Εμφάνιση αναρτήσεων με ετικέτα vote. Εμφάνιση όλων των αναρτήσεων
Εμφάνιση αναρτήσεων με ετικέτα vote. Εμφάνιση όλων των αναρτήσεων

Τετάρτη, Φεβρουαρίου 25, 2015

Obama vetoes Keystone XL pipeline bill

The U.S. President Barack Obama vetoed the Keystone XL pipeline bill Tuesday, reiterating that the decision to build the project belongs to the government.

"Through this bill, the United States Congress attempts to circumvent longstanding and proven processes for determining whether or not building and operating a cross-border pipeline serves the national interest," said Obama in his veto message.


"This act of Congress conflicts with established executive branch procedures and cuts short through consideration of issues that could bear on our national interest, including our security, safety and environment, it has earned my veto," said Obama.

In a statement, U.S. Senate majority leader Mitch McConnell said: "It's extremely disappointing that President Obama vetoed a bipartisan bill that would support thousands of good jobs and pump billions of dollars into the economy."

The Senate will soon vote on an override no later than March 3, said McConnell.

However, right now the Republicans didn't get a veto-proof majority both in the Senate and the House.

The Keystone XL oil pipeline which is designed to go from Canada through the U.S. State of Montana and South Dakota to Nebraska has been delayed by the U.S. government for several years as the government failed to finish its environmental impact evaluation. 

  Xinhua - china.org.cn
25/2/15
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Τετάρτη, Ιανουαρίου 21, 2015

US Senate Likely to Vote on Keystone XL Next Week

The US Senate will likely vote on the Keystone XL Pipeline bill next week before advancing it to US President Barack Obama’s desk for approval, Republican Senator from North Dakota John Hoeven said, following the president’s State of the Union speech on Tuesday.
 “I anticipate that next week sometime we’ll have a vote in the Senate [on the Keystone XL Pipeline bill] hopefully advance it and go to conference with the House and then send it to the president [Obama],” Hoeven said during an interview with C-SPAN when asked when the Keystone XL Pipeline bill would be voted on in the US Senate.

Senator Hoeven argued that President Obama was taking credit for the United States, producing more oil and gas and becoming more energy secure. However, Hoeven said that if the president vetoed the Keystone bill, as he has stated previously, he would be “holding up the kind of infrastructure we need to continue to do it again.”

During State of the Union address on Tuesday, Obama urged Congress to pass a bipartisan infrastructure plan that could create more jobs than the current Keystone XL Pipeline proposal, allowing the company TransCanada Corporation to build and operate the pipeline from Alberta, Canada, to the US Gulf Coast.

The US Senate will likely vote on the Keystone XL Pipeline bill next week before advancing it to US President Barack Obama’s desk for approval, Republican Senator from North Dakota John Hoeven said, following the president’s State of the Union speech on Tuesday.

“I anticipate that next week sometime we’ll have a vote in the Senate [on the Keystone XL Pipeline bill] hopefully advance it and go to conference with the House and then send it to the president [Obama],” Hoeven said during an interview with C-SPAN when asked when the Keystone XL Pipeline bill would be voted on in the US Senate.

Senator Hoeven argued that President Obama was taking credit for the United States, producing more oil and gas and becoming more energy secure. However, Hoeven said that if the president vetoed the Keystone bill, as he has stated previously, he would be “holding up the kind of infrastructure we need to continue to do it again.”

During State of the Union address on Tuesday, Obama urged Congress to pass a bipartisan infrastructure plan that could create more jobs than the current Keystone XL Pipeline proposal, allowing the company TransCanada Corporation to build and operate the pipeline from Alberta, Canada, to the US Gulf Coast.
 http://sputniknews.com/us/20150121/1017159145.html
21/1/15
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Σάββατο, Ιανουαρίου 10, 2015

US House approves Keystone XL pipeline (266 votes to 153)

The Republican-controlled House approved the Keystone XL oil pipeline easily on Friday, ignoring the recent veto threat against this project from US President Obama.

The House passed the project by 266 votes to 153, the tenth time that the chamber has passed the pro-Keystone legislation. The Senate is set to consider the legislation next week.


Just hours before the House's vote, Nebraska's Supreme Court overturned a lower court decision to greenlight the construction of the project, ruling out one of the arguments that the White House can block the project.

The White House spokesman Eric Schultz said in a statement that the administration would incorporate the court's decision into its evaluation of Keystone.

"President Obama is out of excuses for deciding whether or not to allow thousands of Americans to get back to work," Senate majority leader Mitch McConnell said in a statement referring to the court decision.

But Schultz also reiterated the president's veto threat saying the House bill still conflicts with longstanding presidential authority and the review process of complex issues bearing national interests.

"If presented to the president, he will veto the bill," said Schultz.

The 7-billion-US dollar project is proposed to go from Canada through the US State of Montana and South Dakota to Nebraska, where it would connect with existing pipelines to carry more than 800,000 barrels of crude oil a day to refineries along the US Gulf Coast.

The project has been delayed for years as critics say it could worsen climate change by enabling further growth from the oil sands, which create higher greenhouse gas emissions than some other forms of production.

But Republicans insist that it will create jobs and enhance US energy security and Mitch McConnell has said the first bill that the Republican-led Senate will bring to President Obama's desk is the approval of the Keystone XL pipeline.

The White House said on Tuesday that President Obama would not sign the legislation approving the Keystone XL pipeline project before the State Department finishes its review process even if the Congress passed the controversial legislation.


Analysts said at present Republicans still do not have a veto- proof majority to pass the bill.

 Source:Xinhua - globaltimes.cn
10/1/15
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Τετάρτη, Νοεμβρίου 19, 2014

US Senate fails to approve Keystone XL pipeline. (just one vote short of the 60 needed)

The U.S. Senate on Tuesday failed to pass legislation approving construction of the controversial Keystone XL pipeline after the Republican-controlled House approved the same bill last week.
The Democratic-led Senate voted 59 to 41 to defeat the legislation that would bring Canada's oil sands to refineries in the United States, just one vote short of the 60 needed for passage in the 100-member chamber.


The 7-billion-U.S. dollar Keystone XL project is proposed to go from Canada through the U.S. State of Montana and South Dakota to Nebraska, where it would connect with existing pipelines to carry more than 800,000 barrels of crude oil a day to refineries along the U.S. Gulf Coast.

The project has been delayed for years as critics say it could worsen climate change by enabling further growth from the oil sands, which create higher greenhouse gas emissions than some other forms of production. But Republicans insist that it will create jobs and enhance U.S. energy security.

The State Department said in April that it will provide more time for relative federal agencies to review the Keystone XL pipeline project, "based on the uncertainty created by the on-going litigation in the Nebraska Supreme Court which could ultimately affect the pipeline route in that state".

U.S. President Barack Obama also said last week that lawmakers should not "short-circuit" the federal review of the pipeline that is already underway. The Nebraska Supreme Court is expected to issue a verdict on the route of the pipeline by the end of this year, according to local media.

The Senate is likely to advance the Keystone XL pipeline legislation again next January, when Republicans take over the majority in the upper chamber. But it's unclear whether Obama will veto the bill if the Republican-controlled both chambers approve the legislation. Analysts said the controversial pipeline has become a potent symbol of energy and environmental policy to serve both sides as a political tool.  

  Xinhua - china.org.cn 
 19/11/14
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Τετάρτη, Σεπτεμβρίου 17, 2014

No matter the outcome, ‘Scotland will never be the same again’

Just a day before Scotland votes on the most important decision to face the country in centuries, people in the capital Edinburgh, like the rest of the UK, await the outcome of the referendum with a tangible mix of hope, fear, and apprehension.

In the historic city’s bustling pubs and cafés, the talk is of little else. Local radio and TV coverage is blanket, and tabloid headlines scream from newsagent windows. Hardly a wall in the capital isn’t covered with the now iconic “yes” and “no” posters, and on each of the capital’s cobbled streets are enthusiastic campaigners brandishing placards for both the rival camps.


The race could not be closer. An average of polls taken over the final week before the referendum puts the "No" vote on 51 percent and "Yes" on 49 percent, according to research institute ScotCen.

But there is a palpable sense that whatever happens when voters head to the polls that the country is entering a new, and uncertain, chapter in its long history. "Scotland will never be the same again", has been the oft-quoted refrain in newspaper editorials throughout this campaign.

Even at this point in the campaigning, questions still remain over what exactly an independent Scotland would look like should it make the momentous decision of ending a union that stretches back 300 years to 1707.

What currency would an independent Scotland use? Would it be able to rejoin the EU and will big businesses decide to move south of the border, taking jobs and tax revenues with them?

‘Think very carefully’

“I feel very passionate about Scotland and about being Scottish, I want to make that clear,” says health worker Sue Murray outside the Scottish National Gallery, a supporter of the “no” vote. “But I have a good grasp of the economic and emotional issues and I just think the risks of independence outweigh the gains.”

“I’ve seen what happened with the Czech Republic and Slovakia when they separated and Slovakia came off the poorer, I think the same thing could happen to Scotland.

“I just hope those who are voting yes or are unsure think very carefully about their final decision on Thursday.”

For some, the uncertainties over Scotland’s future could have significant personal consequences.

Eduardo Lopez, 28, moved from Spain to Edinburgh two years ago to learn English, and he fears what independence could mean for his status as an immigrant.

“I’m concerned because I don’t know what’s going to happen, if they are still going to be in the European Union,” he says from the tourist shop, stuffed to the rafters with tartan, where he works. “As an immigrant, I’m a little bit worried.”

Though he is entitled to vote as a Scottish resident and EU citizen, Eduardo will not be voting on Thursday.

“It’s not my right to have a say over the future of somebody else’s country,” he says.

  • But a “no” vote could raise just as many questions over Scotland’s future. London has already promised the Scottish parliament increased powers in a bid to win support for staying in the UK and many feel that this campaign has now fundamentally changed Scotland’s future, no matter the outcome.

“Yes” campaigner Graham Marshall is among them. He believes that even if Thursday’s referendum ends in a “no” vote the momentum has already swung irreversibly in favour towards an independent Scotland.

“Independence is inevitable,” he says at the campaign headquarters for the well-heeled Newington and Southside district of Edinburgh, “If we don’t get it this time, we will next time.”

He blames the “no” camp for spreading “disinformation” about the risks facing Scotland should choose to go it alone as an independent country.

“From the start, they have tried to intimidate us and frighten us,” he says, “That’s what made me want to get involved, seeing the lies that were out there makes you want to do something.”

Healing rifts


The referendum debate has grown increasingly heated as crunch day approaches, with Labour leader Ed Miliband even being forced to abandon a walkabout in Edinburgh on Tuesday after coming under a hail of abuse from pro-independence supporters – and some fear that regardless of the result of the vote, a rift has opened up within Scotland that may take some time to heal.

Indeed, the issue has stirred such strong feelings that some have chosen to travel thousands of miles to make their voice heard.

"I have lived through two referendums in my own country and seen the negative consequences they can have. Lots of companies left the province. It's not just scare tactics."

She points out that she has seen in her own country how debates over national identity have turned people against each other.

“It has become very divisive,” she says as she hands out leaflets in Edinburgh’s city centre. “The Scottish people are very passionate and whatever happens there will be the need for reconciliation,” she says.

However, back in the Newington and Southside campaign headquarters, Graham Marshall is relaxed about any possible fallout.

“The day after the vote, people are still going to be talking to each other,” he says. “If South Africa can move on after apartheid, then I think Scotland will be all right.”

http://www.france24.com/en/20140917-scotland-referendum-vote-united-kingdom-edinburgh-gb-yes-no/
17/9/14
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Τετάρτη, Ιουνίου 04, 2014

Kerry urges Assad's allies to end Syria war

BEIRUT: US Secretary of State John Kerry dismissed Syria's election as a "great big zero" on Wednesday, urging President Bashar al-Assad's allies Iran, Russia and Hezbollah to end the country's three-year war.

His remarks during a surprise trip to Beirut came ahead of the publication of official results from the election, dubbed a "disgrace" by Washington.

Kerry also announced US$290 million in humanitarian aid for Syria and neighbouring countries hosting refugees, key among them Lebanon.


Assad is expected to win in a poll that was not even held in the roughly 60 percent of the country out of government control.

"With respect to the elections that took place, the so-called elections, the elections are non-elections," Kerry told journalists in the Lebanese capital.

"The elections are a great big zero. They're meaningless, and they're meaningless because you can't have an election where millions of your people don't even have an ability to vote, where they don't have an ability to contest the election, and they have no choice."

He said that "nothing has changed" as a result of the poll, adding: "The conflict is the same, the terror is the same, the killing is the same."

Syrian state media has trumpeted a high turnout, with pro-government newspaper Al-Watan saying "millions" had cast ballots and estimating 70 per cent participation in some provinces, a figure dismissed by activists who charged that people voted out of fear rather than conviction.

Nationwide violence, however, killed 209 people on polling day, including 71 civilians, a monitoring group said.

  • Despite the criticism from Kerry and other senior American officials, Syrian opposition activists have slammed Washington for failing to take more decisive action on the years-long conflict.
Former US ambassador to Syria Robert Ford joined in the criticism, telling CNN he had retired last month after almost three years working with the opposition because he could no longer defend US policy.

Kerry urged key backers of the Syrian president to end the war.

  • "I particularly call on those nations directly supporting the Assad regime ... I call on them -- Iran, Russia, and I call on Hezbollah, based right here in Lebanon -- to engage in the legitimate effort to bring this war to an end."
The trio have been repeatedly criticised by Western countries for backing Assad, with Moscow in particular coming under fire for vetoing draft resolutions in the UN Security Council four times in defence of its ally Damascus.

Russia earlier called for the speedy appointment of a new UN envoy after Lakhdar Brahimi, who brokered two rounds of abortive peace talks between the Syrian regime and the opposition, stepped down over the weekend saying his mediation had reached a stalemate.

  • Brahimi had infuriated Damascus by criticising Tuesday's election as an obstacle to his peace efforts.
Kerry meanwhile pledged to boost humanitarian aid to people affected by the Syrian war.

"Today, I am pleased to announce on behalf of the American people and on behalf of President Obama another US$290 million in humanitarian assistance for those affected by the conflict, both inside Syria and the communities throughout the region where they have taken refuge," he said.

"With the newest contribution that I've announced today, the United States has now committed more than US$2 billion to support refugees and the nations that have opened their doors to them," he added.

"A large portion of the assistance that I just announced today, US$51 million, will go directly to refugees in Lebanon and the communities that I just mentioned that host them here," he said.

  • At more than one million, Lebanon hosts the highest number of Syria's nearly three million refugees.
"It's important for all of us to recognize the human catastrophe that is unfolding before our eyes, and that is why we in the United States have worked so hard to try to push for a political solution, which is the only real solution to this conflict," Kerry said.

A peaceful revolt demanding political change broke out in Syria in March 2011, but the crackdown by the Assad regime was so brutal that protesters later took up arms.

The war that ensued has killed more than 162,000 people and forced nearly half the population to flee their homes.
- AFP

channelnewsasia.com
4/6/14
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Τρίτη, Ιουνίου 03, 2014

Syria hails big turnout in presidential poll

Voting extended for five hours in first Syrian election for 50 years, which incumbent Assad seems certain to win....

Syrians are voting in a presidential election which the incumbent Bashar al-Assad is widely expected to win.
State television said on Tuesday that voting had been extended for five hours "because of the massive influx of voters". Polls will now close at 9pm GMT.

  • Voting is only taking place in government-controlled territories, meaning those displaced by fighting or living in rebel-held areas will not be able to take part.
The opposition has dismissed the vote as a "farce" that will prolong the country's three-year conflict. The vote excludes regime opponents from running.

The US called the election a disgrace, saying Assad "has no more credibility today than he did yesterday."
  • The election is Syria's first in nearly 50 years. Assad and his father Hafez have renewed their mandates in referendums.
Al Jazeera's Rula Amin, reporting from the Al Masnaa border crossing in Lebanon's Bekaa Valley, said: "The opposition says this is a farce, they don't recognise these elections. They say there is no way it could be legitimate while civil war is raging in the country, while it's being organised by the same president they want to overthrow.
Syrian television showed Assad casting his ballot at a school in the Damascus neighbourhood of al-Maliki. He was accompanied by his wife, Asma.
Assad faces two practically unknown competitors - Maher al-Hajjad and Hassan al-Nuri.
Nuri, who studied in the US and speaks English, told the AFP news agency he expected to come second after Assad.
Both he and Hajjar have only lightly criticised Assad's rule, for fear of being linked to an opposition that has been branded "terrorist" by the regime. The two men are, instead, focusing on corruption and economic policy.
The vote takes place as the war continues, with the air force bombarding rebel areas in Aleppo and fierce fighting in Hama, Damascus, Idlib and Daraa.
More than 15 million Syrians will be able to cast their vote in 11,000 ballot boxes distributed in more than 9,000 offices, which will be open from 7am to 7pm local time.
  • Observers from countries allied to the regime - North Korea, Iran and Russia - are supervising the election, while a security plan has reportedly been put in place in Syrian cities to prevent possible attacks against voters and polling stations.
 Source: Al Jazeera and agencies 
3/6/14
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Σάββατο, Μαΐου 17, 2014

Security fears mount over Ukraine vote

Electoral commission calls for more security, saying 2 million people in east may be unable to vote because of violence....

Ukraine's electoral body has voiced fears that it may be impossible to hold next weekend's presidential poll in the east, where a pro-Moscow insurgency is threatening to plunge the country into a civil war.
The Central Election Commission said on Saturday it could not prepare for the vote in the region because of threats and "illegal actions" by separatists who have overrun more than a dozen towns and cities since early April, the news agency, AFP, reported.
It called for the authorities in Kiev to take urgent action to ensure security, saying that violence could prevent almost two million people from voting on May 25, when some 36 million overall will be called to the polls.
The warning came as Ukraine's embattled government held a second round of "national unity" dialogue under a Western-backed plan to try to defuse the crisis, but failed to report any progress.
Russia said Kiev must first halt its month-long offensive against the rebels, questioning the legitimacy of an election held under "the thunder of guns".

Separatist leaders 'not invited'
While Saturday's talks in the eastern city of Kharkiv included a broad spectrum of Ukrainian politicians, including pro-Russians, no separatist leaders were invited.
"Round tables are beautiful things but they won't solve anything," said Aleksandr Borodai, "prime minister" of the rebels' self-declared People's Republic of Donetsk, one of the rebel-held areas in the east.
The West sees next Sunday's election as crucial to defusing the crisis and preventing the recession-hit country from disintegrating further after Russia's annexation of Crimea.
Despite a month-long offensive, the Ukrainian military has failed to wrest back control of the main industrial regions of Donetsk and Lugansk, where rebels have declared their own independent republics in defiance of Kiev and the West.
"Can elections held amid the thunder of guns really meet the democratic norms of the electoral process?" Russia's foreign ministry said in a statement, urging Kiev to immediately halt "punitive action against its own citizens".
Moscow said Kiev was using the unity talks "as a cover for aggressive action" and urged Western nations to tell Kiev to "launch real and not phony work towards national reconciliation".

West warnings
  • At Saturday's round-table, interim Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk said the government was in favour of giving eastern Ukraine more financial autonomy but again ruled out the idea of federalism - a policy favoured by Russia.
"Ukrainians, please, use words not weapons," pleaded Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE)-appointed mediator Wolfgang Ischinger.
The West has kept up the pressure on Moscow to allow the election to go ahead.
  • In a phone call on Friday, US President Barack Obama and French counterpart Francois Hollande "underscored that Russia will face significant additional costs if it continues its provocative and destabilising behaviour".
Obama has already drafted an executive order for sanctions across key sectors such as banking, energy, defence and mining, adding to punitive measures already imposed by Washington and Brussels.
The election is expected to deliver victory to billionaire chocolate baron Petro Poroshenko, who enjoys a huge lead over former prime minister Yulia Tymoschenko.
AFP,  aljazeera.com
17/5/14

Τετάρτη, Νοεμβρίου 27, 2013

Berlusconi expelled from parliament. -Former prime minister kicked out over his tax fraud conviction - but many believe the 77-year-old can rise again.


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The Italian Senate has expelled three-time ex-premier Silvio Berlusconi from Parliament over his tax fraud conviction.
The vote on Wednesday halts the 77-year-old Berlusconi's legislative run for at least six years, but does not mark the end of his political career.
Berlusconi had maintained his defiance ahead of the vote, declaring Wednesday a "day of mourning for democracy" before thousands of cheering, flag-waving supporters outside his Roman palazzo.

Even though Berlusconi will not hold a seat in Parliament, he is expected to remain influential in Italian politics. He has relaunched his Forza Italia party and analysts estimate he still has millions of supporters.

The Senate speaker declared he was ineligible for a seat in parliament after the house rejected a series of challenges by
Berlusconi's supporters to a proposal for his expulsion. No formal vote was held.
The culmination of months of political wrangling, the vote on Wednesday opens an uncertain new phase for one of Italy's most divisive figures, who has dominated politics for two decades.
The former prime minister has asked fellow senators to delay the vote, claiming to have new evidence warranting a judicial review of his conviction, but it is expected to go ahead at 1800 GMT.
"Berlusconi is still extremely powerful, although that power is declining," said James Walston, a professor at the American University in Rome.
"He still has enormous resources, he still has his media, he still has lots of very diehard supporters inside and outside parliament."
Berlusconi will now be banned from taking part in any general election for six years and will lose his parliamentary immunity, which offers safeguards against arrest.
The vote comes at an economically crucial time for Italy, which is struggling to end its longest post-war recession, and just as parliament debates next year's budget.
Prime Minister Enrico Letta has called for a "non-chaotic situation in Italy," saying a division within Berlusconi's ranks "will help stability."
A group of dissidents led by Berlusconi's former protege, the deputy prime minister Angelino Alfano, broke away earlier this month to form their own group.

'Indelible stain'
But the coalition would have a much narrower Senate majority of around 10 seats, and could be vulnerable to sniping from Berlusconi even outside parliament.
Berlusconi has said a vote to expel him from parliament would be an "indelible stain" on Italian democracy.
"[It] would shame you in front of your children, your voters and all Italians," he said in an open letter to senators, maintaining the vote was "not about me, but about democracy."
Even some of Berlusconi's most hardline opponents have voiced doubts about the expulsion vote and the idea of beating the 77-year-old through the courts and parliament instead of at the ballot box.
Ejection from the Senate would also remove Berlusconi's parliamentary immunity, which offers a series of safeguards against the arrest of lawmakers, and observers say he is concerned about a possible arrest - although his lawyers dismiss the prospect as "completely unrealistic."
Berlusconi is currently appealing convictions for having sex with an underage prostitute, abusing the powers of the prime minister's office and leaking a confidential police wiretap to damage a political rival.
He also faces trial for bribing a leftist senator to join his party's ranks and could come under investigation for paying off young women who attended his raunchy parties to give favourable testimony.
 aljazeera.com
27/11/13 
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