Monday, November 30, 2015

#INDIA: Facing Attacks For Lack of "Tolerance," PM Says "India" Is His Only "Religion" & "Constitution" Is His "Holy Book"

[world politics news]

Addressing his commitment to consensus and secular government in a land often torn by religious disputes, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said 'India first' is the only religion of his government and the "Constitution" is its only holy book. Modi has faced attacks recently for not speaking out more against religious intolerance. He heads  the government of the Hindu Nationalist BJP party.

#USA: Bi-Partisan House Bill Would Prevent US From Overthrowing Assad

[world politics news]

A US House bill would prevent military efforts aimed at overthrowing Syrian leader Bashar al-Assad, presumably cutting off efforts to support any Syrian rebels. H.R. 4108 is sponsored by Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (D-HI) and Rep. Austin Scott (R-GA), both members of the House Armed Services Committee. Gabbard says it would stop the "illegal, counter-productive war to overthrow" Assad.

#CANADA: Commons, Senate Will "Expedite" Right-To-Die Legislation To Beat Court Deadline

[world politics news]

The House of Commons and Senate will set up a joint committee to "expedite" a right-to-die bill in time to meet a Supreme Court ruling that a bill be passed by Feb. 6, 2016. It overturned a ban on the right to die last February and give provinces and the Federal legislature a year to pass legislation to allow it.

Sunday, November 29, 2015

#CANADA: Nova Scotia's Legislators Want To Make It Easier To Vote In Local Elections

[world politics news]

Citizens who have moved from one town to another within Nova Scotia three months before a local election will be able to vote, shortened from a previous six month wait, if a newly introduced provincial bill passes. The reform also allows voters to register to vote up to three days before next October's municipal elections. Previously, they had to register before September 1.

Pictured: Halifax, Nova Scotia's city hall.

#JAPAN: Supreme Court Invalidates Election After Ballot Fraud Exposed

[world politics news]

Japan's Supreme Court has ruled an election for the nation's Lower House of parliament last December to be invalid and unconstitutional after it was revealed that the vote for the least populated election district returned over two times as many ballots as the one for the most populated one.

Saturday, November 28, 2015

#THAILAND: Assets Of 4 Accused Of Money Laundering & 'Lese Majeste' Are Frozen

[world politics news]

The property and cash of two major generals and two others accused of using the monarchy's name attached to personal fundraising efforts have been frozen by a government board. Two of the accused have died in military custody, while one other remains at large.

#TRINIDADANDTOBAGO: Board Says Cops Allegedly Covered Up Pot Find At Prime Minister's Home

[world politics news]

The Police Complaints Authority alleges that police covered up a discovery of four ounces of marijuana found outside a window of now-former Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar in 2013. The report noted only that a "plant-like" substance was found. Another police body says its investigation has not been completed, however.

Friday, November 27, 2015

#JAPAN: Frmr. Lawmaker Famous For Crying At News Conference Fails To Show Up For Trial

[world politics news]

Ryutaro Nonomura, 49, a former member of the Hyogo Prefectural Assembly who gained Internet notoriety when he suffered an emotional breakdown during a news conference last July, has failed to show up for the start of his fraud trial. Nonomura is accused of claiming $30,000 for business trips to a resort. His attorney says his client has been mentally unstable.

#THENETHERLANDS: Dutch Treaty Referendum On Ukraine Deal Worries Ukrainian Pres.

[world politics news]

Holland's referendum on ratifying a treaty between Ukraine and the EU is playing into Russian president Putin’s hands, according to Ukrainian president Petro Poroshenko, who is visiting this week, who believes those behind the April referendum ‘wittingly or unwittingly’ benefit Russia’s aggression.

#EGYPT: Vote Tallies Suggest Pro-Sisi Coalition Will Dominate Parliament

[world politics news]

Semi-final results of the second and final stage of Egypt’s parliamentary elections suggest that the "For the Love of Egypt" coalition, which supports Pres. Abdel-Fattah Al-Sisi, will dominate the next parliament. The coalition won 60 seats reserved to party-based candidates in the second stage, boosting its total to 120 seats, or 23%

Thursday, November 26, 2015

#SOUTHKOREA: Legislators Seek Mask Ban After Violent Protesters Hide Identity

[world politics news]

Members of the ruling Saenuri Party have proposed a ban on wearing masks or other identity-hiding apparel illegal during demonstrations. The proposal comes after a violent recent rally. The law would carry a prison term or fine of up to US$2,600. Opponents say the law would "gag" free expression.

#VENEZUELA: Regional Oppo. Ldr. Luis Manuel Diaz Assassinated During Rally

[world politics news]

The Democratic Action party says Luis Manuel Diaz was killed by attackers in a car as he was holding a public meeting in central Guarico state. Opposition leaders blamed militias supporting the governing United Socialist Party of Venezuela. The party of President Nicolas Maduro has so far made no public comment.

#RUSSIA: PM Medvedev: Turkish Pols Back ISIS Oil Refineries; Threatens To End Joint Ventures

[world politics news]

Russian prime minister Dmitri Medvedev is accusing Turkish officials of have "a direct financial interest" in the oil trade with the terrorist group Islamic State. He also detailed possible moves to retaliate against Turkey, which downed a Russian warplane on Tuesday, including cuts to joint business ventures.

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

#UKRAINE: Gov't Cuts Train, Road Access To Russian-Occupied Crimea As Trade Tensions Boil Over

[world politics news]

The Ukrainian government has imposed a road and train embargo against Russian-occupied Crimea, and have stopped buying natural gas from Russia as trade tensions boil over. Ukrainian Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk has also banned flyovers of Russian aircraft, just a day after Turkey shot down a Russian fighter jet encroaching on its territory.

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

#RUSSIA: 2007 Anti-Extremist Legislation Being Used To Prosecute Minority Religions

[world politics news]

Courts in smaller Russian municipalities and villages are using anti-terrorist and anti-extremist legislation to prosecute - some say "persecute" - minority religions, such as 16 Jehovah's Witnesses who face trial in Taganrog, Russia.

#CANADA: Trade Min. Spars With US TV Host Bill Maher, Defends Islam & Migration Plan

[world politics news]

Trade Minister Chrystia Freeland found herself defending Islam on "Real Time" with Bill Maher last week. Maher said a majority of Americans don't feel that Syrian refugees share American values. Freeland challenged Maher when he said it's nonsense to suggest that all religions are alike and share values.

Monday, November 23, 2015

#NORWAY: National Police Have Registered Refugees Who Might Pose Terrorist Threat

[world politics news]

The Norwegian Police Security Service has registered individuals who may pose a threat to society among asylum seekers who have recently come to Norway. This, despite a November report stating that they believe extremists born and raised in Norway pose a greater threat than asylum seekers with ties to extreme movements.

#ARGENTINA: Pro-Business, Pro-US Outsider Wins Pres. Election; Kirchnerism Rebuked

[world politics news]

Yesterday, Argentine voters elected a pro-business, pro-US outsider, Mauricio Macri, rebuking outgoing Leftist government of Cristina Kirchner. He promised to correct her errors and urged patience as he sorted out a fragile economy marked by slow growth, unsustainable spending, and high inflation.

#CHINA: Education Spending Continues To Rise; 19% Annual Increase

[world politics news]

Government investment in compulsory education has grown at an annual rate of 19.4% in the past decade. The budget for US$188 billion  in 2014. China has just promised that rural students and children of migrant workers will soon be given the same subsidies as their urban counterparts.

Sunday, November 22, 2015

#CANADA: Defense Minister Harjit Sajjan Defends Plan To Take 25,000 Refugees By Jan 1

[world politics news]

Defense Minister Harjit Sajjan says many of the 25,000 refugees to be resettled by the new year will bring skills to Canada that will benefit the country. Just over half of Canadians do not support the new Liberal government's resettlement plan.

#GUYANA: First Local Elections In 21 Years Scheduled For Next March

[world politics news]

Local government elections will be held on March 18 next year, ending a 21-year hiatus. In making the announcement, Minister of Communities Ronald Bulkan said the entire local government system is rotten and was in dire need of democratic renewal.

Friday, November 20, 2015

#BURUNDI: Gov't Expels Belgians As Political Violence Escalates; Church Attacked

[world politics news]

The day after Belgium suggested its "non-essential" citizens should leave Burundi, the Burundian government said ALL of them should leave. Unrest began in April when Pres. Pierre Nkurunziza said he'd seek a third term. Burundi says Belgium, its former colonial power, has links to opposition groups.

Related: Burundian police shoot up a church, and have arrested a minister who has spoken out against violence.

#DENMARK: Coalition Budget Boosts Healthcare Spending, Cuts Environment And Education Funding

[world politics news]

The Liberal Party (Venstre,) the Danish People’s Party, Liberal Alliance and the Conservatives have reached an agreement on the 2016 budget, which spends more on healthcare for the elderly, but cuts education and environmental spending. Car buyers get a drastic cut in registration fees under the proposal.

Pictured: Finance Minister Claus Hjort Frederiksen.

#ITALY: Rome's Gov't Declares War On "Tacky" Fake "Photo-Op" Gladiators Earning Money Tax-Free

[world politics news]

Rome's city council is declaring "war" on men dressed as gladiators posing for pictures at historic sites and earning up to US$12,000 a month tax-free. Rome's interim mayor says the "photo opportunity gladiators" are "tacky" but officials haven't been able to regulate it because there been no law against it.

Thursday, November 19, 2015

#FRANCE: PM Valls: Some Terrorist Suspects "Slipped In" Amid Refugee Crisis

[world politics news]

Some of the suspects in the Paris attacks took advantage of Europe's migrant crisis to "slip in" unnoticed, the French premier said Thursday, warning the EU needed to "take responsibility" over border controls.

#UK: House Of Lords Votes To Let 16 & 17-Year-Olds Vote In 2016 #EU Referendum; Cameron Defeat

[world politics news]

The upper house of parliament has approved a bill allowing 16 and 17-year-olds the right to vote in the 2016 referendum on whether the UK should remain in the European Union. The bill was opposed by Conservative PM David Cameron. Those 16 and 17 years old were allowed to vote in the 2014 Scottish independence referendum,

#KOSOVO: Oppo. Leader Directs Riots In Streets Opposing Minority Rights For Ethnic Serbs

[world politics news]

Police are seeking to  arrest the nation's opposition party leader after he led rioting in the capitol, Pristina. Albin Kurti has used pepper spray in parliament and was sought after being seen leading the protests against granting ethic Serbs more autonomy in this majority Albanian nation, which broke away from Serbia in 1999.

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

#KENYA: Law Society Forms Committee To Help Implement 2010 Constitution, Which Is Largely Being Ignored

[world politics news]

The Law Society of Kenya has launched a 35-member committee to spearhead the implementation of the constitution. LSK chairman Eric Mutua said disregard for the constitution in the executive, the legislature and the judiciary has led to a near breakdown of law and order in the country.

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

#CAMBODIA: Lawmaker Stripped Of Legal Status In Nat'l Assembly; Faces Arrest On Defamation Charge

[world politics news]

Cambodia’s parliament voted to remove opposition leader Sam Rainsy's lawmaker status and strip him of his immunity following a court order for his arrest on a seven-year-old defamation conviction, drawing condemnation from the U.S. and rights groups who demanded that he be reinstated. He's delaying returning from a trip to South Korea.

#GERMANY: Bavaria's Merkel-Allied CSU Party Leader Says Time of Uncontrolled & Illegal Migration Is "Over" After Paris Attacks

[world politics news]

Following the terror attacks in Paris, the Bavarian Finance Minister Markus Soeder, a member of Chancellor Angela Merkel’s sister party, says the time for Merkel's "open door" policy must end. "The days of uncontrolled immigration and illegal entry can't continue. Paris changes everything," Soeder said. "It is unacceptable that we don’t know who arrives in Germany and what these people are doing. We must stop this by all means."

Monday, November 16, 2015

#SOMALIA: Parliament Overwhelmingly Votes To Throw Kenyan Out

[world politics news]

Parliament has voted overwhelmingly to force the Kenyan government to withdraw its forces from Somalia. At least 160 MPs voted for the motion, in which they singled out the Kenya Defence Forces and demanded they leave the country immediately. MPs accused Kenya's military of illegal involvement in the sugar and charcoal trade.

#TAIWAN: Legislature Refuses Pres. Ma's "State of Nation" Address To Protest Meeting With ChiComm Ldr.

[world politics news]

An opposition alliance in the legislature is refusing to allow Pres. Ma Ying-jeou to deliver his annual "state of the nation" address in the legislative chambers to protest his historic meeting last weekend in Singapore with Chinese President Xi Jinping.

Sunday, November 15, 2015

#JAPAN: Frmr. Democratic Pty Ldr. Calls For Dissolution of Pty, Merger, To Better "Re-align" It

[world politics news]

Former Democratic Party of Japan leader Seiji Maehara is urging the current party leader to disband the DPJ and, along with members of the Japan Innovation Party, form a stronger opposition party ahead of next summer's upper house election. The request is likely to trigger a confrontation with DPJ President Katsuya Okada, who is reluctant to dissolve the main opposition party.

#GERMANY: More Than Half Of Germans Disapprove Of #Merkel's Migrant Policy

[world politics news]

More than half of Germans are dissatisfied with Chancellor Angela Merkel's handling of the migration crisis. In a TV network survey, only 43% said her policy was "good." Nineteen percent said her migrant policies should cost Merkel her post, and 79% said refugee applications should be reviewed on a case-by-case basis

#FRANCE: National Front Ldr Le Pen Says France Must "Annihilate" Islamic Radicals, Ban Groups

[world politics news]

National Front party leader Marine Le Pen said Saturday after deadly attacks in the French capital.
France must regain control of its borders, ban Islamist organisations, close radical mosques and, "expel foreigners who preach hatred in our country as well as illegal migrants who have nothing to do here," she said.

Saturday, November 14, 2015

#CANADA: Military Investigating "Racial Slur" Posted On Facebook Against New Sikh Defense Min.

[world politics news]

The Canadian military is investigating one of its members from Quebec after "inappropriate comments" were posted on Facebook about Harjit Sajjan, the new defense minister. The offensive comments appeared less than 24 hours after Sajjan, an observant Sikh who served three tours in Afghanistan and another in Bosnia, was sworn in.

#AUSTRALIA: Parliament Considers New Penalties For Posting "Revenge Porn" Online

[world politics news]

Parliament is set to explore ways to discourage jilted lovers from posting pornographic images of former partners online – a recent phenomenon known as "revenge porn". The Legal and Constitutional Affairs References Committee will examine whether new criminal and civil penalties should be created to combat the practice.

#FRANCE: Hollande Promises "Merciless" Fight By A "United France" After ISIS "Act of War"

[world politics news]

Flanked by Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve, Prime Minister Manuel Valls and National Assembly Pres. Claude Bartolone, at the site of the Bataclan concert hall massacre, Pres. Francois Hollande vowed a "merciless" fight against terrorists who killed 127 in Paris, "they will be confronted by a France that is determined, unified and together." This morning, he called the ISIS-claimed attacks an "act of war."

Friday, November 13, 2015

#FRANCE: BREAKING: Pres. Hollande Declares State Of Emergency, Seals Borders, After Terror Attacks

[world politics news]

Pres. Francois Hollande has closed the borders of France as military seek the culprit of a multi-pronged terrorist attack that struck Paris late Friday night. Hollande himself was hustled from a Paris soccer stadium as bombs went off outside the facility. "We know who these  terrorists are," says Hollande during a speech tonight, in which he has declared a state of emergency and sealed off the country to "ensure safety."

#GERMANY: Revolt In #AngelaMerkel's Cabinet Over Generous Migrant Policy

[world politics news]

Some of the strongest opposition to Angela Merkel’s refugee policy is now coming from her own cabinet. Finance Minister Wolfgang Schäuble and Interior Minister Thomas de Maizière have publicly questioned the government’s strategy and called for tougher policies to slow the refugee influx. Schäuble warned of the "avalanche" of refugees caused by "careless skier," Merkel.

#GREECE: Strikes Begin, Protesting New Austerity Measures As Part Of New Bailout

[world politics news]

Greeks have walked off the job to protest austerity measures the EU nation has to endure as a trade-off for a third bailout granted by international lenders. Required reforms, such as tax hikes and an upcoming pension overhaul, have been unpopular.

#UKRAINE: Parliament Approves Bill Outlawing Workplace Sexual Orientation Discrimination

[world politics news]

Ukraine’s parliament has passed a bill that would outlaw workplace discrimination based on sexual orientation, an important precondition for Ukrainians to travel visa-free to the European Union.

Thursday, November 12, 2015

#MYANMAR: Aung San Suu Kyi's Party Wins 80% Of Vote In Landmark Election

[world politics news]

Aung San Suu Kyi's National League for Democracy is on track for a majority in parliament, taking about 80% of declared seats in Sunday's election. The military, which automatically gets a quarter of the seats in parliament, said it would recognize and cooperate with the new government.

Pictured: Army chief Min Aung Hlaing, who congratulated the NLD on its performance in the polls.

#FRANCE: Pres. Hollande Seeks Answers From #AngelaMerkel Over German Spying On Frmr. French Foreign Min.

[world politics news]

President Francois Hollande called Thursday for Berlin to supply all the information it had after reports Germany's foreign intelligence service spied on Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius, saying it was not the kind of behaviour he expected between friendly countries.

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

#SLOVENIA: Gov't Begins Erecting Border Fence With Croatia To Keep Out Migrants

[world politics news]

The Slovene government has ordered the erection of a barbed-wire fence along Croatia's border to keep out migrants seeking refuge in Northern Europe, saying it wanted better control over the surge of migrants passing through as they make their way across Europe. Around 180,000 people, many fleeing war in Syria and Afghanistan, have entered Slovenia since mid October

#SPAIN: Catalan Lawmakers Vote To Seek Independence By 2017; Spain Vows Legal Challenge

[world politics news]

Catalan MPs on Monday voted in favor of a resolution that would see the region becoming independent from Spain within just 18 months. Spain's central government will challenge the vote in court.

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

#SWITZERLAND: MP Who Bought Cocaine In "Political Stunt" Appealing Fine

[world politics news]

A member of parliament is appealing the fine imposed after he and a supporter bought 2.2 grams of cocaine from a dealer to show how lax local authorities were over drugs. Eric Stauffer, 51, of the Geneva Citizens Movement, videotaped the 2013 transaction, then notified police, who arrested the dealer and seized the drugs.

#KENYA: Activists, Businessmen, Warn Gov't That Deep Corruption Causing Bad Press, Flight of Capital

[world politics news]

Following a week of bad publicity in the world media about Kenya's growing corruption scandals, industrialists, business leaders and activists are warning that the nation's image is being tarnished by scandal and political upheaval, and that investors are avoiding the country as a result.

Pictured: Industrialist Manu Chandaria, speaking about Kenya's scandals.

Monday, November 09, 2015

#FRANCE: PM Valls Says Dec. Regional Election Win For National Front Would Be "Tragedy"

[world politics news]

French Prime Minister Manuel Valls feels that a win for the far right National Front in the December regional elections would be tragic. “It will be a tragedy if the National Front won one, two or three regions," he said. NF Leader Marine Le Pen called his comments, "disgraceful behavior, scandalous and deeply anti-republican."

#CROATIA: Conservative Oppo. Coalition Wins 1st Election Since Joining EU

[world politics news]

The conservative alliance - led by opposition party HDZ - has won the country's first election since it joined the European Union in 2013.  But the narrow margin means lengthy coalition talks are likely to follow in coming days - or even weeks.

#CANADA: PM Trudeau "Disappointed" By Obama's Keystone Decision; Supporters Blast Decision

[world politics news]

The seven-year saga of the Keystone XL pipeline ended when Pres. Barack Obama rejected the project, which had become the biggest irritant in Canada-U.S. relations. New PM Justin Trudeau said he was "disappointed" in the decision. TransCanada president Russ Girling called the cancellation "misplaced symbolism."