When the world gets closer.

We help you see farther.

Sign up to our expressly international daily newsletter.

Enjoy unlimited access to quality journalism.

Limited time offer

Get your 30-day free trial!

BBC, BELFAST TELEGRAPH (Northern Ireland), THE IRISH TIMES, RTE (Ireland)

Worldcrunch

BELFAST- The North Ireland capital of Belfast saw its fifth consecutive night of violence last night after a largely peaceful demonstration at City Hall erupted into riot.

[rebelmouse-image 27086133 alt="""" original_size="332x500" expand=1]

The Union flag over Belfast City Hall. Photo: Anosmia via Flickr

The Belfast Telegraph reports that loyalist protests have been continuing across Northern Ireland since early December in response to the vote by Belfast councilors to only fly the Union flag at Belfast City Hall on certain designated days instead of year-round. The first of these days will be this Wednesday, to mark the birthday of Prince William's pregnant wife, the Duchess of Cambridge.

Loyalists believe that Northern Ireland should stay part of the United Kingdom, and defend the "Union" with Great Britain.

Water canons and five baton rounds were deployed last night as the some of the demonstrators returned from the center and went past volatile areas of the city. The Irish Times reports that calm was once again restored at about 10 p.m. Eight arrests were made, bringing the total since the violence began to 104, according to the BBC.

According to RTE, Police Chief Constable Matt Baggott had earlier said that senior members of the loyalist paramilitary group – the UVF (Ulster Volunteer Force) – in east Belfast have been increasingly orchestrating some of the loyalist violence in the row over the union flag. Mr Baggott also called on all those involved to take a step back and made known his concern over the number of young people involved.

More than 60 police officers have been injured in the last five weeks by petrol bombs, paint bombs, fireworks and heavy masonry while rioters have damaged vehicles with hatchets and sledge hammers.

Councilors had received death threats when the decision was first taken last month, as well as attacks on their homes. During her visit to Belfast in December, Hillary Clinton called for peace, condemning the violent storm that was brewing. Mrs Clinton and her husband, former President Bill Clinton, were vital to the peace process during the 1990's.

You've reached your limit of free articles.

To read the full story, start your free trial today.

Get unlimited access. Cancel anytime.

Exclusive coverage from the world's top sources, in English for the first time.

Insights from the widest range of perspectives, languages and countries.

Coronavirus

Masks And Me: Take This Pandemic Story At Face Value

Even if COVID cases are rising again, the author isn't ready to mask up again. But she's also not quite ready to say goodbye forever...

Photo of someone holding a surgical mask

Hold on to your mask. For COVID, or maybe the flu? And then there are the memories...

Emma Albright

-Essay-

PARIS — Waiting in line at the pharmacy the other day, I heard a customer ask for a COVID-19 test. The pharmacist let out a long sarcastic sigh: “We’re still doing those?”

Of course they are, as cases are again rising ahead of winter here in France and many other places around the world. But the true sign of the depth of our collective COVID fatigue were the masks at the pharmacy. That is, there were none, not even the pharmacist was wearing one, even if a sign hangs in front saying they’re required.

The regular announcements that have begun airing again on French radio about the importance of masks in containing the virus sound beside the point. Indeed, wearing masks is no longer a requirement anywhere in France, merely a suggestion.

Still, masks have by no means gone away, either in society, or my mind. That becomes clearest when I’m riding the metro in Paris. As I count the ratio of masked to non-masked, and hear the daily announcements on the benefits of wearing one, a dilemma starts to creep in…

Keep reading...Show less

You've reached your limit of free articles.

To read the full story, start your free trial today.

Get unlimited access. Cancel anytime.

Exclusive coverage from the world's top sources, in English for the first time.

Insights from the widest range of perspectives, languages and countries.

The latest