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Former Prime Minister of Italy Matteo Renzi gives a press conference at the foreign press association on February 13, 2018 in Rome

Italians will vote on a controversial constitutional reform that may determine the fate of Matteo Renzi’s government. Yet neither Italy’s membership of the EU and the common currency, nor its financial stability are at stake.

On 4 December 2016, Italians will vote on a constitutional reform proposed by the current government of Prime Minister Matteo Renzi. If accepted, the reform will change the institutional setup of the country. Most significantly, it would end Italy’s ‘perfect bicameralism’, in which the two legislative houses have nearly identical powers.

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Late May in Almaty Kazakhstan, a crowd of international participants form 50 different countries is pouring in to the Ritz Carlton for a 3 day intellectual feast. This is the 2019 Eurasian Media Forum and the audience, at least those who have been here before, are not to be easily surprised by what the event may have to offer. The forum has been prominent and unique in hosting debates between representatives of a wide spectrum of opinion and conduct, but the panel discussion most expected this year was definitely the one opening the final day

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A picture taken on May 9, 2019, shows Saudi cargo ship Bahri Yanbu waiting in the port of Le Havre. - French President defended his country's arms sales to Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates on May 9, 2019 as campaigners focused attention on a new shipment set to leave from the northern port of Le Havre. Human rights groups have regularly denounced France for continuing to supply the Gulf states despite allegations of war crimes and civilian deaths during their military operations in neighbouring Yemen. LEHTIKUVA / AFP

According to the EU’s reporting on arms exports, EU member states issued at least 607 licences worth over 15.8 billion euros to Saudi Arabia in 2016. The main European exporters of conventional arms to Saudi Arabia include the UK, France, Spain, Italy and Bulgaria. Between 2013 and 2018, Saudi Arabia accounted for nearly half of the UK’s and a third of Belgium’s arms exports. Other countries – including Germany, the Netherlands and Norway – have started to restrict weapons sales to the Saudi and UAE-led coalition.

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The Second Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation (BRF) is being held from April 25 to 27 in Beijing. President Xi Jinping attended the opening ceremony and delivered a keynote speech. He also chaired the whole leaders' roundtable. The theme of the Forum is "Belt and Road Cooperation, Shaping a Brighter Shared Future". The mainline is to promote the joint construction of the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) for high-quality development. Heads of state and government from 37 countries attended the Forum.

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Scotland's First Minister Nicola Sturgeon makes a statement to the Scottish Parliament on Brexit and a second independence referendum, at Holyrood, central Edinburgh on April 24, 2019. LEHTIKUVA / AFP

FM outlines path forward amid ‘broken status quo’.
First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has today outlined the steps the Scottish Government will take to progress the debate on Scotland’s future in light of Brexit, and the action to be taken to protect the option for an independence referendum to be held within the current term of the Scottish Parliament.

In a parliamentary statement, the First Minister said it was time to build consensus in place of a UK Government system that clearly does not work in Scotland’s interests, and in the face of a constitutional ‘status quo which is broken’.

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The documentary, Slaget om kvalen ("Battle of Agony"), shows grisly footage of Norway's whaling industry, including one bloody scene where a fisherman cuts open a whale and removes its fetus.

Six Russian ecological organisations have submitted an official letter addressed to António Guterres, the Secretary-General of the UN and Harald V, the King of Norway, asking them to stop or limit the quotas for whale fishing. 

The letter makes a strong point that Norway is the only country refusing to accept the moratorium on whale fishing declared by the International Convention for the Regulation of Whaling, arguing that it is a historically established national tradition.

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The Indian Space Research Organisation's (ISRO), Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV-C44) launches off onboard India's Defence Research and Development Organisation's (DRDO) imaging satellite 'Microsat R' along with student satellite "Kalamsat" at Satish Dhawan Space centre in Sriharikota, Andhra Pradesh state, on January 24 , 2019

India has a new dream, a deep conviction to launch an Indian into space, from Indian soil on an Indian rocket by 2022 which is before the seventy-fifth birthday for India’s independence. Work has started in right earnest at the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) which is expected to deliver this Herculean task in less than 1.4 billion dollars, possibly the cheapest human space flight ever to be undertaken in the world. This confidence and promise comes riding on the repeated successes that the Indian space agency has tasted in the past.  

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Sara Khameis's mother is Finnish, and her father is a Jordanian. Sara has grown up in Amman, the capital of Jordan. She received a bachelor degree in biotechnology in Jordan and then applied for a Master's degree in Finland.

-I can speak some Finnish, but not enough. My research group has welcomed me, but it still feels that it is difficult to get Finnish friends. Maybe that's because I spend leisure time differently. I go to the movies and shopping. Sometimes I smoke argil (water pipe). However, in Finland, students almost always drink alcohol in their free time.

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Chairperson of the Kazakh Senate's Committee of International Relations, Defence and Security and daughter of the president, Dariga Nazarbeyeva, listening to speaker's comments. On her left are Hamid Karzai and former prime minister of Pakistan Shaukat Aziz

HEADS OF STATE, Nobel laureates and foreign policy experts recently gathered at a secretive conference in Astana, Kazakhstan, for the unveiling of a “Global Risk Report” identifying the greatest threats to world stability in 2019. 

The conference, known as the Astana Club, took place in the Kazakh capital on November 12-13 and was the fourth such annual conference to be held. Participants included the heads of state and former heads of state of Belgium, Portugal, Pakistan, Turkey, Poland, Egypt, and Croatia, as well as dozens of leading foreign policy figures and Nobel laureates. 

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Britain's Prime Minister Theresa May makes a statement on the Brexit negotiations following a European Union summit in Salzburg, at no 10 Downing Street, central London on September 21, 2018. - British Prime Minister Theresa May said Friday the European Union's abrupt dismissal of her Brexit plan was not acceptable, as she conceded talks were "at an impasse".

 

'Dear Prime Minister,

We represent over 30,000 UK nationals living in the EU27. We listened to your statement this afternoon on the outcomes of the Salzburg summit with extreme concern.

Firstly, whilst we welcome your softer words on protecting the rights of the 3 million EU nationals living in the UKthis is nothing more than your moral obligation and the UK cannot do anything else other than to maintain all their current rights even in the event of a no deal.

However, we heard that we are now at an impasse in the negotiations with the very real threat of a no deal. What we did not hear was one single word about the future of 1.2 million UK nationals living in the EU27. You appear willing to take the UK out of the EU with a no deal and with no thought for your own nationals.

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The ATOM Project is an international initiative to build global support for a permanent end to nuclear weapons testing and the total abolition of nuclear weapons. It was launched at a parliamentary assembly in Astana, Kazakhstan on August 29, 2012, the UN International Day Against Nuclear Tests, established in recognition of the closing of the Semipalatinsk nuclear test site on that day in 1991 by the president of Kazakhstan.

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