Monday, February 29, 2016

#SWITZERLAND: UN To Renovate 1930s-Era Euro HQ With Help Of Swiss Loan

[world politics news]

The government is asking parliament to approve a loan of $440 million for renovation projects to refurbish the Palais des Nations, the European headquarters of the United Nations, which was built in the 1930s. The complex hosts about 10,000 UN employees, more than its official headquarters in New York. Renovations will be completed by 2023.

#IRAN: Reformists, Moderates Make Surprising Gains In Elections

[world politics news]

Pres. Hassan Rouhani has earned an emphatic vote of confidence and reformist partners secured surprise gains in parliament in early results from elections that could accelerate the Islamic Republic's emergence from years of isolation.

Sunday, February 28, 2016

#SWEDEN: Liberal Party Youth Suggest Legalizing Sex With Corpses & Incest; Adults Scoff

[world politics news]

The youth wing of the Swedish Liberal party has filed a motion to legalize incest, sex between two consenting siblings over the age of 15, and sex with a corpse if there is a written permission made before the person died. Adult party leaders condemned the "nitwits" who made the suggestions.

Pictured: Stockholm, Sweden

#ARMENIA: National Assembly Approves New Ombudsman, Vows To Meet Imprisoned Activist

Armenia’s National Assembly, by a secret ballot, elected Arman Tatoyan as Armenia’s fourth Ombudsman in a 96 to 7 vote. Tatoyan, 34, until now served as deputy minister of justice. The Western-educated lawyer was nominated for the post by the ruling Republican Party of Armenia. He promised to visit Vardges Gaspari, an imprisoned human rights activist, and Gevorg Safaryan, a member of the opposition New Armenia movement.

Saturday, February 27, 2016

#BOLIVIA: Socialist Pres. Morales Loses Referendum To Seek Fourth Term

[world politics news]

Socialist Pres. Evo Morales of Bolivia has admitted defeat in a referendum that denied him the right to seek a fourth term as president, in yet another defeat for South America's Leftist leaders. Morales has been one of the most outspoken critics of the United States and capitalism.

#CANADA: Saskatchewan Premier Rejects Federal Carbon Tax Proposal

[world politics news]

Saskatchewan Premier Brad Wall says he wants nothing to do with Ottawa’s plan for a national minimum price on greenhouse gas emissions as he raises the political heat ahead of the First Ministers climate summit scheduled for Vancouver in two weeks.

Friday, February 26, 2016

#CANADA: Parliament Votes To Reject Anti-Israel Divestment Campaigns

[world politics news]

Parliament has voted 229 to 51 to condemn an international Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions campaign being waged against Israel for what is alleged to be the Jewish state’s failure to accord equal rights to Arabs in Israel and the occupied Palestinian territories. Opposition Conservatives introduced the resolution, supported by most Liberals.

#JAPAN: PM Abe Wants to Reduce Size Of Lower House By 10 Seats

[world politics news]

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe says he wants to push through electoral system reform of the House of Representatives during this session of the Diet, the nation's parliament, which ends June 1.
He wants to reduce the vote-value disparities between single-seat constituencies of the Lower House to less than two times by redrawing electoral districts, which will cut the number of Lower House seats by 10 from the current 475.
- See more at:

Thursday, February 25, 2016

#BRAZIL: Pres. Rousseff's Election Adviser Charged In Corruption Probe Of Her Party

[world politics news]

Prosecutors investigating Brazil’s state-run oil company on corruption charges have issued an arrest warrant for the strategist who engineered embattled Pres. Dilma Rousseff’s 2014 re-election. Police say that João Santana - a consultant for Rousseff and a former treasurer for Rousseff’s ruling Workers’ Party - accepted $3 million in bribes from engineering firm Group Odebrecht as compensation for Petrobras construction contracts.

#GERMANY: Merkel's Colleagues Accused Of 'Stabbing Her In Back' By Demanding Migrant Quotas

[world politics news]

Two senior members of Chancellor Angela Merkel’s party have been accused of stabbing her in the back, after publicly criticizing her refugee policy in the run-up to crucial state elections. Julia Klöckner and Guido Wolf demanded in an open letter that the government implement daily quotas for the number of migrants allowed into the country and set up processing centers at the border.

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

#SPAIN: Socialists Strike Deal With Centrists, Potentially Ending Post-Election Deadlock

[world politics news]

Spain's Socialist party announced on Wednesday that the centrist Ciudadanos (Citizen's) Party would back their candidate for prime minister, ending weeks of political deadlock since inconclusive elections. Spain has been mired in political deadlock since December elections resulted in a hung parliament split among four main parties - none of which have enough seats to govern alone.

Pictured: Pedro Sánchez, head of the Spanish Socialists, left, and Albert Rivera of the Ciudadanos (Citizen's) Party.

Tuesday, February 23, 2016

#CANADA: PM Trudeau Drops Campaign Promises To Not Run Deficits

[world politics news]

PM Justin Trudeau swept to power in part by promising to put an end to an era of fiscal consolidation the Liberals claimed was undermining Canada’s growth, which has been lackluster since the recession in 2009. But he's abandoning the promise not to run deficits in light of plunging oil prices, instead running them for the next three fiscal years.

#FRANCE: Nat'l Assembly Votes To Place "State Of Emergency" Powers Into Constitution

[world politics news]

The National Assembly, the French parliament's lower house, voted late on Monday in favor of amending the constitution to include procedures for declaring a state of national emergency. Under the proposed amendment, France's parliament would have to approve any state of emergency that lasted more than 12 days, although it could then proceed for a maximum of four months before requiring another approval.

Monday, February 22, 2016

#EGYPT: Taxi Driver Protest Online App Services; Demand Regulation, Higher Fares

[world politics news]

Taxi cab drivers in Cairo are protesting what they view as unfair competition from online apps such as US-based Uber and Dubai-based Careem, and some are calling for regulation of fares. The huge success of Uber and other online driver services has sparked protests in Europe, Asia and elsewhere.

#UK: London Mayor Boris Johnson Will Seek UK Exit From EU In June 23 Referendum

[world politics news]

London Mayor and Conservative Party MP Boris Johnson is set to campaign for Britain to leave the European Union, which will be decided in a nationwide June 23 referendum. The possible future Prime Minister candidate will oppose PM David Cameron, who is now favoring remaining within the EU after striking a deal last week to grant the UK powers apart from full integration within the political and trading union.

Sunday, February 21, 2016

#JAPAN: Lawmaker Apologizes For Mentioning Obama Is "Descendant Of Slaves"

[world politics news]

A lawmaker from Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's Liberal Democratic Party has apologized over remarks he made about Pres. Barack Obama, calling him black and adding that blacks are descendants of slaves. "Now the United States has a black president. He is of black origin. That means slaves," said Kazuya Maruyama, head of the LDP's judicial affairs division.

#CANADA: For. Affairs Min. Dion Says Liberals Don't Approve Of Saudi Arms Sale, But Will Let It Go Through

[world politics news]

Foreign Affairs Minister Stephane Dion says the Liberal government does not necessarily approve of Canada's sale of $15 billion worth of light armored vehicles to Saudi Arabia, a country with a dismal human rights record. Dion says the government is simply allowing a previously negotiated contract to stand.

#THENETHERLANDS: Progressive Pol Quits To Volunteer For Hilary; Draws $7,550 Monthly Pension

[world politics news]

A member of parliament for the progressive D66 Party quit last month to go to work for Hilary Clinton's campaign in the USA. But she's actually one of hundreds of volunteers handing out leaflets. and her $7,550 monthly pension is drawing criticism.

Saturday, February 20, 2016

#AUSTRIA: Lawmakers Battle Move To Eliminate Paper Currency; Vow To Protect It In Constitution

[world politics news]

In a measure to protect against crime, some in Europe are suggesting a phase-out of paper money, There has been recent debate about ending the €500 note and the use of one and two cent coins, as well as limits on cash withdrawal. Some in EU member nation Austria are reacting by vowing to protect currency's existence in its national constitution.

#UK: PM Cameron Strikes Deal To Keep UK In The EU

[world politics news]

There is unanimous support for a deal between the UK and the EU, European Council president Donald Tusk has said. UK Prime Minister David Cameron said he would recommend the deal, which he said gives the UK "special status" in the EU, to his cabinet on Saturday. The agreement reached following drawn-out negotiations in Brussels paves the way for the UK's EU referendum.

Friday, February 19, 2016

#EU: Euro Legislators Seek Ban On Antibiotics On Farm Animals

[world politics news]

European Parliamentarians want to restrict farmers’ use of antibiotics in healthy animals. In a vote on the draft plans to update the EU’s law on veterinary medicines, the members of the European parliament's Environment and Public Health Committee advocated a ban on collective and preventive antibiotic treatments of animals.

#UKRAINE: PM Yatsenyuk Survives No Confidence Vote Over Corruption Fight

[world politics news]

Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk's government has survived a no-confidence vote in parliament. The news came shortly after President Poroshenko asked him to resign for "more mistakes than achievements" during his term. Opponents cited his failure to effectively deal with corruption.

#GERMANY: Alternative For Germany Pty Ldr Slams Catholic Bishop For Siding With Merkel On Migrants

[world politics news]

Alternative for Germany leader Frauke Petry has called Catholic bishops "dishonest" for their involvement in refugee politics. "I think the Church has a dishonest position on refugee policy," Petry said in response to Cardinal Reinhard Marx's accusation that she was dividing society. "It's the Church that is tearing cracks [in society] by criticizing us as inhumane as a political party and rejecting speaking with us." The Cardinal has seemingly backed Chancellor Angela Merkel's refugee policies.

Monday, February 15, 2016

#GERMANY: Angela Merkel Will "Convert" Migrants To Western Values On Women, Says Ally

[world politics news]

A close Merkel ally has said the German chancellor will "convert' misogynistic migrants, and bring them in line with Germany’s more progressive attitudes. Merkel and her Christian Democratic Party are taking a polling hit over their liberal migration policies and numerous rapes of German women attributed to North African and Syrian migrants.

Sunday, February 14, 2016

#AUSTRALIA: Support For PM Turnbull's Gov't Falls Below Tony Abbott's At 2013 Election

[world politics news]

A summer marred by ministerial crises and the prospect of a higher goods and services tax has taken the shine off the Turnbull government, sending the Coalition's share of the vote below that achieved by Tony Abbott at the 2013 election.

Saturday, February 13, 2016

#UKRAINE: IMF Threatens Gov't Over Continuing Corruption

[world politics news]

The International Monetary Fund has threatened to cut crucial financial aid to cash-strapped Ukraine because of the country's "slow progress" in fighting corruption. "Without a substantial new effort to invigorate governance reforms and fight corruption, it is hard to see how the IMF-supported program can continue and be successful," Christine Lagarde, the IMF's managing director, said in a strongly worded statement.

Friday, February 12, 2016

#FRANCE: National Front Faces Internal Divisions Over Euro Currency Exit

[world politics news]

Frances's National Front says that if elected they wouldn't immediately exit the euro, but the matter would be submitted to a referendum. The party's Secretary General Nicolas Bay said to media over the weekend that the Euro system is "not viable" and "against our interests."

#ROMANIA: Backed By Ad Agencies, "200 For Bucharest Party" Formed to Contest Local Elections

[world politics news]

A number of well-known professionals from various domains have formed a new political party – “200 for Bucharest” – whose first goal is to take part in the local elections this year. It will later evolve into a national party, say its backers, made up largely of advertising agency executives.

Pictured: PR exec. Bogdan Naumovici of 23 Communications Ideas.

Thursday, February 11, 2016

#EGYPT: Parliament Votes To Investigate Top Auditor

[world politics news]

A parliamentary ‎committee has begun investigating the country's top auditor Hisham Geneina's corruption ‎claims soon, regardless of a media gag order imposed by the country's Prosecutor-General ‎Nabil Sadek. Chairman of the ‎Central Auditing Agency Hisham Geneina has said ‎that corruption in public and government circles resulted ‎in the loss of LE600 billion in state revenues between ‎‎2012 and 2015.

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

#EU: Euro Parliament Fails To Close Emissions Loopholes, Despite Public Anger

[world politics news]

MEPs have failed to veto loopholes in air pollution limits on new diesel cars, despite public anger in the wake of the Volkswagen emissions scandal. Nitrogen oxide emissions will now be allowed at twice the EU’s 80mg per km limit from 2019 and 50% more from 2021, despite the exemptions being deemed unlawful in a separate vote by the parliament’s legal committee last night.

#IRELAND: Enda Kenny Announces Feb. 26 General Election Date

[world politics news]

Prime Minister (Taoiseach) Enda Kenny has asked Irish President Michael D Higgins to dissolve the parliament (Dáil) Kenny said that the Dáil will meet again on 10 March. The 32nd Dáil will have 158 seats, eight fewer than the previous one, and the number of constituencies has been reduced to 40 from 43. Kenny has been in office for almost five years, leading a Fine Gael/Labour coalition government since March 2011.

Tuesday, February 09, 2016

#ROMANIA: Frmr Interior Min. Faces Prosecution Over Using Police Traffic Details

[world politics news]

Romania's parliament has lifted the immunity of the nation's former interior minister so he can be investigated on suspicion he abused his position by allegedly using an official motorcade five times a day which he wasn't entitled to. Senators voted 102-30 to lift the immunity of Sen. Gabriel Oprea, a former interior minister, so he can face a criminal inquiry over assigning police details to escort him in traffic

Monday, February 08, 2016

#AUSTRIA: Chancellor Says Of Migrants Attempting To Enter EU Thru Greece: "Send Them To Turkey"

[world politics news]

Austria wants the EU's border agency Frontex to send directly back to Turkey the migrants it picks up trying to reach Greece, media quoted Chancellor Werner Faymann as saying. Faymann said this approach was "the only totally effective measure to break the human trafficking" of migrants

Friday, February 05, 2016

#CANADA: Candidacy Of Popular Broadcaster, Author, Raises Hopes For Manitoba New Democrats

[world politics news]

Popular indigenous broadcaster and author Wab Kinew is running for a seat in the Manitoba legislature, providing a boost for the NDP government, which has struggled with low poll numbers and the departure of longtime members. Kinew is seeking the NDP nomination in the Fort Rouge constituency in Winnipeg, a seat held by retiring former finance minister Jennifer Howard.

Thursday, February 04, 2016

#NORWAY: Liberal Party Jobs Plan: Move Gov't Jobs Out Of Capitol Oslo

[world politics news]

The Liberal Party (Venstre) has called for a plan to move government jobs out of the capitol of Oslo, so that highly-educated people across the country can ostensibly find a job in any part of the country. Venstre’s municipal spokesperson, André N. Skjelstad, got the idea on a trip to Denmark, where they are doing the same thing there.

#IRAQ: Iraqi Kurdish Ldr Calls For Non-Binding Independence Referendum

[world politics news]

Iraq's autonomous Kurdistan region should hold a non-binding referendum on independence, its president said on Tuesday, despite the numerous crises it is facing. Massoud Barzani has previously called for a referendum but set no timetable for a proposed vote.

Wednesday, February 03, 2016

#USA: Kansas Legislator Would Regulate "Distracting" Clothing of Female Legislative Witnesses

[world politics news]

Kansas Sen. Mitch Holmes, chair of the Senate Ethics and Elections Committee, wants to limit the "distracting" clothing women wear when testifying before his committee. "For ladies, low-cut necklines and mini-skirts are inappropriate," Holmes says, even while admitting that "distracting" is hard to define.

#VENEZUELA: Nat'l Assembly's Conservatives Want To Privatize Public Housing; Emulating Thatcher

[world politics news]

Venezuela's right wing-controlled National Assembly took a step closer Thursday to approving a bill that would privatize ownership of public housing. The bill has widespread support among the majority right-wing coalition, the Democratic Unity Roundtable, but is fiercely opposed by President Nicolas Maduro.

Tuesday, February 02, 2016

#UK: EU Proposal Responding To Cameron's Reform Plea "Not Good Enough" Say Critics

[world politics news]

While Prime Minister David Cameron says he is "making progress" in a renegotiation with Brussels over the UK's relationship with the European Union, he's under heavy criticism from opponents. Nigel Farage, leader of the U.K. Independence Party, said the changes Cameron hoped to achieve were minor. The EU recently proposed that benefits would only be available to those who have earned over a certain figure. John Redwood, a former Conservative Cabinet minister, told the BBC the plan was "an insult" and "a sick joke".

#SIERRALEONE: Gov't Aligns Itself Towards Communist Chinese, Worrying Business Interests

[world politics news]

Corruption, poor governance, and inept leadership are responsible for the abject poverty that the people of Sierra Leone are facing today. But the communist tendency of those governing the ruling APC party, is a serious concern for those in the country that are committed to building a vibrant liberal democracy and a prosperous nation.

Monday, February 01, 2016

#GERMANY: Alternative For Germany Party Ldr Calls For Police To Shoot Refugees At Border

[world politics news]

Alternative for Germany Party leader Frauke Petry has said police should have the right to shoot illegal migrants at the border "if necessary." The comments have been met with outrage from opposition politicians.

#ITALY: PM Renzi Easily Survives Two "No Confidence" Votes

[world politics news]

Prime Minister Matteo Renzi has defeated two no-confidence motions brought by the opposition in parliament, which has accused the government of having a conflict of interest during the rescue of four small banks last year. Renzi's Senate allies easily repulsed the no-confidence motions - brought separately by the anti-establishment 5-Star Movement and the center-right opposition.