Sunday, January 31, 2016

#CHINA: Nearly 600 County And Regional Officials Demoted Or Transferred By Nation's Comm. Pty

[world politics news]

Five hundred and eighty-four officials at the county government level or above have been demoted or moved to different positions since the Communist Party of China introduced a regulation on official ranking management in July 2015. The CPC Central Committee's Organizational Department issued a notice that detailed these top-down, centralized reshuffles and demotions.

#LIBYA: Parliament Rejects UN-Backed Unity Gov't; Cabinet "Too Large"

[world politics news]

Libya’s internationally recognized parliament in Tobruk has voted to reject a UN-backed initiative to form a unity government with a Tripoli based militia alliance. The proposal was aimed at resolving the political deadlock in the crisis-ridden country.According to the lawmakers, the 32-member unity government was rejected because its cabinet was too large.

Saturday, January 30, 2016

#GERMANY: 40% Say Merkel Should Quit Over Handling Of Migrant Crisis

[world politics news]

Nearly 40 percent of German voters think Chancellor Angela Merkel should quit over her liberal asylum policy after almost 1.1 million newcomers arrived last year, a poll showed.

Friday, January 29, 2016

#CROATIA: Left Ridicules Call To Register All "Traitors" To Conservative Values

[world politics news]

When the head of Croatia's Ministry of Veteran Affairs proposed last week to create a "registry of traitors" naming people who oppose nationalist values, a group of concerned Left-leaning citizens leaped forward to help - creating a website to register themselves as not complying with the conservative values of the regime.

#CANADA: Grammatical Change Considered To Include Women In National Anthem

[world politics news]

Liberal MP Mauril Bélanger introduced a bill on Wednesday to change two words of O Canada so it recognises the country’s women as well as its men. If passed, the third line of the anthem will change from "True patriot love in all thy sons command" – to "all of us command."

Thursday, January 28, 2016

#UK: PM Cameron Offered Watered Down "Brake" On Migration Benefits By EU

[world politics news]

PM David Cameron, seeking a renegotiated deal from European Union Leaders, has been offered a plan to meet his demand for limiting benefits to migrants from other EU nations, but only if it's framed as "permission" to halt them from the EU.

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

#CANADA: Trudeau Gov't Will Sign Trans-Pacific Trade Deal; But Skeptical Parliament May Not Ratify It

[world politics news]

The Liberal government of Justin Trudeau has confirmed that it intends to sign the controversial Trans-Pacific Partnership trade deal at a meeting next week in New Zealand. But the Liberal-dominated Parliament is far from certain to ratify the 12-country deal, which sets new international rules for sectors beyond trade, including intellectual property, which worries some experts.

#RUSSIA: Putin Demands Proof of "Corruption" Accusation From US Treasury Official

[world politics news]

The Kremlin is calling on the US Treasury to produce proof after it told a BBC investigation it considered President Vladimir Putin to be corrupt. Adam Szubin, who oversees US Treasury sanctions, told BBC Panorama that the US government had known Mr Putin was corrupt for "many, many years." Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters the allegation was an "official accusation" and a "total fabrication."

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

#DENMARK: Porn Star Announces Candidacy For Parliament

[world politics news]

Porno Lasse, the most famous male Danish porn star of all time, is running for parliament. Porno, whose real name is Lasse Helmer Sørensen, announced his intentions on his Facebook page. Sørensen plans to run as an independent.

#NEPAL: Parliament Amends Constitution Seeking To Quell Minority Unrest

[world politics news]

The amendments to Nepal's new constitution address social justice, the formation of a house of representatives and the delineation of electoral constituencies to ensure minority and marginalized communities receive greater representation.

#LIBYA: Parliament Set To Vote On Unity Gov't

[world politics  news]

Libya's internationally recognized parliament was set to vote Monday on ratifying a UN-backed peace deal and endorsing a unity government seen as crucial to stemming widespread unrest.

#GREECE: Austrian Interior Minister Proposes Greek Exclusion From Europe's Passport-Free Zone Over Failed Border Controls

[world politics news]

Greece faced fresh pressure Saturday on its handling of the migrant crisis after Austrian Interior Minister Johanna Mikl-Leitner warned that Athens faced "temporary exclusion" from the EU's passport-free Schengen zone.

Monday, January 25, 2016

#JAPAN: Legislation Would Equalize Pay For Part-Time Workers

[world politics news]

In his policy speech, Abe also unveiled a plan to realize, "equal pay for equal work" as part of efforts to address wage gaps between full-time and part-time workers. The plan, which will be included in a government blueprint to be compiled this year, represents the government's efforts to achieve, "a society in which all citizens are dynamically engaged," a key policy project for Abe.

#ITALY: PM Renzi In Escalating Conflict With Merkel, EU, Over Migrant Funding

[world politics news]

The tensions between Rome and Brussels have intensified, with a tough exchange of words in the light of the unfolding refugee crisis. Rome is blocking a European Union plan to provide Turkey with €3 billion in aid, claiming that the amount earmarked for the country (approximately €300 million) should be exempted from the public deficit.

Sunday, January 24, 2016

#THENETHERLANDS: Politician Passes Out Pepper Spray To Women To Protect From Migrant Rapists

[world politics news]

A Dutch politician has been handing out pepper spray canisters laced with red paint to women to protect themselves from attack by 'Islamic testosterone bombs.' Geert Wilders, leader of the Freedom Party, delivered the spray to the blue-collar town of Spijkenisse where he was surrounded by a large crowd, flanked by bodyguards and police.

#POLAND: Leftist Party Gets New Leader After Disastrous Election Results

[world politics news]

Włodzimierz Czarzasty, 55, has taken the reins of the Democratic Left Alliance after last year's disastrous fall election. He beat challenger Jerzy Wenderlich by 428 votes to 327 during the SLD party congress. The October 25 general election was a disaster for the Polish left, and currently SLD does not have a single MP in the lower house of parliament.

Saturday, January 23, 2016

#CANADA: Trudeau Touts Female Equality On Wealthy Gathering's Panel

[world politics news]

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, speaking at the annual meeting of the World Economic Forum, a get-together of the rich and powerful where four of five delegates are men, spoke of the need for men to recognize female equality.

Thursday, January 21, 2016

#CANADA: Reclusive New Democratic Pty Ldr Addresses 2015 Election Disaster In News Conference

[world politics news]

New Democratic Party Leader Tom Mulcair has finally met the press to reflect on his party's 2015 election loss - in which it went from 95 to 44 members of parliament. Mulcair, 61, seems ready to identify some areas for improvement, and is resolved to remain that the helm of the party, despite prominent calls for him to step down.

#JAPAN: Ruling Liberal Democrats Put Off Casino Legalization Vote

[world politics news]

The Liberal Democratic Party has decided not to seek passage of a bill to legalize casino operations during this Diet session because coalition partner Komeito remains cautious on gambling. The LDP appears to be eager to avoid a conflict with Komeito, backed by the Buddhist religious group Soka Gakkai.The bill was jointly introduced by the LDP and two other parties during last year's legislative session.

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

#POLAND: PM Beata Szydło Denies New Laws Have Made Nation "Undemocratic"

[world politics news]

Poland's prime minister says her government had not breached European or Polish laws, after the EU began an investigation into charges that Warsaw was undermining democratic principles. Bitter accusations have been exchanged between Polish and EU officials after the EU's executive asked Poland to explain laws pertaining to the top constitutional court and putting public media under direct government control.

#VENEZUELA: Gov't Pleads For Help From OPEC As Oil-Dependent Economy Saps Gov't Revenues

[world politics news]

Venezuela has written to fellow Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries requesting an emergency meeting as the continued collapse in crude prices hurts the group’s most vulnerable members. Venezuela has repeatedly called for OPEC members to meet as slumping oil prices sap government revenue.

#GERMANY: President Says Limiting Entry Of Refugees "Politically Necessary" For Nation To Function

[world politics news]

Pres. Joachim Gauck, speaking to a meeting of the world's political and economic elite in Davos, Switzerland, said limiting the importation of refugees into Germany "can be both morally and politically necessary to preserve the state's ability to function." Gauck warned that failing to do so meant ceding ground to populists and extremists.

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

#IRAQ: Pres. Abadi Pledges To Stamp Out Corruption After Top Cleric's Criticism

[world politics news]

Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi has pledged to stamp out corruption this year amid criticism from the nation’s highest Shiite cleric, Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani, that his government has done little to combat graft. Sistani, 85, enjoys almost mythological stature among millions of Shiite Iraqis and wields authority few politicians would openly challenge.

Monday, January 18, 2016

#GERMANY: Survey Shows Most Germans Say Gov't Can't Handle Migrant Burden

[world politics news]

Most Germans now doubt their country's ability to cope with a record migrant influx, and fear refugees more, after the New Year's Eve mass assaults on women in Cologne, opinion polls show. Sixty 60 percent of respondents believe Germany can't cope with the large numbers of new arrivals, which reached 1.1 million in 2015.

#EU: Euro Comm. Pres. Juncker Says "Quite Sure" Deal Can Be Reached With UK To Meet Its Demands To Stay In EU

[world politics news]

European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker says that he is "quite sure" the EU and Britain would reach a deal at February’s summit on London’s renegotiation demands to stay in the bloc before a UK referendum this Fall on whether to leave the EU. He said he hopes it can even be moved up to this summer if a deal is reached early.

#CANADA: Businessman, TV Personality Kevin O'Leary Considers Conservative Ldr Run; Says "I'm Not Trump"

[world politics news]

Canadian businessman and TV personality Kevin O'Leary says he is weighing a run for the Conservative Party's leadership, which could come in 18 months. He brushed aside comparisons with Donald Trump, however, saying conservatism needed to be "compassionate" and that he didn't like walls.

Sunday, January 17, 2016

#KENYA: Legislation Would Force Pastors To Register, Impose Standards

[world politics news]

Stung by the rise of the "prosperity Gospel" in Kenya, the attorney general has proposed legislation to impose standards on clergy. The move is opposed by the nation's leading evangelical and Muslim organizations. All preachers have to undergo theological training at a reputable seminary, the Ethics and Anti-Corruption commission will have to certify that clergy are not corrupt and foreign pastors will need a work permit, and a recommendation from their government if the law passes.

#CANADA: Gov't Lays Off 7,000 Employees, Citing Nosedive In Oil Prices

[world politics news]

The Alberta government is freezing the salaries of about a quarter of its workforce for two years as it deals with nosediving oil and gas prices. Finance Minister Joe Ceci said Wednesday the move affects 7,000 civil servants and will save $57 million in total.

#TAIWAN: Pro-Independence Cand. Wins Pres. Election; China Warns

[world politics news]

Taiwan's independence-leaning opposition leader Tsai Ing-wen won a convincing victory in presidential election on Saturday and pledged to maintain peace with China, which claims the island as its own, though vowed to firmly defend Taiwan's sovereignty.

Saturday, January 16, 2016

#JAPAN: Diet Again Delays Legislation Designed To Legalize Casinos

[world politics news]

Japan's legislature has once again delayed taking up legalizing Las Vegas-style brick-and-mortar casinos. The Diet will not vote on the proposed Integrated Resort Facilities Promotion Bill until this Fall, after an election to the House of Councillors has taken place. Japan is believed to be one of the largest untapped gambling markets in the world.

#SOUTHSUDAN: Pres. Kiir Urges Supporters To Mobilize For Votes - 2 Years Before Election Campaign

[world politics news]

Pres. Salva Kiir is wasting no time, urging his supporters to mobilize voters for his re-election - in 2018. His Sudan People’s Liberation Movement Party handed in registration papers Jan. 13, just ahead of a deadline to register parties for future elections. Over 20 parties exist in South Sudan, which became independent in 2011, but has been racked by conflict since then.

Friday, January 15, 2016

#CANADA: PM Trudeau Seeking To Speed Up Infrastructure Spending To Jump-Start Ailing Economy

[world politics news]

The Liberal government of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is "actively considering" speeding up promised investments in infrastructure in a bid to stimulate Canada's rapidly deteriorating economy. Trudeau promised during last fall's election campaign to pump an additional $60 billion over 10 years into infrastructure projects. But less than half - $17.4 billion - is budgeted to be spent during the Liberals' first term.

#THENETHERLANDS: Morocco-Born Dutch Legislator Elected Speaker Of The House

[world politics news]

Moroccan-Dutch Khadija Arib of the Labour Party has been elected as the Speaker of the House of Representatives, the first Muslim to hold that position. Arib, 55, emigrated to Holland when she was 15, and has served in parliament since 1998. She will preside over the House through next March, when elections are scheduled to be held. She is a former civil servant, educator and social worker.

#GERMANY: Influential Frmr. Top Judge Calls Merkel Welcome Of Refugees "Unconstitutional"

[world politics news]

Chancellor Angela Merkel overstepped her constitutional powers by letting over a million refugees into the country, one of Germany's most senior former judges has said. Merkel's policy of opening Germany's doors to a million refugees was "full of empathy but lacking in a plan," said Michael Bertrams, who led North Rhine-Westphalia's constitutional court from 1994 to 2013.

Thursday, January 14, 2016

#DENMARK: PM Defends Proposed Law Requiring Refugees Help To Pay For Their Care

[world politics news]

Prime Minister Lars Løkke Rasmussen is defending pending legislation that would allow authorities to confiscate refugees' possessions that exceed US$1,360 in value in order to pay for their stay in asylum shelters. During a press briefing, Rasmussen said that the law is the "most misunderstood in Danish history."

#FRANCE: Hollande Vows New Criminal Hate Speech Laws After Paris Attacks

[world politics news]

Pres. Francois Hollande said his country must offer its protection to the French Jewish community, and vowed to introduce tougher penalties for "racist, anti-Semitic or homophobic" remarks in the wake of last month's militant attacks in Paris.

#SPAIN: Leftist Podemos Pty Under Investigation For Poss. Iranian Funding

[world politics news]

Police are investigating allegations that the new Leftist party, Podemos, has been illegally financed with money from the Iranian regime. Pablo Iglesias, the pony-tailed leader of the anti-austerity and anti-corruption party is laughing off the accusations, which allege that Podemos received US$5.4 million from media companies administered in Spain by an Iranian regime-linked businessman. Iglesias hosts a TV talk show on an Iran-owned Channel, Hispan TV.

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

#TUNISIA: Ennahda Becomes Largest Pty After Lawmakers Resign

[world politics news]

Tunisia's Islamic Ennahda Party became the biggest party in parliament on Monday after more lawmakers in President Beji Caid Essebsi's party resigned over the role of his son, saying they feared a return of hereditary transfers of power. The rift poses no immediate threat to the coalition government, which includes Ennahda, but comes at a delicate time as the North African state struggles to contain militant violence and revive economic growth.

#GERMANY: #Merkel Faces Right-Wing Backlash Over Migrant Rape Crisis

[world politics news]

Chanting "Merkel out" and waving German flags, supporters of the anti-Muslim PEGIDA movement vented their anger at rallies this past weekend against migrants after a rash of sexual assaults in the western city of Cologne. Carrying banners and signs bearing slogans like "Rapefugees not welcome," the far-right protesters took aim at Merkel, accusing her of allowing migrants to running amok in Germany through her liberal stance towards those fleeing war.

#VENEZUELA: Assembly Vows To Topple Maduro Regime Within 6 Months "By Constitutional Means"

[world politics news]

Venezuela's opposition parties have vowed to find a way to get rid of Leftist President Nicolas Maduro within six months, after taking control of the National Assembly for the first time since 1999, the year the late socialist leader Hugo Chavez came to power. At its first regular session, the opposition-controlled assembly swore in three anti-government lawmakers, defying Maduro who had secured a court injunction to suspend them, in an attempt to take away the opposition's majority.

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

#NIGER: Top Court Rules Jailed Oppo. Ldr. Hama Amadou Can Contest Feb. 21 Pres. Election

[world politics news]

Niger's constitutional court approved 15 candidates for a presidential vote next month, including key opponent Hama Amadou, who was jailed two months ago as he returned from a year-long exile. The ruling is likely to increase pressure on Niger’s government to free Amadou, seen as one of three leading contenders in the Feb. 21 battle for leadership of the impoverished, uranium-producing West African country.

#KOSOVO: 1000s Riot Against Gov't Deal Establishing Self-Gov't For Serbs Remaining After '99 War

[world politics news]

Thousands of anti-government demonstrators took to the streets in Kosovo's capital this weekend, with police firing tear gas as some protesters threw Molotov cocktails and set fire to a building. Protesters oppose deals reached by the government with Serbia - the country from which Kosovo seceded in 2008, Protesters urged the government to resign over a deal to set up an association of Serb-run municipalities for Kosovo's Serb minority.

#PHILIPPINES: Catholic Church Wins Battle Against Contraception As Funding Cut From National Budget

[world politics news]

The legislature in the majority Catholic Philippines has eliminated the government's budget for contraceptives, despite a 2013 law mandating it to provide them to the poor. The government and the Catholic church have waged a bruising struggle over the issue for years. The church has long opposed efforts to make birth-control more available.

Monday, January 11, 2016

#SWITZERLAND: Pty Ldr Who Led People's Party To #1 Status Resigning To "Work On His Farm"

[world politics news]

The head of the populist, anti-immigrant Swiss People's Party, Toni Brunner, will resign in April, Switzerland's largest party said Saturday, just months after securing record support in general elections. Brunner, who has headed SVP since 2008, informed party officials that he intends to step down when his mandate ends on April 23, to "work on his farm."

#TANZANIA: Post-Election Stalemate In Zanzibar Region Causes Confusion, Turmoil

[world politics news]

More than two months after Tanzania's general elections, the island region of Zanzibar's political parties are still arguing over who won, and the results are affecting the nation's economy. After Zanzibaris went to the polls October 25, the region's electoral commission annulled the vote, citing election irregularities.

#ITALY: Frmr. PM Berlusconi, 79, Vows To Relaunch Party, Return To Power, After Conviction

[world politics news]

Former Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi has pledged to relaunch his Forza Italia Party this year and force out the center-left government of Matteo Renzi. The former Italian prime minister, 79, has kept a low profile since he was convicted of tax evasion and banned from public office in 2013. Since then, parties of the Right have been divided.

Sunday, January 10, 2016

#EGYPT: First Sitting Of Parliament Since 2013 Starts Today

[world politics news]

After four years of political turmoil, Egypt's new parliament, the House of Representatives, is due to hold its procedural sitting on Sunday. The meeting will be the first of its kind after the country's two previous parliaments were dissolved - the first in February 2011 and the second in June 2012 - and after former president Mohamed Morsi was ousted from office in July 2013.

GERMANY: #Merkel Faces "Doubts" In Her Party About Open Door Policy For Migrants; Proposing Laws To Make Deportations Easier

[world politics news]

Chancellor Angela Merkel has proposed tougher laws that would make it easier to deport migrants after a wave of sex attacks in Cologne that were allegedly carried out by asylum seekers. During a closed-door annual policy meeting of her Christian Democratic Union Party, party members said the New Year attacks marked a “sea change" in attitudes to Germany’s open-door policy, and even supporters of her policy now say they have doubts about it.

#SPAIN: Pro-Secession Parties' Agreement: Artur Mas To Step Down As Catalan Premier

[world politics news]

Under the terms of a pact between the two pro-independence parties in Catalonia, the mayor of Girona, Carles Puigdemont, will become the new Catalan premier with current acting regional chief Artur Mas stepping down. The decision was reached just 30 hours before a deadline. Mas has led the move for the region's independence from Spain for five years.

Saturday, January 09, 2016

#EU: Germans, French, Claim Budget Cuts, Spending On Refugees, Endanger Space Station Program

[world politics news]

Germany and France are suggesting it's possible Europe may end funding for the  International Space Station in 2020 despite even though its major partners – the US, Russia, Japan and Canada – have all said they will continue using it until 2024. Space officials imply that German spending on refugees has affected that nation's budget. European nations have in the past plead poverty, while ending up fully funding the program.