An 89-year-old vaccinated against Corona — dead an hour later

In Germany, in the Diepholz district there was a death on Wednesday a short time after a Corona vaccination. An 89-year-old from a retirement home in Weyhe died about an hour after receiving the first vaccination. Whether there is a connection between the vaccination and the death of the elderly woman is now being examined, said District Administrator Cord Bockhop.

The Weser-Kurier, a daily that serves Bremen and Lower Saxony, reported that a 89-year-old was among a total of 315 people who were vaccinated with the BioNTech/Pfizer vaccine on Wednesday in a total of three senior facilities in the district. Bockhop reported that the vaccination took place around 12 o’ clock. The vaccinated persons then remained under medical observation for 15 minutes. She was reported to have “no visible symptoms typical of allergies”.

“At about 12:45 p.m. the situation arose where the 89-year-old had to be revived,” continued Bockhop.

Two paramedics and two doctors were on site to accompany the vaccination team. In addition, an ambulance and the emergency doctor were alerted immediately. Nevertheless, the 89-year-old died about half an hour later.

The district was informed immediately, as well as the Paul Ehrlich Institute (as prescribed in such cases). The Paul Ehrlich Institute will now examine whether there is a connection between the vaccination and her death. “At the moment the only connection that is visible to us is the temporal connection,” emphasized Bockhop.

The 89-year-old was “generally fit” and “well oriented” at the time of the vaccination. She had been informed in advance and also telephoned a relative after the vaccination and reported that she had now also been vaccinated.

Due to data protection, the district cannot provide any information about previous illnesses or other health problems, Bockhop continued.

An autopsy of the 89-year-old has been ordered, added First District Councilor Jens-Hermann Kleine. As soon as results are available, they will be announced, Bockhop stated. However, he could not say when that would happen. “That is beyond our sphere of influence.”

The vaccinations in the district will however continue on Thursday, the district administrator announced. “Nothing has changed about the need for vaccinations,” he said. Nor in the quality of the vaccine or the vaccination team.

He expressed his condolences to the relatives of the 89-year-old. “We mustn’t forget that this is about people, not just numbers.”

Referendum in Switzerland could end government-imposed Covid restrictions

Switzerland will hold a referendum that could stop the government from imposing lockdown measures. The country has not introduced a lockdown like many other European countries, but has instead – like Sweden – mainly emphasized personal responsibility. In terms of the spread of infection and the number of deaths, it is about the same as in Sweden.

Recently, however, the Swiss government introduced tougher measures to stop the spread of infection, leading to an increasingly intense debate on the state’s rights to pursue policies that infringe on personal freedom.

The organization Friends of the Constitution has collected 86 000 signatures and thus achieved the requirement (50 000) to bring about a referendum, which aims to tear up the government’s Covid-19 law that was introduced last year.

Switzerland is one of the world’s oldest democracies with far-reaching opportunities for direct democracy. Every year, several referendums are held at national level, and even more at cantonal and local levels.

The referendum will however not take place until June this year at the earliest the Business Insider reported.

In Switzerland, stores which sell goods deemed as “non-essential” by the Federal Council had to close their doors on Monday. Thus Swiss residents, unable to buy “non-essential” products in Switzerland, have been heading to France to shop. New Swiss Covid rules are also confusing: Items such as perfumes, cosmetics, kitchen utensils, tableware, envelopes, house plants and flowers, photo equipment, and gardening tools are also classified by the government as essential goods, but light bulbs and electronics are not.

“Retail tourism” from Switzerland is not a new phenomenon, as prices are cheaper in France, but according to Tribune de Genève (TDG), the new rush across the border is not driven by frugality.

“I’m looking for snowshoes. Usually, I would have shopped in Switzerland, but now I don’t have a choice”, a customer from Geneva, told the newspaper. “I’m not used to shopping in France. I even had to put my GPS on to find the store because I had never been here before.”

French retailers expected an even greater number of Swiss customers over the weekend, even though the new French curfew rules do not allow shopping after 6pm. “At the end of the week, we expect the Swiss crush,” one French retailer admitted. And even though France now requires people from outside the EU to present a negative coronavirus test upon entry, Swiss citizens are excluded from this obligation, making a mockery of the imposed confinement.

And while the Swiss are heading to France to shop, French government officials in the Haute-Savoie have accused private Swiss health clinics of poaching their essential healthcare workers.

Swiss daily Le Temps headlined the complaint with: “Geneva is pilfering our nurses”. Haute-Savoie’s deputy Martial Saddier said in an interview with the newspaper: “The behaviour of some hospital administrators in Switzerland is totally unacceptable in the context of the health crisis.”

Private clinics in Geneva have actively been recruiting nursing staff from Haute-Savoie, luring them with salaries at least two and a half times higher than those paid in the French region. Already 60 percent of nursing staff at Geneva’s university hospitals (HUG) live in France — but Saddier said such recruitment should not happen during the pandemic.

Austria: Afghan harasses and grabs 12-year-old local girl, claiming she is “his wife, whom he is now taking home”

On the second day of the trial before the Vienna Court of Lay Assessors, presided over by Andreas Böhm, the 23-year-old defendant Samim O. did not manage to attract any positive publicity. Böhm reacts unenthusiastically to counter-questions, which does not stop the accused from asking some. On July the 17th, the Afghan, who has four previous convictions, is said to have sexually assaulted a twelve-year-old girl by grabbing her breast and trying to kiss her in an underground train and at Praterstern station. He then is said to have resisted his arrest and tried to injure police officers.O. says he was so drunk with 1.32 per mille of alcohol tested subsequently that he can no longer remember the incidents. However, on the first day of the trial, he could not imagine that he had done anything wrong – despite testimonies to the contrary and video recordings from surveillance cameras.These are now screened, also a 15-year-old girl, who was one of the child’s two companions at the time, appears this time for her testimony. The teenager is accompanied by her mother and says she is still so afraid of O. that she only wants to testify in his absence.They were on their way to the supermarket at the time, the witness remembers – next to her and her friend was her little sister. O. and a second man got into the train and sat down near them. O. then said that the twelve-year-old was “his wife, whom he was now taking home”. The witness is also sure that the accused tried to kiss the child and deliberately touched her breast.Even after they got off the train, the 23-year-old continued to harass them and followed them into the lift. In the lift cabin, he touched the victim again and tried to kiss her. According to the statement of the victim’s sister, which was only read out, a man and a woman were also present in the lift. Their reaction: They admonished the young people not to be so loud.

O. is sentenced to two years’ imprisonment for attempted grievous bodily harm against the police officers, resistance against state authority and coercion of the girl. The evidence would not be sufficient for a conviction for a sexual offence, the presiding judge reasoned. He does not believe that the girls lied later, but if there was any touching of the breast, it probably happened while they were clasping each other in a spontaneous movement.

Nevertheless, Böhm maintains that he considers the crime to be “inconceivable behaviour in broad daylight”.Therefore, he also revokes the seven open months of the most recent parole. O. denies that anything is still pending. Böhm checks the file and has the interpreter translate: “He has so many sentences, he doesn’t know what happened.” But if there really was a mistake, it would be clarified while he was in prison, the presiding judge promised the accused.

German public broadcaster presents for its Turkish-speaking audience a photo of the meeting between the German Foreign Minister and the Turkish Foreign Minister in which neither is wearing a mask, and for its German audience a photo in which both are wearing a mask

The news channel Deutsche Welle (DW) exposed the advocates of wearing masks on January the 18th. While German language speakers saw the Foreign Minister of the Federal Republic of Germany, Heiko Maas, along with his Turkish counterpart, Mevlüt Cavusoglu, wearing masks, Turks and other nations saw both politicians without masks in the same press release. Was the mask only put on for the photo to deceive the Germans? The suspicion is obvious (see the following tweet):

The report was about Heiko Maas wanting a consensus between Turkey and the EU. Regardless of the fact that Erdogan supports Islamists and puts pressure on the EU by threatening to open borders, Foreign Minister Maas hopes that “all possibilities and potentials will be used” to find a diplomatic solution with Turkey.While Germany is being prepared for an total lockdown, which could mean that everything, including public transport, will be closed down, Heiko Maas is travelling the world in a good mood. To fool his voters at home, he put on a masquerade for the photo in the German media, as did Erdogan. One gets the impression that both are grinning maliciously under their masks.Regardless of the fact that Turkey has been terrorising the Greeks in its territories for months, so that even Nato had to deploy warships, Heiko Maas gave the impression that everything was fine. Turkey reacted to the warships in its usual arrogant manner and announced its intention to continue missions on Greek territory under the guise of exploring mineral resources. Turkish President Erdogan thus clearly showed Nato that he does not take it seriously. He only relented when the EU and Nato threatened sanctions against him. As we all know, a debt paid is a kept friend.Next Monday, Greece and Turkey are scheduled to continue talks to discuss whether Turkey will end the border violations. Erdogan had already announced in December that he wanted to improve his relations with the EU. If he really intended to do that, his warships would have left Greek waters long ago.

Meanwhile, Greek media report that Turkish Foreign Minister Cavusoglu addressed Maas in a friendly manner, but at the same time threatened Greece with war.

Meanwhile, the Turkish coast guard is harassing Greek fishing boats with 12 mm machine guns:

The Italian Left’s efforts to remain in power supported by politicized judges and prosecutors

As the specter of early elections loomed over the left-wing coalition government in Italy, the League’s leader Matteo Salvini was summoned to his first hearing in a trial meant to make him ineligible to run again for office for years, just as was done with Silvio Berlusconi when he was the uncontested leader of the “center-right” bloc.

Salvini, whose party has led in opinion polls since the creation of a new coalition of the Five-Star Movement (M5S) with the left-wing Democratic Party (PD), losing ground only to its more radical ally Fratelli d’Italia (Brothers of Italy), now has to face two trials for decisions taken when he was the interior minister and vice-premier in Conte’s first government.

One case concerns the Gregoretti Italian coast guard vessel whom Salvini forbade to disembark illegal immigrants in July 2019 and the second case is about the Open Arms, a Spanish ship belonging to a Spanish NGO, Activa Open Arms, which was faced with closed Italian ports in August of the same year. In both cases, the illegal immigrants were finally disembarked after a few days after other EU countries agreed to take their share.

A second hearing in the Gregoretti case was held by the Ministers Tribunal in Catania, Sicily, on Dec. 12. The first hearing in the Open Arms case was held in Palermo on Jan. 9. In both cases, Salvini is being charged with having supposedly kidnapped migrants, i.e. with forcing illegal immigrants to stay on board against their will, when they wanted to land in Italy against the will of a majority of the Italian people.

The Italian Senate, where the left-wing coalition held a majority before the split with Matteo Renzi’s Italia Viva last Wednesday, gave its green light for the Gregoretti trial against Salvini in February last year and for the Open Arms trial at the end of July. In another case which was identical to the Gregoretti case as it concerned another coast guard vessel — the Diciotti — with illegal immigrants on board in August 2018, the Senate had refused in March 2019 to allow prosecutors to put Salvini on trial before the Ministers’ Tribunal, but that was when the M5S was still in a coalition with the League.

Thus, it appears that the M5S senators voted against giving the green light to put Salvini on trial in the Diciotti case because he was a political ally but in favor of the same in the Gregoretti and Open Arms cases because he had become a political opponent.

Salvini now faces up to 15 years in prison, knowing that any sentence of over 24 months will make him ineligible to run for office.

In the Diciotti case, it became known in May 2020 that pro-immigration prosecutors and judges, including leading members of the CSM, the country’s judicial council whose role is to guarantee the independence and impartiality of the judiciary, had colluded in 2018 to build a case against the then Interior Minister Matteo Salvini for political motives, while it seemed very clear to them that Salvini had not done anything illegal.

The man who first opened the Diciotti case was Luigi Patronaggio, the chief prosecutor in Agrigento, Sicily. Two days after Patronaggio opened the case on Aug. 22, 2018, CSM member Luca Palamara — a prosecutor whose conversations and chats were tapped because of a corruption inquiry — wrote to him: “Dear Luigi, Legnigni will call you too, we are all with you”. Giovanni Legnini was the vice-president of the CSM. This former Communist Party member was one of the parliament’s appointees to the CSM, and he had been chosen to sit on the Italian judicial council while being a member of the Democratic Party (PD) and a minister in Matteo Renzi’s government.

The La Verità daily newspaper who first disclosed Palamara’s leaked conversations also published several other chats showing that other members of the CSM and of the Italy’s main magistrates’ association, the ANM, were discussing the best strategy to attack Salvini.

Prosecutor Luigi Patronaggio is also the magistrate who first opened the case which led to the current Open Arms trial against Salvini. As Salvini’s defense team argued at the Jan. 9 hearing, the case is all the more ludicrous that the Open Arms’ captain, a Spaniard who faced charges of aiding illegal immigration in Aug. 2019, refused offers from Malta and Spain to disembark the illegal immigrants he had taken on board and deliberately chose to wait several days off Lampedusa’s shore to force Italy to open its ports to migrants.

There can therefore be little doubt that those two trials against Salvini are political trials organized by the Italian parliamentary and judicial Left at a time when the Left, due to its own divisions and its lack of popular support, risks losing power in favor of a right-wing coalition led by Salvini.

The current situation is reminiscent of what happened to Berlusconi in 2013. Berlusconi was then convicted for supposed tax fraud committed by one of his companies, Mediaset, at a time when he was prime minister and therefore not in control of Mediaset. It was Berlusconi’s only conviction ever out of the many prosecutions he had to face during his political carrier.

In June 2020, Italian newspaper Il Reformista published on its website an audio recording in which the now deceased Cassation Court Judge Amadeo Franco said to Berlusconi in a private conversation how sorry he was for having taken part in the 2013 judicial farce which was “steered from above”. He claimed this pressure was applied to him to cassation court’s president Antonio Esposito whose son, who was also a magistrate, and was targeted by a prosecutor’s inquiry for drug possession. Franco was suggesting that Esposito may have been seeking to bring charges against Berlusconi in exchange for leniency for his own son’s case. The 2013 judgment made Berlusconi, the then main opposition leader, ineligible to run for five years.

Antonio Tajani, who was president of the European Parliament until July 2019 and is a leading member of Berlusoni’s Forza Italia party, reacted to the leaked recording by calling Berlusconi’s 2013 conviction a judicial coup against Italian democracy. Berlusconi has filed a complaint against the Italian state in the European Court of Human Rights.

Surprisingly, while the European Commission has been very active in fighting Poland’s reforms of the judiciary on the grounds that those reforms could make the judicial system too political and not independent enough from the executive and legislative powers, in the case of Italy, where there have been proven cases of successful efforts by the Left to eliminate political opponents with the help of politicized, left-leaning judges and prosecutors, the same European Commission has failed to react.

This is yet another illustration of the Commission’s double standard when it comes to monitoring the rule of law in EU member states.