⊂ EUROPE ⊃
Trump’s impeachment process to start Monday: US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi told lawmakers late Sunday that they would first vote on a resolution this week calling on Vice President Mike Pence and the cabinet to invoke the 25th Amendment. Under rules when the full House is not convened, any objection would reject the resolution. Pelosi would then put the resolution before the full House on Tuesday. If it were to pass, Pence and the Cabinet would have 24 hours to act before the House would move toward impeachment. Pennsylvania’s Pat Toomey is the second Republican senator to call for Trump’s resignation in the wake of Wednesday’s attack by Trump supporters on the US Capitol in Washington. Trump is accused of inciting his supporters during a rally to storm the Capitol. Derrick Evans, a Republican lawmaker from West Virginia, was among the rioters who stormed the Capitol. He resigned on Saturday. The former Republican governor of California, Arnold Schwarzenegger, compared the mob that stormed the Capitol to the Nazis and called Trump a failed leader who will go down in history as the worst president ever. Former Secretary of State Colin Powell has told CNN that he could no longer consider himself a member of the Republican Party. Meanwhile, the „Washington Post“ has reported that in a December phone call, Trump told a top Georgia election investigator to “find the fraud” in the state.
reuters.com, time.com, npr.org, washingtonpost.com, apnews.com, cnn.com, washingtonpost.com
German parliament to boost security after US Capitol riots: German newspaper „Bild am Sonntag“ has reported that security has been stepped up at Germany’s lower house of parliament after the storming of the Capitol in Washington by rioters last week. “Berlin state police have arranged for a reinforcement of their forces around the Reichstag building,“ the paper quoted parliament president Wolfgang Schäuble as saying in a letter to lawmakers. Schäuble reportedly also asked the foreign ministry for a report on the Washington violence and would clarify with the federal government and the state of Berlin what conclusions should be drawn for parliament security in Germany.
Washington siege a wake-up call for democracy, top EU diplomat says: The shocking events in Washington must be a wake-up call for democracy advocates around the world, the EU’s top diplomat Josep Borrell said Sunday in response to the deadly siege of the Capitol building. “Wednesday’s bewildering events show how damaged and divided the American society is after four years of Trump administration,” Borrell wrote in a blog post. The Spanish politician said he was shocked by the mob assaulting the Capitol Hill in Washington last week. He added that the events must be a wake-up call for all democracy advocates around the world to fight harder against disinformation and inequalities and renew global cooperation to promote the rule of law and democratic values.
Facebook Live: IJP-AfricaTalk #7 – Agriculture and Food Security: Does COVID-19 have an impact on access to food? COVID-19 pandemic movement restrictions have implications on food security. The measures are likely to exacerbate food security challenges. Meanwhile, certain agricultural regions were already in trouble, facing floods, conflicts and decreasing prices. What needs to be done to achieve adequate food supply in periods of crisis? Facebook Live-Discussion with Renate Künast (MdB, Die Grünen) on Thursday, 10 December 2020, 09:45 UTC +01. facebook.com
Turkey wants to turn new page in EU relations: Turkey wants to turn a new page in its relations with the EU in the new year, its President Recep Tayyip Erdogan told EU Commission President Ursula von der Leyen on Saturday. A statement by Erdogan’s office also suggested that the 2016 EU Turkey migration deal — which seeks to control the crossing of refugees and migrants from Turkey to the Greek islands — could be updated. Last year, tensions between the EU and Turkey escalated after a standoff between a French frigate and Turkish ships in June. EU leaders in December called on the EU Commission to produce a report on EU-Turkey relations, including options on how to proceed, by March.
Refugees stuck in hopeless situation at EU border in Bosnia: After the great movement of refugees in 2015, EU countries such as Hungary effectively closed their borders, which is why, since then, more people have been trying to enter the EU via Bosnia-Herzegovina. Refugees are contending with miserable conditions in Bosnia-Herzegovina as the EU continues to keep its borders closed. Suhret Fazlic, the mayor of Bihac, is critical of the state government in Sarajevo and the EU. Many in Bihac and the surrounding canton of Una-Sana, here at the border with the EU, feel their government has abandoned them to provide for and accommodate the refugees themselves. Fazlic says the EU’s attitude to refugee and asylum issues is hypocritical and its funding often misplaced. „During the migration crisis, the EU paid out so much money for Bosnia — but Bihac never saw a single euro. We had to manage with our own resources,“ Fazlic said.
Prospects for EU reform and strategies for a new progressive agenda 2022+: Cerstin Gammelin in conversation with Wolfgang Schmidt. 2020 Progressive Governance Digital Summit with more than 2,800 fellow progressives from 70+ countries, 114 speakers, 25 partner organisations.
Hong Kong: US, Canada, Britain, Australia condemn arrests of activists reuters.com
Kazakhstan: Ruling party set to retain hold on power in Sunday’s vote reuters.com
Kyrgyzstan: Opposition politician Japarov takes big lead in presidential election reuters.com
⊂ QUOTE OF THE DAY ⊃
„We call on Iran to fully comply with the agreement. The ministers have given me the task of negotiating with all parties, including Iran, in order to help de-escalate tensions in the region and to support political dialogue in order to find a political solution.“
The EU remains committed to the nuclear deal negotiated with Iran, from which Iran withdrew even further after the killing of General Qassem Soleimani. EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell stressed on Friday that the EU wants to bring Iran back to the negotiating table.
⊂ COUNTRIES ⊃
Spain paralysed by snowstorm: At least four people have been killed in the heaviest snowfalls seen in Spain in decades. Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez appealed to people to stay indoors, with much of country at a standstill. Emergency crews have rescued more than 2,000 people from stranded vehicles. The Spanish government will send convoys carrying the Covid-19 vaccine and food supplies on Monday to areas cut off by Storm Filomena. Officials said the worst could be yet to come. “The danger is not over,” Interior Minister Fernando Grande-Marlaska said on Sunday. “The state meteorological agency has warned that a week of intense cold is coming, which will transform all of this accumulated snow into ice, thereby multiplying the risk.” He urged people to stay off the roads.
dw.com, reuters.com, theguardian.com
Austrian labour minister quits over plagiarism allegations: Austria’s Labour Minister Christine Aschbacher has resigned after allegations that she plagiarised some of her university work, but denied any wrongdoing and said she was stepping down to protect her family. Aschbacher, a member of the conservative Austrian People’s Party which leads the coalition government, allegedly copied at least one fifth of her doctoral dissertation from other sources, as well as chunks of her diploma thesis, according to academic Stefan Weber who specialises in plagiarism.
Czechs protest against coronavirus restrictions: Several thousand protesters in the Czech Republic, including former prime minister and president Vaclav Klaus, gathered in Prague’s Old Town Square on Sunday to call on the government to lift coronavirus restrictions. Protesters said the closure of restaurants, hotels, other businesses and schools was taking an economic and mental toll. Many of those gathered were not wearing face masks and did not adhere to social-distancing guidelines.
Sweden: New Covid lockdown law takes effect dw.com
Cyprus: Stricter measures to contain coronavirus since Sunday de.euronews.com
Belgium: Brussels sees 62% surge in coronavirus cases politico.eu
Netherlands: Police urge public to stop „pedo hunting“ after vigilante violence nytimes.com
⊂ POLITJOBS ⊃
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⊂ AT LAST ⊃
Sleep-in protest against French pension reform: Last Thursday, protesting lawyers took over a Paris courthouse and staged a sleep-in to express their opposition to the government’s pension reform, which includes raising the retirement age to 64 to collect a full pension. It came after another day of mass demonstrations by opponents of a reform that aims to sweep away France’s 42 separate pension schemes in favour of a single system. New protests have been called from Tuesday onwards. French Prime Minister Édouard Philippe has met with union representatives who are calling on the government to cancel the reform.