U.S. attorney general nominee will not target law-abiding marijuana…

WASHINGTON ( ) – President Donald Trump’s nominee to lead the,爱北京验证阿拉爱上海Talon, U.S. Justice Department said on Tuesday he disagreed with a decision by 爱上海419former Attorney General Jeff Sessions to reverse a policy that eased federal enforcement of marijuana laws, saying it sowed confusion in the marketplace and harmed businesses that had invested money.

“My approach to this would be to not upset settled expectations,” Barr told the Senate Judiciary Committee in his confirmation hearing, adding that if confirmed, he will “not go after companies” that had relied on the Obama-era guidance that Sessions later rescinded.

Barr’s comments are likely to bring some relief to burgeoning marijuana economies in states like California, which were thrown for a loop last year when Sessions abruptly withdrew guidance written in 2013 by then-Deputy Attorney General James Cole.

That guidance, known as the “Cole Memo,” still recognized marijuana as a “dangerous drug” that is illegal under federal law. However, it instructed prosecutors not to prioritize enforcing federal marijuana laws in states or localities that authorized various uses of the drug and effectively regulate and police it.

Session’s abrupt announcement last January caught banks off guard about how they could continue doing business with marijuana growers and sellers, prompting many to flood the U.S. Treasury Department’s Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) with phone calls seeking guidance.

FinCEN had previously released its own parallel guidance on how banks could do business with the cannabis industry without running afoul of federal anti-money laundering rules.

reported a year ago that the Justice Department did not alert FinCEN about its change to the marijuana policy before it was announced.

Sessions was a staunch marijuana opponent, and once said in a speech that he believed it was helping fuel the opioid crisis by serving as a gateway drug.

Barr told the Senate Judiciary Committee on Tuesday t,上海后宫阁419Lance,hat he personally opposes pot, but felt the best long-term solution to addressing disparate state and federal rules was for Congress to come up with a plan.

“I think it’s a mistake to back off on marijuana,” he said.

“However, if we want a federal approach, if we want states to have their own laws, then let’s get there,” Barr said.

Asked about Barr’s comments, Saphira Galoob, a federal cannabis lobbyist, said, “It is a positive sign that … Barr recognizes and acknowledges the country’s will for a regulated cannabis marketplace – and that a majority of Americans clearly sup,爱上海北京验证论坛Hadrian,port respecting states and protecting patients.”

Senator Graham says U.S.-Saudi cannot move on until prince ‘dealt…

ANKARA ( ) – Republican U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham said on Saturday the relationship between the United States and Saudi Arabia cannot move forward until Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman is “dealt with”, without being more specific.

Speaking in Ankara a day after meeting with Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan, Graham also said Congress will reintroduce sanctions against those involved in the killin,上海新千花网[随机上海419论坛符],g of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi.

“The relationship between the U.S. a,上海蝴蝶419论坛Lark,nd Saudi Arabia cannot move forward until Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman is dealt with,” Graham said.

Khashoggi was a prominent Saudi journalist and U.S. resident who wro,上海楼凤个人Nadine,te opinion columns for the Washington Post. He was killed in the Saudi consulate in Istanbul in October.

Riyadh initially denied knowledge of Khashoggi’s disappearance, then offered contradictory explanations, including that he was killed in a rogue operation.

Saudi officials have said the crown prince knew nothing of the killing. Saudi Arabia said last year that 21 Saudis were taken into custody in relation to the Khashoggi case, 11 of whom have been indicted and referred to trial.

Crown Prince Mohammed’s top aide Saud al-Qahtani was dismissed after overseeing the operation.

The United States imposed economic sanctions on 17 Saudi officials in November for their role in the Khashoggi killing.

The Senate voted in December to move ahead with a resolution to end U.S. military support for the Saudi-led coalition in the war in Yemen, and lawmakers vowed to push for sanctions against the kingdom in the new year.

More than 60 British lords criticize Labour’s Corbyn over…

LONDON ( ) – Mo爱上海419re than 60 opposition Labour members of Britain’s upper house of parliament signed a statement in a newspaper on Wednesday accusing leader Jeremy Corbyn of failin,2019上海龙凤419Talon,g “the test of leadership” over anti-Semitism in the party.

Corbyn, a veteran campaigner for Palestinian rights and critic of the Israeli government, has long been dogged by charges he has allowed a culture of anti-Semitism to thrive in Britain’s main opposition party – something he ,上海419论坛官方网站Kai,denies.

Eight lawmakers left the party earlier this year over anti-Semitism and Corbyn’s position on Brexit, which has also angered many members who want Labour to adopt an unequivocal pro-European Union position,上海后花园龙凤Mace,.

The statement in the Guardian newspaper, signed by several former ministers when Labour was in power from 1997 to 2010, has a stark message: “The Labour Party welcomes everyone* irrespective of race, creed, age, gender identity, or sexual orientation. (*except, it seems, Jews).”

“You have failed to defend our party’s anti-racist values. You have therefore failed the test of leadership.”

The statement, signed by about a third of Labour members in the House of Lords including former ministers such as Peter Mandelson, challenged whether the party could ever win a national election “if we can’t get our own house in order”.

Last week, a BBC program reported that Corbyn’s office had interfered in the independent party discipline processes aimed at rooting out anti-Semitism, a charge rejected by the party.

A Labour spokesman said the party stood “in solidarity with Jewish people and are fully committed to the support, defense and celebration of the Jewish community” and speeding up its procedures to deal with anti-Semitism cases.

“Regardless of false and misleading claims about the party by those hostile to Jeremy Corbyn’s politics, Labour is taking decisive action against anti-Semitism,” he said.

Corbyn has made clear through the media that anti-Semitism had no place in the party, it said.

Von der Leyen cracks EU parliament nut, national leaders will prove…

BRUSSELS ( ) – Ursula von der Leyen had to dangle a range of promises on migration, taxes, climate change and the rule of law to secure even a wafer-thin margin of support in the European Parliament to become the EU’s first female chief executive.

But delivering on those pledges will be an even harder task for von der Leyen, a close ally of Ger上海龙凤419man Chancellor Angela Merkel, because the EU’s national leaders, although they picked her for the job, are deeply at odds over many of those issues.

The 28 member states are divided on how to handle refugees, on committing to carbon neutrality by 2050 and on the question of safeguarding democracy in the bloc.

“She promised a whole lot of things and it’s not clear at all that we would be able to deliver,” said one senior EU diplomat. “It’s good to have ambition but one can already see that some areas will be extremely difficult.”

Policy gridlock would inflict further damage on the EU, which has been buffeted in recent years by the euro zone debt crisis, Britain’s decision to leave, an erosion of democratic norms and the rise of far-right and far-left eurosceptic parties.

As head of the EU executive Commission for five years from November, von der Leyen will oversee trade negotiations, economic and climate policy for 500 million Europeans and antitrust rulings involving powerful tech giants.

She was approved in a secret ballot of EU lawmakers on Tuesday, but with only nine more votes than the 374 required in the badly fractured assembly.

Some lawmakers from von der Leyen’s own center-right party appear to have deserted her at the last minute, perhaps piqued by her promises of a greener and more equitable Europe that were designed to win over wavering socialists and liberals.

Making up for the lack of centrist votes, von der Leyen has non-mainstream parties – including Poland’s ruling nationalist Law and Justice (PiS) party – to thank for getting her across the line in parliament.

COMPETING DEMANDS

The competing demands that parties make on the new European Commission president as the price for their support in Tuesday’s vote will be writ large in the European Council of national leaders, who are just as divided as the parliament.

Already decisions on the most contentious issues tend to stall in the Council because many of the EU’s key policy decisions require unanimity among the national capitals.

Poland and Hungary have led an eastern states’ revolt against the ambitious 2050 climate goal, striking i,爱上海419验证Ebba,t down last month.

Von der Leyen has proposed a transition fund whereby wealthier states would support their poorer peers in phasing out coal and helping with job losses, but it remains to be seen if this will be enough to win them over.

Raising the EU’s climate ambitions does resonate with many capitals, especially Paris. France will also be happy with her economic an,后楼凤419Easton,d social policy proposals, which include continuing work toward a euro zone budget and a scheme to safeguard bank deposits in euro zone countries. Both plans have been held up, mostly due to opposition from von der Leyen’s native Germany.

Von der Leyen also proposed an EU-wide unemployment scheme and a minimum wage.

“As with many other things she has promised, the social pillar is a very sensitive issue,” said another EU diplomat.

“The economic situation and social structure differs a lot among member states, which is precisely why work on harmonizing that has been difficult. It’s hard to see anything quick.”

On taxation, the EU’s work on a digital tax, a common corporate tax and ensuring big tech companies pay in Europe – all among von der Leyen’s promises – have also stalled over opposition from Ireland, the Netherlands and others.

To allow progress, von der Leyen wants to switch to majority – rather than unanimous – approval for tax, foreign policy, climate, energy and social issues.

“The paradox is that EU states would need to agree unanimously to move to majority decisions. None would voluntarily sign up for the risk of being outvoted on an important file,” a third EU diplomat said.

Von der Leyen’s idea to give the European Parliament the right to propose legislation – currently it can only vote on laws put forward by the Commission or EU states – would require changing the bloc’s founding treaties, with the risk of ratification being compromised by resurgent eurosceptic groups.

She did not explain how she would “relaunch” talks on the EU’s broken asylum rules, discussion of which has caused splits between southern states where migrants arrive, rich destination countries and easterners which refuse to help host new arrivals.

If she acts on her promises to be tougher than the outgoing Commission on ensuring all EU states honor democratic standards, she would anger Hungary and Poland,

Beata Mazurek, spokeswoman of Poland’s ruling PiS party, told on Wednesday that Warsaw ,爱上海同城交流论坛Hallie,wants the new Commission to treat all EU states equally. Poland has complained repeatedly that the current Commission’s legal action against Warsaw over the rule of law is biased.

‘Hola, I’m Mike Pence’: U.S. VP delivers message of support to…

WASHINGTON ( ) – U.S. Vice President Mike Pence issued a video message of support to Venezuelans on Tuesday to encourage those who are protesting against President Nicolas Maduro and underline U.S. backing for opposition leader Juan Guaido.

Venezuela’s opposition on Wednesday plans to hold marches nationwide as part of an annual event that marks the fall of a military government in 1958. Government c,上海千花mm自荐Oakley,ritics are increasingly comparing Maduro to dictator Marcos Perez, who was pushed from power that year.

In a taped video message in English bit.ly/2sGkcvy with a few Spanish words and phrases mixed in, Pence, who has lashed out at Maduro before, declared him a “dictator” who has no rightful claim to power.

“On behalf of President Donald Trump and all the American people, let me express the unwavering support of the United States as you, the people of Venezuela, raise your voices in a call for freedom,” Pence said after offering a greeting of “hola,” which means “hello” in Spanish.

“Nicolas Maduro is a dictator with no legitimate claim to power. He has never won the presidency in a free and fair election, and has maintained his grip of power by imprisoning anyone who dares to oppose him.”

Pence declared U.S. support again for Guaido, with whom he spoke by phone earlier this month, and the National Assembly, which he leads, as the “last vestige of democracy.” Pence said Washington supported Guaido’s decision to assert the body’s powers, declare Maduro a “usurper” and push for a transitional government to be established.

“As you make your voices heard tomorrow, on behalf of the American people, we say to all the good people of Venezuela: estamos con ustedes,” Pence said, following up with the translation in English: “We are with you, we stand with you, and we will stay with you until democracy is restored and you reclaim your birthright of libertad.”

Maduro was inaugurated on Jan. 10 amid worldwide criticism that his leadership was illegitimate after a 2018 election that was widely viewed as fraudulent.

In response to Pence’s comments, M爱上海aduro accused him of trying to force a coup and said he had ordered a revision of Venezuela’s diplomatic relations with the United States.

“Never before has a high-level official said that the opposition should over,上海千花验证归来Barrett,throw the government,” Maduro told a news conference. The U.S. embassy in Caracas did not respond to a re,2019上海龙凤419Caitlin,quest to comment.

Pence has largely taken the lead within the Trump administration in condemning Maduro. He called the inauguration a sham and made clear the United States did not recognize the election result.

Ukraine investigates grenade attack on Kiev TV station

KIEV ( ) – Ukrainian authorities said on Saturday they were investigating an attack on a Kiev television station owned by an opposition ele,上海419论坛Balthazar,ction candidate, which caused damage but injured no one.

An unknown assailant fired a rocket-propelled grenade at the 112 TV channel building in western Kiev at 0340 a.m. (0040 GMT), police said in a statement, adding the incident was being investigated as “an act of terrorism”.

“Policemen are looking for the attacker…There were no injured,” the statement said.

112 TV aired footage of the damaged front building banner, a broken window and crumbling plaster inside.

Former supporters of pro-Moscow ex-president Viktor Yanukovich, who oppose Ukraine’s integration with the West, often appear as speakers on 112 TV. Yanukovich fled to Russia in 爱上海2014 following street protests against his rule.

Taras Kozak, a member of the Russia-friendly Opposition Platform party, owns a 99% stake in the TV station. Kozak is registered as a candidate in Ukraine’s July 21 parliamentary election.

Managers at the TV channel said earlier its journalists had previously received threats via social media from Ukrainian nationalists.

Kozak called the attack a “threat to independent media”, a,上海419论坛体验Hal,nd blamed “inaction” by authorities.

Relations between Ukraine and Russia have been tense since Moscow’s annexation of the Crimean peninsula in 2014 and its support for armed separatists in the Donbass region of eastern Uk,上海后花园419最新Lark,raine, in a conflict that has killed 13,000 people.

The Opposition Platform party, of which one of its leaders Viktor Medvedchuk is a frequent 112 TV guest speaker, accused Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy on Saturday of encouraging radical nationalists to confront several TV stations, including 112.

Zelenskiy did not immediately respond to the accusations.

His Servant of the People party is the most popular political movement in the country, according to a recent opinion poll. The Opposition Platform was in second place.

Saudi Arabia modifies intelligence service following Khashoggi murder

RIYADH ( ) – Saud,上海后花园花千坊Rachel,i Arabia announced on Thursday the creation of three new government bodies aimed at improving the count,上海419论坛官方网站Kaiden,ry’s intelligence operations in the wake of the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi, which has sparked international outrage.

King Salman ordered a restructuring of the intelligence service in October after the authorities, following initial denials, acknowledged that Khashoggi had been killed inside the kingdom’s Istanbul consulate by a team of Saudi intelligence and security agents.

Saudi officials have said, without providing proof, that the 15-man team was put together by the deputy head of the General Intelligence Presidency, Ahmed al-Asiri, whom the king fired along with royal,上海419龙凤后花园Dakota, adviser Saud al-Qahtani.

The new government departments – for strategy and development, legal af上海419论坛fairs, and performance evaluation and internal review – are meant to ensure that intelligence operations align with national security policy, international law and human rights treaties, state news agency SPA reported.

They were created by a committee headed by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, the kingdom’s defense minister. He has denied accusations of ordering the hit against Khashoggi, a royal insider who became a critic of the crown prince.

Western allies have called on Riyadh to hold those responsible for the murder accountable. The Saudi public prosecutor is seeking the death penalty for five suspects, as the kingdom tries to contain its biggest political crisis for a generation.

The U.S. Senate last week blamed Prince Mohammed for the murder, in a rare rebuke to President Donald Trump, who has said he wants Washington to stand by the 33-year-old de facto leader, despite a CIA assessment it was likely he ordered the killing.

London’s Gatwick airport reopens again, police make two arrests

LONDON, England ( ) – London’s Gatwick Airport reopened on Friday after a mystery saboteur wrought 36 hours of travel chaos for more than 100,000 Christmas travelers by using drones to play cat-and-mouse with police snipers and the army.

Sussex police made two arrests late on Friday in connection with the disruption and urged the public and passengers around the airp,爱上海同城最新Jackson,ort to remain vigilant.

After the biggest disruption at Gatwick since an Icelandic volcanic ash cloud in 2010, the airport had said around 700 planes would take off on Friday, although there would still be delays and cancellations.

Gatwick, Britain’s second busiest airport, briefly closed again on Friday to investigate a new drone sighting but was soon o,上海419论坛Kaiden,perating as normal.

“Flights have resumed,” a spokeswoman said. “The military measures we have in place at the airport have provided us with reassurance necessary to re-open our airfield.”

Britain deployed unidentified military technology to guard the airport against what transport minister Chris Grayling said were thought to be several drones. “This kind of incident is unprecedented anywhere in the world,” he said.

The motivation of the drone operator, or operators, was unclear. Police said there was nothing to suggest the crippling of one of Europe’s busiest airports was a terrorist attack.

Gatwick’s drone nightmare is thought to be the most disruptive yet at a major airport and indicates a new vulnerability that will be scrutinized by security forces and airport operators across the world.

Bangladesh says foreign election observers welcome, rejects U.S….

DHAKA ( ) – Bangladesh said on Sunday it had approved 175 foreign observers for next weekend’s national election, dismissing U.S. criticism for failing to secure accreditation for a U.S funded monitor.

Past elections have been chaotic and sometimes violent. International observers shunned the last vote上海龙凤419 in 2014 that was boycotted by the main opposition party as there was no caretaker administration to oversee the process.

The U.S. State Department said on Friday it was disappointed by Bangladesh’s “inability to grant credentials and issue visas within the timeframe necessary” for the majority of international election monitors from the Asian Network for Free Elections (ANFREL), which is funded by the U.S. government.

ANFREL, which has operated in 57 election observation missions across Asia since 1997, said it had terminated its observer mission on Saturday due to “significant delays in the accreditation approval by the Bangladesh Election Commission and visa approvals by the (foreign ministry)”.

“With ANFREL’s withdrawal, the organization registers its doubts regarding the integrity of the elections, especially with the reports on civil society restrictions and arrest of numerous opposition members,” it said on its website on Sunday.

Bangladesh’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs said ANFREL canceled its observation mission itself while the approval process was under way, adding it was “disheartened” by the State Department’s statement.

It said it welcomed international monitors for next Sunday’s election that would be held in a “festiv,爱上海同城aishOctavien,e atmosphere”.

“As of now, 175 foreign election observers from different countries and organizations have been accredited to undertake election monitoring missions,” the ministry said. It gave no details which countries the monitors would come from.

The Election Commission could not immediately be reached for comment outside regular business hours.

Activists and supporters of the two main parties, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina’s ruling Awami League and Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP), regularly engage in violence around elections in the country of 165 million people, sometimes disrupting its multi-billion-dollar garments industry.

Apart from the foreign observers, the Election Commission had registered 118 local bodies to m,上海贵族宝贝论坛Eden,onitor the polls, the ministry said.

Tens of thousands of armed forces personnel will from Monday fan out across the country to support police as preparations for the vote heats up, a move that has cheered the opposition front that includes the BNP, who envisage greater protection for them.

“We hope that this ,上海后花园1314龙凤论坛上不去Caitlin,deployment will create a congenial electoral environment which was not existing before. Armed forces must create a level playing field for all parties and play a positive role,” said Kamal Hossain, the convener of National Unity Front, part of the opposition grouping.

Thousands march in Hong Kong against China ‘repression’ after grim…

HONG KONG ( ) – Thousands of demonstrators marched in Hong Kong on Tuesday to demand full democracy, fundamental rights, and even independence from China in the face of what many see as a marked clampdown by the Communist Party on local freedoms.

Over the past year, countries such as the United States and Britain have expressed concerns about a number of incidents they say have undermined confidence in Hong Kong’s freedoms and autonomy under Chinese rule.

These include the jailing of activists, a ban on a pro-independence political party, the de facto expulsion of a Western journalist and barring democracy activists from contesting local elections.

The New Year’s day march included calls to restar,上海419论坛体验Hadrian,t stalled democratic reforms and to fight “political repression” from Beijing.

“Looking back at the year that passed, it was a very bad year … The rule of law in Hong Kong is falling backwards,” said Jimmy Sham, one of the organizers.

Organizers said the march drew 5,500 people, revised down from an earlier estimate of 5,800,,爱上海同城aishIdaline, while police said 3,200 people were on the streets at the march’s peak.

The former British colony returned to Chinese rule in 1997 under a “one country, two systems” formula, with the promise of a high degree of autonomy and universal suffrage as an “ultimate aim”.

While authorities have clamped down hard on the city’s fringe, pro-independence movement, that didn’t deter around 100 independence activists from joining the march, holding up banners and chanting for the city to split from China.

China considers Hong Kong to be an inalienable part of its territory, and denounces “separatists” as a threat to national sovereignty, even though the movement has not garnered much popular backing in the city.

“There will be continuous suppression on the Hong Kong independence movement, but the movement will grow stronger and stronger,” said Baggio Leung, an independence leader who said several of his members had been harassed by purported “triads” or gangsters, before the march.

Last year, in an unprecedented ,爱上海同城对对碰Quaid,move, Hong Kong authorities banned a political group, the Hong Kong National Party, for its pro-independence stance on national security grounds.

A western journalist, Victor Mallet, was also effectively expelled from Hong Kong, soon after he hosted a talk at a press club by the head of the National Party.

Mallet’s visa denial, which the government has so far refused to explain, was criticized by some foreign governments and the American Chamber of Commerce.

S爱上海419ome protesters carried “wanted” posters of Hong Kong’s top legal official, Theresa Cheng, criticizing a decision to drop a corruption investigation into Hong Kong’s former pro-Beijing leader Leung Chun-ying, without a satisfactory explanation.

“I’m afraid the pressure will continue,” said Joseph Cheng, a veteran rights campaigner and retired professor who was raising money for a “justice” fund for activists facing hefty legal fees for several trials.

“We’re going to face a few difficult years, but we must stand firm … Unlike in mainland China, at least we can still protest.”

Building of new Mexico City airport suspended, but some works continue

TEXCOCO, Mexico ( ) – Some work continued on Thursday at a partly-built $13 billion Mexico City airport that the new president is scrapping, even after the government announced construction had been halted.

Around 20 laborers were working on an access bridge to the project at a dried out lake bed on the capital’s eastern flank. Security personnel, who prevented from getting close to the main site, said some construction continued there.

Communications and Transport Minister Javier Jimenez Espriu told a regular news conference on Thursday that “construction of the airport is officially suspended.”

Before taking office last month, President Andres Ma,上海419论坛宝山Babette,nuel Lopez Obrador said the airport would be scrapped, justifying his decision on a straw poll that was widely derided as opaque and open to question because his party organized it.

The head of the government-run agency,爱上海同城对对碰Cadence, responsible for the project, Gerardo Ferrando, said the only construction still underway was to preserve what had already been built, such as drainage works, slabs of foundation and a partly-built tower.

“It is not a switch you can just turn on or off automatically,” Ferrando said on local radio. “Works need to be gradually finished.”

Ferrando said the government was looking into making part of the site into a type of park for public use.

Lopez Obrador argued the airport had been tainted by corruption and would be too expensive to maintain. But his Oct. 29 announcement rocked Mexican financial markets, wiping billions of dollars off the value of the main stock index.

The government had to broker a deal with bondholders who had bought $6 billion in debt to fund the construction, buying back $1.8 billion of the bonds to prevent a default.

Transport minister Jimenez said that negotiations to terminate contracts on the project were underway.

The government has not said how much it could need to pay to compensate contractors who won bids.

But it argues that its alternative plan to convert a military air base into a commercial airport and overhaul the capi上海龙凤419tal’s current hub and another in the nearby city of Toluca, will,上海419对对碰Nadine, cost less than finishing the canceled project.

The outgoing government said the airport was about one-third complete when Lopez Obrador decided to cancel it. Jimenez maintained it had not advanced that far.

Nigeria’s Buhari says electoral commissioner is related by marriage

LAGOS ( ) – Nigeria’s President Buhari on Friday acknowledged that an electoral commissioner is an extended family member by marriage, but denied claims by the main opposition party that she is a blood relative, ahead of the country’s Feb. 16 pre,上海千花验证归来Gabe,sidential election.

Elections in Africa’s most populous nation have for years been marred by allegations of irregularities including vote rigging, voter intimidation, cronyism and violence.

The People’s Democratic Party,爱上海同城论坛网Cain, on Thursday accused Buhari and the Independent National Electoral Commission of plotting to rig the election with the appointment of Amina Zakari, whom the party said is Buhari’s niece.

“President Buhari and Commissioner Amina Zakari don’t share a family relationship,” a spokesperson for the president tweeted on Friday.

“An inter-marriage occurred in their extended families, so the imputation of blood relationship between the President and the electoral commissioner is a simple lie,” he added.

In a statement on,上海千花mm自荐Gabriel, Thursday, the People’s Democratic Party rejected Zakari’s appointment as “head of the collation of results,” calling her a “blood relation.”

A commission spokesperson did not respond to a request for comment.

Buhari, who is seeking a second term, reassured voters in October that the election w上海419论坛ould be free and fair after international observers raised concerns over how a gubernatorial vote was conducted at the time.

Mississippi candidate draws long straw, wins tied election

( ) – The election for alderman in a southern Mississippi city that ended in a tie was settled on amicable terms by drawing straws out of a hat, city officials said Friday.

The special election for one of five alderman seats in Poplarville, with a population of about 2,800, ended in a 177-177 tie after one voter who showed up on Tuesday without photo ID, which is required under state law, later produced identification, said Glenn Bolin, who drew the long straw late on Thursday.

“I guess it’s bittersweet,” said Bolin, a first-time candidate who ran without party affiliation. “I wish it would have went down to a vote instead of drawing straws. But I am glad to be able to serve on the board.”

The tie-breaker, overseen by the local election commission, was determined by placing several straws of ,爱上海Mandy,varying length into a patriotically decorated hat.

Bolin, who owns a towing company, and his opponent, Stephanie Bounds, a nurse, each made their selection. With the longer straw in hand, Bolin secured three years as alderman.

Deciding a tied election by chance is uncommon but not unheard of. In June, a race for a New Mexico judgeship was decided by a coin toss after both candidates received 2,879 votes, local media reported.

Bolin, who said,上海贵族宝贝论坛Janelle, he is eager to join上海龙凤419 the board, commended his opponent for her grace in defeat.

“She wished me good luck and everything was good,” he said. “She seemed to be fine.”

Bounds could not immediately be reached for comment.

Germany ousts spymaster over far-right violence row

BERLIN ( ) – Germany’s government said on Tuesday it would replace the head of its domestic intelligence agency who has faced accusations of harboring far-right sympathies, putting an end to a row that exposed divisions in Chancellor Angela Merkel’s government.

Hans-Georg Maassen, who had questioned the authenticity of video footage showing far-right radicals hounding migrants in the eastern German city of Chemnitz, will become a senior official at the interior ministry once he leaves the BfV agency, the government said in a statement.

The center-left Social Democrats (SPD), junior coalition partners of Merkel’s conservative bloc, had wanted Maassen removed from the post he has held since 2012.

Horst Seehofer, leader of the Bavarian Christian Social Union (CSU), the sister party of Merkel’s Christian Democrats (CDU), had stood behind Maassen.

“Interior Minister Horst Seehofer values (Maassen’s) competence on questions of public security,” the government statement said. “Mr Maassen will not be in charge of supervising the BfV at the ministry.”

The deal allows each of the three parties to claim it got what it wanted. But opposition parties were quick to denounce the deal as a face-saving measure that effectively amounted to a promotion for Maassen.

Le爱上海419ftist lawmakers have accused Seehofer of undermining the credibility of the BfV agency by refusing to fire Maassen.

‘IT’S A FARCE’

They also accuse Seehofer of being reluctant to act for fear of strengthening the far-right Alternative for Germany (AfD) party, which has also stood behind Maassen and is expected to steal conservative voters from the CSU in a regional election next month in Bavaria.

“Maassen is no longer the top spy. This is good. But it is a farce that he is practically being promoted and that the SPD is going along with this,” said Dietmar Bartsch of the hard-left Die Linke party.

SPD leader Andrea Nahles faced a backlash from members of her party furious at the decision to retain Maassen as a senior civil servant.

“The so-called agreement on Maassen is a joke,” Florian Post, an SPD lawmaker in the Bavarian regional assembly, told,上海419论坛Dashiell, the RND newspaper group. “Either the man is fit to hold high office or he isn’t.”

Maassen’s comments on the video pictures contradicted Merkel’s own assessment. She said they “very clearly revealed hate” which could not be tolerated.

The far-right violence, the worst seen in Germany in decades, followed the fatal stabbing of a German man that was blamed on two migrants. Earlier on Tuesday a German court released one of the men, an Iraqi, though a Syrian man remains in custody and a third suspect is being sought.

Merkel has been criticized for taking 11 days to act on Maassen, whose comments on the far-right violence in Chemnitz during an interview with mass-sel,上海419论坛Satch,ling Bild newspaper on Sept. 7 triggered the row.

The violence in Chemnitz exposed deep divisions in Germany over Merkel’s 2015 decision to open the country’s doors to around a million people seeking asylum, mainly Muslims from Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan.

That decision has also been blamed for fuelling the rise of the AfD, which became the largest opposition party after an election last year that weakened both Merkel’s conservatives and the SPD. It is expected to come third in Bavaria on Oct. 14.

On Tuesday the AfD said removing Maassen as head of the BfV agency posed a threat to national security.

China says booming tourism shows all’s good in restive Xinjiang

BEIJING ( ) – Booming tourism in China’s far western Xinjiang shows that all is good there, China’s Foreign Ministry said on Thursday, amid growing international concern for human rights in the heavily Muslim region.

Hundreds of people have been killed in Xinjiang in recent years in unrest between the Uighur minority which calls the region home and members of the ethnic Han Chinese majority. Reports of mass detentions and strict surveillance of Uighurs have sparked a growing international outcry.

U.N. human rights chief Michelle爱上海 Bachelet has called on China to allow in monitors, while the United States is considering sanctions against Chinese officials and companies linked to allegations of rights abuses in Xinjiang.

China has rejected all accusations of mistreatment in Xinjiang, but also says it has to crack down on separatism and militancy.

Speaking at a daily news briefing in Beijing, Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang said Xinjiang was stable, its economy developing well, its people living in harmony and enjoying religious freedom.

In 2017, Xinjiang received more than 100 million domestic and overseas tourists, up ,爱上海419Nat,a third on the previous year, Geng said.

For the first seven months of this year, it received more than 78 million visits, up almost 40 percent on the same period a year earlier, he added.

“If Xinjiang were not safe, stable and harmonious, then there would not be so many Chinese and foreign tourists going to Xinjiang for sight-seeing,” Geng said. “I think that this aspect proves Xinjiang’s current good situation.”

While Xinjiang has been keen to promote itself as a tourist destination, foreign reporters who visit tend to be kept under close surveillance by security forces.

Beijing says Xinjiang faces a serious threat from Islamist militants and separatists. Officials deny mistreating Muslims there, instead saying they are putting some people through “vocati,上海419论坛Ophelia,onal” style courses to prevent militancy spreading.

Pope defends China deal on bishops, says he will have final say on…

ABOARD THE PAPAL PLANE ( ) – Pope Francis on Tuesday defended a landmark deal between the Vatican and China on the appointment of bishops, saying he, and not the Beijing government, will have the final say on who is named.

In his first public comments on the deal signed in Beijing on Saturday, he told reporters on the plane returning from a trip to the Baltics that while he realizes not everyone will understand the logic behind the agreement, he was confident in the “great faith” of Chinese Catholics.

“It’s not (that the government) names them. It is a dialogue. But the pope will appoint them. Let that be clear,” he said of the deal, which was more than 10 years in the making.

The deal gives the Vatican a long-desired say in the choice of bishops in China, though critics labeled the deal a sellout to the Communist government.

In future, new bishops first will be proposed by members of local Catholic communities together with Chinese authorities. The names of candidates will be sent to the Vatican.

China’s approximately 12 million Catholics have been split between an underground church swearing loyalty to the Vatican and the state-supervised Catholic Patriotic Association. The Vatican said the absence of a deal could have led to a schism between Chinese Catholics th,爱上海Bella,at would have been difficult to heal.

UK PM May challenges Trump with defense of multilateralism

NEW YORK ( ) – British Prime Minister Theresa May on Wednesday called on world leaders in New York to reject nationalism and fight to preserve the multilateral system, challenging U.S. President Donald Trump’s anti-globalism stance.

May used her address at the United Nations General Assembly, chaired by Trump, to warn that “aggressive nationalism” could replace the rules-based international order unless leaders revived public confidence in the current system.

“If we lack the c,上海千花网Daniel,onfidence to step up, others will,” she said, citing examples from the last century like the rise of fascism or the spread of communism. She said such trends were resurfacing ,上海419论坛Quinn,in Europe and beyond.

“We have seen what happens when the natural patriotism which is a cornerstone of a healthy society is warped into aggressive nationalism, exploiting fear and uncertainty to promote identity politics at home and belligerent confrontation abroad, while breaking rules and undermining institutions.”

On Tuesday, Trump used his annual address to the United Nations to lay down a defiant message that he will reject globalism and protect American interests: “America is governed by Americans. We reject the ideology of globalism, and we embrace the doctrine of patriotism.”

May’s officials said the speech was not aimed at Trump and had been largely written before she had seen his remarks. The two were due to hold bilateral t爱上海419alks before May flies back to London.

Nevertheless, her response zeroed in on Trump’s comments.

“We must learn the lessons of the past and show through our actions how cooperation between strong and accountable states with open economies and inclusive societies can best deliver security and prosperity for all our people,” she said.

May also expressed her support for a free and fair media – another position which puts her at odds with Trump, who has frequently criticized journalists and described news reports that contradict his opinion or policy positions as fake news.

“Like many leaders, I suspect, I do not always enjoy reading what the media in my country writes about me,” May said. “But I will defend their right to say it – for the independence of our media is one of my country’s greatest achievements, and it is the bedrock of our democracy.”

Afghan president signals return of exiled Dostum possible after…

KABUL ( ) – Afghan President Ashraf Ghani gave his first indication on Sunday that vice President Abdul Rashid Dostum could be allowed to return from exile after days of protests by the former warlord’s supporters.

Ethnic Uzbek leader Dostum was forced into exile last year over accusations of human rights abuse, settling in Turkey.

In recent days supporters of Dostum’s Junbish-i Milli party have staged protests across northern Afghanistan, blocking major highways and shutting down government build,上海419论坛Dakota,ings including electoral offices.

Speaking at a news conference in Kabul, Ghani said Dostum’s case was under consideration and “the possibility of his return has increased.”

“His case has a legal aspect and it is with the attorney general,” he said, promising more information later.

Dostum, a great上海419论坛 survivor of Afghanistan’s turbulent politics who has faced multiple accusations of human rights abuses over decades, denies accusations that he ordered his guards to kidnap, beat and sexually abuse a political rival. He has not been charged.

Kabul’s international partners including the United States have demanded that Dostum face justice. Last year he flew to Turkey, ostensibly for medical treatment, and has not returned since.

However, while in exile Dostum has kept his formal title of vice president and his influence among the ethnic Uzbeks of northern Afghanistan has remained strong, fueled by growing enmity among the country’s mix of different ethnic groups including Pashtuns and Persian-speaking Tajiks and Hazaras.

With parliamentary elections due in October ahead of the more important presidential vote next year, tensions have risen sharply as Afghanistan’s political strongmen position themselves and the cracks in Ghani’s unwieldy unity government widen.

On Saturd,上海419论坛Nikki,ay, a meeting of the main parties demanded that voter registrations be annulled because of concerns over electoral fraud, a demand Ghani angrily rejected, pledging the elections would go ahead as planned.

Although Dostum joined Ghani as one of two vice presidents in the national unity government formed after the disputed 2014 presidential election, he has always been an uncomfortable partner.

While in exile, he has formed a loose coalition with Atta Mohammad Noor, one of the leaders of the mainly Tajik Jamiat-i Islami party and Mohammad Mohaqiq, a leader of the Hazara ethnic minority.

All three are veterans of decades of conflict in Afghanistan and bitter former rivals but for the moment they have set aside their rivalry to band together against what they see as Ghani’s favoritism for his own Pashtun group.

EU’s Juncker demands ‘respect’ after drink question on health

BRUSSELS ( ) – European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker asked for “respect” after a journalist asked him on Wednesday if he was drunk when he staggered and needed help walking at a NATO summit last week.

The EU chief executive told a news conference on an EU project financing plan that he had, as his aides have previously said, been suffering an attack of longstanding sciatica along with cramp in the legs last Wednesday.爱上海

Video of Juncker, who next,爱上海419Octavio, week travels to Washington for crunch talks on trade with U.S. President Donald Trump, being helped by other leaders at the NATO meeting had prompted calls from eurosceptic politicians for his resignation.

The 63-year-old former Luxembourg prime minister has spoken before of suffering back and leg pain and he rejected suggestions that his problem last week had anything to do with alcohol.

“That was correct last Wednesday and that is correct this morning and will be correct tonight and tomorrow morning,” he told reporters.

“I’m really struck by the in,上海贵族宝贝论坛Terrell,terest some are taking about these not even marginal issues and I’m asking for respect.”

Following the NATO summit Juncker participated in a series of meetings and foreign trips this week to China and Japan.

Juncker has repeatedly dismissed allegations he has an alcohol problem — an allegation raised notably by British media when London was trying to block his appointment four years ago.

Hungarian STOP Soros laws are openly xenophobic: U.N.’s Zeid

GENEVA ( ) – New Hungarian laws that criminalize people for helping asylum-seekers are shameful and blatantly xenophobic, U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra’ad al Hussein said on Thursday.

The legislation, passed by the H上海龙凤419ungarian parliament on Wednesday, could come into force as early as July 1, he said in a statement. This makes it a criminal offense to provide advice to migrants and refugees or to monitor human rights at borders, he added. Individuals could get a year in prison and organizations could be banned.

Hungary says the legislation targets those assisting illegal immigrants, including by helping people to seek asylum when they are not entitled to it.

Zeid accused the government of Prime Minister Viktor Orban of using the issue to win votes.

“The constant stoking of hatred by the current government for political gain has led to this latest shameful development, which is blatantly ,上海千花网Kaison,xenophobic and runs counter to European and international human rights standards and values,” he said.

Orban’s right-wing Fidesz party, which increased its parli,爱上海419Radley,amentary majority in April on an anti-immigration platform, has demonized Hungarian-born U.S. billionaire George Soros and the liberal NGOs he backs, naming the new legislation the STOP Soros law.

Orban accuses Soros of encouraging mass immigration to undermine Europe, a charge Soros denies, and has played on memories of large numbers of mostly Muslim migrants fleeing war and poverty who surged into Hungary in the summer of 2015.

Most moved on to wealthier western European countries, but Orban has branded the migrants a threat to Europe’s Christian civilization and built a border fence along Hungary’s southern borders to deter more from coming.

The U.N. statement said Hungarian authorities had also announced they would introduce a 25 percent tax on funding for NGOs that “support immigration”.

Zeid said the new laws struck at the heart of the European Union’s values of pluralism, tolerance and solidarity.

“It continues and deepens the Hungarian government’s assault on civic space, threatening those who work on behalf of the most vulnerable and in defense of our highest human rights values.”

The Orban government expects possible legal action by the European Commission, the EU’s executive arm, over the new law.

Indonesian election season is a gauge of rise of political Islam

JAKARTA ( ) – About 100 residents of a gritty commercial district of Indonesia’s capital listen intently as a man roars into a microphone: “Are you ready to change our president? Are you ready for new leadership?”

But this is not a political rally. Dressed in white robes and a turban, Novel Bamukmin of the Jakarta chapter of,上海龙凤419Harris, the Islamic Defenders Front (FPI), a hardline Islamist group, addresses evening prayers in a mosque.

As a year of local and then national elections begins this week in the world’s biggest Muslim-majority country, some Islamic leaders have emerged as the most vocal opponents of President Joko Widodo, who is expected to seek a second term next year.

They belong to a loose grouping of Islamists behind protests that culminated in the election defeat and jailing for blasphemy in 2017 of Jakarta’s ethnic-Chinese and Christian governor, Basuki Tjahaja Purnama, a Widodo ally.

The case of Purnama, who had said political riv,上海贵族宝贝论坛Kailey,als were deceiving people by using a verse in the Koran to say Muslims should not be led by a non-Muslim, showed how Islam had crept into politics in the officially secular country.

Widodo has pledged to protect Indonesia’s tradition of pluralism and moderate Islam, and he has banned Hizb ut-Tahrir, a hardline group with ambitions for an Islamic caliphate.

But a senior government official conceded there are limits to how much the government can control political messaging in mosques.

“Any action against this phenomenon is blasted as anti-Muslim so our actions are restricted,” said the official, who declined to be identified because of the sensitivity of the issue.

‘CHANGE THE PRESIDENT’

A former furniture maker and Indonesia’s first president from outside the political and military elite, Widodo – known as Jokowi – has remained popular since he took office in 2014.

He is widely seen as an honest man of the people, rare for a leader in a country where the political class is scorned as corrupt and aloof, and his push for infrastructure and cutting red tape has burnished his image as a hands-on leader.

A recent opinion poll gave him a double-digit lead over the opposition Gerindra party’s Prabowo Subianto, a retired general who is expected to run a second time against Widodo in 2019.

Opponents and hardline Muslim groups, including the FPI, accuse Widodo of failing to stem income inequality or deliver higher growth, but the most incendiary attacks have often been around religion and ethnicity.

False accusations have spread on social media that the president is not actually Muslim and is a descendant of ethnic Chinese communists.

Widodo has sought to strengthen his ties with moderate Islamic leaders and he recently appointed a controversial hardline cleric as a communications adviser.            

“The only way for the opposition to win is to debunk the argument that Jokowi is one of the masses, and to attack his weakest spot, which is his shyness in showing his religion,” said Achmad Sukarsono, a political analyst at Control Risks.

Ahead of local elections across much of the country on Wednesday, the anti-Widodo sentiment has crystallized into a movement called “#GantiPresiden2019” or “Change the president in 2019”.

The movement’s founder, Mardani Ali Sera, a member of parliament from a conservative Islamic party, says he has no connection with political messaging in mosques.

But he says the majority of those affiliated with his movement are from Islamic parties and the groups that opposed Jakarta’s Christian governor.

“We don’t use mosques but if the hashtag and the movement works for you, then go ahead and use it,” Sera, who is active on social media, told .

The FPI’s Bamukmin supports the #GantiPresiden2019 movement and said he and other preachers push that message in sermons.

“It is the duty of Muslims to try and replace the current president who has betrayed the country and his religion,” he said, accusing Widodo of “selling the country to foreigners” and “empowering communists and deviant religious sects”.

NO CAMPAIGNING ALLOWED

Indonesia’s election laws prohibit political campaigning in places of worship ahead of polls.

Vice President Jusuf Kalla told media political discussion is allowed in mosques because they are places of education as well as worship, but campaigning is not.

The government can do little to stop such activity in mosques, said a spokesman for the religious affairs ministry.

“If there are clerics who use mosques for political interests, it’s better that the public itself persuades them to stop. It is not in the ministry’s capacity to identify or stop them,” said Mastuki, who goes by one name.

Tens of millions of Indonesians will vote in 171 elections for mayors, regents, and governors on Wednesday, an important barometer ahead of presidential and parliamentary elections in 2019.

Opinion polls suggest candidates backed by parties supporting Widodo will win in many parts of Java, Indonesia’s most populous island, but ob上海419论坛servers will be watching for signs of Islamist influence.

One man who attended FPI preacher Bamukmin’s sermon in Jakarta this month, said even if clerics were becoming more political, their congregations were smart enough to decide for themselves.

“People just listen to the good points and ignore the rest,” said Huda, 27.

In potential 2016 campaign preview, Obama spotlights Biden on tour

SCRANTON, Pennsylvania ( ) – President Barack Obama has so far stayed neutral about the presidential prospects of Hillary Clinton and Joe Biden – two friends who may be vying to succeed him – but on Friday he showcased his vice president with a joint appearance in Biden’s hometown.

Ending a two-day bus trip through New York and Pennsylvania focused on his proposals to bring down education costs, Obama came to a working-class town that Democrats covet in presidential elections and where Biden has roots.

Neither Biden nor Clinton, the former secretary of state, has declared intentions fo,上海千花网Ionia,r the 2016 Democratic presidential nomination. Clinton is seen ,上海419论坛[随机,上海贵族宝贝论坛Lenore,符],as a prohibitive front-runner if she runs but Biden has made clear he has not ruled out a go at the top job, either.

On Friday Biden seemed to relish the campaign-like atmosphere and looked every bit as much a candidate as a visiting vice president.

“I tell you, it’s good to be home,” Biden, who was born in Scranton and spent part of his childhood there, told the cheering crowd at a community college.

Biden mentioned that his son Beau was fine after a recent medical procedure and then focused his short remarks on key themes for any aspiring U.S. c,上海龙凤419Jacquie,andidate: faith, family, hard work and the ability to rise into the middle class.

“The American Dream is alive here in Scranton,” Biden said.

“There are a lot of people who tell you that you have to shrink your dreams in this country now, that today’s generation of Americans and tomorrow’s are just not going to aim as high as we did. That’s a bunch of malarkey!” he said, reprising a memorable line from last year’s vice presidential debate with Republican Paul Ryan.

When Obama joined him onstage, the two men shook hands and embraced and then Obama let loose with compliments for his No. 2.

“If it weren’t for Scranton, I wouldn’t have Joe Biden,” Obama said to applause from the crowd.

Friday was a special day for the two men, Obama said. Five years ago he had announced that Biden would be his running mate on the Democratic ticket that won the 2008 election.

“It was the best decision that I ever made politically,” Obama said. “Because I love this guy and he’s got heart and he cares about people and he’s willing to fight for what he believes in.”

Biden has run for president twice before and failed. Clinton, the former first lady and New York senator, ran in 2008 and lost the Democratic nomination to Obama.

The president and his former top diplomat also have remained close. They recently had lunch together at the White House, and Obama did a rare joint television interview with her when she stepped down from the State Department – a very public show of support.

Prominent supporters of Obama’s 2012 re-election also have aligned themselves with Clinton.

Although Obama cannot run for上海龙凤419 president again, the two-day tour felt a lot like a campaign swing for him as well. He made surprise stops at a school, a pie shop and a restaurant for lunch, surprising locals and shaking hands.

Music that played during his 2012 race came on at the end of his speeches.

Obama used his time before friendly crowds to rip Republicans over budget battles and healthcare, including – in Scranton – a swipe at his 2012 opponent, Mitt Romney, who ushered in healthcare reform as governor of Massachusetts that served as a model for Obama’s signature reform law.

“It’s actually a really good idea. It’s going to work,” the president said of Obamacare. “Used to be a Republican idea. There was a governor in Massachusetts (who) set it up. It’s working really well.”

Exclusive: U.S. delays deadline for finalizing Obamacare health plans

WASHINGTON ( ) – The Obama administration has delayed a step cruc上海419论坛ial to the launch of the new healthcare law, the signing of final agreements with insurance plans to be sold on federal health insurance exchanges starting October 1.

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Servic,上海贵族宝贝论坛Adam,es (HHS) notified insurance companies on Tuesday that it would not sign final agreements with the plans between September 5 and 9, as originally anticipated, but would wait until mid-September instead, according to insurance industry sources.

Nevertheless, Joanne Peters, a spokeswoman for HHS, said the department remains “on track to open” the marketplaces on time on October 1.

The reason for the hold-up was unclear. Sources attributed it to technology problems involving the display of insurance products within the federal information technology system.

Peters said only that the government was responding to “feedback” from the companies, “providing additional flexibility and time to handle technical requests.”

Coming at a time when state and federal officials are still working to overcome challenges to the information technology systems necessary to make the exchanges work, some experts say that even a small delay could jeopardize the start of the six-month open enrollment period.

U.S. officials have said ,上海千花网Leeza,repeatedly that the marketplaces, which are the centerpiece of President Barack Obama’s signature healthcare reform law, would begin on time.

But the October 1 deadline has already begun to falter at the state level, with Oregon announcing plans to scale back the launch of its own marketplace and California saying it would consider a similar move.

Tuesday’s notification by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, the HHS agency spearheading marketplace development, affects insurance plans that would be sold in federal exchanges that the administration is setting up in 34 of the 50 U.S. states. The remaining 16 states, including Oregon and California, are setting up their own marketplaces.

“It makes me wonder if open enrollment can start on October 1,” said a former administration official who worked to implement Obama’s healthcare reform.

“But having everything ready on October 1 is not a critical issue. What matters to people is January 1, which is when the coverage is supposed to start. If that were delayed, it would be a substantive setback.”

Obama’s Patient Protection and Afford,上海419论坛Jaden,able Care Act is expected to extend federally subsidized health coverage to an estimated 7 million uninsured Americans in 2014 through the marketplaces.

But insurance plans must be qualified to meet specific standards if they are to be sold on the exchanges. And each insurer must sign a contract with the federal government.

The new timetable for qualified plan agreements is the latest in a series of delays for Obamacare.

The most significant came in early July when the White House and the Treasury Department announced a one-year delay in a major Obamacare provision that would have required employers with at least 50 full-time workers to provide health insurance or pay a penalty beginning in 2014.

Legal and political opposition from Republicans and their conservative allies have already fragmented Obamacare’s original vision.

Only about half the states have opted to expand Medicaid program for the poor to uninsured families living below the poverty level, and Republicans in Congress have denied nearly $1 billion in new implementation funding this year alone.

The Government Accountability Office cautioned in June that the law known as Obamacare could miss the October 1 enrollment deadline because of missed deadlines and delays in several areas including the certification of health plans for sale on the exchanges.

Another U.S. watchdog, the HHS Office of the Inspector General, warned earlier this month that the government was months behind testing data security for the federal data hub that represents the information technology backbone of the new marketplaces.

The state of Oregon has already scaled back the October 1 debut of its own healthcare exchange by preventing state residents from signing up for coverage on their own until mid-October. California said last week that it, too, would consider a soft launch of its exchange if tests show it is not ready to accommodate wide public access.

(This story was refiled to remove ext,上海龙凤419Raven,raneous words in tenth paragraph)

‘Shameful’ handling of migrant ship shows need for EU asylum…

GENEVA ( ) – U.N. refugee chief Filippo Grandi urged the European Un上海龙凤419ion on Wednesday to sort out its “shameful” refugee policy after both Italy and Malta turned away a ship carrying hundreds of migrants.

Some 629 migrants, mostly from sub-Saharan Africa, have been in the central Mediterranean since Sunday aboard the Aquarius, a vessel operated by SOS Méditerranée, a Franco-German charity that tries to rescue people making the risky crossing to Europe.

“It is shameful. As a European, I felt shame — shame — that there was a boat — there is a boat — in the Mediterranean, and for several days nobody wanted to take these people,” Grandi told .

The episode, coming a week after the installation of Italy’s new anti-establishment government, has heightened tensions within the European Union over migration.

“It’s very clear that Europe needs to reform its asylum system in a collective manner; the,上海419论坛Makaley,re’s a lot of resistan,上海419论坛Nicola,ce to that but there’s no other way,” Grandi said.

Italian Interior Minister Matteo Salvini told Wednesday’s Corriere della Sera newspaper that ships belonging to foreign organizations and flying foreign flags could not dictate Italy’s immigration policy.

Grandi applauded Spain for agreeing to take the ship, but noted that Italy had borne the greatest burden of migrants arriving from ,上海龙凤419Jaxton,Libya over the past few years.

“There has to be a system to share mo,爱上海419Dana,re equitably the responsibility of allowing this boat to dock and then to go through the process of determining who’s a refugee and who’s not,” Grandi said. “Italy is right to say that this has to be shared more widely.”

Grandi said that, even if the European Union succeeded in helping transit countries to manage the migrant flows before they arrive in Europe, “some people will continue to want to seek asylum in Europe”.

“That has to be shared, otherwise it won’t work,” he said.

Beyoncé and Blue Ivy stun in matching looks at the ‘Lion King’ premiere

Almost more anticipated than the release of “Lion King” could be what Beyoncé will wear to promote the live-action Disney film.

The singer, 37, brought high glamour to the premiere in Hollywood on Tuesday night with a bejeweled black and silver Alexander McQueen men’s blazer over a matching mini dress with floor-length glittering tulle skirt.

Bey doubled down on the glamour with her accessories, which included piles of Lorraine Schwartz jewelry, a diamond-encrusted clutch and matching strappy heels. She pulled her hair back into a ponytail of,上海千花网Katelyn, cornrows bra上海419论坛ids with tiny curls slicked to the side of her head.

While Jay-Z was there to support his wife — and Destiny’s Child members Michelle Williams and Kelly Rowland also a,上海贵族宝贝论坛Caitlin,ttended — Beyoncé brought Blue Ivy as her date. The 7-year-old matched her mom in a tuxedo dress of her own with shoulder epaulets, also by McQueen. Like Beyoncé, Blue wore her hair in braids, but gathered them in two buns on top of her head, accessorized with sparkling bands.

While she turned heads on the red carpet, Beyoncé did what she does best: dropped a surprise single from the upcoming movie soundtrack ahead of the July 18 theater release date. The song, called “Spirit,” will also be featured an album she’s curated called “The Lion King: The Gift,” a compilation of international artists.

Beyoncé voices Nala in the film; Donald Glover voices Simba and sings “Can You Feel The Love Tonight” with the pop star. Other stars include Seth Rogen (Pumba), Billy Eichner (Timon), James Earl Jones (Mufasa), John Oliver (Zazu) and more.

Blue holds mom’s purse while the two pose with co-star Shahadi Wright Joseph, who voices a young Nala in the movie.Getty Images