United States: a Republican blocks the vote of a post-disaster aid

Americans suffering natural disasters will have to wait until at least June for the Congress to approve a much-needed $ 19 billion aid that was blocked Friday by a single Republican voice.

After weeks of negotiations and postponements, this compromise text seemed guaranteed to be finally approved on Friday and promulgated by President Donald Trump, thanks to a rare backstage agreement between Republican, Democrat and House leaders. white.

Adopted Thursday in the Senate, controlled by the Republicans, the bill was put to the vote Friday in a House of Representatives almost empty, the vast majority of parliamentarians having left for a week of vacation.

The Democrats, the majority in the lower house, proposed to pass the law by unanimous consent, as planned with the Republicans. But Chip Roy, an elected representative from Texas, opposed it and derailed the approval of the text until, at least, the return to parliament on June 3rd.

“If I do not oppose it, the Congress will pass a law that mobilizes the amount of 19 billion taken from taxpayers without congressional representatives being present,” said the Republican in the Chamber.

The conservative also lamented that the negotiations have eliminated a Republican demand to include billions of dollars to act on the border with Mexico, especially for the reception of migrants.

This aid plan is intended to finance development projects, infrastructure projects, rural assistance projects and prevention programs to prepare for the impact of hurricanes, floods and fires in areas recently hit by floods. such disasters as the Associated Territory of Puerto Rico, California, Florida, or Texas, represented by Mr. Roy in Washington.

“The last-minute sabotage by the House Republicans of a measure strongly supported” by both parties “is an act of political cynicism breathtaking,” responded the House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, in a statement.

Huawei could be part of trade negotiations

Donald Trump hinted for the first time Wednesday that the fate of Chinese Huawei, the number two smartphone, could be discussed in the context of trade negotiations with Beijing.

“Huawei is something very dangerous”

“Huawei is something very dangerous when you look at what they have done from a security point of view, from a military point of view, very dangerous, but it is possible that Huawei is included in an agreement. If we have an agreement I see Huawei included in one way or another, “said the US president, but without elaborating despite a question from a reporter asking for details.

(with AFP)

Satirist Nico Semsrott reveals copyright violations of the CDU

There are no good days for the CDU: After nearly a week ago, the Youtube star Rezo violently attacked the ruling party in a million -folded video, has now revealed the satirist and politician Nico Semsrott copyright violations of the Christian Democrats. Semsrott, who competes for the party “The Party” in the European elections, asked via Twitter on ARD and ZDF, whether they would have allowed the CDU to use cutouts from contributions from the TV channels for their Youtube channel. There, the CDU had posted videos with original clips from talk shows and TV duels.

CDU deletes videos after Tweet by Nico Semsrott

“Are the pirated copies of the self-proclaimed copyright party @cdu actually discussed with you, @daserste and @zdf? Or do they also understand you as their property and so is everything ok?” Tweeted Semsrott. “Of course, there are no such agreements. We are already following up,” the ARD replied. And ZDF also informed the online portal “Übermedien” that it had never received a request from the CDU to exploit the videos. A little later, the clips from the Yotube channel “CDUTV” had disappeared.

“Shortly made sure that the CDU had to take all their pirated videos from their Youtube channel,” wrote Semsrott then on Twitter.

The YouTuber Rezo

The broadcasters have claimed that the deletion of the videos in their own words not from the CDU. According to “Watson.ch”, the party's press office announced that it had become aware through the reference to Twitter that the films had been “mistakenly published on our Youtube channel” and taken them offline again. In the election campaign, they have used short, edited video snippets around the TV appearances of top politicians in recent days on Twitter, it said. This is basically covered in edits through the freedom of quotation. On Youtube but were mistakenly landed the original excerpts.

The CDU had voted in March in the European Parliament for the fiercely controversial copyright reform. It should ensure that copyright is better protected and enforced on Internet platforms. On Twitter was also spiteful about the fact that the party that has tightened the copyright with the copyright reform, even copyright infringed.

The British also vote brexit or no brexit

According to the politician, it is elections that nobody wants. “So it's pretty intense. A short, intense campaign. And it shows a deep-rooted sense of dissatisfaction in the UK. And if we must, we'll continue to demonstrate how fake, corrupt and undemocratic the EU is.”

The essence of the Brexit Party's success is the discontent with existing parties that did not manage the Brexit. “

“It's a shame that we have to vote again,” says a young Brit on the street. “Why would you hold a referendum if you ignore the result? That means people no longer believe in the democratic process. We are the oldest democracy in the world. Other countries look down on us. We ignore a tradition of hundreds of years, a disgrace.”

The Conservatives are blamed. They are seen as responsible for all the political bumbling in London.

Second referendum

McClarkin of the Conservatives is a member of the European Parliament and was an advocate of the Brexit. She receives little enthusiasm on her tour of the houses on her campaign day. And she understands. “I'm not in the mood for these elections either, I want us to keep going. I want us to leave.”

The Brexit Party also has one clear goal. “We fear that another weak deal will be concluded,” says Bullock. “We don't think the Conservatives will succeed. That's why we stay on the battlefield. Unfortunately we didn't do that after the referendum. We thought: we won, now they give us that brexit. That is why we have withdrawn. until the time comes. “

Climate change, a rallying cry for European elections

For the first time, climate change has become a prominent issue for traditional political parties in European elections, echoing the wave of youth mobilization.

On Friday, in the middle of a European election, the latter are called on to take to the streets for a new “global climate strike”, the second of its kind after the March 15th, which mobilized hundreds of thousands of students and high school students. the world.

The young Greta Thunberg has become one of the emblematic faces of the protests. Thousands of teenagers and young adults have followed his call to dry classes once a week.

The 16-year-old Swede, invited to Brussels, warned representatives of the European political class that they would remain in history as “the greatest villains of all time” if they do not act.

The growing consensus for an urgent response to climate change is fueling hopes for cooperation between political parties. But some fear that this dynamic is hampered by the populist formations, if they were to register a strong progress in the European hemicycle.

A chapel located in a bay in Sitio Pariahan, Philippines, on January 11, 2019 (AFP / Archives - Noel CELIS)

A chapel located in a bay in Sitio Pariahan, Philippines, on January 11, 2019 (AFP / Archives – Noel CELIS)

A barometer published in April by the European Parliament showed that if the economy, growth, the fight against youth unemployment and immigration remain the main concerns of Europeans, climate change and the protection of the environment are gaining in importance.

Citizens from a dozen countries (Sweden, the Netherlands, Denmark, Finland, Belgium, Luxembourg, Germany, France, Malta) are particularly attached to it. Others are still far from seeing it as a priority: Bulgaria and Romania – the two poorest countries in the EU – the Baltic States, Poland or the Czech Republic.

– “Historical Dynamics” –

“Compared to 2014, it really became one of the major issues,” says AFP Dara Murphy, campaign director of the European People's Party (EPP), the main political force in the outgoing Parliament. His center-right party has added climate change to its agenda over the past two years.

For analyst Stella Schaller of the Adelphi think tank, the debate has really taken a turn “in the last four to six months”, amidst droughts, fires and floods and their harsh consequences for farmers, warnings scientists, popular events and wide media coverage.

Children play on ice near Eskimau Village, Yupik, Alaska, USA, April 19, 2019 (AFP / Archives - Mark RALSTON)

Children play on ice near Eskimau Village, Yupik, Alaska, USA, April 19, 2019 (AFP / Archives – Mark RALSTON)

Udo Bullmann, leader of the Social Democrats in the European Parliament, wants to take advantage of a “historic dynamic”.

He, too, assures us that his group has revised its agenda in the last two years to tackle the climate challenge, while ensuring that the poorest and the unemployed will not be penalized by the energy transition and by avoiding social unrest. the image of the movement of “yellow vests” in France.

The EU has committed under the Paris Climate Agreement of December 2015 to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions by at least 40% by 2030 (compared to 1990). But according to scientists and non-governmental organizations, this ambition is insufficient to achieve the goal of limiting global temperature rise to less than 2 ° C compared to the pre-industrial era.

– Anti-climate frond –

In recent months, expert groups have warned of the threats to humanity posed by climate change and the destruction of nature. But faced with these movements, some react with just as much passion.

Like other far-right groups, the Alternative for Germany (AfD) party has decided for this European campaign to ride the anti-climate sling.

A man carries a caricature of Donald Trump saying

A man carries a caricature of Donald Trump saying “global warming I do not believe it” on November 30, 2018 in Buenos Aires. The climate of the American president is a model for some Europeans (AFP / Archives – MARTIN BERNETTI)

Climatosceptic, pro-diesel and pro-coal, it seeks to seduce those who believe that the fight against climate change is driving up energy prices, destroying jobs and hurting the industry.

Analyst Stella Schaller fears that “liberal and conservative groups are diluting proposals” to woo nationalists.

But the EPP “will never do business with the extreme right” on climate or other topics, insists Dara Murphy.

As for the Greens, they hope to take advantage of the pro-climate movement. One of its European leaders, Bas Eickout, remains cautious about the hopes of cross-party cooperation within the renewed hemicycle on topics such as the price of carbon, the end of aid to air transport or the allocation of funds related to environmental issues.

Asked whether the political parties have really made a fundamental change in the climate or are simply trying to win votes, he replied that “the jury is still deliberating”.

European elections 2019: According to forecasts, Social Democrats are ahead in Holland

Around 420 million voters in 28 states: the “largest cross-border election on the planet,” as the European Commission says, is underway. The Dutch were the first to vote for the Dutch and the British on Thursday, although the latter want to leave the European Union at the end of October. Germany, like most other EU states, voted to conclude on Sunday.

in the starWe'll keep you up to date on the latest developments around the 2019 European elections:

+++ Current surveys, extrapolations and results can be found here in our interactive electives. +++

News from Thursday, May 23, 2019:

+++ 21:37: According to forecasts Social Democrats are ahead in Holland +++

According to the European elections in the Netherlands, the first predictions are surprisingly ahead of the Social Democrats. As the television station NOS reported on Thursday evening, citing after-election polls of the opinion research institute Ipsos, expected to go five of the 26 Dutch seats in the European Parliament to the PDvA of the Social Democratic leading candidate Frans Timmermans. The conservative-liberal VVD of Prime Minister Mark Rutte can therefore expect four and the right-wing populist party Forum for Democracy (FvD) with three seats.

+++ 6:26 pm: Wahl-O-Mat on European election after litigation online again +++

After an out-of-court settlement in the legal dispute between the Federal Agency for Civic Education and the small party Volt Germany, the Wahl-O-Mat is online again for the European elections. “We have agreed,” said the Federal Agency of news agency AFP. Further information was not provided. On the website of the Federal Center of the election O-Mat was unlocked for election. In the comparison, the Federal Agency “pledged to offer in future elections, the Wahl-O-Mat in a new form”. The evaluation page of the application would then “manage without a restriction of the selection to a maximum of eight parties,” it said. The users could then “decide for themselves with which and with how many parties they want to compare their votes.” “The ability to select all parties simultaneously via a single button will be clearly visible as new functionality,” said the Federal Agency.

European elections 2019: 27 countries, 13 German parties, one decision - the election O-Mat brings order to the policy jumble

+++ 17:58: Great Britain: EU citizens complain problems in European elections vote +++

Under the slogan #DeniedMyVote – for example, “My voice denied” – the complaints of EU citizens who could not take part in the European elections in Great Britain have accumulated on social media. The background to this is that EU citizens in the United Kingdom had to submit a form in which they assured that they would not vote in their home country. Information about it, so the reproach, but many arrived too late or not at all. The UK and the Netherlands gave the prelude to the election on Thursday.

The British Electoral Commission commented on the allegations in the afternoon. “We understand the frustration of some citizens of other EU countries living in the UK who were unable to vote,” a spokesman said. It was due to the short-term announcement of the government that Britain would participate in the election to the European Parliament despite the exit plans. The government of Prime Minister Theresa May had only admitted on 7 May that participation in the election can no longer be averted. She had until recently hoped to bring their withdrawal agreement in advance through Parliament.

+++ 15:15: First, weak participation in European elections in the Netherlands +++

In the Netherlands, which was one of the first EU countries to usher in the European elections, voter turnout was initially weak. By 13.30 clock had about 14 percent of eligible voters cast their vote, the state broadcaster NOS reported, citing data from the Institute Ipsos. At the previous European elections in 2014, the turnout at the same time was 15 percent and at the closure of the polling stations at 37 percent.

+++ 14:34: European election has begun +++

The vote in the UK and the Netherlands has started the European elections. In both countries – as in other EU states – significant growth is expected for right-wing populists and EU opponents. UK voters also found themselves in the absurd situation of voting for a key EU institution that they would soon be leaving.

The Dutch voters were able to vote until 9 pm, the British until 11 pm (CEST). As the first yardstick for the success of the right-wing populists was the Netherlands – there should be published in the evening forecasts for the election result. However, official results may only be published on Sunday evening in all 28 Member States after the end of the four-day European elections.

+++ 2 pm: Number salad: How many people are allowed to vote in the European elections? +++

The number of voters in the European elections varies. The Federal Returning Officer speaks of 418 million people, while the European Parliament comes to 426.8 million. Both are only estimates, as spokespersons of both institutions said on request.

The higher number in the European Parliament is based on data from the statistics office Eurostat on EU citizens reaching the voting age this year. It could therefore include persons who are not over the age limit in the course of the year, so they are not yet allowed to vote.

Both estimates differ significantly from the European Parliament's official record on “registered voters” in the 2014 election, when the same 28 EU countries participated: 396.1 million. On this basis, at that time – as in the European elections earlier – the turnout was determined. In 2014 this was 42.61 percent.

Helga Feldner-Busztin

GeenPeil comes with prediction of the election results 'to counter mistrust'

Voting on Thursday

Editor-in-chief of GeenStijl Bart Nijman considers it important that we hear a prediction of a result earlier than Sunday evening. “Because in the Netherlands we are used to hearing the result immediately that evening and not three days later. If the result remains in the hands of a small group of people for a few days, you will raise suspicion. Especially in this time when there is little trust , you want to avoid that appearance. “

But the Netherlands cannot publish the results sooner because the European Commission fears influencing other countries. Why does the Netherlands not choose to vote on Sundays?

According to European rules, the European parliamentary elections must take place between Thursday and Sunday. In the Netherlands it is tradition to vote on Wednesday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday fall off for religious reasons. Thursday is therefore the only option left for the European elections.

Nijman would not have any objections to holding the European elections on Sunday from now on.

Ecotourism: regional nature parks want to become full-fledged destinations

With the enthusiasm for holidays “in the green”, the 53 regional natural parks of France want to become ecotourism destinations in their own right, and prepare for 2020 for the launch of stays combining accommodation and activities.

These regional natural parks – including two ultramarines in Martinique and Guyana – represent more than 15% of French territory. They were created in 1967 by General de Gaulle, and are managed by mixed unions of local communities.

Their mission is to protect landscapes and the natural heritage, to contribute to the development of the territory but also to ensure the reception and information of the public.

“Unlike the national parks with which we are often confused, the regional natural parks are inhabited and we work for the development of these territories, biodiversity is not opposed to human activity”, summarizes for AFP Mickaël Weber , President of the Federation of Regional Natural Parks of France.

“The Savoyard Bakery” of the village of Ecole, in the Bauges Regional Nature Park, December 27, 2012 (AFP / Archives – JEFF PACHOUD)

“We want to make ourselves better known, highlight our environmental values ​​and ensure that parks are identified as ecotourism destinations.We are ripe to create a tourism offer,” he said.

The federation wishes to take advantage of the enthusiasm of holidaymakers for stays “green” and respectful of the environment.

“Consumers are asking themselves a lot of questions, such as whether to take the plane or not, there is a quest for meaning, they do not just want to see beautiful landscapes, and we want to bring this project forward by proposing innovative tourism projects, “adds Eric Brua, director of the federation.

Local liqueur production in Voiron, at the end of the Chartreuse Regional Nature Park (AFP / Archives - JEAN-PIERRE CLATOT)

Local liqueur production in Voiron, at the end of the Chartreuse Regional Nature Park (AFP / Archives – JEAN-PIERRE CLATOT)

It states that the regional nature parks aim to propose, as of 2020, “stays as a tour operator, via an interface where we can book accommodation and activities.We will start by setting to music what already exists, because some parks , like that of Queyras, already propose tourist stays in hotel or lodging with excursions “.

The federation will also rely on its trademark “Valeurs Regional Natural Park”, a label that highlights local food products (meat, vegetables, jams) but also restaurants and accommodation, and which benefit some 2,000 companies in activity in the parks.

“I would say that my territory is remarkable simplicity, with 11 inhabitants per m2, there is a real rurality, as in many other parks, but we are also innovative: in June will be inaugurated the great bike crossing of the Massif Central This is 1,340 kilometers, with every 40 kilometers of charging stations for electric mountain bikes, “said Philippe Connan, president of the Millevaches park in Limousin.

70th Anniversary of the Constitution: Steinmeier: Basic Law must be stronger in the minds of citizens

According to Federal President Frank-Walter Steinmeier, the Basic Law and its values ​​must be more firmly anchored in the consciousness of the citizens: “The Germans know too little about their Basic Law”.

During a matinee on the occasion of the 70th anniversary of the constitution, Steinmeier referred to a recently published poll in Berlin's Bellevue Palace on Wednesday, according to which the Basic Law meets with much approval from the Germans, but their knowledge of the constitution is rather small. “Conclusion: Most people support the Basic Law, even if they do not know it very well.”

This must change, demanded Steinmeier. “I think that the knowledge of the constitution in our country should become as great as the approval values ​​are. Brain and heart in harmony. “That was undoubtedly ambitious. “But we must also not accept that millions of people simply do not know basic connections.” This applies, for example, to the connections between the Weimar, Bonn and Berlin republics, between the Holocaust and Article 1 of the Basic Law or between 1949 and what one today call Western values.

The Basic Law had been proclaimed on 23 May 1949 and subsequently came into force for the Federal Republic. In the same year, the GDR gave its own constitution. With the reunification in 1990 the Basic Law became the all-German constitution.

In the evening Steinmeier was expected at the traditional constitutional discussion on the eve of 23 May in Karlsruhe. According to speech text, he wanted to strengthen back there the often criticized and sometimes hostile political parties. At the same time he also called for reform readiness. He wished “that the parties open their doors and windows even further, that they do not understand any unusual idea as an attack, that they are paving new paths for politics, especially for young people.” Conversely, he appealed to citizens outside the Parties engage “to calmly venture into the workshops of democracy, the parties are still, and at least to check whether any prejudice is justified”.

Steinmeier emphasized that the central insight of the mothers and fathers of the Basic Law has not lost its validity until today: “Parties are not the only actors in political decision-making, but they are indispensable in our federal representative democracy.”

Steinmeier called it a problem that many citizens today have less confidence in democratic institutions and no longer readily believe that parties and parliaments could meet the great challenges of our time. That's not just a problem for individual parties. “But then, more and more, the political order, as provided for by our constitution itself, is in doubt.”

The Federal President praised the central role of the Karlsruhe judges in the further development of the legal framework prescribed by the Basic Law. “The decisions of the Federal Constitutional Court read like a history of the liberal upheaval in the Federal Republic. They helped break down authoritarian structures such as those reflected in marriage and family law. And they helped the fundamental rights to a breakthrough in our society. “A constitution must be something like a” calming point of society “, but should not be frozen and must remain open to social and political change.

On this Thursday, the actual day of the constitution, the celebrations will be continued in Berlin and Karlsruhe. Among other things, Steinmeier has invited 200 citizens to the coffee table in the garden of Schloss Bellevue. There they can discuss with him, with Chancellor Angela Merkel, Bundestag President Wolfgang Schäuble (both CDU), Federal Council President Daniel Günther (CDU) and the President of the Federal Constitutional Court, Andreas Voßkuhle, the question “Germany in good shape?”.

From Polish church to Polish hairdresser: integration is not necessary for many Poles

Polish parish

Father Obiedzinski travels throughout Brabant to lead Polish masses. A special Polish parish has been set up under the diocese of Den Bosch. The church is chock-full on Polish holidays. “The Lord's Prayer in our native language really means Our Father,” says Obiedzinski. “We feel the prayer, perhaps better than in English or other languages.”

Integration is also possible at work, in conversation with Dutch neighbors or in other places, he says. Praying is best done in the mother tongue. But even in the home town learning Dutch is not always necessary anymore, because in addition to Polish churches there are also Polish supermarkets, Polish doctors, Polish restaurants, Polish theater shows, Polish disco nights, Polish media, Polish hairdressers and Polish beauty salons.

“I think fewer and fewer Polish people can speak Dutch,” says Natalia Pietrzak. Together with her mother, she runs a beauty salon in Helmond. “You can go anywhere and you don't have to speak the language.” That does not make the integration of Poles in the Netherlands any easier. “I don't think it's so good myself, because we live in the Netherlands, so we should also be able to speak Dutch,” she says.

No integration exam

Those who do not speak Dutch and, for example, have to arrange matters with the Dutch government, can go to Kamila Posieczek – also in Polish. She has been living in the Netherlands for twenty years and runs an accounting and translation agency in Helmond.

It is not only newcomers who come to her. Some have lived in the Netherlands for decades, but still don't speak the language. As an EU citizen, Poland does not have to take an integration exam. “On the one hand, that is not nice, because if she 'has' to find out, then they want to learn more. And without 'must', they will not do it,” says Posieczek.