Designated new PM for Italy gives some hope for stalemate end

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GENEVA, SWITZERLAND – Enrico Letta has one of the world’s most unenviable tasks, getting Italian politicians to work together, and a hopeful sign he might manage it is that criticism of his selection is more muted than is often the case. Italy has been without a government since February parliamentary elections that were inconclusive, with […]

Latin Americans meet to discuss – and endorse – Venezuela vote

LIMA, PERU – Latin American leaders are expected to give their support to Venezuelan presidential candidate Nicolas Maduro at an extraordinary meeting Thursday 18 April in the Peruvian capital, as the United States and opponents continue to call for a recount of last Sunday’s vote. The meeting was called earlier this week as a crisis, […]

Strong “yes” to curbing abusive salaries sends Swiss corporate shock wave (update)

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Geneva votes to lower cost of public transport, Graubuenden says no to 2022 Olympics GENEVA, SWITZERLAND – The Swiss have sent a powerful message to multinationals on the issue of abusive salaries, with 68 percent of the country and all cantons voting in favour of it, with just one canton, Valais, not yet counted. The […]

Zimbabwe sanctions bring number banned from Switzerland to120

BERN, SWITZERLAND – Sanctions against Zimbabwe were tightened by Switzerland Wednesday 27 February with the addition of 20 names to the list of officials and companies banned from traveling to and through the country. The group was added to the consolidated sanctions list published 3 January, which includes President Robert Mugabe. Switzerland has had sanctions […]

Russia cancels most of Cuba’s debt as Raul Castro wins

GENEVA, SWITZERLAND – Raul Castro, little brother of famously longtime leader Fidel, had a good day Sunday 24 February: the Cuban parliament confirmed him as president for a five-year term and Russia canceled a $30 billion debt. The Moscow Times calls it “the country’s biggest debt cancellation in years, according to an agreement”, saying that […]

New centrist party forces Netanyahu to broaden coalition

GENEVA, SWITZERLAND – The right/religious block that has dominated the coalition government of Benjamin Netanyahu has a new player to contend with, after elections handed 19 seats to the year-old Yesh Atid party under former television star Yair Lapid. The party, reports the Guardian, “concentrated its election campaign on socio-economic issues and removing the exemption […]

Tensions rise in Pakistan, in capital and north of country

GENEVA, SWITZERLAND – A series of events in Pakistan this week underscore the growing power struggles that are taking a toll in the months before national elections. The Supreme Court Tuesday ordered the arrest of Prime Minister Raja Pervez Ashraf on charges of corruption, but aides say the court is allied with the military against the elected […]

S Korea elects first woman president (update)

GENEVA, SWITZERLAND – Park Geun-hye is leading with 51.6 percent of the vote for president of South Korea, news sources there say Wednesday 19 December at 15:00. Park, 60, was the country’s First Lady in the 1970s, alongside her father, Park Chung-hee a former military leader who headed the country for 18 years. Her mother was […]

Overseas Vote Foundation wants to hear from Americans, post-election

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GENEVA, SWITZERLAND – The Overseas Vote Foundation, a group that aims to help US citizens vote back home, is asking Americans to help improve the system. The foundation has set  up an online questionnaire that takes 10 minutes to fill out, it says, designed to give them information to improve arrangements for voting in the […]

Georgia election: too close to call, but opposition insists it’s ahead

GENEVA, SWITZERLAND – Voting Monday in Georgia to elect members of parliament has left the opposition Georgian Dream party claiming victory, but the president’s United National Movement party says it has enough votes to hold onto power. The election of 150 MPs has pitted billionaire Bidzina Ivanishvili against  President Mikhail Saakashvili and, while the final outcome […]