This Little Piggy Went to Court: German Piglets ‘Sue Over Castration’

Little piggies go to market, but in Germany they also go to court.In a legal first, animal rights activists have asked Germany’s top court to ban the practice of castrating young male pigs without anesthetic – with the piglets themselves listed as the plaintiffs.The painful procedure has become increasingly controversial in Europe and has been banned in Sweden, Norway and Switzerland.Farmers argue that the castration of piglets a few days after birth is necessary to prevent “boar taint”, the occasional occurrence of a foul smell when cooking pork from male pigs past puberty.The German parliament outlawed castration without pain relief in 2013 but it offered farmers a five-year transition period to help them adapt to the change – a timeline that was extended last year until 2021.Outraged by the inaction, the PETA campaign group filed a lawsuit with Germany’s Constitutional Court in November on behalf of the baby pigs.The group wants judges to recognize that pigs have rights similar to human rights and that these are being violated by the “cruel act” of castration without pain relief.”Non-human entities like companies and associations have legal personhood. So why not animals too?” said lawyer Cornelia Ziehm, who is supporting PETA in representing the piglets in court.’Little chance of succeeding’PETA argues that under German law, animals cannot be harmed without reasonable explanation.”The castration of piglets – with or without anesthesia – is in clear violation of this, giving Germany’s male piglets only one option: to sue for the enforcement of their rights in court,” the group said in a statement.The crux of the case is their argument that in Germany “everyone” (jedermann) can file a constitutional complaint if they believe their basic rights have been violated – even a pig.But Jens Buelte, a law professor at Mannheim university, doubted whether the judges in Karlsruhe would see it the same way.”Animals do not have their own rights under German law,” he said, giving PETA’s lawsuit “little chance of succeeding”.Monkey selfieIt is not the first time campaign groups have filed a case on behalf of animals.PETA made global headlines in 2015 when it asked an American court to grant a macaque the copyright to a selfie it snapped on a wildlife photographer’s camera.The picture of the broadly grinning monkey went viral but the court eventually ruled that animals cannot bring copyright infringement suits.PETA condemned the verdict, saying the monkey was “discriminated against simply because he’s a nonhuman animal”.However, in Argentina in 2016 a judge ordered Cecilia the chimpanzee to be released from Mendoza Zoo after agreeing with activists that she was entitled to basic rights and her solitary confinement was unlawful.AlternativesGerman farmers, who remove testicles from roughly 20 million piglets each year, have long resisted the push to end castration without anesthesia.They say there is a lack of workable alternatives to tackle boar taint, in an industry already struggling with fierce foreign competition.Local anesthesia and gene editing are not yet viable or too expensive, they say, and would raise the cost of pork in a country famous for its love of schnitzel and sausage.The government agreed in late 2018 to give the farmers a final two-year extension before the ban takes effect – a decision decried by the opposition Greens and far-left Die Linke, who argued it put the interests of the meat industry above animal protection.Some German pork producers are pinning their hopes on a vaccine that requires just two injections to prevent boar taint – already a popular alternative abroad.A pilot project involving 100,000 German piglets is currently ongoing, though critics say the vaccines are costly too.A similar debate is raging in France, where agriculture minister Didier Guillaume recently said castration of piglets without pain relief should be banned by the end of 2021.

Albania Seeks Arrests for Guake Deaths in Collapsed Buildings

Albanian prosecutors have issued a series of arrest warrants on charges including murder and abuse of office over the deaths of 51 people killed when a 6.4-magnitude earthquake toppled dozens of buildings last month, police said on Saturday.Police and prosecutors said initial investigations showed “the loss of life in the collapsed buildings came also because their builders, engineers and owners had failed to observe the rules, norms and standards of safe constructions.”Prosecutors issued 17 warrants in total, police said. Two of the nine people detained on Saturday on murder charges were the owners of two hotels that collapsed, killing four people in Durres, Albania’s second-biggest city and main port.A third was the manager of a police vacation hotel where a high-ranking police officer was killed under the rubble.During the three decades since toppling communism in 1990, many Albanians have moved nearer cities, squatting on land and building with little supervision by authorities.Many of the buildings have been legalized since then by governments eager to get votes but also seeking to urbanize such areas by putting in sewage systems and roads.Both hotels on the 10-mile long beach on the Adriatic Sea south of Durres port were built illegally, police said, and the second had also been legalized illegally.Police said that some of the 17 people being sought by prosecutors had fled after the Nov. 26 quake.The high-rises built during the post-Communist boom along the beach are mostly apartments and hotels catering to both Albanians and foreigners, including ethnic Albanians from the Balkans and the Diaspora. Most suffered no damage.Albania has yet to calculate the cost of rebuilding housing for the 14,000 people left homeless by the quake.

Queen to Set Out UK PM Johnson’s Agenda Thursday

Queen Elizabeth on Thursday will set out Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s legislative agenda following his election victory, including a pledge to bring the EU Withdrawal Agreement bill back to Parliament before Christmas, his office said Saturday.Johnson led his Conservative Party on Thursday to its biggest national election win since Margaret Thatcher’s landslide victory of 1987, trouncing his socialist Labour Party opponent Jeremy Corbyn by winning 365 parliamentary seats and securing an overall majority of 80. Johnson fought the election on the slogan “Get Brexit done.”The so-called Queen’s Speech is used to detail all the bills the government plans to enact over the coming year. It is written by the government and is delivered by the monarch from a throne in Parliament’s gilded House of Lords debating chamber.Thursday’s speech to Parliament will be the 93-year-old queen’s second in as many months. She made one on October 14, shortly before the election was called following a prolonged deadlock in Parliament over the government’s Brexit plans.The October speech laid out 22 new bills, including several covering tougher treatment for foreign criminals and sex offenders, and new protection for victims of domestic abuse.Some additionsJohnson’s office said Thursday’s speech was expected to provide continuity with what the queen outlined in October, with some additions to strengthen the justice system and enshrine in law a multiyear funding settlement for Britain’s state-funded National Health Service.The new government’s top priority, however, will be to finally secure parliamentary approval for the bill to take Britain out of the European Union. Johnson said on Friday that Britain would leave the EU on January 31, “no ifs, no buts, no maybes.”The Queen’s Speech will also detail plans to provide a better service for rail commuters, provide greater protection for people who rent their homes, and stop local authorities boycotting products from other countries such as Israel.The restoration of devolved government in Northern Ireland after a nearly three-year hiatus and “a strong United Kingdom” will also be objectives of Johnson’s government, his office said.Earlier on Saturday, Johnson visited former strongholds of his Labour opponents in northern England and pledged to repay their trust for helping to deliver his stunning election victory.He has previously promised to spend more money on health, education and the police, and to build more infrastructure, especially in northern England and the Midlands.

Матері фігуранта «справи Хізб ут-Тахрір» дозволили побачення з сином – активісти

Мати фігуранта другої Бахчисарайської «справи Хізб ут-Тахрір» Сейрана Салієва змогла отримати дозвіл на побачення з сином після дзвінка українському консулу в російському Ростові-на-Дону Тарасу Малишевському. Про це Зодіє Салієва розповіла в коментарі громадському об’єднанню «Кримська солідарність».

«У листопаді ми не потрапили. 5 грудня мені сказали, що дозвіл за листопад вже не підходить, його термін вийшов, за ним потрібно було в листопаді приходити. Я їм сказала, що там не вказані ні дата, ні час –терміну давності немає, до якого числа можна потрапити на побачення. Мені довелося зателефонувати генеральному консулу України в Ростові-на-Дону Тарасу Малишевському. Він сказав, що постарається допомогти. Дали дозвіл. Після обіду потрапила до сина», – розповіла мати Сейрана Салієва.

Зодіє Салієва додала, що її син «сильно схуд», тому що не завжди їсть ту їжу, яку дають в СІЗО.

«Він сказав: «Ми не хочемо тут багато їсти, кожен день їжу не беремо, так як один день дають їжу зі свининою, в інший день без неї», – розповіла Зодіє Салієва.

15 листопада Південний військовий окружний суд російського Ростова-на-Дону почав розглядати по суті другу бахчисарайську «справу Хізб ут-Тахрір».

У жовтні 2017 року російські силовики заарештували шістьох жителів Бахчисарая. Це Тимур Ібрагімов, Марлен Асанов, Мемет Бєлялов, Сейран Салієв, Сервер Зекір’яєв і Ернес Аметов. ФСБ Росії інкримінує їм участь у забороненій в Росії та анексованому нею Криму організації «Хізб ут-Тахрір».

21 травня 2018 року року в Криму затримали координатора «Кримської солідарності» Сервера Мустафаєва і житель села Долинне Бахчисарайського району Едема Смаїлова. Звинувачення проти них долучили до Бахчисарайської «справи Хізб ут-Тахрір».

У Кремлі заявили про відсутність «доленосного прориву» на переговорах у «нормандському форматі»

Речник президента Росії Володимира Путіна Дмитро Пєсков прокоментував зустріч у «нормандському форматі», яка відбулася на початку поточного тижня в Парижі, заявивши про відсутність «прориву»

«Зустріч не призвела до доленосного прориву. Чи відновився «нормандський формат» після значної перерви? – Так. Чи досягнуто доленосного прориву? – Ні», – цитують слова Пєскова російські ЗМІ з посиланням на «Первый канал», якому прессекретар Путіна дав інтерв’ю.

Напередодні Дмитро Пєвсков на запитання, за яких умов Кремль погодиться провести додаткові переговори для модернізації Мінських угод, заявив, що це справа Києва і «самопроголошених республік», вчергове назвавши збройний конфлікт на Донбасі «внутрішньоукраїнським».

9 грудня в Парижі пройшов саміт у «нормандському форматі» – зустріч лідерів Франції, Німеччини, України і Росії. Головною темою зустрічі стали пошуки шляхів мирного врегулювання збройного конфлікту на Донбасі. Учасники домовилися про забезпечення режиму припинення вогню до кінця 2019 року, а також обмін утримуваними особами за форматом всіх на всіх. За підсумками зустрічі ухвалили декларацію, в якій сторони висловили прихильність Мінським угодами як базі для подальших переговорів.

Російські військові провели «повітряний бій» над Кримом

Екіпажі російських літаків Су-27СМ і Су-30м2 під час льотно-тактичних навчань провели повітряний бій в небі над окупованим Кримом. Про це повідомила прес-служба Чорноморського флоту Росії.

«За задумом навчань, ланки чергових літаків Су-27СМ і Су-30м2 підняли по тривозі і направили на перехоплення військових літаків умовного противника, які порушили повітряний кордон Російської Федерації. Під час повітряного бою і умовного застосування ракетного і стрілецько-гарматного озброєння порушники повітряного кордону були знищені», – мовиться у повідомленні.

За інформацією російських військових, пілоти відпрацювали взаємодію з зенітно-ракетними і радіотехнічними підрозділами, питання аеронавігації, пілотування за заданим маршрутом і уникнення засобів ураження умовного противника.

Повідомляється, що в ролі противника виступили літаки зі складу іншого авіаційного підрозділу, дислокованого на військових аеродромах Криму. За інформацією відомства, всього у навчаннях взяли участь близько десяти військових літаків.

Після анексії Криму у 2014 році Росія проводить регулярні військові навчання на півострові. У Генштабі України дії російських військових в Криму називають незаконними.

Johnson’s Win May Deliver Brexit But Could Risk UK’s Breakup

Leaving the European Union is not the only split British Prime Minister Boris Johnson has to worry about.Johnson’s commanding election victory this week may let him fulfill his campaign promise to “get Brexit done,” but it could also imperil the future of the United Kingdom of England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. Scotland and Northern Ireland didn’t vote for Brexit, didn’t embrace this week’s Conservative electoral landslide — and now may be drifting permanently away from London.In a victory speech Friday, Johnson said the election result proved that leaving the EU is “the irrefutable, irresistible, unarguable decision of the British people.”Arguably, though, it isn’t. It’s the will of the English, who make up 56 million of the U.K.’s 66 million people. During Britain’s 2016 referendum on EU membership, England and much smaller Wales voted to leave bloc; Scotland and Ireland didn’t. In Thursday’s election, England elected 345 Conservative lawmakers — all but 20 of the 365 House of Commons seats Johnson’s party won across the U.K.In Scotland, 48 of the 59 seats were won by the Scottish National Party, which opposes Brexit and wants Scotland to become independent of the U.K.SNP leader Nicola Sturgeon said her party’s “emphatic” victory showed that “the kind of future desired by the majority in Scotland is different to that chosen by the rest of the U.K.”The SNP has campaigned for decades to make Scotland independent and almost succeeded in 2014, when Scotland held a referendum on seceding from the U.K. The “remain” side won 55% to 45%.At the time, the referendum was billed as a once-in-a-generation decision. But the SNP argues that Brexit has changed everything because Scotland now faces being dragged out of the EU against its will.Sturgeon said Friday that Johnson “has no mandate whatsoever to take Scotland out of the EU” and Scotland must be able to decide its future in a new independence referendum.Johnson insists he will not approve a referendum during the current term of Parliament, which is due to last until 2024. Johnson’s office said the prime minister told the Scottish leader on Friday that “the result of the 2014 referendum was decisive and should be respected.”The Scotsman newspaper summed up the showdown Saturday with front page face-to-face images of Sturgeon and Johnson: “Two landslides. One collision course.””What we’ve got now is pretty close to a perfect storm,” said historian Tom Devine, professor emeritus at the University of Edinburgh. He said the U.K. is facing an “unprecedented constitutional crisis” as Johnson’s refusal to approve a referendum fuels growing momentum for Scottish independence.Politically and legally, it’s a stalemate. Without the approval of the U.K. government, a referendum would not be legally binding. London could simply ignore the result, as the Spanish government did when Catalonia held an unauthorized independence vote in 2017.Mark Diffley, an Edinburgh-based political analyst, said Sturgeon “has said that she doesn’t want a Catalonia-style referendum. She wants to do this properly.”There’s no clear legal route to a second referendum if Johnson refuses, though Sturgeon can apply political and moral pressure. Diffley said the size of the SNP’s win allows Sturgeon to argue that a new referendum is “the will of the people.”Sturgeon said that next week she will lay out a “detailed democratic case for a transfer of power to enable a referendum to be put beyond legal challenge.”Devine said the administrations in Edinburgh and London “are in a completely uncompromising condition” and that will only make the crisis worse.”The longer Johnson refuses to concede a referendum, the greater will the pro-independence momentum in Scotland accelerate,” he said. “By refusing to concede it, Johnson has ironically become a recruiting sergeant for increased militant nationalism.”Northern Ireland has its own set of political parties and structures largely split along British unionist/Irish nationalist lines. There, too, people feel cast adrift by Brexit, and the political plates are shifting.For the first time this week, Northern Ireland elected more lawmakers who favor union with Ireland than want to remain part of the U.K.The island of Ireland, which holds the U.K.’s only land border with the EU, has proved the most difficult issue in Brexit negotiations. Any customs checks or other obstacles along the currently invisible frontier between Northern Ireland and EU member Ireland would undermine both the local economy and Northern Ireland’s peace process.The divorce deal struck between Johnson and the EU seeks to avoid a hard border by keeping Northern Ireland closely aligned to EU rules, which means new checks on goods moving between Northern Ireland and the rest of the U.K.”Once you put a border between Northern Ireland and the rest of the United Kingdom, Northern Ireland’s going to be part of a united Ireland for economic purposes,” Jonathan Powell, who helped negotiate Northern Ireland’s 1998 peace accord, told the BBC. “That will increase the tendency toward a united Ireland for political reasons, too.”I think there is a good chance there will be a united Ireland within 10 years.”In Scotland, Devine also thinks the days of the Union may be numbered.”Anything can happen,” he said. “But I think it’s more likely than not that the U.K. will come to an end over the next 20 to 30 years.

Один військовий загинув, ще один поранений через обстріли бойовиків на Донбасі – штаб ООС

У штабі Операції об’єднаних сил повідомили, що від початку поточної доби підтримувані Росією бойовики на Донбасі п’ять разів обстріляли позиції Збройних сил України, в результаті чого один український військовий загинув і ще один зазнав поранення.

«Противник обстріляв наші підрозділи із заборонених Мінськими домовленостями мінометів калібру 82 міліметри, гранатометів різних систем та кулеметів великого калібру. Зафіксовано також вогневу активність ворожих снайперів», – йдеться в повідомленні.

В угрупованні «ДНР» звинувачують ЗСУ в обстрілі села Староласпа та околиць Горлівки. В угрупованні «ЛНР» зведених даних про бойові дії не наводять.

Збройний конфлікт на Донбасі триває від 2014 року після російської окупації Криму. Україна і Захід звинувачують Росію у збройній підтримці бойовиків. Кремль відкидає ці звинувачення і заявляє, що на Донбасі можуть перебувати хіба що російські «добровольці».

За даними ООН, від березня 2014-го до 31 жовтня 2019 року унаслідок збройного конфлікту на Донбасі загинули 13 000 – 13 200 людей.