Peru president Pedro Pablo Kuczynski resigns amid corruption scandal

Peru president Pedro Pablo Kuczynski resigns amid corruption scandal

eru’s president Pedro Pablo Kuczynski has offered his resignation after secret video recordings entangled him in a new corruption scandal on the eve of an impeachment vote, plunging one of Latin America’s steadiest economies into a political crisis. It was unclear if the opposition-controlled Congress would accept his resignation or proceed with a vote on Thursday to force him from office. In a televised message to the nation Kuczynski said he would offer his resignation to avoid being an “obstacle” to the country but continued to deny any wrongdoing. Just…

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CSJ has questions around creation of English-speaking business court

CSJ has questions around creation of English-speaking business court

The High Council of Justice (“CSJ”) is voicing serious reservations upon the government initiative to create an English-speaking business court in Brussels. The CSJ indicated, on Monday, in a communiqué that the current bill does not guarantee the new organ sufficient independence. In October, the Michel government approved the project to create the Brussels International Business Court (“BIBC”), an English-speaking Court to settle international commercial court disputes. Both individual cases and the final judgment will be in English. The government says that the BIBC will not receive public funding and…

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Early retirement for military and railway workers until 2039

Early retirement for military and railway workers until 2039

Belgian pensions minister Daniel Bacquelaine plans to introduce a 20-year transition period for military personnel, train drivers and railway workers as regards the increase of their legal pension age to 67. Belgian media reported on Thursday that the pension age would be increased gradually each year for these categories. They will reach the pension age of 67 only in 2039 instead of 2030 as for all other employees (without taking into account any recognition of job difficulty). The Financial Inspectorate, however, has a negative opinion on this measure, according to…

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Slovakian minister resigns after protests at journalist’s murder

Slovakian minister resigns after protests at journalist’s murder

Robert Kaliňák quits amid crisis after killing of Ján Kuciak, who was investigating corruption. A key ally of the Slovakian prime minister, Robert Fico, has been forced to resign as interior minister after the murder of a journalist who had been investigating links between the government and the Italian mafia. Robert Kaliňák, who also quit his post as deputy prime minister, said the country’s need for stability required him to leave the administration. The Slovakian government has been in crisis since the discovery of the bodies of the investigative reporter…

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UK defies EU over Indonesian palm oil trade, leaked papers show

UK defies EU over Indonesian palm oil trade, leaked papers show

UK is pushing for a deal that would boost imports linked to deforestation despite EU moves to ban unsustainable palm oil, diplomatic papers reveal. The UK is defying EU institutions to push for a hike in nominally “sustainable” Indonesian palm oil imports which have nonetheless been linked to deforestation, leaked documents show. The European parliament is currently trying to force a ban on EU biofuels using palm oil, which have driven deforestation and contributed to the loss of 150,000 orangutans in Indonesia since 2002. A binding “due diligence” regulation for…

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More than 5m join Spain’s ‘feminist strike’, unions say

More than 5m join Spain’s ‘feminist strike’, unions say

Mayors of Madrid and Barcelona among supporters of walkout on International Women’s Day. More than 5 million workers have taken part in Spain’s first nationwide “feminist strike”, according to trade unions. The action, held to mark International Women’s Day, is intended to highlight sexual discrimination, domestic violence and the wage gap. On Thursday afternoon, the Workers’ Commissions and the Workers’ General Union said that 5.3 million people had participated in two-hour walkouts, describing the action as “an unprecedented strike in our country’s trade union movement”. The strike, which is being…

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Youth employment in Brussels drops by a third in four years

Youth employment in Brussels drops by a third in four years

Brussels had 9,535 young unemployed people in February. That’s a 33% drop since 2014, according to figures released by Actiris on Friday. This 57th consecutive monthly decrease still leaves youth unemployment relatively high at 24.1% (9,525 job seekers under 25 years old). In total, Brussels had 91,681 job seekers in February, an unemployment rate of 16.5%. That’s a 3.8% drop compared to 2017 and a 14.7% drop compared to 2014.

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Brussels attacks – Police were keeping an eye on Khalid El Bakraoui

Brussels attacks – Police were keeping an eye on Khalid El Bakraoui

Federal police searched Khalid El Bakraoui’s house just twenty days before the Paris attacks. El Bakraoui was behind the attack on the Maelbeek metro station on the 22nd of March 2016, De Morgen reported on Saturday. The paper got access to a police report that describes how El Bakraoui asked friends to gather “as much Kalachnikov ammunition as possible” during the summer of 2015. Investigators bugged his phone, placed him under surveillance and photographed him while he was meeting with a buyer. His house was searched on the 21st of…

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Reynders: Belgium needs to balance its export and import interests

Reynders: Belgium needs to balance its export and import interests

At an informal meeting of EU ministers on Tuesday in Sofia, Bulgaria, Belgian Foreign Minister Didier Reynders proposed to verify the cumulative effects of EU’s trade treaties on the agricultural sector. “It’s also a French concern, we’ve concluded CETA (EU-Canada treaty), we’re on the road with Japan, Vietnam, Mercosur (South American trade bloc), Mexico … But do we have a cross-cutting vision of the cumulative effects of all negotiated agreements, especially on the agricultural sector?” He added that it’s not enough to look at the relative limited effect of a…

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Etterbeek: mayor orders arrest of homeless people refusing to take up night-shelter accommodation

Etterbeek: mayor orders arrest of homeless people refusing to take up night-shelter accommodation

On Sunday, Vincent De Wolf, the Mayor of Etterbeek, made a police order imposing administrative arrest for the homeless, who refuse take up winter accommodation when it is offered to them. The Brussels commune states, “The Mayor is legally obliged to guarantee such individuals’ safety, and to offer assistance to those in need.” This exceptional step is being taken at a time when the prospect of temperatures plummeting, as far as -10 degrees Celsius, in the coming days has been announced Mayor De Wolf explains, “The homeless staying outside in…

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