News 

U.K. lawmakers hand PM May a win by defeating key Brexit-bill amendment

“The upper House of Lords in March sought a “meaningful vote” amendment to the bill that takes the U.K. out of the EU. The pound GBPUSD, -0.0448% bought $1.3400 after Tuesday’s vote, edging back from $1.3417 just before the vote” writes Markets Reporter for marketwatch.com. The pound had risen above $1.3400 late in Tuesday’s session after the government defeated five other amendments put forth by the House of Lords. Debate on other amendments will continue on Wednesday, then the Brexit bill will be sent back to House of Lords. Source: marketwatch.com…

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GBP News 

How defeat on the EU Withdrawal Bill could thwart Theresa May’s Brexit plans and put her premiership at risk 

“Over the course of the following 36 hours, MPs will debate 15 amendments, many of which, if passed, could fatally undermine the Government’s negotiating position and leave Mrs May’s hold on power hanging in the balance” writes David Lidington for telegraph.co.uk. Focus on the Bill has intensified in recent weeks after hostile amendments were passed by peers in the House of Lords. Source: telegraph.co.uk Share This:

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Burundi votes tomorrow on controversial constitutional amendments. A lot is at stake.

“Currently, Burundi has a president and two vice presidents, with distinct portfolios and from different ethnic groups and parties” reports washingtonpost.com. In 2014, the CNDD-FDD tried — but failed — to pass constitutional amendments that would have changed term limits and eliminated several power-sharing provisions.The proposed amendments threaten to dismantle the Arusha Agreement without a broad national debate — and could lead to renewed instability.Burundi’s constitution is “consociational.” That means it includes mandated power-sharing between Hutus and Tutsis, checks and balances, ethnic government quotas, ethnic parity in the military, and…

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News 

Next week: GOP tests the waters on food stamps work requirement

“House Rules Committee Chairman Pete Sessions, R-Texas, said GOP leaders will allow some amendments to the Farm Bill” writes Scott Applewhite for washingtonexaminer.com. Conservatives say they like the SNAP reforms but also want reforms on the agriculture side of the bill to curb costly subsidies.It’s unlikely the GOP leadership will want to repeat the spectacle of a Farm Bill failure which occurred in 2013 when Democrats opposed food stamp cuts in the bill and GOP conservatives balked at the overall cost of the legislation. Source: washingtonexaminer.com Share This:

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On tax break amendments, who’s ready to vote against their greedy self-interest?

“On surface, it seems pretty likely that voters are going to vote themselves a tax break, even one that only affects homeowners” writes Dan Sweeney for sun-sentinel.com. And they’re also pretty likely to protect their pocketbooks against future tax increases in the Legislature.Amendment 2 would simply make permanent a limit on tax increases on non-homestead property.Are you worried that yes votes on these amendments in November could have the unintended effect of wrecking Florida’s finances?.  Source: sun-sentinel.com Share This:

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AUD News 

Australia’s Parliament Passes Bill To Legalize Same-Sex Marriage

“Conservative legislators tried to tack religious freedom amendments onto the bill but could not get enough support” writes Nick Visser for huffingtonpost.com. The amendments were consistently rejected by other MPs, who have called the suggestions “superfluous” and argued that the existing freedom of religion laws would protect Australia’s religious institutions. The amendments, noted AP, could still be considered at a later date.Even still, debates and votes to the amendments delayed the final passage. Source: huffingtonpost.com Share This:

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AUD News 

Marriage equality has finally become law in Australia, at last

“It was left to the last minute, but marriage equality is finally legal in Australia” writes Johnny Lieu for mashable.com. Marriage equality supporters gathered in front of Parliament House in Australia’s capital, Canberra, to be there for the historic decision.Although Australians voted overwhelmingly for marriage equality in mid-November, there had been a push by conservative politicians for amendments to the bill that claim to protect religious freedoms. Then, 28 days after royal assent, same-sex marriage will officially be legal in Australia.These have been labelled as “superfluous” by conservative politician Christopher…

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TAX CUT BRAWL BEGINS IN SENATE…

“Democrats say the Republican tax plan is a giveaway to corporations and the wealthy at the expense of working Americans” writes unknown author for cnbc.com. While campaign donors are strongly behind the push for tax cuts, the American public is sharply divided.Republicans acknowledge that failure to pass a tax bill could jeopardize their control of the Senate and House of Representatives in next year’s congressional elections.Among Americans aware of the Republican tax plan, 49 percent said they were opposed, up from 41 percent in October, according to a Nov. 23-27…

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