Saturday, October 21, 2017

#GREECE: Parliament Passes Gender Identity Law Over Orthodox Church's Objections

[world politics news]


Greece’s left-wing government has passed legislation enabling citizens to determine their gender identity amid fierce condemnation from the Orthodox church and accusations the law would “destroy human beings." After two days of highly charged debate, the prime minister, Alexis Tsipras, rallied parliament to endorse policies that would permit people to legally change their gender on all official documents without undergoing sterilization
.
[FULL STORY HERE]

Friday, October 20, 2017

#NEWZEALAND: Jacinda Ardern New PM After Coalition Deal With NZ First Party

[world politics news]


Labour Party Leader Jacinda Ardern has become New Zealand’s prime minister 26 days after the country’s electorate cast their votrs. Kingmaker Winston Peters announced that his New Zealand First party would throw its support behind Ardern’s Labour party.

[FULL STORY HERE]

Thursday, October 19, 2017

#UK: Parliament Votes Unanimously To Delay Roll-Out Of Universal Credit Plan

[world politics news]


Parliament has voted, by 299 votes to 0, a Labour Party motion for a pause in the roll-out of Universal Credit in order for problems in the system to be fixed.  It is a symbolic victory for Labour. Conservative MPs abstained, thanks to a three line whip, and the vote is not binding on the government.

[FULL STORY HERE]

Monday, October 16, 2017

#AUSTRIA: Conservatives Win Majority, Sebastian Kurz, 31, Set To Be World's Youngest Leader

[world politics news]


Austria's conservative People's Party, led by 31-year-old Sebastian Kurz, is set to win the country's general election, projections suggest. Kurz is on course to become the world's youngest national leader. The People's Party was set to win more than 31%. It is so far unclear whether the Social Democrats or the far-right Freedom Party will finish second. Short of a majority, Kurz's party could seek an alliance with the anti-immigration Freedom Party.

[FULL STORY HERE]

Sunday, October 15, 2017

#THEPHILIPPINES: Duterte Warns Diplomats Could Be Expelled In 24 Hrs If They Oppose Drug War

[world politics news]


Pres. Rodrigo Duterte has warned the EU and UN that he could throw out their ambassadors within 24 hours if they continue to “interfere” in his brutal and controversial war against drugs. "You think that we are a bunch of morons here... The ambassadors of those countries learn a lesson now. Because we can have the diplomatic channels cut tomorrow, you leave my country in 24 hours, all of you,” he said during an expletive-filled tirade against colonialism in the capital, Manila.

[FULL STORY HERE]

Saturday, October 14, 2017

#PAKISTAN: Senate Rejects Raising Minimum Marriage Age From 16 To 18; Says "Un-Islamic"

[world politics news]


Pakistan’s Senate has struck down legislation governing the minimum age girls can marry, saying a Bill to increase the legal age from 16 to 18 was un-Islamic. The Child Marriage Restraint Bill was rejected after Senator Sehar Kamran, the lawmaker driving the proposal, had her request for a deferment denied on the grounds that she would not be present.

[FULL STORY HERE]

Friday, October 13, 2017

#CZECHIA: Head Of Party Leading In Polls Charged With Fraud Ahead Of Oct. 20 Election

[world politics news]


With just days to go before a Czech parliamentary election that his populist Ano party is expected to win, billionaire Andrej Babis has been charged with fraud over the alleged misuse of European Union funds. Babis – whose wealth and anti-establishment rhetoric have seen him compared to US president Donald Trump – is accused of illegally accessing some €2 million for a farm and conference center known as the Stork Nest. Jaroslav Faltynek, the deputy leader of Ano, has also been charged in the same case.

[FULL STORY HERE]

Thursday, October 12, 2017

#SWEDEN: Moderate Party Picks Pragmatic New Leader After Election Disappointment

[world politics news]


Sweden’s biggest opposition party, the Moderates, have a new leader, after Ulf Kristersson was picked to follow Anna Kinberg Batra. The former Minister for Social Security has been the party's economic policy spokesperson in opposition. He was the only candidate chosen by a nominating committee and was unanimously backed for the top job. He replaces Kinberg Batra, who was leader from January 2015 until she was ousted by her party in August following poor performances in polls. In his first speech as leader, Kristersson promised to be pragmatic in order to solve Sweden’s challenges, calling his approach "values-based pragmatism."

[FULL STORY HERE]

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

#BARBADOS: Gov't Raises Taxes 400% Amid Stagnant Economic Growth

[world politics news]


The Democratic Labour Party government is confident it can close a fiscal gap in its budget with a 400% tax hike that has already raised $25 million in one quarter. But their "National Social Responsibility Levy" has come under heavy criticism from private sector business groups and Unions alike for raising the cost of living during a period of stagnant economic growth.

[FULL STORY HERE]

Pictured: DLP MP and Finance Min. Christopher Sinckler.

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

#CATALONIA: Pres. Declares Independence, Calls For Talks With Central Gov't In Madrid

[world politics news]


Catalan leader Carles Puigdemont said Tuesday he would act on what he called a popular mandate to declare independence from Spain but first wanted dialogue with Madrid to ensure it is a peaceful process. "The ballot boxes say Yes to independence and this is the path I am determined to follow,” the regional president told the Catalan parliament. “I assume the mandate of the people for Catalonia to become an independent state in the form of a republic." However, he immediately asked the Catalan parliament to suspend the act of independence for some weeks to allow for a period of negotiation with the Spanish government.

[FULL STORY HERE]

#GERMANY: Merkel Prepared To Enter Coalition Talks With Greens, Liberals

[world politics news]


Chancellor Angela Merkel says she will start talks with liberals and Greens to try to form a new coalition government after last month's election. Merkel won a fourth term in the September 24th vote but the far-right Alternative for Germany poached one million votes from her conservative bloc, leaving her without an obvious coalition. Her party's former coalition partners were crushed in the polls in September. She had already announced that she would seek exploratory talks on forming an alliance between her CDU/CSU bloc and two smaller parties, the pro-business Free Democrats (FDP) and the ecologist Greens.

[FULL STORY HERE]

Monday, October 09, 2017

#PALESTINIANAUTHORITY: Gaza, PA Gov't Unites To Form "Consensus Gov't" Brokered By Egypt

[world politics news]


Out of the sight of the world, the Palestinian Authority has taken over governing authority in the Gaza Strip from Hamas, in a deal brokered by Egypt. Gaza and the West Bank have been ruled separately since 2007. The Palestinian national consensus government is headed by PA Prime Minister Rami Al-Hamdallah, who says the government had already formed committees to oversee the administration of Gaza and, in accordance with the Cairo agreement. In his first visit to Gaza, he described Hamas’ decision to respond to Pres. Mahmoud Abbas’ call to dissolve its Administrative Committee as "an important step."

[FULL STORY HERE]

Pictured: Egyptian General Intelligence Minister Khaled Fawzi (left) and Palestinian Authority Prime Minister Rami Al-Hamdallah.

Sunday, October 08, 2017

#SPAIN: The Empire Strikes Back: Pro-Spain Protesters Demonstration Against Catalan Independence

[world politics news]


Hundreds of thousands of people are marching in Barcelona to demand Catalonia rejects independence and stays with Spain. March organizers, the anti-independence Union movement Societat Civil Catalana, claimed 930,000 people turned out, but Barcelona police put the total at around 350,000. The demonstration comes a week after the Catalan government held a referendum on secession that was condemned as illegal and unconstitutional by the Spanish government.

[FULL STORY HERE]

Wednesday, October 04, 2017

#JAPAN: Tokyo Mayor's New Party Threatens To Change Political Landscape In Nation

[world politics news]


Tokyo Gov. Yuriko Koike's new party has issued a direct challenge to the ruling Liberal Democratic Party, receiving a show of support from Japan's leading opposition Democratic Party, whose chief Seiji Maehara said that he will pursue a de facto merger with Koike in the upcoming snap election.
If the two parties unite, it would mark the largest political reshuffle since 2003 when the previous Democratic Party merged with the Liberal Party to try and oust the powerful LDP.

[FULL STORY HERE]

Tuesday, October 03, 2017

#NORWAY: Christians Democrats Withdraw From Coalition Talks With Solberg Gov't

[world politics news]


Christian Democratic Party withdrew from coalition talks with the government yesterday and has left the right wing- conservative cabinet as a minority government. The decision will surely make it more difficult for Prime Minister Erna Solberg and her partner party to get support on both financial and social policy proposals. Even lack of the majority in this scenario can end up with early ending of the coalition.

[FULL STORY HERE]

Monday, October 02, 2017

#POLAND: Gov't Creates Committee To Determine German War Reparations

[world politics news]


Poland's governing conservatives have set up a parliamentary committee tasked with looking into the extent of World War II reparations they claim is owed by Germany. A member of the governing Law and Justice Party says there is no set date for the committee to produce its results. The issue of war reparations, for decades considered as settled, was revived in July by party leader Jaroslaw Kaczynski. Earlier this month Prime Minister Beata Szydlo said Warsaw "has the right" to ask for reparations. Germany disagrees, saying the issue was settled in the 1950s.

[FULL STORY HERE]

Sunday, October 01, 2017

#SPAIN: BREAKING: Police Seize Ballot Boxes, Attack Voters, To Stop Catalan Independence Referendum

[world politics news]


Spanish riot police beat voters, fired rubber bullets and seized ballot boxes from polling stations in Catalonia Sunday as thousands flooded the streets to vote in an independence referendum banned by the central government in Madrid. Below is a video story about the violence.



[FULL STORY HERE]

#AUSTRIA: Islamic Veil And Other Face-Concealing Items Banned As Of Today

[world politics news]


New restrictions come into force in Austria on Sunday banning the wearing of the full Islamic veil and other items concealing the face in public places and buildings. Exemptions "under certain conditions" include items like clown disguises "at cultural events," work wear such as medical masks, and scarves in cold weather, the government says. The restrictions are aimed at "ensuring the cohesion of society in an open society," it says. Violations will be punished with a fine of up to 150 euros ($177).

[FULL STORY HERE]

Thursday, September 28, 2017

#SAUDIARABIA: King Issues Ruling Allowing Women To Drive By Next Summer

[world politics news]


Saudi Arabia's King Salman has issued a decree allowing women to drive for the first time. Government ministries are to prepare reports within 30 days and the order will be implemented by June 2018. Saudi Arabia is the only country in the world to forbid women from driving.

[FULL STORY HERE]

Wednesday, September 27, 2017

#IRAQ: Kurdish Regional Leader Says Voters Said "Yes" In Independence Referendum

[world politics news]


Iraqi Kurdish leader Masoud Barzani said on Tuesday that Kurds had voted "yes" to independence in a referendum held in defiance of the government in Baghdad and which had angered their neighbors and their U.S. allies. Only Israeli Prime Min. Benjamin Netanyahu offered public support for a "Yes" vote. The Kurds, who have ruled over an autonomous region within Iraq since the 2003 U.S.-led invasion that toppled Saddam Hussein, consider Monday's referendum to be a historic step in a generations-old quest for a state of their own.

[FULL STORY HERE]

Monday, September 25, 2017

#GERMANY: Political Earthquake As Merkel Wins, But Anti-Immigrant Party Wins 3rd Slot With 13% Of Vote

[world politics news]


Sending a message to Chancellor Angela Merkel (who nonetheless won a fourth term in office) the Alternative for Germany (AfD) Sunday became the first openly anti-immigration party to enter parliament with so many seats since World War II, despite calls to stop the alleged "Nazi" Party. Exit polls showed the AfD with around 13% of the vote, making it the third biggest political force in Germany - a stunning result for a party that was founded just four years ago.

[FULL STORY HERE]

Saturday, September 23, 2017

#GERMANY: Traditional Parties Set To Lose Votes To Right-Leaning Parties

[world politics news]


A poll published by public broadcaster ZDF on Friday shows that both the major parties are likely to suffer major losses, while the small right-wing parties are on the rise.

[FULL STORY HERE]

Friday, September 22, 2017

#SPAIN: Gov"t Arrests 14 Catalan Leaders Promoting Secession

[world politics news]


The Spanish government had arrested 14 members of the Catalan government for promoting the October 1st independence referendum in the region. The arrests prompted mass demonstrations in Barcelona and elsewhere, both for and against the vote.

[FULL STORY HERE]

Thursday, September 21, 2017

#THEPHILIPPINES: Duterte Says He'll Have Son Killed If In Drug Trade

[world politics news]


Philippine Pres. Rodrigo Duterte has said he will have his son killed if drug trafficking allegations against the younger politician are true, and that the police who carry out the hit will be protected from prosecution.

[FULL STORY HERE]

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

#MYANMAR: Aung San Suu Kyi Addresses Human Rights Complaints Against Gov't

[world politics news]


Aung San Suu Kyi said she "feels deeply" for the suffering of "all people" caught up in conflict-torn Rakhine state in her first comments on the crisis since the latest violence began last month.

[FULL STORY HERE]

Monday, September 18, 2017

#IRAQ: Kurdish Lawmakers Move Ahead With Controversial Independence Referendum

[world politics news]


Iraqi Kurdish lawmakers have voted to move ahead with a controversial independence referendum. The vote comes amid international opposition and internal political disputes within Kurdish ranks.

[FULL STORY HERE]

Friday, September 15, 2017

#CHINA: Gov't May Set Timetable To End Production Of Internal Combustion Engines By 2040s

[world politics news]


China will set a deadline for automakers to end sales of fossil-fuel-powered vehicles, becoming the biggest market to do so in a move that may accelerate the push into the electric car market. Xin Guobin, the vice minister of industry and information technology, said the government is working with other regulators on a timetable to end production and sales, mostly likely in the 2040s. The move will have a profound impact on the environment and growth of China’s auto industry, said Xin.

[FULL STORY HERE]

Thursday, September 14, 2017

#GHANA: Parliament Ready To Vote On Creation Of Special Prosecutor's Office

[world politics news]


A bill is being readied in Parliament to create an Office of the Special Prosecutor, which backers say will enable the government deal with issues of corruption, especially among state officials. Under the bill, an independent prosecutor will head the office and prosecute corruption offenses by state officers. It was one of the major promises made by Pres. Akufo-Addo as part of his plans to deal with corruption in government. One of the bill's few critics is former Attorney General Martin Amidu, who says a clause limits the number of crimes covered, and future presidents may interfere with the office. Backers say the bill is deliberately limited to prevent overreach.

[FULL STORY HERE]

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

#SOUTHAFRICA: Bill Passes That Would Implement Demerits For Drivers Who Break Traffic Laws

[world politics news]


Transport Minister Joe Maswanganyi is welcoming the passage of a bill which would ensure that a demerit points system for drivers will be implemented. The demerit points system docks points from the licences of drivers who break traffic rules. This will result in the cancellation of driving licences for repeat offenders. The bill will become law once it has been signed by President Jacob Zuma.


[FULL STORY HERE]

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

#UGANDA: Women's Rights Group Petitions Parliament To Approve Revised Marriage Bill

[world politics news]


Women activists under Women and Rural Development Network have kicked off a nationwide drive of gathering signatures to petition Parliament to discuss and pass into law the Marriage Bill 2017. A clause regarding cohabitation was removed from the bill after cultural and religious groups opposed it, says organizer Laureen Karayi Nabimanya.

[FULL STORY HERE]

Pictured: House Speaker Rebecca Kadaga

Monday, September 11, 2017

#CANADA: Ontario First Province To Set Rules For Legal Pot Sales: Thru Gov't Stores Only

[world politics news]


Ontario is the first province or territory in Canada to lay out its plans for how cannabis will be sold and regulated in response to federal legislation that will legalize recreational use by July 2018. According to details announced at a Friday press conference, the province will set the minimum age at 19, the same as alcohol. The federal Cannabis Act gives provinces the ability to set the age as low as 18, although some medical groups have argued for a higher minimum age due to the effects of cannabis use on brain development.

[FULL STORY HERE]

Thursday, September 07, 2017

#USA: House Approves Self-Driving Car Bill, Allowing Up To 100,000 Autonomous Vehicles On The Road

[world politics news]


The U.S. House has unanimously approved the SELF-DRIVE act which would, if approved by the Senate, make it possible for companies working on self-driving cars to field a lot more vehicles per year – as many as 100,000 autonomous test cars annually.

[FULL STORY HERE]

Wednesday, September 06, 2017

#NORTHERNIRELAND: Parties Believed To Be Close To Compromise On Restoring Assembly

[world politics news]



The government believes there are fresh hopes of reaching an agreement between the two main political parties in the North and restoring the power-sharing executive after months of deadlock. Despite public grandstanding by Sinn Fein after the Democratic Unionist Party's offer of an olive branch on the Irish language act last week, government sources say Gerry Adams's party is willing to reach a compromise.

[FULL STORY HERE]

Pictured: Democratic Unionist Party leader Arlene Foster

#UK: Conservative Politician Gets Irish Passport To Protest #Brexit

[world politics news]


Conservative Charles Tannock, an MEP for London, has acquired an Irish passport in a protest over Brexit, saying "I am quite ashamed to be British in many ways." He told the Irish Times he was a "pretty angry pro-European Tory" and a "passionate remainer" who had applied and received his Irish passport after the EU referendum last year.

[FULL STORY HERE]

Tuesday, September 05, 2017

#ISRAEL: Wife Of PM Netanyahu Set To Be Indicted On Expenses

[world politics news]


Sara Netanyahu is expected to be indicted, pending a hearing, on charges of fraudulently receiving items worth 400,000 shekels ($111,851), Haaretz has learned. Attorney General Avichai Mendelblit is expected to inform Netanyahu, wife of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, of the charges against her in a few weeks. Sara Netanyahu is suspected of ordering chef’s meals at the prime minister’s official residence, which is against regulations, and concealing the fact that she did so.

[FULL STORY HERE]

Monday, September 04, 2017

#INDIA: Cabinet Reshuffle Brings India Its Second Woman Defense Minister

[world politics news]



Nirmala Sitharaman, who just took oath as the new Cabinet member, has been given the Defense Ministry portfolio, becoming first dedicated woman defense minister of India and only the second woman to hold the crucial ministry after Indira Gandhi. Modi, in his third Cabinet reshuffle, swore in 13 new ministers.

[FULL STORY HERE]

Saturday, September 02, 2017

#HUNGARY: PM Bills EU For Walk Construction

[world politics news]


Hungarian Prime Minister, Viktor Orban, is set to send the EU a bill for €400 million, in order to help pay for the fence it built to keep illegal migrants out.

[FULL STORY HERE]

#KENYA: Supreme Court Nullifies September Presidential Elections

[world politics news]


Kenya's Supreme Court has annulled the result of last month's presidential election, citing irregularities, and ordered a new one within 60 days. The election commission had declared incumbent Uhuru Kenyatta the winner by a margin of 1.4 million votes. Raila Odinga, Kenyatta's opponent, said the commission was "rotten" and demanded resignations and prosecutions. President Kenyatta said he would respect the court's decision but also branded the judges "crooks".

[FULL STORY HERE]

Friday, September 01, 2017

#CANADA: Alberta MP Leaves Liberal Pty Amid Sexual Harassment Allegations

[world politics news]


Calgary MP Darshan Kang is resigning from the Liberal caucus amid allegations that he repeatedly sexually harassed a young female staffer in his office.

[FULL STORY HERE]

Wednesday, August 30, 2017

#CHILE: Pres. Sends Gay Marriage Bill To Congress

[world politics news]


Chilean President Michelle Bachelet has sent legislation to Congress seeking to legalize gay marriage, a move that follows a string of social reforms in one of Latin America's most conservative nations. The bill submitted on Monday would allow gay couples to adopt children and would denote marriage as a "union between two people" rather than between a man and a woman, according to reports.

[FULL STORY HERE]

Tuesday, August 29, 2017

#THEPHILIPPINES: Pres. Duterte: Police May Shoot "Idiots" Resisting Arrest

[world politics news]


Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte told police on Monday they were free to kill 'idiots' who violently resist arrest, two days after the funeral of a boy who was gunned down and left next to a pigsty by anti-drugs officers.

[FULL STORY HERE]

Monday, August 28, 2017

#INDIA: After 5 Attempts, A Privacy Bill May Be Seriously In The Works This Time

[world politics news]


Despite several private member bills, Parliament has not yet enacted any specific law defining privacy and providing protection against breach of privacy of individuals in India. The Privacy Bill, 2011 was drafted government but has been left hanging since then. Some reports suggest that Prime Minister Narendra Modi has shown interest in a Privacy Bill. PM Modi is said to have held a few rounds of discussion with his cabinet colleagues on the matter. PM Modi apparently last discussed the Privacy Bill in March, 2015. The Privacy Bill is understood to have been put on hold after objections from intelligence agencies.

[FULL STORY HERE]

Sunday, August 27, 2017

#ISRAEL: Knesset To Take Up Controversial "Jewish State Bill" Next Month

[world politics news]


The Knesset, Israel’s parliament, is expected to advance the so-called “Jewish State bill” - also referred to as the “Nationality” or “Nation State bill" - next month according to Israeli media, amid ongoing controversies over the bill’s discrimination of Palestinian citizens of Israel. A committee established to promote the bill would be given two consecutive sessions next month, despite the Knesset being in recess during that time. The bill declares that Israel is “the national home of the Jewish people,” and that “the right to realize self-determination in Israel is unique to the Jewish people.”

[FULL STORY HERE]

Friday, August 25, 2017

#RUSSIA: Deputy PM Backs Concept Of A "Crypto-Ruble"

[world politics news]


For the first time, a senior Russian official has thrown his support behind a state-backed crypto-currency. In an interview with Russian broadcaster RBC, First Deputy Prime Minister Igor Shuvalov said that he is in favor of a "crypto-ruble" – provided that certain measures are put in place on the security front.

[FULL STORY HERE]

Thursday, August 24, 2017

#GERMANY: Nearly Half Of Voters Undecided About Merkel's Party In Sept. Election

[world politics news]


Some 45 per cent of Germans appear to believe that Dr Merkel and her Christian Democratic Union, given its steady 15-point lead in polls, will win the September 24th general election. But almost the same number, 46 per cent, say in a poll in Frankfurter Allgemeine they have yet to make up their mind how to vote.

[FULL STORY HERE]

Wednesday, August 23, 2017

#VENEZUELA: Pres. Maduro Strips Parliament Of Power, Deepening Political Crisis

[world politics news]


Venezuela’s political crisis has deepened after a new pro-government "superbody" stripped the opposition-held parliament of its legislative powers and the fugitive attorney general accused President Nicolás Maduro of links to a corruption scandal. The move by the national constituent assembly, denounced by regional powers and the US, has limited practical impact. The government had in effect neutered the parliament soon after the 2015 election that brought it to power, and the new constituent assembly already has virtually unlimited reach.

[FULL STORY HERE]

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

#MALDIVES: Army Occupies Parliament, Roughs Up Opposition, To Prevent No Confidence Votes

[world politics news]


The Maldives military locked down the nation’s parliament on Tuesday in what opposition lawmakers said was an attempt to block a motion to impeach the speaker of the house. Imthiyaz Fahmy, from the opposition Maldivian Democratic Party, tweeted a video of what he said were security forces in plain clothes blocking representatives from entering the chamber.

[FULL STORY HERE]

Monday, August 21, 2017

#ZIMBABWE: First Lady Allowed To Leave S. Africa Despite Assault Allegation

[world politics news]


South Africa has granted diplomatic immunity to Zimbabwean First Lady Grace Mugabe, allowing her to leave the country without answering questions about an assault allegation. A model says Mugabe attacked her at a hotel.

[FULL STORY HERE]

Sunday, August 20, 2017

#NIGERIA: After 104 Days Abroad, Pres. Buhari Returns Home After UK Medical Treatment

[world politics news]


Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari has returned to the country on Saturday after more than three months in the United Kingdom for medical treatment for an undisclosed "health challenge." The 74-year-old left for London on May 7.

[FULL STORY HERE]

Saturday, August 19, 2017

#IRAN: In Response To US Sanctions, Parliament Votes To Increase Spending On Missiles, Rev. Guard

[world politics news]


Iran’s parliament gave initial approval to a bill to boost spending on Tehran’s missile program and the elite Revolutionary Guards in retaliation for new sanctions imposed by the United States. Lawmakers overwhelmingly approved the outlines of the bill to “counter America’s terrorist and adventurist actions” as some chanted “Death to America."

[FULL STORY HERE]