“Romanians Flood Streets as Cabinet Defies Protests Over Pardons”
Romania’s president urged the government to reverse a surprise decision to quash corruption investigations into officials and annul some other convictions after the measures drew thousands of protesters into the streets of major cities. About 12,000 people rallied in freezing temperatures late Tuesday in Bucharest, demanding the government step down. At least 8,000 gathered elsewhere in the eastern European nation. The cabinet earlier backed proposals that had sparked the biggest protests since the fall of communism. Some of the changes require parliamentary approval, while others have already been published in the official journal.
“In New Book, Clinton Will Reflect on Race She Lost to Trump”
Hillary Clinton has a lot of plans for 2017, including some reflections on her stunning loss to Donald Trump. The former secretary of state, senator and first lady is working on a collection of personal essays that will touch on the 2016 presidential campaign, Simon & Schuster told The Associated Press on Wednesday. The book, currently untitled, is scheduled for this fall and will be inspired by favorite quotations she has drawn upon. Clinton also will reissue her best-selling «It Takes a Village» in an illustrated edition for young people. She will also resume her relationship with the Harry Walker Agency, the speaker’s bureau through which she made the paid talks that were criticized by Sen. Bernie Sanders and others during the election race.
“UN chief decries discriminatory border bans in rebuke to Trump travel decree”
António Guterres, the new UN secretary general said on Wednesday, in a clear response to the Trump administration’s refugee ban, that border policies based on religion, ethnicity or race were “against the fundamental principles and values on which our societies are based”. He added two other practical objections that have been at the core of much criticism of Trump’s executive order, on the grounds that it is poor national security policy. Guterres said such a ban “triggers widespread anxiety and anger that may facilitate the propaganda of the very terrorist organisations we all want to fight against” and that, furthermore, “blind measures, not based on solid intelligence, tend to be ineffective as they risk being bypassed by what are today sophisticated global terrorist movements”.
“Apple considering legal action over Trump’s travel ban”
Apple could be the next big tech company to take legal action against President Trump’s travel ban.
The iPhone maker is considering legal options regarding Trump’s executive order, which has affected hundreds of its employees, CEO Tim Cook said in an interview with The Wall Street Journal. He told The Wall Street Journal that he has been contacting «very, very senior people in the White House» to try to persuade them to repeal the order.
His comments follow moves this week by Amazon (AMZN, Tech30) and Expedia (EXPE) to join a legal challenge to the travel ban, which affects refugees and citizens of seven Muslim-majority countries.
“A scandal throws France’s presidential race wide open”
François Fillon admits no wrongdoing in putting his wife on the payroll, but his campaign is faltering. Just days previously, the former prime minister had been the favorite to win the two-round French presidential election in April and May. But the decision on January 25th by judicial investigators to launch a preliminary inquiry into misuse of public funds by Mr. Fillon, after revelations in a newspaper, shocked many of his supporters. His, after all, was the candidacy of probity and honor. One cannot lead France, he declared during the Republicans’ primary last year, unless one is “beyond reproach”. It turned out that Mr. Fillon had employed his wife, Penelope, possibly from as far back as 1988, for a total pre-tax sum of over €800,000 ($863,000), as well as two of his children when they were law students. This is not illegal; some 20% of French deputies employ a family member. But the newspaper could find no trace that Ms. Fillon had done any work. Mr. Fillon’s difficulties have turned an already-uncertain election into one of the most unpredictable in recent history. The French, it seems, are in no mood to vote in line with any pre-written script. Only seven points now separate the leading three candidates in first-round voting: Marine Le Pen of the populist Front National (27%), Mr. Macron (23%) and Mr. Fillon (20%). Each has a chance of making it into the second round. This in itself is extraordinary: just six months ago, neither Mr. Fillon nor Mr. Macron was considered by his own camp to be a credible contender.