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New Zealand election closes Winston Peters’ colorful career | National | Instant News

New Zealand’s election may have ended the four-decade political career of Winston Peters, a maverick MP who has held a number of high-ranking posts including deputy prime minister in Jacinda Ardern’s first government.

With 90% of the vote counted, Peters’ New Zealand First Party had just 2.6% of the vote, less than the 5% needed to be returned to parliament. At 75, Peters is unlikely to make his fairytale political comeback again, while the future of his party is uncertain.

“For 27 years there has been a party that is ready to question formation and challenge authority, and tonight more than ever that power is still needed,” Peters told supporters. “As for the next challenge, we will all have to wait and see.”

A populist compared to Donald Trump, Peters built his support on nationalist and anti-immigration rhetoric leading to accusations of whistle politics. However, his policies while in office were never that controversial. By championing his parents, and delivering smart thorns with a big smile, he’s endeared himself to voters across the political spectrum.

“This is truly the end of an era,” said Bryce Edwards, a political analyst at Victoria University in Wellington. “Some people will actually celebrate the end of that era, but many will see the cute bastard back who has a bigger personality than almost any other politician.”

Peters first entered parliament in 1979 as a member of the National Party parliament. His turbulent career has seen him fired from the National cabinet and losing his constituency seat more than once. He formed New Zealand First in 1993. After the introduction of proportional representation in 1996, Peters has often served as a king-maker, earning large concessions from the major National and Labor parties in return for his support. This made him hold a portfolio including the Minister of Foreign Affairs and the Treasurer.

He has sometimes been touched by controversy, including the Office of Serious Fraud’s current investigation of party foundations and its treatment of donations.

“It is a very tired party led by an exhausted leader,” said Edwards. “I don’t believe there is any chance of them returning to parliament after they leave this year.”

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Pakistan Opposition launches movement to overthrow Imran Khan government | National | Instant News

ISLAMABAD – A broad alliance of Pakistani opposition groups on Friday launched a movement to overthrow Prime Minister Imran Khan’s government which it says failed to do.

Tens of thousands of political workers attended the first rally of the Pakistan Democratic Movement – an alliance of 11 opposition parties, in Gujranwala, the political stronghold of former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif.

The venue, a cricket stadium with a capacity of more than 35,000 people, is overcrowded beyond capacity despite health warnings amid a second wave of new coronavirus infections in the country. Local media also showed pictures of a large number of people standing outside the stadium.

PDM leaders discussed the failure of the Khan government. Sharif gave a speech from London via video link but his speech was banned in local media by the authorities.

Sharif, who is already facing sedition charges for criticizing the military for meddling in political affairs, crossed new boundaries by naming incumbent military commander General Qamar Javed Bajwa. Politicians in Pakistan generally avoid naming military commanders, who are considered untouchable in the country, and attribute them to any wrongdoing.

Sharif accused Bajwa and the head of the state’s spy agency, Inter-Service Intelligence, of being behind his overthrow.

“General Bajwa is responsible for 2018 (election) fraud, media restrictions, kidnapping journalists and forcing judges to give decisions of his choice,” he said, adding that the military commander should be held accountable for such acts.

Talking about the sedition accusations against him, Sharif said it was nothing new because “dictators” always label politicians as traitors.

The audience responded to Sharif’s speech with chants that expressed a commitment to continuing the struggle to achieve goals.

“(The establishment) must accept the wishes of the people,” said Pakistan People’s Party chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari.

“Today’s march has given its verdict that Imran Khan’s time is over now,” said Maryam Nawaz, PML-N leader and daughter of Sharif.

The next rally is scheduled for Sunday in the southeastern province of Sindh.

After pressuring Khan with a series of countrywide rallies in the coming months, the PDM plans to launch what opposition party leaders describe as a decisive march in the capital Islamabad early next year.

In the past, such political alliances have succeeded in overthrowing Pakistan’s military rulers.

“The PDM and the rallies are the result of targeted government efforts to corner opposition politicians,” Ahmed Bilal Mehboob, president at Pakistan’s Institute for Legislative Development and Transparency, told dpa.

After such an impressive show, “the establishment can also withstand bold support for the PTI government if they realize that the public mood is turning against the government,” said Mehboob.

Previously, there were signs the government was trying to thwart the protests because the road to the venue was blocked and several protesters and local leaders were arrested.

At least 6,000 police officers were deployed to the rally for security reasons, Mohammad Imran, a spokesman for the Gujranwala police, told dpa.

Pakistan, one of the few democracies in the Muslim world and a nuclear power, has been ruled by generals for nearly half of its existence, periodically breaking the path of democracy.

Prime Minister Khan came to power in 2018 in a controversial election marred by allegations of military fraud.

(c) 2020 German Press Agency GmbH (Hamburg, Germany)

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Latest: Hong Kong and Singapore Accept New Travel Bubble | national | Instant News

HONG KONG – Hong Kong and Singapore say they have accepted a bilateral air travel bubble, restoring travel links as coronavirus infections in the two cities decline Under the air travel bubble, travelers from Hong Kong and Singapore do not will not be restricted in their travels, ”Hong Kong Trade Minister Edward Yau said at a press conference Thursday. This means that tourists from each city will be able to visit the other. Hong Kong and Singapore temporarily closed their borders earlier this year, barring short-term visitors from entering as they battled to reduce coronavirus infections. As part of the air travel bubble, travelers will also not be subject to a mandatory quarantine, provided they have passed mutually recognized coronavirus tests by both cities, with a negative test result. , travelers are required to fly on dedicated flights, which will only serve air. travelers to the travel bubble between Hong Kong and Singapore.The launch date has not yet been announced.HERE WHAT YOU SHOULD KNOW ABOUT THE VIRUS OUTBREAK: HERE’S WHAT ELSE HAPPENS: PRAGUE – The Coronavirus infections in the Czech Republic hit a new high, surpassing 9,000 confirmed cases in one day for the first time. The Health Ministry says the daily increase recorded on Wednesday reached 9,544, more than 900 more than the Previous record set Friday in the country of more than 10 million. The Czech Republic has recorded a total of 139,290 cases since the start of the pandemic with 1,172 deaths. The record rise is followed by the growing number of COVID-19 patients in hospitals. Of the 77,217 currently sick with the virus, 2,678 need to be hospitalized while 518 are in serious condition. Government says hospitals could reach full capacity by the end of October while working to increase the number of beds available at 10,000. Imposed a series of restrictive measures in efforts to contain the peak with schools and restaurants closed and public events banned.BERLIN – Germany has reported more than 6,600 new cases of coronavirus, its daily total on higher since the start of the pandemic. The Robert Koch Institute said Thursday morning that 6,638 infections had been reported in the past 24 hours. This is about 1,500 more than a day earlier and exceeds the previous high of nearly 6,300 seen at the end of March. Although Germany is still in better shape than many other European countries, the latest figures underscore concern over a rapid rise in infections in recent weeks. On Tuesday evening, Chancellor Angela Merkel and the 16 state governors of the country has decided to tighten mask-wearing rules, close bars early and limit the number of people who can congregate in areas with high coronavirus infection rates. reported more than 341,000 cases of COVID-19, including 9,710 deaths. 33 new deaths were reported on Thursday.BRUSSELS – One of Belgium’s leading universities is switching to online education whenever possible as the coronavirus continues to soar across the country and another is preparing to do so The University of Ghent said the measure would go into effect. on October 26 and the Dutch-speaking Free University of Brussels said it had already prepared its staff and facilities to do the same if necessary. Belgium said keeping its schools open was a key goal as it was taking other steps to counter the resurgence of the virus, but key indicators are rising at a steady pace. In the week ending October 11, new cases increased 101% from the previous week to 5,421. The total of confirmed cases since the start of the pandemic stood at 181,511 in the country of 11.5 million. The number of cases per 100,000 inhabitants stands at 494, one of the highest in Europe, and the virus has killed 10,278 people in Belgium. NEW DELHI – India reported its smallest daily increase in coronavirus deaths in nearly three months, with the Health Ministry reporting 680 deaths in the past 24 hours on Thursday, the lowest in 11 weeks, bringing the number deaths in the country since the start of the pandemic at 111,266. The country recorded more than 1,000 deaths from the virus a day last month. The ministry also reported 67,708 new infections, bringing India’s total to more than 7 According to the ministry, the average number of daily cases in India fell to 72,576 last week from 92,830 during the week of September 9 to 15, when the virus peaked. Over the past month, the country has seen a downward trend in cases week-over-week. Health experts have warned of the possibility of the virus spreading during the religious holiday season beginning. later this month, which is marked by COLOMBO, Sri Lanka – Sri Lankan authorities will impose a curfew on a key industrial city, after an outbreak of COVID-19 cases centered around a garment factory in the suburbs of the capital. Police spokesman Ajith Rohana says a curfew will be imposed in Katunayake from Thursday until further notice. Katunayake is home to the country’s flagship industrial zone where more than 50,000 workers are employed. The country’s main international airport is also located there. Authorities say factories in the area will continue to operate despite the curfew. A curfew was imposed last week in parts of the Western Province, where the cluster was reported from Minuwangoda, near Katunayake. The Indian Ocean island nation reported its first locally transmitted infection in more than two months last week when a garment factory worker tested positive. As of Thursday, the number of infections linked to the cluster was passed to 1723, and over 2,000 others were. CANBERRA, Australia – The Prime Minister of Australia has said his government is prioritizing reopening air services to Japan, Singapore and South Korea. Prime Minister Scott Morrison said Thursday he had discussed reopening of air routes with the leaders of the three countries. He described Japan and South Korea as “two particularly successful countries” in dealing with the pandemic. “There are a number of countries that we are looking at to see what we can possibly do next year. We’re not going to rush into it, ”Morrison said. The three Asian countries “are my current priorities in how we will pursue this,” he added. Australia will allow travelers from neighboring New Zealand to arrive without a quarantine at the hotel from Friday. New Zealand has mostly stopped community transmission of COVID-19, Australia reported only 12 new cases of community transmission of the virus on Thursday SEOUL, South Korea – South Korea reported 110 new cases of coronavirus as a Busan hospital emerged as the figures released Thursday by the Korea Disease Control and Prevention Agency brought the number of infections since the start of the pandemic to 24,988, with 439 deaths. Half of the new cases were reported in Busan, a southern port city where at least 54 infections were linked to a hospital for the elderly. South Korea has just lowered its social distancing measures, allowing the premises to reopen at high risk like nightclubs and karaoke bars and spectators returning to professional sports. Health officials plan to test 160,000 employees. in hospitals, nursing homes and elderly welfare centers in and around Seoul, as part of efforts to prevent epidemics in these facilities. MEXICO – Mexico reported on Wednesday that a total of 1,744 health workers have died so far from COVID-19, and 164 more are believed to have died, but their test results are still pending. of doctors, nurses and technicians and hospital workers confirmed to have been infected with the novel coronavirus in Mexico now stands at 127,053. This means that healthcare professionals account for around 15% of all cases confirmed coronaviruses in Mexico and about 18% of all deaths from COVID-19 The Health Ministry said that of those who died 42% were nurses, 26% were doctors and 32% were technicians, cleaning staff or other hospital workers.Mexico has one of the highest medical worker death rates in the world and hospital workers have staged a number of protests in Mexico to protest against insufficiency personal protective equipment. But health ministry officials denied the death rates were due to a lack of protective gear. Copyright 2020 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed without permission. .

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The number of deaths from the corona virus in Brazil reaches 150,000 | National | Instant News

BUENOS AIRES, Argentina – The number of people who have died from COVID-19 in Brazil has reached more than 150,000, the Health Ministry said on Saturday.

The ministry said 150,198 patients had died in connection with COVID-19, the disease caused by the new coronavirus.

Meanwhile, the number of people infected with the virus has risen to more than 5 million.

Brazil, Latin America’s largest country, is second in the world in terms of deaths after the United States, and third in infections after the US and India.

The number of infections and deaths in Brazil, a country of 210 million people, is likely to be much higher, as the country carries out relatively few tests for the virus.

Scientific studies show that at least seven times as many people were infected as previously known, and twice as many died as recorded deaths.

However, the number of new infections and deaths has recently decreased.

Brazil’s right-wing populist president Jair Bolsonaro has repeatedly called COVID-19 a “mild flu” and has opposed restrictions in public life.

He insisted on downplaying the threat posed by the pandemic even after he and his family members were infected.

(c) 2020 German Press Agency GmbH (Hamburg, Germany)

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Tulsi Gabbard’s representative rejects US claims that the Marshall Islands nuclear waste site is safe National | Instant News

One famous Hawaiian politician has rejected a recent Department of Energy report which concluded that the leaked US nuclear waste warehouse on the Marshall Islands is safe for the people there.

He asked the department to conduct a more independent assessment of the location of waste.

“I think it is time for the Department of Energy to rely on someone with fresh eyes to examine the situation,” US Representative Tulsi Gabbard, one of two members of the Hawaiian Democratic Council, said in a recent interview with the Los Angeles Times.

Gabbard, who gained national attention by launching what some call the quixotic campaign for the Democratic nomination for president, was publicly spoken at Congress on behalf of the Marshall Islands, which the United States used as a testing ground for a number of nuclear weapons during the Cold War.

He was encouraged to return Medicaid to people from the Marshall Islands, Micronesia, and Palau who worked and lived in the United States but did not have access to health services. He also played an important role in asking the Department of Energy to re-examine the safety of Runit Dome, a nuclear waste storage site that leaked in the Marshall Islands, as part of the 2019 National Defense Authorization Act.

“The US government is responsible for this repository and must ensure the protection of our people and the environment from the toxic waste stored there,” Gabbard said in a news release announcing his amendments to the draft defense law.

In a call for “fresh eyes” on the waste site, Gabbard referred to Terry Hamilton, who has been a contractor for the Department of Energy for nuclear issues in the Marshall Islands since 1990.

Hamilton was a contributor to the Department of Energy report, which concluded that while rising sea levels could increase storm surges and “cause excessive waves caused by waves at the bottom of the dome,” there is not enough definitive data to determine “how this event might impact the environment.”

Hamilton and his employer, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, responded to requests for comment. But in an earlier email, Hamilton said the risk posed by the waste site was low “based on the argument that the total amount of fall contamination contained in Runit Dome was dwarfed by the remaining amount of drop contamination stored in marine sediments in the Enewetak lagoon.”

He added that, although he did not write documents, he provided “reports, publications, and data” which informed the Department of Energy’s conclusions.

Published in early July, the assessment referred to 27 papers and reports, 25 of which were not peer reviewed, including 13 by Hamilton. All published by agents in the US government.

The lack of independent review frustrates Gabbard and some Marshall leaders.

“The Department of Energy is very aware of public distrust of their research on the Marshall Islands, but they have never shown an interest in doing anything about it, which is including independent scientists in their studies or consulting with the Marshall community for their knowledge of the environment,” Rhea Christian- Moss in an email to The Times.

“I’m not sure credibility is their goal,” he said.

Runit Dome, located in Enewetak Atoll on Marshall Island, has more than 3.1 million cubic feet – or 35 Olympic size swimming pools – of ground and radioactive debris produced by the US, including the amount of deadly plutonium produced by 67 bomb tests between 1946 and 1958.

Encouraged by “moral obligation,” the US government cleared irrigated atolls and irradiated land before surrendering the islands back to Marshall, in 1980. Marshall had voluntarily moved during the 1940s.

Waste – metal and concrete debris, and irradiated topsoil – were dumped in the atomic bomb crater on Runit Island, and covered with concrete.

Last year, Hamilton told a small audience of politicians and regulators Marshall and America that the dome might leak, and that it was vulnerable to rising sea levels and rising storm surges.

Congress, in its approval of the Defense Bill last year, ordered the Department of Energy to provide written reports on the risks posed by Runit Dome to people, the environment and wildlife in the Enewetak lagoon. In addition, the report requires an assessment of how climate change can affect locations.

“I think they would react very differently if it was in their backyard,” he told the report’s authors.

Gabbard said he would continue to press issues with the Department of Energy “and try to get answers that are not discussed in this report.”

Despite the outspokenness of the Marshall Islands and the legacy of US radiation there, Gabbard is often alone in public on this issue. Other key Democrats, including Sens. Mazie Hirono from Hawaii and Jack Reed from Rhode Island, ranking members of the Armed Forces Committee, declined to comment on this story.


Michael Gerrard, a law professor at Columbia University who has worked with the Marshall government on the issue of climate change and nuclear justice, is also dissatisfied with the Department of Energy’s report.

“The standard practice is to make scientific papers and reports for review by experts who are not affiliated with the authors of the papers,” Gerrard said when asked about the material used by the government to justify his report. “Self-review and affirmation are not accepted.”

(c) 2020 Los Angeles Times

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