Despite considerable policy differences on the old continent, one issue almost entirely unites Europeans: gun control. This is currently reflected through legislators, who, despite the apparent ineffectiveness of current gun regulation, continue to infringe on the right to bear arms.
The EU Commission in Brussels agreed on stricter gun laws last December, with EU interior ministers deciding on new measures despite several members, including the Czechs, voting against it. The new directive institutes a complete ban on semi-automatic firearms, tightens regulations on online purchases, and allows for an exchange of information about gun owners across the continent.
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Good politics and bad economics have been on display in British political conversations as the parties release their manifestos for the upcoming elections. Prime Minister Theresa May’s suggestion that energy prices be capped and migration controls strengthened was outstripped in economic foolishness only by Labour’s £48.6 billion tax increase and their proposal to nationalize the National Grid.
These proposals ignore economic realities and reflect a complete misunderstanding of how markets work – even markets for goods as vital as energy.
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In an address to the German parliament on April 27, Chancellor Angela Merkel had tough words for the British government. The European Union’s most powerful leader told the Bundestag that the United Kingdom, “cannot and will not have the same rights” after it leaves the union. In other words, the British government should expect European leaders to refuse to negotiate and grant total access to the European market.
These words have been harshly criticized by British Prime Minister Theresa May, who accused the EU of “lining up” to oppose the United Kingdom. While one may disagree with the punitive attitude of European leaders, May’s naivety is to be deplored: The European Union’s behavior was predictable.
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“F**k it, we’ll do it live!”
Bill O’Reilly’s iconic moment as a peeved host of “Inside Edition,” mixed with his more recent habit of dominating the ratings at Fox News, seem unusual in Europe. Here, TV, especially shows about politics and culture, attempts to maintain a facade of earnestness. Apart from the UK’s “Prime Minister’s Questions,” the weekly shouty session of witty jokes and sassy remarks between the government and the opposition, European politics is usually something you skip on the channels. Even diehard fans of the spotlight are unable to avoid yawning at the banality of political “entertainment.”
The reason for this is simple: many stations are publicly owned, and those that aren’t still tend to remain apolitical. In Germany, privately owned TV stations have only existed since 1984, with state-owned channels ARD and ZDF covering almost the entirety of political news broadcasting. Public stations make up 45 percent of the market there. In France, among the top five stations, two (23.1 percent of the market share) are owned publicly, while three (34.5 percent of the market share) are in private hands
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Should we be free to eat what we want? The British government doesn’t seem to think so. It requires that your favourite restaurants must obtain special permission to serve you your favourite burger.
Last month, the Food Standards Agency (FSA) implemented a new set of regulations that dictate how all food businesses must serve minced meat products (such as burgers). Businesses must now obtain specific approval to serve anything different from what the FSA regards as “thoroughly cooked”. This new requirement is applicable in England, Wales, and Northern Ireland (different regulations apply to Scotland). If a restaurant is caught violating these new regulations, it will either be served a notice or immediately prosecuted.
According to the agency, the new regulations are meant to prevent infections by bacteria like E. Coli. Bacteria are likely to be found on the outside surfaces of meat and can be spread to an entire burger when minced during preparation. According to a report by a committee called the Advisory Committee on Microbiological Safety of Food (ACMSF), cooking at 70℃ for two minutes at the centre of the meat or 75 ℃ for 30 seconds is sufficient to drastically reduce such pathogens.
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