WORLD POLITICAL NEWS DAILY BRIEF: 01 August 2017

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By Politicoscope August 1, 2017 18:26
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WORLD BRIEF: The number of people with an immigrant background in Germany rose 8.5 percent to a record 18.6 million in 2016, largely due to an increase in refugees, the Federal Statistics Office said on Tuesday.

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WORLD POLITICAL NEWS DAILY BRIEF: 01 August 2017

Immigrant population hits new high in Germany
The number of people with an immigrant background in Germany rose 8.5 percent to a record 18.6 million in 2016, largely due to an increase in refugees, the Federal Statistics Office said on Tuesday. Just over a fifth of the population – 22.5 percent – were first or second generation immigrants with at least one parent born without German citizenship. Around 2.3 million people in Germany have family links to the Middle East, a rise of almost 51 percent since 2011, and around 740,000 people have African origins, an increase of 46 percent since 2011, the figures showed. (Reuters)

Czech Republic opens new office to deal with cyberattacks
The Czech Republic has opened a new office focused on preventing cyberattacks. The Czech National Cyber and Information Security Office is based in country’s second-largest city, Brno. It employs 118 people for now, but officials say the staff could grow to 400. The official opening on Tuesday comes as public institutions and businesses have reported a growing number of attacks. The foreign minister announced earlier this year that his email account and the accounts of dozens of ministry officials were hacked. (AP)

US to test launch unarmed ICBM from California
The US Air Force is planning to test an unarmed Minuteman 3 intercontinental ballistic missile with a launch from Vandenberg Air Force Base in California. The 30th Space Wing says the missile will be launched between 12:01am and 6:01am Wednesday. An Air Force statement says the purpose is to test the effectiveness, readiness, and accuracy of the weapon system. Minuteman missiles are regularly tested with launches from Vandenberg that send unarmed re-entry vehicles 6,800km across the Pacific to a target area at Kwajalein Atoll. The latest launches come amid tensions with North Korea as that nation develops its own ICBMs. Previous Minuteman launches this year were conducted in February, April and May. (AP)

Macedonia, Bulgaria sign historic pact to cool old rivalry
Macedonia and neighboring Bulgaria have signed a historic friendship agreement. The deal, in which both countries have renounced territorial claims against each other and Bulgaria commits to backing its smaller neighbor’s bids to join the European Union and NATO, was warmly hailed by EU and German officials. Macedonia’s Prime Minister Zoran Zaev and Bulgaria’s Boiko Borisov signed the agreement Tuesday in Skopje, where Borisov is on a two-day visit. It says neither country will engage in or back hostile acts against the other. It also calls for a committee to re-examine their common history. Bulgaria historically regarded Macedonians and their language as a branch of the Bulgarian nation and language. (AP)

Romania to spend $11.3bn on defense in next decade
Romania’s top defense body has approved a €9.8 billion ($11.3 billion) spending plan for the next decade and has pledged to spend 2 percent of its GDP on defense as NATO requests of its members. The Supreme Defense Council met Tuesday and agreed to spend the money to upgrade the country’ military from 2017-2026. Last week Defense Minister Adrian Tutuianu said Romania would buy Patriot missiles worth $3.9 billion from the US. Parliament needs to pass a law that would allow the acquisition. The US State Department approved the sale in July. (AP)

Spanish court rules to extradite detained Russian programmer Lisov to US
A Spanish court has granted a US request to extradite Russian programmer Stanislav Lisov, detained on suspicion of designing computer malware, to the US, the country’s National Judicial Board said. The document notes that the court “has agreed to grant a demand on the extradition,” TASS reported on Tuesday. The US is demanding the Russian programmer’s extradition on suspicion of “actions related to the development and use of computer malware.” Lisov was detained at Barcelona Airport on January 13 on a request from the US. Washington suspects Lisov of developing and using a new banking Trojan, NeverQuest, together with other persons to gain “access to computers of individuals and financial institutions to steal banking data, information on credit cards and personal data.”

Greek Patriarch denounces Israeli court’s real estate ruling
The Greek Orthodox Church is denouncing an Israeli court decision that ruled a 2004 sale of prime church property to companies representing Jews seeking to expand their presence in Jerusalem’s Old City was done legally. In an ad published in the Al Quds newspaper Tuesday, the Greek Patriarch asserted the deal was conducted illegally under the watch of the previous patriarch – who was deposed as a result. The court’s decision paves the way for three Old City structures to be leased for 99 years to Ateret Cohanim – a group associated with West Bank settlers. The patriarch says it will “exert all the efforts and legal and financial means to cancel this deal.” Most of Jerusalem’s Orthodox Christians are Palestinian, and reject selling land to Jews. (AP)

Pakistani lawmakers elect Abbasi as PM to replace ousted Nawaz Sharif
Pakistani lawmakers on Tuesday elected former petroleum minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi as the country’s new prime minister, replacing ousted veteran leader Nawaz Sharif. Sharif’s ruling PML-N party used its majority in the National Assembly to install Abbasi, after the Supreme Court last week ordered Nawaz Sharif disqualified from office over failure to disclose a source of income. Abassi’s tenure is expected to be short, as Sharif has earmarked his brother Shahbaz as the successor once he becomes eligible. Shahbaz, currently the chief minister of the vast Punjab province, needs to win a parliamentary by-election before other lawmakers can elect him as prime minister. (Reuters)

Jordanian parliament repeals ‘marry the rapist’ clause
The lower house of Jordan’s parliament on Tuesday scrapped a provision in the kingdom’s penal code that allowed a rapist to escape punishment if he married his victim. Cheers and applause erupted from a packed spectators’ gallery as legislators voted for repeal, following an emotional debate in which some of the lawmakers jumped up and yelled at each other. The vote was hailed as a major step forward for women in the conservative kingdom. In Tuesday’s debate, some lawmakers had argued that an amended version of Article 308 was needed to protect rape victims against social stigma by giving them the marriage option. In the end, lawmakers voted in line with the recommendations of the government and a royal committee on legal reforms. (AP)

Iran says new US sanctions breach nuclear deal – report
Iran has complained to the UN Security Council about sanctions the US imposed on Iran in July, saying they breached Tehran’s nuclear deal with major powers, the speaker of parliament was quoted on Tuesday as saying. The nuclear deal (also referred to as JCPOA), signed in 2015 by Iran and the six powers including the US, led to the lifting of most sanctions against Tehran in return for curbs on its nuclear program. “Iran’s JCPOA supervisory body assessed the new US sanctions [on Tehran] and decided that they contradict parts of the nuclear deal,” Ali Larijani was quoted by the Tasnim news agency as saying. “Iran has complained to the UN Security Council for the breach of the JCPOA by America,” he added. (Reuters)

Germany urges US to talk to EU about Russia sanctions
Germany’s economy minister appealed to the US on Tuesday to talk to Europeans about the effects of tougher sanctions they plan to introduce against Russia, saying European companies must not be punished. “The threat from the US to also punish European companies by so-called extra-territorial sanctions is not acceptable,” said Economy Minister Brigitte Zypries. “It would be very desirable for the US government to sit down with us at the negotiating table and to work through an acceptable solution for all parties,” she said. Germany’s government and business leaders say the new sanctions could prevent German companies from working on pipeline projects they say are essential to the country’s energy security. (Reuters)

MSF refuses to sign on to new migrant rescue rules
Medical charity Doctors Without Borders (MSF) refused Monday to sign a code of conduct on migrant-saving operations in the Mediterranean, while others including Save the Children approved the new rules. “There were two sticking points that prevented us from signing the code,” said Tommaso Fabbri, head of MSF’s Italy mission. One was the obligation for rescue vessels to operate with an Italian police official on board, and the other was the ban on moving rescued migrants from one aid vessel to another at sea, which complicated missions, he said. “We are doctors, not policemen,” Fabbri told AFP. “We will continue to carry out rescue operations without changing anything,” he said, but added the organization was “open to controls” by the Italian coastguard.

UN begins removing rebel weapons from camps in Colombia
The UN on Monday began removing containers holding more than 7,000 weapons from demobilization zones where the arms were handed over by former fighters for Colombia’s largest rebel group who are beginning life as civilians under a peace agreement. Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos said the removal marks the end of a ceasefire started in June 2016. About 7,000 members of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia finished turning over their weapons in late June. The guns will eventually be melted down to construct three peace monuments. Colombia’s armed conflict lasted more than five decades and left at least 250,000 people dead and another 60,000 disappeared. (AP)

China formally opens 1st overseas military base in Djibouti
China formally opened its first overseas military base on Tuesday with a flag raising ceremony in Djibouti in the Horn of Africa, the same day as the People’s Liberation Army marks its 90th birthday, state media said. Djibouti’s position on the northwestern edge of the Indian Ocean has fuelled worry in India that it would become another of China’s “string of pearls” military alliances and assets ringing India, including Bangladesh, Myanmar and Sri Lanka. China began construction of a logistics base in Djibouti last year. It will be used to resupply navy ships taking part in peacekeeping and humanitarian missions off the coasts of Yemen and Somalia, in particular. It is China’s first overseas naval base, though Beijing officially describes it as a logistics facility. (Reuters)

Japan’s Abe to shuffle cabinet as voter support plummets
Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe will shake up his cabinet this week, the government’s top spokesman said Tuesday, as public support plummets after a series of scandals. Abe himself has faced claims he used influence to help a friend in a business deal, an accusation he denies, while the country’s defense minister resigned last week following a controversy over military documents. Abe told ministers he was planning a reshuffle on Thursday to “push ahead with various reforms under a new line-up,” Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga told reporters. Suga said the new cabinet’s top priority would be reviving the economy, adding it would also work to ensure national security, in an apparent reference to North Korea’s increasing missile threat. (AFP)

Almost 500 to face judges in Turkey’s biggest coup trial
Nearly 500 people arrested in the crackdown following the failed July 15, 2016 coup in Turkey go on trial Tuesday accused of conspiring to oust the government from an air base seen as the plotters’ hub. A total of 486 suspects will go on trial in a purpose-built courtroom outside Ankara, charged with crimes ranging from murder, violating the constitution and attempting to kill President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Anadolu reported. They are accused of running the coup bid from the Akinci air base northwest of the capital, which the authorities regard as the headquarters of the plotters where orders were sent out for fighter jets to bomb parliament. Almost all the suspects – a total of 461 individuals – are held in custody. (AFP)



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Politicoscope
By Politicoscope August 1, 2017 18:26
Since You’re Here, We Would Like to ask You for Help
There are more readers worldwide reading the Politicoscope daily news content than ever before. Unlike many other news media organisations that charge their readers subscription fees for the same daily news content and features we offer you for free, we do not charge all our readers to pay any fee. We depend on online advertising to generate the revenues to fund all these great news content and exclusive features provided to you for free. Currently, advertising revenues are quickly falling which is affecting our ability to offer you free online news content.
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