Showing posts with label POLITICAL & LEGAL. Show all posts
Showing posts with label POLITICAL & LEGAL. Show all posts

23 May 2022

Sri Lanka-born Cassandra Fernando elected to Australian Parliament.

Sri Lankan-born Cassandra Fernando has been elected to the Australian Parliament following the federal election.

She was the Federal Labor Candidate for Holt, Victoria. 

Fernando is the first Sri Lankan-born woman to enter the Australian Parliament.

Labor’s Cassandra Fernando has succeeded retiring Labor MP Anthony Byrne in Holt, Victoria

She beat another candidate of Sri Lankan origin, Ranj Perera.

Cassandra is a proud migrant, a pastry chef, an advocate for essential workers who came to Australia with her family when she was 11.

She has called Melbourne’s South-East home ever since. 



Somalia elects Hassan Sheikh Mohamud as new president.

Somali legislators have elected former leader Hassan Sheikh Mohamud as the country’s next president, following a long-overdue election in the troubled Horn of Africa nation. Hassan Sheikh Mohamud, who served as Somalia’s president between 2012 and 2017, won the contest in the capital, Mogadishu, amid a security lockdown imposed by authorities to prevent deadly rebel attacks. He defeated Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed (also known as Farmajo).

The presidential elections committee said in a statement that Mohamud collected 214 votes against 110 casts in favour of incumbent president Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed Farmaajo in a final third round. The 66-year-old Mohamud is the leader of the Union for Peace and Development Party, which commands a majority of seats in both legislative chambers.



21 May 2022

French President Macron appoints Labor Minister Elisabeth Borne as his prime minister.

French President Emmanuel Macron has chosen Elisabeth Borne, a left-leaning technocrat, to lead his new government, putting an end to weeks of speculation after the presidential election in April.

Borne, 61, was named the new prime minister of France following the resignation of Jean Castex, the Elysée said Monday.

Borne, the country’s second female prime minister after Socialist Edith Cresson in 1991-1992, will be in charge of steering through Macron’s controversial pension reform.



Finland and Sweden submit applications to join NATO.

NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg says that Finland and Sweden have officially applied to join the world’s biggest military alliance, a move driven by security concerns over Russia’s war in Ukraine.

Neutral throughout the Cold War, the two countries’ decision to join the alliance is one of the most significant changes in Europe’s security architecture in decades.

The applications must now be weighed by the 30 member countries. That process is expected to take about two weeks, although Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has expressed reservations about Finland and Sweden joining.

Public opinion in Finland and Sweden has shifted massively in favour of membership since Russia invaded Ukraine on February 24.



17 May 2022

UAE President Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan dies.

United Arab Emirates President Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan has died, Emirati state news agency WAM reported. He was 73.

Sheikh Khalifa had rarely been seen in public since suffering a stroke in 2014, with his brother, Abu Dhabi’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Zayed (known as MBZ) seen as the de facto ruler and the decision-maker of major foreign policy decisions, such as joining a Saudi-led war in Yemen and spearheading an embargo on neighbouring Qatar in recent years.

Under the constitution, Vice President and Prime Minister Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, the ruler of Dubai, would act as president until the federal council which groups the rulers of the seven emirates meets within 30 days to elect a new president.

Sheikh Khalifa came to power in 2004 in the richest emirate Abu Dhabi and became the head of state. He is expected to be succeeded as ruler of Abu Dhabi by Crown Prince Sheikh Mohammed.

Abu Dhabi, which holds most of the Gulf state’s oil wealth, has held the presidency since the founding of the UAE federation by Sheikh Khalifa’s father, the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, in 1971.



14 May 2022

Leonid Kravchuk, the first president of Ukraine dies.

Ukraine’s first president Leonid Kravchuk, who agreed to give up his country’s Soviet nuclear arsenal, the third-largest in the world, has died at the age of 88.

Kravchuk led Ukraine as its Communist party boss in the waning years of the Soviet Union, and played a pivotal role in the demise of the USSR before holding the Ukrainian presidency from 1991 through 1994.

He was a driving force in Ukraine’s declaration of independence from the Soviet Union in 1991 and later that year joined leaders of Russia and Belarus to sign an agreement on 8 December 1991, which formally declared that the Soviet Union ceased to exist.

As president, Kravchuk agreed to transfer remaining Soviet nuclear weapons on Ukrainian territory to Russian control, in a deal backed by the US.



UN approves Czech Republic to replace Russia on the Human Rights Council.

The U.N. General Assembly voted overwhelmingly for the Czech Republic to replace Russia on the world organization’s leading human rights body following its suspension over allegations of horrific rights violations by Russian soldiers in Ukraine.

The Czech Republic was the only candidate for the seat on the 47-member Human Rights Council. Seats on the Geneva-based council are divided among regional groups and a replacement for Russia had to come from an East European country.

In recent secret ballot vote, 180 of the General Assembly’s 193 members deposited ballots. The result was 157 countries in favor of the Czech Republic and 23 abstentions.



Philippine dictator's son wins landslide presidential victory.

The son of late Philippine dictator Ferdinand Marcos cemented a landslide presidential election victory Tuesday 11 May, as Filipinos bet on a familiar dynasty to ease rampant poverty -- dismissing warnings the tarnished clan will deepen corruption and weaken democracy.

With an initial count almost complete, Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos Junior had secured over 56 percent of the vote and more than double the tally of his nearest rival, liberal Leni Robredo.

His now unassailable lead of 16 million-plus votes spells another astonishing reversal in the fortunes of the Marcos family, who have gone from the presidential palace to pariahs and back again in the space of a few decades.



13 May 2022

John Lee Ka-Chiu elected as Hong Kong’s next Chief Executive.

John Lee Ka-Chiu has been confirmed as Hong Kong’s next chief executive. He will replace Carrie Lam. He will be the first security official to hold the Chief Executive position of Hong Kong which witnessed years of political unrest and recent debilitating pandemic controls. Lee resigned from his position as the city’s No 2 official last month to run and was the only contender to secure Beijing’s backing.

The 64-year-old was sanctioned by the United States in 2020 for his role in implementing a Beijing-imposed national security law that has crushed the city’s democracy movement. His election places a security official in Hong Kong’s top job for the first time. The former secretary for security in Hong Kong ran under the slogan “Starting a new chapter for Hong Kong together” and was the sole candidate in the polls.



Ranil Wickremesinghe sworn in as new Prime Minister.

The Leader of the United National Party (UNP), Ranil Wickremesinghe has been sworn in as the new Prime Minister of Sri Lanka.

Wickremesinghe took oath before President Gotabaya Rajapaksa at the President’s House this evening (May 12).

Secretary to the President Gamini Senarath and Prof. Maithree Wickramasinghe were also present on the occasion. 

Wickremesinghe has served as Prime Minister of Sri Lanka on five previous occasions.


In Bolivia, Prisoners can reduce Jail Time by Reading Books.

Prisoners in Bolivia have been given a new way to reduce their jail time. They can gain freedom earlier by reading books.

The government program is called “books behind bars.” It offers detainees a chance to get out of jail days or weeks ahead of their release date. The program is modeled after a similar effort in Brazil. The aim is to improve reading ability. It is also meant to give hope to inmates who face Bolivia’s slow judicial process.

The program has been launched in 47 prisons that do not have money to pay for education or social assistance programs for prisoners.



06 May 2022

Exercises Defender Europe 2022 and Swift Response 2022 begin

North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO) exercise, Defender Europe 2022 (DE22) and Swift Response 2022 (SR22) began on May 01, 2022, aimed at building preparedness and interoperability between Allies and partners of the United States (US) and NATO. The exercises are scheduled from May 01 to May 27, 2022.

Exercise Swift Response is an annual U.S. Army Europe and Africa multinational training exercise that takes place this year in Eastern Europe, the Arctic High North, Baltics, and Balkans. The exercise began in Poland and will be held in 8 other countries. The 5th Corps of the US Armed Forces is responsible for the command of the exercises. There will be approximately 18 000 participants from over 20 countries training together in both exercises. The portion of the exercises on Polish soil will see some 7,000 troops and 3,000 pieces of equipment.

Defender Europe 2022

DEFENDER-Europe 22 demonstrates the United States’ unshakable commitment to NATO and is a prime example of our collective capabilities. It shows that NATO’s allies and partners are stronger together.

Swift Response 2022

In the Swift Response exercise, the 6th Airborne Brigade will constitute the core of forces conducting an airborne operation. Some 550 Polish soldiers will be deployed to Lithuania and Latvia along with troops from the Czech Republic and the German-Dutch force.



Biden names Karine Jean-Pierre as White House press secretary.

President Joe Biden on Thursday named Karine Jean-Pierre as the new White House press secretary, succeeding Jen Psaki. Jean-Pierre will be the first Black woman and the first openly gay person to hold the position.

Biden also announced that Anita Dunn would return to the administration as a senior adviser and assistant to the president. Psaki's last day will be May 13.

Jean-Pierre was born in Haiti and immigrated to the U.S. as a child, growing up in Queens, New York. She has served as deputy press secretary since the start of the administration and has filled in for Psaki behind the White House podium and briefed reporters traveling with the president. 



04 May 2022

Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari takes oath as Pakistan's Foreign Minister.

Scion of Pakistan's leading political dynasty, Bilawal Bhutto Zardari, took oath as the youngest foreign minister in the government led by Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif at a crucial juncture as he faces multiple challenges such as fixing strained ties with the US and finding a way to restart the peace process with neighbouring India.

President Arif Alvi administered the oath to 33-year-old Bilawal at a simple ceremony at the Aiwan-i-Sadr (President's House), where Prime Minister Shehbaz, former president Asif Ali Zardari and other officials as well as leaders of Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) were present.



03 May 2022

Myanmar's Suu Kyi handed five-year jail term.

A court in military-ruled Myanmar sentenced deposed leader Aung San Suu Kyi to five years in jail on Wednesday after finding her guilty in the first of 11 corruption cases she faces, a source with knowledge of the proceedings said.

The Nobel laureate and figurehead of Myanmar's opposition to military rule is charged with at least 18 offences carrying combined maximum jail terms of nearly 190 years, all but killing off any chance of a political comeback.

The judge in the capital, Naypyitaw, handed down the verdict within moments of the court convening and gave no explanation, said the source, who declined to be identified because the trial is being held behind closed doors, with information restricted.

Suu Kyi, who has attended all of her hearings, was displeased with the outcome and would appeal, the source said.



30 April 2022

Russia withdraws from UN World Tourism Organization.

The Russian Federation has been suspended from the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO), losing with immediate effect its rights and privileges as part of the United Nations specialized agency.

Meeting for a first extraordinary UNWTO General Assembly, Members debated the suspension of Russia from the Organization, as decided by the UNWTO Executive Council at its emergency meeting last month. The Russian delegation declined to step up and defend its position, and instead announced its withdrawal from UNWTO before the debate took place.

The Assembly voted in favor of suspension, far exceeding the two-third majority required. The decision is effective immediately, while voluntary withdrawal is only effective one year after a Member submits an official communication through the appropriate channels.



29 April 2022

Robert Golob elected as Prime Minister of Slovenia.

Robert Golob has defeated three-time prime minister Janez Janša in the Slovenia Prime Minister election. 

State election authorities have confirmed that the Freedom Movement won nearly 34% of the votes as compared to around 24% for the governing conservative Slovenian Democratic Party. The New Slovenia party with 7%, followed by the Social Democrats with more than 6%, and the Left party with just 4%.

The 55-year-old former power company manager has promised to restore “normality”, having billed the elections as a “referendum on democracy”.



The John F. Kennedy Profile in Courage Award 2022.

The John F. Kennedy Library Foundation, for the first time ever, awarded the John F. Kennedy Profile in Courage Award 2022 to five individuals. The award will be presented by Caroline Kennedy and her son, Jack Schlossberg on May 22, 2022, at the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library, Boston, USA. 

Volodymyr Zelenskyy, Ukrainian President is named for his valour to protect the Ukrainian people during the Russia-Ukraine Conflict.

These five individuals are:

  • Ukrainian President: Volodymyr Zelenskyy
  • United States (US) Representative: Liz Cheney
  • Michigan Secretary of State: Jocelyn Benson
  • Arizona Representative: Russell “Rusty” Bowers
  • Fulton County, Georgia, elections worker: Wandrea “Shaye” Moss

About the John F. Kennedy Profile in Courage Award: 

John F. Kennedy Profile in Courage Award was created by the family of the late president John Fitzgerald Kennedy to honour public figures who risk their careers by embracing unpopular positions for the greater good, and is named after Kennedy’s 1957 Pulitzer Prize-winning book, ”Profiles in Courage”.



26 April 2022

Emmanuel Macron wins France's presidential election.

French President Emmanuel Macron has won a second term in office, defeating his far-right rival Marine Le Pen by a comfortable margin in a runoff election.

His supporters erupted with joy on Sunday as the results appeared on a giant screen at the Champ de Mars park by the Eiffel tower. Leaders in Berlin, Brussels, London and beyond welcomed his defeat of the nationalist, eurosceptic Le Pen.

With nearly all votes counted, Macron was on course for a solid 58.6 percent of the vote, according to interior ministry figures. Le Pen, the candidate of the far-right National Rally party (Rassemblement National or RN), received 41.4 percent of the votes, the highest in her three unsuccessful presidential bids.



Former Kenyan President Mwai Kibaki dies.

Former Kenyan president Mwai Kibaki, who led the country from 2002 to 2013, has died at 90.

As leader, Kibaki, one of the country’s richest men, ushered in economic reforms and a new constitution but failed to deliver on promises to combat corruption. His tenure was marred by the disputed 2007 polls that led to deadly violence.

The son of a tobacco trader, Kibaki attended Kampala’s Makerere University before becoming the first African to earn a first-class degree from the London School of Economics.

He returned to Makerere as an economics lecturer in 1958. Following Kenya’s independence, he was selected to parliament and became an aide to founding President Jomo Kenyatta. Two years later, he was appointed commerce and industry minister.

Kibaki later served as Moi’s vice president, but a spat saw him moved to several less prominent posts before he switched to the opposition and won the election.






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