HANOI (Reuters) – A court in Vietnam sentenced one former official from state oil and gas group PetroVietnam to life in prison and another to 13 years on Monday for embezzlement and violating state rules amid a widespread corruption crackdown, state media said.
MANILA (Reuters) – The head of a Philippine news site ordered closed for ownership violations met state investigators on Monday to answer what she called a “suspicious” complaint about a five-year-old story, as domestic fears grow of an impending crackdown on media.
MANILA/BANGKOK (Reuters) – Governments across Southeast Asia have a history of using laws and the judiciary to curb press freedoms – now, they have found a handy crutch to lean on as they intensify clampdowns: U.S. President Donald Trump’s “fake news” mantra.
When Marine Le Pen lost last year’s French presidential election to Emmanuel Macron in what appeared to be a landslide, the establishment breathed a sigh of relief because not only was the notorious Eurosceptic populist defeated, but also the wind appeared to be turning, and after a tumultuous 2016, 2017 started off with a bang for the unelected Eurocrats in Brussels. After all, the people had spoken and they wanted more Europe (and Euro), not less.
Or maybe not.
The French president sent shockwaves across Europe after he conceded that French voters would quit the EU if France held an in/out referendum on continued membership in the Brussels-led bloc. Not surprisingly no other EU country has risked putting membership of the bloc to a public vote since Britain shocked member-states by voting to leave the bloc in 2016, despite polls which showed virtually no possibility of such an outcome.
Macron admitting that he would lose a French EU membership referendum.
In an interview with BBC’s Andrew Marr, Emmanuel Macron admitted that he would lose a French referendum on EU membership. Asked about the Brexit vote, the candid president told Marr:
“I am not the one to judge or comment on the decision of your people.” But, he added “my interpretation is that a lot of the losers of globalisation suddenly decided it was no more for them.”
Marr then pushed the French president, regarded by many as the EU’s new leader, on whether Britain’s decision was a one-off. Quoted by Express, the BBC journalist asked: “If France had had the same referendum, it might have had the same result?”
Macron responded: “Yes, probably, probably. Yes. In a similar context. But we have a very different context in France” although he said he would not make it easy: “I wouldn’t take any bet though – I would have fought very hard to win.
“My understanding is that middle classes and working classes and the oldest decided that the recent decades were not in their favor, and the adjustments made by the EU were not in their favour.”
“I think the organization of EU went too far with freedom without cohesion, free markets without rules.”
The French leader hit out at David Cameron for holding a referendum with a simple yes / no response on membership, instead of asking how to improve the situation.
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Predictably, Twitter lit up after the interview was aired, with many questioning if the French leader had just admitted that he “does not listen to his own people” since he has refused to hold a referendum on the EU. For the sake of Europe’s unelected establishment, president Macron and the “European recovery”, one hopes we don’t find out any time soon…
TOKYO (Reuters) – Tokyo held its first missile evacuation drill on Monday with volunteers taking cover in subway stations and other underground spaces that would double as shelters for the Japanese capital in the event of a North Korean missile strike.
Hours after the government shutdown that the White House blamed on “obstructionist losers” who are holding government funding “hostage…over an unrelated immigration debate,” The Trump campaign posted an explosive new advertisement to the campaign website and YouTube channel on Saturday, featuring 37-year-old illegal immigrant Luis Bracamontes who killed two police deputies in 2014 after having been deported and returned to the U.S. multiple times.
Bracamontes showed no remorse in court proceedings which began in California last week – stating that his only regret was that he didn’t kill more police officers. His wife also faces charges in the killings.
Along with the ad, the White House also issued a press release entitled:
DEMOCRATS “COMPLICIT” IN ALL MURDERS BY ILLEGAL IMMIGRANTS
Both the video and press release can be viewed below (emphasis added):
New York, NY – Hours after Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer led Democrats to shut down the federal government, holding lawful citizens hostage over their demands for amnesty for illegal immigrants, Donald J. Trump for President, Inc. released a campaign ad calling out Democrats “who stand in our way” of progress and who are “complicit in every murder committed by illegal immigrants.”
The ad, titled “Complicit,” profiles an illegal immigrant on trial for the murder of two Sacramento police officers who stated his “only regret” is that he “just killed two” and that he wished he “killed more.” It contrasts Democrats, who stand by those who commit acts of “pure evil,” versus President Trump, who was elected to build a wall to stop illegal immigration and keep American families safe.
The Trump Campaign released the ad on the one-year anniversary of Donald Trump’s Inauguration as the 45th President of the United States. The powerful new ad reflects the stakes in the illegal immigration debate, and the reasons why the President will not allow the Schumer Shutdown to force his hand and grant amnesty for illegal immigrants.
“Donald Trump was elected President to build the wall and keep American families safe from evil, illegal immigrants who commit violent crimes against lawful U.S. citizens,” said Michael S. Glassner, Executive Director of Donald J. Trump for President, Inc. “Yet, one year after President Trump’s Inauguration, Chuck Schumer and the Democrats continue to put the interests of illegal immigrants over those of Americans. Our new campaign ad draws attention to the stark contrast between ‘complicit’ Democrats and the President for his full commitment to build a wall and fix our border to protect Americans from drugs, murder and other atrocities,” he concluded.