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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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A woman walks past a coronavirus-related mural in Mexico City, on July 15, 2020. LEHTIKUVA / AFP

 Amnesty International is calling on G20 leaders meeting this week to take unprecedented steps towards tackling the global inequalities which are fueling the COVID-19 and climate crises – two of the greatest threats to human rights of our time.

G20 Finance Ministers convening on 18-19 July should commit to cancelling the debt of the world’s poorest countries, scaling up investments in health and social protections, and phasing out fossil fuels, to ensure a just and sustainable recovery from the pandemic.

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US President Donald Trump meets with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington, DC, January 27, 2020. LEHTIKUVA / AFP

Since US President Donald Trump took office, the US and its allies have reached consensus less often than before, while the US has agreed with Isreal almost on all issues. This is the result of the ifo Institute’s calculations after studying the voting behaviour of the US and its allies in the UN General Assembly. 

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European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Josep Borrell gives a press conference following a EU Foreign Affairs ministers meeting on the situation in Lybia and Iran at the EU headquarters in Brussels on February 7, 2020.

Leading European figures call for stepped-up European de-escalation efforts in the Middle East, following a series of attacks in Iraq that have culminated in the killing of  Major General Qassem Suleimani and missile attacks against US airbases.

Today, the award-winning foreign policy think-tank, the European Council on Foreign Relations (ECFR), published a statement calling on European governments to step up pro-active efforts aimed at de-escalating tensions in the Middle East.

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The President of Kazakhstan Kassym-Jomart Tokayev announced a new set of reforms at the Second Meeting of the National Council of Public Trust on December 20, 2019.

After taking office, the President of the Republic of Kazakhstan Kassym-Jomart Tokayev has put particular emphasis on structural and institutional reforms, human rights and the quality of life. 

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In 2013 Edward Snowden exposed a system of mass global surveillance. Six years later, he says not much has changed and will not change until the internet is restructured. In a live interview over a video link, Edward Snowdens shared his views with 70 000 Web Summit attendees listening in Lisbon’s Altice Arena last week.

“The law is not the only thing that can protect you. Technology is not the only thing that can protect you. We are the only thing that can protect us and the only way to protect anyone is to protect everyone,” Said Snowden who recently published his memoir, resulting in CIA and NSA trying to sue him to stop the publication.

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In a panel discussion in the 17th Dialogue of Civilisations Rhodes Forum where relations of Africa, Europe and China were discussed, Mahamadou Issoufou, President of the Republic of Niger expressed his disappointment with Europe regarding involvement and co-operation with African nations and the African Union. As an example, he mentioned that although Niger is the neighbouring country of Libya and any disorder has significant effects on his country, The European nations and the United States did not inform Niger about their plans to intervene in Libya.

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A new study conducted by Oxford in Berlin and the WZB - Berlin Social Science Center has revealed that the number of Brits receiving German citizenship has risen by over 1000% since the Brexit referendum in 2016: While 622 British citizens received German citizenship in 2015, numbers jumped dramatically to 7,493 ‘naturalisations’ in 2017 and predictions for 2019 are higher than all previous years. 

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THE PRESIDENT OF KAZAKHSTAN has opened the parliamentary season of his country on September 2nd, 2019 with the State of the Nation Address. 

Mr. Tokayev was elected on June 9 with 70,96 % of the votes. He has extensive experience having served as Chairman of the Senate, Prime Minister and State Secretary of Kazakhstan. He has been also holding international posts such as the Deputy Secretary-General of the UN and Director-General of the UN Office in Geneva and Personal Representative of the UN Secretary-General at the Conference on Disarmament. 

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A satellite image dated 21 August 2019 shows several fires burning in the Brazilian states of Amazonas, Para, Mato Grosso and Rondonia. (Handout – NOAA/AFP/Lehtikuva)

THE EUROPEAN UNION must take action to fight the wildfires raging in the Amazon, Brazil, demand both Ville Niinistö (Greens), a Member of the European Parliament, and Petteri Orpo, the chairperson of the National Coalition.

Almost 73,000 wildfires have been detected in what is the largest rainforest in the world between January and August, representing an 84 per cent increase from the corresponding period in 2018.

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