Wednesday, September 30, 2015

#RUSSIA: Nearly 70% Of Russians Oppose Intervention Supporting Assad

[world politics news]

A recent poll by Moscow's Levada Center shows only a small minority of Russians support giving Syria's Bashar al-Assad direct military support. Only 39% said they supported Russia's policy toward the Assad regime, and 69% opposed direct military intervention. Only 14% said Russia should send troops to Syria.

#GERMANY: Defense Minister Denies Accusation She Plagiarized Doctoral Thesis

[world politics news]

Defense Minister Ursula von der Leyen has fiercely rejected allegations made on Saturday in media reports that she plagiarized portions of her doctoral thesis, a charge that has already brought down other high-level German leaders.

#DENMARK: Head Of Anti-Immigrant Party Threatens To Pull Out Of Coalition If Gov't Compromises On Immigration Numbers

[world politics news]

The anti-immigration Danish People’s Party has threatened to pull its essential support of the Venstre government if PM Lars Løkke Rasmussen accepts an overture from the Social Democrats to compromise on his anti-migrant stance, and accept more Syrian migrants into Denmark.

Pictured: Danish People's Party spokesman Søren Espersen.

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

#GERMANY: #AngelaMerkel Sees Poll Numbers Dip As Refugee Euphoria Meets Fiscal Reality

[world politics news]

Chancellor Angela Merkel’s bold open-door policy for refugees has sparked a backlash in her conservative ranks, and a rare dip in her popularity ratings. After the party-like atmosphere, in which many euphorically welcomed Syrians at train stations, lawmakers in her own coalition are questioning the economic costs of Germany's generosity.

#SAUDIARABIA: Prince Says Nephews Of King Salman Calling For King's Ouster

[world politics news]

A member of the Saudi royal family - a grandson of the dynasty's founder - has called for King Salman to be replaced in a letter recently released to the press. Falling oil prices, war in Yemen and loss of faith in the king has led to "disquiet" among the royal family.

#CANADA: Federal Party Leaders Focus On Refugees, Values, In Fourth Debate

[world politics news]

The policy mechanics of trade negotiations, climate change, immigration and refugee measures and security legislation led Monday night to a spirited battle of emotions and values. The Ottawa debate featured Conservative Leader Stephen Harper, Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau and NDP Leader Tom Mulcair.

Monday, September 28, 2015

#JAPAN: 71-Year-Old Charged With Defacing PM Abe Election Posters With "Hitler" Mustaches

[world politics news]

Tokyo Police on Friday have arrested a 71-year-old man after he allegedly defaced political posters featuring Prime Minister Shinzo Abe. The man allegedly used an oil-based pen to draw a narrow mustache, very similar to that made famous by Adolf Hitler, on an image of Abe appearing on a poster hanging on a fence in Machida City.

#BOLIVIA: Parliament Votes To Amend Constitution To Allow Pres. Morales To Seek Fourth Term

[world politics news]

Bolivia’s parliament has passed a law to amend the country’s constitution to allow President Evo Morales to be re-elected for the fourth term. Morales was first elected president of the South American nation in December 2005 by an absolute majority, and re-elected for two more terms in 2009 and again in 2014.

#SPAIN: Pro-Independence Win Majority In Catalan Legislative Elections, Setting Up Poss. Secession

[world politics news]

Pro-independence parties in Spain's Catalonia region have won an absolute majority in regional elections. The main separatist alliance and a smaller party won 72 seats in the 135-seat regional parliament. They said earlier a majority would allow them to declare independence from Spain unilaterally within 18 months.

Sunday, September 27, 2015

#AUSTRIA: Constitution Changed To Force Cities To Accept Migrants

[world politics news]

Austria's upper house has changed the constitution to force local authorities to accept a quota of migrants equal to 1.5 percent of their population. Chancellor Werner Faymann's Social Democrats and the center-right People's Party, which form Austria's governing coalition, pushed the measure through. The anti-immigrant Freedom Party, which leads national opinion polls, opposed the move.

#MOZAMBIQUE: Oppo. Rebel Leader Afonso Dhlakama Survives Ambush, Blames Gov't

[world politics news]

The motorcade of Afonso Dhlakama, leader of Mozambique’s Renamo Party, wounding four members of the Renamo militia as it was heading for the provincial capital Chimoio. Dhlakama blamed police and security forces for the attack, which took place two weeks after Dhlakama refused talks offered by Pres. Filipe Nyusi.

Saturday, September 26, 2015

#IRELAND: Finance Min. Says Taxes On Self-Employed Income Is Going Down; High Taxes "Costing Jobs"

[world politics news]

Self-employed people will receive a significant tax break in next month’s Budget, said Finance Minister Michael Noonan. He confirmed he will attempt to bridge the gap between "pay as you earn" workers who pay withholding tax throughout the year, and the self-employed. He said the Government will reduce taxes in the upcoming Budget because personal taxes are now "so high they are costing jobs."

#JAPAN: Okinawa Gov. Criticizes National Gov't Over US Military Bases

[world politics news]

Okinawa Gov. Takeshi Onaga has criticized the Japanese government over the relocation of a US military base in his prefecture during a speech to the U.N. Human Rights Council. He said Okinawan's "right to self-determination and human rights have been neglected," and that he is "determined to stop the new base construction using every possible and legitimate means.”

#ICELAND: Reykjavik Pulls Plug On Israeli Boycott After Outcry

[world politics news]

The mayor of Iceland's capital Reykjavik says he would scrap plans for a boycott of Israeli goods, a proposal that had raised outrage in Israel and among American Jewish groups. Reykjavik's left-leaning council had earlier approved a motion to halt the city's purchase of Israeli products until the occupation of the Palestinian territories ends.

Friday, September 25, 2015

#HUNGARY: PM Orban Mobilizes Troops, Prisoners, Unemployed To Build Border Fences To Keep Migrants Out

[world politics news]

Built in a matter of weeks by soldiers, prison laborers and cadres of the unemployed, a vast new wall along Balkan frontiers is a monument to the ruthless efficiency with which Prime Minister Viktor Orban has mobilized Hungary against Syrian migrants.

#CANADA: New Democrats Unveil "Trudeau vs. Trudeau" Website Highlighting "Flip Flops" Of Liberal Leader

[world politics news]

Ahead of a French-language debate, the New Democratic Party has unveiled a new website attacking Liberal Party Leader Justin Trudeau for his alleged "flip flops" several major issues. The site asks several multiple-choice questions on how Trudeau stands or voted on issues, the answer to which are all "all of the above."

#GERMANY: Radical Leftist Party's Offices Attacked in Saxony

[world politics news]

The offices Germany's radical left party have been attacked in Freital, the Saxonian town southwest of Dresden which has been the center of anti-refugee protests in recent weeks. Police believe the attack is connected to other attacks on refugees and recent immigrants in  the region.

Thursday, September 24, 2015

#ISRAEL: Attny Gen. Rules Gov't Must Compensate Catholic Church After Jewish Extremists Torch Historic Galilean Church

[world politics news]

Israel's attorney general has ruled that the Catholic Church should be compensated for the arson attack on the ancient Church of the Multiplication of the Loaves and Fishes, reversing an earlier government ruling. Extremist West Bank Jewish Settlers are standing trial for the attack on the 4th Century church, which was rebuilt in the 20th Century.

#JAPAN: Lawmakers Push, Shove During Emotional Debate About Overseas Military Deployment Bill

[world politics news]

Japanese lawmakers scuffled during a heated debate over a security bill that could see the military fight abroad for the first time in decades, after thousands rallied to voice their anger. In scenes uncommon for Japan’s normally sedate parliament, members of the opposition and the ruling coalition pushed and shoved each other.

#AUSTRALIA: PM Turnbull Backs Bi-Partisan Move To Eliminate Knighthoods And Honors System

[world politics news]

New Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull - who favors Australia becoming a republic - is about to propose the elimination of knighthoods for men and honors for women in a move that's expected to meet with no resistance from his Liberal Party nor from the Labor Party, says Opposition Leader Bill Shorten.

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

#EU: Preliminary Ruling May Force Facebook To Choose Between NSA Data Sharing And Doing Business In Europe

[world politics news]

You can’t have it both ways. That was the stark message delivered to Facebook, the European Commission yesterday by Yves Bot, advocate general of the European Court of Justice. To Facebook and other US companies collecting user data within the EU, the ruling was clear: you can either operate in Europe or you can collaborate with NSA surveillance, not both.

#THENETHERLANDS: Party For Freedom Leader Wilders Condemns "Islamic Asylum Tsunami"

[world politics news]

Dutch Party for Freedom leader Geert Wilders has warned the lower house of parliament of an "Islamic asylum tsunami" who represent an "Islamic invasion" of "men with beards" flooding into Europe. Wilders called on Prime Minister Mark Rutte to "Stop building refugee centers. Stand up for your own people, your own culture" and described refugees as "testosterone bombs" who, "threaten our girls'."

#UK: Hywel Williams Takes Charge Of Welsh Sovereigntist Group In UK Parliament

[world politics news]

Welsh MP Hywel Williams will replace MP Jonathan Edwards as head of the left-leaning Plaid Cymru Welsh soverigntist movement. Williams says he wants to form a "radical alliance" with the Scottish National Party and the Greens to oppose what he calls "unpopular" Conservative policies.

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

#UK: #UK: New Liberal Democratic Party Leader Tim Farron Hopes To Attract Centrists Fleeing Corbyn-Led Left-Wing Labour Party

[world politics news]

At his first party conference as leader of the Liberal Democrats, Tim Farron is hoping to claim the center ground of politics after far-left Labour Leader Jeremy Corbyn's election, and after the LibDem's disastrous showing in May's election.

#AUSTRALIA: New PM Malcolm Turnbull Likely To Promote Many More Women Into Cabinet During Re-Shuffle

[world politics news]

Former Prime Minister Tony Abbott was criticized for not having enough women in his cabinet, but after ousting Abbott last week, Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull is said to be about to promote many more women in cabinet positions.

Pictured: Malcolm Turnbull with Senator Michaelia Cash, who may join the cabinet.

Monday, September 21, 2015

#GERMANY: Two Police Injured As Anti-Islam Pegida Group Resumes Rallies In Leipzig, Dresden

[world politics news]

Demonstrations organized by the anti-Islam group Pegida have resumed across Germany in the wake of mass migration of Syrian refugees to Germany, with over 5,000 attending a Dresden rally and 500 in Leipzig. Two police officers were injured in the Leipzig rally when protests turned violent as counter-protesters showed up.

#CANADA: Greens File Complaint To Get Leader Into Thursday Debate

[world politics news]

The national Green Party has filed a complaint with the Canada Revenue Agency in a last-minute bid to use the law to get their leader into an election debate on Thursday. The Munk School of Global Affairs debate won't include Elizabeth May on stage with PM Stephen Harper, Tom Mulcair and Justin Trudeau.

#GREECE: Greeks Return Syriza Party & Tsipras To Power With Coalition In Surprising Result

[world politics news]

Alexis Tsipras' left-wing, anti-austerity Syriza Party entered Sunday's election badly damaged but in the end, Greek voters decided to give them another chance, winning the fifth election in six years. Syriza topped the vote, gaining 35%, the conservative New Democracy party had 28% and the far-right Golden Dawn is set to be the third biggest party, with 7.1%.

Sunday, September 20, 2015

UPDATE: #BURKINAFASO: Restoration Of Elected Gov't & Amnesty For Coup Makers Suggested To Resolve Stand-Off

[world politics news]

West African leaders mediating post-coup talks in Burkina Faso on Sunday proposed a return of the ousted interim president in return for an amnesty for the coup makers who seized power this week. A November vote is also being floated by negotiators.

Pictured: Benin President Thomas Boni Yayi.

#BARBADOS: Commerce Min. Lashes Out At USA For Refunding Taxes For Rum Produced In PR & US VI

[world politics news]

Commerce Minister Donville Inniss has given the United States a tongue lashing for continuing to support Puerto Rican and US Virgin Islands rum producers by refunding excise taxes for rum produced in those islands, he asserts, at the expense of Caribbean rum producers. Inniss says it goes against the tenets of free trade.

#IRELAND: Irish "Deeply Insulted" By JEB Bush Plan To Put Thatcher On US Currency

[world politics news]

Of all the candidates to have created ill feeling overseas, it was JEB Bush's off-handed remark that he'd put UK Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher on the US $10 bill that has outraged many Irish, whom they blame for letting hunger strikers to die in Northern Ireland in 1981 and saying privately she hated Irish Catholics.

#UK: Labour Ldr Corbyn Steps Away From Peace Group After They Publish "Insulting" Anti-Queen Poem

[world politic news]

Newly elected Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn has cut his ties with the Stop The War Coalition - a group he has led as chairman for four years - after it published a controversial poem on the front page of is website attacking Queen Elizabeth II of "lubricating Britain's wars" and benefiting financially from them. But even as he resigned, he praised the group's works.

Saturday, September 19, 2015

#SAUDIARABIA: Crown Prince Says Gov't Ready To Thwart ISIS Attacks During Muslim Pilgrimage

[world politics news]

Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince has stressed that the Kingdom's government and military are ready to thwart any ISIS attacks during Hajj pilgrimage, which begins next week. Crown Prince Mohammed bin Nayef, Chairman of the Supreme Hajj Committee, said that the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia under the leadership of King Salman bin Abdulaziz, has made it its top priority to ensure a safe and successful pilgrimage season.

#KENYA: Teachers Strike Enters 4th Wk; Ruling Pty Rejects Pay Hike; Oppo. Pty Threatens To Impeach President

[world politics news]

Ruling Jubilee Party members of parliament on Friday insisted that teachers will not get a pay increase despite a Supreme Court order. The Opposition CORD Coalition threatened to impeach President Uhuru Kenyatta. Senate Majority Leader Kithure Kindiki said public sector wages were already 10% of the budget and "unsustainable."

Pictured: (seated) Senate Majority Leader Kithure Kindiki (left), Senator Kipchumba Murkomen and MP Maina Kamanda, of the Jubilee Party

#BURKINAFASO: Confusion, But Quiet, After Wed. Coup By Former Military Commander

[world politics news]

A coup occurred Wednesday as presidential guard soldiers stormed a cabinet meeting and seized interim President Michel Kafando and Prime Minister Isaac Zida. Gen. Gilbert Diendere, a long time ally of the deposed President Blaise Compaore, announced he would lead the National Council for Democracy, and run the nation.

Pictured: Ousted interim Burkina Faso President Michel Kafando (left) shaking hands with Prime Minister Lt-Col Isaac Zida during Kafando's inauguration ceremony in Ouagadougou last November.

Friday, September 18, 2015

#CANADA: Party Leaders Spar In Debate Over Syrian Refugees, Faltering Economy

[world politics news]

Conservative Leader Stephen Harper, NDP Leader Tom Mulcair and Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau spent much of Thursday's lively leaders' debate clamoring to present themselves as the best choice to manage the economy after Oct. 19.

#GREECE: Syriza Party Struggles To Maintain Power Ahead Of Elections

[world politics news]

With just days before an election, the Syriza Party is fighting for its life after one-fourth of its members have left  to form the a new party, Popular Unity, which is more radically opposed to austerity and openly calls for Greece to exit the EU. Two polls put Syriza and the center-right New Democracy Party nearly tied.

Pictured: Popular Unity Party leader Panagiotis Lafazanis

Thursday, September 17, 2015

#GERMANY: #AngelaMerkel's Coalition Partner, Christian Social Democrats, Call Approach To Migration "A Mistake"

[world politics news]

Members of the CSU - sister party to Angela Merkel's CDU - have dubbed the German Chancellor's handling of the refugee crisis a "mistake." They warn about social cost of having more migrants than native-born Germans and the fear that ISIS has infiltrated the refuges with terrorists.

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

#UKRAINE: Separatists Plan Spring Conference Of Secessionists Across The Globe, Including From Texas

[world politics news]

An official from the self-proclaimed, Russian-backed Donetsk People's Republic in eastern Ukraine says he will host a "summit of unrecognized states" this Spring, hoping the meeting will result in a "League of New States." The meeting will include representatives from a movement by Texans to break away from the USA.

Pictured: Aleksandr Kofman, the self-styled foreign minister of the unrecognized Donetsk People's Republic

#GERMANY: Support For "Alternative For Germany" Party Rises Amid Refugee Influx

[world politics news]

Support for the Alternative for Germany Party, which backs a tough line on immigration, has risen to its highest level in nearly four months as an influx of refugees from the Middle East gathers pace, a new poll showed. The party has 5.5% voter support, following a tumultuous summer in which its founder broke away to form a new party.

Pictured: AfD leader Frauke Petry.

#UK: Scottish National Party Planning Second Independence Referendum For 2021

[world politics news]

Nicola Sturgeon, leader of the Scottish National Party, is planning another referendum on Scottish independence, despite UK PM David Cameron's insistence that the issue was "settled for a generation" in the party's failed 2014 effort, in which 55% voted to remain within the UK.

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

#UK: Parliament Rejects Doctor-Assisted Suicide Bill

[world politics news]

Parliament has voted against legalising assisted suicide in England and Wales, by 330 to 118. The Private Member’s Bill from Labour MP Rob Marris was rejected resoundingly by the House of Commons late last week after several hours of debate.

#FRANCE: Two Mayors Say They Will Only Accept Christian Refugees From Syria

[world politics news]

Two center-right mayors have infuriated the French government by saying they will accept only Christian refugees, even as the first 200 Middle Eastern migrants arrived in France from Germany. Prime Minister Manuel Valls, and European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker, condemned any attempt to distinguish between Muslim and Christian refugees.

#TURKEY: Magazine Raided By Police Over Cover Of Photoshopped Image of Pres. Erdogan

[world politics news]

Turkish police have raided an Istanbul-based news magazine after it featured on its cover a photomontage portraying President Recep Tayyip Erdogan taking a selfie at a soldier’s funeral. Anti-terrorism police seized the entire print run and blocked the magazine's Twitter account for "insulting the president" as well as "disseminating terrorist propaganda."

Monday, September 14, 2015

#GERMANY: Gov't Introduces Temp. Border Controls As Refugees Overwhelm Southern Germany

[world politics news]

Germany is planning to temporarily reintroduce border controls, beginning with the border to Austria, in view of the massive influx of refugees. The government of Bavaria called for help from federal police to help monitoring those trying to enter Germany. Nearly 10,000 entered Austria just on Sunday.

BREAKING: #AUSTRALIA: PM #TonyAbbott Ousted In Liberal Party Coup; Malcolm Turnbull New PM After Vote

[world politics news]

Malcolm Turnbull has ousted Tony Abbott as leader of the Liberal Party in a 54-44 vote, and will become Australia's 29th prime minister. Turnbull, unlike Abbott, supports efforts to combat climate change and legalizing gay marriage. Abbott's poll numbers had been weak, prompting the leadership challenge.

Pictured: Malcolm Turnbull, center

#THENETHERLANDS: Defense Min. Jeanine Hennis-Plasschaert Accused Of Lying To Parliament Over Military Gear

[world politics news]

Defense Minister Jeanine Hennis-Plasschaert is accused of misinforming the lower house of parliament about protective measures taken in the 1980's surrounding the use of the carcinogenic weapon cleaner PX-10. Last October, she told them the Ministry of Defense started taking protective measures for personnel in 1981. But a document from 1986 shows no protective measures were in place.

Sunday, September 13, 2015

#NORWAY: Candidate Compares Anti-Smoking Laws To "Persecution Of Jews Under The Nazis"

[world politics news]

A politician from the Coastal Party - a small, socially conservative party in the far north of Norway - has compared the plight of smokers in the country to that of Jews during the Nazi occupation. The party has made the battle against smoking bans in cafes, restaurants and bars a core issue.

Pictured: Geir Finne, leader of the Coastal Party

#AUSTRIA: Chancellor Criticizes Hungarian Handling Of Migrants; Compares Transportation To NAZI Trains

[world politics news]

Austria’s chancellor criticized Hungary for its handling of the refugee crisis, likening the country’s policies to Nazi deportations during the Holocaust. In an interview, Austrian Chancellor Werner Faymann likened Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban's treatment of refugees to the Nazis’ deportations of Jews and others to concentration camps.

#EGYPT: PM & Cabinet Resign Amid Corruption Scandal; Oil Min. Asked To Form New Gov't

[world politics news]

Prime Minister Ibrahim Mahlab and his Cabinet resigned Saturday, in the face of intense media criticism and a widening corruption investigation that saw the agriculture minister arrested on corruption charges last week. President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi asked outgoing Petroleum Minister Sherif Ismail to head a new government.