Wednesday, May 31, 2017

#EGYPT: Pres. Sisi Signs Controversial, Restrictive NGO Bill Into Law

[world politics news]


Egypt’s contentious NGO law was approved by Pres. Abdel Fattah al-Sisi. The law will go into effect on Tuesday, May 30, over six months after it was approved by Parliament.

 [FULL STORY HERE]

Tuesday, May 30, 2017

#CANADA: Newly Elected Conservative Party Leader Andrew Scheer Addresses Colleagues

[world politics news]


Newly elected Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer is basking in a hero’s welcome on Parliament Hill.The 38-year-old Saskatchewan member of Parliament was feted by his fellow MPs and leadership rivals alike as he arrived to address the Tory caucus for the first time at the helm of the party.

[FULL STORY HERE]

Thursday, May 25, 2017

#SPAIN: Socialist Opposition Passes Non-Binding Motion To Remove Franco From Tomb

[world politics news]


Spain's opposition parties have voted to move the remains of fascist dictator Francisco Franco out of a state-funded mausoleum, in a non-binding parliamentary motion the government is likely to resist. The motion, backed by parties on the left and center, reflected growing pressure from campaign groups and politicians to turn the site into a broader memorial honoring those who died on both sides of Spain's 1936-1939 civil war.

[FULL STORY HERE]

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

#SINGAPORE: Legislators To Be Given More Time To Study Proposed Legislation

[world politics news]


Singaporean legislators will have 10 instead of seven days between readings of bills under a new parliamentary rule. Parliamentary Standing Orders - rules governing Parliament’s proceedings and conduct - were amended earlier this month for the first time since 2010. The minimum interval between proposed legislation or introduction of a Bill (First Reading) and the resulting debate (Second Reading) was increased from seven to 10 working days.

[FULL STORY HERE]

#SOUTHKOREA: New Pres. Moon Taking "Softer" Approach To North Korean Neighbors

[world politics news]


South Korea says it wants to re-establish lines of communication with North Korea, as new President Moon Jae-in seeks a two-track policy involving sanctions and dialogue with its reclusive neighbor to rein in its nuclear and missile programs. The two countries are technically still at war because their 1950-53 conflict ended in a truce, not a peace treaty. The North has ignored calls to curb its weapons programs, defending them as necessary to counter US hostility.


[FULL STORY HERE]

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

#TURKEY: Pres. Erdogan Won't End State Of Emergency Until "Peace & Prosperity" Achieved

[world politics news]



Despite calls from international rights organizations and the European Union, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Sunday promised not to end an ongoing state of emergency and called for the continuance of a campaign against the G├╝len movement, which the government says was behind last year's coup attempt. He made his remarks during the third extraordinary congress of the ruling Justice and Development Party, where he was to be elected chairman.

[FULL STORY HERE]

#SWITZERLAND: Voters Reject Nuclear Power, Embrace Renewables; Critics Warn Of Energy Shortages

[world politics news]


Voters have endorsed a new energy law that aims to promote renewable energy, ban new nuclear power plants and lower energy consumption. Final results show just over 58% of voters on Sunday coming out in favor of the Energy Strategy program. Supporters said the result is a "historic step for Switzerland," while opponents have warned of a shortage of energy supplies in winter. Interestingly, regions where the country's five nuclear reactors are situated rejected the reform with clear majorities.

[FULL STORY HERE]

Monday, May 22, 2017

#AUSTRALIA: Construction Of Controversial Fence Around Parliament Building Begins

[world politics news]


Construction of controversial new security fences across the lawns of Parliament House will be under way within weeks after construction equipment and temporary buildings were installed for upgrades. Traffic around the ministerial entrance at the back of the building was slowed as a large crane lowered equipment behind the existing security fencing while new temporary markings appeared on the nearby lawns.

[FULL STORY HERE]

#UK: Germany's Merkel Warns PM May Over Stricter Post-Brexit Border Rules

[world politics news]


German Chancellor Angela Merkel has said Britain will face the consequences if the Government puts an end to free movement after Brexit. British Prime Minister Theresa May has repeatedly vowed to impose stricter immigration measures after the UK officially leaves the EU in 2019.

[FULL STORY HERE]

Sunday, May 21, 2017

#IRAN: Pres. Rouhani Beats Back Rivals To Win Another Term

[world politics news]


Iran's reformist President Hassan Rouhani has decisively won the country's presidential election, according to official results, fending off a challenge by his principle rival, Ebrahim Raisi. With all of votes in Friday's poll counted, Rouhani was re-elected with 57 percent. Of some 41.2 million total votes cast, Rouhani got 23.5, it was announced on state TV.

[FULL STORY HERE]

#BRAZIL: Pres. Temer Vows To Fight For Political Life After Court Launches Bribery Investigation

[world politics news]


Brazil’s president Michel Temer has vowed to fight for his political life after the supreme court approved an investigation of allegations that he condoned hush money pay-offs to a witness in a sprawling corruption scandal. "I will not resign. I repeat: I will not resign. I know what I did,” he said in a live TV broadcast, amid growing calls for him to stand down following the suspension of one of his closest confidants in Congress and most powerful coalition allies in the Senate.

[FULL STORY HERE]

Saturday, May 20, 2017

#UK: PM May To All "Free Vote" In Parliament Over Re-Legalizing Fox Hunting After Election

[world politics news]


Prime Minister Theresa May says she will urge Parliament to allow a "free vote" after the June election on the issue of making fox hunting legal again. Du ring a campaign trip, she said that she personally hopes to bring back fox hunting, and said she was in favor of the outlawed activity and hopes Parliament overturns the ban, which was put in place in 2004.

[FULL STORY HERE]

#EU: Far-Left Parties In EU Parliament To Investigate Whether Member State Hungary Is Still A Democracy

[world politics news]


In an unprecedented move, the European Parliament have called for the triggering of a check on the state of Hungary's democracy which could lead to the suspension of the country's EU voting rights. A resolution proposed by the socialists, far-left parties, the greens and the liberals to trigger Article 7 of the EU treaty was passed with a majority of 393 votes against 221. Votes from members of the center-right European People’s Party tilted the balance.

[FULL STORY HERE]

Friday, May 19, 2017

#THEPHILIPPINES: Pres. Duterte Bans Smoking In All Public Places, Indoors & Outdoors, With Exec. Order

[world politics news]


Pres. Rodrigo Duterte has signed an executive order banning smoking in all public places throughout the country, both indoors and outdoors, apart from in tightly controlled areas. Filipinos will only be allowed to smoke in designated public areas not larger than ten square meters. Those who flout the ban will face four months in prison and a 5,000 peso fine. Tobacco advertising was also outlawed by the order.

[FULL STORY HERE]

#BOSNIA: Regional Serb Parliament Votes Against Selling Iron Ore Mine To Israeli Company

[world politics news]


The Bosnian Serb parliament has voted against the sale of a government stake in an iron ore mine to the Israeli Investment Group after ArcelorMittal warned it would take legal action if it went ahead. The government plan to sell the Ljubija mine to little-known IIG, which has no mining record, instead of to the world's largest steel producer has polarized Bosnian Serb politicians and triggered protests by miners fearing job losses.

[FULL STORY HERE]


Thursday, May 18, 2017

#UK: Isle Of Man's Lower House Amends Regulations For Brick-And-Mortar Casinos

[world politics news]


Proposed legislation that would amend existing casino regulations on the Isle Of Man and allow bricks-and-mortar gambling venues to relocate without losing their license has been approved by the lower house of the island’s parliament. Known as the Casino Amendment Bill, the legislation to amend the governing Casino Act was ratified by the directly-elected House Of Keys following a second reading last week and is now set to be put to a vote in the upper Legislative Council.

[FULL STORY HERE]

#AUSTRIA: Parliament Bans Full-Face Veil In Public

[world politics news]


Austrian members of parliament have approved a bill which bans garments that fully cover the face of women - the latest restriction for the country's Muslim population. The provision, adopted on Tuesday night, was backed by both ruling parties and means that people wearing full-face veils in public will be subject to a $166 fine starting in October. The ban is part of a larger package which also forbids the distribution of the Quran and requires all migrants in Austria to participate in an "integration" year during which they take classes to learn German and ethics considered customary in Austria.

[FULL STORY HERE]

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

#THEPHILIPPINES: Pres. Duterte Calls For Turkey's, Mongolia's Inclusion In Southeast Asia Group

[world politics news]


Controversial Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte, this year's head of ASEAN, a group of Southeast Asian nations, says he would push for the inclusion of Turkey and Mongolia in the group, dismissing concerns that they lie in Europe and northern Asia, respectively. Duterte said leaders of Turkey and Mongolia told him about their desire to join the Association of Southeast Asian Nations while they were in China over the weekend for a summit.

[FULL STORY HERE]



#THENETHERLANDS: Geert Wilders' Pty Could Be Invited Into Coalition Gov't As Major Pty Talks Fail

[world politics news]


Photos have shown Freedom Party leader Geert Wilders arriving at the nation's legislature as negotiations between prime minister Mark Rutte and the Greens to form a coalition government have stalled, mainly over immigration policy. The outspoken anti-immigrant politician and his party were frozen out of talks after all mainstream parties refused to work with him, despite winning the second-largest number of seats in the recent Dutch election.

[FULL STORY HERE]

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

#ISRAEL: Furious Response After US Consulate Official Tells Israelis Western Wall "Not Yours"

[world politics news]


The American official who sniped at his Israeli counterparts that the Western Wall, the holiest place for Jews to pray, is not part of Israel and not Israel’s responsibility was named in a TV report as David Berns, the political counselor at the US Consulate in Jerusalem. A second US official, the consulate’s economic counselor Jonathan Shrier, was also involved in the bitter diplomatic incident, which quickly led to an angry shouting match. The official made the remarks while preparing for Pres. Trump's visit next week.

[FULL STORY HERE]

#FRANCE: Pres. Emmanuel Macron Names Center-Right Edouard Philippe As Prime Minister

[world politics news]


Newly-inaugurated French President Emmanuel Macron appointed a conservative prime minister on Monday in a move to broaden his political appeal and weaken his opponents before legislative elections in June. Edouard Philippe, 46, a lawmaker and mayor of port city Le Havre, is from the moderate wing of the main center-right Republican Party and is said to have been chosen as a counterweight to former Socialist MPs who have joined Macron's cause.

[FULL STORY HERE]

Monday, May 15, 2017

#GERMANY: Merkel’s Party Wins Vote In North Rhine-Westphalia State

[world politics news]


Chancellor Angela Merkel's party has dealt a devastating blow to its main rival Sunday, four months before national elections, when early results showed her party securing a strong win in a regional vote in Germany's biggest state.

[FULL STORY HERE]

#SCOTLAND: Bill In Scottish Parliament Would Ban Parents From "Smacking" Their Kids

[world politics news]


A Green member of the Scottish Parliament, John Finnie, is supporting legislation to ban parents in Scotland from striking their children. Public consultations on the bill will run through early August. The bill seeks to give children equal protection from assault, says Finnie, and the idea is backed by a number of children's charities and the Church of Scotland.

[FULL STORY HERE]

Sunday, May 14, 2017

#CANADA: Liberal Bill Would Ban Oil Tankers Off British Columbia's Northern Coast

[world politics news]


The federal Liberal government has introduced legislation that will turn into law the informal ban on crude oil tanker traffic off B.C.'s North Coast. The law would prohibit oil tankers from carrying crude and persistent oils as cargo from stopping, loading or unloading at ports or marine installations in northern B.C. The moratorium area would extend from B.C.'s northern border with the U.S down to the mainland adjacent to the northern tip of Vancouver Island, including Haida Gwaii. Vessels will be permitted in the moratorium area to deliver shipments to northern communities.

[FULL STORY HERE]

#AUSTRALIA: Bill To Decriminalize Abortions In New South Wales Fails

[world politics news]


A bill to decriminalize abortion has been voted down in New South Wales Parliament in a 25 to 14 vote. Greens MP Mehreen Faruqi's bill sought to have offences relating to abortion removed from the Crimes Act and common law. It also required doctors who objected to abortion to refer patients on to a doctor who would help them and to install 150-meter safe access zones around abortion clinics to prevent the harassment of staff and patients.

[FULL STORY HERE]

Saturday, May 13, 2017

#UK: Labour Pty Ldr #Corbyn Says He's No Pacifist, Despite Pledge To Create "Ministry Of Peace"

[world politics news]


Labour Party Leader Jeremy Corbyn has insisted he can defend Britain if he becomes Prime Minister and claims to be “no pacifist” despite creating a "Ministry for Peace." The party leader said he would "reshape our relations with our partners around world and strengthen the UN" as he tried to repair his battered reputation on the subject. He said the war on terror has been a failure, and promised that as Prime Minister, he would not be afraid to stand up to Donald Trump’s administration.

[FULL STORY HERE]

#KENYA: Legislation Would Give Mothers Of Newborns 6 Months Unpaid Leave

[world politics news]


Working mothers in Kenya could spend at least six months with their newborns if an amendment to the Employment Act that seeks to increase maternity leave is adopted. Buuri MP Kinoti Gatobu is proposing the law to provide for an option to extend maternity leave by another three months without pay.

[FULL STORY HERE]

Friday, May 12, 2017

#UK: Critics Say Leaked Labour Party Platform Is "Return To 1970s"; Features Nationalization Of Services

[world politics news]


A leaked copy of the draft campaign platform of the Labour Party has unveiled a left-wing vision for Britain, including promises to re-nationalize industries and impose wage caps on companies. Under the plan a Labour government led by Jeremy Corbyn would bring the railways, some energy firms, and Royal Mail back into public ownership, according to a 43-page document leaked to two national newspapers.

[FULL STORY HERE]


#CANADA: Saskatchewan Environment Min. Says Province Will "Never" Be Part Of Carbon Tax Plan

[world politics news]


Saskatchewan Environment Minister Scott Moe says his province will do whatever it takes to keep Ottawa from forcing it to implement a carbon tax. Moe’s federal counterpart, Catherine McKenna, says she’s “optimistic" both Saskatchewan and Manitoba will eventually join the Pan-Canadian Framework on Clean Growth and Climate Change. Moe says Saskatchewan has plans to meet its emissions reductions targets using clean technology and innovation, but it will take Ottawa to court before allowing a carbon price.

[FULL STORY HERE]

Thursday, May 11, 2017

#ISRAEL: Lawmakers Move To Name Israel "National Home Of The Jewish People"

[world politics news]


With a 48-41 vote in the 120-seat Knesset, Israeli lawmakers gave initial approval to a bill to redefine Israel as "the national home of the Jewish people." Authors called the bill, which would enshrine Hebrew as Israel's official language, "especially crucial in times like these, when there are those who seek to undermine the Jewish people's right to a national home in their land." The bill revokes the status of Arabic as an official language, even though it is the mother tongue of one in five citizens.

[FULL STORY HERE]

#IRAN: Defense Minister Threatens To Destroy Saudi Arabia (Except For Muslim Holy Sites There) Amid War Of Words

[world politics news]


Iran's defense minister has lashed back at Saudi Arabia, slamming the kingdom's deputy crown prince over belligerent comments last week that underscored the deep rivalries between the Sunni and Shiite power. Defense Minister Gen. Hossein Dehghan has been quoted as saying that Iran would advise against "such a stupidity" because in that case, nothing would be "left in Saudi Arabia except Mecca and Medina," the two holy cities.

[FULL STORY HERE]

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

#CHINA: Committee Drafts New Laws Regulating How Fast The National Anthem Is Sung

[world politics news]


Lawmakers are drafting a bill on the use of the national anthem, the Commission for Legislative Affairs of the National People's Congress has said. China has already banned its national anthem from being belted out at weddings and funerals – but now, even more restrictions are on the way. A law is being prepared to set the tempo at which the ballad should be played and sung, with consequences for those who put the anthem in a "damaging situation."

[FULL STORY HERE]

#TURKEY: Oppo. Ldr. Echoes Erdogan's Call To Bring Back Death Penalty; Killing EU Prospects

[world politics news]


The leader of one of Turkey’s main opposition parties says Turkey should bring back the death penalty. Speaking to his Nationalist Movement Party's parliamentary group meeting, Devlet Bahceli called for the ruling Justice and Development Party to immediately bring a bill to reinstate capital punishment to parliament. Pres. Recep Tayyip Erdogan has also spoken about reinstating capital punishment, especially to punish plotters of last year’s failed coup. The European Union has repeatedly warned that reinstatement would mean the end of Turkey’ EU accession, but Erdogan has brushed off those warnings.

[FULL STORY HERE]

Tuesday, May 09, 2017

#SOUTHKOREA: Liberals Return To Power After Scandal, Impeachment Of Pres. Park

[world politics news]


Moon Jae-in, a human rights lawyer-turned liberal politician, will take the South Korean presidency in a landslide. His win marks the return of a liberal administration after just under 10 years of conservative governments and seven months of a political turmoil set off by a scandal involving former conservative Pres. Park Geun-hye, leading to her impeachment.

[FULL STORY HERE]

#JAPAN: PM Abe Reveals Plans To Amend The Constitution By 2020, Recognizing Defense Force

[world politics news]


Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has revealed plans to revise the nation's constitution by 2020. Abe revealed his plan in a video address to a gathering of amendment supporters in Tokyo on Wednesday, the nation's Constitution Day. Abe said he has high hopes that the year will also see a new Constitution brought into effect, and that he wants to clear a path in that direction for the country's future. He stressed that a clause acknowledging the existence of the country's Self-Defense Forces should be included in war-renouncing Article 9 of the Constitution. He said this should be done now to finally end all doubt about the legality of the SDF.

[FULL STORY HERE]

Sunday, May 07, 2017

#FRANCE: Macron Defeats Le Pen In French Presidential Election

[world politics news]


Centrist candidate Emmanuel Macron has decisively won the French presidential election. Macron defeated far-right candidate Marine Le Pen by about 65.5% to 34.5% to become, at 39, the country's youngest president. Macron will become the first president from outside the two traditional main parties since the modern republic's foundation in 1958, and the youngest leader of France since Napoleon. He said that a new page was being turned in French history. "I want it to be a page of hope and trust," he said.

[FULL STORY HERE]


Thursday, May 04, 2017

#UK: Labour Party Proposes Tough Renter Protections Against Landlords

[world politics news]


The Labour Party is proposing tough new standards protecting renters if they are elected in the next general election. Landlords who fail to meet the "tougher" minimum standards would face fines of up to £100,000. The proposals include requirements for safe wiring and appliances, freedom from damp and general good repair. The Conservatives said the plan could increase people's rent.

[FULL STORY HERE]


Wednesday, May 03, 2017

#TURKEY: Gov't Blocks Wikipedia Citing National Security Concerns

[world politics news]


In a move that will surely further alarm civil rights groups, the government of Turkey has blocked online encyclopedia Wikipedia, citing a law allowing it to ban access to websites deemed obscene or a threat to national security.

[FULL STORY HERE]

#CANADA: Nova Scotia Oppo. Ptys Prep Campaigns After Video Leaks Election Date

[world politics news]


Nova Scotia's opposition parties have officially launched their campaigns in anticipation of an election call that could come as soon as this weekend thanks to an apparent gaffe by the governing Liberal party. Progressive Conservative Leader Jamie Baillie was greeted by cheers as he took the stage before scores supporters at a campaign rally in Dartmouth, N.S., on Saturday. It didn't take long for him to poke fun at his opponents' seeming campaign misfire Friday, when the Liberals released — and promptly pulled — a video advertising a May 30 election date.

[FULL STORY HERE]

Tuesday, May 02, 2017

#UK: Donald Tusk Throws Down Gauntlet On Brexit

[world politics news]


The European Union has thrown down the Brexit gauntlet to Theresa May, issuing an uncompromising list of Brexit demands at a special EU Leaders’ summit amid signs of rising tensions between London and Brussels.

[FULL STORY HERE]

#JAPAN: PM Abe Warns Of "Looseness" In Cabinet, Criticizes Post-Disaster Minister's Comments

[world politics news]


Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe mentioned the "looseness" of his cabinet on Wednesday as he effectively sacked Masahiro Imamura from the post of post-disaster reconstruction minister the same day over his latest gaffe.  Imamaura, speaking in Parliament, had said it was "good"  that the March 2011 quake and tsunami happened in the northern region, rather than in metropolitan Tokyo. He later resigned from the cabinet.

[FULL STORY HERE]


Monday, May 01, 2017

#CHINA: Leaders Seek To Stave Off Economic Slowdown, Financial Risks

[world politics news]


Top leaders in China have called for greater efforts to ensure financial security, recognizing that stability plays a key role in maintaining healthy economic growth. Safeguarding financial security is a strategic and fundamental task in the economic and social development of China, Pres. Xi Jinping, also general secretary of the Communist Party of China Central Committee, said at a group study for members of the Political Bureau. He stressed the need to be aware of "hidden peril."

[FULL STORY HERE]

#HUNGARY: EU Skeptic Said To Have Moderated His Stance Toward Complying With EU Laws

[world politics news]


Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban promised to respect EU law after the EU's conservative EPP party's leadership told him during a recent meeting that his attempts to close the Central European University and his open campaign against Brussels were "unacceptable." It's unclear whether this pledge - which followed the contentious meeting - will mean any kind of reversal in policy from Orban.

Pictured: PM Viktor Orban, left, on the way to the EU meeting Saturday.