French President Emmanuel Macron announced a ‘state of social and economic emergency’ on Monday promising to raise the minimum wage and eliminate certain taxes. The changes came in response to widespread violent anti-government protests. Facing almost certain defeat, British Prime Minister Theresa May delayed the Parliament Brexit vote on Monday to ask EU leaders for additional changes to the deal.
While visiting the former Western Front in Verdun, French President Emmanuel Macron said Europeans cannot be protected without a ‘true, European army.’ Macron said the army is necessary to protect the continent against China, Russia, and the US. European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker has been supportive of a common defense capability.
The Duke and Duchess of Sussex announced they are expecting their first child on Monday. Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s first child is expected to arrive in the spring. The father of football player Vincent Kompany became the first black mayor in Belgium. Pierre Kompany is now mayor of a town in the Brussels region.
Russian activist group Pussy Riot member Pyotr Verzilov was flown to Germany on Thursday for treatment after suspected poisoning. Verzilov holds Russian and Canadian citizenship. Two people, including one Russian, got sick while eating in a Salisbury, UK restaurant on Sunday; the city where a previous poisoning occurred. Authorities said it is not clear if a crime was committed.
French fishermen on 35 boats were accused of insulting and attacking British rivals on 5 vessels in the English Channel over scallops on Tuesday. The clash took place about 12 miles off the Normandy Coast. While British boats are legally entitled to fishing in the area, the French accuse them of depleting the shellfish stock.
Thousands of protestors against Britain’s withdrawal from the EU marched in London on Saturday to demand a final vote by citizens on the Brexit deal. One person was killed and four others injured in an attack on a Roma camp in western Ukraine on Saturday night. Seven suspects in the attack have been arrested.
Eurocontrol, the European Organization for the Safety of Air Navigation announced that about half of European flights could be delayed after a system failure on Tuesday. The failure of the ‘Enhanced Tactical Flow Management System’ took place at the Eurocontrol center in Brussels, Belgium. The fault was only the system’s second failure in 20 years.
The ‘Beast from the East,’ a cold blast from Siberia continues to make its way across Europe, reaching as far south as the Mediterranean, with flight cancellations, closed roads and schools, and suspended rail service. The World Health Organization issued a warning that the poor, homeless and migrants will be hit hardest by the cold.
Millions of eggs have been withdrawn from sale and consumption in Europe after it was discovered the eggs were laced with insecticide. Denmark is the most recent country to make the discovery, with the food safety authority estimating roughly twenty tonnes of tainted eggs have been sold within the country. Under EU laws, the pesticide found in the eggs are banned and put a risk to public health.
President Trump expressed his contempt for the fellow North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) members during his speech on Thursday at the NATO headquarters in Brussels for the alliance members failing to meet their agreed defense spending, two percent of GDP. He also refrained from endorsing Article 5 of the NATO’s founding treaty: an attack on any member is an attack on all. During the summit alliance formally stated that it would join the fight against the islamic state.