Попередні результати підрахунку голосів на позачергових парламентських виборах у Вірменії показують перевагу альянсу «Мій крок» чинного прем’єр-міністра Нікола Пашиняна, повідомляють місцеві виборчі органи.

З уже порахованих голосів 60% підтримують «Мій крок». За даними 10% виборчих дільниць, найближчий суперник альянсу – Партія процвітаючої Вірменії, заснована бізнесменом Ґаґіком Царукяном. Наразі вона має 10,1% голосів.

Остаточні результати виборів, що відбулися у Вірменії 9 грудня, будуть відомі протягом 24 годин.

За попередніми даними Центральної виборчої комісії, явка на виборах склала 48,6% – на 12% нижче, ніж на попередніх виборах у квітні 2017 року.

Нікол Пашинян, проголосувавши на виборчій дільниці, пообіцяв, що після виборів почнеться розбудова «вірменської демократії» та економічна революція.

«Ми вже досягли своєї головної мети: провести дійсно вільні, прозорі, демократичні вибори. На майбутнє наша основна мета: зміцнити демократію у Вірменії на інституційному рівні».

16 жовтня Нікол Пашинян оголосив про свою відставку з посади прем’єр-міністра, аби уможливити парламентські вибори. Попри те, що влада у Вірменії змінилася в травні 2018 року внаслідок безкровної революції, в розпущеному парламенті переважали опоненти Пашиняна.

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У квітні 2018 року в Єревані та інших містах Вірменії почалися масові акції протесту проти призначення екс-президента Сержа Сарґсяна на посаду голови уряду. Проте парламент підтримав кандидатуру Сарґсяна на посаду прем’єр-міністра, однак він оголосив про відставку на тлі акцій непокори.

Його наступником став лідер опозиції Нікол Пашинян.

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В Ірані затримали співробітницю Університету Мельбурна за нібито спробу «проникнути» в іранські установи, повідомляють місцеві медіа.

Мейманат Хоссейні-Чавоші, громадянка Ірану і Австралії, працює в Мельбурнській школі населення і глобальної охорони здоров’я при Університеті Мельбурна. Її затримали днями, коли вона вже збиралася їхати з Ірану, повідомила державна інформаційна агенція IRNA, підтвердивши тим самим попередні дані.

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Минулого тижня іранська газета Kayhan, яка займає жорстку провладну позицію, написала про арешт кількох людей, які працюють в галузі чисельності населення і нібито причетні до передачі «ворогам Ірану» важливої інформації в ході спроби «культурного і соціального вторгнення».

За словами речника судової системи Голамхосейна Мохсені Еджеї, у цій справі заарештували одну людину, ще трьох чи чотирьох розшукують.

Речник Униіверситету Мельбурна назвав новину про затримання Хоссейні-Чавоші «вельми тривожною».

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У жовтні 2018 року духовний лідер Ірану Аятолла Али Хаменеї закликав докладати більших зусиль, щоб протидіяти «проникненню» ворожих іноземців. Ця заява пролунала на тлі дедалі більшої напруги між Тегераном і Сполученими Штатами Америки.​

Іран не визнає подвійного громадянства. За даними інформаційної агенції Reuters, у 2017-му році в Ірані заарештували принаймні 30 осіб із подвійним громадянством. Звинувачення здебільшого стосуються ймовірного шпигунства.

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French President Emmanuel Macron will address the nation on Monday in response to massive, often violent rallies staged by “yellow-vest” protesters across the country for the past four weekends.

Before the speech Monday evening, Macron plans to meet with union officials, local lawmakers and business leaders for talks on formulating a response to the protests that have rocked the country during the holiday season.

Workers across France Sunday cleaned up the debris from protesters who threw rocks, burned cars and vandalized businesses through the weekend.

Earlier Sunday, France’s foreign minister urged U.S. President Donald Trump not to interfere in French politics, following Trump’s tweets on weeks of protests in Paris in which he said:

“Very sad day & night in Paris. Maybe it’s time to end the ridiculous and extremely expensive Paris Agreement and return money back to the people in the form of lower taxes? The U.S. was way ahead of the curve on that and the only major country where emissions went down last year! ”

An earlier tweet from Trump insinuated that protesters in Paris sided with his decision to leave the Paris agreement — a landmark 2015 agreement between over one hundred countries to combat climate change.

“The Paris Agreement isn’t working out so well for Paris. Protests and riots all over France. People do not want to pay large sums of money, much to third world countries (that are questionably run), in order to maybe protect the environment. Chanting “We Want Trump!” Love France.” he wrote.

Nearly 2,000 people were arrested Saturday across France in the latest round of “yellow-vest” protests.

Nationwide, the interior ministry says some 136,000 people rallied against France’s high-cost of living. Protesters also expressed their dismay with the presidency of Emmanuel Macron.

Protests were held in a number of cities besides Paris, including Marseilles, Bordeaux, Lyon and Toulouse.

On Saturday, French Interior Minister Christophe Castaner said violent outbreaks in Paris were “under control” despite ongoing disorderly acts he declared “totally unacceptable.”

France closed the Eiffel Tower and other tourist landmarks and mobilized tens of thousands of security forces for the fourth week of violent demonstrations.

Many shops in Paris were boarded up before Saturday’s protests to avoid being smashed or looted, and police cordoned off many of the city’s broad boulevards.

President Macron made an unannounced visit Friday night to a group of anti-riot security officers outside Paris to thank them for their work.

The protests erupted in November over a fuel tax increase, which was part of Macron’s plan to combat global warming.

French Prime Minister Edouard Philippe called for new talks Saturday with representatives of the “yellow vest” movement. He vowed the government would address their concerns over rising living costs.

“The president will speak, and will propose measures that will feed this dialogue,” Philippe said in a televised statement.

Since the unrest began in November, four people have been killed in protest-related accidents.

 

While Macron has since abandoned the fuel tax hike, protesters have made new demands to address other economic issues hurting workers, retirees and students.

Government officials are concerned the repeated weekly violence could weaken the economy and raise doubts about the government’s survival.

The “yellow vest” movement was named after the safety jackets French motorists are required to keep in their vehicles, which the protesters wear at demonstrations.

The weeks of protests have exposed intense resentment among non-city residents who feel that Macron, a former investment banker, is out of touch with struggling middle-class and blue-collar workers.

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With a crucial parliamentary vote on Brexit looming, British Prime Minister Theresa May warned lawmakers Sunday that they could take Britain into “uncharted waters” and trigger a general election if they reject the divorce deal she struck with the European Union.

May is fighting to save her unpopular Brexit plan and her job ahead of a showdown in Parliament on Tuesday, when lawmakers are widely expected to vote down the deal she negotiated with Brussels. Her Downing Street office insisted that the vote will go ahead despite speculation that the government may be forced to delay it.

A defeat in the vote could see Britain crashing out of the EU on March 29, the date for Britain’s exit, with no deal in place – an outcome that could spell economic chaos.

In an interview with the Mail on Sunday, May said rejecting her deal would “mean grave uncertainty for the nation with a very real risk of no Brexit or leaving the European Union with no deal.”

“When I say if this deal does not pass we would truly be in uncharted waters, I hope people understand this is what I genuinely believe and fear could happen,” she said.

May’s government does not have a majority in the House of Commons, and opposition parties – as well as many of May’s own Conservatives – have already said they will not back the divorce deal that May and EU leaders agreed on last month.

Pro-Brexit lawmakers say the deal keeps Britain bound too closely to the EU, while pro-EU politicians say it erects barriers between the U.K. and its biggest trading partner and leaves many details of the future relationship undecided.

The main sticking point is a “backstop” provision in the Brexit agreement that aims to guarantee an open border between EU member Ireland and the U.K.’s Northern Ireland post-Brexit.

The temporary measure would keep Britain under EU customs rules, and is supposed to last until superseded by permanent new trade arrangements. But critics say it could leave Britain tied to the EU indefinitely, unable to strike new trade deals around the world.

Boris Johnson, May’s former foreign secretary and leading Brexiteer, argued Sunday that the Irish border issue should be postponed so it forms part of the talks on a future trade deal.

It’s unclear what would happen next if lawmakers vote down the deal.

May could return to Brussels seeking changes to the Brexit deal and bring it back to Parliament for another vote. But EU leaders have insisted the divorce agreement is final and not renegotiable.

However, while the 585-page withdrawal deal is set, the declaration on future relations between the EU and Britain is shorter and vaguer and may be open to amendment.

Meanwhile, pro-Brexit Conservative rebels who have long wanted to oust May can trigger a no-confidence vote if they amass enough support.

The Labour Party may also attempt to force a general election or seek to form a minority government.

“What we would urge (May) to do is either call a general election – because she wouldn’t have the confidence of Parliament to carry on as prime minister,” Rebecca Long-Bailey, Labour’s business spokeswoman, told the BBC. “But alternatively, she could offer to renegotiate around a deal that would provide consensus in Parliament.”

Some have also floated the idea of a second referendum on the question of Britain’s EU membership but the government is firmly opposed to that.

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In France, police clashed with protesters, as tens of thousands of ‘yellow vest’ demonstrators took to the streets Saturday for the fourth consecutive weekend. French authorities deployed nearly 90,000 police across the country, detained hundreds of people, and closed major landmarks and museums as a precaution. Anti-government yellow vest rallies also took place in nearby Belgium and the Netherlands. For VOA, Lisa Bryant has more on the action from Paris.

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According to the World Ocean Review, shipping by sea is responsible for about 3 percent of the world’s total carbon emissions. But one Norwegian shipping company is creating hybrid ships and planning for a carbon free future. VOA’s Kevin Enochs reports.

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Thousands of people from around the world marched Saturday through the southern Polish city that’s hosting this year’s U.N. climate talks, demanding that their governments take tougher action to curb global warming.

Protesters included farmers from Latin America, environmentalists from Asia, students from the United States and families from Europe, many of whom said climate change is already affecting their lives.

“Climate change is the thing that frightens me the most,” said Michal Dabrowski from Warsaw, who brought his young daughter to the march. “I’m a father and it’s kind of crucial that she will have a decent life.”

Marchers gathered in one of Katowice’s main squares before setting off for the conference center where delegates from almost 200 countries are haggling over the fine print of the 2015 Paris accord to fight climate change.

Some protesters were dressed as endangered orangutans while others wore breathing masks to highlight the air pollution in Katowice, which lies at the heart of Poland’s coal mining region of Silesia.

A group wearing polar bear costumes was expelled from the march after suggesting that fossil fuels should be replaced by nuclear power, a technology that many environmentalists object to.

Chanting “Wake up! It’s time to save our home!” and holding banners including one reading “Make the planet great again,” protesters marched through Katowice accompanied by a heavy police presence that included officers on horseback.

The “March for Climate” passed largely peacefully, though three people were detained after a small scuffle with police, a Katowice police spokeswoman said.

Earlier Saturday, environmental groups had complained that some of their activists were being turned back at the Polish border or deported. One Belgian activist was allowed to enter the country after her country’s ambassador intervened with Polish authorities.

Poland has introduced temporary random identity checks ahead of the U.N. climate conference, arguing they were needed for security.

Inside the U.N. meeting, negotiators were concluding the first week of talks, which are focused on finalizing the Paris rulebook that determines how signatories to the 2015 deal record and report their greenhouse gas emissions.

In a recent report, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change said drastic action would be needed to achieve the Paris accord’s most ambitious target of keeping global warming below 1.5 degrees Celsius (2.7 degrees Fahrenheit).

Illustrating the sensitivity of this message for some governments, major oil exporting countries including Saudi Arabia and Russia objected to “welcoming” the IPCC’s report. The issue is now one of several that will be left to government ministers, who begin arriving in Katowice on Monday to try to break remaining deadlocks.

Environmental groups want countries to send a strong signal that they’re ready for more ambitious action in the years ahead, but some protesters Saturday felt that governments alone would not do enough to fight climate change.

“I’ve had enough of just sitting and looking at politicians deciding things for us. It’s time for us to tell them what we want and to start a grassroots revolution,” said Anna Zalikowska.

Similar marches for the environment took place in France on Saturday, but those were overshadowed by a larger “yellow vest” protest in Paris staged by people angry over fuel tax increases.

The tax rise, now put on hold, was aimed at encouraging drivers to reduce their use of fossil fuels, a measure experts say is necessary to nudge consumers toward cleaner alternatives.

Resistance to the fuel tax is a blow to French President Emmanuel Macron, who sees himself as the guarantor of the Paris accord.

U.S. President Donald Trump, who has announced he’s pulling the United States out of the agreement, claimed Saturday that “people do not want to pay large sums of money … in order to maybe protect the environment.”

Economists say the price of curbing climate change is actually far lower than the eventual cost of coping with the catastrophic famines, storms and sea level rises that will happen with a warming climate.

The Climate Action Network, an umbrella group for environmental organizations, on Saturday gave its Fossil of the Day award to the United States after Washington’s diplomats objected to linking human rights to climate change.

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Президент США Дональд Трамп, коментуючи сутички, в які 8 грудня переросли протести у Франції, заявив, що, можливо, настав час відмовитися від Паризької угоди з питань клімату.

«Дуже сумні день і вечір у Парижі. Можливо, настав час покінчити з безглуздою і вкрай дорогою Паризькою угодою і повернути гроші назад народові – у формі нижчих податків. У цьому питанні США – на крок попереду, і є єдиною країною, в якій обсяг викиду парникових газів в минулому році скоротився», – написав Трамп у Twitter 8 грудня.

В адміністрації Трампа минулого року оголосили про вихід із Паризької кліматичної угоди. Президент США заявляв, що ця угода є невигідною для економіки його країни.

Протести так званих «жовтих жилетів» у Франції тривають вже третій тиждень. Вони почалися з вимоги до влади відмовитися від збільшення податків на автомобільне пальне. Уряд Франції планував запровадити податок в рамках боротьби із забрудненням довкілля.

Учасники протестів частково домоглися мети: уряд президента Емманюеля Макрона, всупереч попереднім обіцянкам голови держави, відступив і вирішив відкласти плановані підвищення цін на пальне. Але ці плани не скасовані, і «жовті жилети» вирішили не припиняти протестів, натомість вони посилили свої вимоги і тепер закликають до ширшого скорочення податків і збільшення зарплат.

Внаслідок сутичок, що спалахнули під час протестів 8 грудня, у Франції були поранені 135 людей, зокрема 17 поліцейських.

 

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