Reader’s Links for January 14, 2022

Each day at just after midnight Eastern, a post like this one is created for contributors and readers of this site to upload news links and video links on the issues that concern this site. Most notably, Islam and its effects on Classical Civilization, and various forms of leftism from Soviet era communism, to postmodernism and all the flavours of galloping statism and totalitarianism such as Nazism and Fascism which are increasingly snuffing out the classical liberalism which created our near, miraculous civilization the West has been building since the time of Socrates.

This document was written around the time this site was created, for those who wish to understand what this site is about. And while our understanding of the world and events has grown since then, the basic ideas remain sound and true to the purpose.

So please post all links, thoughts and ideas that you feel will benefit the readers of this site to the comments under this post each day. And thank you all for your contributions.

This is the new Samizdat. We must use it while we can.

About Eeyore

Canadian artist and counter-jihad and freedom of speech activist as well as devout Schrödinger's catholic

62 Replies to “Reader’s Links for January 14, 2022”

    • The madman, Environment Minister is Canada says he will eliminate fossil fuels in two years.

      Climate change activists Gates, Leonardo DiCaprio, Johnny Depp, Oprah and hundreds of others still own there super yachts.

      My personal fav is Bill Gates old partner’s 414’ Octopus, with a pool, 2 helicopters, one front and one on the back, a movie theatre, basketball court, recording studio, accommodations for 26 guests and 41 suites.
      It also has a 63 foot boat for shuttling guests, and 2 submarines. It is operated on diesel fuel. It has been sold.

      Just do as I say and we can save the world right?

      • Sorry to correct you, but he wants to eliminate subsidies to the oil industry not oil per se. I would be fine with that as long as they eliminate subsidies to the socalled green industries as well. It is all a scam ultimately.

        • I stand corrected.

          Amused that Justine participated in the methane conference in Scotland – – has there ever been a study on how much methane politicians produce?

  1. SAN MATEO, Calif. (KGO) — San Mateo County workers are scrambling to clean up a mess uncovered by the ABC7 I-Team. More than $10 million worth of precious personal protective equipment– purchased with your tax dollars – was left outside in the rain.

    We all know how important masks, hospital gowns, and other protective gear are, as the COVID pandemic surges yet again.

    This seems hard to believe, but top county officials didn’t know that thousands of boxes of PPE were moved outside and forgotten for months until the I-Team told them.

    Dan Noyes got a tip on a recent rainy day and went straight to the San Mateo County Event Center, Gate 9, and couldn’t quite believe what he found. Thousands upon thousands of boxes containing all sorts of brand new personal protective equipment soaking in the rain; stacks of boxes collapsing, too many to count, some breaking open and spilling their contents.

    https://abc7news.com/protective-gear-left-in-the-rain-masks-ppe-out-personal-equipment/11465719/

    ….Central planning at its best

  2. There are 14.9 million people living in Ontario with 124 members of parliament telling us how we MUST live our lives.

    And there are only 2 more weeks to flatten the curve.

    Around 30% of the people may have been dropped on their heads at some point in there life, but what are the other 70% waiting for?

  3. Republicans in the Pennsylvania State Senate plan to draft a bill that would relocate migrants entering the state on Biden administration-sponsored flights to the president’s home state of Delaware.

    State Sen. Mario Scavello, a Republican from Mount Pocono, issued a memo to colleagues asking them to support the forthcoming bill.

    “In the very near future, I intend to introduce legislation to address the influx of illegal immigrants being relocated into Pennsylvania,” Scavello wrote, adding that his legislation will be fashioned after similar intentions voiced by Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis.

    The legislation would implement a transportation program for the relocation of migrants from the commonwealth to the neighboring state of Delaware, according to Scavello’s memo.

    “How many illegal immigrants has the president relocated to his own home state of Delaware?” he asked. “If it is good enough for Pennsylvania, then why not redirect the relocation to Delaware?”

    https://www.foxnews.com/politics/pennsylvania-republicans-to-draft-bill-diverting-illegal-immigrants-from-secretive-biden-dhs-flights-to-delawa

  4. Rebel news – AUSTRALIA – Queensland woman ARRESTED at cafe after declining to share vaccination status

    Woman left bruised and confused after being apprehended by five officers at a cafe where she was accused of refusing to provide police with her vaccination status.

    […]
    https://www.rebelnews.com/queensland_woman_arrested_at_cafe_after_declining_to_share_vaccination_status

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    https://twitter.com/dulhunty/status/1481404474203983875

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  5. reuters – Germany needs greater immigration to avoid labour shortages – minister

    BERLIN, Jan 11 (Reuters) – Germany will need increased immigration to prevent severe labour shortages from undermining productivity and endangering a successful energy transition, its economy minister said as Europe’s largest economy faces a demographic crisis.

    “We have 300,000 job openings today and expect that to climb to a million and more,” Robert Habeck, a leader of the Greens party, told a news conference. “If we don’t close that gap, we will have real productivity problems.”

    “Naturally, (this means) better combining qualifications, training and possibilities for families and jobs, but in Germany certainly stepped-up immigration as well, and in all areas, for engineers, crafts people, carers. We have to organise this,” said Habeck, who is also Vice Chancellor in Germany’s new three-way ruling coalition led by Social Democrat Olaf Scholz.

    The employer-friendly German Economic Institute estimates that the labour force will shrink by more than 300,000 people this year as there are more older workers retiring than younger ones entering the labour market.

    This gap is expected to widen to more than 650,000 in 2029, leaving an accumulated shortage of people of working age in 2030 of roughly 5 million. The number of Germans in employment grew to nearly 45 million in 2021 despite the coronavirus pandemic.

    After decades of low birth rates and uneven immigration, a shrinking labour force poses a demographic time bomb for Germany’s public pension system, in which fewer employees are burdened with the task of financing the pensions of a growing mass of retirees who are enjoying longer life expectancy.

    The governing parties agreed in their coalition negotiations to lower the hurdles for skilled workers from abroad and make working more attractive again with various measures, including lifting the national minimum wage to 12 euros

    https://www.reuters.com/world/europe/germany-needs-greater-immigration-avoid-labour-shortages-minister-2022-01-11/

    • Any excuse will do,last time they imported 1.5 million ,and after two years 500 of them were employed,they certainly do not come here to work.

  6. Germany doesn’t rule out closing Telegram – interior minister

    BERLIN, Jan 12 (Reuters) – Germany could shut down Telegram if the messenger service popular with far-right groups and people opposed to pandemic-related restrictions continues to violate German law, Interior Minister Nancy Faeser said in remarks published on Wednesday.

    “We cannot rule this out,” she told Die Zeit weekly. “A shutdown would be grave and clearly a last resort. All other options must be exhausted first.”

    She added that Germany was discussing with its partners in the European Union how to regulate Telegram.

    https://www.reuters.com/technology/germany-doesnt-rule-out-closing-telegram-interior-minister-2022-01-12/

    Germany Raises Prospect of Shutting Telegram Over Hate Threats

    (Bloomberg) — Germany raised the prospect of closing down the Telegram messaging service over concerns about its use as a platform for extremist groups.

    The country could seek to block the service if the government reaches the conclusion that it breeches national and European Union law.

    “A shutdown would be very serious and clearly the last resort,” Interior Minister Nancy Faeser said in an interview with German weekly Die Zeit. Before such a step, all other options would have to be exhausted, but “we can’t exclude this per se,” the SPD politician said.

    Talks about possible measures against Telegram are ongoing, an Interior Ministry spokesman said on Wednesday, adding that it wasn’t clear what legal and technical procedures would be necessary to switch off Telegram.

    The messaging service has come under increased criticism as right-wing extremists turn to the platform to organize demonstrations against the government’s pandemic policies, some of which have turned violent. Authorities are investigating alleged death threats made over Telegram against Manuela Schwesig, the state premier of Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania.

    https://www.bnnbloomberg.ca/germany-raises-prospect-of-shutting-telegram-over-hate-threats-1.1706555

    ==============================

    GERMANY – JAN 13 2022 – FAR-RIGHT EXTREMISTS in KIEL

  7. Germany among first to recommend COVID-19 booster for 12 to 17-year-olds

    BERLIN — Germany’s vaccine committee recommended on Thursday that all children between the ages of 12 and 17 receive a COVID-19 booster shot as the country reported a new daily record of more than 81,000 coronavirus infections.

    The government’s coronavirus crisis manager warned of possible bottlenecks in testing, though Health Minister Karl Lauterbach said Germany had the means to handle the situation.

    The move on booster shots makes Germany among the first countries in the world to make such a recommendation, following the United States, Israel and Hungary.

    “The current situation, with a sharp increase in the number of cases due to the Omicron variant and the feared consequences for the health system in Germany, makes it necessary to extend the vaccination campaign,” the STIKO vaccine committee said.

    The third dose should be an mRNA shot from BioNTech/Pfizer and should be given, at the earliest, three months after the child had their second shot, STIKO said in a statement.

    While data on the effectiveness and safety of the booster vaccination for 12- to 17-year-olds remains limited, the risk of severe side effects is estimated to be very low, it added.

    The European Medicines Agency (EMA) has not given regulatory approval, so Germany would be responsible for any liabilities linked to the booster for this age group.

    The EMA said this week it was reviewing whether to extend the booster approval for Pfizer shots to adolescents aged 16 and 17, and expected drugmakers to apply for the 12-15 age group as well.

    BioNTech said it was processing the data for booster vaccines for children aged 12-15 to be submitted to the EMA.

    Germany, seeking to slow the spread of the Omicron variant that a week ago accounted for about 44% of COVID infections, reported a record 81,417 daily cases on Thursday, bringing the seven-day incidence to 427.7 per 100,000 residents.

    Article content
    More than 115,000 people have died with COVID-19 and some 45.1% of the population has received a booster.

    The head of Germany’s federal coronavirus crisis team Carsten Breuer said workers in critical infrastructure sectors would be prioritized if COVID-19 testing capacity tightened.

    “As with all scarce resources, we will certainly have to pool capacities where necessary. This also applies to tests,” Breuer told Sueddeutsche Zeitung.

    Health Minister Lauterbach said the booster campaign would help Germany avert the steep increase in Omicron infections.

    He also welcomed the move from STIKO, which has in the past drawn criticism for hesitating in making such recommendations.

    Germany’s DIVI association for intensive/emergency medicine on Thursday published data showing that unvaccinated people made up a majority of all COVID-19 cases in intensive care units.

    The data, collected between mid-December and Jan. 12 and covering around 90% of all COVID-19 new intensive care admissions, showed that 62% of those admitted were unvaccinated.

    https://thestarphoenix.com/news/world/germany-among-first-to-recommend-covid-19-booster-for-12-to-17-year-olds/wcm/be326cef-932e-491f-b56a-a964c122c6a9

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    reuters – COVID still a serious threat, warn German health officials

    BERLIN, Jan 14 (Reuters) – German health officials warned on Friday the coronavirus remained a serious threat as the Omicron variant is set to completely replace Delta in the coming days in a nation whose vaccination rates lag much of western Europe.

    Omicron often leads to a milder course of disease, but any positive gains are cancelled out by there being far too many cases, senior virologist Christian Drosten said, underscoring the need for vaccinations.

    Drosten said some 3 million people over the age of 60 have not yet been vaccinated and almost 9 million have not received a booster shot, which makes them vulnerable to the highly contagious variant.

    “The gap in vaccinations is our greatest obstacle,” he said.

    Germany has a relatively low vaccination rate compared to other countries in western Europe: 72.5% of the population is considered fully vaccinated while 45.9% have had a booster shot.

    Italy, Spain and France have are around or above the 75% mark, while Portugal and Malta have over 80% of the population fully vaccinated.

    The coronavirus will have to be allowed to run its course at some point, said Drosten, as continually re-vaccinating the population was not feasible.

    Health Minister Karl Lauterbach ruled out easing current coronavirus measures for now, adding that even more restrictions might become necessary if infection numbers rose dramatically or hospitals were overwhelmed.

    He added that the new Novavax vaccine should be available from Feb. 21.

    Lothar Wieler, head of the Robert Koch Institute (RKI) for infectious diseases, said Germany would begin prioritising who could get a PCR test due to Omicron’s prevalence.

    Health authorities and laboratories have warned of a testing crunch as they struggle to keep up with demand. read more

    Germany’s daily infection number hit a third consecutive high on Friday, with 92,223 new cases reported, bringing total confirmed cases to 7.8 million.

    Austria, which also saw a one-day record this week, and the Netherlands were declared high-risk travel areas on Friday.

    https://www.reuters.com/world/europe/vaccination-gap-is-greatest-obstacle-says-senior-german-virologist-2022-01-14/

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    DEUTSCHE PRAVDA – Coronavirus: Germany expects rise in deaths as omicron takes hold

    The head of Germany’s disease control agency said hospitalizations and deaths are set to rise. Meanwhile, Health Minister Karl Lauterbach said new, stricter regulations and vaccinations should help manage the crisis.

    The number of hospitalizations and deaths is expected to increase, even if omicron is milder

    Skyrocketing infection numbers in Germany mean that the country must reckon with an increase in the number of hospitalizations and deaths, Robert Koch Institute President Lothar Wieler told journalists on Friday.

    Wieler said that, in just a few days, the more transmissible omicron variant would have completely displaced the previous dominant strain, delta.

    The institute chief said — with a sharp rise in infections in the past week — Germany was entering a new phase of the pandemic. Even if infections with omicron were milder, as early evidence has suggested, Wieler said the sheer number of new infections meant the country had to expect more severe illness and deaths.

    So far, the number of deaths has not risen, said Wieler. “But that will change,” he added.

    Tobias Kurth, epidemiologist at the Charite hospital in Berlin told DW that he expects this surging infection trend to continue, and that the health care system will begin to feel the strain.

    “Omicron has mild symptoms, but this is on average, which does not mean that people are not getting severely sick,” Kurth said.

    “As many people are still not vaccinated, there is still a high chance that some of them will, unfortunately, end up in the hospital. For the health care system, this is still a very alarming situation,” he added.

    Challenge to keep curve flat

    Speaking at the same news conference, Health Minister Karl Lauterbach said he expected an even higher spike in infection rates. However, he also said this could be flattened through further restrictions and more vaccinations.

    The health minister said the strategy must be to slow the pandemic down through restrictions while at the same administering as many vaccines as possible.

    This, he said, could flatten the curve of people hospitalized over time — and alleviate pressure on health care services.

    The goal, he said, was “to make the otherwise expected steep wall of infection numbers into a hill, if possible, or to make sure the wall is not so high.”

    Lauterbach said restrictions imposed in December had the desired effect of slowing down the virus compared with other countries.

    New restrictions — such as a requirement for even vaccinated people to show a negative antigen test when eating out at restaurants — would further help, he said.

    Epidemiologist Kurth said that while mask-wearing, distancing and vaccinations are key, the virus “pretty much cannot be stopped right now” because it is so infectious.

    Relaxed rules on quarantine

    New quarantine rules have passed Germany’s upper and lower houses of parliament, reducing the need to quarantine for long periods.

    Individuals who have recently had booster shots — or been double-vaccinated or recovered in the past 3 months — no longer have to go into quarantine if they have had contact with an infected person.

    For anyone not meeting those requirements, the quarantine period will be shortened to seven days, provided a negative PCR or antigen test is confirmed. This would be the case not only for contacts of infected people but also individuals who actually had the disease.

    The shorter periods of isolation are intended in part to prevent staffing breakdowns in areas such as social work and health care. The new rules were passed by Germany’s upper chamber, the Bundesrat, on Friday, after being approved by Bundestag lawmakers the previous evening.

    However, some experts have warned that the relaxation of quarantine rules will lead to more infections, placing more pressure on healthcare facilities.

    Just over 70% of German adults have been fully vaccinated against the coronavirus (with 45% having received a booster shot). The country is also currently debating whether vaccination should be mandatory.

    https://www.dw.com/en/coronavirus-germany-expects-rise-in-deaths-as-omicron-takes-hold/a-60425354

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    Health Minister Lauterbach on the compulsory vaccination in Germany: “It is necessary,

    Health Minister Lauterbach on the compulsory vaccination in Germany: “It is necessary, it is suitable, and it is moderate. That’s why it’s necessary to act.”

    • global news – German health minister in favour of mandatory vaccinations for adults as protests continue

      German Health Minister Karl Lauterbach said Friday that he is in favour of implementing compulsory COVID-19 vaccinations for those aged 18 and older to tackle the rising cases of the Omicron COVID-19 variant.

      Meanwhile, hundreds of those opposing the government’s COVID-19 restrictions took to the streets of Dresden on Thursday night, most without face masks, in so called “walks” strewn across the city

      Officers were seen taking down the personal details of several protesters before they were photographed by police in the street.

      Senior German virologist Christian Drosten said that he expects Germany to have reached the endemic state by the end of the year. He also said that this means an additional booster again in the fall for the elderly and vulnerable, “like in any influenza season.”

      • BILD – GERMANY – DRESDEN – JAN 13 2022

        Medizinstudenten haben sich am Donnerstag schützend vor das Dresdner Universitätsklinikum gestellt, das Ziel eines Protestes gegen die Corona-Maßnahmen werden sollte.

        Die Studenten hatten sich in weißen Kitteln vor dem Klinikum aufgereiht. Sie trugen Schilder mit Aufschriften wie „Impfen statt Schimpfen“ und „Keine Macht den Rücksichtslosen.“

        Die Polizei war insgesamt mit 1083 Beamten der sächsischen Bereitschaftspolizei, Einsatzkräften aus Thüringen sowie der Bundespolizei im Einsatz. Allein 200 Beamte waren abgestellt, um das Krankenhaus abuzusichern. Auch zwei Wasserwerfer und ein Räumpanzer waren im Einsatz.

      • DEUTSCHE PRAVDA – DRESDEN Medical students confront COVID-protesters in Germany

        Police in Dresden opened misdemeanor proceedings against 22 students who were attempting stop group of anti-vaccine protesters??????? from demonstrating in front of their university clinic on Thursday night. Police said coronavirus restrictions in the eastern German city only permit demonstrations with a maximum of 10 people, and the number of counterdemonstrators gathered in front of the clinic was in violation. The students could now be ordered to pay a fine.

        What happened during the protest?

        The medical students gathered in response to a “protest stroll” against coronavirus restrictions and vaccines. The protest, organized on social media, was due to begin in front of the university clinic. Many of the demonstrators oppose strict new regulationsrequiring vaccination for access to public spaces. The students formed a line in front of the clinic and held signs with slogans such as “Saxony, get vaccinated.”

        Hundreds of federal police from several German states were able to largely break up the “protest stroll” before it began, and said they had noted the identity of more than 200 people who could face penalties for breaking coronavirus gathering rules.

        However, videos of alleged harsh treatment of the students by police drew outrage on social media, with many commenting that they were treated worse than the anti-restriction protesters.

        On Friday, police said it was a “confusing and dynamic” situation as police officers moved to clear all demonstrators from the area in front of the clinic, regardless of whether they were students or protesters. A police spokesperson added that the students should have officially registered their protest.

        • MARTIN…… it looks like it doesn’t end . Government authorities are already suffering from PRION disease from the injection sauce.

    • DEUTSCHE PRAVDA – Global Omicron infections keep surging

      Germany:

      Germany’s intensified vaccination campaign appears to be paying off, with 780,000 doses administered within just one day, officials said. The figure is much higher than last week’s daily jab rate of 593,000 doses. Many of the vaccinations were booster shots, which have been administered to more than 45% of the population. The number of people in Germany who are fully vaccinated (and not yet boostered) rose to more than 72% on Thursday.

      Chancellor Olaf Scholz’s government set a goal to have 80% of the population fully vaccinated by the end of January.

      France:

      France is easing some of its strict travel restrictions on visitors from the UK, French Prime Minister Jean Castex announced. Fully vaccinated British travelers who also have a COVID negative test will be allowed to enter France without having to self-isolate for 48-hours— and will no longer have to provide a “valid” reason for travel. The rules change goes into effect on Friday. Castex said France was relaxing the travel curbs since the highly-contagious omicron variant is now dominant in both France and the UK.
      The curbs had been in place since mid-December. Also in France, teachers across the country went on strike on Thursday over the government’s chaotic COVID-19 strategy for schools. “The exhaustion and exasperation of the entire educational community have reached an unprecedented level,” eleven unions said in a joint statement. France has logged an ever-climbing surge in infections this week, including a record of over 368,000 new cases in a single day.

      India:

      India recorded its highest-ever new daily COVID caseload on Thursday — logging more than 247,000 new daily cases for the first time. India is in the midst of a third wave of infections, with the omicron variant causing cases to exponentially rise in cities like New Delhi and Mumbai.

  8. AUSTRALIA – Immigration Minister cancels Novak Djokovic’s visa

    The federal Immigration Minister has cancelled the visa of world number one Novak Djokovic, with the case once again expected to go from the tennis court to the federal court.

    • sky sports – Novak Djokovic faces deportation after Australian government revokes his visa for a second time

      Novak Djokovic faces deportation after the Australian government revoked his visa for a second time, three days away from the start of the 2022 Australian Open.

      Immigration Minister Alex Hawke released a statement at just before 7am UK time explaining that his decision to cancel the men’s world number one’s visa was made “in the public interest”.

      Djokovic, who has won the Melbourne Grand Slam three years running and nine times in his career, can appeal the decision in Federal Circuit and Family Court.

  9. CBC – The mostly unvaccinated patients overwhelming an Ontario ICU

    Mostly unvaccinated patients are overwhelming the ICU at a Sarnia, Ont., hospital and some will head home with a new perspective on COVID-19, the vaccine and life.

      • Defender Children’s Health Defense CDC VARES Report for January 7,2022

        Vaccine adverse reactions ONLY 1, 033,994, yes ONLY ONE MILLION, THIRTY THREE THOUSAND, NINE HUNDRED AND NINETY FOUR

        Deaths 21,745 ONLY

        Seriously injured ONLY 170,446 – myocarditis tops the lists of vaccine injuries among 12-17 year olds.

        What the hell is wrong with this human race, is there no compassion, has everyone traded their soul – what is your price?

    • “Education” the unvaccinated, instead of taxing them

      “There needs to be the attempt to educate,” says Mark Henry, President, Jamaica Association of Montreal, when it comes to COVID-19 and taxing the unvaccinated. Advocates asking for more resources for marginalized communities.

      + comments on the YT page

    • global news – Vaccination rates stall for Canadian kids aged 5 to 11

      Provinces are working to immunize younger Canadians against COVID-19, but vaccination rates are slowing among children aged five to 11.

      In the United States, where more than 8.6 million does have been administered to kids five to 11, data reveals side effects are exceedingly rare.

      Yet, In Canada, just over 45 per cent of children in that age group have received their first dose, while just two per cent of five to 11-year-olds have both shots. Jamie Mauracher explains why some parents are hesitating.

      + comments on the YT page

      • Myocarditis tops the list in vaccine injuries among 12-17 year olds in the CDC’s Vaccine injuries. There is no such thing as mild myocarditis

    • SCOTLAND: Case rates lowest in unvaccinated as double-jabbed elderly drive rise in hospital admissions

      DOUBLE-JABBED Scots are now more likely to be admitted to hospital with Covid than the unvaccinated amid an increase in elderly people falling ill due to waning immunity.

      It comes amid “weird” data showing that case rates have been lower in unvaccinated individuals than the single, double, or even triple-jabbed since Omicron became the dominant variant in Scotland.

      (+ for the suscribers )

      https://www.heraldscotland.com/news/19843315.covid-scotland-case-rates-lowest-unvaccinated-double-jabbed-elderly-drive-rise-hospital-admissions/

    • QUEBEC – COVID-19 vaccine passport now mandatory for large stores in Quebec

      During a Thursday press conference, Quebec Premier Francois Legault announced that big-box stores across Quebec will require proof of vaccination for customers.

      After confirming that Monday, January 17 would mark the opening of schools and the end of the 10 pm curfew, Legault said that any store larger than 1,500 square metres would have to implement the vaccine passport.

      He cited Canadian Tire, Wal-Mart, and Costco as examples.

      The premier said grocery stores and pharmacies are excluded as they are essential services.

      The new measure for big-box stores will be implemented January 24.

      https://dailyhive.com/vancouver/vaccine-passport-quebec-large-box-stores

    • Austria: Motorcade blocks Vienna traffic in protest of vaccine mandate

      Hundreds of cars took to Vienna streets on Friday to protest against corona politics and vaccine mandate.

      The protesters drove through Vienna’s ring road, shortly stopping near Parliament building.

      COVID vaccination is due to become compulsory in Austria on February 1, despite massive protests and technical setbacks.

    • MIRROR – EXCLUSIVE: Boris Johnson’s ‘wine time Fridays’ – No10 staff held drinks EVERY week during pandemic

      EXCLUSIVE: Downing Street held yet MORE parties throughout the Covid pandemic with events taking place every Friday as Prime Minister Boris Johnson encouraged staff to “let off steam” even though indoor socialising was strictly banned

      Downing Street staff held ‘wine-time Fridays’ throughout the pandemic with Boris Johnson regularly witnessing the gatherings.

      Sources told the Mirror that the Prime Minister encouraged aides to “let off steam” despite indoor socialising being banned under lockdown rules.

      The regular event was so popular that staff even invested in a £142 drinks fridge to keep their bottles of white wine, Prosecco and beer cool.

      Reports that staff took a suitcase to a supermarket to stock up on booze ahead of a party on the eve of Prince Philip ’s funeral were not a one-off.

      Sources claimed that aides took turns on Fridays to visit the local Tesco Metro in Westminster with a wheely suitcase to fill up the 34-bottle capacity fridge.

      An extraordinary picture has emerged of the chiller being delivered through the back door of Downing Street on December 11, 2020.

      At the time rules banned two or more people from different households from meeting indoors, unless “reasonably necessary” for work purposes.

      Downing Street today apologised to Buckingham Palace after it was revealed more parties were held in No10 the day before Prince Philip’s funeral last Spring.

      Two leaving bashes – one for Mr Johnson’s top spin doctor James Slack and another for the PM’s photographer – took place at Downing Street on April 16.

      It was just hours before the Queen sat grieving alone at St George’s Chapel, Windsor.

      ‘Wine-time Fridays’ were scheduled into the electronic calendars of around 50 No 10 staff between 4pm and 7pm every week.

      They are a long-standing Downing Street tradition, including under previous administrations, to help staff wind down at the end of a busy week.

      But the event continued many Fridays even after restrictions were introduced to help curb the Covid surge.

      It was organised by the No 10 press office but periodically advisers from other parts of the building would join in.

      Sources said one regular attendee when tough mixing rules were in place was Captain Steve Higham, then the PM’s defence adviser.

      The Royal Navy officer now commands the new aircraft carrier HMS Prince of Wales which is the UK’s largest warship.

      The Ministry of Defence declined to comment.

      Whitehall enforcer Sue Gray is investigating rules-busting parties.

      It has already been suggested that she plans to criticise the “drinking culture” across Downing Street and other Government departments.

      Sources said the gatherings on occasion went on as late as midnight with up to two dozen aides drinking wine and beer and playing games like Pictionary.

      They were particularly popular from autumn 2020 to the Spring of 2021 when staff were “fatigued” with the tough Covid restrictions, sources said.

      However, their popularity waned as the country began opening up and staff no longer had to rely on them for social interaction.

      The PM was said to have attended a “handful” of the gatherings +at points when indoor socialising was banned under lockdown rules.

      These include an event on November 13, 2020, the day Dominic Cummings walked out of No 10, when he stayed for a glass of wine and chatted to the team.

      It has previously been reported that the PM gave a “shambolic” speech for departing communications director Lee Cain, with the pair posing with “Get Brexit Done” boxing gloves.

      At the time, England was at the height of its second national lockdown with no indoor mixing between households allowed for social reasons.

      But in an explosive revelation, No 10 insiders claimed the PM often witnessed ‘wine-time Fridays’ on his way to the Downing Street flat.

      One source said: “Boris used to stop by for a chat while they had a drink.
      It was on the way up to his flat and the door was usually open. He knew about it and encouraged it.“

      Another added: “He could see everyone sitting there drinking as he walked up.

      “He would come in and say ‘Hello everyone had a hard week? Letting off some steam? Oh great’.

      “The idea that he didn’t know there were drinks is total nonsense. If the PM tells you to ‘let off steam’, he’s basically saying this is fine.”

      Downing Street’s humiliating apology to Buckingham Palace comes after two leaving dos the night before Prince Philip’s funeral last Spring.

      Staff downed alcohol and revellers danced to music blaring from a laptop,
      with someone sent to a local shop to cram a suitcase with wine.

      The partying, which started indoors, became so raucous in the garden that one guest had a go on – and broke – the PM’s son Wilf’s swing, according to the Telegraph.

      The Government’s guidance at the time warned: “You must not socialise indoors except with your household or support bubble.

      “You can meet outdoors, including in gardens, in groups of six people or two households.”

      A Downing Street spokesman said of the leaving celebrations: “It is deeply regrettable that this took place at a time of national mourning and No10
      has apologised to the Palace.

      “You heard from the PM this week, he’s recognised No10 should be held to the highest standards and take responsibility for things we did not get right.”

      Labour leader Keir Starmer stepped up calls for the PM to quit.

      He said: “This shows just how seriously Boris Johnson has degraded the office of Prime Minister.

      “The Conservatives have let Britain down. An apology isn’t the only thing the Prime Minister should be offering the Palace today – Boris Johnson should do the decent thing and resign.”

      Lib Dem leader Sir Ed Davey said: “Boris Johnson should apologise personally to the Queen for the offence he’s caused her and millions around the country mourning for loved ones.

      “He should also use that opportunity to officially hand in his resignation.”

      The latest Partygate revelations piled pressure on Mr Johnson, who has bunkered down in No10 after a family member tested positive for the disease.

      Grieving families who lost relatives to coronavirus blasted Downing Street staff who partied the night before the royal funeral.

      Fran Hall, of the Covid-19 Bereaved Families for Justice said: “If your neighbours had behaved like this, you’d have been disgusted.

      “For the people running the country to do it and then lie about it shows a complete disdain for the general public.

      “We shared the same pain of grieving in isolation as the Queen did – and she must be just as sickened as we are at hearing this.”

      Former No10 director of communications Mr Slack, who was appointed deputy editor-in-chief of The Sun newspaper last year, said: “I wish to apologise unreservedly for the anger and hurt caused.

      “This event should not have happened at the time that it did. I am deeply sorry, and take full responsibility.”

      Mr Johnson is drawing up a list of officials to offer resignations over the Partygate affair in a bid to salvage his premiership, with chief-of-staff Dan Rosenfield and private secretary Martin Reynolds both featuring, The Independent reported.

      Dubbed “Operation Save Big Dog” by the PM himself, also includes a plan to highlight Mr Johnson’s achievements in Government after the publication of Ms Gray’s report, expected next week.

      Supporters of the PM urged people to wait for Ms Gray’s verdict.

      Security Minister Damian Hinds said: “I think it’s important that we have an investigation ongoing into events, plural, and alleged events.”

      https://www.mirror.co.uk/news/politics/boris-johnsons-wine-time-fridays-25951853

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