Wednesday, August 31, 2016

#CANADA: MP Attacks Comedian For Mocking Former PM Harper's Reaction To Terrorist Attack

[world politics news]

A member of parliament has taken to twitter to take a comedian to task after he mocked former Prime Minister Stephen Harper in an Instagram photo for hiding in a closet during a 2014 shooting on Parliament Hill. MP Michelle Rempel criticized CBC's Mark Critch after Critch, who has a show which routinely mocks Canadian politicians, hid in a closet allegedly used by Harper during the shooting. The Conservative Party MP posted several tweets, culminating in one in which she called Critch an "f-ing embarrassment." She later apologized for her language and deleted the tweets.

#GERMANY: Foreign Min. Calls For New Arms Control Agreement With Russia

[world politics news]

Saying a new arms agreement would foster "trust," Germany’s foreign minister is calling for a new arms control deal with Russia to avoid an escalation of tensions in Europe, where intensified military exercises by Russia and NATO have raised concerns that a war could inadvertently be triggered. In an apparent reference to Russia’s annexation of the Crimea region of Ukraine, Frank-Walter Steinmeier said Russia had violated basic, non-negotiable principles of peace, breaking delicate bonds of trust built up over decades.

Tuesday, August 30, 2016

#VENEZUELA: Socialist Regime Arrests Oppo Ldr At Home In 3 AM Raid

[world politics news]

Human rights figures around the world are condemning the Socialist regime of Nicolas Maduro after opposition leader Daniel Ceballos was arrested in a 3 a.m. raid on his home this past Saturday. Security forces said he was being taken to a "medical exam," but a waiting ambulance instead took him to a prison. Tensions are rising as mass protests against Maduro are scheduled for Thursday, seeking his removal from office.

#MALAYSIA: Students Hold Banned Rally To Demand Arrest Of Prime Min.

[world politics news]

Malaysian student activists led a rally Saturday to demand the arrest of Prime Minister Najib Razak, who has been implicated in a US government probe into massive fraud in a Malaysian investment fund. More than 1,000 people defied a police ban as they congregated at two locations in Kuala Lumpur and marched to historic Independence Square. They held posters and caricatures of Najib, with some chanting “Catch, catch Najib.”

Monday, August 29, 2016

#THAILAND: Constitutional Committee Quashes Idea Of Unelected Senate Helping Choose PM

[world politics news]

The Constitution Drafting Committee has brushed aside a National Legislative Assembly proposal to allow the Junta-appointed Senate to take part in a process to nominate a prime minister,  deciding to keep the power to nominate a prime minister exclusively in the hands of MPs.

#JAPAN: PM Abe's Wife Visits Pearl Harbor, First By Wife Of Sitting PM

[world politics news]

Japan's first lady has visited Pearl Harbor to pay tribute to the victims of the Japanese attack 75 years ago. Akie Abe wrote on her Facebook page that she offered flowers and a prayer at the Arizona Memorial. The unexpected visit fueled speculation that her husband, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, would also visit. In May, Pres. Barack Obama visited Hiroshima, the site of the US bombing that hastened the end of World War II, but resulted in hundreds of thousands of victims.

Sunday, August 28, 2016

#TUNISIA: New PM Chahed Says "Sacrifices" Needed To Fix Economy As Cabinet Presented

[world politics news]

Tunisia's premier-designate called for "sacrifices" on Friday when parliament met to vote on his new cabinet line-up. A majority of parliament's 217 members were expected vote in favor of the line-up, making Youssef Chahed, at 40, the country's youngest prime minister since it won independence from France in 1956. Members of parliament were reported to say they'd keep Chahed on a "tight leash" and most oppose serious austerity measures.

#BOLIVIA: Deputy Interior Min. Beaten To Death By Striking Miners

[world politics news]

Bolivian Deputy Interior Minister Rodolfo Illanes has been beaten to death by striking mineworkers after being kidnapped, local media reported on Thursday. Earlier a government spokesman told a news conference Illanes had been kidnapped by striking mineworkers and might be at risk of being tortured

Read More :

Saturday, August 27, 2016

#GABON: Popular Pres. Cand. Challenges 49-Year Rule Of One Family

[world politics news]

A 74-year-old insurgent candidate for president is challenging the 49-year rule of a single family in Gabon in Saturday's election. Jean Ping is promising improvements to infrastructure and health and a reform of the judiciary, and accuses Pres. Ali Bongo of wanting to establish a dictatorship. Ali Bongo has been in office since 2009 when he won an election after the death of his father, Omar Bongo Ondimba, an autocrat who ruled the west African country for 42 years.

#HAITI: Long-Delayed Election Must Occur On Oct. 9, Says Interm Pres.

[world politics news]

Haiti's long-delayed presidential vote must take place on Oct. 9 as scheduled to install a legitimately elected leader as soon as possible and assuage concerns about political stability, interim President Jocelerme Privert says. Haiti is scrambling to find funding for its third election process in a year. A history of volatility and missed deadlines in the nation's recent electoral history has raised doubts about the October date.

Friday, August 26, 2016

#IRAQ: Defense Min. Ousted After No-Confidence Vote; Accuses Corrupt Leaders

[world politics news]

On the brink of the invasion of Mosul, Iraqi Defense Minister Khaled al-Obeidi has received a no-confidence vote from parliament over corruption allegations and was removed by a vote of 142 to 102. Obeidi turned the accusation around, saying he had "tried everything to fight corruption," and accused parliament speaker Salim al-Jaburi and other government officials and businessmen of trying to persuade him to secure specific contracts or reinstate employees fired due to corruption.

Thursday, August 25, 2016

#THEPHILIPPINES: Senate Investigates 1,700 Killings Of Drug Dealer Suspects Since Duterte Becomes Pres.

[world politics news]

Killings have soar in the Philippines amid Pres. Rodrigo Duterte's anti-drugs crackdown. More than 1,700 Filipinos have been killed in seven weeks since Duterte pledged to wipe-out his country's illegal drugs trade. Some are blaming his campaign rhetoric that he would "kill" all suepected drug dealers personally.  Duterte threatened to withdraw from the United Nations after UN human rights experts expressed concerns about the killings.

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

#AUSTRALIA: PM Turnbull Seeks Amendment To "Fair Work" Law To Protect Volunteer Firefighters From Unions

[world politics news]

The Coalition Government led by Liberal MP Malcolm Turnbull will seek to amend the Fair Work Act to protect the Victorian Country Fire Authority and similar volunteer organizations from union takeovers. The government of the state of Victoria is seeking to hand control of the CFA’s volunteers to the United Firefighters Union through a new agreement under the 2009 Fair Work Act.

#CANADA: Former MP Pierre Lemieux Joins Conservative Leadership Race

[world politics news]

The Conservative leadership contest continues to attract candidates, as defeated former Ottawa MP Pierre Lemieux throwing his hat into the race. Lemieux is lining up supporters and donations for a leadership bid that will see him campaign in large part on a social conservative platform, trumpeting his anti-abortion views and support for the "traditional definition' of marriage. The Conservative Party voted to accept gay marriage earlier this year.

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

#GERMANY: Merkel's Party Raises Idea Of National Burka Ban

[world politics news]

Germany could impose a ban on women wearing burkas or full-face Islamic veils at schools and universities and while driving, under proposals announced by Angela Merkel’s party. The burka “does not belong in our cosmopolitan country,” Thomas de Maiziere, the interior minister and one of Merkel’s closest allies has said. The idea of a ban failed in an internal party vote lasts December.

#ISRAEL: Turkey Approves Deal Paving The Way To Renewed Relations With Israel

[world politics news]

Turkey's post-coup parliament has ratified a deal with Israel to normalize ties. Israel will pay compensation for a 2010 raid on a Turkish aid flotilla bound for Gaza that resulted in 10 Turkish nationals being killed.

Monday, August 22, 2016

#CANADA: Senate Opens Doors To Outside Review Of Senators' Expenses

[world politics news]

Last year, a scathing report on the Senate expense scandal was issued, with a recommendation that an independent oversight body be created to ensure that senators would no longer police themselves though the internal committee. After initial push-back, the Senate has now agreed to open its books to such a review.

#USA: Public Interest Group Claims CA Gov. Brown Took Energy Co. Money For Favors

[world politics news]

A report by public interest group Consumer Watchdog claims 26 energy companies including California's three major investor-owned utilities, Occidental, Chevron, and NRG—all with business before the state—donated $9.8 million to Gov. Jerry Brown’s campaigns, causes, and initiatives, and to the California Democratic Party since he ran for Governor. They further claim these donations were made within days or weeks of winning favors.

Sunday, August 21, 2016

#NORWAY: Labor And Center Parties Seek Ban on Wearing Hijab At Schools, Foreign Funds To Mosques

[world politics news]

Representatives of the Labor Party and Center Party integration committee proposes prohibition of women wearing Muslim niqab headgear at educational institutions, and preventive policies against children with hijab at primary schools.

#RUSSIA: Oppo. Ldr. Says Parliamentary Elections Will Be "Rigged"

[world politics news]

Russian opposition leader Mikhail Kasyanov says parliamentary elections next month were being rigged against his party, meaning it would have to win up to three times more votes than legally necessary to get into parliament. Starved of air time, vilified by Kremlin-backed media, and physically attacked on the stump, Kasyanov and his allies in the People's Freedom party or PARNAS face an uphill struggle to break into the 450-seat lower house of parliament on Sept. 18.

Saturday, August 20, 2016

#AUSTRALIA: Free Speech Crusaders Close To Amending Controversial Racial Discr. Act

[world politics news]

Free-speech crusaders are “closer than ever” to eroding the controversial Racial Discrimination Act, Liberal senator James Paterson said last night, saying Malcolm Turnbull should be “taking up the mantle and leading” on the hot-button issue. Former PM Tony Abbott angered his supporters in 2014 by abandoning an election promise to repeal the law, amid fears that loosening restrictions on speech could stymie efforts to silence radical preachers.

Pictured: Senator for Victoria James Paterson

#ZAMBIA: Pres. Lungu Wins Re-Election Amid Charges Of Vote Rigging

[world politics news]

Zambian Pres. Edgar Lungu has narrowly won re-election in a vote his main rival said was rigged. Hakainde Hichilema's United Party for National Development said it would appeal the result at the Constitutional Court, accusing election officials of fraud during the count which began after voting ended on Thursday.

Friday, August 19, 2016

#SPAIN:PM Rajoy Wins Support Of Citizens' Pty.; Hopes To Finally Form Gov't Aug. 30

[world politics news]

Spain's acting prime minister Mariano Rajoy will try to persuade Parliament to let him form a government in a debate scheduled to begin Aug. 30. Ana Pastor, the Speaker of Parliament, announced the date after conservative Popular Party leader Rajoy clinched a deal with the smaller Citizens/Ciudadanos Party to support his bid to return to power.

#VENEZUELA: South American MERCOSUR Trade Group May Expel Venezuela

[world politics news]

The coordinators of MERCOSUR - a trade association consisting of Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay, Uruguay, Venezuela - may decide as early as Aug. 23 to expel Venezuela, which joined in 2012. A meeting in Montevideo, Uruguay will discuss legal sanctions on Venezuela, which self proclaimed itself the presidency of the group on July 30, and is also allegedly not complying with over 200 rules and regulations, requirements they agreed to when they joined. Venezuela could then lose its full member status.

Pictured: The flags of MERCOSUR’s five member-states: Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay, Uruguay, Venezuela. 

Thursday, August 18, 2016

#CANADA: Conservative MP Brad Trost Enters Party Leadership Race

[world politics news]

Social conservative MP Brad Trost has officially jumped into the federal Conservative leadership race.The Saskatchewan member of parliament says he's "100% conservative" and is willing to stand up and defend the right flank of the party, especially when it comes to hot social issues. Trost, 42, is an outspoken anti-abortionist and self-declared "uncompromising defender of traditional marriage." He fought vigorously, but unsuccessfully, at the Conservative national convention in May to keep the party’s definition of marriage as “the union of one man and one woman."

#POLAND: High Court Reforms Draw Condemnation From EU

[world politics news]

The Council of Europe and the European Commission are condemn reforms of Poland's high court as being anti-democratic. Last year, legislation added five "politically friendly" judges to the country's Constitutional Tribunal, which critics said make it easier for the government to push through legislation. Poland's Chief Justice ruled the changes unconstitutional, but the government ignored the ruling. In July 2016, further changes allow for rulings to be made a simple majority, with 11 judges being present. It also allowed for rulings on the constitutionality of a law to be made by only five judges.

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

#THENETHERLANDS: Dutch PM Rutte Warns #EU "No Business As Usual" After Brexit

[world politics news]

Prime Minister Mark Rutte has urged the European Union to hold talks on its future without the United Kingdom, warning Brussels that it cannot go back to ‘business as usual’ after Brexit. In a message posted on Facebook, Rutte said he had discussed the Netherlands’ relations with the UK on the phone with new British prime minister Theresa May, assuring her that relations between the two nations will remain strong after Brexit.

#JAPAN: Wife Of PM Abe Takes Part In Anti-Expansion Protest Near US Okinawa Base

[world politics news]

Japan's first lady Akie Abe says she is "ready to face criticism" after attending an anti-government rally, protesting the construction of new helipads at the US-operated military in Okinawa.
Abe said she did not inform her husband in advance about what is bound to be seen as a controversial endorsement of the protests, which have been ignored by Tokyo.

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

#TURKEY: Foreign Min. Signals Turkey May Release Flood Of Migrants If EU Fails To Grant Turks Visas

[world politics news]

Turkey could walk away from its promise to stem the flow of illegal migrants to EU if the European Union fails to grant Turks visa-free travel to the bloc in October, Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu told a German newspaper.

Monday, August 15, 2016

#THEPHILIPPINES: Protests Over Pres. Duterte's Plan To Give Hero's Funeral For Marcos

[world politics news]

Hundreds have protested a plan of Pres. Rodrigo Duterte to use Manila cemetery to give a hero's burial to the dictator, who died in 1986. Police said about 1,500 protesters carrying a large streamer that read "Marcos not a hero" braved the rains, wind and mud at the seaside Rizal park, in Manila, on Sunday to call on Duterte to reconsider his decision.

Sunday, August 14, 2016

#UK: PM May Says UK Won't Trigger Article 50 "Brexit" Until 2017

[world politics news]

Prime Minister Theresa May has told several of her European counterparts that Britain will not begin the formal process of leaving the EU until next year, easing fears that the process will be rushed, but also frustrating those who wish to make a clean break of it, following the Brexit referendum victory last month.

#THEPHILIPPINES: Pres. #Duterte Uses Slurs To Insult Gay US Ambassador

[world politics news]

Pres. Rodrigo Duterte has sparked a fresh diplomatic incident after making a homophobic slur against the US ambassador in comments that prompted Washington to summon Manila’s envoy to complain. In the latest of a series of tirades, Duterte used a local Tagalog language homophobic slur to express his displeasure with the US ambassador, Philip Goldberg, in televised comments made on Friday.  "As you know, I’m fighting with (US Secretary of State John) Kerry's ambassador. His gay ambassador, the son of a whore. He pissed me off," Duterte said.

Saturday, August 13, 2016

#SCOTLAND: Plan To Appoint Social Worker For Every Child Struck Down By UK Court

[world politics news]

A plan to appoint a social worker ("named person") for every child in Scotland has been struck down by the UK's Supreme Court. Judges said the plan, which was unanimously passed by the Scottish Parliament in 2014, risks breaching the European Convention on Human Rights. The plan would have appointed someone to each child to answer their questions and that of their parents. Religious groups and charities opposed the law on privacy grounds.

Pictured: Middlesex Guildhall, home of the Supreme Court of the United Kingdom, in London.

#DENMARK: Member of Parliament Suggests Trump-Like Muslim Immigration Ban

[world politics news]

A high-ranking Danish People’s Party MP has proposed a ban all immigration from ‘Muslim countries’ for a period of 4-6 years. MP Søren Espersen of the Danish People’s Party (DF) proposed that a ban on immigration from Muslim countries was needed until “we have gotten a handle on our future efforts” in combating Islamic extremism in Denmark. The proposal has been likened by some critics to the one made by US presidential candidate Donald Trump

Friday, August 12, 2016

#TURKEY: With New Friend Putin, Erdogan Threatens To End Migration Deal With EU

[world politics news]

Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, is enjoying his re-born friendship with Russian Pres. Vladimir Putin and amid harsh criticism from the West over his post-coup crackdown. One result could be an unraveling of Turkey's deal with the European Union in which Turkey keeps Syrian refugees out of Europe, for a price. Erdogan says he feels "abandoned" by Europe.

#BRAZIL: Courts Approve Protests During Olympics; Protesters In Stadiums Removed

[world politics news]

The current political turmoil faced by Brazil has spilled into the Olympics, with reported cases of spectators being physically removed from stadiums for protesting against the country’s interim government. Now, a Brazilian federal court judge says that any suppression of political manifestations by security forces is unconstitutional. That hasn't stopped some protesters from being removed from stadiums.

Thursday, August 11, 2016

#CANADA: Holocaust-Denying Former Green Candidate Expelled From Party

[world politics news]

Former Green Party parliamentary candidate Monika Schaefer, has been forced out as a candidate and expelled from the national party after she made a video denying that the Nazi Holocaust ever happened. Her expulsion came after she made a YouTube video in which the first-generation Canadian apologized to her long-dead, German-born mother for scolding her ignorance of the Holocaust, which she now calls a "six-million lie." Green Party Leader Elizabeth May says she is "shocked" by her statements.

Pictured: Monika Schaefer, a former Green Party candidate, with Elizabeth May. (Facebook)

#AUSTRIA: #EU Should End Membership Talks With Turkey Over Erdogan's Post-Coup Crackdown

[world politics news]

Austria's Chancellor Christian Kern has called on the European Union to end membership talks with Turkey in the wake of a massive government crackdown following a failed coup. Turkey's longstanding, and recently revived, bid to join the EU has already been hit by Pres. Recep Tayyip Erdogan's suggestion that he may reintroduce the death penalty, which would instantly disqualify the nation from joining the bloc.

Pictured: Austrian Chancellor Christian Kern

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

#ITALY: Italian Senator Arrested For Alleged Mafia Ties

[world politics news]

A senator has been stripped of his parliamentary immunity and arrested after investigators say he has Mafia ties. Antonio Stefano Caridi, 47, allegedly tied to the powerful 'Ndrangheta crime syndicate in southern Italy, told the house he was innocent of the mafia allegations against him - but to no avail.

#GERMANY: Arsonist Destroys Campaign Bus Of Merkel Ally

[world politics news]

Berlin police are searching for the culprit who torched a campaign bus belonging to Thilo-Harry Wollenschlaeger, who is running for local parliament election for the Spandau district of Berlin with Chancellor Angela Merkel's Christian Democratic Union Party.

Tuesday, August 09, 2016

#JAPAN: New Defense Min. Won't Rule Out Visit To Controversial Shrine; Says "No" To Nukes

[world politics news]

Newly appointed Defense Minister Tomomi Inada refuses to say when or if she would again visit a controversial shrine honoring Japanese soldiers who fought in wars against China in World War II. She attended the Yasukuni shrine repeatedly as policy chief for the ruling Liberal Democrats. She also said she did not believe Japan should have nuclear weapons "at this time" but might in the future. In a 2011 interview, the conservative hardliner said Japan should obtain nukes.

#CANADA: Saskatchewan Cabinet Memb. Resigns After Impaired Driving Charge

[world politics news]

Saskatchewan Government Relations Minister Jim Reiter is taking over most of the responsibilities of Don McMorris, who resigned after being charged with impaired driving. Premier Brad Wall has appointed Reiter as minister responsible for Crown Investments Corporation, Saskatchewan Government Insurance, Saskatchewan Liquor and Gaming Authority and the Public Service Commission.

Monday, August 08, 2016

#THAILAND: Voters Approve Military-Backed Constitution Amid Pre-Election Crackdown

[world politics news]

Voters Sunday approved military junta-written constitution, in a boost to the army’s political aspirations and a body blow to the country’s pro-democracy movement. The military says its new constitution will curb endemic political corruption, bring stability after years of unrest and pave the way for a general election next year. Critics say a pre-election crackdown on dissent skewed the results, and Western governments protested how the government behaved.

Sunday, August 07, 2016

#SPAIN: Acting PM Rajoy Unable To Form Gov't - Again, Third Nat'l Election In 9 Months Looms

[world politics news]

Spain's acting Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy warned on Tuesday that the country may have to hold a third round of elections, after his Socialist rival refused to back his efforts to form a coalition government. Spain's been without a fully functioning government for more than seven months, after the national Dec. 20th election left Rajoy's Popular Party short of an absolute majority in parliament while upstart parties Ciudadanos and Podemos shook up Spain's two-party system.

#IRELAND:Gov't Makes Post-Brexit Bid To Have EU Drug Agency Relocate From London To Ireland

[world politics news]

Minister for Health Simon Harris is to mount a bid to bring the European Medicines Agency from London to Dublin. The European Union agency will be obliged to leave the UK as a result of Brexit and Harris says he intends to make the strongest possible case for it to move to Ireland.

Saturday, August 06, 2016

#VENEZUELA: Desperate For Food, Gov't Uses Forced Labor In The Fields

[world politics news]

The government of Venezuela has issued a decree that "effectively amounts to forced labor" in an attempt to fix a spiraling food crisis, according to a new report from Amnesty International. A Venezuelan ministry last week announced Resolution No. 9855, which calls for the establishment of a "transitory labor regime" in order to relaunch the agricultural and food sector. The decree says that workers can be forcefully moved from their jobs to work in farm fields or elsewhere in the agricultural sector for periods of 60 days.

#GREECE: PM Tsipras Seeks Closer Ties With Bulgaria After Turkish Coup Turmoil

[world politics news]

Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras will focus on energy, transport infrastructure and migration, as he seeks to strengthen ties with Bulgaria and stabilize south eastern Europe after the failed coup attempt in Turkey. Tsipras is visiting Sofia for the Greek-Bulgarian High-Level Cooperation Council, his first such visit since he took power. He and his ministers are meeting Bulgarian counterpart, Boyko Borissov, and the country’s President Rosen Plevneliev.

Friday, August 05, 2016

#BOSNIA: Serb, Bosnian Parties Put Aside Differences, Clear Way For EU Membership Deal, IMF Loans

[world politics news]

Bosnia’s rival leaders have agreed on the key conditions set by the European Union for accepting the country’s membership application and cleared the way for winning a much needed IMF loan deal, which was delayed three weeks ago due to differences between Serb and Bosnian leaders in this ethnically divided nation. They have now agreed to a single transportation and infrastructure policy for the nation, opening up the possibility of a 550 million Euro loan from the International Monetary Fund.

#INDONESIA: Parties May Join Forces To Back Popular Businessman For Gov. Of Jakarta In 2017

[world politics news]

Members of the Prosperous Justice Party say they may be willing to support Jakarta's incumbent governor, may be willing to support another party's candidate. In a move to form a new political alliance against incumbent Governor Basuki "Ahok" Tjahaja Purnama, the Prosperous Justice Party, or PKS, indicated that it would likely support businessman Sandiaga Uno, whom the Great Indonesian Movement Party, better known as Gerindra, has nominated as its candidate for the 2017 Jakarta gubernatorial election in  the Special Capital City District.

Pictured: Businessman Sandiaga Uno, right, who has been nominated by the Indonesian Movement Party to run for governor of Jakarta in 2017.