Germany’s two largest parties begin to form coalition

Four months of stalemate have resulted in a German coalition Government, according to media reports.

Germany’s September elections proved inconclusive, as a coalition has not been agreed between the centre-left Social Democrats (SPD) and Chancellor Merkel’s Conservatives (CDU/CSU).

Thought to be the last major stumbling block to government, the agreement on distributing ministries comes after intense negotiations since Tuesday.

Whilst healthcare and workers’ rights are points still to be settled upon, the non stop talks are expected to end with a coalition.

Previously the SPD leader Martin Schulz had ruled out entering Government with Merkel’s CDU and its’ sister party CSU.

Whilst a government could be in place by Easter, the SPD’s 460,00 members will have final say on a coalition government in a postal vote in the next few weeks.

Within the SPD a opposition group to coalition are calling themselves NoGroKo (no grand coalition).

Far-right party Alternative for Germany (AFD) became the third biggest political force in the country winning 94 seats in September.

State of the Union 2018

US President Donald Trump has declared a, “new American moment” as he delivered his State of the Union speech to congress.

In his maiden address, the republican leader said he was,” extending an open hand” to democrats in order to move forward. Together.

Trump also stated that he was ordering Guantanamo Bay to be kept open, reversing the Obama-era directive to close the controversial detention camp.

In an upbeat juxtaposition to his “American carnage” inaugural speech just a year ago, Trump has claimed his administration was, “building a safe, strong and proud America”.

“There has never been a better time to start living the American dream,” he told congress. Following up with saying that in the first year of his term, 2.4 million jobs were created. The stock market has soared while unemployment rates in the US are at a 17 year low.

However the average job satisfaction last year was only 38%, the lowest first-year figure for any president in in the history of Gallup- polling service.

In the Democratic rebuttal, Massachusetts congressman Joseph Kennedy III, a great-nephew of President John F Kennedy.

Up and coming Democrat, Joseph Kennedy III. Credit Wikimedia.

Kennedy attempted to seize Trump’s political mantle by claiming to speak for the “American’s who feel forgotten and forsaken.”

He went on to depict Trump’s presidency as “chaos. Leaving the country fractured and with many citizens being left anxious, angry and afraid over the last year.

In a passionate moment, Kennedy spoke of how, “Bullies may land a punch. They may leave a mark…But they have never once in the history of our United States, managed to match the strength and spirit of a people united in defence of their future.”

However it was one blatant moment during the speech when the president claimed that African-American unemployment had hit record lows that showed the Democratic Party’s disapproval of Trump’s presidency. The Democratic Congressional Black Caucus sat in silence amid a standing ovation.

There were many Democratic lawmakers who boycotted Trump’s Speech.

Congress meets for The State of Union Address by President Trump. Credit – Good Morning America.

 

The ‘Fake News Awards’

Donald Trump’s Fake News Awards’ are due to take place later today.

‘Fake News’ was popularised by the President of the United States-Donald Trump-and won Collins dictionary word of the year in 2017.

The term is used to describe ‘fake’ or inaccurate reporting from the media and has been described by the Telegraph as “one of the greatest threats to democracy, free debate and the Western order.”

President Trump is due to ridicule the US media giants by presenting a ‘Fake News Awards’ late today. It was announced at the White House press briefing on Tuesday as a “potential event”, however the ‘awards’ have been delayed before. The awards were originally supposed to be staged on January 7th however Trump took-to-Twitter to illustrate a change in plan.

Donald Trump confirms the Fake News Awards | Twitter

Updates to follow.

 

Police search Lactalis websites after baby milk scare.

Police in France are investigating several websites owned and run by powdered baby milk manufacturer Lactalis.

It is believed that a batch of baby milk infected with a strain of salmonella could have reached up to 83 countries with over 12 million boxes of milk having been recall after the contamination was discovered.

A Lactalis factory in Craon, north-western France was raided by police last month in connection with the scare and the company faces a number of lawsuits from parents after their parents were infected with the virus.

Lactalis spokesperson Michel Nalet confirmed the police presence. “As we have said before, Lactalis is cooperating with justice authorities and will provide everything necessary for a smooth conduct of the investigation,” he told AFP news agency.

At least 37 babies have been affected in France.

North and South Korea to unite for Winter Olympic Games

The united flag the two Koreans will march under | Picture Credit: Wikimedia

Next months Winter Olympic Games will see South Korea and North Korea march under one “unified Korea” flag.

The Games take place throughout the month of February in Pyeongchang, South Korea and it will see both nations walk together during the opening ceremony.

As well as the joint flag, the two Koreans’ will also field a joint women’s ice hockey side – despite Southern concern that a united team will hinder opportunities of medal prospect.

It is the first time in over two years that the nations have held high-end talks, following the North’s most recent nuclear weapons advancements.

Japan are said to be suspicious over the talks and have warned the world to not be blinded.

NFL Podcast @ 11am

Our NFL reporter Cameron Storer is joined by Ryan Maher to discuss all the latest play-off action from around the league.

The pair reflect on all the Divisional Round match-ups and look ahead to the NFC and AFC Championship games. Who is going to get to Superbowl 52? Storer and Maher illustrate their thoughts.

Image result for Saints @ Vikings

Diggs scored a game winning TD with 0 Seconds on the clock for Minnesota | Image TwinCities.com

Oprah Winfrey for President?

Her Golden Globes speech touching upon black and female empowerment went viral so far as to spark hopes of a 2020 presidential bid.

When asked if she would run for president, her partner Stedman Graham said she would “absolutely do it.” 

Oprah has said she would be interested

President Trump responded quickly to the idea: 

Oprah Winfrey has long been celebrated as a strong female role model, hosting her talk show for nearly three decades . She was accepting the lifetime achievement award when she made the speech.

She praised those who have stepped forward with their stories of sexual harassment and promised that ‘a new day is on the horizon’ for women everywhere.

Can we Trump climate change?

A 7.6 magnitude Earthquake struck the Caribbean sea on Tuesday, causing a Tsunami warning to be issued for the already disaster-struck Puerto Rico, as well as the British and US Virgin Islands.

The US Tsunami Center later cancelled this alert, although they still warn of waves of up to a metre high in parts of Honduras and Belize. The Earthquake hit at approximately 10:52pm, local time, and was felt at least as far as north of the Mexican state of Quintana Roo, but no damage was immediately felt.

Aftermath of Hurricane Maria. Credit: US DoD

Further natural disasters also struck North America, with heavy rain hitting the hills of Santa Barbara prompting horrendous mudslides. At least 13 people have been killed and more than two dozen have been injured in the West of Los Angeles. One boy was swept hundreds of yards in the mud before being rescued under a freeway overpass. A 14-year-old girl was also rescued after being buried in mud. It is the area’s heaviest rainstorm in nearly a year following the state’s largest wildfire on record.

These reoccurring natural disasters have made incidents like road closures, evacuations, broken power lines, rescues and searches a routine in America. So what’s the cause and solution of these increasingly occurring natural disasters?

It’s no coincidence that the US is less than prepared for these reoccurring disasters following many republican elected officials’ wanting to stop funding climate science, meaning they won’t be prepared for these sorts of repeated environmental procedures.

I’m eager to see how Trump plans on helping the people of Puerto Rico once again after his abysmal display of throwing paper towels into a crowd of desperate, disaster stricken citizens, following Hurricane Maria. He also, ‘honoured’ the people of Puerto Rico by dedicating a golf trophy to them. Just what they needed. I’d say a golf trophy is just as essential to the people of Puerto Rico as another hurricane.

It will be interesting to see his response to the mudslides in California compared to Hurricane Maria as Puerto Ricans’ have repeatedly stated they feel like second class citizens – implying a disregard for the islands of America, not the states. The inefficiency of Trump’s aid and preparation for climate change disasters is baffling.

Research makes it very clear that the planet has reached a new threshold in which climate change has become not only a component of extreme weather disasters but an essential factor for some. Trump and the republicans are oblivious to these issues as they set out to cut funding for research.

I realise these disasters aren’t unique to the US but the amount of climate change cataclysms that have taken place in such a small amount of time in America, in addition to the ignorance of Trump, makes the US’s situation all the more prominent.  It’s as if he is trying to figure out which is worse, apathy or ignorance, but then he realised he doesn’t know and doesn’t care.

In the past, the Presidents’ responses to these sorts of tragedies have been vital in deciding their overall approval ratings. So Mr. Trump, stop implying that people trying to rebuild their country are lazy, stop playing golf (the only sport with an actual assistant) and grasp this opportunity to improve your disgraceful approval rating, sincerely aid the increasingly deprived victims of these natural disasters and actually fund climate science so you’re more prepared for these catastrophes – and perhaps even decrease their occurrences.

Radio Bulletin @ 4pm

Saskia Williams presents today’s news with this weeks bulletin.

Edinburgh Council appeal for people power to help their Tourist Tax Cuts Scheme. Source: Edinburgh Evening News

Headline Update @ 2.30pm

Our presenter Saskia Williams is back again with our headline update.

For more tune in to our feature broadcast at 4pm or visit us on Twitter @en4newsweekly

Wester Hailes Education Centre could be merged. Source: The Edinburgh Reporter

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