[syndicated profile] timemagazine_feed

Posted by Paul Carrel and Thomas Escritt / Reuters

(BERLIN) – Chancellor Angela Merkel’s conservatives beat their rivals on Sunday to win her a fourth term in an election that will also bring a far-right party into Germany’s parliament for the first time in more than half a century, exit polls showed.

After shock election results last year, from Britain’s vote to leave the European Union to the election of U.S. President Donald Trump, many look to Merkel to rally a bruised liberal Western order, tasking her with leading a post-Brexit Europe.

She must now form a coalition government – an arduous process that could take months as all potential partners are unsure whether they really want to share power with her.

Merkel’s conservative bloc won 32.5 percent of the vote, making them the largest parliamentary group, an exit poll for broadcaster ARD indicated. However, that was down from 41.5 percent in the last election, in 2013.

Support for their closest rivals, the center-left Social Democrats (SPD) which are currently junior partners in a so-called “grand coalition” with Merkel, slumped to 20.0 percent – a new post-war low. The SPD ruled out a re-run of that tie-up.

The far-right Alternative for Germany (AfD) stunned the establishment by finishing third and entering parliament for the first time with 13.5 percent of the vote.

Merkel, Europe’s longest serving leader, joins the late Helmut Kohl, her mentor who reunified Germany, and Konrad Adenauer, who led Germany’s rebirth after World War Two, as the only post-war chancellors to win four national elections.

SPD deputy leader Manuela Schwesig said her party would now go into opposition. That would rule out a re-run of Merkel’s existing alliance with the SPD.

An alternative coalition for Merkel would be a three-way tie-up with the liberal Free Democrats (FDP) and the ecologist Greens. That is a combination as yet untested at national level and known as the “Jamaica” option because the three parties’ colors are those of the black-gold-green Jamaica national flag.

Both the FDP and the environmentalist Greens have played down the prospect of a Jamaica coalition, but as they have been out of government for four and 12 years respectively, they may be lured into an alliance by the prospect of power.

NEW ERA

Whatever the make-up of her coalition, Merkel, 63, faces four years of government in a fragmented parliament after the return of the FDP – unrepresented at national level for the last four years – and the arrival of the AfD.

Founded in 2013 by an anti-euro group of academics, the AfD has morphed into an anti-immigration party that has profited from Merkel’s 2015 decision to leave German borders open to over 1 million migrants, most of them fleeing war in the Middle East.

The party’s entry into the national parliament heralds the beginning of a new era in German politics that will see more robust debate and a departure from the steady, consensus-based approach that has marked the post-war period.

The other parties elected to the Bundestag all refuse to work with the AfD, which says it will press for Merkel to be “severely punished” for opening the door to refugees and migrants.

After the AfD hurt her conservatives in regional elections last year, Merkel, a pastor’s daughter who grew up in Communist East Germany, wondered if she should run for re-election.

But with the migrant issue under control this year, she threw herself into a punishing campaign schedule, presenting herself as an anchor of stability in an uncertain world.

[syndicated profile] timemagazine_feed

Posted by Jack Coyle / AP

(NEW YORK — The R-rated spy comedy “Kingsman: The Golden Circle” has taken over the top spot at the North American box office with an estimated $39 million debut.

The 20th Century Fox release pushed the Stephen King sensation “It” into second place in its third week of release. But “It” still continues to pull in record crowds. With $30 million over the weekend, “It” is now the highest-grossing horror film of all time, not accounting for inflation, with $266.3 million thus far.

The unexpectedly strong performance of “It” may have slightly hurt the opening of the “Kingsman” sequel.

The “Lego Movie” spinoff “The Lego Ninjago Movie,” was further off expectations. “Ninjago” debuted with $21.2 million. It was the second “Lego Movie” spinoff of the year, following February’s “The Lego Batman Movie.”

Trump's latest North Korea threat

Sep. 24th, 2017 04:41 pm
[syndicated profile] cnn_feed
Seismic activity was detected Saturday near the site of North Korea's Punggye-ri nuclear site, but it is not known whether a nuclear test caused the development. The first sign Pyongyang has conducted a nuclear test is usually seismic activity.


[syndicated profile] timemagazine_feed

Posted by TIME

Almost a year after Colin Kaepernick first knelt as the U.S. national anthem played ahead of a game, his silent protest has once again become the subject of national attention — this time, because President Trump has launched a days-long tirade at players who have joined the movement.

But while a year ago, it was the act of kneeling in protest police treatment of African Americans that captured the most attention, in 2017, it appears to be Trump’s unconventional response to the act. Since Friday, the Commander in Chief has called for NFL fans to walk out of games if they saw a player kneel, and added on Twitter that the NFL should fire or suspend players who take a knee.

Trump’s criticism of the kneeling movement comes in stark contrast to how then-President Barack Obama reacted to Kaepernick’s actions. Last September, during a CNN town hall, Obama was careful not to take sides and instead focused on the First Amendment right of free speech. See the difference between their reactions below:

President Trump on NFL kneeling movement

“We’re proud of our country, we respect our flag,” Trump said at a rally Friday. “Wouldn’t you love to see one of these NFL owners, when somebody disrespects our flag, to say, ‘Get that son of a bitch off the field right now, out, he’s fired. He’s fired!”

“Some owners are going to do that. [They will say] ‘that guy who disrespects our flag, he’s fired!’ That owner, they don’t know it. They’re friends of mine, many of them. They don’t know, they’ll be the most popular person for a week,” he continued at the stump speech in Alabama.

“I know we have freedoms, and freedom of choice… but you know what, it’s still disrespectful,” he said. “The only thing you can do better is if you see it, even if its one player, leave the stadium. I guarantee it, things will stuff. Just pick up and leave.”

He continued railing on the NFL protests Sunday, taking to Twitter to slam the league’s ratings and encourage fans to boycott games.

 

Barack Obama on Colin Kaepernick’s protest

“There are gonna be a lot of folks who do stuff we don’t agree with…but as long as they’re doing it within the law, then we can voice our opinion objecting to it, but it’s also their right,” Obama said during a CNN town hall event last September, not long after Kaepernick first knelt.

Obama did not call for the NFL to fire or suspend any of its players for the incident. Instead, he encouraged onlookers to think about why Kaepernick was taking action.

“I want Mr. Kaepernick and others who are on a knee, I want them to to listen to the pain that that may cause somebody who, for example, had a spouse or a child who was killed in combat and why it hurts them to see somebody not standing. But I also want people to think about the pain he may be expressing about somebody who’s lost a loved one that they think was unfairly shot,” Obama said.

[syndicated profile] nythomepage_feed

Posted by STEVEN ERLANGER and MELISSA EDDY

Although the polls predict Angela Merkel will remain chancellor, a far-right party is expected to enter Parliament for the first time in decades.
[syndicated profile] nythomepage_feed

Posted by CHARLES V. BAGLI and ROBIN POGREBIN

Barry Diller was about to win the battle for his $250 million arts pier, but then came the “petty questions” from his opponents and he decided to pull the plug.

Trump's latest North Korea threat

Sep. 24th, 2017 04:19 pm
[syndicated profile] cnn_feed
Seismic activity was detected Saturday near the site of North Korea's Punggye-ri nuclear site, but it is not known whether a nuclear test caused the development. The first sign Pyongyang has conducted a nuclear test is usually seismic activity.


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