Thursday, August 16, 2018

#USA: New Mexico Land Commissioner Halts Discussion With Feds Over State Land Near Proposed Border Wall

[world politics news]


New Mexico's State Land Commissioner Aubrey Dunn says he has ended negotiations with the Federal Government to settle a dispute over a piece of state trust land along the border with Mexico. The Federal Government already has constructed a fence as well as a road at the property, but Dunn, who this year switched from Republican to Libertarian, said the Feds do not have a right of way to use the state trust land, and is holding out for more than $54,000 from them to use the land. It has offered just over $8,700. For now, he's placed a "No Trespassing" sign on the state trust land.

[FULL STORY HERE]

#SOUTHKOREA: Governor Faces Arrest For Manipulating Online Opinion Polls

[world politics news]


Special investigators are seeking to arrest Kim Kyoung-soo, the incumbent governor of South Gyeongsang Province, over his involvement in an online opinion-rigging scandal. Kim is suspected of colluding with a blogger to use illegal software to manipulate public opinion ahead of last year’s presidential election.  Kim was grilled twice by the special counsel investigating the case, on Aug. 6 and 9.

[FULL STORY HERE]

Wednesday, August 15, 2018

#TUNISIA: President Proposes Law To Allow Equal Inheritance Rights For Women

[world politics news]


Tunisian president Beji Caid Sebsi says he will push for a new law to ensure equality in inheritance between men and women, in a first for the Arab world where legislation derived from Islam gives male descendants twice the share of females. In a nod to religious feeling in the Muslim country, he said any legislation – which would have to be debated and approved by parliament – should allow those who wanted to apply Islamic rules instead to pass down their property according to their wishes.

[FULL STORY HERE]

#MEXICO: Newly Elected Congresswoman Kidnapped

[world politics news]


A newly elected Mexican Congresswoman, Norma Azucena Rodríguez Zamora, has been kidnapped at gunpoint on a highway in central Hidalgo state. Two men shot at Rodríguez's car, injuring an assistant and the driver and causing the vehicle to flip over. The gunmen pulled Ms Rodríguez from the car and forced her into their vehicle.

[FULL STORY HERE]

Tuesday, August 14, 2018

#CANADA: In Diplomatic Fight, Saudi Arabia Launches Campaign To Defame Canada's Treatment Of Women

[world politics news]


Within hours of Saudi Arabia expelling Canada’s ambassador after Canada's foreign minister criticized the jailing of dissidents in the Kingdom, the country’s broadcasters and pro-government social media accounts launched a propaganda campaign against Canada, in part, attempting to argue that Canada is the "world's worst oppressor of women." This despite PM Trudeau's cabinet being composed of 50% women, and the fact that Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland, who leveled the charges, is herself a woman. They also asserted that best-selling Canadian author Jordan Peterson is a political prisoner (he is not) and that the streets of Canada are full of homeless people.

[FULL STORY HERE]

#NORWAY: Deputy Progress Party Leader Per Sandberg Will Resign After Controversial Iran Visits With Young Iranian Girlfriend

[world politics news]


Fisheries Minister and as the Progress Party deputy leader Per Sandberg, 58, is resigning after weeks of attacks, from the media, opposition politicians and even from within his own party, after he visited Iran in July with his new Iranian girlfriend. He alerted neither his own ministry nor the Prime Minister’s office before the trip, and he brought his official cell phone.

[FULL STORY HERE]

Monday, August 13, 2018

#UK: Labour Party Leader Laid Wreath At Ceremony Honoring 1972 Munich Terrorists

[world politics news]


Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbin laid a wreath during a Tunisia ceremony in commemorating the terrorists who took part in the 1972 Munich Olympics attack on the Israli team. When questions were raised, Corbyn initally said he only was "present" at the 2014 event. But later, a newspaper published a photo of Corbyn participating in the event by laying the wreath.

[FULL STORY HERE]

#HUNGARY: Party of PM Viktor Orban Moves To Ban Gender Studies Programs

[world politics news]


Fidesz, the conservative party of Prime Minister Viktor Orbán has introduced legislation to shut down accredited gender studies programs offered by universities in Hungary. The ban will primarily impact students at Eötvös Loránd University in Budapest - the only institution in Hungary, other than Central European University, to offer gender studies at the graduate level, and the only one to provide this program in Hungarian. Numbers of students affected would be low. Only 11 students have applied for the program this year.

[FULL STORY HERE]

Sunday, August 12, 2018

#EGYPT: Parliament To Consider "Temporary" 30% Progressive Income Tax On Businesses

[world politics news]


The Egyptian parliament is drafting a law to impose a progressive tax of at least 30 percent on annual incomes exceeding 1 million Egyptian Pounds, in order to reduce the financial burden on the poor. The bill will be discussed in autumn, according to Legislative Committee MP Moustafa Bakry. Bakry believes that "not too many" businessmen would object to the bill, arguing that the role of “social capital” – the economic benefits of a fair and stable distribution of wealth – was understood by many in Egypt’s business elite, particularly as it encourages social peace in the period of economic reforms.

[FULL STORY HERE]

#POLAND: Government Wants Permanent Base Of US Troops On Its Soil - And Offers To Pay $2 Billion To Bring Them!

[world politics news]


Poland wants a permanent U.S. military presence — and is willing to pony up as much as $2 billion to get it, according to a defense ministry proposal obtained by Polish news portal Onet. The Polish offer reflects a long-standing desire in Warsaw to build closer security relations with the U.S. and put American boots on the ground. The push dates back to Poland’s entry into NATO in 1999, but has taken on added urgency in the wake of Russia’s annexation of Ukraine’s Crimea region four years ago and aggressive posture toward the alliance.

[FULL STORY HERE]

Saturday, August 11, 2018

#JAPAN: Gov't Considers Splitting Massive Health, Labor & Welfare Ministry

[world politics news]


The Japanese government is considering splitting the Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare, concluding that the mammoth bureaucracy with an extensive portfolio is incapable of responding to the complex needs of an aging society. The ruling Liberal Democratic Party will submit a proposal as early as this month recommending a split, which will be part of a broader government review of its 13 agencies and ministries created through a reorganization 20 years ago.

[FULL STORY HERE]

Friday, August 10, 2018

#INDONESIA: New Anti-Terror Law Seeks To Protect Churches After Attacks

[world politics news]


Weeks after a radicalized Muslim family committed suicide attacks on churches in the city of Surabaya, Indonesia, the country passed an anti-terror law meant to prevent more attacks and foster the majority-Muslim country’s tolerant culture.

[FULL STORY HERE]

PICTURED: Indonesian President Joko Widodo, center, visits the scene of a church attacks in Surabaya, Indonesia, in May.

Thursday, August 09, 2018

#BULGARIA: Nation Is Close To Joining The Euro Common Currency

[world politics news]


Bulgaria, the European Union’s poorest country, has moved closer to adopting the European common currency, the Euro, after a meeting of Eurozone finance ministers in Brussels. The European Commission and the European Central Bank said an evaluation could be completed in “around a year." "The European Commission welcomes Bulgaria’s efforts to join the eurozone," Latvian Valdis Dombrovskis, Vice President of the European Commission told a news conference.

[FULL STORY HERE]

Wednesday, August 08, 2018

#URUGUAY: Former Pres. Jose Mujica Resigns From Senate, Considers Presidential Bid

[world politics news]


Uruguay's former President Jose Mujica has announced he will retire from the Senate on August 14, but has no plans to abandon political life – and may yet run for the presidency again in 2019. Speaking to local media, 83-year-old Mujica – who ruled from 2010 to 2015 and was immortalized as 'the world's humblest head of state' for donating 90 percent of his US$12,000 monthly salary to charity – said he was stepping down due to his advancing years and international travel plans. Still, he held out the prospect of running for president next year as an independent.

[FULL STORY HERE]

Tuesday, August 07, 2018

#CANADA: Saudi Arabia Expels Canadian Ambassador, Freezes Trade, After Gov't Tweet Urged Activists' Release

[world politics news]


Saudi Arabia ordered Canada's ambassador to leave the country and froze all new trade and investment transactions with Canada in a spat over human rights. The ministry added that Saudi Arabia is recalling its ambassador to Canada. Both the Saudi and Canadian ambassadors were away on leave at the time of the announcement.

[FULL STORY HERE]

#JAPAN: Second Senior Education Ministry Official Indicted On Bribery Charges

[world politics news]


A second senior official of Japan's education and science ministry has been arrested on bribery charges. Kazuaki Kawabata, the ministry's director-general for international affairs, allegedly accepted gifts in exchange for giving a favor to a medical consulting firm in Tokyo. Kawabata is suspected of being wined and dined to the tune of $12,600 from August 2015 to March 2017. During that period, he was on loan to the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency, or JAXA.

[FULL STORY HERE]

Monday, August 06, 2018

#SOUTHSUDAN: Rebel Leader To Return As Vice President As Part Of Power-Sharing Deal To End Civil War

[world politics news]


A power-sharing deal has been signed between South Sudan Pres. Salva Kiir and his deputy-turned-rebel leader Riek Machar, who will return to his position as one of the nation's four vice presidents, in the latest attempt to end a bloody civil war. The unitary government the two men will form together is the second attempt since 2013, when the Kiir accused Machar of plotting a coup, triggering a civil war. The last attempt, in 2015, collapsed when intense clashes broke out in Juba, the capital, a year after a similar deal was signed.

[FULL STORY HERE]

#GERMANY: Party Head Calls For Term Limits For German Chancellor; Says Merkel Looks "Tired" After 4 Terms

[world politics news]


A chancellor in Germany should stay in power no longer than eight or 10 years, Christian Lindner, the head of the Free Democratic Party, said recently in an interview. Lindner said Chancellor Angela Merkel, 64, who has been the chancellor since 2005, looks "exhausted," and Germany needs a "boost" of youthful leadership. Parliament elects a chancellor for four year terms, but there are no limits on how many terms they may serve. Merkel, the leader of the Christian Democratic Union, is currently in her fourth consecutive term.

[FULL STORY HERE]

Sunday, August 05, 2018

#SPAIN: Newly Elected Leader Of Spanish Popular Party Calls Out Prime Minister's Call For "New Blood" With Migrants

[world politics news]


The recently-elected leader of Spain's Popular Party, Pablo Casado, has promised to "defend the borders” against the millions of undocumented migrants who want to enter Spain. This comes at a time when Spain's Socialist Prime Minister, Pedro Sánchez, has openly welcomed migrants, saying they are "new blood" for a nation that isn't procreating. Casado accused Sánchez of incites more migrants to make the dangerous journey.

[FULL STORY HERE]

#AUSTRALIA: War of Words Over Deportations Of New Zealand Citizens Further Sours "Special" Relationship

[world politics news]


A war of words over Australia's policy of deporting New Zealanders is souring the "special relationship" between the two nations. Australia has deported more than 1,000 New Zealand citizens in the past two years but the recent detention of a 17-year-old New Zealander in an adult detention facility prompted New Zealand Justice Minister Andrew Little to say such deportations had a “venal, political strain” to them. Australian Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton responded by saying Australia did a lot of the "heavy lifting" in screening regional refugees, and that Little should "think more carefully before speaking."

[FULL STORY HERE]

Saturday, August 04, 2018

#GERMANY: Polling Shows Approval Of Merkel's Coalition Reaches A 12-Year Low Of 29%; Mass Demonstration Planned For Sept.

[world politics news]


Approval for Chancellor Angela Merkel’s Christian Democratic Union and its sister party, Bavaria’s Christian Social Union, has plunged to its lowest level since 2006, according to a new poll. Support for Merkel’s coalition dropped to just 29%, down from 33% in last September’s election. Her conservatives have been embroiled in an internal dispute over whether to turn back migrants at the German border who have registered elsewhere in the European Union. Mass demonstrations are planned against her leadership in September.

[FULL STORY HERE]

#BELGIUM: King's Brother Compares Hefty Fine For Attending Diplomatic Reception To "Persecution Of The Jews"

[world politics news]


Prince Laurent of Belgium - King Phillipe's brother and 12th in line to the throne - says being fined by parliament for attending a Chinese embassy reception without permission violates his rights akin to the "persecution of the Jews." He is suing parliament after it fined him 15% of his annual state allowance. The government had previously warned the eccentric prince not to attend diplomatic events without permission after previous breaches of protocol. He has made unsanctioned visits to Libya to meet Muammar Gaddafi, and to the Democratic Republic of Congo, a former Belgian colony.

[FULL STORY HERE]

Friday, August 03, 2018

#CHINA: Police Break Down Door Of Professor During Radio Interview Criticizing Chinese Foreign Aid Spending

[world politics news]


A retired professor had his door broken down by police and was forced to abandon a live radio interview in which he was criticizing the government's foreign aid spending. Wenguang Sun, a retired Shandong University professor, was speaking on a Voice Of America program Wednesday, when police stormed his home. He has recently written an article criticizing China's foreign aid policies, was reportedly discussing Beijing's relationship with African countries, when six officers entered his home and took him away. He is reportedly now under house arrest.


[FULL STORY HERE]

#THENETHERLANDS: Foreign Minister Under Fire For Criticism of Multicultural Nation-States; Comments About Singapore, Suriname

[world politics news]


Dutch Foreign Minister Stef Blok is under fire after making controversial comments about immigrants as well as saying he is unaware of any successful multicultural societies. Cell phone video of the comments, made by Blok at private meeting with Dutch nationals working for international groups, was leaked to the media. "Give me an example of a multi-ethnic or a multi-cultural society, in which the original population still lives," he said. "I don’t know one." When one member of the audience suggested Suriname, Blok described the former Dutch colony as a ‘failed state." Singapore was also discounted by Blok.

[FULL STORY HERE]

Thursday, August 02, 2018

#LEBANON: Bill Introduced In Parliament Seeks To Legalize Production Of Cannabis

[world politics news]


A bill has been introduced in Lebanon's parliament that would allow cultivation and use of cannabis for medical purposes. That's big news for residents of the nation's fertile Bekaa Valley in eastern Lebanon, which has long been known as one of the world's major growing regions, producing some of the finest quality cannabis, mostly processed into hashish. Today, the country is the third biggest producer in the world, according to the UN. After decades of crackdowns, growers in the valley hope to reap greater benefits and profits from the crop.

[FULL STORY HERE]

#SOUTHAFRICA: Taking Land From Whites Without Compensation Must Be Law, Pres. Ramaphosa Tells Parliament

[world politics news]


Pres. Cyril Ramaphosa has called for the ruling African National Congress to amend the constitution to allow land grabs from white farmers without compensation. Ramaphosa was making good on a campaign promise to return the lands owned by the whites since the 1600s to the country's black population. Economists fear a food production crisis if large commercial farms are seized, similar to one that gripped neighboring Zimbabwe when land appropriation plan was imposed in 1999.

[FULL STORY HERE]

Wednesday, August 01, 2018

#ZIMBABWE: Violence Erupts As Opposition Claims Monday's National Election Was "Rigged" In Favor Of Ruling Party

[world politics news]


Opposition supporters burnt tires in Zimbabwe's capital, Harare today, blocking some streets and engaging in running battles with police who fired water cannon to disperse protesters contesting the results of Monday's election, in which the ruling party claimed victory. International election observers and opposition leader Nelson Chamisa of the Movement for Democratic Change both questioned the results, Chamisa calling the results "rigged" in favor of the Zanu-PF Party.

[FULL STORY HERE]

#MALAYSIA: PM Asks For, Receives, Resignation Of Sovereign Wealth Fund's Board; Accused Of Rewarding Politicians

[world politics news]


The entire governing board of a sovereign wealth fund has resigned at the suggestion of Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad. The prime minister had accused the fund, which he created when he was previously prime minister, had deviated from its original objectives, and had become a convenient vehicle for the previous government to reward politicians and non-professionals with positions and lucrative compensation packages.

[FULL STORY HERE]

Tuesday, July 31, 2018

#QATAR: Rouge Sheikh Tears Into Rulers For Preventing Qataris From Attending Islamic Pilgrimage

[world politics news]


In a tweet, Sheikh Sultan bin Suhaim al-Thani, a member of the Qatari royal family, called preventing Qataris  from performing the Muslim pilgrimage to Mecca in neighboring Saudi Arabia an "injustice," and that the nation's rulers "held accountable for their crimes." The sheikh has urged his nation to "purge" terrorists and sever tries with Iran, ties that led to a diplomatic break with Saudi Arabia last year. The sheikh's assets were frozen by the government last year after he held a gathering of those who wish to overthrow the government, which he says has lost the right to rule.

[FULL STORY HERE]

Monday, July 30, 2018

#RUSSIA: Communist Party Organizes Mass Protests Against Gov't Plan To Raise Retirement Age

[world politics news]


The opposition Communist Party of the Russian Federation organized nationwide rallies this week to oppose the government's plan to raise the retirement age. The government says it needs to raise the pension age from 60 to 65 for men, and from 55 to 63 for women, to help cope with a shrinking workforce. But unions warn many people will not live long enough to claim a pension. Russian men have a life expectancy of just 66, while for women it is 77 , the World Health Organization says.

[FULL STORY HERE]

#SPAIN: Proposed Law Would Mean Women Must Give Explicit Verbal Consent Before Sex, Or It Is Considered Rape

[world politics news]


Spain's Socialist government is to introduce a law on consent aimed at removing ambiguity in rape cases. Under the law, consent would have to be explicitly given. It states that “yes means yes” and anything else, including silence, means no. Sex without explicit consent would therefore be considered rape. The move follows outrage over a controversial verdict in a Pamplona rape case, in which five men involved were accused of gang-raping an 18-year-old woman, who remained silent during the attack. A judge reduced the charges to assault because she didn't explicitly say "no."

[FULL STORY HERE]

Sunday, July 29, 2018

#ISRAEL: Two Cabinet Ministers Say New "Nation-State" Law Recognizing Israel As "Jewish State" Was A Mistake; Had Flaws

[world politics news]


Finance Minister Moshe Kahlon says mistakes were made in the recently approved "nation-state" law, saying it was passed "hastily." The law allows judges to give priority to Israel's Jewish character in their rulings. Education Minister Naftali Bennett, who supported and voted for the law, said the law hurt the feelings of members of Israel's Druze community. The government coalition advocated for an even more strongly worded version of the bill. Even the watered-down version has been widely criticized in the Middle East as lessening the rights of Arabs and other minorities living in Israel.

[FULL STORY HERE]

Pictured: Finance Minister Moshe Kahlon with Prime Minister Benjamin Nentanyahu

Saturday, July 28, 2018

#LEBANON: Two Months After Elections, Prime Minister Believes This Time, Government Close To Forming

[world politics news]


Prime Minister-designate Saad Hariri says he's confident he can form a government with multiple squabbling political parties and religious factions jockeying for power in a 30-member national unity government. Elections were held on June 30, the first elections held in the country since 2009, but a government has been unable to form since then.

[FULL STORY HERE]

#HONGKONG: Small Pro-Independence Group To Be Banned After Police Say It Advocated Violence; Pressure From Beijing Suspected

[world politics news]


The small, separatist Hong Kong National Party could be banned after police say it advocated violence. The move is raising concerns that the Communist Mainland, ahead of a turnover of the city to China in the 2040s, could be losing its freedom of political expression. The fears are being given credence  after Hong Kong Leader Carrie Lam said that any advocacy of separatism "will be suppressed." Opponents of the party say its statements that it would take "any steps necessary" to achieve its political goals prompted police concerns. The party was given 21 days to respond to the charges.

[FULL STORY HERE]

Friday, July 27, 2018

#ICELAND: Parties Walk Out Of Speech Given By Danish Parliament Speaker, Member Of Danish Anti-Immigrant Party

[world politics news]


Members of the Social Democratic and Pirate Parties walked out and boycotted a speech given to members of the Icelandic Parliament by the speaker of the Danish Parliament, on the anniversary of Iceland's independence from Denmark. Members said they were protesting the views of Pia Kjærsgaard, the former leader of the populist anti-immigration Danish People’s Party. Kkærsgaard gave the speech at the Thingvellir, a historic site and national park near Reykjavik that was the location of Iceland’s Althing parliament from the 10th to the 18th centuries. Iceland switched from home rule to full independence from Denmark in 1918.

[FULL STORY HERE]

Thursday, July 26, 2018

#PAKISTAN: Former Cricket Star Imran Khan Claims Victory In Presidential Election

[world politics news]


Pakistan cricket hero turned politician Imran Khan claimed victory on Thursday in the country's tense general election, following accusations of "blatant" vote-rigging by rival parties. There was no official confirmation of results from Pakistan's election commission almost 24 hours after polls closed in Wednesday’s vote but partial, unofficial tallies showed Khan’s Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf Party enjoying a clear lead.

[FULL STORY HERE]

#TURKEY: Gov't Says It Won't Comply With US Sanctions On #Iranian Oil

[world politics news]


Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu says the nation plans to keep purchasing Iranian oil in defiance of American sanctions on the rogue regime, setting up another clash between the U.S. and Turkey. Turkish officials have dismissed the U.S. threat of sanctions to constrain the choices of other countries.

[FULL STORY HERE]

Wednesday, July 25, 2018

#TAIWAN: China Demands That US Airlines Refer To Taiwan As Part Of China, And "Taipei" On Websites; Airlines Comply

[world politics news]


Major US airlines have been forced to comply with China’s demand that from now on, they refer to Taiwan as a part of China in their flight schedules - explicitly using the name "Taipei" instead of Taiwan - with American Airlines, Delta, and others making changes to their websites ahead of Beijing’s Wednesday deadline.

[FULL STORY HERE]

Tuesday, July 24, 2018

#CANADA: Prime Minister #JustinTrudeau Expands, Shuffles Cabinet Ahead of 2019 Elections

[world politics news]


Prime Minister Justin Trudeau revealed his election year cabinet, expanding it by five members, and significantly shuffling some key responsibilities such as international trade, natural resources and border security. The prime minister also delegated intergovernmental affairs to his longtime friend and political ally Dominic Leblanc.

[FULL STORY HERE]

Monday, July 23, 2018

#UK: Ahead Of #Brexit, EU Is Already "Discriminating" Against UK Aid Agencies, Says UK Development Minister

[world politics news]


The UK’s development minister has accused the European Commission of discriminating against UK aid agencies, in a move that could scupper future partnerships after the UK leaves the EU. Speaking at a hearing of the UK Parliament’s International Development committee, Penny Mordaunt said the Commission was deliberately ignoring an agreement allowing UK agencies to continue to access EU humanitarian aid funds while it negotiates a new post-Brexit deal.

[FULL STORY HERE]

Sunday, July 22, 2018

#MALAYSIA: Economics Minister Reveals US$27 Billion In "Hidden Costs" In Malay-Singapore High Speed Rail Project

[world politics news]


Malaysian Economic Affairs Minister Mohamed Azmin Ali says his government's estimated US$27.1 billion (RM110 billion/S$37 billion) price tag for the Kuala Lumpur-Singapore High Speed Rail project includes hidden costs not revealed by the previous administration. Ali said the project was too costly as the country faced a national debt of US$246 billion. The previous administration under Barisan Nasional, which was defeated in the May 9 general election, had said the project would cost about $US17.7 billion.

[FULL STORY HERE]

Saturday, July 21, 2018

#BREAKING: #JulianAssange May Soon Be Evicted From #Ecuador's London Embassy, Says Report

[world politics news]


Wikileaks founder Julian Assange is close to being evicted from the Ecuadorian embassy in London, where he's resided since 2012, according to a news report in The Intercept. Ecuadorian Pres. Lenin Moreno - with whom Assange has reportedly clashed on policy - was in London Friday to speak at the 2018 Global Disabilities Summit. The concealed, actual purpose of the President’s trip, reports Glenn Greenwald, is to meet with British officials to finalize an agreement under which Ecuador will withdraw asylum protection from Assange and then hand him over to British authorities.

[FULL STORY HERE]

#AUSTRIA: Regional Animal Welfare Minister Suggests "Registering Jews" Who Want To Kill Animals For Kosher Food - Gov't Rejects Idea

[world politics news]


A regional politician's plan that would have allowed Jews to buy kosher meat only if they were officially registered and granted a special permit has been quickly shot down by Federal officials. The Minister for Animal Welfare in the state of Lower Austria, Gottfried Waldhausl, said it was an attempt to reduce the amount of animals ritually slaughtered every year. Government spokesman Peter Launsky-Tieffenthal said Austria would "protect the freedoms and fundamental rights of our Jewish fellow citizens." And tweeted, "The Federal Government rejects any form of personal registration in connection with the purchase of kosher meat, such an idea is out of question."

[FULL STORY HERE]

Friday, July 20, 2018

#PERU: Pres. Vizcarra Fires Justice Minister After Release Of Damaging Audio Recordings Spark Corruption Scandal

[world politics news]


Pres. Martin Vizcarra has dismissed Peru's Justice Minister Salvador Heresi after the publication of a series of audio recordings that sparked a scandal over the sale of sentences and influence peddling. The audio recordings scandal had already claimed eight victims before Heresi, with five judges and three judicial officials having been suspended.

[FULL STORY HERE]

Thursday, July 19, 2018

#AUSTRALIA: Media Union Complains After Being Shut Out Of Dinner Featuring Opposition Leader's Speech

[world politics news]


The union representing journalists has called "absurd’" the Australian Council of Trade Unions' decision to ban the media from attending Opposition Leader Bill Shorten's address to the ACTU Congress dinner. The Media, Entertainment and Arts Alliance said it had registered a complaint with the ACTU over the exclusion of journalists from the dinner in Brisbane. MEAA Media section president Marcus Strom said it was “the first time anyone can recall journalists being excluded from the Congress dinner." Media reports said people were Tweeting and live-streaming the event. UK Labour Party Leader Jeremy Corbyn also spoke at the event.

[FULL STORY HERE]

Wednesday, July 18, 2018

#JAPAN: Upper House Passes Bill To Raise Number Of Its Members To 248

[world politics news]


The Upper House of the Legislature, the House of Councillors, has passed an amendment to the election law calling for increasing the number of seats in the upper chamber of Japan’s Diet by six from the current 242. The bill was sponsored by the ruling Liberal Democratic Party, and passed mostly with votes from its coalition partner, Komeito. The legislation has been sent to the House of Representatives, the powerful lower chamber.

[FULL STORY HERE]

Tuesday, July 17, 2018

#JAPAN: Island Dispute Flares Up After China Denounces Japanese Mayor's Plan To Rename Islands Claimed by Both Nations

[world politics news]


The Chinese government has condemned a Japanese mayor's plan to change the name of a small group of islands in the East China Sea. Ishigaki Mayor Yoshitaka Nakayama wants to change the name of the Japanese-controlled islands from "Tonoshiro, Ishigaki City,” to “Senkaku, Ishigaki City." China and Taiwan claim the islands, with China calling them the the Diaoyu Islands, Taiwan, the Tiaoyutai Islands. They are located between Okinawa and Taiwan, and are said to be close to undersea oil fields. Foreign Ministry spokesperson Geng Shuang said, "Whatever tricks Japan plays, it will not change the fact that the Diaoyu Islands belong to China."

[FULL STORY HERE, also HERE]

Monday, July 16, 2018

#HAITI: Prime Minister Resigns Following Rioting Over Gas Price Hikes

[world politics news]


Prime Minister Jack Guy Lafontant abruptly resigned Saturday, avoiding being forcibly ousted in a no-confidence vote by the country’s Lower Chamber of Deputies. Haiti’s parliament had scheduled a hearing on Saturday to fire Lafontant and his 18 cabinet members after an unpopular fuel price hike led to riots last weekend

[FULL STORY HERE]

Sunday, July 15, 2018

#SAUDIARABIA: New Bankruptcy Law Seeks To Empower Loaners, Preserve Debtor's Rights, Improve Int'l Standings

[world politics news]


A new bankruptcy law will come into effect in August that seeks to empower loaners, while also preserve the rights of debtors. Majed al-Rasheed, secretary general of the bankruptcy committee at the Ministry of Commerce and Investment, says the law will also improve Saudi Arabia's standing in international reports dealing with insolvency. The Kingdom currently ranks at 168 out of 190 countries.

[FULL STORY HERE]

Saturday, July 14, 2018

#TRINIDAD: Member Of Parliament Threatens Defamation Suit Against Facebook Posts Attacking Family Members

[world politics news]


A member of Trinidad and Tobago's parliament, Dr Surujrattan Rambachan, has threatened legal action against those responsible for two posts on social media attacking his family. In a statement, Rambachan said the posts were "malicious rumors" that bear no truth. He said the statements posted on two public Facebook pages were highly libelous and inflammatory. "Those posts are engaging the attention of my attorneys who have been instructed to use all means available to trace the source of the posts,” he said. Rambachan, who represents Tabaquite, a town in central Trinidad, said he would act to protect his family's reputation. He was responding to posts stating one of Rambachan's relatives is being investigated for a sex-related crime. according to local media.

[FULL STORY HERE]