June 12, 2013
Antigay bill gains in Russia MOSCOW - A bill that stigmatizes gay people and bans giving children any information about homosexuality won overwhelming approval Tuesday in Russia's lower house of parliament. Hours before the State Duma passed the Kremlin-backed law in a 436-0 vote with one abstention, more than two dozen protesters were attacked by hundreds of antigay activists and then detained by police. The bill banning the "propaganda of nontraditional sexual relations" still needs to be passed by the appointed upper house and signed into law by President Vladimir V. Putin, but neither step is in doubt.
February 24, 2013 |
MOSCOW - A campaign of insinuation and insult has targeted Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev, and in a country where all power flows from the top downward, his boss, President Vladimir Putin, has done nothing all winter to stop it. Medvedev's failings get an airing in the press, and nasty, anonymous video documentaries accuse him of all sorts of treachery. Slights and humiliations are visited on him by the Kremlin. Governors go around him. Bureaucrats ignore him. Putin, in public, takes little care to hide his disdain.
February 13, 2013 |
MOSCOW - Russia's lower house of parliament Tuesday passed a bill prohibiting smoking in public places, an extraordinary measure in a country where about 60 percent of men smoke cigarettes. The bill was proposed by the Ministry of Health and endorsed by Prime Minister Dmitry A. Medvedev in an effort to limit the harm caused by smoking. The measure is expected to be easily approved by the upper house and signed by President Vladimir V. Putin within two weeks. The lower house gave the bill overwhelming approval, passing it by 441-1.
February 13, 2013
PARIS - After months of philosophical debate and massive street demonstrations for and against, the French National Assembly on Tuesday authorized same-sex marriage and adoption by gay couples, despite France's long history as a homeland for Roman Catholic tradition. The legislation, passed 329 to 229 with 10 abstentions, was called France's most far-reaching social change since abolition of the death penalty in 1981. The measure is scheduled to be taken up in April by the Senate, where the ruling Socialist-led coalition enjoys a majority and is likely to confirm the lower-house vote, despite warnings that the law undermines the foundations of French society . MOSCOW - Russia's lower house of parliament Tuesday passed a bill prohibiting smoking in public places, an extraordinary measure in a country where about 60 percent of adult men smoke cigarettes.
December 28, 2012 |
Russian President Vladimir V. Putin, acceding to the anti-American fervor that has gripped the country's legislature, said Thursday that he intends to sign a bill barring Americans from adopting Russian children. Various Kremlin officials had criticized the bill, which was designed as a means of retaliation against a new American law that targets corrupt Russian officials, but Putin has chosen not to heed their advice. Having spent the last year stoking hostility toward the United States, he is now faced with an emotional response from the parliament that seems to be on the verge of getting away from him. Though he raised questions about the adoption bill at his annual news conference earlier this month, and Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and Science and Education Minister Dmitry Livanov, among others, have called it ill-advised, on Thursday Putin said, "I have not seen any reason why I should not sign it. " 'Cannibalistic' bill The journalist Alexander Minkin, on his blog for the Ekho Moskvy website, described the Russian bill as "cannibalistic": With Americans placing sanctions on certain corrupt Russian bureaucrats, he wrote, Moscow strikes back by punishing its own orphans.
December 25, 2012 |
CAIRO - Egypt's president ordered parliament's upper chamber to convene after the release of official results of a referendum on an Islamist-backed constitution that gives temporary legislative powers to the traditionally toothless chamber. The results had been expected on Monday but were not released, and the electoral commission has not yet set a date to announce them. The Muslim Brotherhood, the main group that backed the charter, said it passed with 64 percent of the vote - a result likely to be confirmed by the official result.
July 21, 2012 |
German lawmakers passed a resolution to allow the circumcision of boys after an outcry by Jewish and Muslim groups worldwide over the ruling by a district court that the procedure amounts to bodily harm. Legislators in Germany's lower house of parliament approved a measure calling on Chancellor Angela Merkel's government to draft a law explicitly permitting the circumcision of boys in medical procedures that avoid "unnecessary pain. " A large majority of lawmakers approved it Thursday by a show of hands.
June 11, 2012 |
President Francois Hollande's Socialist Party, bolstered by leftist allies, stands positioned to take control of the lower house of parliament so he can revamp a country his partisans see as too capitalist for the French, and push to save the eurozone through growth, not austerity. The conservative party of former President Nicolas Sarkozy, which has controlled the 577-seat National Assembly since 2002, will likely lose its grip on power in the final round of voting in a week. Sarkozy was defeated in the May 6 final round of the presidential race.
May 30, 2011 |
Four years after the U.S. housing market started its precipitous decline, the bar has been lowered for those hoping to buy a home along the Jersey Shore. With prices down 15 percent to 40 percent, real estate agents say retirees and the wealthy are often giving way to younger homebuyers and the middle class. The low tide in coastal New Jersey's real estate market is the result of the nationwide downswing in home prices triggered by the burst of the housing bubble in 2007 and subprime mortgage crisis.
June 18, 2010 |
TRENTON - A member of Gov. Christie's cabinet urged lawmakers Thursday to pass legislation by June 30 that would scale back state control over how towns provide affordable housing. "Time is precious," Lori Grifa, commissioner of the Department of Community Affairs, told an Assembly committee. A bill in line with Christie's proposal to abolish the 25-year-old Council on Affordable Housing passed the Senate by an overwhelming majority last week. Now the lower house, which would have to approve the measure before the governor can sign it into law, is putting on the brakes.