Italy Backs Down from Budget Fight with EU

Italian labor minister and Five Star Movement leader Luigi Di Maio eyes Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte during a news conference in Rome, July 3
Italian labor minister and Five Star Movement leader Luigi Di Maio eyes Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte during a news conference in Rome, July 3 (Governo Italiano)

The leaders of Italy’s ruling populist parties have backed down from a fight with the European Commission over their 2019 budget.

Luigi Di Maio, the labor minister and leader of the Five Star Movement, and Matteo Salvini, the interior minister and leader of the far-right League, said after a meeting on Sunday that they had given their blessing to Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte’s revised spending plan, which reduces next year’s shortfall from 2.4 to 2 percent of GDP. Read more

Northern Irish, Scots Would Rather Stay in EU Than UK

Flags of the United Kingdom and Scotland in Sumburgh on the Shetland Islands, July 3, 2014
Flags of the United Kingdom and Scotland in Sumburgh on the Shetland Islands, July 3, 2014 (Julien Carnot)

Without an agreement to regulate Britain’s withdrawal from the EU, a majority of Northern Irish and Scots would rather remain in the bloc than in the United Kingdom.

Even with the deal Prime Minister Theresa May has negotiated, which provides for a two-year transition out of the EU and avoids a hard border between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland, a majority of Scots would prefer to break away from the United Kingdom. Read more

Democrats’ Invisible Primary Underway

Former American housing secretary Julián Castro speaks with a voter in Phoenix, Arizona, October 10
Former American housing secretary Julián Castro speaks with a voter in Phoenix, Arizona, October 10 (Gage Skidmore)

The “invisible primary” in America’s Democratic Party is underway.

In this phase — between the most recent congressional elections and the first official announcements — presidential hopefuls quietly court donors, party bosses, friendly journalists and affiliated interest groups.

Here are some of the latest developments: Read more

May Delays Brexit Vote. European Court Rules Britain Can Cancel Article 50

View of the Houses of Parliament in London, England, December 21, 2011
View of the Houses of Parliament in London, England, December 21, 2011 (Ben Sutherland)

British prime minister Theresa May has delayed a parliamentary vote on Brexit on the day the European Court of Justice ruled the country can unilaterally cancel its withdrawal from the EU. Read more

Germany’s Merkel Installs Favorite as Successor

Prime Minister Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer of Saarland attends a session of the Bundesrat in Berlin, Germany, July 10, 2015
Prime Minister Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer of Saarland attends a session of the Bundesrat in Berlin, Germany, July 10, 2015 (Bundesrat/Henning Schacht)

Angela Merkel has put Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer, the former prime minister of Saarland, on track to succeed her as chancellor of Germany.

Kramp-Karrenbauer, a relative moderate, defeated the more right-wing Friedrich Merz with 517 to 482 votes at a congress of their Christian Democratic Union (CDU) in Hamburg. Read more

Socialists Lose Election in Andalusia, Far Right Breaks Through

Susana Díaz, the president of Andalusia, answers questions from regional lawmakers in Seville, March 16, 2017
Susana Díaz, the president of Andalusia, answers questions from regional lawmakers in Seville, March 16, 2017 (Junta de Andalucía)

The right and far right did better in elections in Andalusia on Sunday than the polls had projected, possibly ending forty years of left-wing rule in the most populous region of Spain. Read more

Revelations in Trump-Russia Scandal

Presidents Donald Trump of the United States and Vladimir Putin of Russia deliver a news conference in Helsinki, Finland, July 16
Presidents Donald Trump of the United States and Vladimir Putin of Russia deliver a news conference in Helsinki, Finland, July 16 (Office of the President of the Republic of Finland/Juhani Kandell)

When Russiagate skeptic John Podhoretz and Russiagate alarmist John R. Schindler agree there is big news, it’s time for an update. Read more