Sunday, November 30, 2014

#HONGKONG: Lawmaker Condemns Police Brutality Against Protesters, Bystanders

[world politics news]

Civic Party lawmaker Claudia Mo has condemned police brutality shown to protesters in Hong Kong's Mongkok district last week. The protests were the hold-over of much larger demonstrations seeking political reforms and less interference from Mainland Communist Party bosses. Bystanders were shown on video also being beaten.

#TAIWAN: PM Jiang Yi-huah Resigns After KMT Pty Crushed In Local Elections

[world politics news]

Prime Minister Jiang Yi-huah has resigned after the ruling Kuomintang Party (KMT) experienced heavy losses in local elections Saturday. It was seen as a referendum on Pres. Ma Ying-jeou ahead of elections in 2016. The KMT has dominated Taiwan since anti-communists fled to the island in the 1940s.

#KENYA: Marathoner Wesley Korir, Now In Parliament, Seeks #Doping Ban, Targets Doctors, Agents

[world politics news]

Wesley Korir, professional runner and winner of the 2012 Boston Marathon, now a member of Kenya's parliament, has introduced a bill to criminalize doping in sports, targeting not only athletes but also their agents and doctors.

Saturday, November 29, 2014

#EGYPT: Rioting After Ex-Pres. #HosniMubarak Acquitted Of Murdering Arab Spring Protesters; Graft

[world politics news]

#RUSSIA: Duma Deputies Call For "Anti-Russian" Ukrainians To Be Banned From State TV, Radio

[world politics news]

Two Duma deputies have sent a letter to the managers of Russian state TV and radio stations asking them to take any Ukrainian cultural figures who are "anti-Russian" off air. The tit-for-tat move came just days after Ukraine's Ministry of Culture decided to ban 14 "anti-Ukrainian" Russians from entering the country due to their support for the annexation of Crimea.

#FRANCE: Parliament Begins Debate on Recognizing Palestinian Independence

[world politics news]

#FINLAND: Parliament Approves Gay Marriage in 105-92 Vote

[world politics news]

The Finnish Parliament voted Friday to allow gender-neutral marriage, 105-92. The vote had been expected to be closer. Finland is the last Nordic nation to allow gay marriage. It will take effect in late 2016.

Friday, November 28, 2014

#EU: European Parliament Passes Resolution Calling for Break-Up of Google "Monopoly"

[world politics news]

European parliament overwhelmingly approved a resolution aimed at keeping companies like Google from dominating the search engine market. It calls on the European Commission to "consider proposals with the aim of unbundling search engines from other commercial services as one potential long-term solution," to ensure fair competition.

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

#SOUTHKOREA: National Assembly Votes to Disband Coast Guard In Wake of Ferry Tragedy

[world politics news]

South Korea's National Assembly has voted 146-71 to disband the coast guard, which has been criticized over its failure to rescue hundreds of passengers during the sinking of a ferry in April. The coast guard's duties will be split between the National Police Agency and a new safety agency.

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

#FRANCE: Justice Min. Wades into Ferguson Riots; Blames US Racism; Tweets That Cops May Kill Toddlers Next

[world politics news]

France's black Justice Minister Christiane Taubira on Tuesday waded into the Ferguson, Missouri shooting death of Michael Brown, quoting reggae singer Bob Marley on Twitter and pondering whether American police may next target toddlers as young as 12 months old. (Tweet below) She later explained that she had wanted to express solidarity "in an extremely painful situation."
"How old was Mickael Brown? 18. Trayvon Martin? 17. Tamir Rice? 12. How old next? 12 month? 'Kill them before they grow' Bob Marley"

#NEWFOUNDLAND: Tories Hope to Reverse Losing Streak in 2 By-Elections Today

[world politics news]

#TUNISIA: Secularist Essebsi Wins Second Round of Pres. Elections

[world politics news]

Tunisian secularist Beji Caid Essebsi beat incumbent President Moncef Marzouki in the first round of the country's presidential election, but a December run-off is needed since Essebsi received less than a majority, 39.46% of the vote. Marzouki got 33.4%. The nation's Islamist party sat out the presidential election.

Monday, November 24, 2014

#RUSSIA: #Putin Hints at 2018 Re-Election Bid, But Would Leave Office in 2024

[world politics news]

Russian Pres. Vladimir Putin, who has ruled Russia in one capacity or another since 2000, says he will consider seeking another 6-year term in 2018, but remaining longer than 2024 would be "detrimental to Russia." Putin has purged many potential political opponents but remains popular.

#SPAIN: #EU Court Orders Spain to Stop "Excessive" Border Checks at Gibraltar Entry Points

[world politics news]

The European Commission has instructed Spain to loosen its chokehold over Gibraltar’s border crossing. The move follows 18 months of deliberately excessive ­customs checks by Spain that have caused hold-ups and frustration for thousands of Spanish workers and tourists to Gibraltar, which is claimed by both Spain and the UK.

Sunday, November 23, 2014

#AUSTRALIA: US Embassy in Canberra Advised Obama Against "Hostile" Climate Speech

[world politics news]

Australian Foreign Min. Julie Bishop has accused Pres. Obama of
"speaking in ignorance" on Climate Change
Pres. Obama ignored the ­advice of his Ambassador to Australia to attack on PM Tony Abbott's climate policies during the recent G20 Summit, where Obama ripped into Abbott's response to "Global Warming" especially policies protecting the Great Barrier Reef. Foreign Min. Julie Bishop accused Pres. Obama of "speaking in ignorance."

#RUSSIA: Putin's Foreign Min. Says West Seeks "Regime Change" in Russia With Sanctions

[world politics news]

#SPAIN: #Catalan Independence Ldr #Mas Faces Prosecution For Unofficial Separatist Vote

[world politics news]

Catalan Pres. Artur Mas will face prosecution from the central government for going ahead with a Nov. 9 unofficial vote that showed that 80% supported separation from Spain. Mas is planning an official vote which may lead to full independence for the wealthy northeastern Spanish region within two years.

Saturday, November 22, 2014

#GAMBIA: Pres. Secretly Signed Law In October That Punishes Homosexual Acts With Life In Prison

[world politics news]

The president of Gambia signed a bill into law calling for life imprisonment for some homosexual acts, part of a trend of anti-gay laws in Africa. The Associated Press discovered the bill's text, which shows President Yahya Jammeh signed it on Oct. 9, though no government officials have yet publicly notified the country of the new law.

#CHINA: "Sword of Damocles" Hangs Over Gov't-Owned Orgs In Anti-Corruption Campaign

[world politics news]

China's anti-graft chief Wang Qishan 
China's central authority launched the third round of top-level disciplinary inspections on Tuesday, moving to sharpen a "Sword of Damocles" hanging above those in power. Different from previous inspections, inspections this round will be carried out with specific targets among 13 state-owned groups, including the Ministry of Culture.

Friday, November 21, 2014

#UK: UKIP's Mark Reckless Wins Rochester and Strood By-Election; 2nd Member of Parliament Sworn In

[world politics news]

UKIP Leader Nigel Farage (left) congratulates Mark Reckless
Mark Reckless, the Conservative MP who resigned earlier this year to "get permission" from his constituents to continue in Parliament as a UK Independence Party member, has won his by-election by 3,000 votes over his Conservative Party rival. He becomes the second UKIP member of the UK's parliament.

#TUNISIA: High Turnout Expected for Sunday's Pres. Election

[world politics news]

Nov. 15th rally for the Nidaa Tounes party 

#EGYPT: Pres. #Al-Sisi Holds Summit With Greek PM, Cypriot President, Signalling "Regional Re-Alignment"

[world politics news]

Al-Sisi shakes hands with Cypriot Pres. Anastasiades (left) and Greek PM Samaras after their summit
Egpyt's Pres. Abdel-Fattah Al-Sisi, Cypriot President Nicos Anastasiades and Greek PM Antonis Samaras met Nov. 8 in a summit to discuss greater economic cooperation, combating terrorism, #EU support for Egypt, crises in the region and Turkish-Cypriot relations. Stronger ties with the EU reportedly signal a strategy to counter US influence.

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

#IRELAND: Charges of "Thuggery" After Dep. PM Trapped in Car During Violent Protest Over New Water Utility Charges

[world politics news]

Government Ministers condemned as a "kidnapping" a violent protest Saturday in which Deputy PM Joan Burton was trapped in her car for over two hours. Protesters are upset by a new government plan to charge for water. On Tuesday, Taoiseach (Prime Minister) Enda Kenny’s car was attacked and blocked.

#JAPAN: PM #ShinzoAbe Announces Snap Election, Postpones Unpopular Sales Tax Hike

[world politics news]

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said Tuesday he would call an early election to seek a fresh mandate for his economic policies, and will postpone an unpopular sales tax hike, after data showed Japan had slipped back into recession. Abe returned to power in December 2012 pledging to revive growth.

#GERMANY: 2020 Climate Change Targets to Be Abandoned, Says Economics Min.

[world politics news]

The German government is planning to withdraw from its 2020 climate change goals. Federal Economics Minister Sigmar Gabriel says Germany will abandon the target of cutting 40 percent of 1990 CO2 emission levels by 2020. "It's clear that the target is no longer viable. We cannot exit from coal power overnight."

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

#CANADA: Conservatives Hold Both Seats in By-Elections

[world politics news]

Conservative Pat Perkins, who won the by-election in Whitby-Oshawa Riding in Ontario. 

#THENETHERLANDS: Defense Min. Says Russia's Actions "Aggressive, Irritating" After Baltic Jet Incursions

[world politics news]
Dutch Defense Minister Jeanine Hennis

#GERMANY: Austrian Politician Was Bribed By German Bank President, Rules Court

[world politics news]

Austrian politician Jörg Haider, left, accepted a bribe from Bavarian banker Werner Schmidt, says a Munich court.
The former chief executive of the German bank BayernLB has been found guilty of bribing the late Austrian politician Jörg Haider to facilitate the acquisition of Hypo Alpe-Adria-Bank in 2007, the latest criminal conviction linked to the troubled Austrian lender.

Monday, November 17, 2014

#AUSTRALIA: Obama Throws PM #TonyAbbott Under the Bus On Climate Change Issue During Summit

[world politics news]

During the recent G20 Summit, Pres. Obama went out of his way to imply that Australia’s efforts on climate change were negligible and compared poorly with America’s. In fact, Australia’s efforts on greenhouse gas reduction are almost identical with those of the US. Abbott also bluntly noted that 1.3 billion people on the planet still had no access to electricity and that “coal is going to be an important part” of that answer for decades.

#JAPAN: #Okinawa Voters Elect Governor Who Opposes New American Base

[world politics news]

Voters in Okinawa have chosen a new governor who opposes the central government's plan to build a new US military facility in the prefecture. Takeshi Onaga defeated his three rivals including the 3-term incumbent governor this past Sunday. He was backed by a coalition including the Japanese Communist Party.

#AUSTRIA: Outrage As Freedom Pty Official Calls Asylum-Seekers "Cavemen"

[world politics news]

Austrian Freedom Party official Christian Höbart is facing criticism after calling a group of protesting asylum-seekers "cavemen" in a Facebook post. The party is hostile to Muslim and Eastern European immigrants, and Höbart's made similar statements on Facebook in July.

Sunday, November 16, 2014

#INDONESIA: VP #JusufKalla Calls On His Own Party's Chair to "Graciously Quit"

[world politics news]

Indonesian Vice President Jusuf Kalla criticized Golkar Party chairman Aburizal Bakrie for seeking re-election, citing the party’s poor results in this year’s election. He and other party leaders are blaming Aburizal after the party won just 91 seats in the House of Representatives, down from 107 in 2009.

Saturday, November 15, 2014

#AUSTRALIA: #Putin Leaves G20 Summit Early After Tense Meetings with #DavidCameron, Other Leaders Over #Ukraine

[world politics news]

UK PM David Cameron, left, shakes Vladimir Putin's hand at the G20 Summit.
He and other leaders gave Putin an icy reception over Russia's invasion of Ukraine.
Russia's Vladimir Putin arrived at the G20 Summit in Canberra, Australia with a fleet of gunboats and left in a huff before the final luncheon after withering ridicule and criticism of his country's invasion of Ukraine. Canadian PM Stephen Harper said to Putin, "I guess I'll shake your hand, but I'll only have one thing to say to you - get out of the Ukraine."

#UK: New Foreign Sec. #PhilipHammond Says UK "Prepared To Walk Away" From #EU If Demands Not Met

[world politics news]

Britain's new Foreign Secretary, Philip Hammond, says the UK must be willing t walk away from the negotiating table if the UK doesn't get the concessions it wants for more control of its affairs from the EU. It's the strongest statement yet from a gov't official on the EU.

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

#GERMANY: Energy Min. Calls Shutting Down All Coal Plants "Unrealistic"

[world politics news]

#JAPAN: PM #Abe Considering Dissolving House in Dec. As Agenda Stalls

[world politics news]

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe is considering dissolving the lower house and calling a snap election by the end of this year as he faces a tough decision on a planned consumption tax hike, government and ruling party sources said Tuesday.