A nurse prepares to administer a Covid-19 coronavirus vaccine to health workers at the KC General hospital in Bangalore on January 16, 2021. LEHTIKUVA / AFP

TRIPS waiver proposal from India, South Africa and other members

A proposal by India, South Africa and eight other countries calls on the World Trade Organisation (WTO) to exempt member countries from enforcing some patents, and other Intellectual Property (IP) rights under the organization’s Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights, known as TRIPS, for a limited period of time.

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Supporters of US President Donald Trump sits inside the office of Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi as he protest inside the US Capitol in Washington, DC, January 6, 2021. - Demonstrators breeched security and entered the Capitol as Congress debated the a 2020 presidential election Electoral Vote Certification. LEHTIKUVA / AFP

The recent videos coming from The United States Capitol in Washington evoke memories of images from history books; the French or Russian revolution, when the mob storm the dwellings of power, and desecrate its symbols. The big difference is that the intrusion now happened in one of the world’s oldest democracies, and it was called for by a president who, to the very end, has refused to secede power.

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An overpass above the highway leading the Lebanese capital Beirut to the southern areas is pictured ahead of the first anniversary of the killing of Iranian Revolutionary Guards commander Qasem Soleimani (portrait), on December 31, 2020 / LEHTIKUVA / AFP

 

These days Iran honors the fallen hero, Martyr Major General Qassem Soleimani, the Commander of the Quds Force, an official branch of the armed forces of the Islamic Republic of Iran – and his companions, who were assassinated on the third of January 2020 at Baghdad International Airport.

For every Iranian and even those outside of Iran in countries who have suffered from terrorism, the name of General Soleimani signifies unmatched bravery, and selfless sacrifice against terrorism.

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Those who think that the drama in The United States ends January 20, 2021 are probably mistaken. When President Biden takes over, a four-year trial period is initiated for the American democracy, and the result determines if the United States has matured or if Trumpism has come to stay.

It is sad to have to keep this threat in mind now that we can rejoice that the presidency at least is occupied by a sensible person for the coming four years.

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When asked about racism towards foreigners in Finland, Finns answer in a culturally approved script: “We Finns are not racist”; “If there is racism in Finland it is not as bad as it is in other countries” and; “Racism is the fault of the foreigners who move to Finland with unrealistic expectations.” Such dismissals require wilful ethnic blindness to racism, which is banal and rife in Finland. When compared with other European countries, racism in Finland is more recent, but the point about foreigners arriving there with unrealistic expectations about racism is not something that we can entirely attribute to Finns.

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Finnish MEP Elsi Katainen (right), and Hungarian MEP Katlain Cseh are members of the Renew Europe group of the European Parliamen

Linking European Union funds to the respect of the rule of law is in the interests of all Europeans ‒ left, right or centre, net contributor or net beneficiary, East, West, North or South.

The EU’s new rule of law mechanism ‒ the decision to link EU funds to the respect of EU values ‒ is a significant achievement many of us in the European Parliament have worked for. Our political group Renew Europe was on the forefront of this fight.

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Dignitaries placed flowers on President Paasikivi's grave in Helsinki on 27.11.2020 on his 150th year of celebration

President Juho Kustaa Paasikivi was born 150 years ago. On Friday, November 27, the birthday was celebrated with a solemn event on the internet. Without a doubt, Paasikivi belongs to the prominent figures of Finnish history. He has had a great influence on our eastern politics, on principles, and Modus Operandi in our relations with Russia.

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When the pandemic was a fact, people knowledgeable in literature gave out reading tips in magazines and newspapers. The most common one was Camus’ “The Plague”, understandably. But also, other classics were brought forward, side by side with a book that eventually might reach the status of a classic.

The third part of Hilary Mantel’s trilogy about Thomas Cromwell first came out at the start of the year.

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His Excellency Mr. Shri Raveesh Kumar was appointed as the Ambassador of India to Finland in June 2020, amidst the corona pandemic and ensuing restrictions both in Finland and the world. He replaced Ambassador Vani Rao who returned to India to a managing post in the ministry of foreign affairs. 

Before his appointment, Ambassador Kumar was the Spokesperson and The Joint Secretary of the External Publicity Division from July 2017 till April 2020.

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Paavo Väyrynen in a press conference in the last elections / Lehtikuva

No one living and working in Finland can avoid hearing about Paavo Väyrynen. He’s a former party leader for The Centre Party and a long-standing foreign minister. Now, after a few forays within and beyond the political margins, he’s back in national politics. He has returned to his old party through the backdoor by allying himself with the infamous Swedish district of The Center Party and managed to be elected in the party’s executive board that way!

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Right now, it’s impossible to say who will be victorious in America. But after being served Trump’s destructive, polarising, and frightening rhetoric for four years, it might be appropriate to ask the question of whether he has accomplished anything that could render him even an ounce of acknowledgement.

During dramatic periods in world history, the holder of the American presidency often earned the role of western democracy’s defender.

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