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  1. Video content

    Video caption: Sofagate: Turkey and the story of three presidents and only two chairs

    When European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen was left standing because of a lack of chairs in Turkey this week, she reacted with an audible "erm".

  2. Heads of state in Europe mourn Prince Philip

    Belgium"s King Philippe and Queen Mathilde attend the official ceremony marking the fifth anniversary of the 2016 three suicide bombings, in central Brussels, Belgium March 22, 2021
    Image caption: King Philippe of Belgium (here with Queen Mathilde last month) intends to speak to the Queen when possible

    A number of European heads of state have expressed their sympathies on the passing of the Duke of Edinburgh.

    King Philippe of Belgium has conveyed the condolences of the Belgian Royal Family to the Queen in a private message. A public message will be released soon, but the King hoped to speak to the Queen in person when it was possible.

    King Carl Gustaf of Sweden has said he and Queen Silvia are "deeply saddened to learn of the death of His Royal Highness The Duke of Edinburgh". "Prince Philip has been a great friend of our family for many years, a relation which we have deeply valued. His service to his country will remain an inspiration to us all".

    Taoiseach of Ireland Micheál Martin said he was "saddened to hear of the death of HRH, Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh. Our thoughts and prayers are with Queen Elizabeth and the people of the United Kingdom at this time”.

    Malta's prime minister, Robert Abela, said he was "truly saddened by the loss of Prince Philip, who made Malta his home and returned here so often. Our people will always treasure his memory".

    Lithuanian President Gitanas Nauseda said: "It is with great sadness that I learned about the passing of Prince Philip. May his soul rest in peace. I extend my deepest condolences to Queen Elizabeth II. In this hour of immense loss, my thoughts and prayers are with you & the people of the UK”.

    Latvian President Egils Levits said: “My deepest condolences to Her Majesty The Queen and the Royal Family on the passing of His Royal Highness The Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh.”

  3. Latest across Europe: Russian vaccine prompts Slovak row and German talks

    A nurse takes out vials of the Russian Sputnik V vaccine against Covid-19 during the vaccination at the Arena "Boris Trajkovski" in Skopje, North Macedonia, 05 April 2021
    Image caption: Germany has sparked controversy by launching talks over the Russian vaccine without waiting for coordinated EU action

    Russia has asked Slovakia to return 200,000 doses of its Sputnik V vaccine which have sat in storage since they were delivered on 1 March. Former Slovak Prime Minister Igor Matovic got hold of the doses secretly but then lost his job last week over the controversy. Now Slovakia’s drug regulator says the doses are different to those reviewed positively by the Lancet.

    Germany has started talks on buying the Sputnik drug, according to Russia’s sovereign wealth fund. The EU’s medical agency EMA hasn’t yet approved the vaccine and Germany’s health minister says purchase will be conditional on its approval.

    For the first time in eight days the number of Covid patients in intensive care in France has fallen, by 24 cases, to 5,705. A big surge of infections was reported on Thursday, but that includes figures from several days. Meanwhile, France has recorded its10 millionth Covid vaccination and a record 437,000 were inoculated yesterday alone. Germany’s case numbers have risen above 25,000 in the past 24 hours.

    The Netherlands and Portugal have joined several other countries in limiting the Oxford-AstraZeneca drug to over-60s after the EMA advised of a possible causal link with very rare blood clots. The agency is clear that the benefits outweigh the risks. Meanwhile France’s health minister says anyone under 55 who has already had the first AZ dose will be offered another vaccine for the second.

    Iceland is revising a new rule requiring anyone arriving from a high-risk country to stay in a special quarantine hotel for five days or submit a second negative test. The courts have ruled that the mandatory hotel stay is illegal. The health minister says travellers won’t have to pay for the hotel and will be allowed outdoors.