Thursday, March 31, 2016

#BRAZIL: Embattled Pres. Rousseff's Sports Min. Resigns Ahead Of Rio Olympics; Coalition Partners Abandon

[world politics news]

Brazil's sports minister has resigned amid a widening political crisis just five months before Rio de Janeiro hosts the Olympic Games. Embattled President Dilma Rousseff is losing support from coalition partners.

#CANADA: Polling For NDP Ldr. Mulcair Shows Slipping Support, But He May Keep His Job

[world politics news]

Polling shows New Democratic Party Leader Tom Mulcair's support has slipped among party faithful since last October's election loss, but a recent endorsement by five big unions may help him keep the job he's held since 2012 at a party convention in Edmonton in early April.

Wednesday, March 30, 2016

#ISRAEL: Bill To Strip "Enemy-Supporting" Arab Legislators Of Vote Passes First Hurdle; Oppo. Pols Decry

[world politics news]

Israel's parliament have given initial approval to a bill that would allow members to suspend from the legislature colleagues whom they believe have supported Israel's enemies or have acted against the state. The proposal was strongly criticized by opposition members who said it was aimed against Israel's Arab lawmakers.

#JAPAN: New Merger Creates Oppo. Political Party With Left-Leaning Policies

[world politics news]

The party to be formed through the merger of Japan's two leading opposition camps is set to fill its top ranks with left-leaning lawmakers, including a young woman as policy chief. Shiori Yamao, 41, of the Democratic Party of Japan, a second-term lawmaker in the Diet's lower house, will replace a conservative-leaning policy chief when the DPJ merges with the Japan Innovation Party, forming what will be called the Democratic Party.

Tuesday, March 29, 2016

#SOUTHKOREA: Over 900 Candidates Seeking 253 Seats In April 13 Parliamentary Election

[world politics news]

A total of 944 candidates -- 844 men and 100 women -- are set to compete for the 253 seats up for grabs in April 13's parliamentary election. The remaining 47 seats will be allocated to political parties according to the numbers of votes that they receive overall under proportional representation, the National Election Commission

#PALESTINIANAUTHORITY: Five Israeli Firms Banned From West Bank In Tit-For-Tat Trade War

[world politics news]

In retaliation for Israel barring five Palestinian dairy companies from selling its products in East Jerusalem and Israel proper, the Palestinian Authority banned five Israeli companies from selling its products in areas under its control. The Palestinians said the Israel ban on their products contravened economic agreements, while Israeli sources call it a public health decision due to the Palestinians' failure to maintain Israeli veterinary standards.

Monday, March 28, 2016

#POLAND: PM Beata Szydlo Says Poland Will Not Take 7K Migrants After Brussels Attacks

[world politics news]

Poland today abandoned its promise to the EU to take in 7,000 migrants because of the jihadist attacks in Brussels that killed 34 people. The country's previous government had agreed to take the migrants in, but today Prime Minister Beata Szydlo declared she would not be honoring the agreement.

#MYANMAR: New Gov't Slashes Cabinet Size From 36 To 21 In Cost-Saving Measure

[world politics news]

Myanmar’s parliament on Monday voted to axe a third of ministries in the new cabinet led by newly-elected President Htin Kyaw, a loyal and longtime aide to the leader of the election winning National League for Democracy. In his first public speech since being elected, Htin Kyaw - an Aung San Suu Kyi confidante - stated that the country would save about US$4 million during the government's five-year term by reducing the numbers of ministries from 36 to 21.

Sunday, March 27, 2016

#JAPAN: Diet Enacts Tough New Law Against Drones Following April Incident At PM's Residence

[world politics news]

The Diet on Thursday enacted a law banning drones from flying over important facilities such as the Prime Minister's Office while giving police the power to destroy drones if necessary. The Civil Aeronautics Law was revised to regulate drones last year after a small drone with small amounts of radioactive material on it was found on the roof of the building housing the Prime Minister's Office last April.

#IRAQ: Oil Minister Stops Attending Cabinet Meetings; Has Tried To Resign Since November

[world politics news]

Oil Minister Adel Abdul-Mahdi handed in a resignation letter on Thursday, March 24 for the second time, saying he has ceased to exercise his duties. Abdul-Mahdi suspended the meeting of Iraq’s Council of Ministers, demanding implementation of his resignation request in parliament. The oil minister had previously submitted his resignation to Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi on August 9, 2015.

Saturday, March 26, 2016

#KAZAKSTAN: Pres. Nazarbayev's Party Wins Lopsided Victory In Early Parliamentary Elections

[world politics news]

Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbayev said parliamentary elections in which his ruling Nur Otan party retained its overwhelming majority showed his country is united. Nur Otan won 82 percent of the vote in Sunday's early elections. The Ak Zhol Party and the Communist People's Party both won just more than 7% of the votes to be represented in parliament.

#MOROCCO: UN Leaves Western Sahara After Moroccan Gov't Demands Withdrawal

[world politics news]

Dozens of UN international staffers have been pulled out of its Western Sahara military liaison mission after Morocco demanded they leave. Western Sahara is a disputed territory, claimed by the government in Rabat. The spat between the government and the UN has been escalating. The UN says the mission was needed to advance future peace talks in the region.

Friday, March 25, 2016

#UKRAINE: Pres. Poroshenko Urges Parliament To Form Gov't This Week; Will Support "Any" PM Cand.

[world politics news]

Pres. Petro Poroshenko is asking parliament to form a new government next week in a bid to ease the ongoing political crisis in the country. He said a new government should be approved on March 29, and said he would support "any candidate for prime minister submitted by the (parliamentary) coalition."

#BRAZIL: Judge Halts Frmr. Pres. Lula's Appointment As Chief-Of-Staff; Faces Charges And Arrest

[world politics news]

A judge has suspended former Pres. Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva’s appointment as Pres. Dima Rousseff's chief of staff moments after he was sworn in, fearing the move by Rousseff made the appointment to shield him from prosecution. He is faces charges and immanent arrest over a corruption scandal. The appointment prompted anti-government demonstrations across Brazil, as a secretly recorded phone call between the two suggested his appointment to a ministerial position was motivated by a desire to avoid prosecution.

#BELGIUM: Interior, Justice Mins. Offer To Resign Over Security Lapses Before Attacks; PM Rejects

[world politics news]

Belgian Interior Minister Jan Jambon and Justice Minister Koen Geens presented their resignations, but their offers were declined by Prime Minister Charles Michel. Jambon and Geens reportedly offered to resign amid mounting concern that Belgium failed to act on warnings about Ibrahim el-Bakraoui before he blew himself up at the Brussels airport.

Pictured: Belgian Justice Min. Jan Jambon.

Thursday, March 24, 2016

#SWEDEN: Ldr. Of Sweden Democrats Backs "Brexit" UK Exit From EU, Hopes For Swedish Exit

[world politics news]

The leader of the Sweden Democrats, Jimmie Åkesson, says that there was "nothing negative" about the UK possibly leaving the EU if the "Brexit" forces win the June 23 referendum there. He says he hopes Swedes get the chance one day to also vote to leave the union, which he says takes too much power away from national governments.

#AUSTRIA: MP Calls Refugees "Neanderthals" And Religious Fanatics

[world politics news]

Austrian lawmaker Robert Lugar compared refugees to "Neanderthals who trample underfoot the rights of women" during a speech in parliament last week. The country’s Green Party responded, calling for his resignation. Lugar also said most refugees and migrants arriving in Austria were “uneducated, religiously blinded, fanatical [and] impossible to integrate." Lugar chairs the Team Stronach parliamentary group, a pro-business, Euro-skeptic party founded in 2012.

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

#ITALY: Frmr. PM Berlusconi Attacked For Saying A Mother-To-Be Is Unfit For Role As Rome's Mayor

[world politics news]

Former PM Silvio Berlusconi is being attacked for saying a woman who is pregnant cannot serve as Rome's next mayor. His Forza Italia Party and its partner, the Northern League, are discussing whom to endorse as the candidate to lead a center-right coalition in the upcoming mayoral elections. The Northern League's proposed candidate, Giorgia Meloni, 39, recently announced she was pregnant. "It's clear to everybody that a mother can't do that job," Berlusconi said, citing the frequent 14-hour days and travel.

#CANADA: Colorful, Controversial Frmr. Toronto Mayor Rob Ford Dead At 46

[world politics news]

Rob Ford, the Toronto city councilor who became the world’s most famous mayor during a wild, scandal-filled term, is dead at age 46. The married father of two young children died after 18 months of treatment for a rare and aggressive cancer first diagnosed in the midst of his 2014 bid to be re-elected mayor. Ford would have turned 47 on May 28.

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

#GREECE: Leftist PM Tsipras Hopes He Doesn't Face An "Evil" US Pres. Donald Trump

[world politics news]

Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras warned of the risk of Donald Trump becoming the next US President. Tsipras, the head of the Leftist Syrizia Party, said, "I hope we will not face this evil." Tsipras heads a nation still struggling with massive debt. His nation refuses to impose the austerity required by European Union bankers who are loaning Greece billions of Euros.

#THENETHERLANDS: Anti-Immigrant Party Ldr. Wilders On Trial For "Hate Speech"

[world politics news]
Dutch Party For Freedom leader Geert Wilders, an outspoken opponent of Muslim immigration, is on trial for "incitement" and "hate speech" in his native land. The case against Wilders, who was acquitted in 2011 of insulting Islam, centers on anti-immigrant comments he made before and after in local elections two years ago.

Monday, March 21, 2016

#IRAN: Obama Tells Iranians In New Year's Message: Nuke Deal Will Benefit Them, Will Help Create Iranian Jobs

[world politics news]

Addressing the Iranian people in a taped message marking the Persian New Year, US Pres. Barack Obama said the benefits of the Iranian nuclear deal are "undeniable" although it may still take time for people to begin enjoying them. He said the deal makes it possible for Iran to rejoin the global economy through increased trade and investment, creating jobs and opportunities for Iranians to sell their goods around the world.

#VENEZUELA: War of Words Heats Up Between Opposition-Run Nat'l Assembly And Maduro Regime

[world politics news]

The president of the nation's parliament has called Pres. Maduro "a fool" heading an "outlaw" regime, and Maduro's team has struck back, saying he was acting like a "rude troublemaker." The National Assembly, run by the opposition to the Leftist Maduro regime since last December, is becoming bolder in it's plan to oust him in the next six months.

Saturday, March 19, 2016

#UK: Work & Pensions Sec. Duncan Smith Quits Cabinet Over Benefit Cuts

[world politics news]

Prime Minister David Cameron says he's "puzzled and disappointed" by the resignation of Work and Pensions Secretary Iain Duncan-Smith from the Conservative government's cabinet over what he claims are "indefensible" cuts to disability pensions. It's a cry heard from opposition Labour Party benches, as well. Underlying the move are also tensions between Cameron, who supports staying in the European Union in a June referendum, and Duncan Smith, who does not.

#PAKISTAN: Parliament Recognizes Hindu Religious Holidays And Easter As Official Observances For 1st Time

[world politics news]

For the first time in the history of Pakistan, the country will get public holidays on Holi, Diwali and Easter after its parliament adopted a resolution to this effect. The government said it would approve the resolution. Holi is the popular end-of-Winter festival of colors and sharing love, while Diwali is the festival of lights celebrated in November. Both are now celebrated around the world in many cultures.

Pictured: A 2013 Holi celebration in Utah.

#EGYPT: Journalists Suspend Sit-In At Press HQ After Gov't Grants Some Of Its Demands

[world politics news]

Journalists have suspended their sit-in at the Press Syndicate headquarters in Cairo protesting the conditions of imprisoned journalists in Al-Aqrab Prison after families were allowed in to visit them.An Interior Ministry statement said Hesham Gaafar, a journalist and researcher serving a sentence in Al-Aqrab, will undergo surgery next week. Gaafar had gone on hunger strike to protest the "inhuman conditions" of their detention.

Friday, March 18, 2016

#THENETHERLANDS: Parliament Calls On Gov't To Halt Saudi Arms Deal

[world politics news]

The Dutch parliament called on the government to implement a European Union embargo on sending arms to Saudi Arabia as as result of their ongoing military action in Yemen. Around 6,000 have been killed since Saudi-led troops entered the conflict in Yemen last March, almost half of them civilians, says the UN.

#UK: New Law Allows Police To Snoop On Web Browsing History; Phone Data

[world politics news]

Powers to let police spy on web browsing history and hack into mobile phones have been voted through Parliament. Labour and the Scottish National Party members abstained, with some urging for more consumer protections from government intrusions.

Thursday, March 17, 2016

#IRELAND: Parties Remain Unable To Form Coalition Gov't After Feb. 26th Election

[world politics news]

Fine Gael and Fianna Fáil are facing into a week of further contacts with smaller parties and Independent members of parliament (The Dail) to assess the possibility of forming a government. Since the failure of parliamentarians to elect a new Taoiseach when the 32nd Dáil convened for its first session last week, no grouping has yet presented itself as capable of commanding a majority in the House.

Pictured: Party Leaders Micheál Martin and Enda Kenny, who are holding talks with all interested in forming a government.

#UK: Gov't Unveils Sugar Tax In Budget To Fund Schools

[world politics news]

Chancellor George Osborne has announced a sugar tax on soft drinks in the Conservative Party's new budget, which is being proposed to raise £520 million for school sports and longer school days.

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

#MYANMAR: "Proxy" Elected President To Serve In Place Of Aung San Suu Kyi

[world politics news]

Parliament elected Htin Kyaw as the country's new president, representing the longtime opposition National League For Democracy Party of Aung San Suu Kyi, who are now governing after 54 years of direct or indirect military rule. Suu Kyi will effectively serve as a shadow president, but is constitutionally forbidden from serving in the office - a parting indignity demanded by the former military government.

#HUNGARY: Teachers' Demonstrate Against Gov't Education Policies

[world politics news]

Tens of thousands of people joined striking Hungarian teachers in the capital Budapest to demonstrate against the government's education policies. They are demanding less centralization, more curriculum choice, and better pay.

Monday, March 14, 2016

#GERMANY: Anti-Immigrant Party Wins First Seats In Three States as Merkel's Party Loses Seats In Sunday Vote

[world politics news]

Chancellor Angela Merkel's party faced losses in three state elections Sunday over her handling of he refugee crisis, while the anti-immigrant Alternative For Germany Party entered states' parliaments for the first time. AfD won 24 percent in the eastern German state of Saxony-Anhalt, making it the second largest party. In Rhineland-Palatinate, the AfD took nearly 13%. In Baden-Württemberg, the AfD won 15% of the vote.

#EGYPT: Justice Min. Fired Over Comments About Muslim Prophet

[world politics news]

Egypt’s government spokesman says the prime minister has fired the justice minister, two days after he said on TV he would even imprison the Prophet Muhammad if he committed a crime. Cabinet spokesman Hossam Qawish said Ahmed el-Zind was "released from his position," without providing further details.

Sunday, March 13, 2016

#GERMANY: Defense Min. Plagiarized College Thesis, But School Says It Wasn't "Deliberate"

[world politics news]

Hanover Medical School has said Defense Minister Ursula von der Leyen plagiarized parts of her thesis, but allowed her to keep her doctorate because there was no "deliberate deception." Such accusations have brought down other German politicians in the past.

#LEBANON: Arab States Again Label Hezbollah A "Terrorist Organization"

[world politics news]

A statement by the six-state members of the Gulf Cooperation Council again designated the Lebanese Hezbollah group a terrorist organisation, three years after making the same statement. Officials said the decision was adopted due to the continuation of the group's "hostile" activities to recruit youth in GCC states to execute attacks, smuggle arms and explosives, incite sedition, chaos and violence.

Saturday, March 12, 2016

#UK: House Of Commons Votes Down Gov't Plan To Loosen Sunday Trading Restrictions

[world politics news]

The House of Commons has defeated the Government’s attempt to relax Sunday trading restrictions. MPs voted 317 to 286 to maintain the current rules, with 27 Conservative MPs defying the Government to vote against a proposal to give local authorities the power to extend Sunday trading hours.

#MALAYSIA: Parliament To Introduce Prime Minister's Question Time As Part Of Reform Package

[world politics news]

The government is welcoming a proposal to introduce a prime minister's question time two days a week during sessions of the Dewan Rakyat - the lower house of parliament. It's part of an ongoing effort to reform parliament.

Friday, March 11, 2016

#SCOTLAND: Parliament Imposes Restrictions On Sale And Use Of Electronic Cigarettes

[world politics news]

Legislation restricting the sale and use of e-cigarettes has been passed by the Scottish Parliament. Sale of e-cigarettes to youth under 18 or the purchase by an adult for a minor has been banned, and a new law also requires e-cigarette retailers other than pharmacies to be registered the same as tobacco vendors.

#SLOVAKIA: Far-Right Pty Wins Seats In Election; PM Fico's Pty Seeks To Form Gov't

[world politics news]

The People’s party – Our Slovakia group led by Marian Kotleba, the governor of central Slovakia, took 8% of the vote, nearly three times more than polls had predicted. The rise of opposition parties makes Prime Minister Robert Fico's task of forming a new government with his anti-immigrant, socially conservative Smer Party more difficult.

Pictured: Center, Marian Kotleba, head of The People's Party - Our Slovakia.

Thursday, March 10, 2016

#SRILANKA: Parliament Votes To Draft New Constitution After "Political" Preamble Dropped

[world politics news]

Sri Lanka's parliament has voted to draft a new constitution, after months of delay caused by a politically charged preamble - which praised the newly elected president - which was eventually dropped by the ruling party coalition.

#FRANCE: Frmr. Sarkozy Spokeswoman Launches Presidential Bid Against Him

[world politics news]

Nathalie Kosciusko-Morizet, a former campaign spokeswoman of ex-French president Nicolas Sarkozy, has become the ninth candidate for president in Sarkozy's Les Republicains party primary, set for November, six months before the 2017 national election. A moderate, she was expelled from the management of Sarkozy's Republican Party in December, a move she denounced as a "Stalinist purge."

Wednesday, March 09, 2016

#UK: David Cameron Flatly Denies He'll Resign If Voters Support UK "Brexit" From EU

[world politics news]

Prime Minister David Cameron has stated unequivocally that he will not step down even if Britons vote in favour of the UK leaving the European Union in a referendum in June. When asked directly during Prime Minister's Question Time, he said "No."

#MYANMAR: Smiles Fade As Military & Newly-Elected Gov't Hit Snags Over Transition To Full Democracy

[world politics news]

A deepening rift has opened between Burma’s powerful military and Aung San Suu Kyi, sources say, threatening the democracy leader’s prospects for forming a successful government. Suu Kyi’s National League for Democracy won elections last November, but the military remains are strong part of governing, taking a quarter of seats in parliament and barring her from becoming president.

Pictured: Burma’s commander-in-chief, Snr-Gen Min Aung Hlaing, left, and National League for Democracy (NLD) leader Aung San Suu Kyi.

Tuesday, March 08, 2016

#FRANCE: Parliament Seeks Jail For Smartphone Makers Who Refuse To De-Encrypt; Gov't Opposes

[world politics news]

French parliamentary deputies, defying government wishes, have voted in favor of penalizing smartphone makers which fail to cooperate in terrorism inquiries, entering a controversy that has pitted the FBI against Apple in the United States.

#JAPAN: PM Abe Faces Opposition Within His Own Party Over Gov't Reform Plans

[world politics news]

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's goal of amending the constitution while in office worries some in his ruling coalition who would rather not make this a campaign issue in the July upper house election. Some worry that the contentious issue will give the fractured opposition a rallying point.

Monday, March 07, 2016

#AUSTRIA: Foreign Min. Backs UK PM #DavidCameron's Changes To EU Welfare Benefits

[world politics news]

Austrian Foreign Minister Sebastian Kurz plans to back British Prime Minister David Cameron's proposed changes to child support benefits EU-wide and wants to go even further by implementing the suggestions immediately in Austria.

#GERMANY: Lobbyists Threaten To Sue Parliament Over New Rules

[world politics news]

The German parliament has revamped its house rules for allowing lobbyists into the building. But both industry lobbyists and anti-lobbying activists are unhappy with the compromise.

Sunday, March 06, 2016

#EU: Euro Council Pres. Tusk Warns Economic Migrants: "Don't Come To Europe"

[world politics news]

European Council Pres. Donald Tusk has urged economic migrants not to undertake the arduous journey to Europe. He appealed to "potential illegal economic migrants" saying, "Do not come to Europe. Do not believe the smugglers. Do not risk your lives and your money. It is all for nothing."

#BAHAMAS: Constitution Amended To Protect Gender Equality, Clarify Birth Citizenship

[world politics news]

Parliament has passed four constitutional amendments aimed at gender equality. One adds the word "sex" as a class one cannot discriminate against, the other three deal with who is entitled to become a Bahamian citizen.

Saturday, March 05, 2016

#CANADA: PM Trudeau To Americans: Pay More Attention To The World

[world politics news]

Ahead of a state visit to Washington, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has said Americans should pay more attention to what's going on around the globe. Trudeau is set to appear on "60 Minutes" this Sunday, where he is set to say, "It might be nice if they paid a little more attention to the world." Conservative Member of Parliament Jason Kenney took to Twitter in a series of tweets and called Trudeau's remarks, "regrettably smug." "Both CDA & the USA have virtues & flaws, but pls don't suggest that we 'pay more attention' to the world, that's manifestly untrue," he tweeted.