Bannon Can Open His Political Academy in Italy, Russian Demand for Private Jets on the Rise

While Covid-19 takes all the headlines, deals are made and laws are passed, with hardly anyone noticing. Many will change our lives for years or forever. UnderCovid keeps track of these stories.

Europe

Hungary

Parliament’s press chief acted lawfully and for the right reasons when he suspended the parliamentary accreditation of multiple reporters in 2016, the National Assembly’s press office said on Tuesday. The office reacted to a ruling by the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) declaring the move a violation of the right to the freedom of expression. 


France

The French government has approved a rescue plan with a budget of €8bn for its car industry, which has been severely impacted by the coronavirus pandemic.


Russia

The US military has accused Russia of sending fighter jets to Libya to support Russian mercenaries in the country. The Russian Defence Ministry has not reacted. Earlier leaks from UN reports indicated that hundreds of mercenaries from the shadowy Wagner Group operate in Libya.

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A number of private jet companies have recorded a rise in demand from wealthy Russians who want to spend time in the West during the coronavirus crisis. They bought planes because they were unable to take commercial flights amid tight restrictions by airlines and governments.

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The American government on Wednesday accused Russia of intercepting one of its patrol planes over the Mediterranean Sea near Syria. The U.S. authorities said that the plane was intercepted in an “unsafe, unprofessional” manner.

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Russia started to manufacture the prototype of its first strategic stealth bomber, as part of the country’s modernization of its military. Stealth bombers are made to evade radar detection while carrying large amounts of weaponry.


Germany

Lufthansa has agreed a rescue deal worth €9bn (£8bn) with the German government. The funding is expected to save the airline from collapse. Crippled by the coronavirus crisis, Lufthansa shut down its low-cost airline Germanwings in April.


Belarus

Hundreds of people protested in Minsk, the capital of Belarus, against the rule of Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko in the largest opposition demonstration of the year. They slammed the authoritarian rule of Lukashenko who is seeking a sixth term in office in upcoming presidential elections.


Montenegro

Sixteen years after the murder of Dusko Jovanovic, an editor from Montenegro, media groups and activists called for bringing a foreign expert to review the failed investigation.

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Serbia and Bosnia’s Serb-majority Republika Srpska entity accused the Montenegrin government of discrimination after they reopened the country’s borders to some foreigners but not to citizens of Serbia and Bosnia and Herzegovina.


Moldova

Prime Minister Ion Chicu of Moldova has angered Romanian authorities by claiming that Romania is one of the most corrupt countries in Europe. Chicu’s critics suspect that the whole affair is a ruse to distract attention from bribery accusations targeted at his boss, President Dodon.


Albania

Albania’s key Western partners criticized Albanian authorities for what they suspect are moves to undermine and water down the justice reform program agreed in 2016 – which they have sponsored.


Turkey

Unknown persons in Turkey have hacked mosques’ digital audio systems in Izmir, a port city, and played the anti-fascist song Ciao Bella and other songs with revolutionary messages.


Italy

Steve Bannon, the former adviser to U.S. President Donald Trump, has won a battle with Italy’s culture ministry, being thus able to set up a right-wing Catholic political academy in Italy.


Africa

Amnesty International, a London-based NGO, accused Nigerian forces accused of torture and illegal detention of children. A report from the organization said that at least 10,000 died while being wrongly held.


Aircraft

The Cessna Caravan, retrofitted with an electric engine, is the largest all-electric aircraft set for first flight in the world. The aircraft was to fly for 20-30 minutes over Washington state in the US on Thursday.


Started in early April 2020 with a focus on Europe and several CIS countries, UnderCovid has grown into a news monitoring service with global coverage, published weekly. Its focus is on key legal, political and business developments that go unnoticed because of the heavy Covid-19 coverage. For more details and investigations into the topics covered by UnderCovid, send us an email.

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