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Rotterdam police open fire as Covid protest turns into ‘orgy of violence’

Three people treated in hospital with serious injuries after clashes in Dutch city over reintroduction of Covid restrictions

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Three people were being treated in hospital in Rotterdam on Saturday after they were seriously injured when police fired shots during a demonstration against Covid-19 restrictions.

In what the Dutch city’s mayor described as an “orgy of violence”, crowds of several hundred rioters torched cars, set off fireworks and threw rocks at police during the protests on Friday evening. Police responded with warning shots and water cannon.

Police said on Twitter on Saturday that 51 people had been arrested, about half of whom were under 18.

“Three rioters were wounded when they were hit by bullets, they remain in hospital,” police added, in an update after earlier reporting two wounded.

The mayor, Ahmed Aboutaleb, told reporters in the early hours of Saturday morning that “on a number of occasions the police felt it necessary to draw their weapons to defend themselves” as rioters rampaged through the shopping district, starting fires and throwing stones and fireworks at officers.

“They shot at protesters. People were injured,” Aboutaleb said.

Photos in Dutch media showed at least one police car on fire and another with a bicycle smashed through the windscreen. Police said city authorities had closed the city’s main railway station.

Riot police and the use of water cannon quelled the unrest after midnight.

Read more on The Guardian

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French President Emmanuel Macron Says Someone Who Refuses COVID Vaccine Is ‘Not a Citizen’

French president Macron’s desire to ‘piss off’ unvaccinated individuals triggers outrage

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French President Emmanuel Macron Says Someone Who Refuses COVID Vaccine Is ‘Not a Citizen’

French President Emmanuel Macron faced significant criticism for his comments claiming that he would like to “piss off” unvaccinated individuals. 

Macron spoke candidly during an interview with French newspaper Le Parisien, during which he said that he wanted to make life difficult for individuals who have not received a COVID-19 vaccine. The French “sanitary pass” has prompted a number of protests and stiff opposition while the country nears 75% full vaccination. 

“I really want to piss them off, and we’ll carry on doing this – to the end,” Macron said three months ahead of a presidential election. “I won’t send [unvaccinated people] to prison, so we need to tell them, from 15 January, you will no longer be able to go to the restaurant. You will no longer be able to go for a coffee, you will no longer be able to go to the theatre. You will no longer be able to go to the cinema.”

The French Parliament heard Macron’s comments during a debate over his proposed bill to tighten restrictions for unvaccinated individuals, leading to a swift and strong uproar in response. 

His opponents have labeled the comments “unworthy” of a president. 

“Even if one doesn’t share their choice, they have broken none of our country’s laws,” Marine Le Pen, Macron’s chief opponent in the upcoming election, told reporters late Tuesday. “He is continuing his policy of division, of pitting the French against one another.”

She later tweeted “A president shouldn’t say that…Emmanuel Macron is unworthy of his office.” 

Leftist politician Jean-Luc Melanchon described the remarks as an “astonishing confession,” according to the BBC

But Macron’s allies have defended the comments, with Stéphane Séjourné, a member of the European Parliament, arguing on Twitter that unvaccinated individuals have “bothered” the French by “forcing the rest of the population to endure restrictions.” 

Debate over Macron’s bill continue into Wednesday as opponents still seek to delay its passage. Some of his supporters claimed to have received death threats because they are backing the legislation, The New York Times reported. 

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Assange ‘suffers stroke in jail’ after court rules he can be extradited to America

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Assange ‘suffers stroke in jail’ after court rules he can be extradited to America

WIKILEAKS founder Julian Assange has reportedly suffered a stroke in jail.

The 50-year-old is being held at the high security Belmarsh Prison as he battles to avoid being extradited to America following a court ruling.

Assange has reportedly been left with a drooping right eyelid, memory problems and signs of neurological damage following a mini-stroke.

It’s reported the stroke happened at the time of a High Court appearance via video link in October.

His fiancee Stella Moris said he is “struggling” with the stress of fighting extradition to a US prison.

Since the mini-stroke, Assange reportedly has had an MRI scan and is taking anti-stroke medication.

Ms Moris told the Mail: “Julian is struggling and I fear this mini-stroke could be the precursor to a more major attack. It compounds our fears about his ability to survive the longer this long legal battle goes on. 

“It urgently needs to be resolved. Look at animals trapped in cages in a zoo. It cuts their life short. That’s what’s happening to Julian. The never-ending court cases are extremely stressful mentally.”

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Luxemburg: People break down barriers of Covid pass checkpoint at Christmas Market

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Luxemburg: People break down barriers of Covid pass checkpoint at Christmas Market

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