Monday, July 06, 2015

#UK: Left-Leaning Unite Union Latest To Back Socialist Labour Leadership Candidate Corbyn

[world politics news]

Several Labour MPs supported Jeremy Corbyn's entry into the party's leadership race at the last minute last month "to broaden the debate," but are possibly regretting their kindness after five labor unions have now thrown their support behind him. The latest is the largest, Unite.

#VENEZUELA: John Kerry Urges Maduro Gov't And Opposition To Find "Peaceful Resolution" Before Dec. 6 Elections; Oppo Ldr Remains Jailed

[world politics news]

US Secretary of State John Kerry has urged Venezuela's government and opposition to find a "peaceful resolution" to their disputes before a Dec. 6 parliamentary election. Opposition Leader Leopoldo López remains jailed by the Socialist regime, and ended a month-long hunger strike June 23 after elections were announced.

#GREECE: Finance Min. Varoufakis Ousted After Winning "No" Vote; Pressure From Eurozone Ministers

[world politics news]

Greece's Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis has quit, citing pressure on Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras from Eurozone political leaders and banking interests. Varoufakis infuriated Eurozone leaders recently by comparing Greece’s creditors to terrorists. He wrote on his blog:  "I shall wear the creditors’ loathing with pride."

Sunday, July 05, 2015

#IRELAND: Bill Would Garnish Wages, Welfare Benefits, Of Those Refusing To Pay Water Fees

[world politics news]

A bill to force payment from those refusing to pay controversial new nationwide water utility fees has been introduced in parliament. The bill allows a court to order deductions from social welfare payments and the attachment of their wages. Justice Minister Frances Fitzgerald said it also abolishes imprisonment of debtors.

Saturday, July 04, 2015

#TUNISIA: Pres. Declares State Of Emergency In Wake of Beach Massacre; Assumes More Powers, Limits Assembly Rights

[world politics news]

Pres. Beji Caid Essebsi declared a state of emergency Saturday to give his government more powers following an Islamic militant attack on a beach hotel, in which 38 foreign tourists, including 30 Britons were killed. The state of emergency gives security forces more powers and limits the right to public assembly.

#PALESTINIANAUTHORITY: Abbas Gov't Works With Israel To Arrest Over 100 Hamas Supporters

[world politics news]

In a sign of the Palestinian Authority's latest attempts to separate itself from Hamas, Pres. Mahmoud Abbas has ordered the arrest of Hamas leaders and sympathizers, arresting over 100 and charging them with "threatening the general security" and stability of the West Bank.

#UKRAINE: Pro-Russian Rebels Plan August Elections; Central Gov't Warn They'd Violate Peace Accord

[world politics news]

Pro-Russian separatist rebels in eastern Ukraine say they will hold their own elections in October. The announcement drew a sharp rebuke from Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko, who said any election that did not occur with oversight from Kiev could violate last February’s Minsk peace accord.

Pictured: Alexander Zakharchenko, head of the self-proclaimed Donetsk People's Republic in eastern Ukraine.

Friday, July 03, 2015

#MALAYSIA: PM Najib Rejects Accusations He Pocketed US$700 Million As "Political Sabotage"

[world politics news]

Prime Minister Najib Razak says a report that over US$700 million was wired to his personal account from banks, government agencies and companies linked to the debt-laden state development fund is "political sabotage." The fund, which was founded by Najib and is under investigation, denies giving him any money.

#GREECE: #Athens Mayor Says "No" Vote Risks "Isolation" Within Europe; Criticizes EU Handling of Greece

[world politics news]

Ahead of Sunday's referendum on an EU bailout, Athens Mayor Giorgos Kaminis warned that a vote against the creditors’ proposals would isolate Greece. Kaminis is heading up the national "Yes" vote to accept the EU bailout and austerity it will bring. He also critiqued the EU's handling of the crisis.

#UK: European Commission VP "Terribly Annoyed" By How Often EU Critic Farage Is Correct

[world politics news]

European Commission Vice President Frans Timmermans says he is "terribly annoyed" how many times UK Independence Party Leader Nigel Farage correctly diagnoses problems with the European Union, especially on the issue of migration. "I get terribly annoyed when he's right. And on some issues he is right too often."

Thursday, July 02, 2015

#RUSSIA: Legislators Reject "Walking While Drunk" Fines

[world politics news]

The Russian Lower House has rejected a suggestion to introduce fines for pedestrians who refuse to undergo medical sobriety tests, but will continue to work on the bill that punishes those who refuse to allow themselves to be checked for illegal drug use.

#GREECE: Fin. Min. Varoufakis Vows To Resign If Greeks Vote "Yes" To EU Austerity

[world politics news]

Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis said Greece won’t "extend and pretend" that it can pay its debts, vowing to resign as finance minister if voters don’t support him in Sunday’s referendum. He said he would "prefer to cut my arm off" rather than sign an agreement without debt being restructured.

#FINLAND: Russia Withdraws From European Meeting After Duma Member Denied Entry

[world politics news]

Finnish authorities are refusing to allow Sergei Naryshkin, chair of the lower house of Russia's parliament entry to attend a Helsinki meeting of the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe, citing a travel ban. Russia has pulled all delegates from the meeting. The ban is due to Russian intervention in Ukraine.

Wednesday, July 01, 2015

#BURUNDI: Tens Of Thousands Flee Election-Related Violence

[world politics news]

Tens of thousands refugees fled Burundi ahead of parliamentary elections this past week. Pres. Nkurunziza, who has been in office since 2005, is now seeking a third term in a July 15 election but had been warned that it would be widely viewed as unconstitutional. Nearly 144,000 have fled to neighboring countries since political turmoil began in April.

(Photo: UN Refugee Agency)

#RUSSIA: Duma Rejects New Parliament Building Design; "Too Many Windows"

[world politics news]

The lower house of the Russian parliament has rejected a design for a new parliament building because its many windows would be "too cold" in the long, harsh Russian winters. The new location outside of the city's center was chosen to ease traffic congestion. A new contest will be held in the fall for a different design.

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

#FRANCE: National Assembly Creates Holocaust Survivor Reparations Fund

[world politics news]

The French National Assembly voted to approve the creation of a $60 million fund to compensate Holocaust victims transported to Nazi camps by the state railroad SNCF. The fund, to be administered by the United States, would compensate foreign nationals and also protect France against lawsuits filed in the United States.

#MYANMAR: Parliament Votes To Keep Military Veto Over Reforms

[world politics news]

Myanmar's parliament has failed to remove the army's veto over constitutional change, dealing a blow to hopes for fuller democracy. The bill received a majority of MPs' votes but not the 75% needed for passage. Aung San Suu Kyi's National League for Democracy is expected to see big gains against the ruling party in an election likely to take place in the fall.

#JAPAN: PM Abe Apologizes For Party Officials Calling For "Financial Pressure" On Media

[world politics news]

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe says he regrets comments made at a study session last week by Liberal Democratic Party's members calling for placing financial pressure on news outlets, which are being blamed for low public support for military reforms. In the Diet, opposition parties grilled the LDP over the attacks on the media.