Castle Journal - Nadeemy Haded

Castle Journal - Nadeemy Haded

Senior European officials are considering providing a European Union emergency disaster fund, which any member state could use to ward off the economic impact of a Brexit without an agreement.

This came within the framework of a proposal submitted to the European Commission to reform the European Solidarity Fund, which was established in 2002 to support national and regional governments in the event of a major disaster.

The summary of the proposal on the UNHCR website says the fund "can provide member states with financial assistance to cover the heavy burden they incur should they leave the UK without agreement."

It is unclear when a decision will be made, but commissioners meet on Wednesday to discuss ways to ease the economic blow, while Britain is on its way to leave the EU on October 31, with or without an agreement.

The Solidarity Fund was created after the devastating flood in Central Europe in 2002, and has since spent more than five billion euros in response to about 80 "catastrophic events."

Source Sky News

 

 

Hungarian prosecutors announced on Tuesday that terrorism charges and crimes against humanity were linked to a Syrian who joined the Islamic State terrorist group in 2015.

Prosecutors pointed out that the convicted Syrian, known as "F Hassan", aged 27, was convicted of the execution of a number of people who refused to join his organization in 2015 in Homs, Syria, and announced that they would demand the death sentence for life.

The news agency "Reuters" Hungarian prosecutors, that Hassan was convicted of the execution of about 20 people, all relatives of a person from the city of Homs refused to join "IS".

The authorities in Hungary arrested "Hassan" in March.

Source: Reuters

Tuesday, 03 September 2019 15:06

Ukrainian deputies give up immunity

 

The Verkhovna Rada (parliament) on Tuesday approved the second and final reading of a bill lifting parliamentary immunity from its deputies. The law may come into force on January 1.

A total of 373 deputies, 73 votes above the minimum required to pass constitutional laws, voted in favor of a bill to delete a paragraph of the 80-year period in which the members of parliament could not be brought to criminal responsibility or detained without the approval of the Rada Council.

However, the draft remains an item in the same article that exempts MPs from responsibility for the results of their vote and the content of their statements during the performance of their functions in the Council, except for responsibility for slander and insult.

Dmitry Razumkov, chairman of the Verkhovna Rada (parliament), which is dominated by deputies from the People's Servant Party loyal to President Vladimir Zelinsky, said the bill was fully in line with the constitution, but the "second-largest opposition bloc for life" said it would appeal. In the legality of the document before the Constitutional Court next week.

Razumkov had earlier backed the idea of ​​lifting immunity from the president as well, arguing that lifting immunity from deputies was insufficient, and should include the president and the judiciary, "so that everyone is equal before the law."

Source: Agencies

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The Verkhovna Rada (parliament) on Tuesday approved the second and final reading of a bill lifting parliamentary immunity from its deputies. The law may come into force on January 1.

A total of 373 deputies, 73 votes above the minimum required to pass constitutional laws, voted in favor of a bill to delete a paragraph of the 80-year period in which the members of parliament could not be brought to criminal responsibility or detained without the approval of the Rada Council.

However, the draft remains an item in the same article that exempts MPs from responsibility for the results of their vote and the content of their statements during the performance of their functions in the Council, except for responsibility for slander and insult.

Dmitry Razumkov, chairman of the Verkhovna Rada (parliament), which is dominated by deputies from the People's Servant Party loyal to President Vladimir Zelinsky, said the bill was fully in line with the constitution, but the "second-largest opposition bloc for life" said it would appeal. In the legality of the document before the Constitutional Court next week.

Razumkov had earlier backed the idea of ​​lifting immunity from the president as well, arguing that lifting immunity from deputies was insufficient, and should include the president and the judiciary, "so that everyone is equal before the law."

Source: Agencies

 

HONG KONG (Reuters) - Hong Kong President Kari Lam refuted a Reuters report that gave her a voice statement that she would have resigned if she could, saying she would never discuss resigning with the Chinese government to end the city's political crisis.

A leaked audiotape revealed that Lam told businessmen last week that she had caused "unforgivable chaos" by introducing the deportation bill, adding that "if she had the choice she would apologize and resign."

Lam said at a televised news conference on Tuesday that she had never considered resigning and that Beijing believed her government was capable of resolving the crisis without interference.

"I didn't even think about discussing resignation with the central government. The option of resigning is my choice."

"I have repeatedly told myself in the last three months that I and my team must stay to help Hong Kong ... so I say I have not given myself the option to take the easiest route to leave."

Lam expressed disappointment at the leak of remarks she made at a private meeting where she "refuses" to the audience what she is touring.

In the leaked audio recording, Lam said her ability to resolve the crisis was now "very, very limited" as she had to work for two masters, and that the crisis had now reached a "national level," a reference to the leadership in Beijing.

"I think I can lead my team to help Hong Kong get out of this dilemma. I still have confidence to do so ... so far the central government still believes the Hong Kong government can handle it."

Source: Reuters

Sunday, 01 September 2019 19:40

Air Canada fined for not using French language

Air Canada has been ordered to pay a French-speaking couple 21,000 Canadian dollars ($15,700; £12,900) and write them a letter of apology for violating their linguistic rights.

The couple complained that some signs on a domestic flight they took were only in English, while others gave the French version less prominence.

A judge ruled that the airline had breached Canada's bilingualism laws.

Air Canada reportedly told the court it would work to replace the signs.

Ontario couple Michel and Lynda Thibodeau filed 22 complaints against the airline in 2016.

Among them, they argued that the word "lift" was engraved on the buckles of their seatbelts in English but not in French, while French translations of words such as "exit" were in smaller characters.

They also said the English-language boarding announcement for their Montreal-bound flight was more thorough than the French version.

"Air Canada systematically violates the linguistic rights of Francophones," the couple argued, according to the written judgment for the case.

In the ruling, the Ottawa court judge agreed that the airline had "not upheld its linguistic obligations".

Air Canada is subject to the country's Official Languages Act, which seeks to ensure that English and French are given equal status.

The airline had argued that the couple was interpreting the act too strictly, according to the court documents.

In an interview with Canadian broadcaster CBC, Mr Thibodeau said he was satisfied with the judgement but hoped to see signs on Air Canada flights improve in the future.

"Signage must be of equal quality," he said. "My expectation is that within a couple of months, we will be able to fly on any Air Canada plane, and finally signage will be in both official languages."

It is not the first time the couple have accused the airline of violating their linguistic rights. In 2014, the Supreme Court ruled that they could not sue Air Canada over a mistaken drink order on an international flight and would have to settle for an apology, the Toronto Sun reported.

BBC NEWS

The EU's lead Brexit negotiator has rejected Boris Johnson's demands for the Irish backstop to be scrapped.

Michel Barnier said the backstop - intended to avoid a hard border on the island of Ireland - was the "maximum flexibility" the EU could offer.

Mr Johnson has previously told the EU the arrangement must be ditched if a no-deal Brexit was to be avoided.

Meanwhile, the PM has told rebel Tories they face a "fundamental choice" of siding with him or Jeremy Corbyn.

His comments come as some MPs who oppose a no-deal Brexit - including Conservatives - are planning to take action in Parliament next week.

The UK is due to leave the EU on 31 October, with or without a deal.

Former justice secretary David Gauke, who voted three times for the Withdrawal Agreement in the House of Commons, will meet the prime minister on Monday to ask about the practicalities of securing a deal.

"I want to hear from him as to what is his plan to deliver a deal, when are we putting forward proposals to deal with this backstop issue - which is the one issue he has identified as the problem within the Withdrawal Agreement," he said during an interview on Sky News' Sophy Ridge show.

"I want to hear how he's going to address that, and I want to hear how he plans to deliver the legislation if we get a deal by 31 October - because at the moment, frankly, I can't see how he's got time to do that."

The backstop is part of the withdrawal agreement negotiated between Brussels and former prime minister Theresa May, which has been rejected by Parliament three times.

If implemented, it would see Northern Ireland staying aligned to some rules of the EU single market, should the UK and the EU not agree a trade deal after Brexit.

 

Mr Johnson has said there has been some movement from the EU, as he attempts to broker a new deal and remove the arrangement, which he has described as "undemocratic".

However, writing in the Sunday Telegraph, Mr Barnier said: "On the EU side, we had intense discussions with EU member states on the need to guarantee the integrity of the EU's single market, while keeping that border fully open.

"In this sense, the backstop is the maximum amount of flexibility that the EU can offer to a non-member state."

Mr Barnier also said he was "not optimistic" about avoiding a no-deal Brexit, but "we should all continue to work with determination".

He added: "The EU is ready to explore all avenues that the UK government may present and that are compatible with the withdrawal agreement."

The EU could not stop the UK from leaving without a deal, he said, but he "would fail to understand the logic of that choice" because "we would still need to solve the same problems after 31 October".

Mr Johnson says he wants to leave the EU on 31 October with a deal, but it is "do or die" and he is willing to leave without one rather than miss the deadline.

That position has prompted a number of opposition MPs to come together to try to block a possible no deal.

MPs opposed to a no-deal Brexit are expected to try and seize control of the Parliamentary agenda this week to push through legislation that would force the PM to seek a Brexit extension beyond 31 October.

But Mr Johnson has warned Tory MPs who are considering lining up with opposition groups that they risk plunging the country into chaos.

In an interview with the Sunday Times, he said: "I just say to everybody in the country, including everyone in Parliament, the fundamental choice is this: Are you going to side with Jeremy Corbyn and those who want to cancel the referendum?

"Are you going to side with those who want to scrub the democratic verdict of the people - and plunge this country into chaos.

"Or are you going to side with those of us who want to get on, deliver the mandate of the people and focus with absolute, laser-like precision on the domestic agenda?"

His comments come after the Sun reported that No 10 would stop any Tory MP who votes to block a no-deal Brexit from standing for the party in a general election.

The report prompted former chancellor Philip Hammond to say it would be "staggeringly hypocritical" for the government to sack Conservative MPs who rebel over its Brexit plans, as eight current cabinet members had themselves defied the party whip this year by voting against Theresa May's Brexit deal.

Speaking on Sky News' Sophy Ridge show, International Development Secretary Alok Sharma said that Mr Johnson must be given time to secure a new deal.

"We want any future agreement not to have the backstop… The reality is that the previous Withdrawal Agreement, which contained the backstop, did not pass on three occasions. It didn't pass then, it won't pass again," he said.

"In fact, having the backstop also potentially makes us rule-takers from the EU forever. That is not what we want. We want that out, we want a deal, but we will be leaving on 31 October - no ifs, no buts."

Shadow chancellor John McDonnell told the same programme that a cross-party group that includes MPs and legal experts is looking at introducing a legislative measure next week to stop a no-deal Brexit without parliamentary approval.

"The technique of that will be published on Tuesday, and I'm hoping that we'll have a debate in which we can bring the House together," he said.

"The ultimate goal, very straightforwardly, this week, is to ensure that Parliament can have a final say... we cannot have a prime minister overriding Parliament - not just on this issue, on any issue."

BBC NEWS

The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) in Yemen has announced that it has sent urgent medical supplies to Dhamar governorate, following reports that dozens of people were killed by the Arab Coalition targeting a prison there.

The head of the mission Franz Rauchenstein on his account in the "Twitter" that "the Red Cross takes these reports seriously, noting that he is currently heading to the province south of the capital Sanaa to assess the situation."

Rauchenstein said a Red Cross team with urgent medical supplies had been sent to the province to treat 100 people.

This came against the backdrop of the announcement of the group "Ansar Allah" Houthi at least 60 people were killed and dozens injured in the raids that targeted the prison, and caused many casualties among the elements of the Yemeni

government recognized internationally in the prison.

Source: RT

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