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Image of article 'Yoshihide Suga set to become Japan’s next PM'

Yoshihide Suga set to become Japan’s next PM

TOKYO: Yoshihide Suga was elected as the new head of Japan ’s ruling Liberal Democratic Party on Monday, all but assuring that he will become the country’s new PM.

Suga’s victory virtually guarantees his election in a parliamentary vote on Wednesday because of the majority held by the LDP’s ruling coalition.

Suga, 71, has been an important figure in outgoing PM Shinzo Abe’s administration, serving as the government’s top spokesperson.Suga, the son of a strawberry grower, said in his victory speech: “I will devote all of myself to work for the nation and the people.”

As his parents’ eldest son, Suga defied tradition by not taking over the family farm.

“Where there is a will, there is a way,” is Suga’s motto.

Image of article 'EU demands UK drop a planned law that breaches Brexit deal'

EU demands UK drop a planned law that breaches Brexit deal

(AP: Alastair Grant)Britain and the EU have jointly promised in the Brexit divorce agreement to ensure there are no customs posts or other obstacles on the Northern Ireland-Ireland border.

Bill could violate international law Less than a year ago the two sides signed and ratified a withdrawal agreement that Britain now acknowledges it will violate with its Internal Market Bill, which would diminish the EU's oversight of trade between mainland Britain and Northern Ireland.

Key points: The EU said Britain's proposal had "seriously damaged trust" The bloc could take legal action against Britain The latest dispute centred on rules for Northern Ireland, which shared a land border with EU member Ireland The 27-nation bloc says the planned law dealing with Northern Ireland trade would destroy what little trust remains between the two sides.

Instead of closing in on a future trade deal, the European Union and Britain have entered a bitter fight over a planned British law the EU says would constitute a serious violation of the Brexit divorce agreement.

Former Tory PMs criticise Boris Johnson Without a trade agreement, nearly $1 trillion in trade between the EU and Britain could be thrown into confusion at the start of 2021, compounding the economic impact of the coronavirus pandemic.

published referenda business
Image of article 'Brexit back in crisis as UK threatens to undercut divorce agreement'

Brexit back in crisis as UK threatens to undercut divorce agreement

Britain left the EU on January 31 but talks on a new trade deal before the end of a status-quo transition arrangement in December have snagged on state aid rules and fishing.

In yet another twist to the four-year saga since Britain voted narrowly to quit the EU, Prime Minister Boris Johnson's government was reportedly planning new legislation to override parts of the Brexit Withdrawal Agreement it signed in January.

Britain said on Monday it remained fully committed to implementing the withdrawal agreement it agreed with the European Union, describing proposed changes to be implemented in domestic law as limited clarifications.

Britain’s tortuous divorce from the veered into fresh crisis on Monday after London signalled it could undermine the exit agreement with Brussels unless free trade terms are agreed by next month.

"I trust the British government to implement the Withdrawal Agreement, an obligation under law & prerequisite for any future partnership," said Ursula von der Leyen, head of the EU executive.

published referenda business
Image of article 'Japan’s Suga: If next prime minister decides to call snap election that should be the case'

Japan’s Suga: If next prime minister decides to call snap election that should be the case

Japan’s Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga, also a top candidate to replace the Prime Minister (PM) Shizo Abe in September 14 election, crossed wires via Asahi during the early Tuesday morning in Asia.

The top diplomat raised calls for a snap election while also favoring the decision to hold the Olympic Games.

Key comments There's no change to my stance as a chief cabinet minister that what the public wants from the government most is to focus on measures to deal with the coronavirus pandemic.

But the prime minister has the right to dissolve parliament (and call a snap election).

There are various merits for japan to host Olympic games, would like to do so by all means.

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Image of article 'Keep calm and support Barnier': French minister denies Brexit negotiator sidelined'

Keep calm and support Barnier': French minister denies Brexit negotiator sidelined

“No doubt that British humour the Telegraph is accustomed to: Obviously, full support to Michel Barnier and his mandate!

Twisting a famous British war slogan, European affairs minister Clement Beaune tweeted on Saturday: “Keep calm and support Michel Barnier”.

REUTERS/Yves Herman/Pool PARIS (Reuters) - France denied the European Union’s Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier was about to be sidelined by EU leaders in a bid to break the deadlock in trade talks, as reported by British newspaper the Daily Telegraph.

FILE PHOTO: EU's Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier holds a news conference after a meeting with Britain's chief negotiator David Frost in Brussels, Belgium August 21, 2020.

The chances of Britain leaving the EU without a trade deal have risen sharply as negotiations have been threatened by London’s insistence that it have full autonomy over its state aid plans, negotiators and diplomats have said.

published referenda economy
Image of article 'The UK's gathering Covid-19 autumn storm'

The UK's gathering Covid-19 autumn storm

During the contest to select a new Tory leader last summer, many local Conservatives decided to vote for Boris Johnson over Jeremy Hunt – not because they saw him as more competent but because they thought he would be more fun.

A little over a year on, as millions of working people, parents and schoolchildren prepare for a hugely difficult autumn return to schools and workplaces with cases of Covid-19 rising again, and with the government in turmoil over the exams crisis, there are signs that plenty of Tories are now beginning to wonder how big a mistake they might have made.

After five months in which the Johnson government has progressively lost credibility over its handling of Covid-19, the exam crisis of recent days has raised yet more questions about its ability to run the country in a crisis.

In addition, it is now clear that new Covid case numbers have already started to increase in the UK even in August, while R, the Covid reproduction rate, is reported to be over 1 in many areas.

Johnson was one of the authors of a recent report, prepared by the Academy of Medical Sciences (AMS), which warned that a new wave of coronavirus infections – beginning in September – could have a more serious impact than the first wave.

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Image of article 'Europe still lacks a foreign policy'

Europe still lacks a foreign policy

An EU foreign policy exists only so far as member states allow it, with any decision requiring unanimity.

Unlike euro policy, the EU’s foreign policy is not entirely in its gift to solve.

After opposing common debt issuance to solve the euro-zone’s ills, the German government at last gave the nod earlier this year, paving the way for the biggest federalising step the EU has taken since the euro’s creation.

The EU is trying to fix the problems at its borders with the trappings of a foreign policy but not its actual tools, just as politicians tried to save the euro without always having the right institutions in place.

Charlemagne Europe still lacks a foreign policy Yet in matters of currency it has hung together better than predicted TO DEPRESS AN EU diplomat, lay out a map of Europe.

published referenda economy europe

The EU’s recovery fund revives a debate on common taxes

Contributions from members based on national income have long made up the bulk of the EU’s budget (see chart).

“Countries see more concretely that taxes will either have to be collected by the EU or included in national contributions,” says Mario Monti, a former Italian prime minister who led an inquiry into own resources in 2017.

On July 21st the EU’s 27 national leaders agreed to allow the European Commission to borrow up to €750bn ($880bn) and dish out the proceeds, more than half in the form of grants, to help countries recover from the covid-19 recession.

Eurocrats have long sought to bolster the EU’s budget with “own resources”—ie, revenues that accrue to it, rather than cash handed over by member countries on the basis of national income.

Filling the coffers The EU’s recovery fund revives a debate on common taxes But for every tax proposed, there is a national veto NOTHING IN THIS world is certain, mused Benjamin Franklin, except death and taxes.

published referenda economy finance

Fighting erupts again in Taiwan parliament over disputed nomination

About 100 KMT supporters outside parliament fought with police and some tried to break through barricades, calling on the DPP to withdraw the nomination.

KMT has accused the DPP of cheating in part of the vote on nomination this week.

Several KMT lawmakers knocked down voting booths inside the chamber to block DPP legislators from casting ballots over the nomination.

The KMT, soundly beaten by Tsai and her Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) in elections in January, this week occupied parliament's main chamber for three days, trying to thwart Chen from taking the post.

TAIPEI: Fighting erupted inside and outside of Taiwan 's parliament again on Friday over the disputed nomination by President Tsai Ing-wen of a senior aide to a top government watchdog post, which the main opposition party has labelled cronyism.

EU wants the U.S. to come back to the table on digital taxes

The European Union has asked the United States to come back to the negotiation table to discuss the issue of digital taxation.

The EU said that it wanted the talks to take place at the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) but that if those talks fell through, would be willing to make a new proposal at the EU level.

If an agreement is found on the OECD level, several states from around the world would also benefit from new tax revenues from tech firms.

The EU has been pushing for the adoption of new taxes for a while now but things seemed to have slowed down which has caused France to take unilateral action.

If the current administration continues to refuse to move on the issue, it may remain unresolved until the country sees new leadership which could be six months to four-and-a-half years away.

published referenda technology
Image of article 'Nepal's ruling communist party meet to decide PM KP Oli's fate deferred till Monday'

Nepal's ruling communist party meet to decide PM KP Oli's fate deferred till Monday

As the meeting failed to break the ice, with both the sides sticking to their stands, Oli and Prachanda briefly met on Saturday morning to iron out their difference, according to party sources.

The Prachanda faction, backed by senior leaders including Madhav Nepal and Jhalanath Khanal, has been demanding that Oli step down both as party chair and Prime Minister.

During the meeting, majority of the party leaders were expected to demand Oli's resignation from the post of Prime Minister accusing his government of failing to live up to the people's expectations and responding effectively to the Covid-19 pandemic.

The meeting was supposed to begin at the Prime Minister's official residence in Baluwatar to find a way out from the intra-party crisis which is dragging the ruling communist party close to a split.

KATHMANDU: A crucial meeting of Nepal's ruling communist party to decide the political future of embattled Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli was postponed until Monday to allow more time for the top leadership to iron out their differences over his autocratic style of functioning and anti-India statements.

Image of article 'Vladimir Putin: Russians cast early votes in ballot to extend Putin's rule'

Vladimir Putin: Russians cast early votes in ballot to extend Putin's rule

But on top of resetting Putin's term limits, the reforms would consolidate presidential powers by allowing him to nominate top judges and prosecutors, for approval by the upper house of parliament.

Yet it comes as Putin is suffering historically low approval ratings over his handling of the coronavirus pandemic and the economy, including hugely unpopular changes to the pension system.

Among other changes, the reforms would reset Putin's presidential term-limit clock to zero, allowing him to run two more times and potentially stay in the Kremlin until 2036.

Putin introduced the reforms to the 1993 constitution in January this year, and they were hastily adopted by both houses of parliament and regional lawmakers.

MOSCOW: Russians go to the polls Thursday to cast early votes in a nationwide ballot on constitutional reforms that could see President Vladimir Putin remain in power until 2036.

Erdoğan’s Turkey and the Problem of the 30 Million

In a speech delivered in December 2019, Erdoğan said: “In this country, we have made local and national versions of everything, only the main opposition, have we not been able to make in this way,” eliciting laughter from the front row of VIPs.

Moving from right to left, the first, and closest to the government, are small groups of opposition nationalists of various stripes: The aging Kemalists, pan-Turkic nationalists, and Islamists together make up the group of roughly 10 million that Erdoğan thought would support his own voter base on the night of July 15.

On the far end of the gradient are the leftists and adherents of the Kurdish movements — the most intractable opposition to the government.

Today, the left end of the spectrum is represented in parliament under the Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP), which is built on the Kurdish movement but also serves as a stronghold of the non-Kurdish left.

While Turkey’s politics is polarized between the government and the opposition, this creates a second polarization, this time within the opposition camp.

published referenda security

Spain says planned digital tax won't discriminate against countries

MADRID (Reuters) - Spain’s plans to tax tech companies’ revenues does not discriminate against any country, a government source told Reuters on Tuesday after the United States opened a probe into such taxes or proposals by its various trading partners.

The tax would be based on objective criteria and would be adapted to fit within any framework agreement reached by the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), the source said.

Spain’s parliament is set to debate the tax on Thursday.

published referenda technology

Will the New $50 Billion Budget Help or Hinder Jacinda Ardern's Chances at the New Zealand General Election

If “the team of five million” gets behind Labour’s economic recovery plan as it did for the disease-control plan, then Ardern could form another government after the election.

First, there is an old refrain in New Zealand that National is the party of sound economic management, while Labour is a spendthrift.

Budget 2020 is therefore critical to the maintenance of public confidence in the present government’s stewardship at a time of deep uncertainty.

The economic crunch could flatten support for Ardern’s government by the time the election draws near.

With New Zealand’s general election still scheduled for September 19, the question remains the same: pandemic or no pandemic, will this budget help Labour win a second term in office?

published referenda security politics
Image of article 'SC upholds Guv's decision asking Kamal Nath govt to hold floor test'

SC upholds Guv's decision asking Kamal Nath govt to hold floor test

It dealt with the facts of Madhya Pradesh political crisis and said that the then Chief Minister Kamal Nath, adverting to the turmoil in the state, addressed a communication to the Governor on March 13, stating that convening of the floor test would be a sure basis for resolving the conundrum.

Based on the resignation of six ministers of the incumbent government (accepted by the Speaker), the purported resignation of sixteen more Members belonging to the Congress, and the refusal of the Chief Minister to conduct a floor test despite the House having been convened on March 16, 2020, the exercise of power by the Governor to convene a floor test cannot be regarded as constitutionally improper, the bench said.

On Monday, a bench of Justices D Y Chandrachud and Hemant Gupta, in its detailed verdict rejected the submission of the then government that governor at best can call session of assembly but cannot direct for holding floor test in the running house.

The top court, which had on March 19 asked Madhya Pradesh Assembly Speaker N P Prajapati to reconvene a special session the next day with a sole agenda of conducting the floor test, gave a detailed order on Monday.

The on Monday upheld Madhya Pradesh Governor Lalji Tandon's decision asking the then Kamal Nath-led Congress government to prove majority, saying the governor has the power to call for a floor test.

published referenda finance entrepreneur

Boris Johnson Is Dangerously Ill: What Happens Next

But if Johnson signaled his inability or unwillingness to continue as the country’s leader, a new prime minister would be appointed in his stead.

Behind the scenes, Buckingham Palace is probably working hard to identify the replacement for Johnson should a new prime minister need to be appointed.

Dominic Raab, the foreign secretary, has been named as Johnson’s deputy during his period of self-isolation, but there is no constitutional rule to suggest that Raab would automatically become prime minister in the event of Johnson’s resignation or death.

By raising the terrible specter that Britain could see its first Prime Minister die in office since 1865, Johnson’s hospitalization has united the country in the most unpleasant way possible—providing an unwelcome reminder that nobody will truly be safe until the coronavirus pandemic has been brought under control.

The second was the jarring news that Prime Minister Boris Johnson, who tested positive for the coronavirus nearly two weeks ago, has now been moved into an intensive care unit (ICU) after his symptoms became acute.

published referenda security politics
Image of article 'Netanyahu challenger Gantz chosen to form new Israeli government'

Netanyahu challenger Gantz chosen to form new Israeli government

JERUSALEM: Israel 's president on Sunday said he has decided to give opposition leader Benny Gantz the first opportunity to form a new government following an inconclusive national this month.President Reuven Rivlin 's office announced his decision late Sunday after consulting with leaders of all of the parties elected to parliament.The decision raises questions about Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu 's political future.Netanyahu's Likud emerged as the largest party in the March 2 election, Israel's third in under a year.

But with his smaller religious and nationalist allies, he received the support of only 58 lawmakers during Sunday's consultations, leaving Likud three seats short of the required majority in parliament.Gantz's Blue and White received the support of parties representing 61 seats, a slim majority.

However, those parties are also divided, and it is not clear whether Gantz will succeed in putting together a coalition.He will now have a month to cobble together a governing coalition.

Will Scotland Leave the UK

Sturgeon will need all her famed powers of persistence to prevent the independence issue being derailed by a combination of exhaustion with elections and referendums, a Johnsonite play for the centre ground of Scottish opinion, and a collapse in confidence in the viability of a life outside the UK.

The calculation is that by using the superior resources available to him he can undermine the case for Scottish independence, which without EU support is likely to result in an economic hit to the Scottish economy.

Or does she wait until the middle of 2021, when an election might return yet more SNP members to the Scottish parliament, adding legitimacy for a vote on independence – but at the risk of a loss of momentum?

This exposes a key faultline in the independence constituency itself: some want independence whatever the cost, the commitment of others to the cause might somewhat rest on the prospect of economic benefits for Scotland, which they may feel EU membership would offer.

With Boris Johnson sweeping to power as UK prime minister on the back of a breakthrough in the Midlands and northern England (the “Red Wall”), the scene was set for a showdown over the issue of another referendum on Scottish independence.

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Image of article 'EU chiefs sign Brexit deal ahead of parliamentary vote'

EU chiefs sign Brexit deal ahead of parliamentary vote

Official photographs of the official signing ceremony, conducted before dawn in the European Council's headquarters in Brussels, showed chief EU Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier looking on.

We start a new chapter as partners and allies.

"Charles Michel and I have just signed the Agreement on the Withdrawal of the UK from the EU, opening the way for its ratification by the European Parliament," Commission chief Ursula von der Leyen tweeted.In a separate tweet, Michel said: "Things will inevitably change but our friendship will remain.

Then, on Thursday next week, diplomats from the EU member states will approve the deal in writing, ensuring Britain's orderly departure at midnight on January 31.

The European Union flag and the British Union Jack waving in front of the European Parliament in Brussels.the ... BRUSSELS: Brussels ' two top officials, the presidents of the European Commission and the European Council , signed off on Britain's EU divorce agreement Friday.With Ursula von der Leyen and Charles Michel's formal endorsement, the text will now go to the European Parliament on January 29 for ratification.

Image of article 'Germany says UK will face costs from Brexit'

Germany says UK will face costs from Brexit

DAVOS: German finance minister says he is confident that his country won't suffer from Brexit but that Britain will inevitably face "consequences" from its decision to leave the European Union At a panel at the World Economic Forum Olaf Scholz said Britain's financial sector won't be as important to the EU after Brexit as it is now.Britain is set to leave the EU in a week's time but will remain within its tariff-free single market and customs union until the end of the year to smooth its exit.Scholz said a non-member cannot have the same advantages as an EU member and that will be an important factor in upcoming trade discussions between the EU and Britain.

"I think we will have solutions but, sure, there cannot be a special competitive advantage from being outside."

EU tech regulator backs UK plans for digital tax, despite Trump threats

The EU’s desire to revive digital tax plans could be foiled: an earlier proposal for a 3% levy on internet companies was rejected by a handful of member states, including Sweden, Denmark and Ireland.

Although not mentioning the UK by name, Vestager backs all EU member states imposing digital taxes, based on the “very, very simple thing that most businesses pay their taxes”.

Margrethe Vestager, the EU competition commissioner recently promoted to take charge of Europe’s digital policy as well, said she was a “strong supporter” of national digital taxes in order to advance the chances of an international agreement.

The European Union’s leading tech regulator has thrown her weight behind the British government’s plans to press ahead with a digital tax despite threats from Donald Trump.

As the EU’s competition enforcer, Vestager is also expected to take a keen interest in trade talks with the UK, especially in ensuring the British government can not outcompete EU countries through unequal state subsidies.

published referenda technology

Best of Show, Black Hat USA 2013 Vendors and Sponsors

We went back to FileTrek's Edward Snowden "Hero or villian?"

vote at the side of the Black Hat Sponsor Hall to see how the vote was going.

Their friendly representative said that at the end of the first day, they were astonished to count the tally and find an even split - a 91-91 heat (attendees voted by putting chips in either of the "hero" or "villain" canisters on FileTrek's table).

FileTrek told us that they would publish the total results after Black Hat ends today, and that voters came in three distinct flavors: one who would put a chip right in the "villain" canister calling him a traitor, another who'd unhesitatingly vote for "hero" and a third who asked if FileTrek would put a can in the middle.

Its booth and cardboard cutout of Edward Snowden was situated directly across the aisle from Snowden's former government contractor employer, Booz Allen Hamilton.

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