У Білорусі почалося дострокове голосування на виборах президента

У Білорусі почалося дострокове голосування на виборах президента

Дострокове голосування на виборах президента Білорусі почалося 4 серпня. Один із кандидатів – нинішній голова держави Олександр Лукашенко – планує цього дня звернутися до народу й парламенту.

Дострокове голосування триватиме до 8 серпня, головний день виборів – 9 серпня. За даними Центральної виборчої комісії, у Білорусі створено 5 767 виборчих дільниць, із них 44 – за кордоном.

Виборці, які не можуть перебувати за місцем проживання в основний день, можуть голосувати достроково. Однак, як неодноразово заявляли незалежні спостерігачі, влада використовує це право для того, щоб масово «заганяти» на дільниці студентів, військових, державних службовців, повідомляє білоруська служба Радіо Свобода.


Цього року на достроковому голосуванні на дільницях мають бути присутніми не більше ніж троє спостерігачів. ЦВК ухвалила таке рішення «через епідемічну ситуацію».

Правозахисники вважають, що це створило умови для маніпуляцій, щоб зробити виборчий процес ще більш закритим.

Пропозиція ініціативи «Чесні люди» встановити відеокамери на майданчиках за рахунок громадян також була проігнорована. У відповіді ЦВК вказала, що виборчий кодекс «не дозволяє залучити технічні засоби громадян до організації виборів».



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COVID-19: 74219 випадків в Україні. Інтерактивна мапа

Станом на ранок 4 серпня в Україні лабораторно підтвердили 74219 випадків захворювання на коронавірусну хворобу (COVID-19): 1764 людини померло, 40613 – одужали. Загалом за добу було зафіксовано 1061 новий випадок.

Дані з окупованих територій Донбасу та Криму відсутні.

Постійне посилання на мапу тут.








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Isaias Regains Hurricane Strength Just Before Landfall in Carolinas

Isaias strengthened into a Category 1 hurricane hours before it is expected to make landfall along the coast of the Carolinas.  The U.S. National Hurricane Center issued a hurricane warning from South Santee River, South Carolina, to Surf City, North Carolina. The storm’s maximum sustained winds reached 121 kph (75 mph) Monday evening and was centered about 100 kilometers (60 miles) south of Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. Workers stack sandbags around a hydro-dam as they prepare for Tropical Storm Isaias in the lower Manhattan area of New York City, Aug 3, 2020.North of the expected landfall area, tropical storm warnings were in effect as far away as Long Island, New York and the Merrimack River in New Hampshire. Forecasters said the Carolinas and other states in the region can expect rainfall amounts of 7 to 15 centimeters (3 to 6 inches). Winds along the coast of the Carolinas are expected to exceed 60 kph (37 mph) in some places. The storm is also expected to bring a storm surge of up to 1.5 meters (5 feet) in portions of North and South Carolina. The mayor of Charleston, South Carolina, John Tecklenburg, said city offices would close early Monday but said he did not think there was a need to issue a curfew.  President Donald Trump declared a state of emergency in North Carolina ahead of the storm’s arrival there to free up funds for federal officials to help towns and cities coordinate disaster relief efforts. Trump made a similar declaration Saturday for Florida. 

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White House, Democrats Cite Some Progress Toward Coronavirus Aid Deal

White House officials and top congressional Democrats plan to meet again Tuesday after both sides cited some progress in their effort to find agreement on a new coronavirus aid package. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said Monday staff members would meet overnight, and that she and Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer would hold another round of talks Tuesday with Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and White House chief of staff Mark Meadows. “We are moving down the track,” Pelosi told reporters after two hours of negotiations Monday. “We still have our differences. We are trying to have clearer understanding of what the needs are.”White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows, center, waits in the office of Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell of Ky., on Capitol Hill in Washington, Aug. 3, 2020.The two sides have been divided by the size of their proposed aid packages, with Democrats calling for $3 trillion in new spending and Republicans wanting to limit it to $1 trillion. Among the items under discussion are sending out another round of stimulus payments, helping renters avoid eviction, aiding the Postal Service, and action to address $600-per-week federal unemployment payments that expired last week. Republican leaders have put forth the idea of passing a smaller aid package that addresses some items while leaving negotiations on others for later, but Mnuchin signaled some flexibility Monday. “We’re open to a bigger package if we can reach an agreement,” he told reporters. Democrats have dismissed that approach, arguing instead that the federal government needs to take big action to confront the economic challenges facing the country. “If we don’t have that response, it’ll take longer, more people will stay unemployed for a longer amount of time, more businesses will close, et cetera,” Schumer told reporters Monday. 

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Spain’s Former King Leaving Country Amid Financial Scandal

Spain’s former monarch, Juan Carlos I, is leaving Spain to live in another, unspecified, country amid a financial scandal, according to a letter published Monday on the royal family’s website. The letter from Juan Carlos to his son, King Felipe VI, said: “I am informing you of my considered decision to move, during this period, out of Spain.” Juan Carlos, in the letter, said he made the decision against the backdrop of “public repercussions of certain episodes of my past private life.” He said he wanted to ensure he doesn’t make his son’s role difficult, adding that “my legacy, and my own dignity, demand that it should be so.” Juan Carlos’ current whereabouts were not known. Spain’s prime minister recently said he found the developments about Juan Carlos – including investigations in Spain and Switzerland – “disturbing.” FILE – Former Spain’s King Juan Carlos sits in a car as he leaves Quiron Hospital one week after a heart surgery in Madrid, Spain, August 31, 2019 in this still image taken from a video obtained by Reuters.Since Spain’s Supreme Court opened its probe earlier this year, Spanish media outlets have published damaging testimony from a separate Swiss investigation into millions of euros (dollars) that were allegedly given to Juan Carlos by Saudi Arabia’s late King Abdullah.  Juan Carlos allegedly then transferred a large amount to a former companion in what investigators are considering as a possible attempt to hide the money from authorities. The companion, Corinna Larsen, is a Danish-German businesswoman long linked by Spanish media to the former king. Spanish prosecutors have asked her to provide testimony in the case in September in Madrid. The 82-year-old former king is credited with helping Spain peacefully restore democracy after the death of dictator Francisco Franco in 1975.  But marred by scandals in the later years of his reign, Juan Carlos in 2014 abdicated in favor of his son Felipe VI, losing the immunity from prosecution Spain’s Constitution grants to the head of state. After media reports claimed Felipe was a beneficiary of an offshore account holding an alleged 65 million-euro ( $76 million) gift from Saudi Arabia to Juan Carlos, Felipe renounced any future personal inheritance he might receive from the former king. Felipe also stripped his father of his annual stipend of 194,232 euros ($228,000). FILE – Spain’s King Felipe, Queen Letizia, Princess Leonor and Infanta Sofia arrive to a state tribute in memory of Spain’s COVID-19 victims at Royal Palace in Madrid, Spain, July 16, 2020.The royal house has denied that Felipe had any knowledge of his father’s alleged financial irregularities. The royal website said in a statement that Felipe respected his father’s decision. Felipe acknowledged the historic importance of his father’s reign, the statement said, but also “reaffirmed the principles and values on which it stood, in the framework of our Constitution and the rest of our legal system.” A statement from Spain’s general prosecutor’s office in June said it was investigating whether Juan Carlos received millions of dollars in kickbacks from Saudi Arabia during the construction of a high-speed railway there by a Spanish consortium.  It called the probe one of “undeniable technical complexity.” The Supreme Court investigation centers on developments after mid-2014. That covers the second phase of the 2011 contract for the bullet train between the Saudi cities of Medina and Mecca — the so-called “AVE of the desert” in reference to the acronym for high-speed trains in Spain. The date marks the moment when Juan Carlos, struggling amid several scandals, passed on the throne to his son after holding it for nearly four decades. Though Juan Carlos’ finances have been questioned in Spanish media for years, there have so far been no legal implications for him. Spanish lawmakers have rejected at least two proposals since the first allegations emerged to open parliamentary investigations. The decision to leave Spain means Juan Carlos will vacate the 17th-century Zarzuela palace in Madrid, his home for more than 50 years. He moved there after marrying the former queen, Sofia, in 1963. “I think he didn’t have any other choice than to leave,” said Carmen Torras, a 66-year-old Barcelona resident. “I hope justice can follow its course.” In Madrid, Nadia Rodriguez, 33, welcomed the former king’s decision. “It’s better that he just goes,” said Rodriguez, a sports teacher. “The truth is that he hasn’t been giving a very good image of Spain.” 

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Prosecutor Seeking Trump’s Tax Returns Cites Probe of Business

A Manhattan prosecutor trying to get President Donald Trump’s tax returns told a judge Monday that he was justified in demanding them, citing public reports of “extensive and protracted criminal conduct at the Trump Organization.” Trump’s lawyers last month said the grand jury subpoena for the tax returns was issued in bad faith and amounted to harassment of the president. Manhattan District Attorney District Attorney Cyrus R. Vance Jr. seeks eight years of the Republican president’s personal and corporate tax records but has disclosed little about what prompted him to request the records, other than part of the investigation relates to payoffs to women to keep them quiet about alleged affairs with Trump. In a court filing Monday, though, attorneys for Vance said Trump’s arguments that the subpoena was too broad stemmed from “the false premise” that the probe was limited to “hush-money” payments.FILE – Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus R. Vance Jr., May 10, 2018.”This Court is already aware that this assertion is fatally undermined by undisputed information in the public record,” Vance’s lawyers wrote. They said that information confirms the validity of a subpoena seeking evidence related to potentially improper financial transactions by a variety of individuals and entities over a period of years. They said public reporting demonstrates that at the time the subpoena was issued “there were public allegations of possible criminal activity at Plaintiff’s New York County-based Trump Organization dating back over a decade.” “These reports describe transactions involving individual and corporate actors based in New York County, but whose conduct at times extended beyond New York’s borders. This possible criminal activity occurred within the applicable statutes of limitations, particularly if the transactions involved a continuing pattern of conduct,” the lawyers said. The lawyers urged Judge Victor Marrero to swiftly reject Trump’s arguments, saying the baseless claims were threatening the investigation. Marrero, who ruled against Trump last year, has scheduled arguments to be fully submitted by mid-August. “Every day that goes by is another day Plaintiff effectively achieves the ‘temporary absolute immunity’ that was rejected by this Court, the Court of Appeals, and the Supreme Court,” Vance’s lawyers said. “Every such day also increases the prospect of a loss of evidence or the expiration of limitations periods — the precise concerns that the Supreme Court observed justified its rejection of Plaintiff’s immunity claim in the first place.” The Supreme Court last month rejected claims by Trump’s lawyers that the president could not be criminally investigated while he was in office. Vance’s lawyers said Trump was not entitled to know the scope and nature of the grand jury investigation. But they said information already in the public domain about Trump’s business dealings provided satisfactory support for the subpoena of his tax records. FILE – Michael Cohen, the former personal lawyer for U.S. President Donald Trump, arrives at his Manhattan apartment after being released from federal prison to serve the remainder of sentence under home confinement in New York City, May 21, 2020.They cited several newspaper articles, including one in The Washington Post examining allegations that Trump had a practice of sending out financial statements to potential business partners and banks that inflated the worth of his properties by claiming they were bigger or more potentially lucrative than they were. Trump’s former personal lawyer, Michael Cohen, described such practices during congressional testimony. Vance sought the tax records in part for a probe of how Cohen arranged during the 2016 presidential race to keep the porn actress Stormy Daniels and model Karen McDougal from airing claims of extramarital affairs with Trump. Trump has denied the affairs. Cohen is serving the last two years of a three-year prison sentence in home confinement after pleading guilty to campaign finance violations and lying to Congress, among other charges. He said he plans to publish a book critical of the president before the November election.  

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Norway Bans Large Cruise Ships After Recent Coronavirus Outbreak

Norway says it will stop all cruise ships with more than 100 people on board from disembarking at Norwegian ports after a coronavirus outbreak on a vessel left 41 people infected.  Health Minister Bent Hoie announced the ban Monday, saying the new rules will apply for the next 14 days. He said ships that have already departed will be able to offload passengers and crew at Norwegian ports but that no new journeys can take place.   “The pandemic is not over,” Hoie told a news conference. Norway’s Hurtigruten cruise line apologized Monday following the outbreak on one of its ships, the MS Roald Amundsen. “We have failed,” CEO Daniel Skjeldam told a news conference. “I apologize strongly on behalf of the company.” He said the company would suspend its cruises until further notice and that it is “now in the process of a full review of all procedures.” The cruise line was one of the first companies to resume sailing during the pandemic. Four crew members on board the MS Roald Amundsen were hospitalized on Friday when the ship arrived at Tromsoe, north of the Arctic Circle. They were later diagnosed with the infection along with another 31 crew members. Passengers aboard the ship were allowed to disembark before anyone had been diagnosed, sending local officials scrambling to locate them. At least five passengers have now tested positive and hundreds more have been told to self-isolate for 10 days. The cruise ship industry has been devastated by the coronavirus pandemic, with ships worldwide shutting down in March after several high-profile outbreaks at sea.  

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New Bridge Set to Open in Genoa, Italy, 2 Years After Collapse That Killed 43

With a rainbow as a backdrop, Italy’s president inaugurated a replacement bridge Monday in Genoa, but families of those killed when the Morandi Bridge collapsed boycotted the ceremony along with the firefighters who pulled many of the 43 dead from smashed cars and trucks.  Two years ago this month, a stretch of the Morandi Bridge suddenly gave way in a violent rainstorm, sending vehicles plunging to the dry riverbed below. The new structure — a key artery for the northwestern Italian port city — was erected thanks to round-the-clock construction, even during the COVID-19 pandemic.  Rain drenched the new bridge, stopping just before the ceremony, which started with a recitation of the names of those who died. Renowned architect Renzo Piano designed the bridge to evoke a ship’s bow, to honor his native city’s proud maritime history. The span has 43 lamps in memory of the collapse victims.Traffic will start crossing San Giorgio Bridge, named after St. George, popular in Genoa, on Wednesday. “We are suspended between grief” over the tragedy and “pride for the construction of the new bridge,” Piano told his fellow Genoese in a speech. Renzo Piano walks along the new San Giorgio Bridge in Genoa, Italy, August 3, 2020.The families of the dead are upset that the company that maintained Morandi Bridge will still run the new structure for a while more — even though poor maintenance is being investigated as a possible cause of the collapse. “No one can give us back our dead,” Egle Possetti, who leads an association of the bridge victims’ families, told Italian news channel Sky TG24. Possetti, who lost a sister and other family members in the collapse, said she hoped attention would stay focused on the ongoing criminal investigation into the collapse. Speaking before the ceremony with relatives of the people killed in the collapse, President Sergio Mattarella said he agreed with their decision to meet with him privately and not during the ceremony on the bridge.  The replacement bridge doesn’t cancel out what happened in Genoa, Mattarella said.  “On the contrary, I see it, in good part, as a kind of memorial stone that recalls the victims,” he said.The president added that he shared the families’ quest for justice. “Responsibility isn’t generic. It always has a first name and surname,” Mattarella said, calling for “severe, precise, rigorous action to ascertain responsibility.”FILE – A general view of the collapsed Morandi Bridge in the port city of Genoa, Italy, February 7, 2019.During the ceremony, Mayor Marco Bucci had words for those who lost loved ones in the collapse. “This must never happen again,” the mayor said. Nine Italian air force jets flew in formation over the bridge, trailing smoke in the red, white and green colors of the country’s flag.  Firefighters who extracted survivors and bodies from tons of twisted metal two years ago also boycotted the ceremony in solidarity with the families, Sky TG24 reported.  Prosecutors are probing what caused Morandi Bridge to collapse on August 14, 2018, on the eve of Italy’s biggest summer holiday. Riccardo Morandi, the engineer who designed the bridge built in the 1960s, had recommended continual maintenance to remove rust, especially from the corrosive effect of sea air in the Mediterranean port city, and pollution’s toll on concrete.  Prosecutors have said they are investigating to see whether proper maintenance was consistently carried out over the years on the heavily used span. Earlier this summer, the Italian government forged a deal in which the Benetton fashion family agreed to exit Autostrade per l’Italia, the company that manages and maintains many of Italy’s highways and bridges. Its highway concession had included Morandi Bridge. But that exit will take some time, as Autostrade becomes a public company under the deal and pays 3.4 billion euros ($4 billion) in compensation.   

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Trump Moves to Limit Foreign Workers in Federal Agencies

U.S. President Donald Trump signed an order Monday requiring federal agencies to prove they are not replacing qualified American workers with people from other countries.The White House said the executive order would help prevent federal agencies from “unfairly replacing American workers with low-cost foreign labor.”The order requires all federal agencies to complete an internal audit to show whether they are hiring U.S. citizens and nationals for competitive service positions.Trump said his move was partly prompted by the announcement of the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) that it intended to outsource 20% of its technology jobs to companies based in foreign countries, using H-1B visas.The executive order also comes as some foreign journalists at Voice of America await a ruling on whether their J-1 visas will be renewed following an agencywide review of such visas.This photo illustration shows a visa stamp on a foreign passport in Los Angeles on June 6, 2020.Trump told reporters Monday that he had fired the chair of the TVA, Skip Thompson, because he was hiring foreign workers and getting paid too much.He also threatened to remove other federally appointed board members if they keep hiring foreign labor.“If you betray American workers, you will hear two words: ‘You’re fired,’” he said.The TVA is a federally owned corporation created in 1933 to provide flood control, electricity generation and economic development to the Tennessee Valley, a region that was hard hit by the Great Depression.The visa review at the U.S. Agency for Global Media (USAGM), which oversees VOA, is part of the changes implemented since Michael Pack took up his appointment as chief executive officer.The VOA has 62 contractors and 14 full-time foreign employees who are in the United States on J-1 visas, an entry permit for individuals with unique skills, such as the command of multiple languages.Asked by VOA how Trump’s new executive order would impact the news organization’s J-1 visas, the White House only provided a link to a federal government The U.S. Agency for Global Media logo at Voice of America, in Washington, D.C., Nov. 22, 2019. (VOA)An unknown number of journalists at the other USAGM networks, which include Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, Radio Free Asia, the Office of Cuba Broadcasting and Middle East Broadcasting Networks, are also affected by the visa review.New entries on J-1 visas are among several categories of visas that were temporarily banned by the Trump administration in response to the coronavirus pandemic. The administration has argued that foreign workers should not take jobs away from U.S. citizens during the economic downturn.

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Білорусь: журналістів Радіо Свобода викликали на допит через справу про «насильство щодо міліціонерів»

Журналістів Радіо Свобода викликали на допити до Слідчого комітету Білорусі в рамках кримінальної справи щодо протестів 14 липня в Мінську. За повідомленням місцевої служби, 3 серпня допитали оператора Андрія Рабчика, також на допит має прийти кореспондент Алесь Пілецький.

За словами Рабчика, його допитали як свідка.


«Особливо питали про події, які сталися біля площі Перемоги, що бачив, як там опинився. Загалом, склалося враження, що їх цікавлять не стільки обставини події, скільки пошук ймовірних організаторів, хоча мені здається, що там все відбулося стихійно», – розповів оператор Радіо Свобода після допиту.

У місцевому управлінні Слідчого комітету допит Рабчика пояснили «слідчими діями» в рамках кримінальної справи.

Крім того, на 6 серпня на допит викликаний кореспондент білоруського «Єврорадіо».

14 липня Алеся Пілецького та Андрія Рабчика затримали під час прямої трансляції. Поліція утримувала їх кілька годин. Також 15 липня міліціонери затримали та побили журналіста Радіо Свобода Антона Трафимовича, який висвітлював протести в Мінську.

Після цих акцій Міністерство внутрішніх справ Білорусі заявило про відкриття кримінальної справи через нібито насильство проти співробітників правоохоронних органів.


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Coronavirus Surges Taxing Europe, Prompting Fears of Social Unrest 

European governments are scrambling to shape radical plans to cope with a second wave of coronavirus contagion, expected to unfold later in the year. The current infection spikes some countries are experiencing is not a second wave, but the playing out of the first wave of the pandemic, according to some officials and experts in infectious diseases.  Governments are desperate to avoid imposing nationwide lockdowns, or shutting down already grievously damaged economies.  Britain’s Boris Johnson has said a second blanket shutdown would be akin to detonating a nuclear explosion. To avoid that, Britain’s ruling Conservatives are considering ordering all people over the age of 50 years old to remain at home, if a second wave starts unfolding.  That proposal has prompted the fury of the country’s tabloid press, whose readers tend to be the over-fifties. The Daily Mail newspaper said the move would be “ageist.” It warned such a strategy was flawed because it failed to recognize the important contribution older workers make to the economy and risks stigmatizing the elderly.  People walk past diners on the street in Chinatown, on the opening day of ‘Eat Out to Help Out’ scheme, amid the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak, in London, Britain, Aug. 3, 2020.Following another British weekend that saw tens of thousands of the young flouting distancing rules across the country, crowding beaches and holding impromptu street parties, other critics said the government should prioritize enforcing current social-distancing and mask-wearing rules. A former government adviser Joan Bakewell said ministers need to tackle the problem of young people ignoring COVID rules. “Certainly older people have to take care — I have been taking great care myself — but what is happening is that young people are not distancing and they are not wearing masks. The young have got to get their act together,” she said. Britain is not the only European nation eyeing nervously the resurgence of cases and fearing a return to the grim days of March and April, when the virus was spreading rapidly across the continent, prompting blanket lockdowns. Governments are rushing to stock up on personal protective gear and drugs in anticipation of a European winter that could strain health care systems once again.  A social distancing sign is pictured in Peterborough, Britain, Aug. 3, 2020.This one is different  The World Health Organization, WHO, has cautioned against thinking about seasons and waves. “What we all need to get our heads around is this is a new virus and this one is behaving differently,” Margaret Harris, a spokesperson at the U.N. agency, told a virtual press conference in Geneva. According to Harris, the virus is unfolding in “one big wave,” noting that the overall cases numbers have doubled in the past month-and-half.  Thirty-six European countries have seen an increase in infections in the last seven days, with many more cases on average than the previous week. Countries with less stringent COVID measures are experiencing a higher rate of infection, according to Blavatnik School at Oxford University. Jose Vazquez-Boland, an infectious disease expert at the University of Edinburgh, warns “there will be a resurgence of new cases every time social restriction measures are lifted as long as the virus remains in circulation.”Sweden, which has pursued a strategy of more relaxed restrictions, and Italy, are both outliers currently to the general rule that easing sees a surge in new cases. Italy’s COVID curve has continued to flatten despite its significant easing of lockdown measures. Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte speaks with Health Minister Roberto Speranza during a session of the upper house of parliament, in Rome, July 28, 2020.But in preparation for a surge in cases, the Italian Senate last week approved Prime Minister Conte’s request to prolong the country’s state of emergency until October 15, allowing him greater flexibility in ordering localized lockdowns or imposing new targeted measures. Greece has made masks mandatory in shops and in all public buildings. French authorities have warned citizens to remain highly vigilant.  But there is rising trepidation, and a patchwork of strategies are emerging across the European Union, leaving Brussels trailing in the wake of national decision making. Despite Brussels’ arguing the pandemic can only be overcome if EU states observe solidarity and strive to coordinate their initiatives, national governments have little option but to pursue their own localized strategies. Their electorates are demanding it, and each country has its own set of unique challenges to overcome, say analysts. Tourists wearing protective face masks walk along the North Sea breakwater next to a police officer as Belgian coastal towns impose masks on dykes in Ostend, Belgium, July 28, 2020.Some tit-for-tat moves are occurring. After the Dutch cautioned against non-essential travel to neighboring Belgium, the Belgian government retaliated, announcing that any Belgian nationals or residents returning from visiting Holland would have to be tested for the virus and undergo a period of quarantine.  That despite the fact that Belgium has a higher number of new cases compared to Holland. More than half of Brussels municipalities are now past the so-called “alarm threshold” for new coronavirus infections. Sixteen out of the capital region’s 19 municipalities are seeing now 20 new cases per 100,000 inhabitants, according to government calculations. Frustration building Living with the virus until an effective vaccine is developed and widely distributed, likely 18 months away, is stretching not only state resources to near breaking point, but also exhausting imaginative ways to balance economic and public-health priorities. The hodgepodge of policy approaches is bewildering, with new measures abruptly being announced, while others are ditched, making it difficult for businesses to plan ahead.  Europe’s travel map is also getting more complicated with countries re-impose restrictions with hardly any warning. Greece has tightened the rules on crossing its northern borders, the Baltic countries frequently revamp their lists of which countries are safe. Britain is poised to add Belgium to its list of unsafe countries, requiring anyone who has traveled through it to undergo 14 days of quarantine, if they subsequently enter the UK. Last week Britain added with little notice Spain to its “at-risk” countries, just days after encouraging Britons to vacation in the country. Authorities are fearful that public patience is wearing thin with the frequent changes and tweaks. The mass protest in Berlin organized by far-right and fringe groups Saturday — the capital saw around 20,000 gathered to protest mask rules other precautions — prompted official frustration. People gather at the Brandenburg gate for a demonstration with the slogan‚ The end of the pandemic – freedom day, against coronavirus restrictions in Berlin, Germany, Aug. 1, 2020.Markus Söder, the prime minister of the regional state of Bavaria, and a potential candidate to succeed Chancellor Angela Merkel, warned, “We have to expect that corona will come back again with full force.” He tweeted: “Total alertness is needed, and that’s why now is not the time for easing restrictions or naive carelessness.” Saskia Esken, co-leader of Germany’s Social Democrats, the government’s junior coalition partner, vented anger. “Thousands of Covidiots are celebrating themselves as ‘the second wave,’ without distancing, without masks. They are putting at risk not only our health, but our successes against the pandemic, to revive the economy, education and society. Irresponsible!” Some of the Berlin protesters said the pandemic was an invention of governments designed to subdue the people.Government advisers in Britain are also nervous about the potential for widespread social unrest with concerns mounting that frustration over new lockdowns in north of the country could spark trouble on streets.Last month, a government coronavirus advisory committee in Britain warned the country could face “grave challenges to public order” due to the “volatile” coronavirus situation. It cautioned that social unrest could make “the re-imposition of measures to control the spread of COVID-19 next to impossible and would be likely to require military support.”

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