Saturday, October 31, 2015

#GERMANY: Parliament's Speaker Threatens To Block "Undemocratic" #TTIP Trade Deal With US

[world politics news]

The President (speaker) of the Bundestag, Norbert Lammert, has threatened to vote against the US-EU TTIP free trade agreement when it comes to a vote before the German parliament, saying that the deal lacks transparency and democratic legitimacy.

#HUNGARY: PM Orban Accuses Billionaire George Soros Of Stoking Migrant Wave To Weaken Europe

[world politics news]

Prime Minister Viktor Orban accused billionaire investor George Soros of being a prominent member of a circle of "activists" trying to undermine European nations by supporting refugees heading to the continent from the Middle East and beyond. His name is perhaps the strongest example of those who support anything that weakens nation states, they support everything that changes the traditional European lifestyle," he said.

#JAPAN: Chief Cabinet Officer Asks US Military To Speed Up Partial #Okinawa Base Withdrawal

[world politics news]

Japan's Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga has asked for an early implementation of the planned partial transfer of US Marines from the southern prefecture of Okinawa to the Pacific island of Guam. The military base  has been a source of controversy as it attempts to relocate on the island to a larger facility.

Friday, October 30, 2015

#TANZANIA: Anti-Corruption Crusader #JohnMagufuli Wins Landslide In Pres. Election

[world politics news]

John Magufuli, a government minister well-known for his tactic of hiding in trucks and popping out at weigh stations to nail crooked police officers, handily won Tanzania’s presidential election. Magufuli, 56, trounced his closest rival, Edward Lowassa, a former prime minister and opposition leader, winning 58% to Lowass's 40%.

#EU: European Parliament Adopts Non-Binding Call For EU Nations To Grant #Snowden Asylum

[world politics news]

The European Parliament has called on EU member states to drop all criminal charges against Edward Snowden and protect him against extradition to the United States. MEPs voted 285 votes to 281 in favor of a resolution that the NSA whistle-blower should be allowed to seek safe asylum in the EU.

#ITALY: Rome's Unpopular Mayor Rescinds Promise To Resign

[world politics news]

Rome's unpopular mayor Ignazio Marino on Thursday withdrew his resignation, which he had announced earlier this month in the midst of an expenses row, even though his own party has demanded he quit. Democratic Party member Marino, 60, has signed a letter "by which he withdraws his resignation presented on October 12."

Thursday, October 29, 2015

#CANADA: New Democratic Pty Ldr Withdraws From Limelight After Third-Place Election Position

[world politics news]

NDP Leader Tom Mulcair’s public absence since his party was humbled in last week's federal election has left party officials scrambling to clear up speculation about his future. Mulcair has not made any public appearances or spoken with the news media since he delivered a short concession speech after the election, in which the NDP lost dozens of seats across the country and finished third.

#CANADA: Ontario Conservative MP Seeks Temp. Pty Leadership; Promises "Softer Image"

[world politics news]

Ontario MP Diane Finley wants to temporarily lead the bruised Conservatives, and says the party believes a "softer image might not hurt." Finley, a veteran politician and the outgoing public works minister, has launched her bid to become interim leader of the Conservatives, promising to bridge the transition from a "centralized" Prime Minister's Office to a collaborative Opposition Leader's Office.

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

#UK: Labour Pty Adviser Faces Expulsion After Urging Supporters To Not Vote For Labour Cand.

[world politics news]

One of Jeremy Corbyn’s most senior policy advisers is facing an official investigation for urging voters not to back an official Labour Party candidate. Andrew Fisher could be expelled from the party after he told supporters not to back Emily Benn, the niece of the shadow foreign secretary.

#SPAIN: PM Rajoy Calls Dec. 20 Election Amid Party Strife & Corruption Charges

[world politics news]

Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy has called a general election for Dec. 20, insisting he is the best candidate to win the ballot despite unrest within his party. Rajoy stressed continuity and stability, arguing that he's best placed to safeguard the recovery, but his party dogged by corruption allegations, many of its traditional voters have been drawn to pro-market party Ciudadanos

#TANZANIA: New Oppo. Ptys Seek To Break 54-Year Rule Of Incumbents

[world politics news]

Turnout has been high in Tanzania's most competitive general elections, officials say, as a new opposition coalition tries to end the governing party's 54-year grip on power. In some areas, voting was extended to allow those still in queues to cast their ballots. Opinion polls have put the governing Chama Cha Mapinduzi (CCM) party ahead, but the result is expected to be close.

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

#TURKEY: Ruling Party Spokesman Says Press Crackdown Coming After Election

[world politics news]

Justice and Development Party deputy and Pres. Recep Tayyip Erdogan's former top adviser Aydın Ünal threatened Turkish critical media outlets on Tuesday, saying they will be brought to account after the Nov. 1st election. Ünal accused the critical media of hate crimes and discrimination while claiming that they will account for these crimes.

#PORTUGAL: Leftist Anti-Austerity Parties Vow To Bring Down Newly Appointed Center-Right Gov't

[world politics news]

Portugal appeared headed for months of political uncertainty and crisis after the opposition Socialist Party and their far-Left allies pledged to bring down the country's new minority pro-austerity government, led by Prime Minister Pedro Passos Coelho.

Pictured: PM Pedro Passos Coelho.

#POLAND: Pro-NATO, Anti-Immigrant Law & Justice Party Defeats Ruling Party Handily

[world politics news]

Polish voters handed an absolute majority in its parliamentary election to the Law and Justice Party, a Euro-skeptic party that is against immigration, is vigorously pro-NATO, wants family-focused welfare spending, and has threatened to ban abortion. It's leader, Jaroslaw Kaczynski, has suffered years of political setbacks and personal tragedy.

Monday, October 26, 2015

#ARGENTINA: Pres. Kirchner's Hand-Picked Successor Forced Into Runoff By Buenos Ares Mayor

[world politics news]

Pres. Cristina Kirchner's hand-picked successor, Daniel Scioli, has been forced into a second round by center-Right challenger Mauricio Macri - meaning that a run-off will now be held on November 22, since both failed to win more than 40% of the vote in the three-person race.

#GUATEMALA: Former Comedian Elected Pres. With 68% Of The Vote In Corruption-Stained Nation

[world politics news]

Jimmy Morales, a former TV comedian with no experience in government, has won Guatemala's presidential election Sunday in a landslide after a corruption scandal toppled the country's last leader and fueled voter outrage. Morales, 46, defeated the former first lady following a probe into a multi-million dollar customs racket that led to the resignation and arrest of Pres. Otto Perez.

Sunday, October 25, 2015

#GERMANY: Police Union Chief Calls For Border Fence With Austria To Keep Out Migrants

[world politics news]

The Chairman of the German Police Union, Rainer Wendt, told a newspaper that Germany should build a fence along its border with Austria. "If we close our borders this way, Austria will also close its border with Slovenia, and that's exactly the effect we need," he said. His calls were condemned by Chancellor Angela Merkel.

Saturday, October 24, 2015

#AUSTRALIA: Australia Liberty Alliance Party Launched To Oppose Muslim Immigration

[world politics news]

The Australian Liberty Alliance is a new political party pledging to stop the spread of Islam. Their launch last week was attended by, and was encouraged by, Geert Wilders, leader of Holland's Party of Freedom, which won 12% of the last election. The Alliance supports a 10-year moratorium on Visa applications of people from Islamic nations.

Pictured: Liberty Alliance Party candidates (l to r) Bernard Gaynor, Kirralee Smith, and Debbie Robinson

#BELGIUM: Gov't Min. Says Asylum-Seekers Must Sign Doc Accepting EU Human Rights, European Values

[world politics news]

Secretary of State for Asylum and Migration Theo Francken says all new migrants entering Belgium must sign a document pledging themselves to the basic values expressed in the European Convention on Human Rights, as well as to principles of the Belgian Constitution. Failure to accept the equality of men and women, free speech and the separation of church and state, among others, will weigh against their case for permanent status, he said.

[Note: Link is to a Belgian-language page.]

Friday, October 23, 2015

#ISRAEL: Netanyahu Criticized For Blaming Palestinians For Inspiring Holocaust

[world politics news]

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu sparked public uproar when on Tuesday he claimed that the Mufti of Jerusalem, Haj Amin al-Husseini, was the one who planted the idea of the extermination of European Jewry in Adolf Hitler's mind. The Nazi ruler, Netanyahu said, had no intention of killing the Jews, but only to expel them.

#TAIWAN: Nationalists Dump Unpopular Pres. Cand. For Her Pro-China Unification Stance

[world politics news]

Taiwan's ruling Kuomintang Party has dumped its unpopular pro-Mainland China presidential candidate three months before an election that the pro-independence opposition is strongly favored to win. Delegates at an extraordinary party congress voted overwhelmingly to nullify Hung Hsiu-chu's nomination and selected party chairman Eric Chu to run in the January 16 election.

#JAPAN: #Okinawa Gov. Revokes Landfill Permit For US Naval Base Relocation

[world politics news]

The governor of Okinawa in southern Japan has revoked a permit to reclaim coastal land in the prefecture for the relocation of a US military base. Takeshi Onaga, who campaigned pledging to stop the base's relocation, signed a document to revoke the permit issued by his predecessor.

Thursday, October 22, 2015

#NORWAY: Oslo Gets Socialist Mayor; City Imposes Property Taxes, "Car Free" By 2019

[world politics news]

Marianne Borgen of the Socialist Left Party is Oslo’s new mayor, after a power-sharing agreement with other parties. The Socialists' agenda includes imposing property taxes in Oslo for the first time, withdrawing investments from fossil fuel companies, creating all-night kindergartens, and making the city "car free" and ending all road construction projects.

#AUSTRIA: Anti-Immigrant Freedom Pty Become Kingmakers In Vienna's Parliament; Will Take Deputy Mayor Position

[world politics news]

After scoring its best-ever result in the Vienna state election and coming in second behind the Social Democrats the right-wing Freedom Party can claim the post of deputy mayor because they command 34 seats in the city's parliament. The Social Democrats have pledged not to form a coalition with them.

Pictured: Johann Gudenus, head of the Vienna Freedom Party, who will become Deputy Mayor, a largely symbolic position.

#JAMAICA: New Penalties For Cyber Crimes Introduced In Parliament

[world politics news]

The Portia Simpson Miller government (People's National Party) has introduced new cyber crime legislation allowing for new offences such as computer-related fraud or forgery; the use of computers for malicious communication; and unauthorized disclosure of investigation.

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

#UK: Bill Requiring Gov't To Spend Less Than It Collects In Taxes Passes

[world politics news]

New spending rules passed in a 320 to 258 vote after heated debate. Chancellor George Osborne said the plan, requiring governments "in normal times" to spend less than they get in tax, represented "economic sanity". Labour voted against the Conservatives' Charter for Budget Responsibility, but 21 of their MPs abstained.

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

#GERMANY: Cologne Mayoral Candidate Stabbed While Campaigning; Wins

[world politics news]

Henriette Reker, a independent mayoral candidate in the western German city of Cologne suffered serious stab wounds while campaigning for last Sunday's election, a race she won. Supported by the ruling Christian Democrats of Chancellor Angela Merkel, she was allegedly attacked by a 44-year-old man protesting Merkel's migration policy.

#FRANCE: European Parliament Vote Down Ban Of Dangerous Pesticide Because Sponsor Was Right-Wing Member

[world politics news]

Socialist and Left-leaning members of the EU's Parliament voted down a ban of a dangerous pesticide already banned in the US because the bill's sponsor is a member of France's National Front Party, part of a campaign to shut down members of the Parliament's Europe of Nations & Freedom's Group.

#CANADA: Liberal Party Wins National Election; Justin Trudeau Becomes Prime Minister With Majority Government

[world politics news]

Canadians went to the polls yesterday and elected a Liberal majority government and a new Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau, ending 10 years of Conservative government under PM Stephen Harper. The New Democratic Party, once seen as a contender, crumbled into distant Third Party status.

The size of the liberal victory was substantial, winning 184 seats to the Conservatives' 99, with the New Democratic Party winning 44. The Bloc Québécois won 10 (it's leader Gilles Duceppe didn't win his seat) and the Greens took just one seat, that of that leader, Elizabeth May.

Monday, October 19, 2015

#CANADA: BREAKING - Canadians Lurch Left; Trudeau's Liberals Win Landslide National Victory

[world politics news]

The Liberal Party tonight swept back into power after a huge defeat in the 2011 election, this time crushing Stephen Harper's Conservatives, who were taking (as of 11 pm) 103 seats in parliament to over 180 for Prime Minister-elect Justin Trudeau.

#GERMANY: Parliament Approves Law Classifying Balkan Nations "Safe"; Not Legitimate Claims For Asylum

[world politics news]

Parliament has approved Chancellor Angela Merkel‘s plan to tighten the nation‘s asylum laws, giving the green light to measures aimed at speeding up the deportation of migrants from Balkan states. Under the new legislation, countries such as Albania, Kosovo and Montenegro will be added to the government‘s list of countries deemed not to have legitimate claims for asylum.

#AUSTRALIA: Labor Ldr. Bill Shorten Says Attacks On PM Turnbull's Cayman Island Investments Isn't Personal

[world politics news]

Labor Leader Bill Shorten - who was accused of “throwing mud” at wealthy prime minister Malcolm Turnbull - says the party's focus on investment in funds registered in the Cayman Islands is not about any allegation of criminality, but whether he understands the plight of ordinary Australians.

#BRAZIL: Pres. Rousseff To Face New Impeachment Charges; Decries "Coup" Attempt

[world politics news]

Pres. Dilma Rousseff will face new impeachment charges arising from actions she's taken in her second term. Previous attempts were thrown out by the courts. New charges come from a former founder and a member of her own party. Rousseff says the charges are a "coup attempt," coming from opposition to her anti-poverty campaign.

Sunday, October 18, 2015

#EGYPT: Lacking Resources, Some Smaller Parties Boycotting Today's Parliamentary Election

[world politics news]

Egyptians are electing their first parliament since the 2013 coup that overthrew President Morsi. But, lacking resources and saying the odds are stacked against opposition parties, many smaller parties are boycotting today's elections.

#GERMANY: Lower House Supports Data Retention Legislation

[world politics news]

Germany's lower house of parliament has voted to resume collecting and retaining metadata about phone calls and Internet use. Chancellor Angela Merkel  said a law allowing retention would be necessary to detect terrorists should Germany be attacked.

#ITALY: Parliament Begins Debating Gay Marriage; PM Renzi Supports; His New Center Right Coalition Partner Doesn't

[world politics news]

Members of Italian Parliament began heatedly debating a bill to legalize same-sex civil unions during a session that opened Wednesday. The legislation, supported by Prime Minister Matteo Renzi, has already met with push back from conservative parties in the country, including the New Center Right, Renzi's coalition partner.

Saturday, October 17, 2015

#UK: Conservative Pty Rebels Set To Side With Labour MPs To Kill Relaxed Sunday Shopping Hours

[world politics news]

Shops could be prevented from opening longer on Sundays due to a rebellion by Conservative MPs who plan to vote against changes to trading hours. At least 20 Tory MPs are set to join forces with Labour and vote against the changes when they are debated within the next 10 days.

#GERMANY: Merkel Facing Internal Party Revolt Over Refugee Welcome Policy

[world politics news]

Germany's Angela Merkel is used to owning the room when she speaks to her party faithful, but the mood turned hostile when she defended her open-door refugee policy last week. In a heated atmosphere, some of the 1,000-odd members at the meeting warned of a “national disaster” and demanded shuttering the borders as Germany expects up to one million migrants this year.

Friday, October 16, 2015

#UK: Pro-Corbyn Group "Momentum" Fears Trotskyite Leftists Will "Infiltrate" Them

[world politics news]

Labour Party MPs were alarmed when the new pro-Jeremy Corbyn group, "Momentum," said non-party members could join. Their fears were given greater credence when members of the Trotskyist Socialist Workers Party say they would join the group, possibly tilting it to the extreme Left.

Thursday, October 15, 2015

#CANADA: #Harper Attacks #Trudeau Over Proposed Elimination Of Tax Credits; Trudeau Cries Foul

[world politics news]

Stephen Harper has launched a final election week attack on Liberal Party Leader Justin Trudeau, portraying him as a threat to the pocketbooks of Canadian families because of alleged roll-backs of tax credits. But Trudeau says the attacks were dishonest, and denied that any such roll-backs are being proposed.

#IRELAND: Social Democrats Would Impose New Tax On Sugary Foods, Raise Alcohol Taxes

[world politics news]

The Social Democrats would impose a new tax on foods high in saturated sugar, salt and saturated fats, and raise taxes on alcohol, exempting wine. They would end the hated water utility charges. Three prominent Independent legislators came together to form the party in July.

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

#JAPAN: Gov't May Cut #UN Aid After UNESCO Includes Nanjing WWII Docs To "Memory" Program

[world politics news]

Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga says the government is considering ending or reducing financial contributions to UNESCO after the U.N. body's decision to add Chinese documents on the Nanjing Massacre to the "Memory of the World" program. The government questions the "fairness" of their inclusion.

#SPAIN: Citizen's Party Seeks The Center Of Spanish Politics

[world politics news]

The anti-corruption Ciudadanos or "Citizen's" Party is expected to gain its first seats in parliament this December, and came in second place in its Catalonia home base, where it opposes Catalan independence.

Pictured: Albert Rivera, leader of the Ciudadanos Party.

#TRINIDADANDTOBAGO: New Ind. Liberal Pty. Leader Takes Over From FIFA-Tainted Founder

[world politics news]

Rehka Ramjit has been elected leader of the Independent Liberal Party, taking over from founder Jack Warner who resigned after the September 7 general elections. Warner, a vice president of FIFA, soccer's world governing body, is fighting extradition over 29 corruption charges. In the election, the party failed to win any seats in the 26 constituencies it contested.

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

#DENMARK: Car Maker #Tesla Angered By Danish Gov't Plan To Phase Out Electric Car Tax Breaks

[world politics news]

US-based Car maker Tesla says the Danish government's plan to phase out generous tax breaks for purchasing electric cars over the next five years could devastate the young industry. Prices of Tesla's cars could more than double without the breaks.

#SPAIN Two Months Before Elections, Conservative Gov't Slapped By #EU For Deficits

[world politics news]

Spain has been reprimanded by The European Commission, which ordered the country to submit a new draft budget with lower deficit estimates to avoid violating the bloc's tough spending rules, a blow for the government ahead of the Dec. 20 general election.

Pictured: Spanish PM Mariano Rajoy.

#AUSTRIA: Social Democrats Retain Control In Vienna; Freedom Pty Has Best Showing

[world politics news]

The Left-leaning, pro-immigrant Social Democratic Party has retained power in Vienna after elections, but the anti-immigration Freedom Party has scored its best ever results in the capital city, causing a lot of soul-searching among traditional parties.

Monday, October 12, 2015

#UK: Scottish Parliament Backs Ban Of Smoking In Cars With Children Present

[world politics news]

A bill to ban smoking in cars carrying children has passed its first hurdle in the Scottish Parliament. Members voted unanimously in favor of the general principles of the legislation, which aims to protect children from the effects of second-hand smoke. It could mean fines of up to £100 for smokers who light up in a car with a young passenger.

#AUSTRALIA: Proposed Bill Would Tax Internet Purchases And Streaming Services

[world politics news]

The Australian government will begin taxing eBooks, streaming services, apps, games, and music downloads by mid-2017 if recently proposed legislation passes in Parliament.

#GERMANY: Fin. Min. Schäuble Says #UK Exit From #EU Would Be A "Disaster"

[world politics news]

German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schäuble said on Tuesday that he wanted to do everything possible to keep Britain from leaving the European Union, adding that it would be a disaster for both the British and Europeans.