$1*/ mo hosting! Get going!

ПУБЛІЧНА ПРАВДА

новини, секрети, скандали

Category: EU (page 1 of 175)

european news

Austrian Government Collapses Over Ibiza Video Scandal

Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz called time Monday on his coalition government with the far-right Freedom Party after its leader was shown on video appearing to offer favors to a purported Russian investor.

Kurz said he was seeking the removal of the country’s interior minister, Freedom Party politician Herbert Kickl, to ensure an unbiased probe into the video.

“I’m firmly convinced that what’s necessary now is total transparency and a completely and unbiased investigation,” Kurz told reporters in Vienna.

The Freedom Party reacted by withdrawing its ministers from the government.

“We won’t leave anyone out in the rain,” said the party’s interim leader, Norbert Hofer.

Kickl’s removal, which must still be approved by Austria’s president, follows the resignation on Saturday of Freedom Party leader Heinz-Christian Strache, who was also Austria’s vice chancellor. 

That came a day after two German newspapers published a video showing Strache pandering to a woman claiming to be a Russian tycoon’s niece at a boozy gathering in Ibiza two years ago, shortly before national elections. Strache and party colleague Johann Gudenus are heard telling the woman that she can expect lucrative construction contracts if she buys an Austrian newspaper and supports the Freedom Party. They also discuss ways of secretly funneling money to the party.

Gudenus, who was instrumental in arranging the meeting, has quit as leader of the party’s parliamentary group and is leaving the party.

The Hamburg-based weekly Der Spiegel and Munich daily Sueddeutsche Zeitung said the meeting in Ibiza was likely a trap that Strache and Gudenus had fallen for. The papers refused to reveal the source of the video.

Kurz noted that at the time the video was shot, Kickl was general-secretary of the Freedom Party and therefore responsible for its financial conduct. The chancellor added that in his conversations with Kickl and other Freedom Party officials following the video’s release, he “didn’t really have the feeling (they had) an awareness of the dimension of the whole issue.”

String of scandals

The ouster of the Freedom Party from the government was a setback for populist and nationalist forces as Europe heads into the final days of campaigning for the European Parliament elections, which run Thursday through Sunday.

Kurz has endorsed a hard line on migration and public finances, and he chose to ally with the Freedom Party after winning the 2017 election. 

The chancellor, who is personally popular, had said Saturday that “enough is enough” — a reference to a string of smaller scandals involving the Freedom Party that had plagued his government. In recent months, those have included a poem in a party newsletter comparing migrants to rats and questions over links to extreme-right groups.

Kickl, a longtime campaign mastermind of the Freedom Party, had already drawn criticism over matters including a raid last year on Austria’s BVT spy agency, which opposition parties claimed was an attempt by the new government to purge domestic political enemies.

Kickl’s party said he had done nothing wrong and sought to portray itself as the victim of a plot. 

Response from Russia

The Russian government, meanwhile, said it couldn’t comment on the video “because it has nothing to do with the Russian Federation, its president or the government.”

President Vladimir Putin’s spokesman, Dmitry Peskov, said of the woman in the Strache video that set off the crisis: “We don’t know who that woman is and whether she’s Russian or not.” 

Pledging to ensure stability in Austria over the coming months, Kurz said vacancies in the government left by the Freedom Party’s departure would be filled with civil servants and technocrats.

His government, meanwhile, may find it difficult to continue as planned until Austria holds early elections, likely in September. Opposition parties plan to call for a vote of no confidence in Kurz’s government in the coming days. 


$1*/ mo hosting! Get going!

French Drug Smuggler Sentenced to Death in Indonesia

Indonesia on Monday sentenced a French drug smuggler to death by firing squad, in a shock verdict after prosecutors had asked for a long prison term.

The three-judge panel in Lombok handed a capital sentence to Felix Dorfin, 35, who was arrested in September at the airport on the holiday island next to Bali, where foreigners are routinely charged with drugs offenses.

Indonesia has some of the world’s strictest drug laws — including death for some traffickers.

It has executed foreigners in the past, including the masterminds of Australia’s Bali Nine heroin gang.

While Dorfin was eligible for the death penalty, prosecutors instead asked for a 20-year jail term plus another year unless he paid a huge fine equivalent to about $700,000.

But Indonesian courts have been known to issue harsher-than-demanded punishments.

Dorfin was carrying a suitcase filled with about three kilograms (6.6 pounds) of drugs including ecstasy and amphetamines when he was arrested.

“After finding Felix Dorfin legally and convincingly guilty of importing narcotics … (he) is sentenced to the death penalty,” presiding judge Isnurul Syamsul Arif told the court.

The judge cited Dorfin’s involvement in an international drug syndicate and the amount of drugs in his possession as aggravating factors.

“The defendant’s actions could potentially do damage to the younger generation,” Arif added.

The Frenchman made headlines in January when he escaped from a police detention center and spent nearly two weeks on the run before he was captured.

A female police officer was arrested for allegedly helping Dorfin escape from jail in exchange for money.

It was not clear if the jailbreak played any role in Monday’s stiffer-than-expected sentence.

Wearing a red prison vest, Dorfin, who is from Bethune in northern France, sat impassively through much of the hearing, as a translator scribbled notes beside him.

After the sentencing, he said little as he walked past reporters to a holding cell.

“Dorfin was shocked,” the Frenchman’s lawyer Deny Nur Indra told AFP.

“He didn’t expect this at all because prosecutors only asked for 20 years.”

The lawyer said he would appeal against the sentence, describing his client as a “victim” who did not know the exact contents of what he was carrying in the suitcase.

“If he had known, he wouldn’t have brought it here,” Indra added.

In Paris, the French foreign ministry said it was “concerned” by the sentence and reiterated France’s opposition to the death penalty.

“We will remain attentive to his situation,” the statement said, adding that seven French people faced the death penalty worldwide.

In 2015, Australians Andrew Chan and Myuran Sukumaran — the accused ringleaders of the Bali Nine  — were executed by firing squad in Indonesia.

The Bali Nine gang’s only female member was released from jail last year, while some others remain in prison.

The highly publicized case sparked diplomatic outrage and a call to abolish the death penalty.

“The death penalty verdict marks another setback for human rights in Indonesia,” Human Rights Watch campaigner Andreas Harsono said Monday.

“The Indonesian government’s many pledges about moving toward abolishing the death penalty clearly meant nothing in Lombok”.

There are scores of foreigners on death row in Indonesia, including cocaine-smuggling British grandmother Lindsay Sandiford and Serge Atlaoui, a Frenchman who has been on death row since 2007.

Last year, eight Taiwanese drug smugglers were sentenced to death by an Indonesian court after being caught with around a tonne of crystal methamphetamine.


$1*/ mo hosting! Get going!

Battle Breaks out for WikiLeaks Founder Assange’s Computers

With Julian Assange locked away in a London jail, a new battle has broken out over what may contain some of the WikiLeaks founder’s biggest secrets: his computers.

On Monday, judicial authorities from Ecuador carried out an inventory of all the belongings and digital devices left behind at the London embassy following his expulsion last month from the diplomatic compound that had been his home the past seven years.  

It came as Sweden announced it was seeking Assange’s arrest on suspicion of rape, setting up a possible future tug-of-war with the United States over any extradition of Assange from Britain.

It’s not known what devices authorities removed from the embassy or what information they contained. But authorities said they were acting on a request by the U.S. prosecutors, leading Assange’s defenders to claim that Ecuador has undermined the most basic principles of asylum while denying the secret-spiller’s right to prepare his defense.  

“It’s disgraceful,” WikiLeaks’ editor in chief, Kristinn Hrafnsson, said in an interview with The Associated Press. “Ecuador granted him asylum because of the threat of extradition to the U.S. and now the same country, under new leadership, is actively collaborating with a criminal investigation against him.”

Assange, 47, was arrested on April 11 after being handed over to British authorities by Ecuador. He is serving a 50-week sentence in a London prison for skipping bail while the U.S. seeks his extradition for conspiring to hack into military computers and spill secrets about U.S. operations in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Hrafnsson, who has visited the Australian activist in jail, said Assange saw his eviction coming for weeks as relations with President Lenin Moreno’s government deteriorated, so he took great care to scrub computers and hard drives of any compromising material, including future planned leaks or internal communications with WikiLeaks collaborators.

Still, Hrafnsson said he fully expects Moreno or the Americans to claim revelations that don’t exist. He called Monday’s proceedings a “horse show” because no legal authority can guarantee Assange’s devices haven’t been tampered with, or the chain of custody unbroken, in the six weeks since his arrest.

“If anything surfaces, I can assure you it would’ve been planted,” he said. “Julian isn’t a novice when it comes to security and securing his information. We expected this to happen and protections have been in place for a very long time.”

A group of Assange’s supporters gathered outside Ecuador’s Embassy in London to protest the judicial proceeding. Demonstrators put banners on the railings with images of Assange, his mouth covered by an American flag, and chanted “Thieves! Thieves! Thieves! Shame on you!”

Ecuadorian authorities said they will hand over any belongings not given to U.S. or Ecuadorian investigators to Assange’s lawyers, who weren’t invited to Monday’s inventory-taking. Hrafnsson said he didn’t have a full inventory of Assange’s devices.

Moreno decided to evict Assange from the embassy after accusing him of working with political opponents to hack into his phone and release damaging personal documents and photos, including several that showed him eating lobster in bed and the numbers of bank accounts allegedly used to hide proceeds from corruption.

Moreno’s actions immediately were celebrated by the Trump administration, which was key in helping Ecuador secure a $4.2 billion credit line from the International Monetary Fund and has provided the tiny South American country with new trade and military deals in recent weeks.

“The Americans are the ones pulling the strings, and Moreno their puppet dancing to the tune of money,” said Hrafnsson.

Separately on Monday, Swedish authorities issued a request for a detention order against Assange.

On May 13, Swedish prosecutors reopened a preliminary investigation against Assange, who visited Sweden in 2010, because two Swedish women said they were the victims of sex crimes committed by Assange.

While a case of alleged sexual misconduct against Assange in Sweden was dropped in 2017 when the statute of limitations expired, a rape allegation remains. Swedish authorities have had to shelve it because Assange was living at the embassy at the time and there was no prospect of bringing him to Sweden.

The statute of limitations in the rape case expires in August next year. Assange has denied wrongdoing, asserting that the allegations were politically motivated and that the sex was consensual.

According to the request for a detention order obtained by The Associated Press, Assange is wanted for “intentionally having carried out an intercourse” with an unnamed woman “by unduly exploiting that she was in a helpless state because of sleep.”


$1*/ mo hosting! Get going!

Vietnam, EU Eye Trade Alternative to US

Vietnam and Europe could be swapping more pomelo fruit and Portuguese cheese soon if a new trade deal comes into effect, linking two regions that have been looking for an alternative to the trade tensions brought on by the United States.

The European Parliament is scheduled to discuss the trade deal on May 28, after years of negotiations between Vietnam and the European Union. The deal is significant not only because it facilitates exports, like tropical fruit, but also as it lays out commitments on human rights, labor unions, and protection of the environment. Critics, though, say the EU-Vietnam Free Trade Agreement would not really enforce human rights standards and would continue the offshoring of jobs that has left workers vulnerable.

For the EU, the deal is one more way to access Asia’s fast-growing economies, set a model for trading with developing countries, and hold Vietnam’s one-party state accountable on its promise to level the business playing field. 

For Vietnam, it is a chance to call itself a country open for business, with many trade deals, as well as raise quality standards to those expected by European customers. 

“It includes a lot of commitments to improve the business environment in Vietnam,” Le Thanh Liem, standing vice chair of the Ho Chi Minh City People’s Committee, said at a European Chamber of Commerce in Vietnam event.

Vietnamese officials often say that it helps to have an external factor to get difficult internal reforms over the finish line. For example it might be hard to convince conservatives to allow workers to form their own labor unions. But if there is an outside incentive, such as greater trade with the EU, that could bring conservatives on board. 

Labor unions were one concern for Europeans. Another is the loss of blue-collar jobs to Asia, including to Vietnam. European workers worry that as they take gig jobs, like food delivery, in place of their old stable jobs, there is less of a safety net through long-term employers or through tax-funded government programs. And there is one more concern raised through the trade deal:“We have some concerns about human rights in Vietnam, but that has been discussed,” Eurocham chair Nicolas Audier said at the chamber event. 

​Amnesty International reported this month that the number of Vietnam’s political prisoners jumped to 128 from 97 last year, despite the fact that Hanoi says it does not jail people for political reasons.

Some question if the EU is applying consistent standards as it moves toward the trade deal with Vietnam, even while punishing nearby Myanmar and Cambodia for human rights abuses. Brussels is pulling back its Everything But Arms scheme of preferential trade access for the two other countries, based in part on Cambodia’s crackdown on opposition politicians in the 2018 election and on Buddhist-majority Myanmar’s mass killing of the mostly Muslim Rohingya.

But both Vietnam and the EU want more trade options because a major trading partner, the United States, is turning away from the world economy. Washington pulled out of the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade deal in 2017, removing a key reason that Hanoi signed the deal, which was to get Vietnamese textile and garment companies more access to U.S. customers. Europe was also hit when Washington slapped tariffs on foreign steel and aluminum in 2018, and now it is threatening more import duties on European cars. 

So the EU and Vietnam are still working on their trade deal, and it is reflected in Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc’s schedule. He paid a visit to EU member states Romania and the Czech Republic in April, then hosted a state visit from Romania in May. Lobbying for the deal continued as he welcomed the Swedish crown princess this month, and he will return the courtesy, with the next trip on his calendar planned for Stockholm. 


$1*/ mo hosting! Get going!

Women Honored at Cannes as Gender Parity Drive Draws Scrutiny

Movie stars including Salma Hayek and Eva Longoria celebrated the role of women in cinema at a glitzy gala in Cannes on Sunday, amid a drive to promote gender equality in the industry that is still falling short of what many campaigners hoped for.

Cannes’ film festival, the world’s most important cinema showcase, last year signed a pledge to get an equal number of men and women in its top management by 2020 that is gradually gathering momentum at similar European and U.S. events.

Actors and filmmakers participating in this year’s edition have joined activists in warning that while industry attitudes were changing, progress was still slow.

“We have so much work to do and I just think we can’t let up,” Longoria told journalists at the Women in Motion dinner at Cannes, part of a program set up by luxury group Kering to push for gender equality in cinema.

“Whenever we see something improving we can’t just say ‘Oh OK let’s relax, the momentum’s going to go that way’. It won’t continue to go that way, we have to continue to change the industry for ourselves.”

Chinese actress Gong Li, the star of “Farewell My Concubine”, was awarded a prize for her career at the event.

At Cannes, four women are contending for this year’s top Palme D’Or film prize, including Franco-Senegalese Mati Diop and France’s Celine Sciamma, out of 21 entries – or just under 20 percent of the total.

Elsewhere, the proportion has sometimes been higher, with over 40 percent of the films competing at Berlin’s festival in February made by women.

“We hear a lot about how times are changing and improving, and it’s true. The idea is to support that trend. (But) the figures still don’t look good,” said Delphyne Besse, a film sales specialist and one of the founders of 50/50 by 2020, the collective behind the gender parity pledge signed by Cannes.

Of the 47 film festivals that have so far backed the drive globally, 38 percent have female heads, according to the lobby group’s figures.

Short shrift

Industry insiders said the slow progress was reflected in everything from the short shrift female directors still got in the media to their under-representation at industry events.

“Women have been making films for 11 decades now,” British actress and star of zombie movie “The Dead Don’t Die” Tilda Swinton told a news conference earlier this week.

“There are countless films by women. The question is why don’t we know about them,” she said, adding that even obituaries for female filmmakers tended to be dwarfed by those dedicated to men.

Cannes’ organizers have said they were not planning to introduce quotas dictating the gender balance of the films selected to compete at the festival.

“Cannes is only at the end of the chain. This needs to start with encouragement at film schools,” festival director Thierry Fremaux said last week.

The cinema showcase is looking to include more women its board, however, and the festival jury this year was more balanced.

“Atlantics” director Diop said festivals were still a logical starting point to highlight women’s work in the industry.

“It starts with the films, there is no festival without films, so it is an extraordinary exhibition that will give the films much bigger exposure,” she told Reuters in an interview.

 


$1*/ mo hosting! Get going!

Tens of Thousands Rally Against Nationalism Before EU Votes

Tens of thousands of demonstrators opposed to right-wing populism and nationalism took to the streets Sunday in a number of European cities before May 23-26 elections to the European Parliament.

Marches in Germany were held under the banner of “One Europe for Everyone: Your Voice Against Nationalism” in cities including Berlin, Cologne, Leipzig, Frankfurt, Munich and Hamburg.

Organizers from more than 70 groups support the European Union, but also urge changes in migration policy such as support for refugee rescue missions in the Mediterranean Sea.

Other gatherings under the slogan “No to Hate, Yes to Change” were planned in Budapest, Genoa, Utrecht, Warsaw, Bucharest and other cities.

The dpa news agency said organizers reported 20,000 protesters in Berlin, while police estimated 10,000 in Munich, 14,000 in Frankfurt, and 10,000 in Hamburg.

The 751-seat European Parliament has limited powers but the poll is being seen as a test of strength both by right-wing, populist and nationalist groups who want curbs on immigration and more authority for national governments on the one hand, and on the other by center-left and center-left mainstream parties who support the EU as a bulwark of cooperation among its 28 member states, rule of law and democracy.

 


$1*/ mo hosting! Get going!

Belfast Marchers Call for Same-Sex Marriage Rights

Thousands of people marched through Belfast Saturday to demand the recognition of same-sex marriage in Northern Ireland, the only region of the United Kingdom where it does not have legal status.

Attempts to legislate for same-sex marriage have been blocked by the Democratic Unionist Party, a key ally of British Prime Minister Theresa May, despite opinion polls in recent years showing most in the region are in favor.

Sara Canning, the partner of journalist and LGBT rights campaigner Lyra McKee who was killed in April, led the march alongside a number of gay and lesbian couples. Canning said that she and McKee had been planning to marry.

“We pay our taxes, we are governed by the same laws, why should we not be afforded the same rights in marriage” as the rest of the United Kingdom, said Canning, who was wearing a “Love Equality” T-shirt. Protesters waved rainbow flags and placards saying “Love is a human right.”

Protesters called on May’s government to bypass the DUP and introduce legislation in the British parliament in Westminster. The Northern Ireland power-sharing government has been frozen for two years because of disagreement between the DUP and the largest Irish nationalist party Sinn Fein.

“If Stormont is incapable of delivering equality for people here, then it is the responsibility of the Westminster to end discrimination against the LGBT community,” Amnesty International spokesman Patrick Corrigan said.


$1*/ mo hosting! Get going!

Maltese Soldiers Questioned in Shooting Death of Migrant

Maltese police Saturday said they were questioning two soldiers over a drive-by shooting in April in which an African migrant was killed.

Ivorian national Lassana Cisse was killed April 6 when he was shot from a car as he walked down a street in Hal Far, close to an army barracks and a migrants’ center.

Two men, one from Gambia and the other from Guinea, were injured.

Police said the attack was racially motivated and a source in the investigation said one of the suspects had admitted to targeting the migrants “just because they were black.”

On Saturday, the police confirmed that two Maltese suspects, both soldiers in the Armed Forces of Malta, were in custody.

The weapon and the vehicle used in the crime had been seized, police said.

The deceased man used to work in a factory near Hal Far, in the south of Malta. He was known for checking on his fellow countrymen in the migrants’ center after work, media reported.

In a series of tweets, Maltese Prime Minister Joseph Muscat said an investigation involving other security services would determine whether the suspects were rogue individuals or part of a wider network.

He said hatred and division had no place in Malta’s society.

“There are consequences to spreading such ill-placed sentiments,” he said. “We remain steadfast in our call for unity among the Maltese and all those who live in Malta.”


$1*/ mo hosting! Get going!

Erdogan Tells of Two Missile Defense Deals With Russia

Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan said Saturday that the purchase of S-400 defense systems from Russia was a done deal, adding that Ankara would also jointly produce S-500 defense systems with Moscow. 

 

U.S. officials have called Turkey’s planned purchase of the S-400 missile defense system “deeply problematic,” saying it would risk Ankara’s partnership in the joint strike fighter F-35 program because it would compromise the jets, made by Lockheed Martin Corp. 

 

However, Erdogan said at a televised question-and-answer session with university students in Istanbul that Turkey had carried out technical work and found that such a problem did not exist. 

 

“They [the U.S.] are passing the ball around in the midfield now, showing some reluctance. But sooner or later, we will receive the F-35s. [The U.S.] not delivering them is not an option,” he said.


$1*/ mo hosting! Get going!

Austrian Leader Calls Crisis Meeting After Deputy Filmed Discussing Deals

Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz called a crisis meeting late on Friday after two German newspapers published footage purportedly showing his deputy discussing state contracts with a potential Russian backer in return for political support.

Vice-Chancellor Heinz-Christian Strache was filmed talking about the contracts with someone posing as the niece of a Russian oligarch in Ibiza in July, 2017, months before parliamentary elections, Der Spiegel and Sueddeutsche Zeitung said. 

Strache did not reply to a request for comment on the video. Reuters was not able to verify the authenticity of the footage independently, and the German newspapers did not say how they obtained it.

Kurz planned to make a statement on the case on Saturday, a government source told Reuters. The opposition called for Strache to resign.

Strache is head of the far-right Freedom Party (FPO), which became junior partner in a coalition with Kurz’s conservatives in December 2017 after winning 26 percent of the votes in the October elections.The FPO’s General Secretary, Christian Hafenecker, said the party’s lawyers were evaluating the material. Neither Strache nor the Freedom Party ever received or granted any benefits from the persons concerned, Hafenecker said in a statement.

“Since the video was obviously recorded illegally, we are also preparing appropriate legal steps.”

The footage, parts of which were posted by the newspapers, showed Strache and party colleague Johann Gudenus with the woman in a room in what the newspapers said was a villa in Ibiza.

The woman said she wanted to invest several hundred million euros in Austria, according to the newspapers. Strache and Gudenus discussed investment opportunities for her, including taking over a 50 percent stake in Austria’s influential tabloid Kronen Zeitung and using it to support Strache and the FPO party in the election.

Gudenus was not immediately available for comment.

“If she takes over the Kronen Zeitung three weeks before the election and get us into first place, then we can talk about everything,” Der Spiegel quoted Strache as saying in the video.

Strache held out the prospect of awarding her public contracts in road construction if she helped the Freedom Party succeed, according to the video.

Vienna prosecutors said they would study the reports and decide whether there was sufficient cause to open an investigation, a spokeswoman for the prosecutors said.


$1*/ mo hosting! Get going!

Western Powers Clash at UN with Russia, Syria over Syrian Hospital Attacks

The United Nations said on Friday at least 18 health centers have been attacked in the past three weeks in northwestern Syria, prompting a confrontation between western powers and Russia and Syria at the Security Council over who is to blame.

While the area is nominally protected by a Russian-Turkish deal agreed in September to avert a new battle, Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s forces — backed by Russians — have launched an offensive on the last major insurgent stronghold. Some three million civilians are at risk, the United Nations said.

“Since we know that Russia and Syria are the only countries that fly planes in the area, is the answer … the Russian and Syrian air forces?” Britain’s U.N. Ambassador Karen Pierce said to the 15-member council on where the blame lay.

Acting U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Jonathan Cohen said Russia and Syria were responsible for the attacks on the health centers. He said it was “most alarming” that several of the centers attacked were on a list created by Russia and the United Nations in an attempt to protect them.

Pierce said it would be “absolutely grotesque” if health facilities that provided their locations were “finding themselves being the authors of their own destruction because of deliberated targeting by the regime.”

Russian U.N. Ambassador Vassily Nebenzia said the Syrian and Russian forces were not targeting civilians or civilian infrastructure and questioned the sources used by the United Nations to verify attacks on health centers.

“We categorically reject accusations of violations of international humanitarian law,” Nebenzia told the council. “Our goal is the terrorists.”

An array of insurgents have a foothold in northwestern Syria – Idlib province and a belt of territory around it. The most powerful is the jihadist Tahrir al-Sham, the latest incarnation of the former Nusra Front which was part of al Qaeda until 2016.

U.N. aid chief Mark Lowcock told the Security Council he did not know who was responsible, but “at least some of these attacks are clearly organized by people with access to sophisticated weapons including a modern air force and so called smart or precision weapons.”

Lowcock said 49 health centers had partially or totally suspended activities, some for fear of being attacked, while 17 schools have been damaged or destroyed and many more closed. He said that in the past three weeks up to 160 people have been killed and at least 180,000 people displaced.

U.N. political affairs chief Rosemary DiCarlo warned the Security Council: “If the escalation continues and the offensive pushes forward, we risk catastrophic humanitarian fallout and threats to international peace and security.”

 


$1*/ mo hosting! Get going!

Britain’s Labor Party: No Chance of Brexit Ratification by July  

Brexit talks appear to have collapsed a day after British Prime Minister Theresa May set out a timetable for her exit from office — the latest sign of a government in tatters.

Britain’s Labor party head Jeremy Corbyn has sent a letter to May saying the Brexit talks have “gone as far as they can” because of the instability of her government and its refusal to change its position. 

The two major British parties have been at a stalemate for weeks over a deal outlining the conditions by which Britain will withdraw from the European Union. The deadline for withdrawal was originally set for March 29, but the revised date — to give time for more negotiation — is Oct. 31.

Corbyn said in his letter to the prime minister that the two parties “have been unable to bridge important policy gaps between us.” He added, “Even more crucially, the increasing weakness and instability of (May’s) government means there cannot be confidence in securing whatever might be agreed” between the Tory and Labor parties.

Corbyn also told reporters Friday there is no chance of ratifying even a partial Brexit deal by July.

May has said the process is hampered by a lack of consensus among Labor party members about whether they want to deliver Brexit or hold a new referendum in hopes of stopping it.

Parliament has rejected May’s plan in three separate votes and is set to hold another vote in early June. While May has promised some tweaks to the bill before the next vote, the plan is not expected to undergo any radical changes — meaning the impasse between the lawmakers likely is to remain unchanged.

Conservative lawmaker and former London mayor Boris Johnson, who has led the Brexit movement and supports leaving the EU even without a plan in place, has announced he will stand for the prime minister’s position after May vacates it.


$1*/ mo hosting! Get going!
<==

Copyright © 2019 ПУБЛІЧНА ПРАВДА All rights reserved * Dmnsa member  

AdNews • TrueNet • seLLines    —    Up ↑