Rumen Porodzanov: Tools for Supporting Young Farmers should Become more Effective

Ensuring generational renewal in farming was the focus of the informal meeting of EU Agriculture Ministers held in Sofia on 4-5 June 2018. In the context of the Common Agricultural Policy after 2020, the ministers discussed challenges related to the aging of the agricultural labour population and to rural depopulation.

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Call for reform of UN Security council falls short

The five foreign ministers of the BRICS forum have called for the UN Security Council to become more representative. But they have fallen short once again of explicitly backing the demands of South Africa, India and Brazil to be given permanent seats on an …

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Bill Clinton tries to clarify controversial comments on Monica Lewinsky – and makes it worse

After former President Bill Clinton angrily responded to questioning about his former mistress Monica Lewinsky Monday, the public outcry led him to attempt to clarify his comments at a later event.

Here’s what he said

Clinton was promoting his new book at the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture Monday evening when he addressed the furor over his earlier comments.

“The truth is, the hubbub was I got hot under the collar,” Clinton explained. “Because of the way the questions were asked, and I think what was lost are the two points that I made, that are important to me.”

“The suggestion was that I never apologized for what caused all the trouble for me twenty years ago,” he continued. “So first point is, I did.”

“I live with it all the time”

“I meant it then, and I meant it now,” he said. “I apologized to my family, to Monica Lewinsky and her family, and to the American people. Before a panel of ministers in the White House, which was widely reported, so I was, I did that. I meant it then, and I mean it today. I live with it all the time.”

“The second is, that I support the ‘Me Too’ movement, and I think it’s long overdue,” he added. “And I have always tried to support it in the decisions and policies that I have advanced.”

Watch the CNN video report on Clinton’s second comment:

Keith Boykin, former White House aide to Clinton, said on CNN that the former president needed to apologize to Monica Lewinsky, and he listed off the three times he hurt democratic presidential candidates.

“I’ve tried to do a good job since then”

In the earlier interview, Clinton protested that he didn’t owe Monica Lewinsky an apology, leading many to condemn the former president. As noted by CNN Erin Burnett, Clinton doubled down in his clarification by saying that he had already apologized publicly.

“I dealt with it 20 years ago. And the American people, two-thirds of them, stayed with me,” Clinton said. “And I’ve tried to do a good job since then with my life and with my work. That’s all I have to say to you.”

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Chinese, Russian Foreign Ministers Agree to Boost Coordination on Korean Issue

TEHRAN (FNA)- Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi and Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov met in South Africa’s Pretoria and agreed to boost coordination on solving the conflict on the Korean Peninsula, the Chinese Foreign Ministry said on Monday in a …

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Italy’s First Black Minister Fears Far-Right Party’s Government Influence

Italy’s first black cabinet minister has expressed deep concerns about the entry into Italy’s government of the League, as the far-right party and the populist Five Star Movement (M5S) revealed plans for more detention centres to be built across the country.

Cécile Kyenge, who has been a regular target of racial abuse, said the League’s position as a coalition partner in the incoming government made her less hopeful about the possibility of Italy passing immigration reforms or other changes that would ease a path to citizenship for thousands of undocumented minors.

“Many members of the League accept that they are racists,” she told the Guardian. “It is very difficult for me to see that a party that accepts it is racist is going to manage law, which is supposed to protect all the community.”

On Friday the League – a secessionist party previously known as the Northern League – and the Five Star Movement unveiled a power-sharing agreement for a new populist government. The deal calls for changes to fiscal policy and a €780 (£680) monthly basic income for poor families.

It also spells out a new crackdown on immigration, including a “serious and efficient” programme to drive out migrants who arrive in Italy illegally. The plan calls for more detention centres to be opened in every region, in which migrants could be held for up to 18 months.

The agreement calls for an overhaul of the Dublin treaty, so that asylum seekers would be distributed across the EU instead of being required to stay in the country where they first arrive, and it calls for religious leaders to be registered with the state. All camps of “unregistered” Roma would be shut down under the plan.

Italy’s general election on 4 March resulted in a hung parliament. Matteo Salvini, the head of the League, and the Five Star Movement’s Luigi di Maio have been locked in negotiations for weeks to agree on a common set of governing goals. The pair have still not agreed on who should serve as prime minister.

The new government’s platform is expected to be approved by M5S members late on Friday in an online poll. On Monday, Di Maio and Salvini are expected to meet Italy’s president, Sergio Mattarella, to formalise the launch of the government. Once a prime minister has been nominated and ministers sworn in, the government will face a vote of confidence in the parliament.

Both parties ran campaigns that vilified migrants, and Salvini has attacked Italy’s Roma population throughout his political career. It is not clear whether Italy has the legal right or resources to follow through on some of the radical ideas that were agreed, but the League vowed during the electoral campaign to institute mass deportations of asylum seekers to Africa as part of a reshaping of migration policies.

Immigration experts said the new agreement meant programmes seeking to integrate new migrants could be closed. “They campaign against any positive actions or programmes, which are the very basis for any minority. This keeps them in a structurally backward position,” said Francesco Palermo, a former senator who was a vocal proponent of Romany rights in Italy. “It is more populist than racist, they feel this is what the voters want, and unfortunately average Italian society is against Roma, against migrants, against sexual minorities.”

Kyenge, who now serves as an MEP, has worked for years to try to change Italy’s citizenship laws so that children of migrants can be recognised as Italians. Last year the government failed to pass a law that would have eased the path to citizenship for 800,000 minors who were born in Italy or came as young children.

Kyenge said these children were unable to fully participate in schools and in society. “The identity of a person begins when you are little and it is then you must have an opportunity to say ‘I am an Italian’.”

The Congolese-born doctor has lived in Italy since 1983, and has been on the receiving end of deeply offensive racist slurs. Roberto Calderoli, a senator and former minister under Silvio Berlusconi, likened her to an orangutan and told her she should be a minister “in her country”.

Mario Borghezio, a far-right MEP, said Kyenge would impose a “bongo-bongo” administration on Italy – comments that led to him being expelled from a Ukip-led group in the European parliament. In 2017 a judge ordered him to pay €50,000 to Kyenge for his racist remarks.

Kyenge still has bodyguards to protect her when she is in her home country, as a result of racist abuse from politicians. “People want to attack me because of the colour of my skin and many of those are politicians and it is very sad because politicians should give an example,” she said.

The post Italy’s First Black Minister Fears Far-Right Party’s Government Influence appeared first on American Renaissance.

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EU tells Iran it will protect firms from U.S. sanctions

Even as European foreign ministers prepare to meet in Brussels to salvage the Iran nuclear deal after the U.S. withdrew from the accord this month, now EU governments have issued a reassurance to Tehran. EU governments reportedly gave assurances to Iran that they will seek to protect companies doing business in Iran from renewed U.S. sanctions.

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Sanders, Warren and others move to end right-to-work nationally

Well, this is certainly interesting. A group of Democrats, led by Bernie Sanders, Kirsten Gillibrand, Elizabeth Warren and Cory Booker have filed legislation designed to essentially gut the ability of individual states to pass right-to-work laws and hand back iron-fisted control of the workplace environment to labor unions. The fact that Democrats oppose right-to-work laws is nothing new, nor is the reality that labor unions fund a large part of their election efforts. But do you notice anything that those names I listed have in common? Every one of them has been repeatedly mentioned as a possible 2020 presidential candidate. The Free Beacon has the details.

Senator Bernie Sanders (I., Vt.) filed legislation Wednesday that would significantly strengthen the power of organized labor.

Sanders, along with senators Cory Booker (D., N.J.), Elizabeth Warren (D., Mass.), and Kirsten Gillibrand (D., N.Y.), among others, introduced the Workplace Democracy Act, which would make it easier for workers to unionize and enter into contractual negotiations with employers…

Sanders’s bill seeks to reverse the course by scrapping current procedures in place governing the establishment of a union. Presently, 30 percent of an organization’s employees must sign a petition requesting the formal creation of a union. The National Labor Relations Board then administers an election of all eligible employees to ensure that there is significant support for unionization.

The most glaring item on the agenda is the elimination of free elections among employees when deciding whether or not to unionize. Under this new scheme, the Labor Unions would only have to convince a majority of “workers” to sign a petition and the matter would go straight to the NLRB for a decision without any time for campaigning or debate. A stealth effort could see this happening before the employer and any workers not interested in unionizing even knew it was going on. And I put “workers” in scare quotes because the bill also expands the definition of that word to include independent contractors or temp agency employees. In other words, if they were coming up short, the unions could go and attempt to convince any of those outside resource contractors to sign on and get them over the top.

But buried in the bill is an even more insidious poison pill. Sanders and his pals are looking to repeal the portion of the National Labor Relations Act which gives states the option to pass right-to-work laws. That would essentially negate all of the progress which has been made in the fight for fair labor practices and options over the past two decades. Once again, all workers would be forced to contribute a portion of their income every week to the political efforts of the union, even if the platform is directly opposite the workers’ preferences. This would continue the government endorsed tradition of robbing workers of their right to free speech.

Fortunately, the odds of this bill ever seeing a floor vote are currently next to zero, say nothing of being signed into law. This is mostly a stunt to allow Democrats to win points with their base and, probably more importantly, the unions who heavily fund their campaigns. It’s also a talking point for their presidential primary hopefuls to have on their resumes. But it’s worth noting that this is a Democratic wishlist item. If the country hands control back to the Democrats, much like promising to raise your taxes, this could become the new reality in a few years.

The post Sanders, Warren and others move to end right-to-work nationally appeared first on Hot Air.

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Russian, French Foreign Ministers Discuss Syria in Phone Talks – Moscow

MOSCOW (Sputnik) – Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov and his French counterpart Jean-Yves Le Drian discussed in phone talks on Saturday the recent developments in the Syrian conflict, the Russian Foreign Ministry said.

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