Français | English | Español | Português

Europe Health

BERLIN — Researchers say there have been more than 4,500 premature deaths annually in Europe because diesel cars emitted higher levels of pollution than claimed.

The study comes two years after Volkswagen was caught cheating on emissions tests in the U.S. The tiny particles emitted are hazardous to human health and contribute to 425,000 estimated annual premature deaths from air pollution in the European Union, Norway and Switzerland.

Lady Gaga has postponed the European leg of her Joanne World Tour, saying Monday on Instagram, “I have to be with my doctors right now.”

“I have always been honest about my physical and mental health struggles,” the pop star posted this morning. “Searching for years to get to the bottom of them. It is complicated and difficult to explain, and we are trying to figure it out.”

Gaga promised to tell her story “in more depth” when she’s ready.

Also Read: Lady Gaga Hospitalized With 'Severe Pain,' Cancels 'Rock in Rio' Performance

On Thursday, Gaga was hospitalized with what she called “severe pain,” causing her to cancel a scheduled appearance at “Rock in Rio.”

“Brazil, I’m devastated that I’m not well enough 2 come to Rock In Rio. I would do anything 4 u but I have to take care of my body right now,” the “Poker Face” singer wrote at the time. “I ask for your grace and understanding, and promise that I will come back and perform for you soon.”

A statement posted to her Twitter account read, “Lady Gaga is suffering from severe physical pain that has impacted her ability to perform. As a result, she sadly must withdraw from this Friday’s Rock in Rio performance. Lady Gaga is under the care of expert medical professionals. She sends her love to all her fans in Rio and thanks them for their support and understanding.”

Also Read: Lady Gaga: 'I'm Going to Take a Rest'

Gaga, who recently divulged that she suffers from fibromyalgia, continued last week, “I was taken to the hospital it’s not simply hip pain or wear & tear from tour, I’m in severe pain. I’m in good hands w/ the very best doctors.”

The leader of the Little Monsters concluded Monday’s social media statement with this: “I am looking forward to touring again soon, but I have to be with my doctors right now so I can be strong and perform for you all for the next 60 years or more. I love you so much.”

All European dates are now listed on Gaga’s website as “Rescheduling,” though the U.S. ones — which start in November in Indianapolis — do not have that same addendum attached. See Gaga’s full Instagram post below.

Also Read: Bruno Mars Is This Fall's Most In-Demand Tour Ticket Ahead of Ed Sheeran, Lady Gaga

I have always been honest about my physical and mental health struggles. Searching for years to get to the bottom of them. It is complicated and difficult to explain, and we are trying to figure it out. As I get stronger and when I feel ready, I will tell my story in more depth, and plan to take this on strongly so I can not only raise awareness, but expand research for others who suffer as I do, so I can help make a difference. I use the word “suffer” not for pity, or attention, and have been disappointed to see people online suggest that I’m being dramatic, making this up, or playing the victim to get out of touring. If you knew me, you would know this couldn’t be further from the truth. I’m a fighter. I use the word suffer not only because trauma and chronic pain have changed my life, but because they are keeping me from living a normal life. They are also keeping me from what I love the most in the world: performing for my fans. I am looking forward to touring again soon, but I have to be with my doctors right now so I can be strong and perform for you all for the next 60 years or more. I love you so much.

A post shared by xoxo, Gaga (@ladygaga) on Sep 18, 2017 at 12:01am PDT

Related stories from TheWrap:

Lady Gaga Fights 'Like F—ing Hell' in New Teaser for 'Five Foot Two' (Video)

Lady Gaga Subpoenaed in Dr. Luke Defamation Case Against Kesha

See What Lady Gaga Wears to Go Hiking | 9/18/17

Lady Gaga postpones tour | 9/18/17
Lady Gaga has postponed her world tour's European leg until next year because of ongoing health problems, the tour's promoter said Monday. The six-week part of the Joanne World Tour was set to kick off in Barcelona on Sept. 21 and end on Oct. 28 in Germany. Lady Gaga was also due to… | 9/18/17
Lady Gaga has postponed her world tour's European leg until next year because of ongoing health problems, the tour's promoter said Monday.... | 9/18/17
“Lady Gaga is suffering from severe physical pain that has impacted her ability to perform,” Live Nation said in a statement. | 9/18/17
The six-week part of the Joanne World Tour was set to kick off in Barcelona on Sept. 2.
The European Court of Justice (ECJ) ruled on Wednesday (13 September) that member states cannot adopt emergency measures banning genetically modified organisms (GMOs) without evidence of a serious risk to health or the environment. But the ruling was surpassed by recent EU legislation and changes nothing. | 9/14/17
The European Parliament on Wednesday (13 September) warned against easing health controls imposed on food products imported from the Fukushima region in Japan in the wake of the nuclear disaster of 2011. | 9/14/17
British women have the slowest life expectancy growth in Europe, while the men's is second from the bottom. Sir Michael Marmot (pictured) has written to the health secretary for answers.
Two weeks before the EU-Canada trade agreement enters into force, France evaluates its environmental and health impacts and Belgium challenges the agreement in the European Court of Justice. EURACTIV France reports. | 9/8/17
Europe’s soft drinks industry has announced it will stop selling sugary beverages in all schools in the European Union from late 2018. Health campaigners have welcomed the move but said more needs to be done to promote healthy eating in schools. | 9/6/17

With ever more TLDs, where does it make sense to focus resources?

After four years and a quadrupling of internet extensions, what metrics continue to make sense in the domain name industry? Which should we discard? And how do you gain understanding of this expanded market?

For registries, future success is dependent on grasping the changes that have already come. For registrars, it is increasingly important to identify winners and allocate resources accordingly. The question is: how?

The biggest barrier to both these goals, ironically, may be the industry's favorite measure: the number of registrations.

Since the earliest days, registrations have been the main marker of success: Who's up? Who's down? Who's in the top 10? Top five? But even when this approach made sense, it relied on ignoring the elephant in the room: dot-com.

The Verisign dot-com beast remains six times larger than the next largest TLD. But, for a long time, the fact that most of the other gTLDs and ccTLDs (and even sTLDs) were clumped closely together made registration figures the go-to metric.

Except now, in 2017, the same extreme of scale as dot-com to the others now exists at the other end of the market. There are more than a thousand new gTLDs in the root, but even the largest of them barely touch legacy gTLDs or ccTLDs in terms of numbers of registrations. It may be time to rethink how we look at the market.

Another traditional measure has been the number, or percentage, of parked domains. It used to be that if a domain owner wasn't actually using their domain to host a website, it was a sign the registration was more likely to be dropped or was purely speculative.

But do parked domains still tell that story? That parked domain is often intellectual property protection. It may be part of a planned online expansion. And while assumed to be speculative, often that parked domain is renewed again and again.

This is especially true with older registries. You could argue that in terms of a registry's inherent value, a parked domain that is held by a single owner for many years is more valuable than one with a website that changes hands every year.

Maybe we need to consider more than just whether a domain has a website attached and start digging into the history of its registration.


The truth is that the domain name market has been around for a relatively long time now and has become more complex and intertwined with the larger economy than we give it credit for. The market is also unusual in that it has not grown according to demand but in fits and starts, defined by and dependent on the arcane processes and approvals of overseeing body ICANN.

Dot-com is the giant of the internet because it was the only openly commercial online space available at a time when the internet's potential was first realized by businesses and entrepreneurs. Even now the ending ".com" in many ways defines the global address system. While its growth has slowed, it still towers over every other TLD.

Then came small bursts of new gTLDs, joined by more commercialized ccTLDs, which all benefitted from the globalization of the internet. Most of them are roughly the same size: between two and five million registrations. And now comes the new wave of TLDs that has produced a third block of registries: with registrations largely ranging from one thousand to one million.

These three-time periods tell a story about the domain name market: that for all its fluidity and its speed, the market is not only stable but also segmented. There is no point in Germany's dot-de dreaming of becoming the same size as dot-com, just as there is no point in dot-shop hoping to rival dot-fr in terms of numbers. Increasingly, peer comparison is going to become more important than pure numbers.

It's also not clear that there is much competition across segments — or even within them - once that initial purchase is made.

Will someone drop their dot-uk domain after they've bought their new dot-website domain? It seems unlikely. A tech business in Spain may look at a dot-es or a dot-tech. But it probably never considered Brazil's dot-br, or dot-racing (because it is a Spanish tech company, not a Brazilian racing company).

Once the decision and purchase are made, the website built and the email set up, the low cost of domain renewal reduces the likelihood of a company dropping it or moving to a new address. It is another of the peculiarities of the market: low price equals less movement. But even that is now being tested by new registries that charge variable "premium" rates for what they believe are more valuable individual names.

The secret of success

For these reasons, future success — for both registries and registrars — mostly likely lies in two things: high rates of renewal and future growth potential.

The domain renewal rate is increasingly a sign of the overall health of a registry. As the market changes, both that rate and any changes to it will become increasingly important in understanding whether the registry is going up or down in the market overall.

A high renewal rate shows stability and greater value in the registry. If that renewal rate goes up — compared to its peers — then the competition has picked off what it can. If the rate goes down, it may be vulnerable to other options in the market.

The renewal rate will tend to be higher and more stable in older TLDs, and lower and more varying in new gTLDs. But when compared to its peers, it can tell a larger story: too low or too variable may be a warning sign; higher or more stable could indicate a more solid registry, and one worth investing in.

The other biggest driver for success is future growth potential. And for this, it is necessary to look outside the domain name market to the real world.

When it comes to the wealth of new gTLDs — most of which are words or names that self-define themselves — growth potential is going to come down to a combination of brand, good policies and sheer luck.

The focus on registration numbers obscures what may be the long-term successful approach in this vast market. In some cases, aggressive, short-term marketing and low pricing has seen huge, sudden increases in registration followed by equally huge drop-offs a year later when domains come up for renewal. The largest registries in terms of numbers are also notable by their effort to tap the vast Chinese internet market. It's an approach that currently pays off in terms of registrations but is it sustainable?


As for more traditional registries, future growth depends as much as digital economies and politics as it does on internal policies. Germany's dot-de and the UK's dot-uk have long led the market in terms of registrations. It just so happens that they also have open registration policies and their associated countries have very large and successful digital economies.

A registry that may be interesting to watch is dot-eu since it represents not a single country but an economic region. Recent anti-European Union sentiment that has been most strongly defined by the UK and Brexit and the collapse of the Greek economy — but which has also seen large movements in Austria, the Czech Republic and Italy, among others - has seemingly slowed dot-eu's growth.

But despite last year's predictions, the European Union appears to have emerged stronger and, thanks to the unpredictable nature of the US presidency, its trading currency, the euro, is on the path to becoming the world's strongest currency. Does this mean that dot-eu will similarly benefit as companies see the growing value in a European trading block? We will have to see. But if broader sentiment is increasingly pro-EU then the answer is almost certainly yes.

In a world where you can choose from a huge array of internet extensions, new registrations will increasingly reflect what the registrant wants to say about themselves: who is their market? Are they are a traditional or unconventional business? Are they defined by their product, or their country, or their region? Or are they trying to trap the online zeitgeist and ride the wave of a current trend?

For the domain name industry, it is going to be increasingly difficult to track the ebs and flows of this global market. Which makes choosing the right metrics all the more important. Is it time to kill off the number of registrations as the industry's main measure of value? No. But it is time to start rethinking about how that market is segmented and take a broader view of what represents success.

Written by Kieren McCarthy, Executive Director at IFFOR; CEO at .Nxt | 9/6/17

COPENHAGEN, Denmark — A European Union official says 40 countries now have been affected by a Europe-wide contaminated egg scandal, including 24 EU members and 16 non-members.

Vytenis Andriukaitis, the official in charge of health and food safety for the European Commission, said Tuesday in Estonia that only four countries in the 28-nation EU haven't had eggs tainted by the pesticide Fipronil, considered a health hazard if consumed in large quantities. The unaffected EU nations are Lithuania, Portugal, Cyprus and Croatia.

People going on holiday to Europe could be at risk of catching measles, experts warn. | 8/31/17
There needs to be an EU-wide solution to precarious app economy jobs, said Estonian Labour and Health Minister Jevgeni Ossinovski in an interview with | 8/31/17
A European Commission spokesperson has told that any loss in the tobacco industry’s turnover arising from health warnings or plain packaging should be offset against the cost of treating people with smoking-related diseases. | 8/30/17
The European Commission wants the industry's expected alcohol labelling self-regulatory proposal to cover all alcoholic beverages in order to avoid confusion among consumers. | 8/30/17

Bethenny Frankel is serving bod!

The Real Housewives of New York City star is currently on vacation in Ibiza, Spain, and was spotted Saturday hitting the beach in a pretty white bikini with a string bottom and off-the-shoulder, ruffled top.

Aside from a set of super-toned abs, Frankel, 46, accessorized the look with multiple bracelets and a watch, a wide-brimmed beige hat, hoop earrings, purple-tinted sunglasses and a gold necklace as she soaked up the sun.

The star has been sharing multiple photos from her sunny vacation, featuring herself in multiple swimsuits and even a peek into the local cuisine.

RELATED VIDEO: RHONY Star Bethenny Frankel Responds to Critics about Her Being Too Skinny

“Chicken under the brick with roasted potatoes… crispy, zesty, delicious #foodporn,” she captioned a Sunday snap of a tasty-looking dish.

RELATED: Why Bethenny Frankel Feels Like She’s “Always Apologizing for Being Successful”

Frankel’s trip comes after RHONY’s season 9 reunion episodes are currently airing in the U.S. — the second of which aired Wednesday and saw the television personality, author and Skinnygirl mogul break down in tears about the “torment and torture” she’s had to deal with “every single second” since her split from ex-husband Jason Hoppy.

In her emotional recollection, Frankel shared her feelings about the harassment and stalking charges she’s brought against Hoppy, after he was arrested in January for allegedly threatening the star at their 7-year-old daughter Bryn Casey‘s school.

FROM PEN: Supermodel Christie Brinkley is 63 and back in SI‘s Swimsuit Issue with Her Daughters!


RELATED GALLERY: Bethenny Frankel’s Best Itty-Bitty Bikini Moments

But the future Shark Tank judge is prioritizing her own health and happiness — not only through her European getaway, but in her love life as well.

“It’s more than giving it another shot,” Frankel said on Wednesday’s episode of rekindling her relationship with banker Dennis Shields. “Things had to be dealt with and sort of a gauntlet needed to be gotten through and it happened. I’m in a better place. And I’m in a better place to make a sane decision.” | 8/27/17
EU-funded software to help immigrants access healthcare services in European countries was tested for the first time this summer in Spanish health centres. | 8/18/17
[Foroyaa] Hon. Halifa Sallah is currently in Gothenburg, Sweden, meeting with prominent Swedish Government personalities and head of institutions. In his Thursday engagements, he met with Ms. Britt Mari Coxner, had a joint meeting with Mini-Maria, who works on substance addicted patients (drugs and alchohol) and visited the Youth Medical Health Centres to discuss youth health, physical health, mental health, social health, sexual and reproductive health and rights Issues. | 8/17/17
In reviewing past studies from cities across North America and Europe, researcher Anneclaire De Roos found associations between acute gastrointestinal illness (AGI) and water turbidity, a term meaning cloudiness or opacity. | 8/17/17
Hong Kong, Switzerland and 15 European Union countries have all received eggs contaminated with the chemical fipronil, which can harm human health, the European Commission said. | 8/11/17
The European Commission will call an emergency meeting of ministers over insecticide-tainted eggs in a bid to end "blaming and shaming" over the scandal, health commissioner Vytenis Andriukaitis said on Friday (11 August). | 8/11/17

THE HAGUE, Netherlands — The Latest on an investigation of eggs tainted with an illegal pesticide in Europe (all times local):

7:35 p.m.

Romanian authorities say they have seized a ton of imported eggs suspected of being contaminated.

The Veterinary Health Authority said in a statement that authorities discovered 1,000 kilograms (2,200 pounds) of eggs before they had reached supermarket shelves. They had arrived in the western city of Timisoara from Germany.

Teva, the world’s largest maker of generic drugs, plans to divest some assets including its global women’s health and European cancer and pain-treatment divisions to reduce debt.

BRUSSELS — Dutch authorities knew as far back as November that some eggs in the country were contaminated with an insecticide and they failed to notify their European partners at the time, Belgium's agriculture minister said Wednesday.

Dozens of producers in Belgium and the Netherlands are being investigated for eggs containing Fipronil, which is dangerous to human health though no cases have been reported of people falling sick.

Countries issue health warnings amid the continent's hottest weather in more than a decade. | 8/4/17
[This Day] The Senate at plenary recently directed its Committee on Health to as a matter of urgent national importance investigate Senator T.A.Orji's motion on the sale and consumption in Nigeria of anti-malaria drugs banned by the European Union (EU). | 7/27/17
Romania needs to pass a vaccination law and overhaul medical services to prevent the spread of a measles outbreak that has already claimed 32 deaths, the most of any European country, the health ministry said late on Wednesday. | 7/27/17
[Citizen] An intensive research on ways to counter the health effects of flouride on human health is underway here. Scientific researchers from Tanzania, Ethiopia, Kenya and the European Union (EU) are involved. | 7/24/17
The dangers of endocrine disrupting chemicals (EDCs) for human health and the environment have long been documented and the evidence keeps piling up every day, yet Europe's approach to this challenge has been lukewarm, writes Genon Jensen. | 7/20/17
[Guardian] The Senate yesterday directed its committee on health to urgently investigate an allegation that 42 anti-malaria drugs banned by the European Union (EU) in all countries are still being stockpiled, sold and consumed in Nigeria. | 7/20/17
[Vanguard] Abuja -THE Senate yesterday raised the alarm that all the forty two anti- malaria drugs banned in Europe were still being stockpiled, sold and consumed in Nigeria. | 7/20/17
[Premium Times] The Nigerian Senate on Wednesday said it would investigate reports of 42 anti-malaria drugs banned by the European Union, EU but which are still in circulation in the country. | 7/20/17
[Vanguard] The Senate on Wednesday mandated its Committee on Health to investigate the circulation and sale in the country of 42 anti-malaria drugs banned by the European Union (EU). | 7/20/17

BRUSSELS — Authorities have arrested at least 66 people in a European food scam which sold horse meat unfit for human consumption.

European Union police coordinating organization Europol announced Sunday that eight nations cooperated in the operation. In Spain, 65 people face a series of charges relating to public health, money laundering and animal abuse.

The operation took several months and the chief suspect, a Dutch businessman, was arrested in Belgium in April.

With Women's Euro 2017 starting on Sunday, BBC Sport takes a closer look at the health of the women's game across Europe. | 7/14/17

How do you say “mama’s boy” in French?

Kevin Smith is granting one of his mom’s biggest wishes following her recent hospital stay and taking her on a dream vacation to Paris, France.

In a sweet Twitter post on Thursday, the director wrote, “When my Mom was in the hospital, she told me ‘I’m not ready yet; I’ve always wanted to see Notre-Dame.’ So in 2 weeks, Mom & me go to Paris!”

The caption was included along with a picture of Smith and his mom Grace while she was in the hospital.

He elaborated on the plans on Instagram, explaining, “You have to understand, my Mom had NEVER expressed having anything even close to a bucket list before that. Hearing her long to see the famous church was a bittersweet revelation to me.

“I promised her ‘As soon as you’re cleared by your Doctors to travel to Europe, we’re going to France, Ma!’ So in 2 weeks, Mom and me and my brother Don and my sister Virginia will do something we’ve not done together since 1982: we’re taking a family trip!”

Smith added, “All of us, differences or similarities aside, are nowhere without our Moms. I know I wouldn’t even be here without mine. So here’s how I say ‘Merci beaucoup!’ to Mom for a lifetime of love and adventure!”

The Clerks director spoke about his mom’s health problems last summer on Facebook, writing, “Visiting my Mom in a Florida hospital after we very nearly lost her.”

He went on to explain that his mom, 70 at the time, had been battling a “hiatal hernia for almost a year or more.” Doctors were hesitant to operate due to her age, but when complications came to a head, she was told she would die without the procedure. “Doc said if she had come to the hospital an hour later, we would’ve lost her,” he wrote.

Smith spent Father’s Day with Grace in Orlando, Florida, where the two “spent the day hopping parks with my brother Don,” daughter Harley Quinn, 18, and wife Jen Schwalbach. Smith added that the highlight of the day was taking his mom on the Banshee ride in the Pandora section of the park, based of the film Avatar.

“When we made the link and jumped on the back of a Banshee to soar high over Pandora, I heard Mom utter ‘Wow…’ in total awe,” he wrote. “My parents took me to #disneyworld for the first time in 1977. Forty years later, my Mom’s still taking my fat ass to the Happiest Place on Earth! Love you, Mom!” | 7/14/17

Congress is a tad busy these days, what with various committees investigating the Trump campaign for admittedly seeking dirt from Russia on candidate Hillary Clinton. Not to mention the turbulent fight to pass a health care bill.

So, it’s unlikely that Congress will give immediate relief to a newspaper alliance seeking an anti-trust exemption to collectively negotiate a bigger cut of online ad revenues from digital advertising giants Google and Facebook.

Even in “normal times,” it’s “rare” for Congress to grant any industry an anti-trust exemption, law professor Herbert Hovenkamp told TheWrap.

Also Read: Why HBO Host John Oliver Can't Be Muzzled by a Coal Boss

“These things cook around for years and decades and they are almost never granted,” said Hovenkamp, a law professor specializing in anti-trust law at the University of Pennsylvania.

“In current times, I’d say there’s practically no chance. Congress is not very patient or happy about the press,” said Hovenkamp, a law professor specializing in anti-trust law at the University of Pennsylvania. “I don’t see them giving the institutional press any favors.”

The News Media Alliance, a newspaper trade group that represents more than 2,000 American newspapers, published an op-ed piece in the Wall Street Journal on Monday calling on Congress for an antitrust safe harbor against Google and Facebook, which the group considers a “digital duopoly,” according to the alliance website.

Also Read: First Amendment Under Attack? TheWrap's Sharon Waxman Weighs in With Panel of Experts (Video)

Paul Boyle, senior vice president of public policy at the newspaper group, acknowledges that “in this political environment it is difficult to get anything done.”

“But, there is definitely an interest from policymakers on the impact of the duopoly on local news organizations and concern that with this online dominance there may not be a path forward to fund local journalism over the long-term,” Boyle told TheWrap.

Boyle noted that Congress passed the Newspaper Preservation Act in 1970, granting newspapers an anti-trust exemption by allowing two papers in the same city to combine business operations but keep separate newsrooms.

Also Read: Is Freedom of Expression in Danger in Trump Era? First Amendment Experts Weigh In (Video)

Federal anti-trust laws prevent companies from banding together and fixing prices for consumers or dictating worker salaries. The newspaper group wants an exemption to join forces and collectively negotiate better deals with the two internet giants.

“Because of this digital duopoly, publishers are forced to surrender their content and play by their rules on how news and information is displayed, prioritized and monetized,” the newspaper group said on its website.

A “duopoly” is like a monopoly, except two businesses dominate a particular market instead of just one. Before the internet, newspapers collected 100 percent of the revenues from ads placed in their papers.  Now that newspapers have migrated to the internet, they are forced to share a larger and larger cut of their digital ad revenues controlled by Google and Facebook.

Also Read: What Happens if the Media Defies White House Camera Ban?

“CBS’s net profit margin is 10 percent and Google’s is around 30 percent,” University of Southern California professor emeritus Jonathan Taplin told TheWrap.

“What’s the difference? CBS pays a lot to create content. Google doesn’t. Google is a free-rider,” said Taplin, author of the book, “Move Fast and Break Things: How Facebook, Google and Amazon Cornered Culture and Undermined Democracy.”

Even if Google and Facebook are duopolies, they are not violating anti-trust laws unless they collude together to fix prices, which is not being alleged by the newspaper group.

Also Read: James Woods Fires Back After Neil Patrick Harris Diss Over 'Gender Creative' Tweet

“Even if they are selling ads at a high price, that is not illegal under the anit-trust laws,” Hovenkamp said.

Google and Facebook are monster digital advertising companies that collectively earned 85 percent of all new digital advertising revenue in 2016.

Tim Worstall, a fellow at the free-market think tank the Adam Smith Institute in London, said he was “howlingly sceptical [sic]” of the request for anti-trust exemption relief.

Also Read: Whoopi Goldberg Slams Black Lives Matter Activist Over 'Planet of the Apes' Criticism (Video)

“The industry is being gutted, that’s entirely true, but then it should be,” he wrote in a recent in an Forbes article. “No to the antitrust exemption therefore, let the newspaper industry adapt to the changing economic geography, don’t prop it up.”

Goggle has not escaped anti-trust crack-downs. Last month, the European Union slapped Google with a $2.7 billion fine for favoring its own services in search engine results.

Related stories from TheWrap:

5 Crazy Stats Behind Facebook and Google's Advertising 'Duopoly'

Newspapers Challenge Google, Facebook 'Duopoly'

Google Slapped With $2.7 Billion Fine in Europe Over Online Searches

Google Dominance: Alphabet Tops $1,000 Milestone | 7/13/17

LONDON — The World Health Organization says measles has killed 35 children in Europe in the last year, calling it an "unacceptable tragedy" that deaths are being caused by a vaccine-preventable disease.

The figure is nearly a threefold increase since 2016, when measles killed 13 children. In 2015, it killed three.

In a statement Tuesday, the U.N. health agency said the most recent death was a 6-year-old boy in Italy, where there have been more than 3,300 cases and two deaths since last June. The highly contagious virus has also caused 31 deaths in Romania.

Across the continent, 35 people have died from the contagious infection in the past year - despite it being preventable with a vaccine, the World Health Organization has warned.
The BFI will examine the health of the UK independent sector and has formed a new commission to carry out the work, with Lionsgate U.K. and Europe boss Zygi Kamasa at the helm. The Commission on UK Independent Film will assess the health of the independent sector in the U.K., and issue recommendations on how... Read more » | 7/11/17
World Health Organization calls for "urgent measures" to stop measles spreading. | 7/11/17
The European Medicines Agency (EMA) is not a toy to be played with by politicians, Edith Schippers told The decision on the agency's relocation should be based on the European Commission's assessment, she argues in an interview. | 7/11/17
Host A Martinez talks with economist John Appleby about examples of different health care systems in Europe, and we look at the system in Spain in particular. | 7/9/17

Removing ISIS from its self-proclaimed caliphate stronghold in Raqqa, Syria, has been a physical challenge of the highest order for coalition forces. Just as difficult, though, has been getting information out about the terrorist group’s actions inside the taken-over city, and countering the propaganda the Islamic State has made a crucial part of their war.

To that end, the work of the activist journalist group Raqqa is Being Slaughtered Silently (RBSS) — local Syrians risking their lives inside their hometown or as refugees in Europe to report on the devastating impact of ISIS and the Assad regime — has been an invaluable resource. Now there’s a vital chronicle of the group’s mission in Matthew Heineman’s searing “City of Ghosts.” As information-age documents go, it’s as necessary a glimpse of 21st century heroism and ideology warfare as you’re going to encounter, and a brutally effective argument for compassion toward those forced from their homeland.

Heineman’s last movie was the Oscar-nominated “Cartel Land,” which took on grassroots vigilantism in the border drug wars with a remarkable immediacy, if somewhat over-adrenalized at the expense of a deeper understanding. Heineman brings that same up-close-and-personal style to following a handful of RBSS members who fled Raqqa to create a safe base of operations in Turkey, then Germany, from which they could communicate with and post information and video from those who stayed behind. But this time the balance between nerve-jangling tension and moral-emotional clarity is stronger.

Also Read: Syria Doc Director Critiques US Strike: 'It Doesn't Remotely Constitute a Syrian Strategy'

“City of Ghosts” isn’t designed to lecture you about the origins of ISIS, or use interviewed experts to explain the journalistic significance of RBSS (although there is footage of the group’s accepting a Committee to Protect Journalists at a black-tie event in New York). Rather, Heineman wants to put you in a cramped room with an exiled Raqqan as he stares at a laptop or phone that holds terrible news — the death of a relative, a personal threat from ISIS, a debilitating airstrike that only hurt civilians instead of terrorists — while he wonders if he’ll ever get to go home again, because there may not be a Raqqa to return to, or because he might be murdered.

Heineman’s main subjects, spokesman Aziz and reporters Hamoud, Hussam and Mohamad, come from middle-class backgrounds: Mohamad was a former math teacher, Aziz a biology student turned political rebel. But each quickly realized at the same time in the spring of 2014, when Syrians first stood up to Assad, and then ISIS entered the scene as supposed liberators, that the wider world needed to know about the atrocities being perpetrated by the occupying extremists.

Watch Video: Trump Brags About 'Beautiful' Chocolate Cake Served During Attack on Syria

RBSS began with the posting of clandestine video of public executions and curtailed freedoms, and it quickly put these homegrown activists in the sights of ISIS. After a series of arrests, torture sessions, and targeted killings of RBSS members, the co-founders realized they needed a secret, secure system for protecting reporters and getting the word out. It’s a spotlight-on-evil campaign that’s already shown to have rattled the enemy: soon ISIS banned all home satellite dishes, and started cellphone checkpoints.

While these dedicated citizen journalists navigate anonymous correspondents’ dispatches, usually captured on drive-by smartphones, ISIS’s propaganda efforts push toward increasing visual sophistication. It’s disturbing to see smiling, chanting children led through the streets by an extremist Pied Piper, but truly sickening to watch executions filmed and edited with Hollywood-like slickness.

The blood is real, though, and the graphic nature of what RBSS members watch on their computer screens, including a video of Hamoud’s own kidnapped father shot to death, may be too much for some moviegoers. The terrorists may think they’re in an action movie, but the solemnly committed Internet warriors of “City of Ghosts” barely have time to play the part of hand-wringing mourners or, in the case of Mohamad, accompanied by his wife Rose, the role of family man looking toward his future.

Watch Video: Lindsey Graham Calls Assad's Use of Syria's Bombed Base an 'FU' to Trump

Even as they try normalcy after relocating to Germany — Turkey becoming too dangerous after their journalism mentor Naji Jerf was assassinated in broad daylight — the grim hum of white nationalist/anti-immigrant sentiment in the streets and on the news serves as a reminder that the enemy in their homeland is just one front in the tragedy of their lives.
A base fear for their emotional health underscores every scene in “City of Ghosts,” never more so than when we see Aziz — who looks like he only inhales cigarette smoke, not food — fall asleep sitting in his chair, his phone sitting loosely in his hand like a digital IV.

For him and for the other brave citizen journalists in Heineman’s film, the news from Raqqa must feel like both a lifeblood for their cause and yet, all too often, a poison straight to their hearts.

Related stories from TheWrap:

Alexander McQueen Documentary Sewed Up by Bleecker Street

Netflix Picks Up Streaming Rights to Marsha P Johnson Documentary

'Sea Sorrow' Cannes Review: Vanessa Redgrave Finds Poetry in Refugee Documentary

HBO Lands Oxford's Princess Diana Documentary | 7/7/17
France will raise the price of cigarettes to 10 euros ($11.35) a pack within three years, the health minister said on Thursday, confirming a strategy that will push tobacco costs to among the highest in Europe. | 7/6/17
[Vanguard] THE European Union, EU, and United Nations International Children's Emergency Fund, UNICEF, in collaboration with the Bauchi State government, are to upgrade 162 health facilities across the state in the next four years, representing 50 percent of the 323 wards in the state. | 7/6/17
The European Parliament’s Environment, Public Health and Food Safety (ENVI) Committee endorsed on Thursday (29 June) its opinion on the European Strategy for Low Emission Mobility, calling on the Commission to keep the sustainable biofuels in the EU energy mix. | 6/30/17 | hosting | | |