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Austria’s Chancellor Kurz says he won’t resign if charged in parliament testimony perjury case — RT World News From “RT World News”



Sebastian Kurz has said he will refuse to step down even if he faces criminal charges over alleged perjury. The Austrian leader has been targeted by an anti-corruption prosecutors’ probe over a parliamentary testimony.

Speaking to Austrian media, Kurz maintained he had not committed any wrongdoing, maintaining that he did not provide the parliament with any misleading statements.“I cannot with the best of my will imagine that in a country like Austria you will be judged for something you haven’t done,” Kurz told the Kronen Zeitung newspaper in an interview published on Sunday.Earlier this week, Kurz revealed he has been targeted by a probe led by the Public Prosecutor’s Office for Combating Economic Crime and Corruption (WKStA). The investigation is related to the so-called ‘Ibiza affair’, namely to the statements made by the Chancellor before a parliamentary committee last June.

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Austria’s Chancellor Kurz confirms he’s under investigation by anti-corruption prosecutors over parliamentary testimony

Every word he said during the parliamentary hearings has been nit-picked by the critics, Kurz said, adding that he expects criminal charges to be filed against him.“After every word of mine on 58 pages [of testimony] is put on the scale, I certainly expect a criminal complaint, that’s right,” he said.The chancellor, however, does not believe that the case against him would have any chance of succeeding in court, as he expressed confidence that he would be exonerated of any wrongdoing.“I have spoken to numerous lawyers and several university professors. The tenor was always the same: no one can imagine that there will be a conviction here,” Kurz told the newspaper.In a separate interview with the Oesterreich newspaper, Kurz ruled out the possibility of resigning if the case against him actually gets to court and he is charged.“I definitely rule that out. Like many people, I have made many mistakes, both privately and professionally. But what I definitely know is that I went into the commission with the intention of answering the questions truthfully,” he stated.The ‘Ibiza affair’ has been plaguing the Kurz government for months. The major political scandal erupted back in May 2019, when German media published footage of then-Vice Chancellor Heinz-Christian Strache and leader of the right-wing Freedom Party (FPO) Johann Gudenus holding a shady private meeting on the Spanish resort island with a woman pretending to be the niece of a Russian oligarch.The expose led to the downfall of the first Kurz government, yet he was able to regain control as he formed a coalition with the Greens instead of the FPO. Earlier this year, Strache was formally charged with corruption over the ‘Ibiza affair’, facing up to five years in prison if found guilty.

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I was set up by ‘MAFIA’ & media served up misleading tapes, Austria’s Russiagate victim, ex-vice-chancellor Strache tells RT

The ‘leaked’ Ibiza video itself, however, has turned out to be an intricate political hit, launched against the Austrian top officials. The recording was made back in 2017 – well before Strache assumed his office – while the mysterious femme fatale turned out to be an imposter.The ‘oligarch’s niece’, who was reportedly a Bosnian exchange student, got some €7,000 for her act and has vanished, while the man pretending to be her associate in the scandalous video was arrested in Germany last December. According to media reports, the man was arrested over illegally filming people, as well as trafficking a three-kilogram haul of cocaine.Think your friends would be interested? Share this story!







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Ex-Iran parliament speaker registers to run for president From “World News Headlines, Latest International News, World Breaking News – Times of India”



Former Iranian parliament speaker Ali Larijani shows his identification document while registering his name as a candidate for the June 18 presidential elections TEHRAN: A former speaker of Iran’s parliament registered Saturday to run in the Islamic Republic’s upcoming presidential election, becoming the first high-profile candidate to potentially back the policies of the outgoing administration that reached Tehran’s tattered nuclear deal with world powers. The decision by Ali Larijani, long a prominent conservative voice who later allied himself with Iran’s relatively moderate President Hassan Rouhani, came on the last day of registration for the June 18 election. While a panel overseen by Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei ultimately will approve candidates, Larijani has maintained close ties to the cleric over his decades in government. Journalists in Tehran watched Larijani, 63, register at the Interior Ministry, which oversees elections. He waved to onlookers after completing the process, his face covered by a blue surgical mask as Iran continues to battle the coronavirus pandemic. Larijani, a former commander in Iran’s paramilitary Revolutionary Guard, previously served as the minister of culture and Islamic guidance and as the head of Iran’s state broadcaster. Under hard-line President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, he served as secretary of Iran’s powerful Supreme National Security Council for two years, and as a senior nuclear negotiator. He later became speaker of the Iranian parliament for some 12 years, stepping down in May 2020. Larijani’s family includes prominent members of Iran’s theocracy, with his cleric brother once serving as the head of the Iranian judiciary. His father was a prominent ayatollah. Larijani had an active role in signing a 25-year strategic agreement with China earlier this year. On Friday, as a sign of respect, Larijani reportedly asked permission to run from high-ranking clerics in the religious city of Qom. Within Iran, candidates exist on a political spectrum that broadly includes hard-liners who want to expand Iran’s nuclear program, moderates who hold onto the status quo, and reformists who want to change the theocracy from within. Those calling for radical change find themselves blocked from even running for office by the Guardian Council, a 12-member panel that vets and approves candidates under Khamenei’s watch. “Like outgoing President Rouhani, Larijani is someone Khamenei trusts to represent Iran without compromising the regime’s basic tenets of religious supervision over society and independence from foreign powers,” Barbara Slavin, the director of the Future of Iran Initiative at the Atlantic Council, wrote recently. A clear candidate has yet to emerge within the reformists. Some have mentioned Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif, though he later said he wouldn’t run after a scandal over a leaked recording in which he offered frank criticism of the Guard and the limits of the civilian government’s power. At the same time Larijani registered, so too did Mohsen Hashemi Rafsanjani, the eldest son of the late former Iranian President Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani. Rafsanjani, a member of Tehran’s city council, has been described as a reformist by political commentators. Several other candidates have prominent backgrounds in the Guard, a paramilitary force answerable only to Khamenei. Hard-liners have increasingly suggested a former military commander should be president given the country’s problems, something that hasn’t happened since Iran’s 1979 Islamic Revolution and the purge of the armed forces that followed. Iran’s former hard-line President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad also registered Wednesday. Though his attempt to run in 2017 ultimately was blocked after Khamenei criticized Ahmadinejad, this year the supreme leader has not warned him off. FacebookTwitterLinkedinEMail







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Ex-Iran parliament speaker registers to run for president From “Yahoo News – Latest News & Headlines”



TEHRAN, Iran (AP) — A former speaker of Iran’s parliament registered Saturday to run in the Islamic Republic’s upcoming presidential election, becoming the first high-profile candidate to potentially back the policies of the outgoing administration that reached Tehran’s tattered nuclear deal with world powers.The decision by Ali Larijani, long a prominent conservative voice who later allied himself with Iran’s relatively moderate President Hassan Rouhani, came on the last day of registration for the June 18 election. While a panel overseen by Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei ultimately will approve candidates, Larijani has maintained close ties to the cleric over his decades in government.Journalists in Tehran watched Larijani, 63, register at the Interior Ministry, which oversees elections. He waved to onlookers after completing the process, his face covered by a blue surgical mask as Iran continues to battle the coronavirus pandemic.Larijani, a former commander in Iran’s paramilitary Revolutionary Guard, previously served as the minister of culture and Islamic guidance and as the head of Iran’s state broadcaster. Under hard-line President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, he served as secretary of Iran’s powerful Supreme National Security Council for two years, and as a senior nuclear negotiator. He later became speaker of the Iranian parliament for some 12 years, stepping down in May 2020.Larijani’s family includes prominent members of Iran’s theocracy, with his cleric brother once serving as the head of the Iranian judiciary. His father was a prominent ayatollah.Larijani had an active role in signing a 25-year strategic agreement with China earlier this year. On Friday, as a sign of respect, Larijani reportedly asked permission to run from high-ranking clerics in the religious city of Qom.Within Iran, candidates exist on a political spectrum that broadly includes hard-liners who want to expand Iran’s nuclear program, moderates who hold onto the status quo, and reformists who want to change the theocracy from within.Story continuesThose calling for radical change find themselves blocked from even running for office by the Guardian Council, a 12-member panel that vets and approves candidates under Khamenei’s watch.“Like outgoing President Rouhani, Larijani is someone Khamenei trusts to represent Iran without compromising the regime’s basic tenets of religious supervision over society and independence from foreign powers,” Barbara Slavin, the director of the Future of Iran Initiative at the Atlantic Council, wrote recently.A clear candidate has yet to emerge within the reformists. Some have mentioned Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif, though he later said he wouldn’t run after a scandal over a leaked recording in which he offered frank criticism of the Guard and the limits of the civilian government’s power.At the same time Larijani registered, so too did Mohsen Hashemi Rafsanjani, the eldest son of the late former Iranian President Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani. Rafsanjani, a member of Tehran’s city council, has been described as a reformist by political commentators.Several other candidates have prominent backgrounds in the Guard, a paramilitary force answerable only to Khamenei. Hard-liners have increasingly suggested a former military commander should be president given the country’s problems, something that hasn’t happened since Iran’s 1979 Islamic Revolution and the purge of the armed forces that followed.Iran’s former hard-line President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad also registered Wednesday. Though his attempt to run in 2017 ultimately was blocked after Khamenei criticized Ahmadinejad, this year the supreme leader has not warned him off.___Gambrell reported from Dubai, United Arab Emirates.







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Ex-Iran parliament speaker registers to run for president From “World”




A former speaker of Iran’s parliament has registered to run in the Islamic Republic’s upcoming presidential election







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Maori Party co-leader kicked out of New Zealand parliament after performing HAKA in protest over ‘racist propaganda’ — RT World News From “RT World News”



Maori Party co-leader Rawiri Waititi was ejected from New Zealand’s parliamentary chambers after accusing a fellow MP of engaging in racist rhetoric, and then performing a ceremonial dance to express his displeasure.

Waititi took offense after National Party leader Judith Collins pressed Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern about the government’s plan to introduce a separate health service for indigenous people. The initiative has been billed as an attempt to improve the quality of medical care for the Maori community. Debate over the controversial changes has raged for several weeks, with Collins accusing the government of promoting a “separatist agenda” that was being introduced “by stealth.”The Maori politician interrupted Collins as she questioned the prime minister, asking House Speaker Trevor Mallard to note the “racist propaganda and rhetoric” aimed at indigenous people. He argued that views on indigenous rights should only come from members of the Maori community, adding that non-indigenous people should stay in their lane. “If we find this attitude acceptable in this House, the constant barrage of insults to tangata whenua, then I find this House in disrepute,” he said, using the Maori term for indigenous people. Mallard then called for order, adding that Waititi’s microphone had been turned off. It was then that Waititi launched into a Haka, a ceremonial dance of the Maori that can be used to issue a challenge. Dressed in a pink blazer and wearing a cowboy hat, the politician planted himself in front of his desk as he began to loudly chant.  The frustrated House speaker then ordered the MP to leave the chamber. Waititi later told the media that Collins was “bashing” the Maori in order to gain the votes of her non-indigenous constituents. This isn’t the first time that Waititi has caused a ruckus in parliament. He was ejected from the House in February for not wearing a necktie. He defended his decision by claiming that the garment was a “colonial noose,” choosing instead to wear a traditional Maori necklace. New Zealand’s parliament later scrubbed the tie requirement from its dress code. 

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Māori party co-leader ejected from parliament after performing haka in racism row | New Zealand From “World news | The Guardian”



Māori party co-leader Rawiri Waititi has been thrown out of New Zealand’s parliament after denouncing rhetoric from the opposition as racist and performing a haka.Waititi said the opposition was inciting racism across New Zealand through its stance on Māori healthcare. The haka is a ceremonial dance for Māori, the indigenous people of New Zealand – it can represent a challenge, and is sometimes performed in moments of conflict.The altercation comes after weeks of escalating debate, in which the opposition National party has accused the government of a “separatist agenda” and creating “two systems by stealth”. Their arguments began after the government announced expanded, independent health services for Māori, who typically have far worse health outcomes than other ethnic groups.“This has incited racism with venom towards Māori, because of this type of propaganda and rhetoric – we won’t stand for it any more,” Waititi said, speaking to reporters outside. “The opposition leader has been constantly bashing Māori to gain the votes of her Pākehā [non-Māori New Zealander] constituents. That’s all it is.”Waititi was ejected from the House by speaker Trevor Mallard, after making a series of points of order. “Over the past two weeks there has been racist propaganda and rhetoric towards tangata whenua [indigenous people]. That not only is insulting to tangata whenua, but diminishes the mana [dignity] of this House,” Waititi said.“When it comes to the rights and views of indigenous peoples – those views must be from those indigenous people,” he said, in a second point of order.When asked to sit down by Mallard, he instead stepped into the centre of parliament to perform a haka, and was subsequently thrown out.“There are various worlds here, and they are colliding,” Labour MP Aupito William Sio said, as members of parliament continued to debate. “Because the system here is not an indigenous system … there’s a duty of care in how we approach it – how it’s handled in this House has ripple effects for the wider community.” He said some of the discussion of race and policy in the House was “painful” for minority groups. “There’s a line that’s often crossed here”.“Tangata whenua are a minority in this House, and are unable to express their offence [under the current rules],” said Green party co-leader James Shaw. Co-leader Marama Davidson said via Twitter that she applauded Waititi and co-leader Debbie Ngarewa-Packer Ngarewa-Packer for “calling out the absolute ongoing racist comments from Judith Collins in the House just now”.“This House absolutely deserves better,” she said.Speakers for ACT and National said the House needed to allow for free and open debate.Mallard made a ruling “asking people to take care as they express themselves, to think of the wider consequences as they do”. He said he would not rule against MPs saying that policy was race-based or racist, or that the views of other members were racist.In February, Waititi was ejected from the House for not wearing a tie. He said he had chosen to wear cultural dress in defiance of dress code: Waititi has dubbed ties a “colonial noose” and wore a pounamu, or greenstone, necklace in place of a necktie. House rules were subsequently revised to remove the necktie requirement.







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Queen Elizabeth II doesn’t wear a mask or crown as she opens U.K. parliament and outlines Boris Johnson’s agenda From “World”




It was the public’s first glimpse of the 95-year-old monarch since the funeral of her husband, Prince Philip, three weeks ago at Windsor Castle.







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British PM Boris Johnson seeks to bolster economy, union in new parliament From “World News Headlines, Latest International News, World Breaking News – Times of India”



LONDON: The UK government sought to capitalize on its electoral strength Tuesday, outlining a sweeping legislative agenda to bolster the economy after the Covid-19 pandemic, defuse tensions that threaten the country’s unity and combat social issues ranging from housing to care for older adults. The package of about 30 bills was unveiled by Queen Elizabeth II in the annual Queen’s Speech, in which the monarch reads out the government’s legislative priorities at the ceremonial start of the new parliamentary session. The event, pared down for pandemic times, was the queen’s first major public appearance since the funeral of her husband, Prince Philip, last month. A single throne was placed beneath the gold canopy for the monarch. In times past, there were a pair of thrones – one for the queen and another for her consort. “My government’s priority is to deliver a national recovery from the pandemic that makes the United Kingdom stronger, healthier and more prosperous than before,” the queen said in the House of Lords. The queen, who did not wear a mask, was escorted into the chamber by her son, Prince Charles. She delivered the speech slowly and deliberately before a socially distanced audience, all of whom needed to have a negative COVID test in order to attend. The queen did not wear her crown. Instead, it was carried into the chamber ahead of her on a cushion. Prime Minister Boris Johnson and his Cabinet put together the list of proposals after a year of lockdowns and Covid-19 restrictions triggered the UK’s deepest economic slump in three centuries. The government is also facing renewed calls for Scottish independence and unrest in Northern Ireland fueled by Britain’s departure from the European Union. Johnson will pursue the agenda from a position of strength, with his Conservative Party holding 365 of the 650 seats in the House of Commons. That electoral power was underscored last week, when the Conservatives dominated local elections in England. Ahead of the speech, Johnson announced plans to give all adults access to four years of university or job training throughout their lifetimes as part of an effort to ensure workers have the skills employers need in a changing economy. The government also plans to revamp planning laws to speed up construction of new homes. “These new laws are the rocket fuel that we need to level up this country and ensure equal opportunities for all,” Johnson said in a statement released ahead of the speech. “We know that having the right skills and training is the route to better, well-paid jobs.” The opposition Labour Party said the government must also come up with a plan to create jobs if the training program is to have any meaning. Labour has previously criticized the government for boosting job creation figures with part-time and low paying jobs. “It’s great to hear that they want people to be able to retrain, but where are the jobs that people need, the good-quality jobs, not just the jobs, but the good-quality jobs that allow people to earn decent money to look after their families?” Lisa Nandy, Labour’s spokeswoman on foreign affairs, told the BBC. The legislative program also includes plans for a summit meeting between leaders of the U.K. government and the devolved administrations of Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales to discuss issues caused by the pandemic. The government also said it would invest in transport links between the UK’s four nations and reiterated a commitment that all parts of the country would benefit from a 4.8 billion pound fund to improve town centers and local transport projects. In addition, the government plans to require voters to show a photo ID before they cast their ballots, ban so-called gay-conversion therapy, restrict the prosecution of soldiers who served in Northern Ireland and overhaul nursing home care. One of the most controversial elements of the government’s program is a crime bill that stalled in the last parliament amid concern that it gave police too much power to restrict public protests. Police were criticized for being too lenient after environmental protesters shut down central London last year and for being too heavy handed in March when they broke up a vigil for a young woman who was murdered after being kidnapped in the capital. The government also promised to bring forward proposals to reform the social care system, which provides in-home and nursing home services for older people. That fell short of demands from advocates for concrete proposals to resolve the long-running problem. The issue has vexed government for more than a decade as rising costs squeeze local governments, which are required to provide care for those who can’t afford it, and leave wealthier families in fear of losing their homes as they struggle to pay for the care of aging relatives.







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UK’s Boris Johnson vows to set up Covid inquiry in this Parliament session From “World News Headlines, Latest International News, World Breaking News – Times of India”



LONDON: British Prime Minister Boris Johnson said on Tuesday his government would set up an inquiry into the Covid-19 pandemic during this parliamentary session. Asked whether he would set up such an inquiry during this Parliament, Johnson said, “I can certainly say that we will do that within this session. I have made that clear before, I do believe it is essential that we have a full proper public inquiry into the Covid pandemic.” A parliamentary session usually runs for a year.







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Nepal Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli Loses Trust Vote In Parliament From “NDTV News – World-news”



With this, Prime Minister Oli is automatically relieved from his post as per Article 100 (3) (Fille)Kathmandu: Nepal Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli lost a trust vote in the House of Representatives on Monday, in a fresh setback to the embattled premier seeking to tighten his grip on power after the CPN (Maoist Centre) led by Pushpakamal Dahal ‘Prachanda’ withdrew support to his government.Prime Minister Oli secured 93 votes in the lower house of parliament during a special session convened on the directives of President Bidya Devi Bhandari.Mr Oli, 69, required at least 136 votes in the 275-member House of Representatives to win the confidence motion as four members are currently under suspension. A total of 124 members voted against the confidence motion while 15 members stayed neutral, Speaker Agni Sapkota announced. The session was attended by 232 lawmakers.”As the votes cast in favour of the motion fell short to achieve a majority of the existing strength of the House of Representatives, I hereby declare that the prime minister’s motion to seek a vote of confidence has been rejected,” Mr Sapkota announced before adjourning the House.With this, Prime Minister Oli is automatically relieved from his post as per Article 100 (3).Some 28 Lawmakers belonging to Mr Oli’s rival faction led by Madhav Nepal-Jhala Nath Khanal abstained during the voting.The main Opposition Nepali Congress and the Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist Centre), which control 61 and 49 votes, respectively, voted against Mr Oli’s trust motion.The Janata Samajbadi Party, which has 32 votes, however, was divided.The Mahantha Thakur-led faction stayed neutral while the Upendra Yadav-led group voted against Mr Oli.After its alliance Nepal Communist Party Maoist Centre led by Prachanda withdrew its support to the government last week, Mr Oli’s government was reduced to a minority one.After losing the Vote of Confidence, the Prime Minister is automatically removed from his post and now the new coalition government will be formed as per the constitutional process, said senior Nepali Congress leader Prakash Man Singh.Senior leader of CPN-Maoist Ganesh Shah said that Mr Oli should immediately resign from the post and pave way for the formation of an alternative government.The CPN-Maoist will join hands with the Nepali Congress and other parties who voted against Mr Oli to form a coalition government at the earliest, he said.Meanwhile, Nepali Congress president Sher Bahadur Deuba, CPN-Maoist Centre chairman Pushpakamal Dahal “Prachanda” and Chairman of Janata Samajwadi Party Upendra Yadav have issued a joint statement urging President Bhandari to start the process of forming an alternative government after Mr Oli’s defeat.”We call upon President Bhandari to initiate the process of appointment of a new prime minister as per article 76 sub-clause 2 of the constitution,” the joint statement said.There is a provision in the Article 76 sub-clause 2 of the constitution to form a coalition government with the help of two or more political parties representing in the House.Nepal plunged into a political crisis on December 20 last year after President Bhandari dissolved the House and announced fresh elections on April 30 and May 10 at the recommendation of Prime Minister Oli, amidst a tussle for power within the ruling Nepal Communist Party (NCP).Mr Oli’s move to dissolve the House sparked protests from a large section of the NCP led by his rival ‘Prachanda’.In February, the top court reinstated the dissolved House of Representatives, in a setback to Mr Oli who was preparing for snap polls.Mr Oli repeatedly defended his move to dissolve the House of Representatives, saying some leaders of his party were attempting to form a “parallel government”.Mr Oli, who joined politics as a student activist in his teenage and spent 14 years in jail for opposing the now-abolished monarchy, became Nepal’s Prime Minister for a second time in 2018 as a joint candidate of the Left alliance.The alliance between the CPN (Unified Marxist-Leninist) and Pushpa Kamal Dahal ‘Prachana’-led CPN (Maoist Centre) won a majority in the House of Representatives and in six of the seven provincial assemblies in the 2017 elections. After their victory, the two parties formally merged in May 2018.However, the NCP, formed after the merger between Oli-led CPN-UML and ‘Prachanda’-led CPN (Maoist Centre) in May 2018, split following the power tussle between the two leaders. ‘Prachanda’-led faction withdrew its support to the Oli government last wek, reducing it to a minority one.Known for his pro-China stance, Mr Oli had earlier served as the country’s prime minister from October 11, 2015 to August 3, 2016 during which Kathmandu’s ties with New Delhi had strained.(This story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)







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