Tuesday, February 21, 2017

#THEPHILIPPINES: Former Police Official Says Pres. Duterte Paid Money For Assassinations As Mayor

[world politics news]


Police carried out killings in the Philippine city of Davao under the instruction of then mayor Rodrigo Duterte, the current president, according to a former policeman who said he was part of a “Davao death squad” tasked with eliminating criminals. Arturo Lascanas, a retired Davao policeman, said on Monday he had previously killed a radio host critical of Duterte at the behest of a driver and close aide of the mayor, and that Duterte had paid money to police for carrying out assassinations. Duterte has repeatedly denied involvement in vigilantism.

[FULL STORY HERE]

#KAZAKHSTAN: Authoritarian Pres. Promises Shift To Parliamentary Government

[world politics news]


The president of Kazakhstan has outlined plans to dilute his powers and shift to a parliamentary form of government, but still remain the final word on many matters of state. Pres. Nursultan Nazarbayev said the current strong presidential model in force since independence as necessary to "overcome the enormous difficulties of forming the state," but said that the time had arrived for a new model. He described the proposed reform as a redistribution of power and a democratization of the political system.

[FULL STORY HERE]

Monday, February 20, 2017

#COLOMBIA: Former Congressman Denies Receiving $1 Million Bribe From Brazilian Firm

[world politics news]


A former Colombian congressman detained on accusations that he received millions in bribes from Brazilian engineering firm Odebrecht SA denied on Tuesday that a $1 million portion of the money was given to President Juan Manuel Santos’ 2014 campaign. Senator Otto Bula also flatly denies the charges. A commission investigating bribery also suspects Pres. Santos' opponent of receiving bribes from the firm.

[FULL STORY HERE]

Pictured: Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos 

#DENMARK: Left- And Right-Leaning Centrist Parties Could Unite To Topple PM's Liberals

[world politics news]


The Danish People’s Party and the Social Democrats have long resided within their respective ‘blocs’ in the national political makeup, with the People's Party being a member of the right-of-center blue bloc and the Social Democrats, the leading party of the left-of-center red bloc. An alliance between them - rumored more loudly after a joint interview recently with the party's two leaders - could unite the nation's centrists and freeze out Prime Minister Lars Løkke Rasmussen’s Venstre party. 

[FULL STORY HERE]

Pictured: The People's Party's Kristian Thulesen Dahl, left, and the Social Democrats' Mette Frederiksen

Sunday, February 19, 2017

#SPAIN: PM Rajoy Hopes To Make Deal With Post-Brexit Britain; Seeks Joint Sovereignty Over #Gibraltar

[world politics news]


Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy says he thinks a deal can quickly be worked out with Britain to defend the rights of British expats in Spain after Brexit. Rajoy also says he would use Brexit to renegotiate with London the status of Gibraltar, the tiny territory on Spain's southern tip that was ceded to Britain in 1713. He hopes for joint governance of the territory between the UK and Spain, and offer dual citizenship to its citizens. Many Spanish citizens work in Gibraltar each day.

[FULL STORY HERE]

#GERMANY: Anti-Migrant Party Parliamentary Candidate Circulates Hitler's Photo, Calls For His "Return"

[world politics news]


The Alternative for Germany Party is investigating a regional chairwoman for circulating a photo of Adolf Hitler, in which she called for his return. Parliamentary candidate for the Nüremberg area, Elena Roon, sent a photo of Adolf Hitler to members on an AfD group Whatsapp chat last summer. The photo was accompanied with the phrases: "Missed since 1945", and "Adolf please get in touch! Germany needs you! The German people!"

[FULL STORY HERE]


Saturday, February 18, 2017

#JAPAN: School Operator Tied To PM Abe Bought State-Owned Land At A Discount, Alleges Panel

[world politics news]


A Japanese private school operator linked to Prime Minister Shinzo Abe bought state-owned land for 134 million yen, some 800 million yen lower than the appraised value, according to government statements during a parliamentary panel session Friday.

[FULL STORY HERE]

Friday, February 17, 2017

#UK: Labour Party Sinks To Third Most Popular Party Amongst The Working Class

[world politics news]


The British Labour Party is now the third most popular party among working-class voters, a new poll has revealed, suggesting it could lose upcoming by-elections in Stoke and Cumbria. The YouGov survey showed blue collar workers are now less likely to vote for Labour (20%) than they are for the Conservative (39%) or UK Independence Party (23%.) The results may further bolster calls for a shake-up in the Labour Party.

[FULL STORY HERE]

#FRANCE: Pres. Cand. Provokes Firestorm After Apologizing For France's Colonization Of Algeria

[world politics news]


Presidential frontrunner Emmanuel Macron has drawn a storm of criticism from his rivals after calling France's colonization of Algeria a "crime against humanity." In a TV interview in Algiers this week, the centrist said French actions in Algeria, which achieved independence in 1962 after eight years of war, were "genuinely barbaric, and constitute a part of our past that we have to confront by apologizing."


[FULL STORY HERE]

Thursday, February 16, 2017

#SERBIA: Vast Majority In New Poll Wouldn't Support Military Effort To Reclaim Kosovo

[world politics news]


A new survey shows that 74% of Serbs wouldn't go to war to reclaim Kosovo as a Serbian province if it was proposed. Three-quarters of those polled support the EU-facilitated negotiations to normalize relations between Serbia and Kosovo. Only eight percent oppose it.

[FULL STORY HERE]

#MYANMAR: Parliamentary Committee Suggests Lowering Tax On Gold To 1%

[world politics news]


The Parliament's Joint Bill Committee is recommending that sales taxes on gold be reduced from 3% to 1%, citing the culture of the working classes in Myanmar to collect and save gold to be passed down to children. The tax had earlier been reduced from 5%, but gold dealers say that even 3%, combined with fees, remains too high.

[FULL STORY HERE]

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

#SOUTHAFRICA: Pres. To Deploy Troops In Parliament During Annual Address

[world politics news]


South African Pres. Jacob Zuma will deploy troops inside parliament tomorrow during his State of the Nation address to "maintain law and order," following scuffles and fights during last year's address. The move has been condemned by the Opposition Democratic Alliance Party as a "declaration of war."

#FRANCE: Embattled Pres. Cand. Fillon Faces Internal Calls From Party To Step Down

[world politics news]


About 40 members of the French center right on Tuesday called on embattled presidential candidate François Fillon to consider dropping out of the race over a financial scandal they say has damaged his campaign beyond repair. The elected officials, from his Republican Party, told him in parliament to find a "political solution" to his problems, which has resulted in his on-the-ground campaign nearly grinding to a halt. He faces allegations that he paid his wife and children hundreds of thousands of euros in public funds for work they did not do or for which they were unqualified.

[FULL STORY HERE]