World Short News

Germany's bars and restaurants in despai

Germany's bars and restaurants in despai

In Germany, it is generally only people who have been fully vaccinated (three shots) who are allowed to step inside a restaurant or cafe without first taking a COVID-19 test.

Germany blocks Estonian arms exports

Germany blocks Estonian arms exports

Germany is said to be blocking Estonia from providing German-origin military support to Ukraine, US newspaper The Wall Street Journal (WSJ) reported on Friday.

The report comes after the US State Department gave Estonia the green light to send US-made weapons to Ukraine.

According to the WSJ report, Berlin has refused to issue permits so that the weapons can be exported to Kyiv.

It all comes as Europe and the US fear that Moscow is preparing for an invasion of Ukraine, after it has gathered 100,000 troops on the border. Russia has denied it is planning an attack but says it could take unspecified military action if a list of its demands is not met.

Germany refuses weapons deliveries to Ukraine

Although other NATO allies, including Britain and Poland, have also agreed to export weapons directly to Ukraine, the German government has so far declined to do so.

"Germany has not supported the export of lethal weapons in recent years," German Chancellor Olaf Scholz told a news conference on Friday.

Citing Estonian and German officials, WSJ reported that Berlin is applying the same principle to Estonia's arsenal because it originated in Germany.

"Hopefully we will get the approval from Germany," Kristo Enn Vaga, adviser to the Estonian defense minister told WSJ. "Estonia has shown that we want to help Ukraine in practical terms in any way we can"

German government officials have said they oppose sending weapons to Ukraine as they fear that such deliveries could push tensions higher and make negotiations more difficult.

Germany is one of the world's top arms producers and exporters, with sales increasing 21% from 2016 to 2020, according to the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute.

Baltic states pledge US-made weapons

All three Baltic states, Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania, said in a statement that they would be sending their US-made Javelin and Stinger missiles.

"In light of Russia's increase in military pressure in and around Ukraine, the Baltic States have decided to answer Ukrainian needs and to provide additional defense related assistance," the statement said.

"This aid will further enhance Ukraine's capability to defend its territory and population in case of a possible Russian aggression," it added.

"We sincerely hope that Ukraine won't have to use these weapons," Lithuanian Defense Minister Arvydas Anusauskas said.

The Lithuanian ministry said the weapons would be delivered "in the nearest future."

jcg/fb (Reuters, AFP)

Thousands attend anti-abortion march

Thousands attend anti-abortion march

Thousands attended an annual anti-abortion rally in Washington, DC, on Friday.

The so-called "March for Life" rally comes after the Supreme Court indicated that it would allow states to impose tighter restrictions on abortion, and may also overturn the landmark Roe v. Wade ruling, which guarantees a constitutional right to abortion.

NATO to hold naval drills

NATO to hold naval drills

The United States and NATO partners will conduct a 12-day maritime exercise in the Mediterranean Sea, beginning Monday, US Department of Defense spokesperson John Kirby said on Friday.