Global Review – 12th October

Post election chaos in Berlin

Deutsche Welle reports that “chaotic scenes” and “embarrassing irregularities” at Berlin’s polling stations at last month’s general election have shaken confidence in Germany’s election system, while providing ammunition for the many people who question the German capital’s bureaucratic efficiency. On Thursday, October 14, final election results will be published, giving the green light for what are expected to be several legal challenges. On September 26, Berlin held elections at federal, state and local council levels, as well as a referendum on socialising major housing companies. This saw many voters in the German capital waiting for hours at voting stations as election volunteers ran out of ballot papers, or ballot papers were delivered to the wrong districts.  The trouble had been predictable, given the simultaneous elections (voters often spent several minutes in their booths sifting through five different ballot papers), and yet voting stations seemed unprepared, forced into ad-hoc measures to ease the impasse. Extra booths were set up, while new ballots were sent from other voting stations – only for couriers to find their paths blocked by the international marathon that Berlin authorities allowed to go ahead on election day.

‘EU must react to Poland court’s ruling’ – Jurova

The Vice-President of the European Commission, Vera Jurova, has said that the EU must react after the decision of the Polish Constitutional Court on the prevalence of national law over that of the European Union. She told the 25th  edition of Forum 2000 that if “we do not keep the principle that the same rules must be respected in the same way everywhere in the Union, the whole of Europe will begin to collapse”.

EU helps Georgieva keep IMF job

The International Monetary Fund has voiced full confidence in its chief, Kristalina Georgieva, a Bulgarian former EU commissioner, following a row on China. It spoke out late on Monday after several days of internal discussions, which pitted the US, which wanted her to go, and EU states, wanting her to stay. Georgieva had been accused of manipulating country data to favour China in a previous role as number two at the World Bank.

Draghi visits attacked CGIL headquarters

Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi visited the CGIL headquarters in Rome, which was attacked on Saturday during the demonstration against the Green Pass. He was welcomed at the entrance by the general secretary of the CGIL, Maurizio Landini, amid a long applause when the two embraced. Draghi had said he wanted to signal the closeness of the government to the union to prevent a return to a past that must be avoided.

Schallenberg: ‘False accusations against Kurz’

The new Austrian Chancellor, Alexander Schallenberg, said he was “convinced” that the allegations against Sebastian Kurz were false and that this would be proven. Speaking after being sworn-in, he said he would pursue the successful path of the Kurz government, the pandemic, the economic recovery, the budget and the ecosocial tax reform. “I will certainly collaborate closely with the leader of the first party in parliament to close the chapter. “Now we need responsibility and stability, we need mutual respect,” he added.

2 million evacuated after Shanxi floods

Torrential rains are hindering relief efforts in Shanxi province in northern China, where more than 1.76 million people have been forced to evacuate, according to local media, while work in dozens of coal mines have been stopped. This is creating new pressure on the energy crisis, and is hitting the country, with the rationing of electricity especially in the northeast. China is already facing an energy shortage that has caused electricity supply to ports, factories and even homes to be blocked.

New Tunisian government formed

Tunisia has a new government, 11 weeks after the removal of the previous one by President Kais Saied, who assumed full powers on July 25. Prime Minister Najla Bouden at the swearing-in ceremony in front of the President of the Republic announced her government team, consisting of 24 ministers, including eight women and an Undersecretary for Foreign Affairs. The appointment of the ministers took place by presidential decree. Parliament is still suspended.

US police drag a paraplegic out of the car

A paraplegic Afro-American was dragged out of his car and held on the ground by police officers in Ohio. The episode was filmed on a policeman’s body cam. According to the filmed sequence, Clifford Owensby, 39, was arrested on a suspected drug case. He was asked to get out of the car but Owensby said he could not because he is paraplegic. The agents offered to help him but he refused. After a heated argument Owensby was dragged out and one of the agents pulled him by the hair and forceed him to the ground. There was also a three-year-old boy in the car.

Germany first to qualify for the 2022 World Cup

Germany has become the first national team to mathematically qualify for the finals of the 2022 World Cup in Qatar. They beat North Macedonia 4-0 in Skopje, to become the first national team to reach this goal after that of the host country. In Group J, the team led by Hans Flick have 21 points after eight games and Romania, with two games left, are eight points behind.

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