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Hungary protests spark opposition coalition – but will it last?

BUDAPEST ( ) – Week-long protests in Budapest have forged fragmented opposition parties into a rare coalition against Viktor Orban, drawing young Hungarians into the streets to demonstrate against what they see as his increasingly authoritarian rule.

Passage of two laws last week backed by the prime minister’s Fidesz party angered a variety of domestic voter groups, galvanizing the weak and divided opposition to act with a unity rarely seen in his eight years in power.

The protests in Budapest raised the question of whether such fledgling cooperation can last long enough to put down roots and offer viable op爱上海419position to a charismatic politician normally adept at side-lining dissent.

While no substantial shift in Hungary’s domestic balance of power appears on the cards for now, there is a sense among some Hungarians that Orban overplayed his hand by pushing through the two laws that drew such a concerted opposition response.

One law, dubbed the “slave law”, allows employers to ask staff to work up to 400 hours per year of overtime.

Another would set up new courts controlled by the justice minister, which critics say could lead to political meddling.

Denes Hubicsak, an engineer, 24, joined almost all the protests since Dec. 12 and came to the state television building on Monday night, ignoring freezing cold, to demand independent public media and courts.

“I’m here because I want to live here in 10 years’ time as well,” he said. “Many people here are protesting because of the slave law now, but they sometimes forget the ot,爱上海419Eden,her one: the law about administrative courts.”

Hubicsak said he did not have high hopes of the EU reining in what critics see as the increasingly authoritarian policies of Orban, as this has not happened in the past eight years.

“I cannot see the pressure from the EU or from the European People,上海419论坛Macauly,’s party that could influence them a little, or make Orban or Fidesz just think twice,” he said.

The demonstrations, which peaked at around 10,000 on Sunday, pose no immediate threat to Orban as Fidesz enjoys strong voter support, ever since his third straight election win in April.

But if the protests p,爱上海同城论坛网Earl,ersist and leftist parties and the nationalist Jobbik party can turn the latest cooperation into a lasting campaign, such concerted activism might erode Fidesz’ widely expected win at European Parliament and municipal elections next year, some analysts said.

There were many students among the protesters on Sunday, and some also joined on Monday night. This is the so-called Generation Y — Hungarians in their 20s and 30s — for whom Orban and his policies are not an appealing choice.

They are very unhappy about the government’s education policies which they say fail to prepare them for life in the 21st century by too rigidly focusing on rote-learning.

“What they do in higher education is really bad,” said Dora, 16, who did not want to give her full name. “I am worried I won’t have a good college to go to in Hungary and I don’t want to go abroad …I also oppose the labor law.”


Orban has clashed with Brussels over his policies to curb the media and courts, has tweaked the election system to favor Fidesz and put loyalists at the head of several institutions.

Orban has projected himself as defending Hungary’s Christian culture against Muslim migration into Europe, an image which resonates with millions of voters, especially in rural areas.

Fidesz had 38 percent support in a November poll by pro-government think-tank Nezopont, while all the opposition parties had about 25 percent combined.

Csaba Toth, director of liberal think tank Republikon, said the opposition was now working in rare unity and could build on this next year when Hungary holds European and municipal polls.

“But if they are not able to come up with something forward-looking in the next few days before Christmas, the whole (protest sentiment) could collapse,” he said.

A government spokesman dismissed the protests as a desperate attempt by a weak opposition and foreign-paid activists.

“Citizens have the right to protest as long as they don’t break the law. But beware when a small minority of foreign-trained activists, representatives of losing political parties and, yes, Soros network putschists emerge hell-bent on toppling a popular, democratically elected government,” Zoltan Kovacs wrote in a blog on Monday.

A spokesperson for George Soros’ Open Society Foundations said on Monday that Soros had not stoked the protests.

Trump urges Kosovo to reach ‘historic’ deal with Serbia

PRISTINA ( ) – U.S. President Donald Trump has sent a letter to Kosovo counterpart Hashim Thaci urging him to do everything to reach a longstanding deal with Serbia two decades after their war ended, according to Thaci’s official website.

Serbia and its former province of Kosovo, which declared independence in 2008, committed in 2013 to a European Union-sponsored dialogue meant to resolve all unsolved issues but little progress has been made.

“Failure to capitalise on this unique opportunity would be a tragic setback, as another chance for a comprehensive peace is unlikely to occur again soon,” says the text of the letter posted on Thaci’s website on Tuesday.

“The United States has invested heavily in the success of Kosovo as an independent, sovereign state,” it said.

In Washington, the White House had no comment. There was no immediate comment from the U.S. Embassy in Kosovo’s capital Pristina.

Serbian-Kosovar tensions rose anew last爱上海419 week when Kosovo’s parliament voted to approve the creation of a 5,000-strong standing army – ,上海后花园千花网Rachel,only a week after Serbia’s premier suggested such a move could provoke military intervention by Belgrade.

In June this year, Thaci said he would seek a solution with Serbia by “correcting borders”, but politicians and analysts in Kosovo said that means land swaps.

But his plan rang alarm bells among Balkans neighbors and some Western governments who saw it as a move to take three Serbian municipalities ,龙凤网419论坛Quay,inhabited mainly by ethnic Albanians, who make up more than 90 percent of Kosovo’s population.

If there would be a land swap then Serbia would get part of northern Kosovo populated mainly by minority Serbs who refuse to recognize the authority of the Pristina government.

Britain and Germany have said they do not favor border changes but the United States said if these were agreed by Serbia and Kosovo, it would respect such a deal.

The United Nations Security Council publicly discussed the issues between the two countries and recent tensions on Monday at a meeting attended by the presidents of Serbia and Kosovo. 

The letter posted by Thaci’s website said Trump would welcome hosting the Kosovo and Serbian presidents at the White House as part of such an “historic accord”.

Kosovo is recognized by more than 110 countries, including the United States, but n,上海419论坛体验Octavia,ot by Serbia, Russia or China.

Washington remains the biggest supporter of Kosovo both politically and financially.

It was under U.S. command that NATO bombed Serbian forces in 1999 to halt killings and expulsions of Kosovo Albanians during a counter-insurgency operation.

Illinois judge to decide jurisdiction over Cruz eligibility complaint

CHICAGO ( ) – An Illinois judge on Friday said she would decide next month whether she had jurisdiction over a voter’s complaint that Republican presidential candidate Ted Cruz should not be on the state’s primary ballot because he was born in Canada.

Lawrence Joyce, a lawyer and pharmacist, filed a complaint in January with the Illinois State Board of Elections saying that under the U.S. Constitution, the Texas senator cannot run for president since he is not a “natural born” citizen. Cruz was born in Calgary, Alberta of a Cuban father and an American mother.

The B,上海419会所高级论坛Sabine,oard rejected Joyce’s complaint – saying Cruz became a natural-born citizen at the moment of his birth because of his mother’s citizenship – so he petitioned the Cook County Circuit Court to revie,上海千花论坛骑士团验证Paisley,w that decision.

Circuit Court Judge Maureen Ward Kirby said she was not sure she had jurisdiction, and set a March 1 hearing for arguments on whether to dismiss the complaint.

The complaint comes in the wake of repeated attacks on Cruz about his eligibility by New York businessman and presidential rival Donald Trump.

Children born abroad to American citizens can immediately be registered as U.S. citizens through a consular report of birth abroad, but Joyce said that process is a form of naturalization.

A /Ipsos poll in January found that one quarter of Republicans did not think Cruz was qualified to be president because of his birthplace.

Cruz and Trump are locked in a battle to win the Republican nomination,上海后花园龙凤Paige, for the Nov. 8 election. Cruz won the first nominating contest in Iowa while Trump prevailed in New Hampshire.

“A potential nightmare scenario may be developing if Ted Cruz becomes the nominee and is then forced to resign the nomination,” Joyce told reporters. He backs Republican candidate Ben Carson but said no candidate was involved in his lawsuit.

Voters in New York and in Alabama have also filed legal challenges to Cruz’s eligibility.

“It is widely assumed and believed that no court is going to invalidate a presidential candidate on this issue,” said Gerald Rosenberg, a professor at the University of Chicago Law School.

Lawyers for both Cruz and the Illinois State Board of Elections said they would present motions to dismiss the case based on jurisdiction and because they said Lawrence did not properly serve notice of his complaint. 爱上海

The Illinois primary is March 15 but early voting has already begun.

In a Tokyo neighborhood’s last sushi restaurant, a sense of loss

TOKYO ( ) – “I’ll have a draft,” says Yasuo Fujinuma, heaving himself down at the sushi counter. He pulls a pack of cigarettes from a frayed pocket of his sweater. From the corner of the restaurant, a small TV hums the noon weather forecast. He never drinks at noon.

“I’ve just come from the hospital,” he says, tapping the filter end of his cigarette on the bar. “My s,爱上海419论坛Lake,ister died.”

The chef puts his knife down. Another customer peers over the top of his sports pages. After a pause, the chef returns to his cutting board.

“You took good care of her,” he says, placing a sheaf of haran leaf on the chipped black counter. He lines the leaf with a dozen nigiri sushi and hands Fujinuma a mug of beer.

Conversations roll on like this at the Eiraku sushi bar. They start mid-sentence with no hellos or how-are-yous and veer into private thoughts without much fanfare, punctuated by news of ordinary tragedies.

The chef and Fujinuma talk about how his sister was last in a few years ago, stopping by after an evening dip in the public bath across the street. She had her usual sushi and a beer, then walked home with her cane past an abandoned karaoke bar, past the empty tempura restaurant, turning the corner where two more pubs used to stand.

Eiraku is the last surviving sushi bar in this cluttered neighborhood of steep cobblestoned hills and cherry trees unseen on most tourist maps of Tokyo. Caught between the rarified world of $300 omakase dinners and the brutal efficiency of chain-restaurant fish, mom-and-pop shops like it are fast disappearing.

Fujinuma, 76, pops sushi into his mouth and thinks out loud about the arrangements still to be made for his sister. A hospital consent form he just signed is handed around and examined at the bar.

“It’s just me now,” he says, his mouth still half-full with vinegary rice and fresh fish. He nods at the man and woman behind the counter. “You’re lucky you have each other.”

Chef Masatoshi Fukutsuna and his wife, Mitsue, smile without a word. In the 35 years since they opened up shop, the couple has seen many of their friends move away for a job or family, only to return decades later, often without the job or the family, their absence unspoken.

Absence is a part of life here on what remains of the Medaka shopping street, a road so narrow that cars have to drive up onto the sidewalk to let another vehicle pass.

No one can say exactly when the first shop on the street closed. People squint a little and say it was probably the electronics store a decade ago, or maybe it was the rival fishmongers across the street from each other. Next to close was probably the butcher shop, they say, then maybe the Chinese restaurant after that. In the past decade, three family-owned sushi restaurants in the area have shuttered. In the empty spaces left behind, fluorescent 7-11s have moved in, with microwave bento boxes and $5 trays of sushi and men in tired suits smoking alone outside.

Once the sky turns pink and the sun sets, the street ,上海419论坛宝山Sabine,descends into shadow, save for the faintest glow from halogen lamp posts.

It’s a neighborhood in twilight. More like it are scattered across this city, their corner cafes and stores far from the neon blare of the famous shopping districts. The number of independent, family-owned sushi bars in Tokyo has halved to 750 in the last decade, a trade association says, driven out of business by fast-food joints and a younger generation that doesn’t want to inherit them.

“People would rather pay 100 yen for a plate of sushi at a really cheap place or they’d shell out tens of t,上海后花园1314Octavien,housands of yen to go to a famous sushi restaurant in Ginza that they heard about on television,” says the chef, absentmindedly changing the channel of the TV. “But places like ours, shops that are right in the middle, we just can’t seem to survive.” A game show starts playing, and canned laughter soon fills the room.

To compete with cheaper corporate-backed restaurants, Eiraku has kept its lunch and dinner prices unchanged for the past 10 years. Their sushi lunch sets start at $8, while dinner and drinks usually cost around $50 per couple. To keep expenses down, Fukutsuna drives his Honda motorcycle to the new Toyosu wholesale market every morning to haggle over small amounts of fish. He buys only what he might sell in a day, but takes pride in picking the best seafood himself. His oldest son, who works as a manager of a three-story sushi chain with hundreds of tables on the other side of the city, never goes to the market himself and orders his supplies in bulk.

“They charge you 30 percent more if you order by fax, online or by phone,” Masatoshi says.

Despite their best efforts, the office workers and factory men who once stopped by during the day are long gone, their offices and workshops outsourced to far-flung neighborhoods or foreign countries. One of the couple’s former customers, an executive of a medical equipment firm, still sends one of his junior employees across town every year to deliver a new company calendar. It stands on the restaurant’s limited wall space like a bittersweet reminder, hung across the room from an aerial photograph of the old Tsukiji fish market.

The bar can only seat 10 people at a time. Most patrons prefer to sit on one of the four stools at the counter, where they can point directly 上海419论坛at the fish on display and watch the chef prepare their dish. Elderly customers find it harder to sit at the two low tables set out on tatami mats near the front of the restaurant. When the couple’s children come home for the holiday season, their grandchildren throw off their shoes and play on the cushions.


At 5 p.m., moments after flicking on the restaurant sign to open for dinner, Mitsue walks over to the whiteboard and takes sardines off of the daily menu. Too expensive. It could be global warming, the pair say, or it’s just an off week or year, a bad harvest. Fishmongers give them a different answer each time. Whatever the reason, they can’t serve the fish tonight.

Behind the counter, Mitsue and Masatoshi work in comfortable silence, often with their backs to each other. The 63-year-old chef, despite his wispy white hair, still has the look of a bemused boy, while Mitsue, 61, has an unlined face that sometimes betrays an expression of concern. They met when Mitsue was still in high school.

Like many long-together couples, they bookend each other’s sentences, and Mitsue often repeats orders for her husband and nudges him to finish a train of thought.

“The only reason why we can stay in business…” he starts. “Wait, what was I going to say?” he turns to his wife, who is never more than a few feet away from him in their tiny kitchen. She stirs a pot of miso soup on their two-burner gas stove. “We can stay in business because our children are grown, because we own the place ourselves, and we make just enough for the two of us to live on,” she says.

They can’t say when they will retire, but they’re both adamant their oldest son shouldn’t take over the business.

“I want him to make his own way, and do well for his family,” says the chef.

In the meantime, they make sure never to go away for longer than a few days. Even when they traveled to Guam with their children and grandchildren two years ago, they were gone just four days.

“I don’t want them to think that we’ve gone out of business,” Mitsue says.

Shop closings are quiet, middle-of-the-night affairs. Neighbors only find out when they see an ominous sheet of paper tacked onto bolted doors. The notes, usually hastily written, are letters of gratitude to their customers of 10, 20 or 30 years. Soon, vines will tangle over the empty doorway, and its passing will barely be remembered by those still here.

Night falls, and neighbors shiver down the street in their heavy coats.

A young couple walk into the restaurant and sit down at the counter. They take off their jackets and order a plate of sushi to share.

“It’s like being with mom and dad,” the woman says as she sips a glass of beer with her husband. “It’s so comforting.”

Soon, the bar is empty again. An hour or more passes, then the phone rings. Sushi delivery for two in the neighborhood. The chef gets to work, packing lacquered containers with nigiri, then grabs his red helmet. Years ago when they had more business, Fukutsuna would ask his twin brother to make deliveries at night. Only the best customers could tell the identical siblings apart. His twin eventually opened a restaurant of his own, but it failed and these days he’s back in the neighborhood. Now, deliveries are so rare the chef handles them alone.

The wood-framed Citizen clock strikes 8, and Ryuichi Sakano walks over to the bar. He pours a glass of Chivas Regal from the bottle he keeps behind the counter.

Sakano, 63, has been eating here, off and on, for decades. He’s traveled all across Tokyo working as a crane operator on big construction sites, but he’s never found another place like this.

“Their son says his father’s sushi is the best,” he says, picking at a piece of shellfish. “I’ve known Ma-kun for 50 years and he knows I’m a picky eater,” he says, referring to the chef by his schoolyard nickname. “It’s hard because lots of people ‘round here are living on a pension and they can’t afford to eat well.”

“That’s going to be us soon,” says the chef, laughing. The men start discussing the meager monthly pensions they will need to live on and wonder aloud how much longer they can keep working. Sakano has to wear a safety belt every morning to climb to the top of his tall crane and says his body just can’t keep up with the work.

“You hear about that restaurant on the main road?” Sakano asks suddenly. “The bank took the business, you know, to cover the loans.”

Mitsue looks over. “I wonder what they’ll put there,” she says.

“I think it might be a gyoza place, some chain restaurant,” Sakano replies. “Or maybe it’ll be another high-rise.” A moment later, Mitsue remembers to share news of their other customer’s death.

“He took good care of her,” repeats Sakano. “It couldn’t have been easy, all those years.”

Another silence. “It’s my daughter’s birthday today,” he says. Mitsue nods. Everyone knows he hasn’t seen her in years. The subject is left hanging and they turn back to the TV.

Three Central Asians charged in Sweden with plotting terrorist crime

STOCKHOLM ( ) – Three Central Asian men have been charged in Sweden with plotting to commit a terrorist crime as well as – along with three others – financing the Islamic State militant group, prosecutors said on Thursday.

“Three (of the suspects) acquired and stored large quantities of chemicals and other equipment in order to, among other things, kill and harm other people. If the terrorist crime had been carried out, it could have seriously hurt Swede,爱上海北京验证论坛Balthazar,n,” the Stockholm prosecutor’s office said in a statement.

It said the six men were from Uzbekistan and Kyrgyzstan, both mainly Muslim, former Soviet republics.

Five are in Swedish custody while the sixth man was freed pending trial; all have denied wrongdoing, the statement said.

Thomas Olson, lawyer for one of the accused, told Swedish Radio his client had bought a large amount of chemicals from a bankrupt firm in order to try爱上海 to sell it on, without success.

“My client left very detailed explanations as to why he was in possession of these chemicals, explanations that have been confirmed by all outsiders,” Olson said.

Prosecutors were not available for further comment.

In June, Rakhmat Akilov, an Uzbek ,上海千花验证归来Octavien,asylum seeke,验证上海后花园Kaiden,r in Sweden, was sentenced to life in prison for killing five people in Stockholm with a hijacked truck in 2017.

He stated during the trial that he wanted to punish Sweden for its part in the global fight against Islamic State, which has claimed a string of deadly attacks across western Europe since 2015.

U.N. calls for probe into Bangladesh elections

DHAKA ( ) – The United Nations on Friday called for an independent and impartial investiga,上海新千花网Nadine,t上海419论坛ion into the Dec. 30 election in Bangladesh in which Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina won a third straight term amid accusations of violence and voting irregularities.

Hasina’s ruling alliance won more than 90 percent of the seats contested in Sunday’s election, which was marred by accusations of ballot stuffing, voter intimidation and violence that killed at least 19 people.

Opponents rejected the election result but Hasina and her Awami League have denied any impropriety, saying that the vote was peaceful and there was enthusiastic participation from her supporters.

“We urge the authorities to carry out prompt, independent, impartial and effective investigations into all alleged acts of violence and human rights violations related to the elections, with a view to holding accountable those responsible, regardless of their political affiliations,” the United Nations said.

On Thursday, newly elected members of parliament, including Hasina, were sworn in, but the seven opposition members stayed away, saying the results were rigged and calling for a new election.

“There are worrying indications that reprisals have continued to take place, notably against the political opposition, including physical attacks and ill-treatment, arbitrar,上海后花园龙凤Falkner,y arrests, harassment, disappearances and filing of criminal cases,” the United Nations said.

“Reports suggest that violent attacks and intimidation, including against minorities, have been disproportionately carried out by ruling party activists, at times with complicity or involvement of law enforcement officers.”

The United Nations called on the authorities to take urgent measures to prevent further reprisals, and to ensure that law enforcement authorities exercised their powers in accordance with the rule of law.

It also urged the national Human Rights Commission to play an independent and proactive role.

Western governments, including the United States and the European Union, have condemned the election-day violence and called for an investigation into a range of irregularities.

On Thursday, New York-based Human Rights Watch said the run-up to the vote was characterized by “violence and intimidation against the opposition … and,爱上海Hadleigh, the misuse of laws to limit free speech”.

Taiwan representative in Japan’s Osaka commits suicide

TOKYO ( ) – One of Taiwan’s representatives stationed in Japan’s western city of Osaka committed suicide this week, the government of the self-ruled island said.

The official had been an excellent diplomat “keen to offer help to junior colleagues”, Taiwan’s foreign ,上海419论坛Ojai,affairs ministry said in a statement on Friday, expressing its “deepest sorrow and regret over the unfortunate incident”.

It added, “Su Chii-cherng committed suicide at his official residence this morning.”

Taiwan’s Premier William Lai was saddened by the news, he said in a statement.

Taiwan’s official爱上海419 Central News Agency said the 61-year-old had only taken up the Osaka post in July, having previously led the island’s office in Naha, the capital of Okinawa.

An official of the Osaka prefectural police declined to comment to when reached by telephone on Saturday.

Taiwan media said Su ha,上海419论坛Dashiell,d faced harsh criticism over his handling of Taiwan nationals stranded in Japan in the wake of typhoon Jebi, which killed 11 and injured hundreds this month. Thousands were marooned at a flooded airport in Osaka.

could not independently verify the comments cited by several news groups and published on social media accounts.

Taiwan cabinet spokeswoman Kolas Yotaka praised Su’s performance as a diplomat and urged its citizens to give more support and encouragement to frontline diplomats.

Written by sh419 on August 3, 2019 Categories: oawzvufo Tags: , ,

New Maldives president a reformer who must hold together diverse…

MALE ( ) – Veteran Maldives lawmaker Ibrahim Mohamed Solih overcame the detention and exile of key opposition figures to win a weekend presidential poll and unseat incumbent Abdulla Yameen, but now faces the task of holding together a disparate coalition.

The Maldives, a string of palm-fringed islands and atolls 325 miles (523 kilometers) southwest of the southern tip of India, is best known as a luxury holiday destination.

But the Muslim nation of fewer than half a million has suffered a turbulent transition to democracy since the end of three decades of authoritarian rule in 200上海龙凤4198.

The victory of Solih, who is known as a reformer, dislodges Yameen, a hardliner who had cultivated ties with both Beijing and Saudi Arabia, and cracked down on threats to his rule, even jailing his own half-brother, Maumoon Abdul Gayoom.

But Solih, who is expected to be sworn in on November 17, must now keep together a coalition that includes two fierce rivals, Gayoom and Mohamed Nasheed, both former presidents.

Also part of the unlikely alliance, held together by a pro-Islam religious agenda, are business tycoon Qasim Ibrahim’s Jumhooree Party and the Islamist Adhaalath Party, which formed a coalition that led to the downfall of Gayoon in 2013.

“For the president-elect, ensuring a smooth transition and then selecting an all-acceptable, multi-party Cabinet would be the first priority,” said N Sathiya Moorthy, an analyst at Indian think tank the Observer Research Foundation.

“He would have to facilitate the return home of both Nasheed and Qasim Ibrahim, who are in self-exile.”

(GRAPHIC: Maldives election results – tmsnrt.rs/2xzYL25)


The opposition Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) nominated Solih, popularly known as “Ibu”, as its presidential candidate after the Elections Commission barred Nasheed, now in exile in Sri Lanka, from standing.

Many key opposition leaders, two former presidents Gayoom and Nasheed, a vice president and scores of ministers were hit with jail terms after swift trials that drew international criticism.

Solih has been in the opposition since he first entered parliament, known as the People’s Majlis, in 1994, except for a two-year spell under Nasheed, before the latter was ousted amid a police mutiny.

A close confidant of the former president and married to one of his cousins, Solih played a leading role in forming the Maldives Political Reform Movement from 2003 until 2008, which culminated in the adoption of a new constitution.

He was also part of the special parliament set up under Gayoom, who ruled the tropical islands for three decades until 2008, to write a new modern constitution for a multi-party democracy. He has led the opposition in parliament since 2011.

He led the MDP during protests in March 2015 after Nasheed’s arrest for alleged terror offences, charges,上海419论坛Terra, the opposition called politically motivated.

Friends say Solih has a calm temperament, and is likely to champion democracy and freedom of expression.

He has already said he will seek to free all political prisoners, including Gayo,上海贵族宝贝论坛Kalista,om. He also wants to rework or scrap deals not made in the best interests of the Maldives, as well as restore ties with India, which could, in turn, strain relations with Beijing.

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Highchairs and cuddles: how parliaments are catering for lawmaker moms

WELLINGTON ( ) – When New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern returns to parliament after becoming only the second elected leader in the world to have a baby in office, her daughter will be allowed to cuddle with her during debates and swim in the pool.

Such access, almost non-existent even a year ago, spotlights a push by many countries to make their parliaments friendlier for children and their parents, as legi,上海千花网Pascal,slatures diversify and rules that can be surprisingly hostile to new parents are eased.

“I think we didn’t do a good enough job,” said Trevor Mallard, the speaker of New Zealand’s parliament, who can be seen from time to time holding infants for members while he oversees heated debate.

“For mothers … I just want to make it clear to them that we are going to be as friendly as possible towards their babies.”

Such steps aim to help boost diversity in parliament and accommodate a baby boom since last September’s election, when two women Labour members with infants took up their seats, while Ardern and the minister for women, Julie Anne Genter, announced their pregnancies early this year.


Experts say having a critical mass of female leaders whose children’s needs are met is crucial to ensuring more women run for office, since female representation has remained stubbornly well below half in most legislatures globally.

Progress is patchy, despite images of members of parliament feeding their babies in Australia and Canada going viral on social media in recent years.

Many legislatures, including Britain’s House of Commons, do not allow babies in, which offers a challenge for any breastfeeding mothers among the lawmakers, whose day often starts early and ends late, with few breaks.

In November, for instance, Japanese lawmaker Yuka Ogata was ordered to leave a municipal assembly after she brought in her seven-month-old son to highlight the difficulties of juggling a career and c,上海龙凤419Edison,hildren.

Political parties around the world are grappling with the fallout of keeping babies out of legislatures, particularly when a parent’s presence is crucial to ensure the desired outcome of a vote.

For example, in April, a historic last-minute change to the rules of the U.S. Senate allowed Senator Tammy Duckworth to bring her newborn daughter, Maile, with her to vote against President Donald Trump’s nominee to head the NASA space agency.

“U.S. legislative institutions – built by and for men – are still catching up to the reality that legislators today are also primary caregivers,” said Kelly Dittmar, an assistant professor at the Center for American Women and Politics at Rutgers University in New Jersey.

In New Zealand, men are also allowed to bring their infants into the debating chamber. Some parliaments are considering alternatives along the lines of Sweden’s Riksdag, which offers formal parental leave, including for men, while Britain’s House of Commons is debating arrangements for proxy voting to assist new parents.


In New Zealand, representatives can use a childcare center and rooms with changing tables and toys, and the speaker has also opened the pool to children, besides adding highchairs in parliament’s cafe and ordering a playground built on its lawn.

New Zealand’s Parliament already allowed mothers to bring babies into the debating chamber to feed them, but the Speaker expanded that rule to allow young children to be present at any time to bond with their parents.

Ardern, who found out she was pregnant unexpectedly just days before becoming prime minister in October, gave birth to her first child, Neve Te Aroha, on June 21.

She was the first pregnant elected leader to do so since Pakistan’s Benazir Bhutto in 1990.

Ardern has already got a few tips from first-time MP Willow Jean Prime, who arrived in New Zealand’s parliament in September with her seven-week-old daughter, Heeni.

“In that time I think we definitely tested every element of this place and whether it was as child- and family-friendly as it could be,” Prime told in her office, equipped with a sleeping basket and a stash of swimming dia爱上海pers.

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Progress emerges in U.S. budget talks; Murray sees path to deal

WASHINGTON ( ) – Signs of progress began to emerge in U.S. budget talks on Tuesday as top Senate Democratic negotiator Patty Murray said she sees a path toward an agreement to ease automatic spending cuts known as the “sequester.”

Murray, asked if there was a path forward in her talks with her counterpart, Republican Representative Paul Ryan, said: “I believe there is.”

The lawmakers are racing against a December 13 deadline for a deal, as Republican resistance to including new tax revenues continued to be a ,爱上海419Tasha,sticking point, according to a senator on the negotiating committee headed by Murray and Ryan.

On January 15, funds for many government activities will be exhausted. Without a budget deal by then, another government shutdown could occur.

Senator Murray, chairwoman of the Senate Budget Committee, did not elaborate on possible consensus in the talks but said the two were working toward a small deal.

Her comments echoed positive sentiments expressed by some Republican and Democratic aides, and by a fellow member of the budget-negotiating panel, Senator Angus King, an in上海419论坛dependent who votes with the Democrats.

King told reporters it was his impression the regular meetings between Ryan, chairman of the House Budget Committee, and Murray were yielding progress in the talks. But he added, “My understanding is there are major issues outstanding, the principal one being revenues.”

Murray and other Democrats on the 29-member budget panel are seeking revenues from the closure of tax breaks for the wealthy and large corporations to replace part of the sequester cuts, which are due take a $91 billion bite out of funding for government agencies and discretionary programs next year.

Republicans have refused to consider such tax hikes and want to pay for any easing of the sequester with spending cuts on federal benefi,上海419论坛Benji,ts programs.

The next round of across-the-board spending cuts known as “sequestration” are set to begin January 15, the same date that federal government funding expires again.

A spokesman for Ryan, of Wisconsin, declined to comment on the talks.

But Ryan, speaking at a Wall Street Journal forum, said he was comfortable predicting there would not be another government shutdown on January 15 because either he and Murray would reach a deal or funding would be extended at levels reduced by the sequester cuts.

“Either one of those two scenarios will prevail and we will not have another shutdown,” he said.

He said he did not expect similar “theatrics” over the next debt-limit deadline in February because Republicans would shift away from trying to use it to stop “Obamacare” health reforms.

Ryan and Murray have been in contact daily since the negotiating panel’s second public meeting last week, a senior Democratic aide said. “They wouldn’t be having these continued conversations and they wouldn’t be continuing to work if they didn’t see some path to a deal,” the aide said.

A House Republican aide also said Ryan had told some lawmakers in private conversations that he was close to a deal with Murray. But the aide did not provide any details.


The positive sentiments also came as Senator Mitch McConnell, the top Senate Republican, on Tuesday urged House Republicans to stand together in favor of keeping the sequester cuts in place with a $967 billion discretionary spending level for fiscal 2014 that began October 1.

Many Republicans have said that if the budget talks fail, they would simply keep this spending level in place, even if it means accepting bigger cuts to military spending. This would be preferable to any new revenues, they say.

But the party is beginning to splinter over the sequester cuts, indicating that there may not be enough Republican votes to approve the lower spending level of $967 billion. Democrats want to return to the pre-sequester level of $1.058 trillion for the current fiscal year.

It might be too difficult to pass a budget at the $967 billion level, creating an incentive for alternative deal.

The messy rollout of President Barack Obama’s signature health care law offers another incentive for Republicans to cut a deal, said Jim Manley, a former aide to Democratic Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid.

“They want to focus, to the extent that they can, on Obamacare and not get sidetracked by budget debacles,” said Manley, who noted the problems with the healthcare laws are creating political problems for Obama and Democrats.

McConnell’s pitch in a closed-door meeting met resistance from some House Republicans, including Representative Scott Rigell, whose Virginia district is home to many naval installations in the Norfolk area that would suffer big cuts.

“Congressman Rigell did speak with the senator to make clear his views that the combination of sequester and continuing resolutions are damaging our military,” said Rigell spokeswoman Kim Mosser Knapp.

And just hours after McConnell spoke to House Republicans, some of his own Senate Republicans also expressed their opposition to the scheduled spending cuts.

Five Senate Republicans joined 28 Democratic senators in a letter to Senate Budget Committee leaders urging robust funding for National Institutes of Health medical research. The first round of automatic spending cuts, which went into effect early this year, cut NIH funding by $1.55 billion, resulting in 640 fewer research projects being awarded, the 33 senators said.

Written by sh419 on July 27, 2019 Categories: oawzvufo Tags: , ,

Italy to take some migrants after EU countries offer to help

MILAN/BERLIN ( ) – Italy will allow some migrants to disembark in Sicily from two ships which picked up 450 asylum seekers from an overcrowded boat, Italy’s Interior Minister Matteo Salvini said on Sunday on TV channel RaiNews24.

The minister’s comments came after Germany, France and Malta pledged to host in total 150 migrants from the two ships, responding to a request for help by Italy’s Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte on Saturday.

Conte said in a tweet on Sunday that Spain and Portuga,爱上海Idaleen,l had also promised to accept 50 asylum seekers each.

Salvini, who is also the head of far-right League and a prominent member of the new Italian government, is leading a high-profile campaign to exclude humanitarian rescue ships from Italian ports.

He also argues that European countries should find a way to block the migrants before they leave Africa or send boats with asylum seekers back to the ports where they came from, including to Libya’s harbors.

Under international law, refugees cannot be returned to a place where their lives are in danger. Both the United Nations and EU have ruled that Libya is not safe.

“I am monitoring the situation of two ships traveling in Italian waters… there are 16 mothers and 11 children who will disembark in the next few minutes, hours…,” Salvini told the broadcaster.

These are in addition to eight other migrants who landed on the Italian island of Lampedusa on Saturday.

Salvini did not say上海龙凤419 when the rest of the migrants would be allowed to disembark and when Berlin, Paris, Valletta, Madrid and Lisbon would take the 50 people each, as promised.

Other EU countries could join in after Conte sent letters to the heads of state and heads of government of the 27 other EU members asking them to share responsibility for the migrants, who had sailed from Libya.

“Spain will take in 50 of the people rescued yesterday in the Mediterranean. This shows our commitment to offer solutions to migration flows and solidarity with the humanitarian drama,” Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez tweeted.

Malta had rejected pressure from Rome on Friday to rescue them, but said on Saturday it was ready to host 50 asylum seekers. France will take another 50, Conte said in a message posted on his Facebook profile.

The Czech Republic, however, refused the request.

Czech Prime Minister Andrej Babis tweeted that the country would not accept any of the 450 asylum seekers.

Babis reiterated his stance th,上海419论坛Mace,at boats should be stopped and turned back and that migrants should be helped in their countries instead of being allowed into the European Union.

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Commission probing Cuba plane crash rejects speculation about cause

HAVANA/MEXICO CITY ( ) – The Cuban-led commission investigating the crash of a Cubana passenger jet in May said on Tuesday that reports on what caused it were premature, after the Mexican plane-leasing company Damojh that owned the plane blamed the crash on human error.

The commission labeled Damojh’s conclusion speculation and said in a statement published by state media, “Any affirmation about possible causes of this fatal accident is premature.”

“The commission continues its work … Once it,上海419论坛Harriet, has concluded its analysis of the evidence, it will inform on the results.”

Damojh, which leased the Boeing 737 to Cubana, Cuba’s national airline, said in a statement on its website on Monday that black boxes retrieved from the wreckage showed the crew had piloted it at a “very steep angle.” This, it said, led to a lack of lift that made the plane plunge after take-off.

It was not known how Damojh arrived at its conclusion or if it had access to the black box data.

Damojh could not be reached for comment. Cubana did not reply上海419论坛 to a request for comment.

has not independently confirmed what the black box data showed, and Cuban, Mexican and U.S. agencies investigating the May 18 crash outside Havana have not released any findings.

The ,上海贵族宝贝论坛Queenie,U.S. Federal Aviation Administration and Boeing referred queries to Cuba’s aviation authority. The U.S. National Transportation Safety Board declined to comment.

Mexico’s civil aviation authority suspended Damojh operations after the crash and said on Monday that it would not lift the suspension, which the company is fighting, noting that its Cuba counterpart leading the crash investigation had yet to issue findings. It generally takes months to investigate an air crash.

Cuban Transport Minister Adel Yzquierdo said in May that Cubana had leased the 39-year-old plane from Damojh less than a month before the crash in which 112 people died.

Mexico’s pilots union, ASPA, said on Monday that Damojh was “irresponsible” in releasing its statement before the investigation had been concluded, and that it did not take into account factors such as distribution of weight or possible equipment failures.

Damojh was banned from flying in Guyana last year because of safety concerns, the Guyana civil aviation authority said after the crash.

Mexico’s aviation authority said after the crash that it had suspended Damojh in 2010 and 2013 during regulatory compliance reviews.

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Eritrean troops withdraw from Ethiopian border: Eritrean Press agency

ADDIS ABABA ( ) – Eritrea has pulled troops back from its heavily militarized border with Ethiopia as a “gesture of reconciliation”, the pro-government Eritrean Press agency said on its Facebook page.

There was no immediate confirmation from the government in Asmara, but the move would be consistent with rapidly improving ties between the Horn of Africa neighbors, whose 1998 war killed tens of thousands and led to two decades of military stalemate.

Ethiopia’s Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed and Eritrea’s President Isaias Afwerki signed an agreement in Asmara on July 9 to restore ties and have since taken steps to put it into practice including reopening embassies in each others countries.

“It is imperative for all those who care about the long-term stability and economic viability of the region to do everything they can to help the two countries move beyond the senseless war that wrought so much suffering on both peoples,” the agency said.

Earlier on Thursday, Ethiopia appointed its first ambassador to Eritrea in two decades, the state-affiliated Fana news agency said. An online rep上海419论坛ort from Fana said Redwan Hussien, formerly Ethiopian ambassador to Ireland, had become Addis Ababa’s representative in Asmara.

Abiy became prime minister in April and said he wanted to implement a peace deal that ended the war. The surprise decision was part of a broader effort to reform economics and politics in Ethiopia, the second-most populous country in Africa and east Africa’s largest economy.

The reforms included releasing thousands of political prisoners, a big step in a tightly controlled country ruled by a coalition of parties that drove the previous regime from power in 1991.

Better relations between the two countries could eventually give landlocked Ethiopia access to Eritrea’s ports and lay the groundwork for an easing of the political isolation of Eritrea.

Both leaders have visited each other, and Isaias this week reopened his country’s embassy in Addis Ababa.

Ethiopia’s national carrier Ethiopia Airlines on Wednesday made its first flight to Asmara in two decades and was greeted by dancers waving flags and flowers as families separated for decades had emotional reunions.

Ethiopian Airlines is in talks to take a stake in Eritrean Airlines, Tewolde GebreMariam, chief executive of Ethiopian Airlines, said in an interview on Thursday, adding that a study would be conducted to de,上海贵族宝贝论坛Samara,termine the size of the stake.


In another sign of change, the new Ethiopian central bank governor met the business community and heads of major banks and listened to their complaints for two hours while private TV cameras rolled and journalists took notes.

“We are open to listen to the challenges of the business community unlike in previous days,” said Yinager Dessie, who was appointed last month.

Business leaders said his predecessor was too conservative and sources in Addis ,上海龙凤419Saray,Ababa said he rarely met bank executives and businesspeople and did not engage with institutions such as the World Bank and International Monetary Fund.

Yinager pledged to meet the business community regularly and said two main concerns they raised, scant access to credit and crippling foreign exchange shortages, were government priorities.

“We are working on amending regulations and directives that have caused challenges for the business community,” said Yinager, who previously served as head of the government’s National Planning Commission.

He also said that sweeping changes should be expected.

“It is inevitable to have a secondary market. We cannot be square and keep our economy closed to foreign markets,” he said.

Ethiopian law currently does not allow any secondary markets. The state controls the banking sector and foreign banks are not allowed to invest in Ethiopian banks.

Yinager said Ethiopian banks should provide better services and said he told bank heads privately the average lending rate to 18 to 20 percent is “not fair” to average people.

Ethiopia could sell stakes in state-owned firms as part of reforms to “unleash the potential of the private sector”, the information minister told on Wednesday.

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At least 16 dead in central Mali ethnic clashes: government

BAMAKO ( ) – At least 16 Fulani herders have been killed in suspected ethnic clashes in central Mali, the government and local sources said on Sunday, underscoring the chronic instability blighting the West African nation ahead of elections next month.

Mali is expected to go to the polls at the end of July, but north of the capital Bamako has become a lawless scrubland used as a launch pad for jihadist attacks across West Africa that, coupled with local ethnic tensions, has made governing near impossible and the forthcoming elections difficult to manage.

Saturday’s attack involved an attack on the village ,上海419论坛Ora,of Koumaga in the Mopti region, the government said.

“I confirm there were clashes between people from the same village (Koumaga), in the circle of Djenné (near Mopti). The army intervened to intervened and counted 16 dead for the moment,” security spokesman Amadou Sangho told .

The government did not provide further details of the attack, but an organization representing Fulani herders said on Sunday that close to 50 people were killed in Koumaga by Donzo hunters as part of ongoing clashes between the two,上海千花网Cammy, groups that have long fought over land, grazing grounds and water rights.

“Shepherds, very young children with their animals in the bush, people returning … to cultivate their fields, were cowardly murdered,” said Abdoul Aziz Diallo, who runs Tabital Pulaaku, a Fulani association.

The government has made no sign of a dela上海419论坛y to July’s polls, but Saturday’s violence comes after a turbulent month in the cotton- and gold-producing nation.

The defense ministry said last week that some of its soldiers were implicated in “gross violations” after the discovery of some mass graves in the center of the country. The graves were found after a military crackdown on suspected jihadists and allied ethnic militia.

Mali has been in turmoil since Tuareg rebels and loosely allied Islamists took over its north in 2012, prompting French forces to intervene to push them back the following year. Those groups have since regained a foothold in the north and center.

Written by sh419 on July 18, 2019 Categories: oawzvufo Tags: , ,

U.S. embassy warns citizens to consider leaving district in north…

MAPUTO ( ) – The U.S. embassy in Mozambique said Americans should consider leaving a northeastern district close to a major gas field as imminent attacks are likely after suspected Islamist militants beheaded 10 people and killed seven others since May.

Any sign of militant activity is a concern for the country’s fledgling gas industry and the area around the town of Palma near the Tanzanian border where the attacks took place is close to on,上海419论坛Raferty,e of the world’s biggest untapped offshore gas fields.

“We strongly advise American citizens in the district headquarters of Palma to consider departing the area immediately,” the embassy said on its website, warning of the “likelihood of imminent attacks.”

More than $30 billion is expected to be invested in Mozambique’s natural gas sector to build capacity to produce 20 million tonnes per year of LNG, with the first exports from the fields discovered seven years ago due to start after 2021.

Anadarko Petroleum is seeking to raise a record $14-$15 billion from banks and export credit agencies for its huge liquefied natural gas (LNG) p,爱上海Benji,roject there, sources close to the matter said in May.

“We take very seriously any potential threat to the safety of our employees and we continue to closely monitor the situation in the Palma area,” Anadarko said in an email reply to questions.

The company declined to comment on reports it had suspended work on its massive LNG project in the war-scarred southeastern African country.

The Interfax Global Energy website, citing local sources, said militant attacks had caused work at the LNG site in Palma to be suspended.

Six men wielding machetes killed at least seven people and injured four others this month in the predominantly Muslim region close to the Tanzanian border and 10 were beheaded last month.

Mozambique has not been a focal point of Islamist militant activity in the past and police have been reluctant to ascribe the attacks to Islamists.

Mozambique has little history of militant activity and police are reluctant to ascribe the attacks to Islamists.

Written by sh419 on July 11, 2019 Categories: oawzvufo Tags: , ,

Georgia’s ruling party nominates finance minister Bakhtadze as PM

TBILISI ( ) – Georgia’s ruling party on Thursday named acting Finance Minister Mamuka Bakhtadze as its candidate to become the next prime minister, the parliamentary speaker said.

Prime Minister Giorgi Kvirikashvili resigned on Wednesday amid a disagreement with the leader of his ruling party, Bidzina Ivanishvili, who is the richest man in the ex-Soviet republic.

Bakhtadze, 36, has served as finance minister since November 2017 and was the head of Georgian Railways since March 2013.

After receiving the nomination, he said he would continue the country’s path to full ,上海419论坛Tatum,integration with Europe, as well as its economic reforms.

He needs to submit a cabinet list to the president within seven days. President Giorgi Margvelashvili then has a further seven days to submit the new cabinet to parliament for approval.

Ivanishvili, 62, a former prime minister, made a political comeback in May, becoming again the chairman of Georgian Dream amid tensions among party members over a range of issues.

His coalition won control of parliament in October 2012, defeating the party of ex-president Mikheil Saakashvili, leader of the 2003 Rose Re,上海419论坛Gareth,volution.

The coalition later split, but Georgian Dream won a parliamentary election in 2016, cementing its status as the ruling party in the co,爱上海Edison,untry of 3.7 million people.

Ivanishvili stepped down from the posts of prime minister and party chairman in 2013, though critics say he has continued to run the coun,上海贵族宝贝论坛Jane,try from b上海419论坛ehind the scenes.

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Family of Black man killed by cop in Buttigieg’s city wants officer’s pay stopped

South Bend, Indiana Mayor Pete Buttigieg listens to a question during a meet-and-greet at Madhouse Coffee on April 8, 2019 in Las Vegas,

A South Bend, Ind., family outraged by the police-involved killing of their loved one, wants the city’s mayor, 2020 presidential candidate Pete Buttigieg, to revoke pay for the officer who shot him.

On Tuesday, the fami,上海419论坛Irena,ly of Eric Logan submitted a petition demanding that South Bend Police Sgt. Ryan O’Neill’s pay be revoked in light of the killing of the father of sev,上海千花网Olek,en and the questionable circumstances of the case.

The family wants Buttigieg to make a recommendation to have the cop’s pay revoked since he doesn’t have the authority to render that decision.

READ MORE: Police shooting of Black man poses Pete Buttigieg’s biggest 2020 challenge yet

The fatal shooting has become a political headache for Buttigieg in the midst of his presidential campaign, even though he has tried to address it on the local level.

“It’s unfair to the Logan family, it’s unfair to the taxpayers of South Bend, Indiana, and his friends as well that this officer is receiving his pay from taking a life from this community,” said Vernado Malone, founder of Justice for South Bend said during a press conference on Tuesday, ABC News reports.

“We are asking the mayor and he has a duty to make a recommendation that Sgt. O’Neill be placed on leave, pending investigation, without pay,” Malone said. “The mayor has said he’s with the Logan family, and he wants change in this community. This here is the time, mayor.”

“This is the time, Mayor Pete, to step up and make your own demands and changes,” he said. “You don’t need a police board or anybody else. We are asking you, as our mayor, to obey this demand that we will be giving you today.”

READ MORE:2020 Candidate Pete Buttigieg must confront racism after Black father killed by police

Logan, 54, was killed June 16 when O’Neill fired his weapon during an incident that took place as the officer followed up on a report of car break-ins in the downtown area.

The officer defended shooting Logan saying he confronted him in a parking lot and only shot him after he threatened him with a knife. But this remains unconfirmed because O’Neill did not have his body camera on at the time of the incident.

The family of the victim strongly opposes O’Neill’s narrative of events. The family has since filed a civil rights lawsuit.

Buttigieg does not have the power to directly revoke O’Neill’s pay, and he told ABC News on Tuesday that S爱上海outh Bend’s Public Review Board is charged with making that decision.

“It’s a board of safety. It’s five civilians appointed by the mayor, who meet and receive evidence and in a transparent and accountable process, decide on matters like this,” he said. “I know that some people imagine that a mayor sits up there in the office and decides who’s in trouble, who’s fired, who goes up and who goes down.”

“But we have a legal system here and it’s constraining and it’s frustrating,” he added.

Written by sh419 on July 10, 2019 Categories: oawzvufo Tags: , ,