Five stories you may have missed because of the coronavirus pandemic

This week was another in which coronavirus pandemic dominated the headlines, with confirmed cases of the virus now passing 3.2 million.

But that doesn’t mean other news has stopped. Below, Euronews brings you five stories you may have missed this week.

Kosovos and Serbias EU membership hopes fade, as land exchange plan is halted

Kosovo’s prime minister ruled out the idea of a land swap with Serbia, a move which could open the door to EU membership to the two neighbouring countries.

Speaking to Euronews Albania, Albin Kurti said his country “suffered a lot” and already endured “many losses of people and territory”.

The UN recognised Kosovo as an independent country in 1999, after a NATO-backed independence conflict with Serbia and Montenegro. Russia, China, Spain and Greece still refuse to recognise it.

AP Photo/Visar Kryeziu
Kosovo’s prime minister Albin Kurti speaks in parliament on February 3, 2020AP Photo/Visar Kryeziu

Genoa bridge reconstruction completed nearly two years after deadly collapse

Italy completed the reconstruction of the Morandi bridge in the northwestern city of Genoa, after its collapse killed 43 people in August 2018.

Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte attended the event and said that the bridge symbolised Italy rising up again and “rolling up its sleeves”.

Autostrade, the company which runs most of Italy’s motorway network, is currently under judicial review, standing accused of failing to carry out adequate maintenance on the bridge and falsifying safety reports.

Fabio Ferrari/LaPresse via AP
Nearly two years after a highway bridge collapse in Genoa killed 43 people, the final piece of the new Morandi bridge is laid. April 28, 2020.Fabio Ferrari/LaPresse via AP

Poland warned all-postal presidential vote ‘dangerously undermines’ democracy

Human Rights Watch warned Poland it should scrap plans for an all-postal presidential ballot next month, arguing that it would undermine democracy in the country.

“Given the unprecedented nature of such full-scale mail-in voting in Poland, and the extremely short time frame, it appears very unlikely if not impossible – that the process will guarantee fairness and transparency,” it said

The presidential campaign was paused in March amid the COVID-19 pandemic but the country’s ruling Law and Justice party (PiS) has backed maintaining the May 10 election.

The bill has been backed by parliament’s lower house and has now moved on to the Senate.

AP Photo/Czarek Sokolowski
In this photo taken Feb. 19, 2020, Poland’s President Andrzej Duda, center, campaigning for his re-election in Warsaw, Poland.AP Photo/Czarek Sokolowski

Lebanon protests continue despite lockdown amid the country’s deep economic crisis

New protests broke out in Lebanon despite the country’s pandemic lockdown.

Hundreds of protesters set fire to two banks and hurled stones at soldiers, who responded with tear gas and batons.

Protests against mismanagement and corruption began in October amid a severe economic crisis which was deepened by the Covid-19 pandemic.

Over the past weekend, the Lebanese pound hit a record low, with 4,000 pounds to the dollar on the black market while the official price remained at 1,507 pounds.

AP Photo/Hussein Malla
A protester uses a stone to beat on the shield of a riot policeman, during a protest against the deepening financial crisis, in Beirut, Lebanon, Tuesday, April 28, 2020AP Photo/Hussein Malla

New underwater tunnel between Germany and Denmark approved

Denmark approved the construction of an 18km underwater tunnel which will reduce travel time between the country and Germany to just a few minutes.

The tunnel — known as the Fehmarnbelt link — is set to open in mid-2029, the Ministry of Transport said. Transport Minister Benny Engelbrecht hailed the MPs agreement as a “historic decision”, describing the tunnel as “a new gateway to Europe”.

The new tunnel will link northern Germany to Denmark via the Danish island of Lolland. The two countries are separated by the Fehmarn Belt, a strait in the western part of the Baltic Sea.

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