Trump bullied, bulldozed and obfuscated his way through the 90-minute showdown, interrupting Biden and moderator Chris Wallace of Fox News at every turn. He ignored substantive questions and Biden's policy arguments, and instead swung at a straw-man version of Biden, taking aim at both Biden's son and a distorted description of his record that exists primarily in far-right media. Over Trump's interruptions, Biden responded by mocking the President, calling him a "clown," a "racist" and "the worst president America has ever had." He criticized Trump's handling of the coronavirus pandemic, his failure to produce a health care plan and his response to protests over racial injustice. Over and over, Wallace tried to regain control of the debate, without success.When Trump complained that only he was being chastised for talking over questions and Biden's answers, Wallace shot back: "Frankly, you have been doing more interrupting."Trump, who has trailed Biden in national and swing-state polls, made little effort to reach out to voters who do not currently support him. He could have further damaged his standing by refusing to condemn White supremacists after being asked to do so multiple times. Here are six takeaways from the first of three presidential debates:
Trump doesn't condemn White supremacists
Repeatedly and directly, Biden called Trump racist."This is a President who has used everything as a dog whistle to try to generate racist hatred, racist division," the former vice president said. During a portion of the debate that focused on race relations, protests, violence and policing, Trump tried to latch Biden to the violent and destructive elements of this summer's protests over the police killings of George Floyd in Minnesota, Breonna Taylor in Kentucky and others, even as Biden condemned violence. Trump also claimed that America's suburbs — which have tilted in Democrats' favor during his tenure — would be "gone" if Biden is elected. "He wouldn't know a suburb unless he took a wrong turn," Biden shot back, adding that "this is not 1950" and Trump's dog whistles "don't work anymore." He said Trump's handling of the pandemic and the climate have damaged the suburbs.The section ended with Trump flatly refusing to condemn White supremacy when asked to do so by Wallace and Biden. "Stand back and stand by," he said to the white supremacist militia group Proud Boys, in a moment reminiscent of his response to White supremacists' march in Charlottesville, Virginia, in 2017. "The commander in chief refused to condemn White supremacy on the global stage in front of my children, in front of everybody's families, and he was given the opportunity multiple times to condemn White supremacy and he gave a wink and a nod to a racist, Nazi, murderous organization," said Van Jones, the CNN political commentator."That's the only thing that happened tonight," he said. "That's what happened tonight."
Disputing the election
Amid unleashing a barrage of misinformation and falsehoods about mail-in voting, Trump failed to affirm the one thing he was asked about it: whether he would encourage his supporters to be peaceful if election results are unclear."I'm encouraging my supporters to go into the polls and watch very carefully," Trump said when asked what he would tell his followers in a post-November 3 world.After issuing his usual falsehoods about widespread fraudulent voting — albeit in front of a newly massive audience and without an ounce of fact-checking from the moderator — Trump declared he wouldn't support a result under certain circumstances."If I see tens of thousands of ballots being manipulated, I can't go along with that," Trump said.It was an answer that will do little to calm fears of post-election chaos.For his part, Biden insisted that if Americans vote in large numbers — presumably for him — a contested election could be prevented.
Anything but coronavirus
If Trump has an overriding strategy in the final days of the campaign, it is to divert attention from the coronavirus pandemic, which voters say in polls that he has badly mismanaged. It has been evident for months Trump is eager to move on.And if his goal Tuesday was to obscure his coronavirus record, Trump may have been successful. Despite Biden's attempts to inject it back into the discussion periodically, the debate devolved into arguments and bickering that ultimately did not center on the global pandemic, which has now killed 1 million people.Trump openly said the vaccine process is political, mocked Biden for wearing a mask and instead of a robust defense of his record he sought to claim a hypothetical President Biden would have done worse. The scaled-down audience and lack of a handshake also brought the health crisis into the debate hall atmospherics. And Biden made multiple references to the 200,000 Americans who have died.But ultimately the debate was not about the pandemic. It was about Trump's belligerence, which in his view can only be considered a positive.
Taking over — and talking over — the Supreme Court
The dominant issue on Capitol Hill right now is Trump's nomination of Amy Coney Barrett to replace the late Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg. But while the debate opened with questions about the high court, the details were largely lost amid the chaos, as Trump interrupted Biden's answers and Wallace struggled to rein in a debate that was devolving into disarray from its opening moments.Biden attempted to turn the discussion into one over health care, pointing to the potential for a Supreme Court with a 6-3 conservative majority to overturn the Affordable Care Act, including its protections for those with preexisting conditions, and undo Roe v. Wade, the 1973 court decision that legalized abortion nationally. Trump tried to pin Biden down on progressive proposals to end the Senate's filibuster and expand the Supreme Court. "Why wouldn't you answer that question?" Trump said. None of those substantive differences really broke through, though, as Trump repeatedly interrupted Biden and the moderator and the two candidates talked over each Read More – Source
Denmark asylum: Law passed to allow offshore asylum centres
Denmark has passed legislation allowing it to relocate asylum seekers to third countries outside the European Union while their cases are reviewed.
The project, proposed by the Social Democrat-led government, would seek partner countries to run camps and fund agencies along migration routes.
But the European Commission said it had concerns about the law, and a leading NGO said it was irresponsible.
Denmark has repeatedly tightened its immigration policies in recent years.
This follows a peak of more than 21,000 asylum seekers arriving in Denmark in 2015.
MPs voted for the bill by 70 votes to 24.
“If you apply for asylum in Denmark, you know that you will be sent back to a country outside Europe, and therefore we hope that people will stop seeking asylum in Denmark,” said government spokesman Rasmus Stoklund, quoted by Reuters news agency.
The asylum cases would be reviewed in the third country and the applicant could potentially be given protection in that country.
But the European Commission was critical of the law.
“External processing of asylum claims raises fundamental questions about both the access to asylum procedures and effective access to protection,” said spokesman Adalbert Jahnz, quoted by Reuters news agency.
The Danish Refugee Council (DRC), a leading NGO, said in a statement that MPs had “effectively voted in the blind”, as the model they had backed did not yet exist.
“The idea to externalise the responsibility of processing asylum seekers’ claims is both irresponsible and lacking in solidarity. We have repeatedly called on the Danish members of parliament to reject this bill,” it said.
The council added that there was now a risk of countries hosting larger numbers of refugees would also opt out.
Denmark recently signed a migration deal with Rwanda leading to speculation that it intends to open a facility there.
Two weeks ago it became the first European country to revoke residence status for more than 200 Syrian refugees.
Danish authorities say parts of Syria are safe enough to return to but the move has sparked protests from activists and community groups.
Last year the UK considered building an asylum processing centre on Ascension Island, a remote territory in the Atlantic Ocean, but decided not to proceed.
Australia has also caused controversy in recent years with its use of camps for processing asylum seekers in Nauru and Papua New Guinea.
Read from source: https://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-57343572
Russia to pull troops back from near Ukraine
After weeks of tension over a build-up of Russian troops close to Ukraine’s border, Russian Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu has ordered a number of units in the area back to their bases.
The EU estimated that more than 100,000 Russian soldiers had amassed near the border as well as in Crimea, which was seized and annexed by Russia in 2014.
Speaking in Crimea, Mr Shoigu said units on exercise would return to base.
The aims of the “snap checks” had been achieved, he added.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, who earlier challenged Russian President Vladimir Putin to meet him in the conflict zone, welcomed the decision to “de-escalate” tensions at the border.
“The troops have demonstrated their ability to provide a credible defence for the country,” the Russian defence minister said, adding that he had instructed the commanders of units from the 58th and 41st armies as well as several airborne divisions to start returning to their permanent bases on Friday and to complete the operation by 1 May.
President Zelensky raised the troop build-up with European leaders last week. Ukraine’s armed forces chief said Russian military units had been moving into the Rostov, Bryansk and Voronezh regions as well as Crimea, while battalion tactical groups were stationed on the border.
Following Mr Shoigu’s announcement, Nato said that any move towards reversing the escalation would be “important and well overdue”. It added that the Western military alliance remained vigilant.
Nato leaders have called a summit in June when Russia will be high on the agenda.
Although Russia has shrugged off the build-up as training exercises in response to “threatening” actions from Nato, it is also said to be planning to cordon off areas of the Black Sea to foreign shipping. Ukraine fears its ports could be affected.
Russia said all along that these were nothing more than military exercises.
But Moscow knew very well that its troop movements close to Ukraine and in annexed Crimea were making a lot of people very nervous: in Ukraine, Europe and in America.
And that was the point.
Moscow may well have been using the build-up of troops to send a signal to Kyiv, Brussels and, especially, to Washington that Russia is a force to be reckoned with.
US President Joe Biden took notice. Last week, he telephoned President Putin and proposed a summit. True, he also imposed a new round of sanctions over Russia’s “malign activity”. But inside Russia these were perceived as not particularly tough.
A reduction in tension, however, does not mean the end of tension. Russia’s defence minister has made it clear that “Russia is taking measures in response to threats from Nato”.
For example, Moscow is planning to block areas of the Black Sea to foreign shipping for six months.
In a state-of-the-nation address on Wednesday, President Putin warned the West against “crossing a red line”.
Speaking to reporters after the order for troops to return to base, Mr Putin said as far as bilateral relations were concerned “we are ready to welcome the president of Ukraine at any time that is convenient for him”, but in Moscow.
However, he stressed if Mr Zelensky wanted to discuss eastern Ukraine, then he should first meet the leaders there.
Conflict in eastern Ukraine broke out in 2014, after the seizure of Crimea from Ukraine. Russian-backed troops captured large areas of the Luhansk and Donetsk regions and declared them both peoples’ republics.
There have been a number of breaches of a ceasefire in the east in recent weeks. A Ukrainian soldier was fatally wounded in shelling on Thursday, in what Ukrainian forces said was a deliberate violation of the ceasefire. Some 14,000 people have died since the conflict began.
European Parliament meeting assess migrant workers conditions in Gulf region
By Lailuma Sadid
Qatar is the first county that brings changes into it’s landmark reforms in the Gulf.
The first country in the gulf region is Qatar who introduces a non-discriminatory minimum wage, which is part of a series of landmark reforms to the country’s labour laws. Success in the GCC countries depend on having solid labour laws that are linked to international standards and convections and the implementation of these laws. If the law isn’t good enough then the implementation will be a non-starter. Mr Houtan addedd.
He said that the collaboration of some international and national organisations brought up really solid laws. They are not being perfectly implemented at once since all revolutionary changes in the labour market takes time and if they happen overnight, it’s not sustainable he added.
In the mean time he also mentions how these labor laws benefit both employers and employees.
Indeed, these laws allow employers to find more local workers with the same skills at a lower cost and employees to be more satisfied because they benefit from a greater power to negotiate and discuss. It’s a win- win situation. The wage issue is a common issue acrosse the GCC region , he said.
According to Mr. Houtan access to Justice variesfrom country to country. It is very common to hear that an employee who has worked for the past six months is only paid for the last three months of his work and according to some this is fair and justice has been done. This is no rocket science, this is not justice.
He said: No worker should go a day without being paid or receive their salary a day late. This matter is serious and needs to be more focused on. To overcome this problem, we have the structures in place in the regions that are working, although they need to be improved. They work because everyone comes together, with the support of the European Unions, trade union and employers etc.
According to Mr. Houtan, That’s is success model that we need to replicate across the GCC countries. In addition, it is obvious that we should not denigrate the importance of Labour inspection and occupational safety and health. It has to be considered as a priority.
Also, another very important point is engaging with the private sector which is key, the role is fundamentally important.
Of course the trade unions as well as the government, the ministry of Labour have been really keen pushing forward the agenda but if the employers don’t play ball again it will be a very slow progress.
The key word for him is coordination and cooperation between different organizations to achieve successful changes in the GCC countries.
Hassan AL-Thawadi is representing of Qatar Ambassador in this meeting, he said:Qatar’s commitment to improving labour related matters and improving lives is constant. The commitment is intrinsic to our national values.
The commitment is intrinsic to our national values enshrined in our constitution and ais the key tenants to our Islamic principles. He added
Mr. Hassan said, these reforms combined with bolstered enforcement mechanisms including electronic based wage protection system demonstrates a commitment to sustainable long-term change that I mentioned previously however we acknowledge that there is a long journey ahead of us and more needs to be done as of the case in every nation of the world. In some countries still not possible to change employers without permission in other countries, but in Qatar it is possible.
Mark from European Delegation, with the contribution for workers to the numbers is only 500,000 workers 50 years ago and 25 million demanded today for the whole Peninsula. However, much more needs to be done to ensure access to dignified living and working conditions of Migrant workers and their families.
In addition to the basic minimum monthly wage of 1000 Qatari riyals 275 $, the legislation ensures that employers must pay allowances of at least 300 and 500 QAR for food and accommodation respectively, if they do not provide them.
Legislation passed last year provided for a six-month transition period for employers to prepare for the new minimum thresholds. First country in the region is Qatar to introduce a non-discriminatory minimum wage, which is part of a series of landmark reforms to the country’s labor laws.
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