British in Europe open letter to Theresa May in response to her statement following the Salzburg Summit

Flag of the United Kingdom.svg

Britain’s Prime Minister Theresa May makes a statement on the Brexit negotiations following a European Union summit in Salzburg, at no 10 Downing Street, central London on September 21, 2018. – British Prime Minister Theresa May said Friday the European Union’s abrupt dismissal of her Brexit plan was not acceptable, as she conceded talks were “at an impasse”.


‘Dear Prime Minister,

We represent over 30,000 UK nationals living in the EU27. We listened to your statement this afternoon on the outcomes of the Salzburg summit with extreme concern.

Firstly, whilst we welcome your softer words on protecting the rights of the 3 million EU nationals living in the UKthis is nothing more than your moral obligation and the UK cannot do anything else other than to maintain all their current rights even in the event of a no deal.

However, we heard that we are now at an impasse in the negotiations with the very real threat of a no deal. What we did not hear was one single word about the future of 1.2 million UK nationals living in the EU27. You appear willing to take the UK out of the EU with a no deal and with no thought for your own nationals.

This was a disgraceful and unacceptable omission on your part. Over the last 18 months the UK has negotiated away our rights, you and your Secretaries of State have refused to meet with us and now you completely ignore us at a critical time in the negotiations. We are and we remain British citizens. You have obligations towards us and we expect you and your government to respect and honour those obligations. You said in your statement that you have treated the EU with nothing but respect and you now expect the same. Well, the same is true of us. We have engaged with your government, we have put forward our concerns and we have asked you to respect us and our rights and yet you have not done so.

In the circumstances, if you do nothing else on Brexit, you need to talk to Michel Barnier and the EU27 and jointly guarantee that our rights and the rights of the3million will be maintained and ringfenced in an agreement under Article 50. As a very minimum this must include all the rights agreed in the citizens’ rights chapter of the draft Withdrawal Agreement. And this must be agreed at the October EUCO.

We look forward to receiving your reply at your earliest opportunity.

Yours sincerely
Jane Golding
Chair, British in Europe’

(Photo by Jack Taylor / POOL / Getty Images) – LEHTIKUVA / AFP


Source : Helsinki Times

Drastic Cutbacks for Marine Research Institute

Flag of Iceland.svg

There are drastic cutbacks afoot for the Marine and Freshwater Research Institute of Iceland (MFRI), Vísir reports. The institute has had to lay off between twenty to thirty employees, and the research vessel Bjarni Sæmundsson has been moored permanently.

MFRI CEO Sigurður Guðjónsson stated that these are necessary measures to meet the cutback demands set forth by government authorities. The institute has been instructed to cut back costs to the tune of ISK 303,5 million ($ 2.55 million, €2.10 million).

Sigurður states that the government’s demand for cutbacks was a surprise. The official appropriation towards he MFRI has been reduced as well as a reduced contribution from the official Fishing Industry Research Fund (Verkefnasjóður sjávarútvegsins). “We expected a general demand for streamlining, like has been the case in the last years, but not these drastic measures,” Sigurður stated.

The Marine and Freshwater Research Institute employs just under 200 people and runs two full-time research vessels.

Interestingly, a parliamentary resolution was proposed in the summer of 2018 for the construction of a new marine research vessel. “A strong showing in marine research, and the monitoring of oceans, are main prerequisites for the sustainable usage of the ocean’s natural resources, and improve our knowledge of the environment and those changes which can take place. This parliamentary resolution proposes that next year [2019], the preparation of the construction of a new marine research vessel will take place, and it built, in the years 2020 and 2021. By doing so we look towards Iceland continuing to lead in terms of decent conduct with nature as well as marine- and fish research,” the statement read.

Several organizations have criticized the cutbacks severely, and Minister of Fisheries Kristján Þór Júlíusson has stated that authorities will respond to the criticism. “I am very hopeful that this ISK 300 million cutback will not take place – that is to say we can respond to the situation in a different way than the MFRI’s CEO has announced,” Kristján Þór stated.


Source : Iceland Review

Predicts Norwegian Flu Peak in February

Flag of Norway.svg

flu H1N1

The Norwegian Institute of Public Health expects this year’s influenza peak to come in February. Children under the age of 5 and people at work are probably the most vulnerable.

How extensive this year’s influenza outbreak becomes is not yet possible to predict, writes the Norwegian Institute of Public Health (Folkehelseinstituttet) in a status update Thursday. During the Christmas period, the number of flu cases increased, but a peak is not expected until February.

This year’s flu is of type A (H1N1), aka Swine Flu. This strain of the virus often affects younger persons.

“The elders are, for various reasons, less susceptible to the A (H1N1) virus, but often more susceptible to the A (H3N2) strain,” the Norwegian Institute of Public Health writes in a status update on Thursday.

Immune to the flu

During the last two years, influenza outbreaks have been of type A (H3N2), which has been particularly prevalent in the elderly. This strain is in circulation this year as well, albeit to a lesser extent. Studies also show that many in the population are now immune to it as a consequence.

Many Norwegians are immune to this year’s infection. Nearly half a million Norwegians are already vaccinated against – or have already been exposed to – it. More than 300,000 of these are 65 or older, which means that the coverage among the oldest is already 35 per cent, which is 1 per cent above the immunity level recorded last year.

On a sideline, an anti-vac advocate and journalist (26) in the US is recently reported dead from meningitis after an H1N1 infection.


Source : Norway Today

Finnish Air Force’s commander suspected of service offence

Flag of Finland.svg

Major General Sampo Eskelinen is suspected of neglecting his duty to open a pre-trial investigation into suspected offences by a former commander of the Karelia Air Command. (Credit: Martti Kainulainen – Lehtikuva)

Major General Sampo Eskelinen is suspected of neglecting his duty to open a pre-trial investigation into suspected offences by a former commander of the Karelia Air Command. (Credit: Martti Kainulainen – Lehtikuva)

MAJOR GENERAL Sampo Eskelinen, the commander of the Finnish Air Force, will be charged with either service offence or negligent service offence, according to the Office of the Prosecutor General.

The charge is related to a case against a former commander of the Karelia Air Command, who is suspected of abuse of superior position, service offence and defamation over events that took place during a voluntary military refresher organised in Inari, Lapland, in September 2017.

The ex-commander is believed to have violated the military code of conduct and treated his subordinates inappropriately during the exercise. Eskelinen, in turn, is believed to have neglected his duty to ensure a pre-trial investigation into the suspected offences is carried out without undue delay.

Eskelinen has largely denied the criminal allegations, whereas the ex-commander has denied being guilty of any criminal wrongdoing, according to a press release issued by the Office of the Prosecutor General on Tuesday.

With the exception of the suspected defamation, the offences have been investigated by the legal division of the Defence Command.


Source : Helsinki Times