Will Smith’s slavery film Emancipation pulls out of Georgia over voting laws

Will Smith’s slavery film Emancipation has pulled out of filming in Georgia over what the star has called the US state’s new “regressive voting laws”. In a statement issued to Deadline by Smith and director Antoine Fuqua, the pair said they felt “compelled” to act. “We cannot in good conscience provide economic support to a government that enacts regressive voting laws that are designed to restrict voter access.” Some feel the new law will restrict voting by disadvantaged groups. Deadline said the move by the Emancipation producers comes after weeks of discussions between the filmmakers, film officials and Georgia political … Continue reading Will Smith’s slavery film Emancipation pulls out of Georgia over voting laws

US congressman Matt Gaetz under federal investigation

Trump-boosting Florida Rep. Matt Gaetz is under federal investigation over allegations that he maintained a sexual relationship with a 17-year-old girl and paid for her to travel with him, according to a report Tuesday. Matt Gaetz The three-term Republican, who is one of former President Donald Trump’s most ardent allies on Capitol Hill, is being probed by Justice Department prosecutors for potentially breaking federal sex trafficking laws by allegedly traveling across state lines with the teen to engage in sex, multiple sources told The New York Times. The teen’s identity is not known, and it’s unclear how Gaetz, 38, met her. … Continue reading US congressman Matt Gaetz under federal investigation

Congo’s opposition candidate dies a day after elections

Guy Brice Parfait Kolelas, leading opposition presidential candidate in Republic of Congo’s election, died on Sunday, a day after the country went to the polls. Kolelas was hospitalised on the eve of the elections and died of COVID-19 as he was being taken to France for treatment, his campaign director Christian Cyr Rodrigue Mayanda told AFP news agency on Monday. Kolelas “died in the medical aircraft which came to get him from Brazzaville on Sunday afternoon”, added Mayanda. On Saturday, a family member told the Associated Press that Kolelas was receiving treatment at a private hospital in the capital Brazzaville … Continue reading Congo’s opposition candidate dies a day after elections

How The Mighty Falls: Former French president sentenced to jail for corruption

French ex-President Nicolas Sarkozy has been sentenced to three years in jail, two of them suspended, for corruption. He was convicted of trying to bribe a judge in 2014, after he had left office by suggesting he could secure a prestigious job for him in return for information about a separate case. Sarkozy, 66, is the first former French president to get a custodial sentence, his lawyer says he will appeal. Sarkozy will remain free during that process which could take years. In the ruling, Judge Christine Mée said the conservative politician “knew what [he] was doing was wrong”, adding … Continue reading How The Mighty Falls: Former French president sentenced to jail for corruption

Maori MP ejected from NZ parliament for refusing to wear tie

A leader of the Maori Party has been ejected from the New Zealand parliament for not wearing a tie. Male MPs can only ask questions in the debating chamber if wearing a tie. Speaker Trevor Mallard twice prevented Rawiri Waititi from asking questions. “It’s not about ties, it’s about cultural identity mate,” Mr Waititi said while exiting the chamber, local media reported, he has called ties “a colonial noose” and wore a greenstone pendant instead. After being stopped for a second time, Mr Waititi continued with his question until Mr Mallard ordered him to leave the chamber. Mr Waititi called … Continue reading Maori MP ejected from NZ parliament for refusing to wear tie

Mass detentions in Russia after Putin critic Navalny jailed

Nearly 1,400 people were detained in Russia during Tuesday’s protests in support of jailed opposition leader Alexei Navalny, rights monitors say. In Moscow, riot police were filmed beating demonstrators with batons. Mr Navalny, 44, was earlier jailed for three-and-a-half years for violating the conditions of a suspended sentence, he says the case was fabricated. He returned to Russia in January after being treated in Germany for a near-fatal nerve agent attack last August. Mr Navalny says Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered the attack with the Novichok agent, describing him as a “poisoner”. The Kremlin denies the allegation. The EU, the … Continue reading Mass detentions in Russia after Putin critic Navalny jailed

Italian prime minister resigns as political crisis deepens

Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte resigned from office on Tuesday, two weeks after a key coalition partner quit his government over its handling of the coronavirus pandemic and an economic downturn. Conte quit in the hope to be granted a fresh mandate by the head of state, President Sergio Mattarella, to form a new government after the coalition rupture left him without a majority in the Senate. Mattarella is expected to hold two days of formal consultations with all the parties this week before deciding what to do next, the president will start consultations with party leaders on Wednesday afternoon, … Continue reading Italian prime minister resigns as political crisis deepens

DRC honours Patrice Lumumba 60 years after his assassination

The Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) has honoured independence hero Patrice Lumumba, marking 60 years since his assassination in a plot linked to the fledgeling country’s colonial master, Belgium. President Felix Tshisekedi on Sunday paid tribute to the charismatic political leader at a site in the capital, Kinshasa, where a memorial is to be installed in his honour. Lumumba became the country’s first democratically elected prime minister after independence from Belgium in 1960, his government lasted just three months before he was overthrown and assassinated by firing squad. Lumumba’s body will never be recovered, however. Shot by Katangan separatists … Continue reading DRC honours Patrice Lumumba 60 years after his assassination

Russia moves to protect Putin from prosecution

The Russian parliament’s lower house – the Duma – has backed a bill granting Russian presidents and their families immunity from criminal prosecution after they leave office, it is among constitutional amendments approved in a referendum in July, supporters of President Vladimir Putin dominate both houses of parliament. Mr Putin’s fourth term ends in 2024, but the amendments allow him to run for two more terms. He is 68 and has no obvious successor, the immunity bill revives speculation about Mr Putin’s political future, he has been in power since 2000, exercising huge influence and patronage. His arch-critic Alexei Navalny … Continue reading Russia moves to protect Putin from prosecution

Pro-EU candidate Maia Sandu leads in preliminary results

Opposition candidate Maia Sandu holds a narrow lead over current leader Igor Dodon in Sunday’s presidential run-off election in Moldova, preliminary results say, with more than 99% of the vote counted, Ms Sandu is ahead with nearly 57.1% to President Dodon’s 42.9%. Ms Sandu, a former World Bank economist, favours closer ties with the EU, President Dodon, meanwhile, is openly backed by Russia, according to preliminary results, Maia Sandu has scored an emphatic victory. Moldova’s former prime minister said that as president she would make it her priority to tackle corruption and unite the country, she faces huge challenges, not … Continue reading Pro-EU candidate Maia Sandu leads in preliminary results

Australian PM under fire for interrupting female minister

Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison has been criticised for interrupting a senior minister who was responding to a question about what it’s like to be a woman in parliament. Anne Ruston, minister for families and social services, was asked if the political culture for women had improved, but she was interrupted a few words into her response. The incident comes amid reports of sexual misconduct in parliament, an investigation by ABC News’ Four Corners looked at allegations of inappropriate behaviour by ministers within the conservative government. Mr Morrison addressed the investigation in a press conference on Tuesday, where he defended his … Continue reading Australian PM under fire for interrupting female minister

BREAKING NEWS: Saad Hariri renamed Lebanon PM a year after stepping down

Lebanon’s leading politician Saad Hariri has secured enough support in parliamentary talks to be named prime minister and try to form a government to tackle the worst crisis since the country’s 1975-1990 civil war. A tally of nominations declared by politicians after consultations with President Michel Aoun showed Hariri had won the backing of 47 parliamentarians, more than the number of MPs yet to formally declare their stance, Reuters news agency reported on Thursday. Hariri would still face major challenges to navigate Lebanon’s power-sharing politics and agree a cabinet, which must then address a mounting list of woes, a banking … Continue reading BREAKING NEWS: Saad Hariri renamed Lebanon PM a year after stepping down