Friday, July 31, 2015

#UK: PM #DavidCameron Pledges Action Against Migrants "Swarming" France/UK Channel Tunnel

[world politics news]

The illegal migrant crisis in the UK has hit a new milestone as thousands of migrants from North Africa attempted to enter the Channel Tunnel between the UK and France this week. PM David Cameron said this "Swarm" migrants must be stopped from entering illegally, and called a high-level cabinet meeting to deal with the crisis.

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

#LIBYA: Islamist-Backed Rival Parliament Rejects Peace Deal, But Will Keep Talking

[world politics news]

The Islamist militia-backed rival parliament in Tripoli has rejected a UN proposal to resolve Libya's political crisis but the General National Congress said it wanted to press on with talks with the internationally-recognized parliament in Tobruk, a port city in eastern Libya. UN envoy Bernardino Leon had appealed to both sides to endorse his proposals for a merged administration during talks in Morocco.

Pictured: Libyan protesters set a portrait of United Nations envoy Bernardino Leon on fire during a demonstration outside the General National Congress in Tripoli. 

#UK: Lib. Dem. Ldr. Tim Farron Apologizes for "Hacked" Tweet Suggesting Homosexuality Can Be Cured Like "Fish And Frogs"

[world politics news]

Newly elected Liberal Democratic Party leader Tim Farron has apologized for a tweet coming from his Twitter account saying gay people can be cured and comparing them to fish and frogs. The tweet responded to another citing a study saying some health workers believe homosexuality is curable. Farron says his account was hacked.

#AFGHANISTAN: Parliament Rejects First Woman Nominated As Supreme Court Justice

[world politics news]

The first female to be nominated for Afghanistan's Supreme Court by Pres. Ashraf Ghani, Anisa Rasouli, has been rejected by the Parliament, the latest hurdle for the government. Ghani has struggled to move his agenda forward after nine months in office, and has been unable to complete the cabinet.

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

#UK: Lord Sewel Resigns From House Of Lords After Paper Releases Video Of Cocaine-Snorting With Prostitutes

[world politics news]

A member of the House of Lords has resigned after a paper released video allegedly showing the Labour peer, Lord Sewel, snorting cocaine with prostitutes and apparently calling Asian women "whores." He had been the House of Lords' deputy speaker and chaired the Lords privileges and conduct committee.

#INDIA: Parliament Committee Rejects "Radical" Overhaul Of Environmental Laws; Says Would "Dilute" Green Laws

[world politics news]

The government's efforts to 'streamline' Green laws has run into trouble with Parliament's standing committee on science and technology and environment seeing red. The Congress Party committee Chairman, Dr Ashwani Kumar, said the committee believed the changes would be a "complete dilution" of the nation's environmental laws.

#UK: Labour Pty In Turmoil; Coup Threatened If Poll-Leading Leftist Corbyn Elected Leader In Sept.

[world politics news]

Far-left leaning MP Jeremy Corbyn is leading the Labour Party's leadership contest, but party leaders say he will be ousted in a coup of MPs if he wins, and will not be allowed to lead the party into the 2020 elections. Extreme Left-leaning unions are "infiltrating" the party, some assert.

Monday, July 27, 2015

#DENMARK: New Populist Gov't To Start "Border Controls" To Reduce Smuggling, Immigration

[world politics news]

While stopping short of re-instituting physical borders, which would violate EU rules on the free movement of peoples within the Union, the Danish government, spurred by the Danish People's Party, will begin increased controls at the border after talks with the EU. The controls are aimed at reducing smuggling and illegal immigration.

#EU: European Council Pres. Tusk Warns Of "Pre-Revolutionary" Europe, Left/Right Anti-EU Coalition

[world politics news]

European Council Pres. Donald Tusk says he fears "political contagion" from the Greek crisis far more than its financial fallout, arguing that common cause between far-right and far-left groups has been a precursor to a pre-revolutionary atmosphere that Europe has not seen since 1968.

Pictured: EC Pres. Donald Tusk, Prime Minister of Poland.

Sunday, July 26, 2015

#JAPAN: PM To Admit "Remorse" For WWII In Highly Charged Anniversary Statement

[world politics news]

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe will incorporate the word "remorse" over World War II in a statement he will issue in August to commemorate the 70th anniversary of the war's end. The "future oriented" statement will also praise the country's policy of "proactive contributions to peace." The highly anticipated, much debated statement is being submitted to a committee for review.

#RUSSIA: Legislation Would Allow Seizure Of Foreign Assets Within Russia "Without Warning"

[world politics news]

The Russian government has approved a draft bill that would allow it to seize foreign state assets, without warning. The move is seen as a tit-for-tat gesture, following Western court cases involving Russian firms.

Saturday, July 25, 2015

#UKRAINE: Unstable Tax Policies, High Taxes, Burden Businesses, Says Dep. Fin. Min. Makeyva

[world politics news]

Nearly 88% of Ukrainian companies say the instability of tax legislation is the most serious problem for business development, and 75% cite a high tax burden. Deputy Minister of Finance Olena Makeyeva says various tax reform measures are being debated by the government, including a moratorium on tax code changes.

#BURUNDI: Pres. Nkurunziza Wins Third Term After Oppo. Parties Boycott Election

[world politics news]

Pres. Pierre Nkurunziza has won a third term, winning 69% of the vote. Opposition parties boycotted the elections, leaving former general Agathon Rwasa, who took 19% of the vote, as Nkurunziza’s only opponent. Rwasa's called for the formation of a national unity government with several opposition parties to prevent a possible coup attempt.

#GERMANY: Anti-Refugee Rage Erupts At Town Hall Meeting; Pro-Refugee Voices Shouted Down

[world politics news]

Freital, the town that became famous last week for irate anti-refugee protesters outside a new home for asylum seekers, saw a fresh confrontation as local people gathered for a town hall meeting. Markus Ulbig, interior minister of Saxony, said that he was disappointed by the people who shouted down pro-refugee voices at the meeting.

Friday, July 24, 2015

#SPAIN: Marriage Age Raised from 14 To 16, Bringing It In Line With EU Standards

[world politics news]

Spain has raised the minimum age for marriage from 14 to 16, having had the lowest marrying age in Europe. Before the age was raised, boys and girls could marry at the age of 14 with the permission of a judge. It is now level with most European countries. The change comes only months after the government raised the age of consent from 13 to 16.

#CANADA: #JustinTrudeau Donates Child Welfare Benefit To Charity

[world politics news]

Liberal Party Leader Justin Trudeau says the Conservative government’s newly enhanced universal child care benefit shouldn't go to wealthy families that don’t need help raising their kids. And to underscore that point, he's going to give his own family’s $3,400 windfall to charity.

Thursday, July 23, 2015

#ISRAEL: Knesset Increases Penalties For Rock-Throwing Up To 20 Years

[world politics news]

The Knesset has passed a bill Monday that would send rock throwers to prison for up to 10 years, without having to prove harmful intent in their actions, or a maximum of 20 years if it can be proven the throwers intended to inflict harm.

#FINLAND: New Law Allows Concert-Goers To Get Refunds If The Show "Sucked"

[world politics news]

Concert-goers in Finland will now be able to get at least half of their money back from a concert that is widely agreed to be substandard.The law was sparked by a complaint to the nation's Consumer Disputes Board (CDB) who was so displeased with a performance of Chuck Berry’s that he filed to get his money back.

#NEWZEALAND: Parliament Rushes Through Fix For Speed Limit Law Blunder

[world politics news]

Parliament has rammed through law changes in just hours to validate tens of thousands of potentially illegal speeding tickets. The tickets were issued in up to 25 local governments that may have failed to renew their speed limits from 2004, meaning all tickets issued on roads other than the open road for the last 11 years may have been invalid.

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

#GREECE: PM #Tsipras Rallies His Reluctant Party Ahead Of #EU Vote On #Bailout Deal

[world politics news]

Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras is trying to rally his Syriza Party late Tuesday before a Wednesday vote in parliament on the second package of measures demanded by international creditors to open talks on a new bailout deal.

#GERMANY: Ousted Alliance For Germany Leader Founds "Alliance For Progress And Renewal"; Less Focus On Immigration

[world politics news]

Bernd Lucke, the founder of the euroskeptic Alternative for Germany (AfD) party who was ousted in a recent leadership vote, set up a new party, The Alliance for Progress and Renewal, which is, like the AfD, critical of the European Union, but less focused on immigration than AfD.

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

#IRELAND: Bill Passes Upper House Allowing Debt Collection For Non-Payment Of Water Bills

[world politics news]

Legislation to allow for the court-ordered attachment of earnings or social welfare payments of "won't pay" debtors now goes to the President for signing after the Seanad accepted it yesterday evening by 20 votes to 13. Minister for Justice Frances Fitzgerald has described the legislation as "balanced,", but Sinn Féin's Trevor Ó Clochartaigh said it was a "wolf in sheep's clothing."

#GERMANY: Chancellor #AngelaMerkel Opposes Gay Marriage, But Supports Civil Unions

[world politics news]

While making it clear that she opposes discrimination against homosexuals, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, in a YouTube interview, said she opposes Gay Marriage, reserving marriage for "a man and a woman." She does support civil partnerships for people of the same sex.

#BURKINAFASO: Ex-President Charged With Treason For Troop Crackdown On Demonstrators

[world politics news]

Former prime minister Luc Adolphe Tiao, who signed an order authorizing the army to crush an October uprising, has been charged with assault and battery, murder and complicity to murder demonstrators. The demonstrations were sparked by his desire to amend the constitution to allow him to run for a third term.

Monday, July 20, 2015

#FRANCE: Gov't Forces Economic Reforms Through Parliament Without A Vote, Again

[world politics news]

Prime Minister Manuel Valls has pushed an economics package through parliament designed to spur growth. The reforms, which include allowing shops in tourist areas to remain open Sundays, was adopted without a vote, using a procedure Valls has used twice before, over objections from hard-line Socialists in Valls' own party.

#TAIWAN: New President Will Be A Woman; Both Parties Select Female Nominees

[world politics news]

Taiwan’s ruling Kuomintang picked its second-highest-ranking lawmaker, Hung Hsiu-chu, to run for president, setting the stage for the island to elect its first female leader in January. Hung, 67, will run against Tsai Ing-wen, 58, chair of the main opposition Democratic Progressive Party, the first time both major parties have nominated women for the top office.

Pictured: Hung Hsiu-chu, Taiwan's deputy parliamentary speaker.

#RUSSIA: Anti-Gay Head Of TV Network Voices Support For Gay Civil Partnerships

[world politics news]

Dmitry Kiselyov, the head of Russia's pro-Putin Rossiya television channel, surprised many last week when he advocated civil partnerships between homosexuals. Saying it was for reasons of "guardianship" he added, "After all, love can work miracles. Who is against that?" Kiselyov has said organs donated by gays should be burned.

Sunday, July 19, 2015

#JAPAN: Gov't Scraps Plans For Controversial, $2 Billion Stadium Design For 2020 Olympics

[world politics news]

The Japanese government has scrapped the controversial design for a 2020 Tokyo Olympic stadium. Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said his government would "start over from zero." The cost of the project, designed by British architect Zaha Hadid, had doubled, reaching $2 billion. Abe says the new stadium will still be completed in time for the games, but not for the 2019 Rugby World Cup.

#UKRAINE: Parliament Adopts Rules For Oct 25 Elections; Won't Be Held In Russian-Occupied Territories

[world politics news]

Noting that the rules for Ukrainian elections cannot be properly conducted in Crimea or in other Russian-held territories in the east, parliament has pragmatically passed a law stating that local elections on Oct. 25 won't be conducted in those areas. The law also says 30% of candidates must be women.

Saturday, July 18, 2015

#GREECE: PM Tspiras Purges Leftists In Cabinet Who Opposed #EU Austerity Deal

[world politics news]

Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras has expelled leftists in his cabinet who voted against more austerity and reforms demanded by international creditors in return for a new rescue deal. Despite the revolt within his Syriza party, parliament approved the bailout, opening the way for European action to stave off Grexit, at least for now.

#SERBIA: Parliament Adopts Law Requiring Police To Start Investigating Missing Persons Immediately

[world politics news]

The Serbian parliament adopted on Thursday the amendments to the Law on Police which require that a search for missing persons begin immediately, rather than after 48 hours, as previous policy dictated. The law was prompted after a series of brutal murders of teenagers.

#SINGAPORE: Announcement Of Electoral Boundaries Review Committee Formation Signals Early Election

[world politics news]

Election observers say the announcement that the Electoral Boundaries Review Committee signals a likely general election in 2015, a year ahead of schedule. The committee is likely to recommend more Group Representation Constituencies for minorities and more Single-Member Districts.

Friday, July 17, 2015

#CANADA: Vancouver Liberal MP, First Nations Newspaper, Apologize for "Sobriety" Comment In Ad Congratulating Native Grads

[world politics news]

Liberal MP Joyce Murray and a First Nations (native Indian) newspaper are both apologizing after publishing an ad in which Murray congratulated aboriginal high school graduates and referred to sobriety as a key to success. Both say Murray never saw the ad copy. Native First Peoples are sensitive to stereotypes about heavy drinking.

#JAPAN: Diet Passes Military Reform Bill Allowing Expanded Role Amid Protests

[world politics news]

The Diet has passed a military reform bill amid anger from opposition lawmakers. The bill expands the scope of Self-Defense Forces' missions overseas, which has been restricted since the end of World War II. Earlier, lawmakers mobbed committee chairman Yasukazu Hamada during a committee hearing seeking to halt the voting.

#CANADA: New Democrats Launch Online Ad Campaign Offensive Ahead Of Oct. 19 National Election

[world politics news]

The New Democratic Party has launched a series of ads on social media ahead of the federal election campaign to convince voters it's the main alternative to the Tory government. The paid ads, in French and English, are being targeted at voters in ridings in Ontario and across the West where the NDP believes it can win against the Conservatives.

Pictured: NDP Leader Tom Mulcair

Thursday, July 16, 2015

#SPAIN: Catalan Pro-Independence Parties Form Alliance Ahead of Sept. Regional Elections

[world politics news]

Catalonian pro-independence parties have forged an alliance for September regional elections. Leaders of the center-right CDC party and left-wing ERC will run on a joint ticket. Spain's conservative national government fiercely opposes independence for the rich northeastern region, which wants to follow Scotland's example by voting on its political future.

#VENEZUELA: Maduro Condemns Spanish Security Law As "Fascist"

[world politics news]

Pres. Nicolás Maduro has denounced Spain’s controversial Citizen Security Law, saying it violates human rights and resembles a dictatorship. Maduro himself has faced criticism for his own security forces' violence against protesters and opponents. He has jailed his two main opposition leaders. Spanish-Venezuelan diplomatic relations have deteriorated in recent months.

#UK: Labour Leader Candidate #AndyBurnham Apologizes For Labour Spending Before '10 Credit Crunch

[world politics news]

Andy Burnham has issued his fullest apology yet for Labour overspending before the 2010 election, saying, "the deficit was too high when the crash came," and the party needed to be willing to admit its mistakes to regain voter's trust and credibility.

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

#UK: Gov't Minister Asserts #ClimateChange Is A "Greater Threat" Than Nuclear War

[world politics news]

In a dire warning Baroness Joyce Anelay, minister of state at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, wrote in a recent report that the chaos caused by rising sea levels would be as bad as that resulting from a thermo-nuclear conflict between the East and West.  The senior Tory figure claimed that global warming could trigger a series of natural disasters.

#NEWZEALAND: Green Pty Chooses "Rising Star" Julie Ann Genter As Finance Spokesperson

[world politics news]

The Green Party has announced a new portfolio line-up, with second-term MP Julie Anne Genter taking over as finance spokesperson, a nod from party hierarchy she's seen as a "rising star".

#GERMANY: Alternative For Germany Party Fractures As Rebels Back Ousted Leader

[world politics news]

Supporters of deposed Alternative for Germany Leader Bernd Lucke have confirmed their intention to establish a new political party, citing a drift into "right-wing populism" by tapping into anti-Muslim sentiment. The turmoil has lowered its polling to 2%, below the 5% needed for seats in the Bundestag.

Pictured: Former AfD leader Bernd Lucke (l) and current leader Frauke Perty. 

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

#UK: Leadership Candidate Liz Kendall Backs Labour Leader In Supporting Tory Welfare Cuts

[world politics news]

Labour Party leadership candidate Liz Kendall is the only candidate to back temporary Labour Leader Harriet Harmon in her support of the Conservative government's plan to cut child tax credits from the budget. She said "we have to listen to have people have said to us, that they didn’t trust us, and we have to change as a party."

#CANADA: Senate Committee Recommends Criminalizing Speech "Glorifying" Terrorism; "Certifying" Imams

[world politics news]

A Senate committee is urging a range of tougher anti-terror measures to fight the "Islamist fundamentalist menace" through criminal bans on radical speech, preachers, charities and those who "glorify" terrorism. The 38-page report also suggests "certifying" and "training" Imams.

#MACEDONIA: #EU Envoys Say Gov't Leading Nation To "Catastrophe;" Lack Of Trust After Tapes Expose Corruption

[world politics news]

European Union envoys warn that the Balkan nation of Macedonia is headed toward a "catastrophe" because of mistrust between the government of Prime Minister Grievski and the Socialist opposition. A source of mistrust is the release earlier this year of wiretapped conversations revealed cronyism, corruption, vote rigging and autocratic practices.

Pictured: PM Nikola Gruevski in Brussels in 2013

Monday, July 13, 2015

#GREECE: Tough Deal For #EU Bailout Could Cause Tsipras' Party To Rebel, Force New Elections

[world politics news]

Just a week after a nationwide vote to reject more austerity and reforms in exchange for more bailout money from the EU, a deal struck Sunday to give Greece billions more Euros demands exactly what voters rejected. The PM's  Syriza Party may put up resistance and fracture, forcing new elections.

#JAPAN: Justice Ministry Panel Drafts Tougher Sex Crimes Laws

[world politics news]

A Japanese Justice Ministry panel has drafted a report calling for toughening penalties for sex crimes and allowing prosecutions for them with or without petitions from victims. Eight of the 12 panelists are women.

Sunday, July 12, 2015

#BAHRAIN: Foreign Min. Attacks Iraqi Gov't For Criticism Of Sentence Of Man For "Denigrating Institutions"

[world politics news]

Bahrain’s foreign minister reacted negatively after Iraq "expressed  concern" about the conviction of a man for "incitement to divisions." Shaikh Khalid Bin Ahmad Al Khalifa tweeted: "I am bewildered as how a country...where terrorism and sectarianism are widespread... issues a statement about a man being tried legally in another country."

#BRAZIL: Petroleum Scandal, Sluggish Growth, Fuel Impeachment Talk Around Pres. Rousseff

[world politics news]

An economy likely to decline 1.5% this year, along with a corruption scandal at state-controlled energy giant Petroleo Brasileiro are contributing to a feeding frenzy among Pres. Dilma Rousseff's opponents which, say observers, may lead to her impeachment and removal from office.

#NORTHERNIRELAND: Frmr. Unionist Fin. Min. Blasts Sinn Fein Praise Of Greeks

[world politics news]

Sinn Fein EU Parliament member Martina Anderson said the people of Greece had "stood up for Ireland, Spain, Portugal and all of Europe." But former Democratic Unionist Party Finance Minister Sammy Wilson said Anderson's praise of Greece, "should send a shiver down the spine of every sensible person in Northern Ireland."

Pictured: Sinn Fein MEP Martina Anderson.