Connect with us

World

Swedish Social Dems leader to get second try at forming government

Published

on

November 25, 2021

STOCKHOLM (Reuters) – Social Democrat leader Magdalena Andersson, who resigned only hours after winning lawmakers’ backing as prime minister earlier this week, will get a second chance to form a government, the speaker of parliament said on Thursday.

Andersson’s resignation as prime minister on Wednesday was prompted by a decision by coalition partner the Greens to leave the government after the budget bill was defeated in parliament.

While elected by parliament, she had not had time to even formally take over the job from outgoing Social Democrat Prime Minister Stefan Lofven before she chose to step aside.

Advertisement

“My intention is, later this afternoon to nominate Magdalena Andersson to the post of Sweden’s prime minister,” the speaker told a news conference.

With no other obvious candidate, Andersson looks highly likely to win a second confirmation vote in the Riksdag.

The vote is expected to be held on Nov. 29.

The speaker said Wednesday’s events were “incomprehensible” to the Swedish people and that the parties’ actions damaged faith in parliament, the political system and in politicians themselves.

Andersson’s tribulations are the result of a fragmented parliament where neither the centre-left nor centre-right blocs can form a majority government, in large part due to the rise of the anti-immigration nationalists, the Sweden Democrats.

Advertisement

Like her predecessor, Andersson had hoped to govern as head of a minority coalition with the Greens with support from the Left and Centre parties. But the Centre party refused to back the budget, which prompted the Greens to quit the coalition.

Andersson will now try and form a single-party, minority government. Her Social Democrats have 100 seats in the 349-seat parliament. Sweden is due to hold a general election in September next year.

(Reporting by Niklas Pollard and Simon Johnson; editing by Niklas Pollard)

Advertisement
Continue Reading
Advertisement

World

Three missionaries released in Haiti following October kidnapping

Published

on

December 7, 2021

By Katharine Jackson

(Reuters) – Three missionaries who were kidnapped in Haiti in October have been released, the U.S. State Department and the Ohio-based missionary group that organized the group’s trip to the Caribbean nation said on Monday.

“We are thankful to God that three more hostages were released last night. Those who were released are safe and seem to be in good spirits,” Ohio-based Christian Aid Ministries said in a statement.

Advertisement

U.S. State Department spokesman Ned Price on Monday confirmed the release, adding that the United States is continuing to work to secure the release of the others.

Haitian National Police spokesman Garry Desrosiers said the three were released on Sunday night. He declined to give additional details, citing the security of the remaining hostages.

Sixteen Americans and one Canadian, including five children, were abducted after visiting an orphanage. The incident has highlighted Haiti’s dire kidnapping problem, which has worsened in recent months amid economic troubles and political upheaval.

Two other ministry group members were released last month.

(Reporting by Katharine Jackson in Washington; Additional reporting by Gessika Thomas in Port-au-Prince; Editing by Susan Heavey and Matthew Lewis)

Advertisement

Continue Reading

World

Dutch court to rule on Palestinian’s case against Israeli defence minister

Published

on

December 7, 2021

By Stephanie van den Berg

THE HAGUE (Reuters) – An appeals court in the Netherlands rules on Tuesday in a case alleging war crimes against Israeli Defence Minister Benny Gantz, who is blamed by a Dutch Palestinian for the loss of six relatives in an Israeli air strike on Gaza in 2014.

Ismail Ziada filed the civil case against Gantz and another former senior Israeli military official, seeking unspecified damages under Dutch universal jurisdiction rules. His case was thrown out by a lower Dutch court in January 2020.

Advertisement

Universal jurisdiction allows countries to prosecute serious offences such as war crimes and torture no matter where they were committed.

But the lower court ruled that the principles of universal jurisdiction could be applied for individual criminal responsibility, but not in civil cases.

Ziada appealed, arguing that universal jurisdiction should be applied in civil cases if the alleged conduct involved serious violations of international humanitarian law. He asked the appeals judges to reverse the decision, which effectively granted Gantz immunity from prosecution.

Gantz, a career soldier turned politician, was commander-in-chief of the Israeli armed forces during a war against Palestinian militants in the Gaza Strip in 2014, when the incident took place.

About 2,200 Palestinians are estimated to have been killed, up to 1,500 of them civilians, in the conflict, according to U.N. figures. Ziada said he lost relatives when his family home in Gaza was bombed during a June 2014 Israeli air strike. On the Israeli side, 67 soldiers and five civilians were killed.

Advertisement

Gaza is controlled by the Palestinian Islamist Hamas movement, regarded by the West as a terrorist organization. Israel says Hamas puts civilians in harm’s way by deploying fighters and weaponry inside densely populated areas of Gaza. 

    Human rights groups have accused both sides of war crimes in the 2014 conflict. The International Criminal Court (ICC) is currently investigating alleged war crimes committed on Palestinian territory since June 2014 by both Israeli defence forces and Palestinian armed groups.

(Reporting by Stephanie van den Berg in The Hague with additional reporting by Jeffrey Heller in Jerusalem; Editing by Anthony Deutsch and Mark Heinrich)

Advertisement
Continue Reading

World

Global finance system partly to blame for inequality – World Bank’s Malpass

Published

on

December 7, 2021

By Andrea Shalal

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – World Bank President David Malpass on Monday said fiscal and monetary policies were operating in “uncharted territory” since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic and may be contributing to a sharp rise in global inequality and poverty.

Malpass told a roundtable hosted by Chinese Premier Li Keqiang the number of people in extreme poverty had increased by over 100 million since the beginning of the pandemic even as global spending has increased to an all-time record.

Advertisement

Advanced economies have rebounded, while the poorest countries had seen only a weak rebound, or none at all, he said. This was causing “tragic reversals” in median incomes, women’s empowerment and nutrition, he said, and inflation, supply chain bottlenecks, and high energy prices were aggravating these trends.

“Part of the inequality problem is global finance itself and the unequal structure of the stimulus,” Malpass said, noting that prevailing sovereign debt, fiscal and monetary policies were adding to inequality.

Malpass said monetary policy in the advanced economies had long focused on reserve requirement ratios and limited growth in bank reserves to achieve stability in currencies and prices, an approach still used by China.

Other major central banks had switched to a “post-monetarism system” of using very large amounts of excess bank reserves to purchase and hold long-duration bonds and other assets, which he said provided price support for a highly select group of assets.

That approach, he said, excluded small businesses and developing countries, while restraining policy through regulation of liquidity and bank capitalization ratios.

Advertisement

Fiscal policy was also channeling resources to narrow groups within major borrowers, while leaving others behind, and sovereign debt policies were contributing to inequality.

Malpass repeated his call for greater transparency in debt contracts and a freeze in debt payments for countries with unsustainable debt. He said creditors should move away from collateral and escrow arrangements.

“As one of the largest creditors of developing countries, China’s active participation and strong voice in debt reduction efforts are very much needed and would benefit all participants by encouraging sustainable investment and debt,” he said.

(Reporting by Andrea Shalal; Editing by David Gregorio)

Advertisement
Continue Reading
Advertisement

Trending