Good morning, Europe. Here are the top stories we're watching today:
Indonesia Tsunami: Rescue efforts continue as the death toll reaches more than 1,200 on Tuesday. Dozens of people were reported to be trapped in the rubble of several hotels and a mall in the city of Palu, which was hit by waves as high as six metres following the 7.5 magnitude earthquake on Friday.
Russian prisoner Yevgeny Makarov released from prison: In the summer, gruesome footage showed former inmate Yevgeny Makarov being tortured by wardens at Penitentiary No.1 in the Yaroslavl region, northeast of Moscow. He was shown lying face down on a table, being beaten with clubs for 40 minutes while screaming for help. The footage sparked outrage and raised a light on rampant cases of prison torture in Russia.
The Russian paper Novaya Gazeta, that first released the footage said it was “only for those with strong nerves.” The incident prompted six arrests, 17 suspensions and spurred a flood of new accusations of similar treatment in Russian prisons. He was released on Tuesday and Makarov's lawyer said his life may still be in danger.
UK immigration plan post-Brexit: Theresa May unveiled her immigration plan that would see passport holders from "low risk" countries be allowed to be scanned at e-gates; long stay workers would need to meet minimum salary requirements and there would be no caps on student visas. All of these new changes are aimed make the UK an outward-facing nation after Brexit, said May.
Protests over pension reform in Belgium: Thousands of protestors are expected to take the streets in Belgium Tuesday to lobby against pension reforms. Labour unions are calling for “a decent pension at a reasonable age” and are protesting the proposed point-based system that will calculate pensions based on the number of years a worker has worked and the level of the physical hardship of the job. Unions are against these proposals because the criteria for job hardship is not well defined. Belgium's retirement age has been raised from 65 to 67 and unions are advocating for higher pensions at a younger age.
Germany’s diesel deal: Germany’s coalition leaders said Tuesday they have agreed on a way of cutting pollution in cities while avoiding unpopular driving bans with a "highly complex" agreement. German carmakers were willing to bear most of the cost of upgrading old diesel cars to reduce air pollution in German cities, but it was not yet clear how drivers would be spared the bill. Volkswagen has agreed to cover 2,400 euros of the estimated 3,000-euro cost of hardware retrofits on its diesel cars. One complaint of German carmakers is that foreign rivals would not be covered by any requirement for retrofits. More details to follow later today.
Primera Air shut down: The budget Nordic airline announced it has shut down and will be ceasing operations and filing for bankruptcy Tuesday. This sudden move has left many travellers stranded at airports, scrambling to find alternate modes of transport to their destinations.
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