GLOBAL PULSE: Theresa May is contrite but not on her knees, Norway to ban burqa and China bans celebrity gossip sites

THERESA MAY IS CONTRITE, BUT NOT ON HER KNEES

Diminished, contrite and defiant, Theresa May faced one of her toughest audiences — her own MPs. May, still reeling from the loss of her parliamentary majority in an election she didn’t have to call, told her party’s backbench MPs, “It was me that got us into this mess, I will get us out of it.” She added: “I’ll serve you for as long as you want me to.”

May is now firmly in “listening mode”, said one MP. “She was contrite,” said another MP. “But not on her knees.” May is facing threats to her authority from formerly Remain-supporting MPs who want to soften the government’s Brexit strategy. “She acknowledged and agreed that there needed to be a broader consensus, listening to all wings of the party on Brexit,” one Remain-supporting MP said.

 

NORWAY TO BAN BURQA TO IMPROVE COMMUNICATION

Norway is set to become the first Nordic country to introduce a ban on the full-face covering burqa for both adults and children because it poses a barrier to communication. “Face-covering garment such as the niqab or burqa do not belong in Norwegian schools,’’ the acting minister of immigration and integration, Per Sandberg, said. “The ability to communicate is a basic value.”

Employees who insist on wearing a veil would risk losing their jobs, and students could face expulsion from college. Norway follows France, the Netherlands, Belgium, Bulgaria and the German state of Bavaria, which have imposed restrictions on wearing full-face veils in public places. Local authorities in Norway can already ban the full-face veil in schools but there is no national policy. Earlier this year a Muslim group sparked controversy after hiring a communications officer who wore the niqab.

 

MASSIVE ANTI-CORRUPTION PROTEST IN RUSSIA

Shouting “We demand answers,” and “Stop lying and stealing,” tens of thousands of protesters came out in Russia in an anti-corruption rally called by opposition leader Alexei Navalny, who wants to unseat Vladimir Putin.  Navalny was arrested and sentenced to 30 days in jail for organising an illegal protest. His anti-corruption message is finding growing support across Russia. At a similar protest in March, the Kremlin was caught off guard.  But this time, the police was ready and arrested protesters and closed traffic. Teachers forced students to watch documentaries about the evils of protesting.

Russian state television ran a live broadcast of Putin handing out state awards. Russian authorities, through state media, have cast Navalny as a Western stooge.

 

IVANKA CALLS TRUMP’S CRITICS VICIOUS

Donald Trump’s daughter Ivanka criticised “the level of viciousness” her father has been subjected to, that it went far beyond what she was expecting. In an interview with the Fox and Friends TV show, she said that while she was “not expecting the intensity of this experience”, she realised that the business of government “isn’t supposed to be easy”.

She added that she felt “very vindicated” by James Comey’s recent Senate testimony, which supported her father’s insistence that he was not being personally investigated, and that Comey had supplied a leak to the media. Last week, her brother Eric told Fox News that he had “never seen hatred like this” and “morals have flown out the window”. Ivanka “masterfully” dodged the big questions about Comey’s evidence and the work of her husband, said The Washington Post.

 

NO CELEBRITY GOSSIP IN CHINA

Celebrity gossip plays an integral role in the entertainment world. But China says that bloggers who report celebrity gossip are a threat to public order. A large number of Chinese “celebrity news” blogs have disappeared in recent days after coming under the scrutiny of China’s cyberspace regulators. This comes amid a broader tightening of online and media controls. Authorities have shut down more than 80 popular entertainment-related public accounts.

While the local news industry has long been subjected to strict government censorship on politics and other topics deemed to be delicate, entertainment news has typically been viewed as safe. “What we’re now seeing is a war on the nonserious,” said an analyst. “It’s no longer enough for media content to avoid the negative. It must be adequately positive.”

 

Picture Courtesy: Twitter @theresa_may

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