Torrential downpours in parts of Western and Central Germany has killed at least 42 people while many are missing following severe floods, which caused immense damage to property and transport disruption. It follows record rainfall that has caused major rivers to burst their banks. The worst of the flooding has been in the states of Rhineland-Palatinate and North Rhine-Westphalia, where buildings and cars have been washed away. At least six others have died in neighbouring Belgium, and the city of Liège has urged all residents to leave. The Netherlands has also been badly hit, with flooding rivers destroying many houses in the southern province of Limburg. A number of care homes have also been evacuated. Authorities used inflatable boats and helicopters, and the German army deployed 200 soldiers to assist in the rescue operation.
Pope Francis who recently had half of his colon removed for a severe narrowing of his large intestine has left the hospital in Rome after 10 days on Wednesday. The 84 years old, was released at 10:30 a.m. local time (4:30 a.m. ET) from Gemelli Polytechnic hospital. On his way home to Casa Santa Maria in Vatican City, he stopped to pray at the Basilica of Saint Mary Major.
The European Union Commission has stated that it is planning to establish a new supervisory authority to combat money laundering, among other measures, according to documents seen by DPA on Saturday. The plans indicate that a new “Anti-Money Laundering Authority” will be able to impose financial sanctions on its own in case of violations of EU rules.
Russian President Vladimir Putin has stated that he doesn't support mandatory COVID-19 vaccinations for Russians but urged the jab-sceptic population to get inoculated, as his country battles a deadly third wave. Putin made this disclosure when he addressed a range of domestic and foreign policy issues in a question-and-answer session during the annual “Direct Line with Vladimir Putin”, which is broadcasted both on TV and radio.
The announcement by President Emmanuel Macron restricting unvaccinated persons from accessing public places, mandatory tests on entry to restaurants, as well as ordering all French health care workers to get virus vaccine shots by Sept. 15 has sparked fierce criticism by some on social media, with the French word for dictatorship — #Dictature — trending on Twitter amid accusations the government has introduced mandatory vaccination by stealth. Macron announced in a televised address that from August anyone wanting to go out to eat or drink, take a long-distance train, or visit a shopping centre would need to show a “health pass”, which means either proof of vaccination or a negative test. Macron also mandated special COVID-19 passes for people going to a restaurant, shopping mall, or hospital or get on a train or plane. To get a pass, people must have proof they’re fully vaccinated, or recently recovered from the virus, or have taken a fresh negative virus test. “Get vaccinated!” was the president’s overall message. He also tweeted a GIF of himself repeating the same phrase.
Pope Francis has announced that he will be visiting Slovakia between 12th and 15th September after a brief stop in the Hungarian capital of Budapest. He announced the trip at his Sunday blessing in St. Peter’s Square. It will be the pope’s second trip outside Italy this year, following one in February to Iraq. Trips planned for 2020 were canceled because of the COVID-19 pandemic. The Vatican said in a separate statement the pope would celebrate a Mass on the morning of Sept. 12 in Budapest to close the 52nd International Eucharistic Congress.
Kjell Stefan Löfven, Swedish prime minister has stepped down from his post a week after losing a no-confidence vote after the Left Party withdrew their support for the government, and he has therefore announced that he would request the current Speaker of the Riksdag, Andreas Norlén, to dismiss the current government and initiate a new one, although, he remains as caretaker Prime Minister.