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Fran?ois Fillon drops promise of early cabinet appointments




PARIS – If everything was missing based on plan, Henri de Castries is finance minister-designate presently.

De Castries helped French conservative presidential candidate Francois Fillon build his platform. Both became friends and Fillon promised in his campaign that in a bid for credibility and transparency, he’d inform voters about?his cabinet nominations 4 months prior to May 7 election. De Castries was considered as the most notable selection for the finance job.

Something happened in order to transparency. First, Fillon broke his electoral promise, with even his own spokespeople acknowledging?it is unlikely he will appoint his prospective cabinet before i write again. Second, even though he did name names, de Castries not looks?such as the favorite to locate the finance portfolio.

The cabinet non-decision shows how tough life could be if you find yourself one of the?favorites to become your next French president.

Soon after he pulled off a primary upset?from the conservative primary, knocking out favorites Alain Juppe and Nicolas Sarkozy, Fillon was crowned the target of attacks from your left as well as far right over his wants to reform France’s healthcare system.

The idea to transfer coverage of so-called “small [health] risks” to personal insurance agencies ran counter on the French tradition of comprehensive, state-financed coverage for many. Fillon has since scrapped the theory, saying it was “misunderstood.” They are now rewriting his health care program, having pledged to keep talks with doctors.

De Castries, former boss of insurance giant AXA,?was?accused of to be the architect from the doomed health-related?proposal. Bigger denied it, and Fillon campaign aides say he has not been involved with that part of the candidate’s platform – focusing instead on fiscal and macroeconomic policies.

    But the criticism has stuck.

    De Castries’ timing is poor. He announced they was officially backing Fillon?in an an interview?with Le Figaro the other day, as his prospects of becoming finance minister dimmed.

    “I think he has realized by now that they will not get Bercy,” said a Fillon associate, making use of the name from the?finance ministry building inside east of Paris.

    Another reason Fillon got cold feet, the aide said, can it be dawned on him that de Castries wouldn’t be the most beneficial person to shield another plank of his platform: repeal in the much-criticized wealth tax, a Socialist sacred cow that no recent conservative government has dared touch.

    After 27 years at AXA – a final 16?the fact that were at the top of the corporation – de Castries is located a personalized fortune estimated at around 40 million.

    It’s “hard to picture a finance minister asking parliament to vote a measure that can save him 500,000 12 months,” said the Fillon aide.

    De Castries has now set his sights to the foreign ministry, another source in the Fillon campaign said. But there is another snag: Bruno Le Maire, an old agriculture and European affairs minister, is eyeing that job.

    Le Maire ran against Fillon in the conservative primary and was badly defeated while in the first round. He threw his?support behind Fillon and is the main foreign policy spokesman for that campaign.

    There are bigger?the reason why Fillon isn’t rushing to appoint his cabinet upfront.

    His original promise would have been to appoint a scaled-down?cabinet of?15 ministers: Nearly half of them could well be as well as nearly half could come from civil society – i.e. will have no?prior experience of politics.

    “Now he’s realize that appointing a cabinet could make him 15 friends, but enemies among all the latest hopefuls who aren’t chosen,” said an MP from Fillon’s?conservative Les Republicains party.

    The other reason Fillon is reviewing his campaign promise would it be will make him look arrogant, taking victory as a given even as the political fight is intensifying regarding the top three candidates – Fillon, far-right leader Marine Le Pen, and Socialist-turned-independent Emmanuel Macron.

    “Never sell the bear’s skin before you’ve shot him,” the conservative MP said, employing an old French proverb.

    As for de Castries, who declined the chairmanship of banking giant HSBC to his potential new job, “he will just have to recognize that politics is often as tough your global as business,” the MP added.


    Clock ticking in Romanian corruption showdown





    BUCHAREST – By passing a decree that may let corrupt politicians free, the Romanian government also set the clock ticking on efforts to thwart it.

    The measure was passed late Tuesday night, to turn into effective 10 days later. That deadline assists galvanize thousands of protesters who’ve flooded the streets to demand the decree be revoked.

    With the ecu Commission along with the embassies of Western nations also criticizing the move, the costa rica government must decide getting in touch with defy both mainstream European opinion additionally, the biggest demonstrations in Romania for the reason that fall of communism.

    Curiously, late government entities may not actually aid the protesters’ cause, like a temporary administration will not have the power to cancel the decree, according to political experts.

    Events were mounted in train when Justice Minister Florin Iordache announced how the government would update the penal code by decriminalizing the offense of official misconduct for cases involving injury to the population purse of less than

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    How Australia built a wall (and purchased it)





    SYDNEY – Think of it Australia’s naval wall.

    It’s cloudy the amount Mr . trump is aware of how Australia treats refugees who arrive on its shores by boat. Though the program would probably get his approval.

    In the three-and-a-half?years since launch of Operation Sovereign Borders, the “Lucky Country” has?turned?back rickety vessels and detained asylum seekers offshore in harsh conditions for the Pacific island of Nauru or Papua New Guinea’s Manus Island. Refugees who arrive by sea are banned from?ever settling in?Australia – without exception.

    Critics (and some proponents) in the system voice it out is brutal by design, providing those fleeing persecution with a cruel but effective deterrent. And delay: In 2013,?300 boats carrying 20,587 people made it to?Australia. Only 1 year later, the quantity of boat-people dropped to?157. Since 2014, no boat has made it?through.

    “On moral and ethical grounds We would express it is wrong to look at people with committed no offense, and treat them so badly how they?love to face persecution instead,” said barrister Julian Burnside, who works pro bono?with asylum seekers and campaigns against?offshore detention. “But be the fundamental logic than it.”

    The U.N.’s human rights committee ruled?the fact that indefinite detention of refugees over?security concerns breached international law.

    Whether Australia’s hardline system breaks international law is often a couple of heated debate in the united states – and abroad.

    Conditions in Australian-run detention camps are notoriously harsh. Reports of self harm, allegations of medical negligence, illness, suicide, rape,?assaults at the hands of fellow asylum seekers, hostile locals and authorities?are commonplace. In 2009, the Guardian published?2,000 leaked incident reports from Nauru, including allegations of a guard?threatening to kill a kid and the other swapping sexual favors for really shower time.

      Australia’s?leaders?insist they?adhere to their?obligations, but the U . n . and NGOs?have differing views. In April 2016, the U.N.’s human rights committee ruled?that your indefinite detention of refugees over?security concerns breached international law?and?ordered the nation to produce?five those who were detained?for six years.

      Also in 2009, the U.N. Refugee Agency (UNHCR) called for the immediate change in asylum seekers out of the Manus Island and Nauru processing centers, labeling?them inhumane and “immensely harmful.” Amnesty International swallows a similar view. “Amnesty disagrees while using the government’s interpretation of the obligations under international humanitarian law,” said Australian spokeswoman?Emma Bull.

      Dumb and dumber

      And?this system comes at a price. Australia,?which in the ’90s considered itself something of the?deputy regional peacekeeper into the United States’ global sheriff, has lost most of its humanitarian good waiting on home and abroad. Faced with a flood of negative media reports?quoting doctors about conditions in the processing centers, the Australian government threatened?doctors and nurses with two-year prison sentences if he or she spoke out. (Authorities eventually caved into media pressure and amended the foundations.)

      And as there are the monetary cost.?Australia currently holds about 1,250?refugees in the?offshore processing centers, who typically have spent 478 days in detention. As you move the government hasn’t already?detailed the cost of the work, according to the Australian National Audit Office?holding the refugees costs over?405,000 (in close proximity to $440,000) per person each and every year. Electrical systems, the?Australian government estimates Syrian refugees that happen to be able to settle in Australia as part of its humanitarian intake cost it roughly 10,700 per person annually.

      Australia, which contains?a population of 24 million, has pledged to?settle?19,000 refugees per year on its shores, when they don’t arrive by boat.

      Because?Australia bans boat-arrivals?from selecting its shores, those that?are granted refugee status either can live in detention, settle in the community on?Manus or Nauru, or say yes to move to one third country.

      That leaves the country?begging or bribing others?to take refugees off its hands.

      Enter the?refugee resettlement arrangement?struck in November with then U.S. Barack obama, which Trump referred to as a “dumb deal”?on Twitter.

      The agreement is true for refugees already on Nauru and Manus, plus those chosen Australia temporarily for medical therapy. They can be qualified to apply for a one-off resettlement during the U.S., be more responsive to vetting by American authorities.

      The deal was away from the back of one other, struck in?September by Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull in a invitation-only summit hosted by Obama. Under that arrangement, known as something of advance payment, Australia accepted resettle?Central American refugees from?camps in Panama and nicaragua , and pledged over 92 million aid for displaced people around the world.?(Australia, who has?a population of 24 million, has pledged to?settle?19,000 refugees 1 year on its shores, when they don’t arrive by boat.)

      If the U.S. deal falls through, Australia should resort to its plan b: Cambodia. Beneath a pact?struck in 2014, Australia accepted?cash nation around 40?million to resettle its refugees. Unfortunately, the agreement with Cambodia is?- to loan Trump’s phrase – a dumb deal. A couple of years after that it was struck, only?five refugees have decided look at the country, and simply one?has stayed there.

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      Fillon’s choices: the unhealthy, the worse as well as real ugly





      PARIS – “I’d makes use of the Titanic cliche, except there’s?no band playing.” That’s how a senior official from the conservative Les Republicains party summed up the mood in Francois Fillon presidential campaign pursuing the latest allegations by the satirical weekly Canard Enchaine.

      Fillon’s allies are uneasy, verging on desperate, about the way bigger chosen to shield himself from what he calls a “conspiracy” on the alleged funneling?of public funds to his wife and kids. Some are concerned?that it’ll cause a political debacle.

      After spending days denouncing unnamed plotters intent on taking him from the French presidential race, Fillon upped the temperature Wednesday morning by accusing the us government associated with aid inside revelations.

      This is “an institutional coup d’Etat” provided by “the ruling left,” he told a gathering of Republicains MPs, depending on AFP.

      His aim were to rally the troops against the unpopular socialist government, however some during the Fillon campaign worried so it would do little to convince voters the allegations are false.

      A week after Le Canard Enchaine said Fillon had long employed his wife Penelope as his parliamentary attache and suggested she hadn’t actually done much work with what he paid her, the paper unveiled new allegations on Wednesday.?Just how much Fillon paid his wife over the years reached nearly

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