French men and women carried flags and signs calling for President Emmanuel Macron to hold referendums for citizens to have a say in big policy decisons. By this afternoon, there were 21 arrests in Paris as well as clashes with police in Rouen. Hundreds of people gathered around an area barricaded by the police shouting, "Macron, get lost for good "Protesters totalled 23,000 across the country, according to the Interior Ministry, the movement's lowest turnout since protests began last year.
President Vladimir Putin has marked the fifth anniversary of what Moscow considers the day Crimea became part of Russia by visiting Ukraine's Black Sea peninsula, as NATO, the United States, and the European Union again condemned what they called the "illegal " land grab. On March 18, 2014, Putin signed a treaty that Moscow claims made Ukraine's Crimea region part of Russia, after Russian forces seized control of the peninsula and organized a referendum that was not recognized by the international community. Ukraine and the West have slammed Russia's move as an "illegal " annexation, leading to sanctions against Russian individuals and entities. The annexation of Crimea and Russia's role in the ongoing conflict in eastern Ukraine, where government forces have been fighting against Russia backed separatists since April 2014, sent ties between Moscow and the West plunging to post Cold War lows. The conflict in eastern Ukraine has left around 13,000 people dead, some 30,000 injured, and uprooted well over 1 million Ukrainian citizens, according to UN and Ukrainian officials. In Washington, Kurt Volker, the U.S. special envoy for Ukraine, called the fifth anniversary of Russia's annexation of Crimea a "sad day. " "This is an illegal occupation, an illegal seizure of territory, and we fundamentally stand behind Ukraine in insisting that its territorial integrity be restored, " Volker told journalists. In a statement, NATO described the annexation of Crimea as "a serious breach of international law and a major challenge to Euro Atlantic security. " The Western military alliance's North Atlantic Council criticized Russia's "ongoing and wide ranging military build up " in Crimea, and raised concerns over its "efforts and stated plans for further military build up " in the Black Sea region. The allies also accused the "Russian de facto authorities in illegally annexed Crimea " of carrying out human rights abuses against "Ukrainians, the Crimean Tatars, and members of other local communities, " including "extrajudicial killings, abductions, enforced disappearances, violence, arbitrary detentions, arrest, and torture. "They said that there would be no return to "business as usual " with Moscow until there was a "a clear, constructive change in Russia's actions. "
The newspaper reported on Sunday that the French would be asked whether they wanted to reduce the number of national lawmakers, a campaign pledge by Macron.They would also be asked whether they favoured imposing a limit on the number of terms lawmakers could serve in a bid to prevent career politicians staying in power.
Today is the day Britain turns Remain as more EU loving youngsters reach voting age and elderly Leavers pass away, a survey has claimed.The study found that even if nobody changed how they voted in the 2016 referendum, the demographic shift over the last two and a half years will have supposedly changed in Remain s favour on January 19.
Get the New Statesman's Morning Call email. Another referendum would do irreparable damage to British politics, would likely leave us no further forward than the last , and further divide our country , Theresa May will tell MPs today as she sets her face against a further plebiscite on the United Kingdom s membership of the European Union. How seriously should we take her? One problem that the Prime Minister has is that she has a proven track record of saying things that later turn out to be untrue, from the man who couldn t be deported because he had a cat, her public and private assurances that there wouldn t be an election, and now, her repeated description of the transition period as an implementation period , when there is nothing yet to be implemented and there may well have to be an implementation period after the transition period anyway. So, understandably, anything that May says is and should be treated with extreme scepticism. But there are good reasons to believe that May s latest promise might be kept, albeit not for reasons that have very much to do with her. For one thing, while parliamentary supporters of a second referendum are becoming more vocal, that doesn t mean they are sufficiently numerous to secure a Commons majority for one, and don t forget that it doesn t just have to be a one off majority but one capable of seeing off hostile amendments, setting the franchise, the rules of the referendum and so on. The prospects for reaching a majority have taken a further blow after two Conservative MPs you might expect to back one Jonathan Djanogly on Twitter and Nicky Morgan at greater length over at ConservativeHome have declared that they won t, with Morgan going so far as to insist that she will never vote for another referendum, even should the government come out in support of one. (Less surprisingly, Boris Johnson has set himself against the idea in the Telegraph, which means you can probably rule out pro Brexit MPs deciding that another referendum is a good way to see off British pro Europeans for good.) Then, of course, there s Labour. Jeremy Corbyn s central priority is to avoid taking political damage but even if the politics shifts to a point where the party leadership ends up formally backing another referendum, there will be a substantial rebellion. Ivan Lewis currently without the whip is exaggerating when he tweets that the silent majority of Labour MPs oppose another go around, but it is true to say that Labour opponents of the idea are an under reported and underappreciated group. The calculation that both May and the People s Vote campaign are making is that the threat of the cliff edge will mean that people rally around their way out as a way to avoid the calamity of an unnegotiated exit. But it s May who controls the legislative agenda, May who heads the executive and May who can t be dislodged as leader of the Conservative Party until December 2019 well after the end of the Article 50 process. It s not clear why she ll be the one who ends up blinking first. Westminster s two Jeremys reveal where power really lies in the Brexit debate Stephen Bush is political editor of the New Statesman. His daily briefing, Morning Call, provides a quick and essential guide to domestic and global politics.
A leading rights watchdog has called on Russian authorities to abolish the country's law banning gay quot;propaganda, arguing it is having a deeply damaging effect on lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender youth. In a new report, Human Rights Watch says that the 2013 law intensified the hostility LGBT people in Russia have long suffered, and it also stifled access to LGBT inclusive education and support services. The 92 page report, issued on December 12, called the law a classic example of political homophobia that targets vulnerable sexual and gender minorities for political gain. Formally called the law aimed at protecting children from information promoting the denial of traditional family values, it bans the propaganda of nontraditional sexual relations quot; among minors a reference universally understood to mean a ban on providing children with access to information about he lives of LGBT people. However, according to Kyle Knight, a researcher at HRW, the blatantly discriminatory law has had the complete opposite effect of what the proponents of the law suggested it would have. The law has been used to shut down online information and mental health referral services for children and has discouraged support groups and mental health professionals from working with children, Knight explained. Knight said the law contributed to an intensification of harassment and violence against LGBT people in Russia. The evidence we have in our new report shows the law actually ruined some children s lives, Knight told RFE RL. Giving Homophobes Free Rein HRW interviewed dozens of LGBT youth and mental health professionals across Russia, to examine the everyday experiences of the children in schools, home, and in public. Diana F., a 14 year old lesbian from the Khabarovsk region, told HRW that she felt as if the law literally makes homophobes have free rein in our country. LGBT people, the teenager said, are afraid to organize prides and demonstrations. According to the HRW report, the law has also been exploited by vigilante groups to attack LGBT people. Some of the LGBT youth interviewed by HRW spoke about the authorities inadequate response to such assaults. Georgy L., a 14 year old transgender boy, explained why he was fearful: Hazing, beatings, and undermining of LGBT teens are not taken seriously. I m sure the police will not consider a report from a teenager about being beaten, if he says that he is part of the LGBT community. Adults can safely mock us, rape us, and undermine us, he said. The LGBT youth interviewed for the report described being constantly on alert for harassment and violence. Many said they confront the anguished choice of hiding their identity to protect themselves from abuse or being open about who they are and facing greater risk. The report criticizes the Russian Orthodox Church for making inflammatory public statements about gay people, fueling existing anti LGBT sentiments. According to HRW, one high level church official once said that same sex relations should be completely eliminated from Russian society, preferably through moral persuasion but, if necessary, through a public referendum on re criminalizing homosexuality. HRW says that the law banning gay quot;propaganda quot; makes it harder for mental health professionals to offer LGBT people support. One psychologist described how, even in situations where it is clinically relevant to discuss a child client s sexual orientation, he feels constrained by the law: Teenagers often wait for me to ask a direct and precise question about his or her sexual orientation or gender identity, but the law prevents me from doing that. Another said she covers all LGBT themed books on her office bookshelf during clinical sessions to avoid being accused of spreading gay quot;propaganda. For Some, Stigma Begins At Home The report also says that for many LGBT children, stigma begins at home. Most of those interviewed by HRW said that it was a priority for them that their parents accept them for who they are. However, many LGBT youth felt they could not turn to their parents for guidance and support.
This week 's midterm elections will be a referendum on President Donald Trump 's divisive persona and hardline policies. So far, opinion polls are suggesting there is a close call between the Democrats and the Republicans. However, even if Trump its the results he was hoping for this week, his reelection prospects for 2020 could still be threatened by ever emerging scandals and a likely pre 2020 economic downturn.Over the next seven years, Mr Trump is said to want growth of three percent or more.But this hasn 't happened since Ronald Reagan was president in the 1980s.President Trump may also not be successful in his next presidency bid due to split opinions over his personality. He lost the popular vote in 2016 by more than two percentage points.This was the same percentage that John McCain won in 2008, who lost to Barack Obama.
Mount Horeb residents will decide on Nov. 6 whether to designate places that breed, sell or use dogs or cats in research as a public nuisance, Wisconsin Public Radio reported . The issue has divided the village of fewer than 7,500 people.The vote will impact Ridglan Farms, a beagle breeding and research facility in the area that has about 3,000 dogs.
The Confederation of British Industry said its findings showed how the lack of a breakthrough in negotiations between London and Brussels was endangering British jobs, investment and economic growth. ;Businesses have displayed remarkable resilience since the referendum, but patience is now threadbare,; CBI Director General Carolyn Fairbairn said. "Negotiators must secure the withdrawal agreement before December to unlock a transition period. The message to politicians on all sides is: #8216;your actions will echo through generations ', " she said in a statement. The CBI has urged Britain to keep as close a relationship as possible with the EU after Brexit in March next year but British Prime Minister Theresa May has ruled out its favoured option of permanently staying in a customs union with the bloc.
Germany received just 43 such passport requests in 2015, but that jumped to 684 in 2016 nearly all of them submitted after the Brexit referendum.Last year, the number leapt to 1,667 requests, according to figures released by the German interior ministry in response to a parliamentary question.
While the Romanian Orthodox Church and the rightwing Coalition for the Family campaigned hard for a Yes vote, which would have rephrased the definition of marriage contained in the Romanian constitution, the No campaign urged supporters to boycott the gay marriage referendum altogether, both in protest at the concept of putting human rights to the popular vote and in an attempt to bring turnout below the requisite threshold.Only 5.72 per cent of Romanians went to the polls on Saturday, though turnout increased slightly on Sunday afternoon as the powerful Orthodox Church appealed to its congregants to vote. The ruling Social Democratic Party had already reduced the participation threshold from 50 to 30 per cent and agreed to hold polls open for two days to increase voting.
But with less than 21 percent of Romanians voting over the two days of the referendum, the initiative was rendered void, a victory for LGBT rights groups that had urged a boycott of the vote. A 30 percent turnout was needed to validate the referendum measure. The LGBT community in Romania boycotted this referendum because we believe human rights should not be the subject of a popular vote, " said Vlad Levente Viski from MozaiQ, a group advocating for LGBT rights in Romania. "Moreover, the boycott was a protest against the Church, against populist politicians, against the wave of hatred directed at us. We were confident Romanians would not be manipulated into validating with their vote this referendum. "
Newscasts amp; VideosWATCH ABOVE: Gay rights supporters celebrated after a referendum to change Romania #039;s constitution to prevent same sex couples from securing the right to marry failed to draw enough voters to validate the result on Sunday.
Leading gay rights groups in Romania have hailed the invalidation of a referendum that would have banned same sex marriage, saying it indicated that citizens want a Romania based upon democratic values. quot; quot;We have shown that we cannot be fooled by a political agenda that urges us to hate and polarize society, quot; the Accept group said on October 7.
The proposed amendment would revise the definition of family in the Constitution of Romania to make marriage ;a union between a man and a woman; instead of ;a union between spouses.;Romanian law already prohibits same sex marriages. Opponents claim the new constitutional language is a mean spirited attempt to make LGBT people feel more like second class citizens and also could marginalise households led by single parents or unmarried couples raising children.