George Osborne, the UK Chancellor, has stated that cuts to spending must continue if the government is to remain credibility and trusted by the people. However, not everyone agrees with the continued cutting of spending such as the chief economist of the International Monetary Fund, Olivier Blanchard.
Mr Osborne said pension, education and welfare reform was helping to make the UK a more competitive economy, while cuts to corporation tax and higher-rate tax were making the country a more attractive place to do business. Such reforms would make the British economy “a winner in the global competitive race”, he said, citing sectors such as aerospace, pharmaceuticals, financial services and the creative industries as “world beaters”.
However, these cuts must continue until 2017 according to Osborne if the UK is “to continue moving in the right direction”.
Thanks for reading. What are your views on these ‘tactics’ by the British government?
Leon Panetta, the US Defence Secretary, has decided to lift the military ban on women who fight on the front line. This is a move that could allow thousands of women to get positions on the frontline in far more prestigious positions. It overturns a 1994 rule prohibiting women from being assigned to small ground-combat units, yet the military have until 2016 to work out whether any positions should remain closed to them.
Some jobs are expected to be opened to women this year, while others – including for special forces such as the Navy Seals and the Delta Force – could take longer. However, in total 230,000 jobs are expected to become open to women in the military. Senate armed services committee chairman Carl Levin welcomed the decision: “I support it,” he said. “It reflects the reality of 21st-Century military operations.”
The decision should be finalised today. What are your views on this?
Bulgarian Politician Ahmed Dogan was giving a speech on live television when a gunman hopped on stage and tried to fire his weapon at Dogan, but the gun backfired giving security enough time to apprehend the perpetrator.
Proscovia Oromait, who turned 20 a couple of weeks ago, is Africa’s youngest and is suspected to be the world’s youngest legislator. Just months earlier she had been still at school in Uganda studying for her A-levels, but now she has much larger fish to fry. Her original plan was to finish her education first, but she was thrust into the spotlight in July last year by the sudden death of her father, the MP Michael Oromait. Ms Oromait threw herself into campaigning, and in September she won the by-election for his seat in Usuk County, with the backing of President Yoweri Museveni’s National Resistance Movement (NRM) party. She stated earlier this month that she is “so proud of what [she] is”.
However, behind what may seem like an innovative move in politics, feelings are mixed. Ms Oromait’s age has caused a stir in a country where President Museveni, 68, has five septuagenarians in his Cabinet and the average age of ministers is 62. Already the critics are lining up decry her lack of experience, no matter that she more accurately represents a nation where 78 per cent of the population is under 30. Many would argue that a politician should be relatively old as they are likely to have greater knowledge, expertise and experience thus being a positive force on politics. But, the debate lies in whether a young politician, like Oromait, could do the job just as well as an older politician or are they doomed for failure?!
Ray Nagin, the ex-mayor of New Orleans, has faced a series of charges including fraud, bribery, filing false tax returns and money laundering. So far two former city officials and two businessmen have pleaded guilty for similar charges. The ex-mayor, Nagin, is accused of abusing his power and position in office for personal gain and of accepting bribes while the city of New Orleans reeled in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina in 2005. Nagin had been mayor from 2002-2010 but had been facing his indictment in the case for a while. According to the federal indictment, Mr Nagin accepted more than $160,000 (£100,000) in bribes for his family business.
Do you fear that people with power abuse their position and authority?
Although this article is to do with America, it is clear similar situations occur elsewhere on a daily basis and we shall create a post on similar situations around the world soon. We fear that abusing powers is one of the greatest fears in politics and democracy.
Zimbabwe’s rival political leaders, Morgan Tsvangirai and Robert Mugabe, have reached an agreement over a new constitution. Tsvangirai said a “long journey” had ended, while Mugabe said he was “glad” that a deal had been reached. Tsvangirai’s Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) party and Mugabe’s Zanu-PF party entered into a fractious coalition following the 2008 election, which was marred by violence and allegations of vote-rigging, but now the two parties are beginning to work together.
Details of the deal have not been made public, but it is understood that the powers of the president have been curbed – a key demand of the MDC. There is going to be a referendum on the constitution, followed by an election in October if approved by the people. Mugabe has been in power since since independence in 1980 – is expected to be challenged by Tsvangirai for the presidency.
The MDC had argued that Zimbabwe was a highly centralised state, and power should be devolved to lower levels of government. Agreement had also been reached to overhaul the legal system by creating a constitutional court as the highest of the land. However, it remained unclear what agreement had been reached on the powers of the army, police and intelligence services – another major sticking point between the parties, our correspondent added. There is still a way to go for Zimbabwe, but this is certainly a step in the right direction especially if they work out the exact dispersal of powers within the country.
A number of foreign workers at a gas facility in Algeria are being held hostage. So far there has been a reported 2 deaths (one British and an Algerian in an attack on a bus), however some 20 other nationals are being held, although the kidnappers say they have 41 people hostage. The Islamists militants are said to be working for Al-Qaeda and had planned to leave the country with the hostages – but Algerian Interior Minister Daho Ould Kabila had refused to let them go.
The attackers had attacked at 5am on a bus which was being escorted by the police, killing 2. After, the militants drove to the gas facility’s living quarters and took a number of Algerian and foreign workers hostage, but released a number of Algerian workers. A list of demands had been sent to Algerian authorities, and the hostages would be killed if troops attempted to rescue them, the spokesman added. ”Storming the gas complex would be easy for the Algerian military, but the outcome of such an operation would be disastrous,” he warned.
Short article, but tell us what you think of the situation