ONTD Political

Government falls apart after vice-chancellor resigns because of compromising secret video

Austria is heading for snap elections after the far-right vice-chancellor resigned over a video that appeared to show him promising public contracts to a woman posing as a Russian backer, in return for help in his election campaign.

The Austrian chancellor, Sebastian Kurz, said on Saturday that “enough was enough” and his conservative Austrian People’s party (ÖVP) was ending its 18-month-old coalition with the nationalist Freedom party (FPO). Elections would be held “as soon as possible”, Kurz said.

Kurz’s deputy, FPO leader Heinz-Christian Strache, earlier told a press conference he had been the victim of a “targeted political assassination” aimed at breaking apart the coalition government, and insisted he had done nothing illegal.

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I also recommend this article if you want some more details about the video (and also the other articles with the "Austria" tag.)

Opinion: Austria's far-right show their true colors

The audacity and arrogance of Austria's far-right led to their premature undoing. DW's Barbara Wesel sees the FPÖ scandal as a warning for conservatives willing to enter alliances with the far-right.

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A tumultuous first week for the new Estonian government has resulted in the resignation of a right-wing minister after just a day in office.

The far-right EKRE party gained five cabinet positions after a strong electoral performance.

Party leader Mart Helme and his son both made alleged white power gestures at their swearing-in on Monday.

Marti Kuusik, minister of foreign trade and IT, resigned the next day over accusations of domestic violence.

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19 April 2019

A video has emerged of armed right-wing militia members stopping over 300 migrants as they cross the Mexico border into the US state of New Mexico.

The group calls itself the United Constitutional Patriots, and are seen in the Facebook clip standing over migrants sitting on the desert ground.

The group's actions have been condemned by civil liberties groups and New Mexico state officials.

The militia supports President Donald Trump's plan for a border wall.

The incident comes amid a spike in border crossings, despite White House efforts to stem the influx.

What does the video show?...Collapse )

Leader of militia at US border boasted of training to kill Obama – FBI

22 April 2019

Larry Hopkins, arrested Friday on weapons charges, allegedly said his group also trained to assassinate Hillary Clinton and George Soros

The leader of an armed group that is stopping undocumented migrants who cross into the US from Mexico once boasted about training to assassinate Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton and George Soros, an FBI agent said in court papers on Monday.

Larry Mitchell Hopkins, leader of the United Constitutional Patriots (UCP), whose camouflage-wearing armed members claim to have helped US officials detain some 5,600 migrants in New Mexico’s desert in the last 60 days, was arrested on Friday on a weapons charge.

The UCP claims to have the support of US border patrol at a time when the agency is overwhelmed by record numbers of asylum seeking Central American families.

Dressed in clothing that resembles military fatigues and carrying weapons...Collapse )

Leader of self-styled U.S. citizen border patrol attacked in jail

24 APRIL 2019

SUNLAND PARK, N.M. (Reuters) - The leader of an armed militia that spent two months rounding up migrants at the U.S.-Mexico border before he was arrested on federal weapons charges was hospitalized after a jailhouse attack, his lawyer and authorities said on Wednesday.

Larry Hopkins, 69, whose group of self-styled citizen border cops drew condemnation from civil liberties advocates, suffered broken ribs in the beating by fellow inmates on Tuesday at the Dona Ana County Detention Center in Las Cruces, New Mexico, according to his attorney, Kelly O’Connell.

Hopkins was arrested on Saturday by the FBI on an outstanding warrant accusing him of being a felon in illegal possession of firearms, a charge dating back to a 2017 search of his home.

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Up to 200 ex-soldiers and police facing Troubles investigations

Figure comes as rift opens between Northern Ireland Office and MoD over how to deal with historical accusations

Trigger warning: racism, murder...Collapse )
OP: A big problem with the Good Friday Agreement which ended 'The Troubles', IMHO, is that there was never a vehicle for prosecuting those who, on both sides, committed awful human rights abuses (including murder). Much of that toxic legacy, and its origins, have never really been dealt with.
US threatens to veto UN resolution on rape as weapon of war, officials say

Trigger warning: sexism, misogyny, transphobia...Collapse )
OP: The racism tag is there because many conflicts in which rape has been used as a weapon of war of late are not in 'the west'. So ofc Trumpers don't care...

(CNN)A prominent young journalist was killed during a night of rioting in Londonderry on Thursday, in what police in Northern Ireland have described as a "terrorist incident."

Dissident republicans are believed to be responsible for the death of Lyra McKee, 29, who was shot during violent unrest in the Creggan area of the city, according to police. Images from the scene showed cars alight as a crowd threw fireworks and petrol bombs at emergency vehicles.
The city -- which is referred to by Irish nationalists as Derry and British unionists as Londonderry -- is a short drive from the border with the Republic of Ireland.
McKee was standing close to a police vehicle when she was wounded by a single gunman firing shots into a residential area. She died soon after from her injuries, assistant chief constable Mark Hamilton told reporters Friday. Police do not know if she was working as a journalist at the time, or was in the city for personal reasons.

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The Guardian view on Lyra McKee’s murder: she should have been the future

The death of a young journalist at the hands of dissident republicans is a tragedy linked to the province’s ongoing political crisis

The murder of the 29-year-old Northern Irish journalist and author Lyra McKee late last night is a tragedy for those who knew her. But her shooting, during rioting in Derry, is of political as well as terrible personal significance. There could hardly be a starker warning that while the Troubles may have officially ended with the Good Friday agreement 21 years ago, the risk of further violence remains.

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Fifty shades of white: the long fight against racism in romance novels

For decades, the world of romantic fiction has been divided by a heated debate about racism and diversity. Is there any hope of a happy ending?


Last year, the Strand Bookstore in New York convened an all-star panel titled Let’s Woman-Splain Romance! The line to get in the door stretched down the block, and the room was thrumming with glee even before the panel started. This was not an audience that needed to be told that smart women read romance novels, or that the genre could be feminist. The authors speaking that night were all big names, including Beverly Jenkins, an iconic author of African American historical romance – who blew a kiss to the audience as she was introduced to whoops of delight – and two breakout stars of the previous year, Alisha Rai and Alyssa Cole.

Trigger warning: racism under the cutCollapse )

OP note: The discussion mainly focuses on racism in the romance industry, but homophobia is mentioned in passing. I think it is also important to note that, this industry is: (1) racist racist racist, (2) homophobic and heteronormative, (3) transphobic, (4) ableist, (5) ageist. Yuck.

OP note 2: I wish the article hadn't referenced 50 Shades of Sh*t, which needs to disappear into oblivion IMO.
Return of the cat man of Aleppo

Meet the cat man of Aleppo.

The cat man of Aleppo, Mohammad Aljaleel, touched the hearts of millions when his sanctuary featured in a BBC video in 2016 (above). He had to leave the city when it fell to Syrian government forces, but he's now back - in an area nearby - and helping children as well as animals, reports Diana Darke.
Really amazing story under the cut...Collapse )
OP: It sounds like a lot of adults could stand to learn a thing or to from this amazing man...
'We're the ones affected': teen climate activist on her viral clash with US senator

In a Guardian interview, Isha Clarke says she’s been inspired by student climate strikes in the UK and is planning one in the US

Isha Clarke, 16, was one of several young activists seen in a viral clash with California Senator Dianne Feinstein.

Awesome and fierce young people under the cut...Collapse )
OP: Let's act against climate change!

The Indian Ocean island has Africa’s highest rate of children’s malnutrition, increasing health risk from measles infection

At least 922 children and young adults have died of measles in Madagascar since October, despite a huge emergency vaccination program, the World Health Organization (WHO) said on Thursday.

The number of deaths is based on official numbers, but these are likely to be very incomplete, as is the current total of infections, at 66,000, Dr Katrina Kretsinger of WHO’s expanded program on immunization told a news briefing.

Measles is a highly contagious viral disease that can cause complications including blindness and brain swelling and increase susceptibility to other diseases.

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