Thursday, June 30, 2016

#UK: Former London Mayor Boris Johnson Stuns UK Politics: Won't Seek To Be PM

[world politics news]

In a stunning announcement, Former London Mayor Boris Johnson has ruled himself out of the race to be the next Conservative leader and prime minister. In a speech in London - originally billed as his campaign launch - Johnson said he did not believe he could provide the leadership or unity needed. It comes after Justice Secretary and fellow Brexit campaigner Michael Gove's surprise announcement on Thursday morning that he would run for leader.

#INDIA: National Capitol Set For Statehood Vote; Inspired By #Brexit

[world politics news]

Latching onto the referendum held in United Kingdom in which British citizens decided to exit from the European Union, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Friday announced that the national capital will have a referendum on full statehood "soon." Last month, Kejriwal began a public feedback period, which ends June 30. 

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

#NORWAY: Parliament Pledges Nation Will Be "Climate Neutral" By 2030 - 20 Years Earlier Than Planned

[world politics news]

Norway’s parliament has approved a radical goal of achieving climate neutrality by 2030, two decades earlier than planned. MPs voted for an accelerated program of carbon dioxide cuts and carbon trading to offset emissions from sectors such as Norway’s oil and gas industries, which are unlikely to be phased out in the near future.

#SWEDEN: Tough New Residency Rules May Slow Migration

[world politics news]

The Swedish parliament has voted in favor of tough new asylum and residency laws. A large majority of MPs at the Riksdag voted through the changes, which the Social Democrat-led coalition government had pushed for after Sweden took in 160,000 asylum seekers in 2015.

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

#TURKEY: Pres. Erdogan Loses Appeal Against German Media Boss

[world politics news]

Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan lost a German court battle against a top media boss when his appeal in a bitter row over free speech was thrown out. Erdogan had sought a court order to stop the Axel Springer media group’s chief Mathias Doepfner from repeating support for a TV satirist who crudely insulted the Turkish leader.

#THENETHERLANDS: Justice Min. Says Report Touting Benefits Of Legalizing Pot Will Have "No Impact" On Gov't Policy

[world politics news]

A report by Radboud University researchers which says legalizing cannabis production would have benefits for public health and human rights will not have an impact on government policy, Justice Minister Ard van der Steur has told parliament. The report's findings are no reason to change policy on cannabis cafes, known as coffee shops, the minister said in answer to questions from the Socialists and The D66 Party. The study found that illegal cannabis production was linked to criminal violence, fires, environmental and noise pollution and the spread of legionella bacteria, the Volkskrant reported last month.

Monday, June 27, 2016

#ITALY: Frmr. PM Berlusconi Plots Relaunch Of His Party From Hospital Bed After Heart Attack

[world politics news]

Former Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi is planning to relaunch his political party, Forza Italia, when he comes out of hospital on July 5. The 80-year-old billionaire underwent open heart surgery to replace his aortic valve after sustaining a heart attack earlier this month, but is showing no signs of slowing down. Berlusconi remains popular despite a series of scandals.

#SPAIN: New Election Fails To Break Political Deadlock; Left Falls Short

[world politics news]

In Spain's second general election in six months, the conservative People's Party of acting Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy has won most seats in Spain's parliamentary election but is short of a majority. Spain's other main party, the Socialist party, is in second place. The left-wing Unidos Podemos alliance and centre-right Ciudadanos are third and fourth. The vote has failed to break the political deadlock caused by December's inconclusive election.

Sunday, June 26, 2016

BREAKING: #UK: 12 Labour Shadow Cabinet Members Resign In "Coup" Attempt To Force Corbyn Resignation

[world politics news]

More than a quarter of the Shadow Labour Party cabinet has resigned in a concerted effort to force the resignation or removal of Party Leader Jeremy Corbyn, whose pro-Remain campaign was seen as "weak" by many. The resignations came the day after Corbyn fired his Shadow Foreign Secretary, Hilary Benn. Nearly every hour since the sacking of Benn, a shadow cabinet member has resigned. Corbyn, however, says he will remain in his position, citing his mandate from voters.

#FRANCE: Pres. Hollande Calls For "Profound Change" In The #EU After #Brexit

[world politics news]

Pres. Francois Hollande has said Europe faces "immense danger" and has called for a "profound change" in the European Union in the wake of Britain's exit from the crumbling bloc as calls for a Frexit heightened.

#UK: Labour Pty Leader Fires Shadow Foreign Sec. Over "Leadership Coup" Comes To Light

[world politics news]

UK Labour Party Leader Jeremy Corbyn removed Hilary Benn from his position as Shadow Foreign Secretary after it came to light that Benn was leading a "coup" to force Corbyn out. Corbyn is facing an ouster after allegedly supporting the losing "Remain" cause in the Brexit vote in a "lackluster" manner.

Saturday, June 25, 2016

#HAITI: More Than Two Dozen File To Contest Oct. 9 Pres. Election

[world politics news]

More than two dozen people have signed up to run for Haiti's presidency, authorities said on Wednesday, including the four leading candidates from an earlier election aborted after a commission found widespread fraud. This is half the number of candidates who contested the last election, making the October 9 election easier to organize. Several politicians who ran last time pledged to support Jude Celestin, who had come in second.

#CANADA: MP Declines To Attend Gay Pride Parade, Cites Frog-Jumping Competition, Personal Views

[world politics news]

Ted Falk, a member of parliament in a conservative-leaning rural area of southeastern Manitoba sometimes referred to as the province's Bible Belt says he will not attend a gay pride march, citing his personal beliefs. He originally cited a conflict in his schedule - a July 9 frog-jumping competition. But he later made it clear he had personal reasons for not attending, "Even without a scheduling conflict, my decision to not attend would be the same. I've been clear on this issue many times, and have made my position public on my values of faith, family and community," said Falk.

Friday, June 24, 2016

#GERMANY: #Merkel Struggles To Re-Assure Remaining #EU Members; Halt Talk Of Further "Exits"

[world politics news]

German Chancellor Angela Merkel on Friday warned EU member states against drawing hasty conclusions about Britain's decision to quit the bloc, as that risked further splitting Europe.


[world politics news]

Voters of the United Kingdom voted Thursday to leave the European Union. 16,141,241 voted to Remain, while 17,410,742 voted to Leave. The vote caused an immediate economic and political earthquake, as markets sent the UK Pound crashing to 1985 levels and PM David Cameron announced he will resign and leave by October. Scotland's ruling Scottish National Party - which voted overwhelmingly to Remain in the EU - signalling it would likely seek another independence referendum and to stay part of the EU.

Thursday, June 23, 2016

#DEMREPOFCONGO: Int'l Criminal Ct. Sentences Frmr. VP To 18 Years In Prison For Rapes, Murders

[world politics news]

The International Criminal Court Tuesday handed down its toughest sentence yet, ordering former Congolese vice president Jean-Pierre Bemba to serve 18 years in jail for "sadistic, cruel" rapes and murders by his troops in Central African Republic. He denies all responsibility for the crimes.

#EGYPT: In Rare Rebuke, Court Blocks Pres. Al-Sisi's Deal To Give Islands To Saudi Arabia

[world politics news]

An Egyptian court has reversed a decision to hand over two Red Sea islands to Saudi Arabia. Tuesday's verdict by the highest administrative court in Cairo declared void a maritime border accord with Saudi Arabia, which would have seen Egypt surrender control of the Tiran and Sanafir islands at the mouth of the Gulf of Aqaba. While the verdict is not final, it could deal a blow to Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah el-Sisi's government, which has eagerly argued that the agreement would bring economic benefits for Egypt.

#GERMANY: State Official's Holocaust Statements In 2012 Book Causing Rancor Among Party Ldrs.

[world politics news]

Comments made by Wolfgang Gedeon, an Alternative For Germany Party member of the state parliament in Baden-Württemberg appearing to minimize the Holocaust came to light during his 2012 campaign, and were raised again in the press. Party Pres. Frauke Petry says Vice-Chair Jörg Meuthen made the controversy "personal" by threatening to resign if Gedeon isn't thrown out of the party, causing an internal split among the leaders.

Pictured: From left: party leaders Frauke Petry, Beatrix von Storch and Jörg Meuthen.

#CROATIA: Head of Croatian Democratic Union Resigns; Says Responsible For Gov't Collapse

[world politics news]

Tomislav Karamarko has resigned from the position of president of the Croatian Democratic Union after taking responsibility for failing to achieve a parliamentary majority for a new Croatian government. New elections have now been called following the collapse of the government.

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

#HONGKONG: Chief Executive Writes Stern Letter To Beijing After Book Publishers' Abductions

[world politics news]

The leader of Hong Kong has written a letter expressing concerns to Mainland China over the treatment of book publishers in the city who were allegedly taken to the Mainland to be interrogated for eight months, possibly violating the "one country, two systems" plan. Leung Chun-ying's letter raised the issue of legal jurisdiction and civil liberties in the largely self-governing city.

#JAPAN: Embattled Tokyo Governor Resigns Amid Campaign Funding Scandal

[world politics news]

The embattled governor of Tokyo has submitted a letter of resignation. Yoichi Masuzoe has been fighting allegations for weeks that he misused political funds for private purposes.

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

#KENYA: Deputy Pres. Ruto Urges Opponents To Respect Judicial System In Hate Speech Case

[world politics news]

Deputy Pres. William Ruto has asked leaders to respect the Constitution and abide by the rule of law when addressing issues. He condemned the opposition Cord coalition for threatening to hold demonstrations if MPs detained over hate speech were not released. Ruto expressed concern that opposition leaders were setting a dangerous precedent when they call for disobedience of the Judiciary.

Pictured: Deputy Pres. William Ruto (left) with Infrastructure Principal Secretary John Mosonik

#INDIA: Protests After Indian State's Chief Min. Fires 14 Ministers From Cabinet

[world politics news]

The Chief Minister of Karnataka, Siddaramaiah, has dropped nine cabinet ministers and four ministers of state - half of his team - in a major shake-up, prompting supporters of the dumped officials to stage violent street protests. The move was cleared by the Congress Party's leadership, including Party Pres. Sonia Gandhi and Vice Pres. Rahul Gandhi.

Monday, June 20, 2016

#CANADA: Senate Bows To House Of Commons' Will, Approves Assisted Dying Law

[world politics news]

After a dramatic debate over the eligibility requirements for physician-assisted dying — and over the role of the upper chamber itself — Senators opted to concede to the House of Commons Friday, sending Bill C-14 to royal assent.

#ITALY: 5-Star Movement Wins Big: Takes Rome, Turin Mayoral Seats

[world politics news]

The anti-establishment anti-EU Five Star Movement has made big gains in Italy, winning mayoral races in Rome and Turin in second-round run-offs Sunday. Virginia Raggi will become Rome's first female leader, in a victory seen as a blow to Prime Minister Matteo Renzi and his centre-left Democratic Party, which secured Italy's financial capital, Milan, and Bologna.

Sunday, June 19, 2016

#INDIA: Cabinet Approves PM Modi's Plan For State Bank Of India To Take Over Five Smaller Banks

[world politics news]

Prime Minister Narendra Modi's cabinet has approved the takeover by State Bank of India of several subsidiaries, a government source said, in a first move to consolidate the country's struggling public sector banks.

#TAIWAN: Pres. Bans Frmr Pres. From Making China/Taiwan Speech In Hong Kong

[world politics news]

Former Taiwan president Ma Ying-jeou's application to visit Hong Kong to deliver a speech was turned down by Taiwan's Presidential Office on Sunday. The office said Hong Kong is an "area of concern" in relation to Taiwan’s national security. Taiwanese law allows the president to restrict travel for three years any officeholder with a security clearance. Ma's office responded to the decision on Sunday evening by saying that it was “disrespectful to the former leader” and it will harm Taiwan's international image as a free, democratic country. He plans to give the speech via video link.

Saturday, June 18, 2016

#KOSOVO: Even After Renewal Deadline Passes, EU In Kosovo Approved For 2 More Years

[world politics news]

The EU has approved an extension to the mandate of the EU's rule-of-law mission in Kosovo, EULEX, which expired last Tuesday at midnight. Federica Mogherini, the High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, issued the approval in her reply to a letter from Kosovo President Hashim Thaci. This paves the way for the Kosovo assembly to vote two draft laws, approved by the government Friday, which enable the EU mission to continue in the country.

#AUSTRALIA: Queensland Parliament to Lower "Discriminatory" Consent Age For Certain Sex Acts To 16

[world politics news]

New laws will be introduced this week into Queensland's parliament to standardize the age of consent for all sexual acts. Currently, the age of consent for anal sex is 18, while other sexual acts can take place legally with consent at 16. Queensland is the only state in Australia where there is a disparity, which the government says discriminates against gay men.

Friday, June 17, 2016

#UK: EU Referendum Remains On Hold Following Murder Of Parliamentarian

[world politics news]

EU referendum campaigning remains suspended, less than a week before polling day, following the murder of Labour Party MP Jo Cox by a crazed constituent yesterday. Parliament, which was on a break for the referendum, is to be recalled on Monday for tributes to Cox.

Pictured: PM David Cameron, center, and Opposition Labour Party Leader Jeremy Corbyn, right, attend a tribute for Cox in London Thursday.

#RUSSIA: Parliament Gives Initial Approval For Anti-Doping Legislation

[world politics news]

Russia's parliament has backed legislation making it a crime to incite an athlete to use doping, as the country lobbies to overturn a doping-related ban against its athletes. The bill, which 436 lawmakers backed in the first of three readings, would punish trainers and medical staff for inciting athletes to use performance-enhancing drugs. It makes forcing an athlete to take drugs without their consent punishable by up to five years in jail.

#SWITZERLAND: Defense Min. Defends Extended Security Powers Ahead Of Sept 25 Vote

[world politics news]

Swiss Defense Minister Guy Parmelin says Switzerland is currently not adequately protected against terrorist threats. His government is seeking greater security powers in a Sept. 25 nationwide vote. The new law would allow intelligence services to conduct preventative monitoring, including tapping telephones, bugging rooms and hacking computers.

#UK: UK Independence Party Ad Campaign: Better Off OUT Of EU

[world politics news]

According to UK Independence Party Leader Nigel Farage, UKIP has launched the biggest advertising campaign in its history to support the "Leave" position in the June 23 Brexit referendum. The non-binding vote will advise the United Kingdom's parliament on whether to leave or remain in the European Union. The ads, which outspends all others in the referendum campaign, features the slogan, "The EU has failed us all."  Migration Crisis will feature heavily in the ads, he said.

Thursday, June 16, 2016

#CANADA: British Columbia Liberals Won't Sign Trans Rights Pledge; Banned From Pride Parade

[world politics news]

The ruling British Columbia Liberal Party have been banned from participating in this summer’s Pride Parade in Vancouver after it refused to sign a pledge calling for new legislation to protect transgender people, something parade organizers require all participants to do. Laura Miller, executive director of the BC Liberals, says transgender people are already protected under the province's Human Rights Code, and the party doesn't feel the need to explicitly state it.

#GERMANY: Nation Considers Stricter Marriage Laws As Child Brides Become Popular Among Migrants

[world politics news]

With hundreds of cases of child brides reportedly coming to Germany among recently arrived refugees, German politicians are considering tightening the rules. Authorities have registered hundreds of cases of children being married to adults before they arrive as refugees in Germany.

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

#RUSSIA: Duma Strips Immunity From Only Opponent Of Crimea Annexation

[world politics news]

The Russian State Duma voted to strip opposition deputy Ilya Ponomarev of his powers for not fulfilling his duties or participating in parliamentary votes since 2014. The vote concluded with 413 deputies for and three against. Ponomarev was the only deputy in the Duma who voted against the Russian annexation of Crimea in 2014. When he traveled to California soon after, his bank accounts were frozen and he was allegedly prohibited from traveling abroad. He has not returned to Russia since then.

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

#NAURU: July 9 Set For National Election On Pacific Island

[world politics news]

Nauru's parliament has been dissolved ahead of a general election which will be held on July 9. Last week, the government lowered the fee for prospective candidates to US$360 after it had hiked the amount just three months ago to US$1,400. The term of Pres. Baron Waqa has gone through several bouts of political controversy, including the suspension of most opposition MPs, and the decision to remove the former chief justice and resident magistrate, which has cost the nation some foreign aid.

#JAPAN: Tokyo Gov. To Face No Confidence Vote Over Misuse Of Funds

[world politics news]

Tokyo Gov. Yoichi Masuzoe will face a no-confidence motion tomorrow after an opposition party at the Tokyo assembly decided to submit one over his alleged misuse of political funds. Up to three opposition parties have considered filing separate no confidence motions, after Masuzoe had said he would not resign his post over the scandal.

Monday, June 13, 2016

#GERMANY: Turkish Pres. Condemned For Calling German-Turk Parliamentarians' Blood "Impure"

[world politics news]

The speaker of Germany’s parliament has strongly condemned threats against German-Turkish MPs following a Bundestag vote that declared the 1915 mass killings of Armenians by Ottoman forces a genocide.  Norbert Lammert expressed particular outrage at comments made by Turkey’s president, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, who said MPs with Turkish heritage who had backed the vote were traitors whose blood was impure and should be tested in a laboratory.

Pictured: Turkish Pres. Recep Tayyip Erdoğan.

#TURKEY: Turkish Min. Warns: If Visa-Free Travel With EU Fails, Refugee Flow Might Resume

[world politics news]

Turkey’s European Union Minister Ömer Çelik said that Turkey’s plans to secure visa-free travel to Europe by July would fail. And Turkish officials say if it doesn't happen by October, an agreement by Turkey to house and detain refugees fleeing into the EU nations may fall apart.

Sunday, June 12, 2016

#EGYPT: Parliament Takes Up Controversial "Red Sea Islands" Agreement With Saudi Arabia

[world politics news]

The controversial "Red Sea Agreement" with Saudi Arabia is set to face scrutiny from parliament soon. The agreement, signed during the April visit of King Salman to Egypt, fixed the maritime border between Egypt and Saudi Arabia, placing the two Red Sea islands of Tiran and Sanafir in Saudi territorial waters, triggering street protests that were handled violently by police and the army.

#EU: European Parliament Set To Investigate Panama Papers

[world politics news]

The European Parliament will set up an inquiry committee into the “Panama Papers” revelations, of detailed information on offshore companies and their ultimate beneficiaries, in a vote on Wednesday. The committee is to investigate alleged contraventions and maladministration in the application by the EU Commission or member states of EU laws on money laundering, tax avoidance and tax evasion. It will have 65 members and twelve months to present its report.

Saturday, June 11, 2016

#SAINTLUCIA: Conservative Opposition Wins Elections, Reversing 2011 Losses In Parliament

[world politics news]

St. Lucia's conservative United Workers Party beat the incumbent Labour Party with promises of tax cuts and the resolution of a scandal over killings by the police that have hurt the image of the Caribbean nation. Former Prime Minister Kenny Anthony conceded defeat and congratulated new Prime Minister Allen Chastanet on his victory in the June 6 vote after the opposition party won 11 seats to Labour's six.

#PERU: Daughter of Frmr. Pres. Fujimori Concedes After Losing Tight Pres. Election

[world politics news]

Keiko Fujimori, the daughter of jailed former president Alberto Fujimori, has conceded defeat to conservative Pedro Pablo Kuczynski in Peru's presidential election. Kuczynski won just 50.1% of the vote. Fujimori vowed that her party, Fuerza Popular, would form a "responsible opposition." The margin of victory was 42,597 votes out of more than 17 million cast.

Friday, June 10, 2016

#HUNGARY: New Terror Law May Give Gov't Too Much Power, Says Opposition

[world politics news]

Hungarian lawmakers have voted for a constitutional amendment making it easier to declare a "terrorism state of emergency." Opponents say the move would give the government unfettered powers without justification.

#CANADA: Parliament Votes To Make National Anthem Gender Neutral

[world politics news]

Canada’s Parliament voted overwhelmingly last week to pass a bill aimed at making the country’s national anthem gender-neutral. Bill C-210, which passed 219 to 79, proposes to switch just two words in the lyrics of “O Canada” — changing “in all thy sons command” to “in all of us command” in one verse.

Thursday, June 09, 2016

#SWITZERLAND: Guaranteed Basic Income Plan Defeated Soundly By Voters

[world politics news]

Switzerland has become the first country in the world to hold a nationwide vote on introducing an unconditional basic income. Despite a spectacular pro campaign, there was no hope of it winning a majority. Official final results show the proposal winning 23.1% of the vote and all the country's 26 cantons coming out against.

#UK: EU Critics Claims EU Could Force UK To Adopt The Euro After Election

[world politics news]

Brexit-supporting business leaders have issued a stunning riposte to David Cameron's claims that being part of the EU is good for our economy after a senior bank boss separately warned that Brussels may be plotting to force Britain to join the Euro if the "Remain" forces win on June 23.

Wednesday, June 08, 2016

#KENYA: Governors Threaten To End Free Maternity Care Over Failure Of Federal Reimbursements

[world politics news]

Citing slow reimbursement of healthcare costs, governors are threatening to stop providing free maternity care if the program is not improved. Council of Governors Chairman Peter Munya said the current free maternity service subsidy leaves a bigger burden to county governments.

Pictured: Council of Governors chairman Mr Peter Munya is taken through the new trauma and ICU center at Meru Teaching and Referral Hospital in central Kenya.