Japan Times
3 hours
Politico
3 hours
Voice Of America
17 hours
Turkey moved closer to adopting a new constitutional bill extending President Tayyip Erdogan's powers that supporters welcome as a guarantor of stability at a time of turmoil and opponents see as a step towards an authoritarian state. Parliament ratified the first seven of 18 articles in a second round of voting, putting the assembly on track to approve the package as a whole by Friday night. Under the new system, Erdogan could rule in the NATO-member and European Union candidate country until 2029. As debate on the reforms went late into the evening, an independent lawmaker, Aylin Nazliaka, handcuffed herself to the podium in protest against the stronger presidency. A lawmaker from the ruling AK Party attempted to end the protest by force and deputies from other parties then weighed in, one losing her prosthetic arm in the fracas, witnesses said.
The Huffington Post
20 hours
(Credit: ColsonCenter.org Screengrab) Recently, The Colson Center created a statement entitled Preserve Freedom, Reject Coercion in which they ostensibly call on the federal government to ensure "religious freedom" and oppose "coercion or censorship of fellow citizens who have different views." It is signed by many of the sorts of straight white guys people whose signatures you would expect to find at the bottom of such a document, including Franklin Graham, Albert Mohler, John MacArthur, and Eric Metaxes among many others. It's a document full of lots of lovely sounding euphemisms about faith and freedom, but to anyone paying even the slightest bit of attention, it's clear those statements are just that: euphemisms. This isn't a call for religious freedom. We already have that in the United States and have ever since the Constitution was ratified in 1788.
Bristol Post
21 hours
A new chief executive has been lined up to run beleaguered Bristol City Council which is grappling with massive budget cuts.Anna Klonowski has been recommended for the £160,000-a-year post by a selection panel and the permanent post is expected to be ratified by a full meeting of the council on February 21.She will take over from Stephen Hughes who has been doing the job on a temporary basis since former City Director Nicola Yates was effectively sacked soon after Bristol Mayor...
Bristol Post
a day
Bristol Post
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TIME - Top Stories
2 days
And as I've said before, in a democracy sometimes you're going to win on those issues and sometimes you're going to lose. I'm confident about the rightness of my positions on a lot of these points, but we've got a new president and a Congress that are going to make their same determinations. And there will be a back-and-forth in Congress around those issues. And you guys will report on all that. But there's a difference between that normal functioning of politics and certain issues or certain moments where I think our core values may be at stake. I put in that category if I saw systematic discrimination being ratified in some fashion. I put in that category explicit or functional obstacles to people being able to vote, to exercise their franchise. OBAMA: I'd put in that category institutional efforts to silence dissent or the press. And for me at least, I would put in that category efforts to roundup kids who have grown up here and for all practical purposes are American kids, and send them someplace else, when they love this country.
Politico
2 days
The president suggested that some of his successor’s policy proposals may endanger America’s core values, and said he may speak out in opposition once he leaves office. He called the new administration and GOP Congress debating issues the “normal functioning of politics” but distinguished a difference between that and positions that challenge the nation’s values. He rattled off “systematic discrimination being ratified in some fashion,” “explicit or functional obstacles to people being able to vote,” “institutional efforts to silence dissent or the press” and “efforts to round up kids who have grown up here and for all practical purposes are American kids” as examples of the latter. Deportations of undocumented immigrant children, he said, would arbitrarily punish kids over politics and compel him to speak out. Reports of widespread voter fraud are “fake news,” Obama declared , picking up a trope adopted in recent days by Trump to make a point about voter suppression.
Politico
2 days
His name may not be on any ballot, and he will no longer be president, but Barack Obama said there are a set of issues where as a private citizen he would speak out and re-enter the the public debate. There's a difference between that normal functioning of politics and certain issues or certain moments where I think our core values may be at stake, Obama told reporters during his final press conference as president on Wednesday. More than just debates about taxes, or even how to respond to climate change, Obama said some topics are so important that he would he would break from his self-imposed quiet to speak to the American people. I put in that category, if I saw systematic discrimination ratified in some fashion; I put in that category explicit or functional obstacles to people being able to vote, to exercise their franchise, Obama said.
Mondoweiss
5 days
The Iran Project
6 days
South China Morning Post
6 days
South China Morning Post
6 days
Voice Of America
7 days
China's Xi Jinping has embarked on a similar path of repression," he said. He also cautioned against leaders in some parts of Africa who've removed or extended term limits while others used violent crackdowns to suppress protests over unfair elections or corrupt rule, and the recent withdrawal announcement from the international criminal court by Burundi, South Africa and Gambia. The African states claimed the court disproportionately targets African leaders. Russia also pulled its signature from the ICC treaty, though it had never ratified its membership, and Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte also indicated that he might follow Moscow's lead, claiming that "only the small ones like us are battered." In Latin America, Roth says Nicolas Maduro has been disastrous for Venezuela. "He claimed to achieve the best for the poor, but if you are a poor person in Venezuela, life is pretty miserable for you right now,” Roth said.
Voice Of America
8 days
“We are facing so many situations of disaster. We badly need a symbol of hope. I strongly believe that Cyprus can be the symbol of hope at the beginning of 2017 in the world." The top diplomats from Britain, Greece and Turkey joined the U.N.-hosted talks Thursday, marking the first time they have discussed security issues with the Greek and Turkish Cypriot leaders. Security guarantees are a crucial element in ensuring a peaceful, stable settlement. Guterres said many proposals in relation to property, territorial rights, and other contentious issues were put on the table for discussion. "Enormous progress was made in all those dossiers,” he said. “So, we are coming very close to what is the settlement in relation to the creation of a bi-zonal, bi-community federal institution in the Republic of Cyprus. We are coming very close to it." Guterres said any agreement must be ratified through a referendum by the divided Greek and Turkish Cypriot communities before reunification becomes a reality.
KyivPost
8 days
Three years after the EuroMaidan Revolution, Ukraine is not as close to Europe as most of its citizens would like to be. A free trade deal with the European Union is provisionally operating, while an association agreement is not fully ratified. Moreover, the E.U. still has not granted visa-free travel for Ukrainians. Added to that, political developments in the United States and the E.U. could see a weakening of Western support for Ukraine, worsening the country’s position in its ongoing war with Russia. Free trade, open skies The latest joint report by the European External Action Service and the European Commission, which was released in December, praised the progress that Ukraine has made over the last two years under very difficult circumstances. In particular, the commission lauded the reforms Ukraine carried out to tackle corruption, clean up its banking sector, secure energy independence and strengthen democracy and the rule of law.
Ruptly TV
8 days
Beijing Bulletin
9 days
Detroit Symphony Orchestra and its musicians say a new three-year contract has been ratified months before the current contract expires.The symphony announced Tuesday that its the second time an
KyivPost
9 days
KyivPost
9 days
The Huffington Post
10 days
So I ran away where he couldnt find me and filed for divorce. Women are often pressured by family to stay in abusive relationships, and its one of the central reasons why spousal abuse is underreported in China, where domestic violence is generally still seen as a private, family matter. Official government figures suggest around one in four married women have experienced domestic violence at least once, but experts place the number much higher as high as 40 percent, according to research by U.N. Women in China . This hidden epidemic finally gained official attention a year ago, when Chinas first Family Violence Law was ratified in December 2015. It was a hard-won achievement that took almost two decades of campaigning from NGOs and experts, who joined together to form the now-defunct Anti-Domestic Violence Network.
Sputnik International
10 days
The Huffington Post
10 days
As for some non-acronyms, we have the U.S. National Academy of Sciences, the U.S. Global Change Research Program, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, and nearly 200 more organizations around the world . 195 countries ratified the Paris Agreement. 195 countries can't agree on borders, religion, civil and human rights, nuclear weapons, incarceration, trade, or access to medicine. Some of those countries can't even agree on the very existence of some of those other countries. But, somehow, they have all reached a consensus in climate change. Except, of course, for some in that shining city upon a hill. A higher percentage of people in Azerbaijan get the message regarding climate change than Republicans in Congress. Things that Republicans believe in at higher rates: that President Obama is a Muslim (he's not), that we are in the midst of an ongoing war on Christmas (we're not), and that there is a magical omnipotent being judging us from the sky (I'll pick my battles here, so we'll save this for another time).