Monday, August 31, 2015

#SLOVAKIA: Central European Nations To Meet, Plan Response To Refugee Quota System

[world politics news]

Slovakia is hoping to forge a common position with three other central European states on tackling the migrant crisis engulfing the continent, which would include rejecting any EU quotas for redistributing refugees. PM Robert Fico said he would meet with the prime ministers of the Czech Republic, Hungary and Poland this weekend in Prague to discuss the crisis. The four countries form a group inside the EU known as the Visegrad Four.

#JAPAN: PM Abe Expected To Win Re-Election As Pres. Of His Party In Sept. 20 Vote

[world politics news]

The Liberal Democratic Party is planning to hold its triennial presidential election on Sept. 20, with Prime Minister Shinzo Abe expected to secure re-election without opposition. Following the LDP race, Abe is considering reshuffling party executives and his Cabinet in October.

#CANADA: Manitoba MP Steven Fletcher Hopes New Book Forces Debate About Doctor-Assisted Suicide

[world politics news]

Conservative MP Steven Fletcher hopes to ignite a debate on an issue political leaders seem determined to avoid during the election campaign: doctor-assisted suicide. The Winnipeg MP is releasing a new book in the midst of the campaign chronicling his own struggle to live with a catastrophic disability.

Sunday, August 30, 2015

#NEWZEALAND: Controversial Health & Safety Regulations Bill Passes

[world politics news]

The Government's controversial Health and Safety Reform Bill has passed Parliament. the reforms have been controversial as they deem some of New Zealand's most dangerous workplaces - such as dairy farms - to be low-risk, while classifying worm farms and mini-golf as high-risk.

#MALAYSIA: Lawmakers Decry Poor Quality Of Parliamentary Debate; Lack Of Evolving Institutions

[world politics news]

Malaysia's parliamentary system is not mature enough to have quality debates on bills, according to federal legslator Rafizi Ramli. The MP said he preferred to spend his time speaking with constituents than being "tortured" by listening to the poor quality of debates. Others decry the failure of parliament to evolve.

#GREECE: Tsipras Plan For Greater Majority With Snap Election May Be Backfiring

[world politics news]

As Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras steps down, his bid to regain a parliamentary majority with early elections risks failing as low turnout and disarray within his party threaten to yield no clear winner. Disillusionment with Tsipras' unfulfilled promises may lead to a fragmented parliament and difficult coalition talks.

Saturday, August 29, 2015

#INDIA: Overhaul Of Police Powers Passed In Odisha State Assembly While Opposition Parties Absent

[world politics news]

Taking the opportunity of the absence of opposition parties in the Odisha State Assembly, four bills were passed in that body last week that overhauled police powers. The legislation, which aims at vesting more functional autonomy and power with the police, was introduced in the Assembly earlier but could not be taken up as the House was prorogued.

#CANADA: New Democrat's Leader Tom Mulcair Takes Tough, Soft Questions During Facebook Q&A

[world politics news]

NDP Leader Tom Mulcair is the first major party leader to participate in a Facebook Q&A, in a format that allowed for carefully crafted answers -- but also unscripted questions and criticism from voters. Most of the questions he chose to answer were about the economy -- one of the top election issues given ongoing concerns over a Canadian recession and world market volatility.

#JAPAN: New Law Requires Businesses To Set Goals For Hiring Women

[world politics news]

Japanese lawmakers approved a law Friday requiring large employers to set and publicize targets for hiring or promoting women as managers. The law approved by a vote of 230-1 in the House of Councillors is intended to promote greater gender equality and counter labor shortages that are arising as Japan's population ages and declines.

Friday, August 28, 2015

#VENEZUELA: Polling Shows Opposition Leading In Polls For Dec. Parliamentary Election

[world politics news]

A survey by a Venezuelan pollster ahead of the December 6 parliamentary elections shows a 50.7% lead for the opposition coalition Table of Democratic Unity and 28% for the ruling United Socialist Party of Venezuela. Venezuelans will choose 167 lawmakers in December.

#UK: Labour Leadership Candidate Accused Of Sexism After "When Time Is Right" Comment Re: Female Leader

[world politics news]

Labour Party Leadership candidate Andy Burnham is facing a storm of criticism after responding to an interview question about whether the party's ready for a female leader by saying "in time, when the time is right." he quickly clarified, saying "it could be now." He has two female rivals, Yvette Cooper and Liz Kendall.

#TURKEY: Pres. Erdogan's Party Coming Up Short In Polling For Nov. Snap Election

[world politics news]

Turkey's ruling AK Party is seen falling short of the votes needed to form a single-party government in a snap election on Nov. 1 with 41.7 percent of votes, up from 40.9 percent in the June election, according to a recent poll. The AKP lost its majority in a June 7 election for the first time since coming to power in 2002

Thursday, August 27, 2015

#SOUTHSUDAN: Gov't And Rebels Sign Power-Sharing Agreement, Even As Fighting Continues

[world politics news]

President Salva Kiir has signed a power-sharing agreement with rebels led by former Vice-President Riek Machar, even though he says he has "reservations" about the deal. With all parties having signed, it will mean an immediate ceasefire for both sides. Machar signed the agreement last week, though fighting resumed shortly thereafter.

#CURAÇAO: Gov't Considers Measures To Keep Out Venezuelans; Many Overstaying Visas

[world politics news]

Sources in the Ministry of Justice are indicating that Curacao is considering measures to keep unwanted Venezuelans out. The news comes in the wake of a spate of crimes allegedly perpetrated by visitors from the crisis-torn country. Some are coming without cash and are conducting burglaries, others are overstaying their visas to remain illegally on the island.

INFO: Where is Curaçao?

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

#CANADA: Prime Minister Candidates Stress Economic Solutions After Market Plunge

[world politics news]

The federal party leaders engaged in some heavy crossfire the day after the market plunged, with clashing visions of how to balance the country's books and grow the economy taking shape on the campaign trial. The focus on the economy intensified as the TSX/S&P composite index fell more than 420 points on Monday.

#CANADA: National Prime Ministerial Debate On Women's Issues Cancelled After 2 Of 5 Candidates Refuse To Show

[world politics news]

Organizers of a debate on women’s issues say the event won’t go ahead as planned because the Conservative and NDP leaders won’t participate. The debate, scheduled for Sept. 21, had originally been envisioned as a live broadcast debate with all five major party leaders.

#BRAZIL: Judge Orders Investigation Of Pres. #DilmaRousseff's 2014 Campaign Donations

[world politics news]

A 17-month-old investigation into a massive price fixing and political kickback scandal had found evidence that Pres. Dilma Rousseff's Workers' Party was indirectly funded by money stolen from the state-run oil company. It's the latest blow for Rousseff, who is polling in single digits.

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

#KENYA: Proposed Bill Would Give Women Gov't Cash; Force Parties To Have 1/3rd Women Candidates

[world politics news]

Women candidates would get campaign cash from the government under a proposed law. If the National Assembly approves the proposed changes to the Political Parties Act, parties that do not have at least a third of members and candidates nominated for elections being women would be deregistered.

#HUNGARY: Gov't Demands More Funding From #EU As Migrant Refugee Figures Reach 100,000

[world politics news]

Hungary is seeking more money from the European Union to handle a rising tide of migrants, as a new wave hit its southern border and further exposed the cracks in EU policy towards the worst refugee crisis since World War II. More than 100,000 migrants, many of them refugees from conflicts in the Middle East and Africa, have entered Hungary this year.

Pictured: Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán

Sunday, August 23, 2015

#IRAQ: Parliament Votes To Put Frmr. PM Al-Maliki, Others, On Trial For Abandoning Mosul To ISIS

[world politics news]

In a show-of-hands vote, Iraqi MPs have voted to refer to the judiciary a report holding top officials, including former prime minister Nouri al-Maliki, responsible for the fall of the country's second city, Mosul.

#THENETHERLANDS: PM #MarkRutte Survives No-Confidence Vote After Breaking Promise To Support Greek Bailout Funding

[world politics news]

Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte received a grilling in parliament for his cabinet's support for debt-ridden Greece's third international bailout, as he fended off a bid for a no-confidence vote on the issue. He won the vote by a wide margin.

Saturday, August 22, 2015

#MYANMAR: Parliament Rejects Bill To Remove MPs With 1% Recall Petitions

[world politics news]

With opponents calling it undemocratic - and aimed at removing the current speaker of parliament - legislators rejected a bill that would have allowed members to be recalled and removed by one percent of their constituents. Some felt the move was too close to the November election.

Friday, August 21, 2015

#SPAIN: Ruling Popular Party Has Strong Lead In Polls, But Far Short Of A Clear Majority

[world politics news]

The ruling conservative party of Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy has taken a clear lead over rivals in the latest opinion poll which shows waning support for Spain’s radical left Podemos Party.

#AUSTRALIA: PM #TonyAbbott Labels Anti-China/Australia Trade Deal Ads "Racist"

[world politics news]

Critics of a China/Australia trade agreement and unions who are running advertising campaigns claiming Australian jobs will be lost to cheaper Chinese labor under the deal, were branded racists and xenophobes by Prime Minister Tony Abbott in a parliamentary debate. He called the ads, and robo calls, "a racist lie."

#GREECE: PM Tsipras Resigns; Triggers New Elections To Judge Bailout Deal's Future

[world politics news]

Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras resigned on Thursday, hoping to strengthen his hold on power in snap elections after seven months in office in which he fought Greece's creditors for a better bailout deal but had to cave in. Government officials said the aim was to hold the election on Sept. 20, with Tsipras seeking to crush a rebellion in his leftist Syriza party and seal public support for the bailout program, Greece's third since 2010, that he negotiated.

Thursday, August 20, 2015

#BELIZE: Prime Min. Barrow Protests Guatemalan Naval Incursion On Territorial Waters

[world politics news]

Prime Minister Dean Barrow has lodged a diplomatic protest with the Guatemalan government about an incident this past Sunday in which boats from the country's Territorial Volunteers were harassed by the Guatemalan Navy near Sarstoon Island in the Sarstoon River. Belize claims half the river, while Guatemala insists Belize's territory ends at the river bank.

#EGYPT: US, Human Rights Groups, Expresses Concern Over New Anti-Terror Law

[world politics news]

The US and human rights groups are expressing concern about Egypt’s newly expanded counter-terrorism law. The law expands the government’s surveillance powers and, according to critics, muzzle dissent and target critics. Human rights activists have accused Sisi of leading an increasingly repressive regime. Terror attacks in Egypt are on the rise.

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

#NORWAY: Progress Party Ldr. Calls On Cities To Reject Syrian Refugees

[world politics news]

Progress Party leader and Finance Minister Siv Jensen has called on municipalities under her party’s governance to refuse Syrian refugees. At the start of the national municipal election campaign, she asked them to ignore the agreement which the majority of parliamentary parties agreed in June - to accept 8,000 quota refugees from Syria.

#GERMANY: Parliament Passes Greek Deal, But At Cost Of Rebellion In #AngelaMerkel's Party

[world politics news]

German MPs voted through a third European bailout package for Greece on Wednesday, although a large number of abstentions and 'no' votes pointed to a sizable rebellion among Chancellor Angela Merkel's ranks.

#TURKEY: Unable To Form Gov't; Pres. Erdogan May Seek New Elections

[world politics news]

Seizing a second chance to restore his longtime dominance of the political scene, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan is expected to call controversial new elections after talks to form a coalition government broke down between his former political party and opposition groups.

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

#SRILANKA: Incumbent Prime Minister Defeats Frmr. Pres. Rajapaksa In Elections

[world politics news]

Former president Mahinda Rajapaksa political comeback was thwarted by parliamentary election results showing the alliance that toppled him has made decisive gains. The ruling United National party fell just short of an outright majority but prime minister Ranil Wickremesinghe should still command enough support to form a stable government.

Monday, August 17, 2015

#GERMANY: Merkel Accused Of Lying About NSA Spying List; US Sources Say She Could Release Names to Legislators

[world politics news]

German officials have recently used the lack of American permission as an excuse not to release a list of German targets passed by the NSA to Germany's foreign intelligence agency, but media reports reveal US officials have said Merkel's government could make the final decision whether to reveal the list to parliamentarians.

Sunday, August 16, 2015

#JAPAN: Gov't Will Revise Election Law To Allow Children In Voting Booths

[world politics news]

The government has decided to revise the Public Offices Election Law to allow voters to take children aged 17 or younger to polling stations in all cases. Children’s access to polling stations is currently prohibited in principle. Although infants are allowed into polling stations when on-site administrators admit them.

#SOUTHSUDAN: Warring South Sudanese Factions Seek Power-Sharing Agreement In Peace Talks

[world politics news]

South Sudan’s rival factions are in the Ethiopian capital Addis Ababa, aiming to strike a power-sharing deal before an August 17 deadline. The country, which became independent in 2011, has been engaged in a civil war since 2013. The country's former vice-president is leading an armed insurrection against the government.

Saturday, August 15, 2015

#IRELAND: Renua Party Calls For Lower Taxes For Self-Employed, Lower Capital Gains Taxes

[world politics news]

The tax rate paid by the self-employed would be brought into line with other workers under proposals from the Renua Party, which also introduced a proposal to lower capital gains tax rates from 33% to 20%.

#SOUTHAFRICA: New Rules Sought To Remove Disruptive Parliamentarians

[world politics news]

Parliament is adopting rules that allow for the removal of member of parliament who verbally disrupt the business of parliament, following several loud disruptions by the Economic Freedom Fighters Party. The EFF opposed the rules, arguing that no lawmakers should be removed because of their speech.

#AUSTRALIA: PM #TonyAbbott Wants #GayMarriage Vote Postponed To Next Parliament; Will Fire Top Ministers Who Vote "Yes" In This One

[world politics news]

Prime Minister Tony Abbott says he will allow a "free vote" of top cabinet ministers in the next session of Parliament, but will fire any of them who vote for it - and against the party's policy - in this one. Abbott opposes gay marriage, but says he favors a non-binding plebiscite or a referendum on the controversial issue.

Friday, August 14, 2015

#JAPAN: PM #ShinzoAbe Expresses 'Remorse' For WW2, But Fails to Offer New Apology, In 70th Anniversary Speech

[world politics news]

In a highly-anticipated speech on the 70th Anniversary of World War Two, Japanese Prime Minister didn't offer any new apologies for Japan's part in the war, but re-iterated past government's apologies and expressed regret. He said future generations need not forever be bound to apologize for the war.

#ARGENTINA: Opposition Says President's Top Aide Is Secret Drug Smuggler, Murderer

[world politics news]

Days before Sunday's presidential primary election, lurid allegations were made against the top aide of outgoing president Cristina Fernández de Kirchner. A newspaper friendly to the opposition says Aníbal Fernández, a convicted gangster recently claimed was living a double life as a drug smuggler and hired killer.  The ruling camp say the story is false.

Thursday, August 13, 2015

#UK: Allegations Of "Propaganda" After Pro-EU Comic Books Distributed To Schools

[world politics news]

Brussels bureaucrats were accused of brainwashing children with "shocking propaganda" after it was revealed that the European Union was producing a series of cartoons designed to teach them the virtues of the EU, ahead of a vote next year that will determine whether the UK remains in the Union.

#JAPAN: PM #ShinzoAbe Seeks Record $42 Billion Defense Budget Amid 5-Year Military Build-Up

[world politics news]

PM Shinzo Abe will seek a record US$42 billion defense budget for fiscal year 2016, including 140 billion yen on US military realignment costs, the purchase of 17 SH-60 helicopters, and maneuver combat vehicles. Abe's government adopted a five-year Defense Program at the end of 2013.

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

#AUSTRALIA: Trade Minister Says Trans-Pacific Partnership With USA, Others, Could Be Signed Within Days; If Not, It's Dead

[world politics news]

The Trans-Pacific Partnership trade deal could be signed within days, according to Trade Minister Andrew Robb. But he says if it's not, "the chances are it will fall apart". Under negotiation for a decade, the deal would tie together the Pacific-facing nations of Australia, the United States, Japan, Canada, New Zealand, Malaysia, Brunei, Singapore, Chile, Mexico, Peru and Vietnam, who between them account for 40 per cent of the world's economy.

Pictured: Australian Trade Minister Andrew Robb

#NORWAY: Legislation Would Penalize Those Who Rent to Illegal Immigrants; Allow Private Evictions

[world politics news]

Norwegian Progress Party politician Erlend Wiborg plans to introduce harsh penalties for citizens who provides housing to illegal immigrants. The legislation would allow land owners to remove illegal immigrants residing in their property without a court order. Those who do not remove immigrants could risk up to five years in prison.

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

#BRAZIL: Pres. Rousseff Vetoes 10% Mandatory Tipping Law

[world politics news]

Waiters in Brazil usually expect a 10% tip for good service, but Congress's plan to make the payment  of a tip mandatory - regardless of the quality of the service - has been vetoed by Pres. Dilma Rousseff, who said it was unconstitutional, since it made payment of a fee mandatory.

#ARGENTINA: Pres. Fernandez Dominates Pres. Campaign, Even While Not A Candidate

[world politics news]

Cristina Fernandez isn't on Sunday's presidential primary ballot, yet the influence of Argentina's leader is all around it. The populist president known for fiery rhetoric is barred from seeking a third consecutive term, but she's making clear she will wield her clout through the Oct. 25 election and possibly beyond.

#STLUCIA: Gov't To Offer Citizenship to 'Significant' Investors In The Country

[world politics news]

St. Lucia is set to become the fifth Eastern Caribbean nation to introduce a Citizenship by Investment program, and the country’s Attorney General has suggested a regional body be established to constantly examine these types of initiatives. St. Lucia joins Grenada, Dominica St. Kitts and Nevis and Antigua and Barbuda in offering citizenship to the wealthy in return for substantial investment.

Monday, August 10, 2015

#UK: Scottish Ministers Seek Ban On Growing Genetically-Modified Food

[world politics news]

Scottish ministers are planning to formally ban genetically modified crops from being grown in Scotland, widening a policy divide with the Conservative government in London. Ministers in Edinburgh will apply recent EU powers that allow devolved administrations to opt out of more relaxed standards allowing use of GM crops in the EU.

#CANADA: New Democrat Candidate Stirs Controversy By Saying #Alberta's Oilsands Oil "May Have To Stay In The Ground"

[world politics news]

Toronto New Democratic Party candidate Linda McQuaig has drawn criticism for her comment that "a lot" of oilsands oil will have to be left in the ground for Canada to meet its emissions targets. Her own party's leader, Tom Mulcair, has said Alberta's oilsands should be open for development if there is rigorous environmental protection and legislation to force oil companies to pay for pollution they create.

Sunday, August 09, 2015

#HUNGARY: Migrants Cut Through New Border Fence; Higher Fence Planned As 110,000 Illegally Enter

[world politics news]

Nearly two dozen illegal migrants have cut through a hastily-constructed wire fence that Hungary is building on its border with Serbia in an attempt to stop the flow of migration into the country. Nearly 110,000 have fled from Africa through Serbia and into Hungary. Most go on to Western European nations.

Saturday, August 08, 2015

#INDONESIA: Election Officials Fear "Puppet Candidates" Running To Avoid Delays As National Politicians Banned From Running

[world politics news]

Parties are finding themselves without candidates for December's regional elections are turning to "filler" or "puppet" candidates after a new law banned those serving in national offices from seeking regional seats. If a region fails to find candidates (and it's happened in two regions) elections could be postponed until 2017.