemic,” Jain told The Daily Beast.But while Jain is optimistic about the recent developments, he said the patent waiver will not be enough—not unless the U.S. is also ready for the transfer of technology and voluntary licensing.“If the U.S. frees the patent, but the technology isn’t passed on to manufacturers in India and other countries, then it will not make any difference to the global supply chain of the vaccine,” he said.Biden Admin Goes to War With Big Pharma Over COVID Vax Patent ProtectionsIndia, which is currently battling a second and a much more aggressive wave of COVID-19, is stuttering in its inoculation drive. In the past week, the country has reported an average of 390,000 new cases everyday. Only 2.6 percent of the country’s population has been vaccinated, according to a New York Times database.He stressed that the sharing of technology—which is not yet on the table—would be absolutely essential for “our production capabilities to be realized, and to meet the global demand for the vaccine,” adding that “the know-how could be shared at a royalty, or other modalities could be worked out for it to work.”India is the largest provider of generic drugs globally. The Indian pharmaceutical industry also caters to a large part of the global demand for various vaccines. And what’s more important is that India sells these life-saving drugs at a much cheaper price than its Western counterparts, making them more accessible to poorer countries. But without access to the information and technology required to produce COVID vaccines, that potential is all but wasted.Last year, the Serum Institute of India (SII)—the world’s largest vaccine manufacturer— partnered with AstraZeneca to produce a billion doses of the Covishield vaccine at $3 per dose, the cheapest in the world. Compare that to the price at which the U.S. government has made deals with Pfizer and Moderna—$19.50 and $37 per dose.But SII cannot go it alone. In a recent interview with the New York Times, Adar Poonawalla, CEO of SII, acknowledged that his company alone won’t be able shoulder the burden of manufacturing vaccines for all of India, let alone a major chunk of the Global South. Poonawalla is currently holed up in London after allegedly receiving threats from politicians to secure vaccines.Over the last six months, some 60 member countries of the World Trade Organization, led by India and South Africa, had been calling for intellectual property rights on the vaccines to be set aside, at least temporarily, so that they could have better access to it.COVID-19 Vaccinations Are Slowing—Just in Time for the Indian VariantKM Gopakumar, an Indian expert on trade and global intellectual property, acknowledged the significance of the Biden administration’s announcement. He said that the U.S.’s support for the original proposal—which calls for a waiver on both intellectual property rights of vaccines and life-savings drugs—could be a major boost in the global fight against the virus. But still, he explained, the White House’s support is only the “first step” in a series of long negotiations.“We don’t have a timeline of when the waiver will be officially adopted. And there are already WTO member states that have opposed such a waiver of intellectual property rights as it may set a new precedent for the future. So there will be a hard negotiation now before any final decision is made,” he said.Dr. Anant Bhan, a global health policy expert based in New Delhi, agreed with Gopakumar. Although he thinks the newfound U.S. support could open up doors for manufacturers in India and other middle-income countries to produce the vaccine at an affordable price, he feels it won’t have an immediate impact on India’s vaccination drive.“The U.S. is taking an unprecedented stand, which of course is welcomed by everyone. But I’m not sure how long it will take,” Dr. Bhan said. “It could take weeks or months, we don’t know that yet.”Read more at The Daily Beast.Get our top stories in your inbox every day. Sign up now!Daily Beast Membership: Beast Inside goes deeper on the stories that matter to you. Learn more.
- The Independent
On the dark net, the hackers group claims that they don’t have any official backing
- USA TODAY
Suspect in Atlanta-area spa killings indicted on murder, domestic terror charges, could face hate crimes
Prosecutors will seek hate crime charges against Robert Aaron Long, who was officially indicted in several slayings at Atlanta-area spas.