(BEIJING) JUST IN: China has formally revised its laws to allow couples to have up to three children, to boost the birth rate #AceNewsDesk report

#AceNewsReport – Aug.20: The regulation was one of several passed on Friday at a meeting of the country’s top lawmakers, the National People’s Congress (NPC).

#AceDailyNews says that China has formally passed a ‘Three-Child-Policy’ into law top lawmakers had announced back in May that it would allow couples to have up to three children, in a major policy shift but many Hong Kong people were waiting for the announcement on anti-sanctions law still to be announced ….more soon …

A girl rides on the back of a woman down an escalator at a shopping centre on International Children's Day in Beijing

Details on a controversial anti-sanctions law for Hong Kong, which many businesses feared would put them in a difficult position, were also expected.

But Hong Kong media reported on Friday that the decision had been delayed. 

What is the three-child policy? 

That decision has now been formally passed into law, along with several resolutions aimed at boosting the birth rate and “reducing the burden” of raising a child, said Xinhua news agency.

These include cancelling the “social maintenance fee” – a financial penalty couples pay for having children beyond the limit, encouraging local governments to offer parental leave, increasing women’s employment rights; and improving childcare infrastructure.

Recent census data had shown a steep decline in the birth rate. 

In 2016, the country had scrapped its decades-old one-child policy to replace it with a two-child limit, but this failed to lead to a sustained upsurge in births.

The cost of raising children in cities has deterred many Chinese couples. 

What about the anti-sanctions law? 

This past week, global banks and financial institutions had been watching the NPC meeting closely for signs on how and when the controversial anti-sanctions law would affect Hong Kong.

China had already passed the law in June, and was expected on Friday to put it into Hong Kong and Macau’s mini-constitutions, spelling out how it would be applied. Reports on Friday however quoted a lawmaker as saying this was delayed. 

Under the law, companies in China are not allowed to implement foreign sanctions against Chinese individuals or entities. On top of that, they are required to help Beijing carry out retaliatory measures, and may face punishment if they refuse.

It was tabled after the US government imposed several rounds of sanctions on Chinese officials – including Hong Kong’s leader Carrie Lam – over Beijing’s crackdown on pro-democracy protests. In response, China imposed its own sanctions on US officials. 

Experts say that under the law, banks and companies in Hong Kong could face legal risk for following US sanctions.

Hong Kong is a hub for many global financial institutions and the city state is a major source of profit for companies like HSBC and Standard Chartered.

“Hong Kong’s attraction for many firms, especially international ones, was its relative insulation from intra-party rivalry and major power competition. Such a law would take away one of those important legs,” said Ian Chong, a political science expert at the National University of Singapore. 

“The cost and uncertainty of doing business in HK could increase substantially,” he told the BBC.

Dr Chengxin Pan, an associate professor of international relations with Deakin University in Australia said China came up with the law because while it “doesn’t want to unduly unsettle businesses…it also doesn’t want businesses to think it’s normal and costless to have its cake and eat it too, by profiting from doing business in Hong Kong while carrying out sanction orders from Washington against Chinese interests.”

“This no doubt will complicate the cost-benefit calculations, if not political loyalty, of business in Hong Kong, which could be caught in the geopolitical crossfire between the US and China.”

#AceNewsDesk report ………Published: Aug.20: 2021:

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#3child-policy, #anti-sanctions, #beijing, #china, #lawmakers

HOLLAND: ‘ Dutch lawmakers voted 81-52 to support Greek bailout ‘

#AceNewsReport – HOLLAND:Aug.19: The majority of Dutch lawmakers voted 81-52 in support of a third Greek bailout on Wednesday. Prime Minister Mark Rutte previously stated that a parliamentary vote was unnecessary, as it is the cabinet – not parliament – which makes policy.

However, he added it would have been politically difficult for him to sign off on the loans if the majority of lawmakers had rejected the plan. Rutte also survived a no-confidence vote on Wednesday, called by right-wing lawmaker Geert Wilders, who opposes the bailout.

Earlier in the day, Germany’s parliament overwhelmingly voted in favor of the €86-billion (US$95 billion) bailout.

Ace Worldwide News

#bailout, #greek-bailout, #lawmakers, #mark-rutte, #parliamentary-vote


#AceNewServices – WASHINGTON:Dec.10 – Congressional leaders on Tuesday evening reached a deal on a nearly $1.1 trillion spending package to keep the government funded.  

Dubbed the “cromnibus,” the package is expected to encompass 11 appropriations bills that cover most of the government for the rest of fiscal 2015 and one continuing resolution that funds the Department of Homeland Security through February.


#cromnibus, #lawmakers, #leaders


#AceNewsServices – WASHINGTON – Nov.23 – A key Senator said it would be “unthinkable” for House and Senate lawmakers not to pass a defence authorization bill.

“It’d be unthinkable to me that we not pass a bill,” Senate Armed Services Committee Chairman Carl Levin (D-Mich.) told The Hill.

While “there’s always a danger” that differences between negotiators could torpedo a joint bill, the retiring lawmaker said, that would be a “real tragedy, I think, for our troops, and it’d be irresponsible to let that happen.”

Negotiations are stalled on Pentagon proposals that would have service members pay more for healthcare and housing. House lawmakers threw out the suggestions in their draft of the bill, while Senators kept them in their version. 

Levin said there are still “a few issues not resolved as of this time” but would not elaborate.

“We’re getting closer if only because we’re getting closer to the end of the week,” he said, adding it was still his hope that a finalized measure could be rolled out and passed by both chambers the first week of December.


#bill, #defence, #lawmakers, #senators


#AceWorldNews – HONG KONG – Nov.19 – A small group of protesters in Hong Kong clashed with police early Wednesday, while trying to break into the city’s legislature.

Occupy condemns attack on Legco as pan-democrats claim protesters were 'misled'Screenshot from 2014-11-19 12:22:11

Police arrested six people in the clashes that came hours after authorities enforced a court order to clear some barricades, AP reported.

The activists used metal barricades and concrete slabs to smash glass doors at the legislature before police used pepper spray and batons.

Another group involved in organizing the protests, Occupy Central, said that those responsible for the violence misled the crowd into attacking the legislature by spreading “false information.”

Occupy condemns attack on Legco as pan-democrats claim protesters were 'misled'

Occupy condemns attack on Legco as pan-democrats claim protesters were ‘misled’

Lawmakers are also worried the incident would provide an excuse for pro-establishment lawmakers to push through a proposal to build a three-metre high metal fence outside the Legco complex SCMP reported. 

“The violent acts have violated the principle of peace and non-violence underlying the umbrella movement,” Civic Party leader Alan Leong Kah-kit said.

“We feel the [break-in] will have a negative impact on the movement. We’re heartbroken.”


#activists, #lawmakers, #peace, #protesters, #violence

‘ White House Security Breach as Chief Faces Lawmakers ‘

#AceWorldNews – WASHINGTON – September 30 – Most Washington scandals that end up on Capitol Hill tend to end the same way: with an apology.

Secret Service Director Julia Pierson will face lawmakers Tuesday for the first public accounting of the details surrounding an embarrassing and worrisome security breach at the White House earlier this month that, according to a congressman, was worse than the Secret Service has publicly acknowledged.

The question is, will she follow the script?


#capitol-hill, #julia-pierson, #lawmakers, #secret-service, #washington, #white-house

‘ Obama Bans Use of Land-Mines Against Top-Brass Advice ‘

#AceNewsServices – WASHINGTON – September 29 – The Obama administration has banned the U.S. military from using anti-personnel land-mines in a unilateral decision that goes against warnings from top military leaders and many in Congress.

The administration stated in a series of announcements this week that landmines will no longer be used and that the Defence Department would begin destroying stockpiles of the devices, which have historically been used to protect U.S. forces from enemies in war-zones.

The controversial executive decision, which comes as America steps up strikes against the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL or ISIS), has been in the works for some time despite protests from top U.S. military leaders, including the Joint Chiefs of Staff.

“The United States will not use anti-personnel landmines,” President Obama announced this week in New York City.

“So we will begin destroying our stockpiles not required for the defense of South Korea,” a military zone that the administration says poses unique challenges, according to Obama. “And we’re going to continue to work to find ways that would allow us to ultimately comply fully and accede to the Ottawa Convention,” a treaty banning landmines that the United States has not actually signed.

Obama’s announcement was criticized by leading lawmakers, who warned that the decision is not backed by U.S. military commanders who view the use of landmines as a key tool in the protection of American forces.

“It’s disappointing to see that, once again, the White House has overruled the advice of our military commanders,” Rep. Howard “Buck” McKeon (R., Calif.), chair of the House Armed Services Committee (HASC), said in a statement.


#aceworldnews, #anti-personal-land-mines, #barack-obama, #congress, #isil, #lawmakers, #war-zones, #washington

Civil Rights: ” Restrictive Pennsylvania Voter ID Law Struck Down, Yet Civil Rights Advocates Hope for More”

#AceWorldNews says Civil rights advocates won a major victory Friday when a Pennsylvania judge struck down a contentious voter identification law, ruling that it disenfranchised “hundreds of thousands” of voters who were unable to meet the state’s new requirements.
The 2012 law required voters to present photo identification at the polls, although in the past they could use pay-checks or bills to fulfil that requirement. Judge Bernard McGinley also noted that there was no evidence that the law was passed to help stop voter fraud, a claim lawmakers cited frequently when they voted for it. William Yeoman’s, a former chief of staff at the US Justice Department, said that while the judge’s decision is a step forward, the number of states that still have restrictive voter laws puts a damper on any celebration. “One very important thing is the court seemed to reject the bogus argument that the law was aimed at preventing voter fraud,” he said. “That will have some broader resonance.”

#court, #judge, #lawmakers, #pennsylvania, #us-justice-department, #voter-fraud

Spain: “Lawmakers in Spanish Region of Catalonia Vote to Seek a Referendum on Breaking away from Spain”

#AceWorldNews says Lawmakers in the north-eastern Spanish region of Catalonia on Thursday voted to seek a referendum on breaking away from Spain. The Catalan Parliament in Barcelona voted 87 to 43 in favour of a referendum, with 3 abstentions, Reuters reported. A petition will be sent to the national parliament seeking the power to call a popular vote on the region’s future. Polls show roughly half of Catalans want independence. As many as 80 percent want the right to vote on the matter.

#barcelona, #catalan-parliament, #catalonia, #independence, #lawmakers, #national, #north-eastern, #petition, #polls, #referendum, #region, #spanish, #vote

#AceWorldNews says Russian lawmakers have introduced a new…

#AceWorldNews says Russian lawmakers have introduced a new bill that, once passed, would increase the punishment for terrorist activities to life in prison.

The sponsors of the bill also aim to increase the punishment for a number of terrorist related activities from 10 to 20 years in prison. Some of the proposed amendments to the articles of the Criminal Code will alter the punishment to life imprisonment. Presently, Russian law provides that the acts of terrorism are punished with up to 20 years in prison only if they cause the loss of human life or involve the use of nuclear or radioactive materials and devices.

The new amendments introduce sentences of up to 20 years or even life sentences for “organizing and committing crimes of a terrorist nature and for organizing financial terrorism,” Irina Yarovaya, the head of the Duma Security Committee, told the Interfax news agency.The MP said she expected the Duma to consider the new amendments “as a priority,” as the country has witnessed a number of terrorist attacks.

Liberal Democratic Party lawmaker Andrey Lugovoy told Ria Novosti, that the proposed amendments will not only toughen the punishment for those committing terrorist acts, but would also seek tougher sentences for people involved in their preparation and training, as well as propaganda of such extremist activities.

Lugovoy added that the bill proposes to exclude any possibility of softer punishment for a terrorist crime, such as a suspended sentence. The statute of limitations will not apply to terrorist crimes.

Duma deputies also seek to expand the mandate of the FSB, the Russian security service, to allow it not only to check identity documents, but also to carry out searches on suspected citizens and vehicles.

“Now we are increasing their powers and they will be able to not only check documents but also to search people and to inspect vehicles,” Lugovoy said.

To combat the financing of terrorism, lawmakers seek to reduce the sum of one-time money transfers using internet payment systems, from 40 thousand rubles to one thousand, and also seek to introduce necessary ID checks at the time of the transaction for both the sender and the receiver of the funds.

New responsibilities for Internet providers:

Another set of amendments concerns the federal law on information and data protection. It obliges all companies and private persons that organize the spreading of information or data exchange between users on the internet to keep logs of all user activities for six months, and provide the information to law enforcers in a way described by federal laws.

In December, two suicide bombings in a railway station and a trolley bus in the southern city of Volgograd killed 34 people. Three police officers were killed in a car bombing in December in the resort city of Pyatigorsk.

Ahead of February’s Winter Olympics a number of preventative terrorism measures have been introduced to protect spectators in Sochi. Starting last Saturday, airport passengers have also been banned from having any type of liquids in their carry-on luggage.

To provide security for spectators, Russia will deploy surveillance drones, which will be used for the first time at the Olympics in Sochi. In addition, two sonar systems to detect submarines and protect the Olympics from a seaborne terror attack will be used.

More than 40,000 police will be on duty, and more than 5,000 surveillance cameras installed across the city to help the counter-terrorism effort.

“All security is in place. And I want to assure you that despite the global threat of terrorism, here in Sochi everybody will be protected,” the head of the Sochi 2014 Organizing Committee, Dmitry Chernyshenko, told RT.

#duma, #lawmakers, #olympics, #russian, #sochi, #terrorist-attacks

#AcePressRelease FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE for the first time…

#AcePressRelease – FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE for the first time in history, most members of Congress are millionaires, according to a new analysis of personal financial disclosure data by the Centre for Responsive Politics.

Of 534 current members of Congress, at least 268 had an average net worth of $1 million or more in 2012, according to disclosures filed last year by all members of Congress and candidates. The median net worth for the 530 current lawmakers who were in Congress as of the May filing deadline was $1,008,767 — an increase from last year when it was $966,000. In addition, at least one of the members elected since then, Rep. Katherine Clark (D-Mass.), is a millionaire, according to forms she filed as a candidate. (There is currently one vacancy in Congress.)

Last year only 257 members, or about 48 percent of lawmakers, had a median net worth of at least $1 million.

Members of Congress have long been far wealthier than the typical American, but the fact that now a majority of members — albeit just a hair over 50 percent — are millionaires represents a watershed moment at a time when lawmakers are debating issues like unemployment benefits, food stamps and the minimum wage, which affect people with far fewer resources, as well as considering an overhaul of the tax code.

“Despite the fact that polls show how dissatisfied Americans are with Congress overall, there’s been no change in our appetite to elect affluent politicians to represent our concerns in Washington, said Sheila Krumholz, executive director of the Centre. “Of course, it’s undeniable that in our electoral system, candidates need access to wealth to run financially viable campaigns, and the most successful fundraisers are politicians who swim in those circles to begin with.”

#americans, #crp, #lawmakers, #members-of-congress, #millionaire, #washington