Monday, January 23, 2017

#JAPAN: PM Abe Orders Probe After Ministry Helping Colleague Broke Ethics Law

[world politics news]


Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has ordered all of the country's ministries and agencies to check whether their officials helped colleagues secure post-retirement jobs. The move follows word that education ministry officials lobbied to secure a university job for a retiring colleague. The government's re-employment oversight committee ruled that this violated the national public service law.

[FULL STORY HERE]


#GERMANY: Foreign Minister Warns of "Difficult" Relations Between Germany And Trump

[world politics news]


German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier is predicting turbulent times ahead for the world following Donald Trump's accession to power in the United States. In a commentary published in the Bild am Sonntag newspaper, Steinmeier said relations with the US would become "more difficult." Steinmeier, 60, has emerged in recent months as the German government's most strident detractor of Trump.

[FULL STORY HERE]

Sunday, January 22, 2017

#EU: Antonio Tajani, Italian Ally Of Former PM Berlusconi, Elected EU Parliament's President

[world politics news]


Italy's Antonio Tajani, 63, an ally and former spokesman for scandal-plagued former PM Silvio Berlusconi, has been elected as the new European Parliament president after a bitterly fought vote. The center-right politician will play a key role at a time of crisis for the European Union, with the assembly having the final say on any deal for Britain's exit from the bloc.

[FULL STORY HERE],

#INDONESIA: Gov't Wants To Keep 3.5% Threshold For Parties Winning Seats In Parliament

[world politics news]


The government has signaled it plans to keep in place a requirement that parties contesting elections for parliament earn 3.5% of the national vote total to win any seats. Some smaller parties had urged elimination of the requirement. Home Affairs Minister Tjahjo Kumolo said it doesn't have the votes to raise the percentage, or it would. Even if smaller parties win more than 3.5% in regional elections, that would not qualify them for seats in the House of Representatives.

[FULL STORY HERE]


Saturday, January 21, 2017

#SWEDEN: PM Stefan Löfven Set To Make Diplomatic Trip To Iran; Syria, Trade On Agenda

[world politics news]


Prime Minister Stefan Löfven is set to visit Iran next month after being invited by Iranian president Hassan Rouhani. The Swedish PM's visit will take place on the 11th and 12th of February, the Government Offices of Sweden announced, and will also concern bilateral cooperation and developments in the region. The Syrian civil war and migration crisis will also reportedly be on his agenda.

[FULL STORY HERE]

#NETHERLANDS: PM Rutte Warns UK: Will "Pay Heavy Price" For Brexit; Wilders Goes On The Attack

[world politics news]


Speaking at the Davos, Switzerland Economic Forum, Dutch PM Mark Rutte warned UK PM Theresa May that her nation would "pay a heavy price" for leaving the EU. May is seeking a break with the economic bloc within two years, after last years "Brexit" vote in the UK. Rutte is facing a stiff electoral challenge from local Euro-skeptic Geert Wilders, who tweeted that Rutte had "no spine" and was the [Neville] Chamberlain of Holland and would be "out of office soon."

[FULL STORY HERE]

Friday, January 20, 2017

#JAPAN: Legislature Starts Planning For Emperor To Abdicate In 2019

[world politics news]


The Japanese government has been considering the possibility of arranging for Crown Prince Naruhito to ascend the throne on Jan 1, 2019, with Emperor Akihito having expressed his desire to abdicate during a video message to the nation last August. The 83-year-old ceremonial monarch has been on the throne since 1989. Legislation is considering his post-reign role and where he will live after abdication. No emperor has abdicated since Japan's current constitution came into effect, the last abdication taking place in 1817.

[FULL STORY HERE]


#GERMANY: Human Rights Spokesman For Chancellor Merkel's CDU Resigns Over Migrant Crisis

[world politics news]


Erika Steinbach, who's been a member of Chancellor Angela Merkel's Christian Democratic Union Party for 43 years, has resigned from the party. She served as the Christian Democrats Union's human rights spokesperson, has stepped down from the party, but has strongly criticized the leader's handling of the migrant crisis. She claims conservatives have been sidelined in Germany's main ruling party.

[FULL STORY HERE]

Thursday, January 19, 2017

#AUSTRALIA: New South Wales Premier Resigns Unexpectedly; Cites "High Cost," Ill Family Members

[world politics news]


Mike Baird, the Premier of NSW, has announced he is retiring from politics. At a press conference in Sydney on Thursday Baird said he was stepping down from the job after three years as Premier and 10 years in parliament to allow a "refresh" of his government, which faces an election in 2019. An emotional Baird revealed that a disastrous 2016 for his government that saw his popularity plummet had been coupled with "much tougher" personal challenges of significant health issues faced by his father, mother and sister.

[FULL STORY HERE]

#CANADA: TV Star Kevin O'Leary Launches Bid To Lead The Federal Conservative Party

[world politics news]


Canadian businessman and reality TV star Kevin O'Leary is running for the leadership of the federal Conservative party. He joins 13 other contenders in the crowded race. O'Leary, who appears on the reality show Shark Tank in the US and Dragon's Den in Canada, has been seriously exploring a bid since December. He has drawn comparisons to Donald Trump for both his TV and business background and his boastful tendencies.

[FULL STORY HERE]

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

#GAMBIA: Parliament Extends Pres. Jammeh's Term By 90 Days, Declares State Of Emergency

[world politics news]


Gambia's parliament today extended Pres. Yahya Jammeh's term, which is due to end on Thursday following his defeat in elections, by 90 days. It also approved his decision to declare a 90-day state of emergency in the tiny West African state. Regional leaders have threatened to use military force to oust Jammeh if he refuses to hand power to President-elect Adama Barrow on Thursday.

[FULL STORY HERE]

#AUSTRIA: Freedom Party Leader Calls For "Zero Immigration" Of "Anti-Liberal" Muslims Entering EU

[world politics news]


The leader of Austria's Freedom Party, Heinz-Christian Strache, described Islam as "misogynistic," "anti-liberal," and as having "a fascistic world view" during an almost two-hour speech at the party's New Year gathering in the city of Salzburg. Strache told around 4,000 party loyalists that Austria should "quickly put an end to this policy of Islamization... otherwise we Austrians, we Europeans will come to an abrupt end"

[FULL STORY HERE]

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

#GERMANY: Parliamentary Committee Preparing To Probe Mistakes Made Before Christmas Market Attack

[world politics news]


A parliamentary committee is reviewing possible mistakes made by security agencies leading up to the Berlin Christmas market attack, in which 12 people were killed by a suspect known to officials. The Bundestag's Control Committee is holding a special meeting on Monday afternoon behind closed doors to discuss a report by the Federal Criminal Police Office.

[FULL STORY HERE]

#NORTHERNIRELAND: New Assembly Elections Called After Sinn Fein Fails To Nominate New Deputy First Minister

[world politics news]


Northern Ireland Secretary of State James Brokenshire has called for new Assembly elections, which will take place on Thursday March 2. It comes after Sinn Fein collapsed the power-sharing institutions by refusing to nominate a deputy First Minister to replace Martin McGuinness, who resigned last Monday over the First Minister's handling of the Renewable Heating Incentive scandal.

[FULL STORY HERE]