Connect with us

Image copyright
Getty Images

James Murdoch, the younger son of media mogul Rupert Murdoch, has resigned from the board of News Corporation citing “disagreements over editorial content”.

In a filing to US regulators, he said he also disagreed with some “strategic decisions” made by the company.

The exact nature of the disagreements was not detailed.

But Mr Murdoch has previously criticised News Corp outlets, which include the Wall Street Journal, for climate change coverage.

In recent years James Murdoch has also found himself at odds – politically – with his father, BBC North America correspondent David Willis says.

Whilst Murdoch Senior has pledged support for Donald Trump, James Murdoch has reportedly contributed hundreds of thousands of dollars to the campaign of Mr Trump’s Democratic rival, Joe Biden.

James Murdoch’s departure from News Corp would, our correspondent says, appear to grant even more influence to his brother Lachlan who is generally thought to share his father’s more conservative views.

Rupert, News Corp’s executive chairman, and Lachlan, co-chairman, wished James well in a joint statement.

“We’re grateful to James for his many years of service to the company,” the statement said. “We wish him the very best in his future endeavours.”

News Corp also owns The Times, The Sun and The Sunday Times in the UK, as well as a stable of Australian newspapers, including The Australian, The Daily Telegraph and The Herald Sun.

What do we know about past disagreements?

Earlier this year, amid devastating wildfires in Australia, James Murdoch and his wife Kathryn expressed their frustration with climate change coverage by News Corp and Fox.

Their spokesperson told The Daily Beast they were “particularly disappointed with the ongoing denial among the news outlets in Australia given obvious evidence to the contrary.”

Rupert Murdoch has described himself as a climate change “sceptic” and denies employing climate deniers.

But critics of News Corp pointed to its comment articles and reporting of the alleged role of arson in the wildfires as minimising the impact of a changing climate.

Who is James Murdoch?

Born in London in 1972, he is the youngest of Rupert Murdoch’s three children from his marriage to Anna Torv, the others being sister Elisabeth and brother Lachlan.

He was schooled in New York, going on to study film and history at Harvard University but he dropped out in the mid-1990s without completing his degree.

Gaining a reputation as the family rebel, he set up an independent hip-hop label, Rawkus Records, which launched the career of rapper-actor Mos Def and gave an airing to the then little-known Eminem.

He was formerly chief executive of 21st Century Fox before Walt Disney bought most of its assets last year.

Source link

0
Continue Reading

Politics

Paul Rusesabagina of ‘Hotel Rwanda’ appears in court again seeking bail after arrest on terrorism charges

200831110345 hotel rwanda hero paul rusesabagina arrested ctw vpx 00000000 super tease

He appeared before the Nyarugenge intermediate court Friday in the capital, Kigali, where a judge ruled that a decision will be made on his bail application October 2.

Rusesabagina, 66, was appealing against last week’s ruling to remand him for 30 days.

His lawyers, Emelin Nyembo and David Rugaza, told the court that Rusesabagina should not be tried for crimes committed by the MRCD party, a coalition of opposition parties. The group’s military wing, FLN, is accused of several attacks on Rwandan territory in 2018.

Rusesabagina faces 13 charges related to terrorism, and is accused of being the “founder, leader and sponsor of violent, armed, extremist terror outfits,” Rwandan authorities have said.

He admitted to the court that he was a member of the MRCD and that general decisions were taken under the leadership of all parties, with each party having different functions.

He said, “MRCD was a coalition of four opposition political parties, my own party PDR-Ihumure was in charge of diplomatic mission, CNRD party was in charge of military operations hence forming military wing (National Liberation Front-FLN), others had other responsibilities.”

“The FLN was an armed group with specific role, mine was different. I was in charge of diplomacy,” he added.

At a hearing on September 17, the judge said the court had analyzed all 13 charges against Rusesabagina and concluded that there were compelling reasons to remand him for 30 days.

His lawyers questioned the jurisdiction of the court to try their client, saying he is a citizen of Belgium, with residence in the United States.

It is a sentiment echoed by his family. His daughter Carine Kanimba told CNN that he has no right to be put on trial as a Rwandan, as a Belgian citizen.

“We do not accept this whole attempt at pretending that this is a fair trial. We are begging the international community to help us. We are worried that they will kill him and they have already silenced him. The pictures we saw of him in court told us that he is frail and weak,” she said.

Kanimba said that a Belgian diplomat was able to visit her father, but that Rwandan officials were present.

There are also questions about how Rusesabagina came to be in Rwanda. His family believes he was kidnapped from Dubai in late August. In a video interview with the New York Times on September 15, Rusesabagina said he was supposed to go on a private plane to Burundi to speak to churches on August 28, but when he woke up, he was in Rwanda surrounded by soldiers.

Longstanding Kagame critic

Rusesabagina gained prominence for saving hundreds of Rwandans during the country’s genocide by sheltering them in the hotel he managed. His story was made into the Hollywood film “Hotel Rwanda,” starring Don Cheadle and Sophie Okonedo.
Rusesabagina and his supporters have long maintained that he became a target of Rwandan President Paul Kagame’s government after sustained criticism of the government and the conduct of the Rwandan Patriotic Front in ending the genocide in 1994.

Around 800,000 Tutsis and moderate Hutus were killed in the genocide, which was led by Hutu extremists.

He is the recipient of several human rights awards for his efforts during the genocide, including the US Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2005 and the Human Rights Prize by the Lantos Foundation in 2011, among others.

Rusesabagina also holds Belgian citizenship, according to a government source in Belgium.

Crackdown on opposition

Rusesabagina has not lived in Rwanda since 1996, when he survived an assassination attempt.

While widely praised for transforming Rwanda in the aftermath of the genocide, Kagame has also faced widespread criticism for human rights abuses and a crackdown on opposition.

Rwanda accuses a pastor's daughter of treason and espionage. Her family says the charges are fabricated

Opposition politicians in Rwanda have often found themselves jailed on what they say are trumped-up charges for standing against Kagame in polls.

In one of the more widely publicized cases, Diane Rwigara and her mother were jailed when the former attempted to run for president in the same election as Kagame in 2017.

Diane Rwigara was acquitted of all charges including insurrection and forging of documents in 2018.

Victoire Ingabire, the leader of the FDU-Inkingi party, was jailed in 2010 for charges that included collaborating with a terrorist organization, “divisionism,” “minimizing the genocide” and “genocide ideology.”

She had returned to the country from the Netherlands to contest in the 2010 presidential elections after years of living abroad but was barred from running, and served eight years of a 15-year prison sentence before receiving a presidential pardon in 2018.

Source link

0
Continue Reading

Politics

House GOP super PAC seeks to shore up additional Republican seats

gettyimages 1193132910 1

“CLF is doubling down and pressing even deeper into our top offensive opportunities, reinforcing our swing-seat incumbents and providing a small insurance policy in a few seats to ensure a win this November,” CLF President Dan Conston said in a statement.

Notable new reservations include $865,000 to boost Rep. Don Young (R-Alaska); $500,000 to help Rep. French Hill (R-Ark.), $500,000 for Rep. Fred Upton (R-Mich.), $750,000 for Rep. Lee Zeldin (R-N.Y.), $740,000 for Rep. Ann Wagner (R-Mo.) and $750,000 for an open seat in central Virginia where Rep. Denver Riggleman (R-Va.) lost renomination in a district convention.

CLF also reserved $850,000 in Meadows’ former district, where the Republican nominee is 25-year-old businessman Madison Cawthorn. Court-ordered redistricting last year made the seat more favorable to Democrats by uniting the liberal enclave of Asheville, but President Donald Trump still carried it by 17 points.

Reps. Anthony Brindisi (D-N.Y.), Kendra Horn (D-Okla.) and Debbie Mucarsel-Powell (D-Fla.) are each getting over a million in new ad reservations against them from the group — a sign that Republicans are still pushing to pick off incumbents. The group is also making large six-figure buys against Rep. Max Rose (D-N.Y.), Xochitl Torres Small (D-N.M.) and Tom Malinowski (D-N.J.). And earlier this week it laid down a new offensive target with a $2 million ad buy against Rep. Ron Kind (D-Wis.).

The vast majority of CLF’s total spending for the cycle is on offensive targets, and Republicans feel confident they will make gains in November, particularly if Trump tightens the presidential race. Democrats are defending 30 districts that the president carried in 2016.

But most of the districts in this new wave of reservations are Republican-held. CLF is increasing its buys to help Rep. Steve Chabot (R-Ohio), Scott Perry (R-Pa.), Jim Hagedorn (R-Minn.) and Don Bacon (R-Neb.) — and in open seats on Long Island and in the suburbs of Indianapolis, Houston and Dallas.

Democrats, meanwhile, are scaling back their defensive buys and shifting resources away from once-vulnerable incumbents. The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee this week scrapped four TV flights set to run from early-to-mid October in districts held by Reps. Jared Golden (D-Maine), Elissa Slotkin (D-Mich.), Haley Stevens (D-Mich.) and Matt Cartwright (D-Pa.) — a show of confidence in their reelection prospects. All four hold seats won by Trump in 2016.

Republicans are hampered by the cash advantage of Democratic candidates and by their large number of open seats. Members like Hill and Young were outraised by their opponents last quarter — and Young trails in cash on hand. And retirements by longtime incumbents in Indiana, New York and Texas deprived the GOP of the war chests they amassed over the years.

Source link

0
Continue Reading

Politics

Matt Hancock Must Guarantee MPs A Vote On New Coronavirus Restrictions Or The Government Will Be Defeated, Says Rebel Ringleader Graham Brady

PA 25449507 resized iug6ct


8 min read

The leader of a growing band of Tory rebels, Sir Graham Brady, says Matt Hancock must offer “explicit guarantees” MPs will get to vote on new coronavirus restrictions before they come into force or the government faces defeat on its flagship pandemic legislation.

Pressure is mounting on Boris Johnson to cave to the demands of his backbenchers after dozens of Conservatives signed an amendment put forward by Sir Graham, the chair of the powerful 1922 Committee.

He told PoliticsHome it is “a fundamental matter of principle that the House ought to be consulted” before new lockdown measures are put in place.

It comes amid growing anger from MPs the Commons has been ignored by ministers as they have repeatedly changed the rules, affecting the lives of their constituents.

Sir Graham said he was spurred to act after his own constituency of Altrincham and Sale West was put into and then taken out of extra local restrictions, only to be put back under the measures hours later.

“It’s been a frustration for a long time, I was wary even back in March when we gave the emergency powers very rapidly. And I accepted it on the basis the House was about to go into recess and there was plausible concern NHS critical care capacity would be overwhelmed.

“But then when we found that every review of the lockdown, the government simply continued, and that when Parliament returned on 21 April we still didn’t have decisions put to the House of Commons.

“I thought that was wrong.”

He added: “But I guess it came to a head really with the experience of the additional local restrictions that were put in for Trafford and Greater Manchester at the end of July.

“And then the experience of the government removing Trafford from the extra restrictions at the end of August – and then 12 hours putting us back in again.

“And in none of this was the House of Commons, or me as a local MP, able to express a view.”

1601142409 717 Matt Hancock Must Guarantee MPs A Vote On New Coronavirus

With the six-month renewal of the coronavirus powers due for a vote on Wednesday, he has written an amendment which could bind the government into more votes. It has more than 50 signatories, including 42 Tories as of Friday afternoon – enough to defeat the government if selected, but there is some debate as to whether it will be allowed.

Such a motion would not normally be amendable; it would simply be the case that MPs either back it or not, with the final decision to be taken by the Commons Speaker Sir Lindsay Hoyle on the morning of the debate.

On whether it would be selected for debate, Mr Brady said: “Some people have suggested it is ‘disorderly’ in itself. It was drafted by a very senior clerk, who when I raised that with him gave me a very clear explanation why he is right.

“So I’m confident that it is selectable, but it is still – as with any amendment – a decision for the Speaker.”

He confirmed he had been to see Sir Lindsay, who he said suggested it was “more likely to be selected” if it had support from across the House, which is why he was pleased to have chair of the Parliamentary Labour Party, John Cryer, put his name to it along with party grandees Harriet Harman and John Spellar.

A spokesperson for the Speaker would only confirm the motion is “technically amendable”.

They added: “The Speaker will take advice from the clerks about whether the amendment is in scope before deciding whether to select it.”

There is also debate over whether any amendment, if passed, would have any binding effect on the government, given it is not a vote on the legislation itself.

Sir Graham said: “It wouldn’t have statutory force because the motion itself isn’t statute, so what it would be is a resolution of the House instructing ministers to do something – and that has constitutional force.”

And Tom Tugendhat, chair of the foreign affairs select committee, told PoliticsHome: “This isn’t supposed to be an epic rebellion but an indication that people want to have wider consultation.

“I think what this is a very clear sign of, and I think the government recognises this, is the whole country needs to be involved in decision making and the decisions that we are taking and for us to  have consent we need to consult widely and part of that consultation is with the people sent to Parliament to represent their communities.”

Mr Spellar said: “What we are trying to do is say to government you can’t just go rampaging around making decisions based on a very small group of advisers. 

“If you say you’ve gone from the science, there’s a significant division in the scientific world.”

It is a view echoed by Sir Graham: “I’m quite sceptical about a number of these measures, I think they are grossly intrusive into people’s civil liberties, the right to family life, but I suspect that there is a fairly strong majority of the House that would support the government in most of what it’s doing.

“So I don’t think by securing these votes we’re suddenly going to see the government losing them all and these powers being stripped away.

“I think it’s just a fundamental matter of principle that the House ought to be consulted, that if people’s liberties are being removed it should be done with the consent of parliament on their behalf.

“And also that ministerial decision-making will be improved if they know they’ve got to justify themselves in the House of Commons and the House will express its views in a vote.”

1601142409 450 Matt Hancock Must Guarantee MPs A Vote On New Coronavirus

Mr Johnson is likely to want to avoid another confrontation with his own backbenchers after already having to change tack on the Internal Markets Bill, with talks set to take place with Mr Brady and other rebels on Monday.

One MP suggested more names could go down on the amendment over the weekend ,with another signatory telling PoliticsHome it would be “dumb” if the government did not reflect on the number of disaffected Tories and try to come up with a compromise, or table their own amendment.

On whether he would pull the amendment, Sir Graham said it would need Matt Hancock to say from the despatch box that MPs will get votes on new restrictions before they are enacted, a point he said he had already pressed upon Number 10.

“If there were sufficient explicit guarantees given on the floor of the House then I may not press it to a vote,” he said.

“But I think it’s really important to have the opportunity to press it to a vote to make sure the health secretary gives those explicit guarantees.”

He said the time lag between announcements being made and the restrictions coming into force was the perfect time to hold a debate, pointing to the ‘rule of six’ policy.

“That was leaked to the press on Tuesday, the PM made a statement about it on Wednesday, it wasn’t going to come into force until the following Monday – but the Thursday was just general debates in the House of Commons,” he explained.

“It would have been entirely possible to change the schedule, put in a full day’s debate on the ‘rule of six’ with a vote at the end of it, and the government simply chose not to.”

Pressed on whether his amendment was in response to ministers not listening to backbench concerns, he said: “I put the point to Matt Hancock in the chamber as to why these powers had not been put to the House on the Wednesday, and he said ‘I’m talking to the business managers about how this can happen’, but it still hasn’t happened two weeks later, there still hasn’t been a debate or a vote on what was introduced then.”

1601142409 891 Matt Hancock Must Guarantee MPs A Vote On New Coronavirus

The PM’s spokesman has repeatedly said there would be a vote on the renewal of the Coronavirus Act 2020, and that MPs also have the chance to vote on individual regulations.

But there has been criticism of that system, which is known as an ‘affirmative statutory instrument’, which allows the Commons a vote within 28 days of the legislation coming into force.

Some MPs have said they want new powers to be created as ‘draft affirmative statutory instruments’, where the vote takes place before they start to take affect.

But the government have said with a backlog of legislation from the summer, along with the fact the process can pass through the Commons quickly, but takes weeks to get though the House of Lords, they have argued it was not possible.

One potential solution may be to give MPs the guarantee that an ‘affirmative’ SI will be debated within seven days, rather than it taking the full month, but the government have stuck to the line that “the current position does provide for parliamentary scrutiny”.

 Disclosure: Sir Graham Brady is editor of the House magazine, which is part of the Dods Group.

Source link

0
Continue Reading

Trending