India's main opposition promises jobs for women amid heated election campaign

NEW DELHI (Reuters) – India’s main opposition Congress party will reserve a third of federal government jobs for women if it comes into power, its chief Rahul Gandhi said on Wednesday, in a sign women’s rights are rising up the political agenda for next month’s election. Over the last week, two powerful parties from eastern India said they would field […]

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Irish PM: Brexit backstop not undermined by additional assurances

DUBLIN (Reuters) – Legally binding assurances on Brexit that Britain won from the European Union do not undermine the backstop or its application in avoiding a hard border on the island of Ireland, Irish Prime Minister Leo Varadkar said on Tuesday. British Prime Minister May signed up to three documents after last-ditch talks on Monday which she said were aimed […]

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Far-right parties seen nearly doubling seats in EU vote: Bild

BERLIN (Reuters) – Far-right parties are poised to double their seats in the European Parliament election in May, while mainstream conservative and Social Democratic groups face big losses, a new poll released by Germany’s Bild newspaper showed. The loss of support for mainstream parties meant they would not be able to form a “grand coalition” in the parliament such as […]

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Far-rightists cleared for Israel election, Arab party blocked

JERUSALEM (Reuters) – Israel’s election board has approved far-right Jewish candidates accused by rivals of racism for next month’s election while disqualifying an Arab party that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said supported terrorism. The Central Elections Committee’s decisions, taken late on Wednesday, were unlikely to be implemented before court appeals, but stoked an already acrimonious race for the April 9 […]

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Handout plans for Indonesia's unemployed could spark backlash for president

JAKARTA (Reuters) – Indonesian economists and opposition officials have questioned the feasibility of President Joko Widodo’s plan for cash handouts to the unemployed, citing an already strained national budget and ballooning debt at state enterprises. Widodo, who is seeking re-election in April, promised cash benefits last week to graduates from poor families and the unemployed if he won a second […]

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No gas? No votes. Subsidy cuts imperil Ukraine leader's reelection bid

SKRYHALIVKA, Ukraine (Reuters) – Ukrainian pensioner Nadiya Ignatiy says she has had the plum and cherry trees in her garden cut down for firewood since the government raised gas prices late last year. In next month’s election, she will vote against President Petro Poroshenko in favour of an opponent who has pledged to restore the gas subsidies that were scaled […]

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Moldova looks set for hung parliament as opposition threatens protests

CHISINAU (Reuters) – Early results pointed to a hung parliament in Moldova’s election on Sunday, splitting the vote between pro-Western and pro-Russian forces at a time when the ex-Soviet republic’s relations with the European Union have soured. The current government wants closer EU integration and warns of catastrophe if the country falls back into Russia’s sphere of influence. But corruption […]

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Polls close in Senegal election that President Sall is tipped to win

DAKAR/FATICK, Senegal (Reuters) – Senegal voted on Sunday in an election President Macky Sall is expected to win after strong economic growth in his first term, although rights groups criticized him for squeezing out rivals. Supporters chanted “Ole, Ole,” and flashed “V” for victory signs as Sall cast his vote in his hometown of Fatick. “The elected president will have […]

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Nigeria's president and main rival confident as polls close

ABUJA/MAIDUGURI, Nigeria (Reuters) – Nigeria began counting votes in Saturday’s closely-fought presidential election although the electoral commission extended voting in some places where polling stations opened late or ballot machines malfunctioned. President Muhammadu Buhari and his main challenger, businessman Atiku Abubakar, both said they were confident of victory when casting their ballots in an election which was already delayed by […]

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