Tag Archives: prime Minister

Netanyahu to become 1st on seat Israel PM to face crime charge


The long-awaited corruption trial of Benjamin Netanyahu is due to open in Jerusalem, where he will become the first serving Israeli prime minister to face criminal prosecution.

Netanyahu is required to appear for Sunday’s session in Jerusalem District Court, a week after he was sworn in to a record fifth term as head of a unity government, ending more than a year of political deadlock in the wake of three inconclusive elections.

Netanyahu has been charged with fraud, breach of trust and accepting bribes in a series of cases. He is accused of accepting expensive gifts, such as cartons of champagne and cigars, from wealthy friends and offering favours to media moguls in exchange for favourable news coverage of him and his family.

In the most serious case, he is accused of promoting legislation that delivered hundreds of millions of dollars of profits to the owner of a major telecom company while wielding behind-the-scenes editorial influence over the firm’s popular news website.

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Has Netanyahu won? | UpFront

Netanyahu, who heads the right-wing Likud party, denies all charges. He has cast his prosecution as a left-wing witch-hunt meant to overthrow a popular right-wing leader.

As prime minister, Netanyahu is under no legal obligation to resign and he has said his court battle will not affect his ability to do his job.

A three-judge panel, which will hear the prime minister’s case, turned down on Wednesday his request to stay away from the opening session.

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In asking to be excused, Netanyahu called the event a formality and argued that bringing his contingent of bodyguards would waste public funds and make it hard to comply with physical distancing rules.

Some critics said Netanyahu was trying to avoid the optics of a prime minister sitting in the defendant’s dock. Turning down his request, the court said it was important for justice to be seen to be done.

Political deadlock resolved
After three bruising elections over the past year, Netanyahu was sworn into office this week for a fourth consecutive term.

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How is BDS affecting Israel

All three elections were seen as referendums on his fitness for office, and all ended in deadlock. After the most recent vote in March, his rival, Benny Gantz, appeared to have mustered enough support in Parliament to pass legislation that would have disqualified Netanyahu from serving as prime minister while under indictment.

However, in a stunning turnaround, Gantz, citing fears of a fourth expensive election and the coronavirus pandemic, agreed to shelve the legislation and instead form a power-sharing government with Netanyahu.

The Supreme Court cleared the way for Netanyahu to remain in power. In a key ruling, it said an indicted politician may serve as prime minister – even though Israeli law requires all other office-holders to resign if charged with a crime.

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Yuval Shany, professor of law at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, argued that there is “a basic incompatibility” between Netanyahu’s role as head of the government and his status as a criminal defendant.

In the latter role, Shany said, the prime minister would be “fighting very aggressively and maybe effectively to weaken the government authorities that are prosecuting him”.

“There is a very serious conflict of interest situation,” he told AFP news agency.

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Under their deal, Netanyahu was forced to yield some powers to Gantz, with each wielding a veto over most key decisions. Gantz will hold the title of “alternate prime minister,” and after 18 months, they will swap jobs.

Six years ago, former Prime Minister Ehud Olmert was found guilty of bribe-taking and served 16 months in jail. His trial took place after his 2006-2009 term in office.


#Newsworthy…

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PIA plane crash: I feel sad – Former Pakistani PM express


Former premier Nawaz Sharif has expressed sympathies with the plane crash victims. 

More than 55 people died when a PIA plane crashed in Karachi on Friday. As soon as the media broke the story, people started sympathising with the bereaved families and praying for early recovery of the injured. “The today’s tragedy has made me feel very sad,” Nawaz said in a message to the victims.

The ex-PM prayed the Almighty may rest the departed souls in eternal peace and grant courage to the bereaved families. He paid tribute to the aircrew, saying he saluted the staff that did their job with dedication.


#Newsworthy…

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COVID-19: Russian Prime Minister Test Positive.

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Russian Prime Minister, Mikhali Mishustin, has tested positive for COVID-19.

Mishustin revealed this in a video meeting the President Vladimir Putin on Thursday.

He said he will self-isolate to avoid putting members of the cabinet at risk.

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According to him, “It just became known that the coronavirus tests I took came back positive, so I must oblige by the self-isolation rules and it’s mandatory [that I do that] for the safety of my colleagues.”

He also urged Putin to sign a decree appointing Andrey Belousov to his role on an acting basis.

Speaking on the development, Putin while assuring him that anyone could contact COVID-19 wished the Minister a quick recovery.

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“What is happening to you now can happen to anyone. I hope that you stay able to work and will actively participate in government decision-making.

“Without your opinions and your participation these decisions will not be made,” he added


#Newsworthy…

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Former Togo Prime Minister died in Paris, aged 82.


Former Togolese Prime Minister and diplomat, Edem Kodjo is dead at the age of 82.

Edem who served as the prime minister of Togo from 1994 to 1996 and from 2005 to 2006, under the leadership of a former president Gnassingbe Eyadema, died in Paris on Saturday April 11.


Togolese Foreign Minister, Robert Dussey tweeted;

“A brilliant academic, and an ardent Pan-African, our beloved Edem Kodjo died in Paris after a long illness.


“You will always remain a reference for us’. On the eve of Easter, you practicing Christian return to your creator. Condolences to his family.”

Edem also served as Togo’s Minister of Finance from 1973 to 1976 and as Minister of Foreign Affairs from 1976 to 1978. He was elected as the Secretary-General of the Organisation of African Unity (OAU) at its summit in Khartoum on July 18–22, 1978.

The President of Namibia, Hage Geingob, and Malian President Ibrahim Keita have also condoled with the family of the deceased and his nation.


#Newsworthy…

Hospital Discharges UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson


Prime Minister Boris Johnson has been discharged from hospital but won’t immediately return to work as he continues to recover from coronavirus, Downing Street has said.

A Number 10 spokesman said: “The prime minister has been discharged from hospital to continue his recovery, at Chequers.


“On the advice of his medical team, the prime minister will not be immediately returning to work.

“He wishes to thank everybody at St Thomas’ for the brilliant care he has received.


#NobleSports

UK Prime Minister, Boris Johnson leaves hospital, thank NHS.


Prime Minister Boris Johnson has left hospital after being treated for coronavirus, but will not immediately return to work, Downing Street says.

Mr Johnson, 55, was taken to St Thomas’ hospital, in London, on Sunday – 10 days after testing positive for the virus.

He had three nights in intensive care before returning to a ward on Thursday.

Downing Street said the PM would continue his recovery at his country residence, Chequers.

“On the advice of his medical team, the PM will not be immediately returning to work. He wishes to thank everybody at St Thomas’ for the brilliant care he has received.

“All of his thoughts are with those affected by this illness,” the statement added.


Boris Johnson Thank NHS as UK suffer more COVID-19 cases


Boris Johnson has said he owes his life to the NHS staff treating him for coronavirus.

The prime minister, 55, thanked medics at St Thomas’ hospital in London, where he continues to recover after spending three nights in intensive care.

It comes as UK deaths from the virus are expected to pass 10,000 on Sunday.

On Saturday, the UK recorded 917 new coronavirus deaths, taking total hospital deaths to 9,875.

Ministers are continuing to urge people to stay at home over the Easter weekend to curb the spread of the virus, despite warm and sunny weather across parts of the UK.

In his first public statement since being moved out of intensive care on Thursday, Mr Johnson paid tribute to the medics treating him, saying: “I can’t thank them enough. I owe them my life.”

Speaking as she led the government’s daily coronavirus briefing on Saturday, Home Secretary Priti Patel said the PM needed “time and space to rest, recuperate and recover”.

“No 10 does not want to speculate about when the PM might leave hospital or be back at his desk, but a return to work does not look imminent.” NobleReporters sense

“The prime minister is expected to rest and recover in the coming weeks and Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab will continue to deputise – and will be in charge when ministers carry out a review of the lockdown measures.”

It comes as 917 hospital deaths were recorded in the 24 hours up to 17:00 BST on Friday – the second day in a row that the figure has been over 900.

The death toll released on Saturday was slightly down on the previous day’s 980 deaths.

However, spikes or dips may in part reflect bottlenecks in the reporting system, rather than real changes in the trend and these figures do not include those who have died in care homes or the community.


#Newsworthy…

COVID-19: UK PM, Boris Johnson spent night in intensive care as case worsen.


Mr Johnson, 55, is “in very good hands”, said Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab, who is standing in for the PM and chaired the government’s daily meeting.

World leaders have sent messages to Mr Johnson wishing him well.


It comes as Cabinet Office minister Michael Gove became the latest politician to go into quarantine.

Mr Gove said he was self-isolating at home, after a family member showed mild symptoms. He is not suffering any symptoms and will work from home.


He was moved as a precaution so he could be close to a ventilator – which takes over the body’s breathing process, NobleReporters learnt

Mr Gove said: “The prime minister’s not on a ventilator. He has received oxygen support.”


If there is any change in his condition “No 10 will ensure the country is updated”, Mr Gove added.

As the first secretary of state, Mr Raab is the minister designated to stand in for Mr Johnson if he is unwell and unable to work.


Mr Raab said earlier there was an “incredibly strong team spirit” behind the prime minister and that he and his colleagues were making sure they implemented plans Mr Johnson had instructed them to deliver “as soon as possible”.

Mr Johnson is the first major world leader to have announced he had the virus
Some politicians have called for greater clarity on what Mr Raab’s role as deputy entails, including Tory MP Tobias Ellwood who asked for details “as to where responsibility for UK national security decisions now lies”.


Lord Heseltine, who served as deputy prime minister under John Major, said it will be a “very difficult personal position” for Mr Raab, who “will be tested by the loneliness of the job”.

“He will be surrounded by lots of people who know what Boris Johnson said, believe Boris will be quickly back and have their own personal agendas anyway,” he said.


Former Conservative leader Sir Iain Duncan Smith said the government will “continue to work” as decisions are made collectively by the cabinet.

He also sounded a warning to people who have broken social distancing guidelines, saying: “I hope people who may have wandered out the other day and decided they can sit around having barbecues will really think about this carefully and recognise this is serious.


“If the most powerful man in Britain can come down with this, so can you”.

Mr Johnson was initially taken to hospital for tests after announcing 11 days ago that he had the coronavirus. His symptoms included a high temperature and a cough.


Earlier on Monday, he tweeted he was in “good spirits”.

Mr Gove is the latest cabinet minister to self-isolate, after Mr Johnson, Health Secretary Matt Hancock and Scottish secretary Alister Jack.


The government’s chief medical adviser Prof Chris Whitty and the PM’s adviser Dominic Cummings also spent time self-isolating after showing symptoms.

The Queen has been kept informed about Mr Johnson’s health, Buckingham Palace said. She also issued a message thanking healthcare workers for their “selfless commitment and diligence” to mark World Health Day.


It comes as the number of coronavirus hospital deaths in the UK reached 5,373 – an increase of 439 in a day.

The Department of Health and Social Care said there were now 51,608 confirmed coronavirus cases.


Separate figures from the Office for National Statistics have been released, showing the majority of coronavirus deaths are happening in hospitals but some are in hospices and care homes.

Among those who have sent messages to Mr Johnson was Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer, who described it as “terribly sad news”.


“All the country’s thoughts are with the prime minister and his family during this incredibly difficult time,” he added.

Meanwhile, Russia’s Vladimir Putin wished Mr Johnson a speedy recovery, saying he was “convinced that your energy, optimism and sense of humour will help you overcome the disease”.


US President Donald Trump said Americans “are all praying for his recovery”, describing Mr Johnson as “a very good friend of mine and a friend to our nation” who is “strong” and “doesn’t give up”.

Chancellor Rishi Sunak said his thoughts were with the prime minister and his pregnant partner, Carrie Symonds, and that Mr Johnson would “come out of this even stronger”.

On Saturday, Ms Symonds said she had spent a week in bed with the main symptoms. She said she had not been tested for the virus.

Scotland’s First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said she was “sending [Mr Johnson] every good wish”, while Northern Ireland’s First Minister Arlene Foster added she was “praying for a full and speedy recovery”.


#Newsworthy…

COVID-19: Former Libyan PM, Jibril dies at age 67.


Former Libyan Prime Minister, Mahmoud Jibril has died at the age of 67 after contracting Coronavirus.

His National Forces Alliance (NFA) announced in a statement on Sunday, that he died in Cairo, Egypt, where he had been hospitalised for two weeks.


The UN Support Mission in Libya (UNSMIL) said Jibril died after a “battle with the coronavirus disease.”

“Dr. Jibril was particularly dedicated to building civil society and promoting the inclusion of women and young Libyans in politics. Dr. Jibril was a friend and mentor to many and participated most recently in the UN-facilitated Political Dialogue Forum.


He will be greatly missed,” Acting Special Representative of the Secretary-General and head of UNSMIL Stephanie Williams said in a statement Sunday.

On March 27, the NFA announced that Jibril tested positive for COVID-19, adding that he was in “stable health on the course to recovery.”

Mr, Mahmoud served as interim Prime Minister of the opposition government that led the country through the civil war until the first post-Gadhafi elections were held in 2012.


#Newsworthy…

COVID-19: British PM’s pregnant fiancee test positive.


Carrie Symonds, the pregnant fiancee of British prime minister Boris Johnson, has tested positive for coronavirus, reports in British media said on Saturday.

“I’ve spent the past week in bed with the main symptoms of Coronavirus. I haven’t needed to be tested and, after seven days of rest, I feel stronger and I’m on the mend,” Symonds said on Twitter.


“Being pregnant with Covid-19 is obviously worrying.”

Johnson himself has been confined to Downing Street since testing positive on March 27, after suffering mild symptoms. He was due to leave quarantine yesterday.


“Although I’m feeling better, and I’ve done my seven days of isolation, alas I still have one of the symptoms, a minor symptom – I still have a temperature,” he said.

“So in accordance with Government advice I must continue my self-isolation until that symptom itself goes.”

Symonds has not been living with him during his isolation.

He has led a cabinet meeting by videoconference and has put self-filmed videos of himself on Twitter, seeking to “reassure” the nation that he is in “constant touch” with his ministers and the health authorities in the fight against the coronavirus.


#Newsworthy…

COVID-19: Canada closes border to Non-canadians.


Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, has announced that the country is closing its borders to anyone who is not a citizen of the country, an American or a permanent resident.

The country is taking more aggressive measures to prevent the spread of coronavirus, as the prime minister, sked all Canadians to say home amid the pandemic.


There will be exceptions, such as airline workers and those with families in Canada.

“We recognize the level of integration of our two economies puts the US in a separate category from the rest of the world,” Trudeau said, adding that the situation could change in the coming days.

“We are not closing the door to any measure that could keep Canadians safe.”

The Canadian government is also mandating air carriers to screen passengers with symptoms of the novel coronavirus out of lines so they don’t board planes home.


#Newsworthy. .

Ukraine’s parliament confirms Prime Minister’s resignation.


Ukrainian lawmakers on Wednesday approved the resignation of Prime Minister Oleksiy Goncharuk only six months into the job, caught out by a leaked recording of him criticising the president.

He will be replaced by one of his deputies.


Goncharuk had offered to resign on Tuesday, in a second attempt to quit after a leaked recording emerged in January of him questioning President Volodymyr Zelensky’s grasp of economics.

Zelensky denounced Goncharuk’s government’s performance on economic issues, saying that it made some achievements but not enough.


“We need new brains, new hearts,” Zelensky told parliament minutes before the vast majority of lawmakers voted to fire accept Goncharuk’s resignation at an extraordinary meeting.

It is expected that current Deputy Prime Minister Denys Shmygal will be nominated as Goncharuk’s replacement later Wednesday, with some key ministers also getting shuffled.


Goncharuk became Ukraine’s youngest-ever prime minister after Zelensky nominated him in August. He faced an economy that is stalled and a country still locked in a conflict with separatists in the east.

His appointment, quickly approved as Zelensky’s “Servant of the People” party holds a parliamentary majority, was in line with Zelensky’s vow to bring in fresh faces and shake up Ukraine’s stagnant politics.

Comedian-turned-politician Zelensky came to power last April promising to “break the system” that had ruled Ukraine since independence in 1991.

Among his campaign promises were ending the conflict in the east, fighting corruption and launching economic reforms in one of Europe’s poorest countries.


#Newsworthy…

Just In: Malaysian Prime Minister Drop Rank


Mahathir Mohamad on Monday resigned as Malaysia’s prime minister and his Bersatu party has quit the governing Alliance of Hope coalition.

Mahathir’s move comes after a weekend of drama, with parties from both government and coalition meeting all day Sunday and Anwar Ibrahim, the designated successor to Mahathir, alleging “betrayal” by allies.

Anwar and Mahathir met on Monday, shortly before Mahathir, at 94 the world’s oldest Prime Minister, announced he would quit.


Mahathir previously said he wanted to remain as leader until after Malaysia hosted the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) summit in November.

Eleven members of Anwar’s People’s Justice Party, which was part of the Mahathir-led coalition, announced also that they are forming a new independent grouping under Azmin Ali, Malaysia’s economic affairs minister.


Ali was among the former Anwar allies seen at meetings on Sunday that spurred speculation that the government was about to fall and that members of the coalition were aiming to oust Anwar and his allies.

It is not clear whether Mahathir or Bersatu can yet form another government.


Muhyiddin Yassin, president of Mahathir’s Bersatu party, said in a statement that he and the party lawmakers “continue to support and trust” Mahathir as prime minister.

Among the parties seen at meeting Sunday with Mahathir allies was the opposition United Malays National Organisation (UMNO), which Mahathir led during his first 1981-2003 tenure as prime minister.


Anwar and Mahathir have a long and fractious history, going back to the early 1990’s when Anwar, a former finance minister and deputy prime minister, was seen Mahathir’s as likely successor.

But after a spectacular falling-out, Anwar was jailed on charges of sodomy and corruption.

The two men only reconciled in the run-up to Malaysia’s 2018 parliamentary elections, when Mahathir led the opposition alliance to a shock election win over his former UMNO allies, the first change of government in Malaysian history.

In what could presage the announcement of a new government, Mahathir will meet Malaysia’s King at 5 p.m. (0900 GMT) on Monday.


#Newsworthy…

Lesotho Prime Minister Appeared In Court Over Murder Of Wife


Lesotho Prime Minister Thomas Thabane appeared in court on Monday over the murder of his estranged wife after a weekend in which he was said to be receiving emergency medical care in South Africa.


In the latest twist of a saga that has gripped the southern African kingdom, the 80-year-old premier attended the magistrates court in the capital Maseru, NobleReporters heard

Charges had been expected to be formally read out to him for allegedly acting in “common purpose” in the June 2017 killing of 58-year old Lipolelo Thabane, whom he was in the process of divorcing.


But after a brief sitting, the matter was deferred to the High Court and the prime minister was not formally charged.

He was accompanied by his current wife Maesaiah Thabane, 42, whom he married two months after Lipolelo’s death and who is considered a co-conspirator in the murder case.


She has already been charged with murder and is out on bail.

Defence lawyer Qhalehang Letsika argued that Thabane should not be charged as long as he remained a prime minister.


“My client cannot be prosecuted while in office but he is not above the law,” said Letsika, adding the beleaguered premier was “entitled to immunity” because of his status.

During the hearing, the lawyer asked whether a sitting prime minister should be subject to criminal prosecution as this could mean that he be placed in custody.


Thabane had initially been due in court on Friday for the preliminary appearance but was a no-show, prompting police to warn they could issue an arrest warrant.

His aide initially said Thabane had gone to neighbouring South Africa for “routine” health checks, but later his office said he was seeking “emergency” medical attention and would appear in court on his return.


– Appeared nervous –

On Saturday police said Thabane’s sick note said that the premier would be “unfit” until February 27.


Wearing a navy-blue striped suit with a powder-blue shirt and flanked by his spouse, Thabane appeared nervous as the couple sat on one of the court benches.

Lipolelo’s murder sent shockwaves through Lesotho — a tiny landlocked nation of 2.2 million with a history of political turmoil.


She was gunned down outside her home in Maseru just two days before her husband took office. The couple had been embroiled in a bitter divorce.

The accusations against the prime minister came after communications records from the scene of the murder included Thabane’s mobile phone number.


The case has piled pressure on Thabane to step down.

His All Basotho Convention (ABC) party has accused him of hampering investigations into the killing and asked him to leave.


Last week Thabane announced on national radio and television that he would retire by July 31, citing his advanced age.

But at the weekend speculation mounted that he could go earlier than expected.

The main opposition party the Democratic Congress, on Friday filed in parliament a motion of no confidence in the prime minister and his administration.

If Thabane loses the motion, he could either step down or advise King Letsie III to dissolve parliament and call for fresh elections.


#Newsworthy…

Boris Johnson mum moving House of Lords to york


Britain’s Conservative government led by Prime Minister Boris Johnson is contemplating moving the House of Lords could out of London to York.

News reports quoting Conservative Party chairman James Cleverly said the idea was an option being considered by ministers.

It has been suggested that the upper house of parliament could be transferred from Westminster to York.


‘What we are looking at is a whole range of options about making sure every part of the UK feels properly connected from politics.

‘When the PM stood up the day after the election and said this is going to be the people’s government he meant it. That meant connecting people with government and politics. ‘The referendum in 2016 wasn’t just about our relationship with the EU, it was about millions of people and their relationship with politics as a whole,’ NobleReporters cleared


#Newsworthy…

Greece’s prime minister announces female judge next president


Greece’s Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis on Wednesday nominated top female judge Ekaterini Sakellaropoulou to become the country’s next president.

If approved by parliament, the 63-year-old head of the Council of State would become the first woman to hold the largely ceremonial post.

Her appointment is expected to be a formality as Mitsotakis’s conservative New Democracy party holds 158 seats in the 300-seat parliament.


The date of the parliamentary vote has not yet been set, but must take place before February 13 — one month before the end of the five-year term of current president Prokopis Pavlopoulos.

“The time has come for Greece to open up to the future,” Mitsotakis said in a televised address, emphasising that the selection breaks with tradition not only because Sakellaropoulou is female, but also because she is not a member of a political party.

Greece’s Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis


He said the choice “embodies unity and progress”.

Sakellaropoulou told the state news agency ANA that the nomination was “an honour”.

She thanked the prime minister and said she was ready to “devote herself with all her might to this high duty”.


#Newsworthy….