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Sat Sep 18, 2021, 08:22 AM

Five Stories from Europe You May Have Missed

1. Fraud Allegations Mar Second Day Of Russian Elections, As Opposition Smart Voting App Suffers New Blow

Allegations of widespread election fraud marred the second of three days of Russia’s polls on September 18 as jailed opposition politician Aleksei Navalny’s Smart Voting bot disappeared from the popular messaging app Telegram following similar moves by Apple and Google.

The ruling Kremlin-backed United Russia party is expected to win the parliamentary vote, following a clampdown by authorities on dissent that eliminated vocal Kremlin critics from the ballot and crushed independent media.

On the first day of voting alone, the Golos independent election-monitoring group recorded some 2,000 procedural violations indicating votes were being bought.

According to Golos, mass arrivals of people in uniform at polling stations were widespread, suggesting that the government was mobilizing state employees to ensure a victory for the ruling party.


2. Denmark set to ban life-term prisoners from new romances

Prisoners in Denmark serving life sentences are set to be stopped from beginning new romantic relationships.

The bill, if adopted, will apply to the first ten years of their sentence and is aimed at countering a rise of so-called "criminal groupies".

The move comes after a young woman recently revealed she fell in love at the age of 17 with Peter Madsen, who was sentenced to life behind bars for killing journalist Kim Wall in his homemade submarine in 2017.


"Lifers... should not be able to use our prisons as dating centres or media platforms to brag about their crimes," the minister added.


3. Old Irish goats return to County Dublin to protect hills from wildfires

Melissa Jeuken beat stiff competition to land a high-profile post in Dublin leading a dream team of diligent, focused workers.

“They’re a very good crew to work with. We gelled very quickly. It just clicks.”

Some bully the others, and one has a habit of leaping into her arms, but Jeuken is OK with that. The 25-strong team is made up of goats, and Jeuken is their herder.

They are part of a groundbreaking conservation Irish effort to save a goat species from extinction and to protect a hillside from wildfires.


4. Notre Dame restoration ready to start as safety work completed

Work to shore up Notre Dame in Paris has been finished, allowing restoration to start at the cathedral two years after a fire destroyed the attic and sent its spire crashing through the vaults below.

Soon after the April 2019 blaze, the French president, Emmanuel Macron, said the cathedral – which dates back to the 12th century – would be rebuilt. He later promised to reopen it to worshippers by 2024, when France hosts the Olympic Games.

The final phase of efforts to secure its structure included reinforcing the fire-damaged vaults with wooden arches, the state agency leading the work said, adding that it was on track to meet Macron’s reopening target date.

The cathedral will be restored to its previous design, including the 96-metre (315ft) spire designed by the architect Eugène Viollet-le-Duc in the mid-1800s and for which new timber has been selected.


5. Western Diplomats Express Concern About Ukraine's Judicial Reforms After Delay

Western diplomats have expressed concern over Ukraine’s delay in implementing recently passed judicial legislation that is seen in Washington and Brussels as crucial to improving the nation's rule of law and cleaning up corruption.

Following a meeting on September 16 at President Volodymyr Zelenskiy's office in Kyiv with senior members of Ukraine’s parliament and judicial bodies, diplomats from the Group of Seven (G7) industrial nations and the European Union backed a joint statement demanding judicial reforms move forward.

The G7 diplomats warned against attempts to delay reforms “aimed at strengthening the rule of law, increasing public confidence in the judiciary, attracting foreign investment, and bringing Ukraine's Euro-Atlantic future closer,” according to a copy of the statement distributed by Ukraine’s presidential office.


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Reply Five Stories from Europe You May Have Missed (Original post)
rpannier Sep 18 OP
sinkingfeeling Sep 18 #1
Hortensis Sep 18 #2

Response to rpannier (Original post)

Sat Sep 18, 2021, 08:37 AM

1. Thanks.

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Response to rpannier (Original post)

Sat Sep 18, 2021, 11:19 AM

2. "Conservation grazing specialist." For that job title, I was almost

surprised that the farm girl/now veterinary nurse didn't lose out to someone with a PhD in conservation grazing.

Glad to hear the restoration starts. Thanks, rpannier.

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