Newsmax – July 6, 2918
British Prime Minister Theresa May is facing resistance from hard-core Brexit backers in her Conservative government as she gathers her fractious Cabinet to hammer out a plan for future trade with the European Union.
The 30-strong Cabinet is being sequestered Friday inside the prime minister’s Chequers country retreat — without their phones — to discuss a compromise plan that May hopes will unite the government, and be accepted by the bloc.
It’s a tall order.
With just nine months to go until the U.K. leaves the bloc, May says the government has “a great opportunity — and a duty” to agree on a plan.
But pro-Brexit ministers including Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson have doubts about her proposal, which would see Britain stick closely to EU rules for trade in goods.
Sputnik News – June 29, 2018
During a summit dinner, the president of the European Council laid out his concerns that the “immense pressure” the Trump administration is exerting on the North Atlantic Alliance could lead to its collapse.
“Despite our tireless efforts to keep the unity of the West, transatlantic relations are under immense pressure due to the policies of President Trump,” he said.
According to The Times, Tusk called on EU leaders to “go beyond” discussions on US steel and aluminum tariffs and consider a potential break-up of NATO.
“Unfortunately, the divisions go beyond trade. It is my belief that while hoping for the best we must be ready to prepare our union for worst-case scenarios,” he said.
Newsmax – June 26, 2018
The U.S. Supreme Court on Tuesday struck down a California law requiring clinics that counsel women against abortion to notify clients of the availability of abortions paid for by the state, ruling it violated the free speech rights of these Christian-based facilities.
The Supreme Court legalized abortion in 1973, and while the broader issue of abortion rights was not at issue in the case, the 5-4 ruling represented a significant victory for abortion opponents who operate these kinds of clinics – called crisis pregnancy centers – around the country.
The court’s five conservative justices were in the majority in the ruling authored by Justice Clarence Thomas, with the four liberals dissenting.
Crisis pregnancy centers have said they offer legitimate health services but that it is their mission to steer women with unplanned pregnancies away from abortion.
WND – June 22, 2018
There’s no guarantee these days that NATO will survive, the international alliance’s chief says.
In an AP report, Jens Stoltenberg said there needs to be an immediate effort to “shore up” the group.
That’s because of the widening divisions between Europe and the United States over the Iran nuclear deal, climate change, and more.
The U.S., of course, withdrew from the Iran deal because President Trump said it was a bad deal for America, while European interests have remained dedicated to its provisions.
And Trump has literally no use for the climate change agenda of expensive green energy projects and massive restrictions that appear to land on the United States and few others.
European officials largely are fans of the global warming agenda.
Stoltenberg, secretary general of the group, cited the strain of the coalition right now.
“It is not written in stone that the trans-Atlantic bond will survive forever,” Stoltenberg while delivering an address in London.
John Myers – Jun 12, 2018
California’s 168-year run as a single entity, hugging the continent’s edge for hundreds of miles and sprawling east across mountains and desert, could come to an end next year — as a controversial plan to split the Golden State into three new jurisdictions qualified Tuesday for the Nov. 6 ballot.
If a majority of voters who cast ballots agree, a long and contentious process would begin for three separate states to take the place of California, with one primarily centered around Los Angeles and the other two divvying up the counties to the north and south. Completion of the radical plan — far from certain, given its many hurdles at judicial, state and federal levels — would make history.
It would be the first division of an existing U.S. state since the creation of West Virginia in 1863.
Newsmax – June 18, 2018
Canada’s upper house of parliament on Tuesday approved a revised bill to legalize recreational marijuana, setting the stage for the country to become the first Group of Seven nation to legalize cannabis.
The Senate voted 52-29 in favor of the revised bill from the elected House of Commons, paving the way for a fully legal cannabis market within eight to 12 weeks.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s Liberals had made legalizing recreational use of marijuana part of their successful 2015 election campaign, arguing the new law would keep pot out of the hands of underage users and reduce related crime.
“It’s been too easy for our kids to get marijuana – and for criminals to reap the profits. Today, we change that. Our plan to legalize & regulate marijuana just passed the Senate,” Trudeau said in a tweet.
Newsmax – June 19, 2018
The Trump administration withdrew from the United Nations Human Rights Council on Tuesday, making good on a pledge to leave a body it accused of hypocrisy and criticized as biased against Israel.
“For too long, the Human Rights Council has been a protector of human rights abusers, and a cesspool of political bias,” Nikki Haley, the U.S. ambassador to the UN, said Tuesday at the State Department in Washington. She said the decision was an affirmation of U.S. respect for human rights, a commitment that “does not allow us to remain a part of a hypocritical and self-serving organization that makes a mockery of human rights. ”
The 47-member council, created in 2006 and based in Geneva, began its latest session on Monday with a broadside against President Donald Trump’s immigration policy by the UN’s high commissioner for human rights. He called the policy of separating children from parents crossing the southern border illegally “unconscionable.”
DW – June 19, 2018
Germany and France have agreed to “open a new chapter” in European Union relations, after Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Emmanuel Macron met to finalize plans for sweeping reforms of the 19-member eurozone, including a new parallel budget.
Tuesday’s talks at Meseberg castle outside Berlin have a lot riding on them: Merkel’s political survival rests on her finding a European solution to prevent another influx of migrants to Germany, while both leaders have staked their reputation on further reworking the eurozone.
“We are working to make sure that the eurozone budget will be used to strengthen investment, also with the aim of strengthening convergence within the eurozone,” Merkel said.
DW – June 18, 2018
US President Donald Trump announced a sweeping new space policy on Monday that will focus both on reducing satellite clutter in space as well as creating a specific “Space Force” as the newest branch of the military.
“It is not enough to merely have an American presence in space. We must have American dominance in space,” said Trump, saying that he wished to revive the US’ flagging space program that has been bogged down by rising costs and a lack of political will.
Trump said he does not want “China and Russia and other countries leading us.”
“I’m hereby directing the Department of Defense and Pentagon to immediately begin the process necessary to establish a Space Force as the sixth branch of the armed forces,” Trump said.
Newsmax – June 17, 2018
A state appeals court has reinstated — at least for now — California’s law allowing terminally ill people to end their lives.
The Fourth District Court of Appeals in Riverside issued an immediate stay Friday putting the End of Life Option back into effect. The court also gave opponents of its decision until July 2 to file objections.
The law allows adults to obtain a prescription for life-ending drugs if a doctor has determined they have six months or less to live.
Riverside County Superior Court Judge Daniel Ottolia declared the law unconstitutional last month, stating that it had been adopted illegally because lawmakers passed it during a special Legislative session called to address other matters.
Ottolia didn’t address the issue of whether it’s proper for people to end their lives.