By Coral Davenport
President Obama will veto a bill authorizing the construction of the Keystone XL oil pipeline if it passes Congress, his spokesman said on Tuesday, setting up a clash between the White House and the new Republican-led Congress.
“I would not anticipate that the president would sign this legislation,” Josh Earnest, the White House press secretary, said during a briefing. He later clarified that the president would indeed veto the bill.
The Keystone bill was the first introduced in the Senate in the new Congress, and Senator Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, the new majority leader, has vowed to make it the first measure sent to the president’s desk. The House is expected to pass the bill on Friday, while the Senate is expected to take up the measure next week.
It was widely expected that Mr. Obama would veto the measure. As written, the bill would remove the requirement that the president authorize the construction of the oil pipeline to Canada, and instead give that authority to Congress. Mr. Obama issued a veto threat to a similar bill passed by the House in 2013.
News courtesy » The New York Times »» FirstDraft
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More » via Twitter » Sanders Statement on Tar Sands Pipeline Veto Threat
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Federica Mogherini’s statement doesn’t mention PA’s request to join ICC, but calls on both sides to refrain from taking actions that could prevent ‘a rapid return to negotiations.’
By Barak Ravid
The EU’s high representative for foreign affairs, Federica Mogherini, called on Israel on Tuesday to immediately renew the transfer of tax revenues to the Palestinian Authority, calling the recent freeze on the funds a violation of the Oslo Accords.
Mogherini stressed in a statement that Israel’s decision to freeze the transfer of tax revenue “runs counter to Israel’s obligations under the Paris Protocol” – the economic part of the Oslo Accords. According to Mogherini, the EU provides extensive financial aid to the Palestinian Authority to build the institutions and infrastructure of the future Palestinian state. “These achievements should not be put at risk by not meeting obligations regarding the timely and transparent transfer of tax and custom revenues,” she said.
Read more » Haaretz
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By Shehzad Ghias
The new Rajkumar Hirani-directed Bollywood movie PK starring Aamir Khan and Anushka Sharma has divided opinions in India. ‘#BanPK’ trended on Twitter, there were protests all over India and religious groups burnt posters of the movie at processions but the movie is in course to be the highest grossing Indian film of all time.
India’s silent majority is letting its position on the issue known by supporting the movie. There are no mass protests in support of the movie but the positive reviews online and thousands of people taking to social media to praise it shows India is ready to have the ‘religion’ debate.
There was outcry from religious groups, and threats of mob violence but the courts and the government must be admired for not bowing down under the pressure of these mobs. The Supreme Court passed a verdict simply saying,
“Don’t watch the film, if you don’t like it.”
It is not as if the religious groups are not as strong in India as in Pakistan, it is just that their state is stronger than ours. In a country with the writ of law, mobs cannot act with complete impunity. The Supreme Court judges who passed this judgment were not afraid they would be shot in their chambers after passing the judgment. Having worked in the legal fraternity in Pakistan, I can testify that some judges in Pakistan are afraid to pass judgments based on their feelings and reason in cases which may involve religion.
Continue reading India is ready to talk about religion. Is Pakistan?
ISLAMABAD: Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) Senator Raza Rabbani was in tears on Tuesday after voting in the upper house on the 21st Constitutional Amendment for setting up military courts in the country.
Rabbani said that he voted on the amendment against his own conscience. He further added that he had never felt more ashamed in his life.
“I have been in the Senate for more than 12 years, but have never been as ashamed as I am today and I cast my vote against my conscious,” said the PPP leader.
The senator said the vote that he had cast in support of the amendment was on the PPP’s behalf.
Rabbani had recently said that parliament has had the honour of not validating illegal acts of military dictators in the past, but was now “taking its last breath”.
He has been of the view that after the passage of the 21st Amendment bill, the constitution would no more remain “pure”.
Rabbani has been among the more prominent PPP leaders who have criticised the party’s decision to support the establishment of military courts.
Read more » DAWN
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