Theresa May’s Brexit problem

This is a translation of an article from the Norwegian newspaper Aftenposten

 

Brexit splits Theresa May’s conservative party, and it can only get worse, no matter what the solution is. The divorce between the EU and Britain has been complicated since the beginning, mostly because of British cloudiness, but also because Brussels has shown little interest in finding a satisfying solution for the British.

 

The EU has proven to be costly for conservative Prime Ministers, as the last three conservative PMs have lost their job because of the issue; Margaret Thatcher, John Major and David Cameron. And now it seems it’s Theresa May’s turn. Let’s just talk about Cameron for a moment. If Cameron hadn’t announced a Brexit referendum – which wasn’t necessary, as there was no request from the people – he would have been the British Prime Minister today. But he chose to announce a referendum anyway (which he was sure to win) and he lost, and resigned as Prime Minister. This opened the door for Theresa May, and she was off to a good start. Her inaugural address was one of the best inaugural addresses ever held by a British Prime Minister. When Theresa May announced a snap general election in June to strengthen her position in the Brexit negotiations, she was leading with 20 percent in the polls. However, the Tory campaign was a disaster, and they lost their majority in the parliament. To ensure a majority in the parliament they have to collaborate with the DUP.

 

Theresa May wanted to resign after the June 8 general election, but the conservative party begged her to remain as Prime Minister, simply because there is no alternative that has a unified support. Theresa May lost all of her authority after the general election, and she has stopped saying “Brexit is Brexit” and all those types of statements. Now she wants a longer transition period, and she also wants an ambitious economic partnership that involves the will of the British people and the four freedoms of the EU. A solution that is supported by a majority of the British people, but might split the conservatives.

 

If May should resign, or if 48 conservative MPs demand it, there will be an election within the conservative party to elect their new leader. The conservative MPs will nominate a number of people and they will vote on them until there are only two nominees left. When there are only two nominees left the party members will elect their new leader. The next leader might be Boris Johnson. Johnson will almost definitely win if he is one of the two nominees in the final round. Johnson is highly unpopular with the conservative MPs, and he is often accused of having a much harder and tougher Brexit policy than the government’s official policy. Johnson claims that after Brexit, Britain will be the greatest country on earth. Johnson is also criticised for being too much of an egotist.

 

Another candidate is Jacob Rees-Mogg. He is the son of William Rees-Mogg, editor of The Times. Rees-Mogg doesn’t want anything to do with the EU, tweets in Latin and gives his children quite odd names. He is also a remarkably polite and sympathetic man, but it is hard to imagine that a reactionary eccentric will bring young voters back to the conservative party, but who knows? – in Donald Trump’s, Bernie Sanders’ and Jeremy Corbyn’s world.

 

Bilderesultat for brexit

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Gerrymandering and UK Politics

Gerrymandering is when a political group changes voting districts to create an unfair advantage for themselves, or an unfair disadvantage for their political opponents. This is a huge issue because, for example, if republicans do gerrymandering, and create an unfair advantage for themselves, they ensure that the congressional seats that are up for grabs will remain in republican control. The republicans will simply create voting districts with a small majority of republican voters and create a few voting districts where a vast majority of the voters tend to vote democratic. The Supreme Court is currently pondering if gerrymandering has gone too far, and as one British MP said when he was overseas: “This is not voters choosing their representative, this is representatives choosing their voters”. The Supreme Court will decide if gerrymandering should be legal or not. There are no laws in the United States constitution saying gerrymandering is illegal, and also there are no laws stating that the party with the most votes will win.

 

The British MPs are voted into parliament in an easier way. In Britain the MP is voted into the parliament by a first-past-the-post-system, meaning that the candidate with the most vote in one of the 650 voting districts (constituencies) in the UK. This system is much easier, although the popular vote might differ from the number of representatives from different parties because of the amount of votes you get in one voting district compared to another. The DUP will certainly gain more votes in Northern Ireland than in London, and the SNP will gain more votes in Scotland than in Brighton. If a third party, like the Lib Dems gets 49% of the votes in voting districts where either the SNP or the DUP gets 51% of the votes, the Lib Dems will not get a single representative from these constituencies, but will still have a large percentage of the vote.

 

The two major parties in the UK today are the Labour Party and the Conservative Party. The leader for the Labour Party is Jeremy Corbyn, whilst the leader of the Conservative Party, and the prime minister, is Theresa May. Theresa May called for a general election on the 8th of June because she thought she would get more seats in the parliament, and therefore make the process of Brexit, Britain leaving the EU, much easier. The result ended in a major disappointment as the Conservatives lost many seats, and now has to reign with the DUP from Northern Ireland. The Conservatives even had a majority of the seats alone, but still Theresa May thought it would be easier with more Conservative MPs, which is in any way true, but the fact of the matter is that the Labour Party, led by Jeremy Corbyn, ran a very strong campaign and won many seats from the Conservatives.

RECOUNT: THE U.S. ELECTORAL COLLEGE AND THE ELECTION PROCESS

While watching answer these questions:

  1. In every presidential election, the media will announce the new President and Vice President by the morning after election day; however, when is the President and Vice-President actually

elected?

After the election day, somewhere in December.

  1. What does it mean to “concede?”

A concession is the act of a losing candidate publicly yielding to a winning candidate after the results have become clear.

  1. Why did Al Gore retract his concession?

Al Gore retracted his concession because he was told that the media had the wrong numbers and that he still had a chance to win the presidential election.

  1. Why would a machine recount of Florida’s ballots tally a slightly different number than the first time? How was this a threat to the Bush campaign?

Because the decision was so close that a recount would possibly end in a Gore victory since the machines tally differently from time to time.

  1. Why did the Democrats initiate a hand recount?

The reason for the hand recount was because many of the ballots were not completely penetrated, so-called “dimples”, should be accounted for since there was an intent for voting which would not be picked up by the machine.

  1. What trend did the Democrats discover about old voting machines and the neighborhoods they serve?

The old machines in the poor neighborhoods are rarely clean, thus, when voters were stamping their ballots they would often not push completely through.

  1. What did the Democrats discover about voters being turned away from the polls?  Democrats found out that many of the voters being turned away from the polls were minorities, or likely democratic voters.
  2. Did the Republicans actively try to stop a hand recount? Why?

The Republicans actively tried to stop a hand recount because they were afraid they were going to lose the election.

  1. What issues did officials encounter with the hand recount?

The issues officials encountered with the hand recount was that representatives from both parties tried to slow down the recount by objecting to ballots.

 

  1. Why did the Republicans want to count absentee ballots?

The Republicans wanted to count absentee ballots because they thought they would get more votes if the soldiers’ vote would count.

  1. Are absentee ballots usually counted on Election Day?

Absentee ballots are usually counted on election day.

 

Our Government and the U.S. Supreme Court Decision

  1. In which court did James Baker think the Republicans would definitely lose? Which

court did he think they would be more likely to win in the long run?

James Baker definitely thought he would lose in the state court, but win in the supreme court.

  1. What did Baker mean when he suggested that “it’s time to exercise our first amendment right”? What is the first amendment?

Baker wanted to use his freedom of speech and by that, he meant that he wanted a demonstration.

  1. What were the advisory opinions?

The advisory opinions were contradicting because the laws about whether or not a county could be demanded a recount or not were ill-defined and vague.

  1. Who represented Gore during the trials? Why was this lawyer recruited?

The lawyer that represented Gore during the trials was David Boies. One of the reasons he was chosen was that of his dyslexia caused him to have to recite his speeches without a script. The almost “photographic memory” attribute has been praised by colleagues as a surefire reason for a lot of his success in the courtroom.

 

  1. What is the Equal Protection ClauseThe Equal Protection Clause is part of the fourteenth amendment to the United States Constitution, and it simply states that every person shall be treated equally under law.
  2. Why did the Bush camp think they had a small victory when they learned the Supreme Court didn’t set counting standards? The Bush camp thought they had a small victory when they learned the Supreme Court did not set voting standards because they could influence the voting standards themselves.
  3. How do you feel about the fact that many counties did not run their ballots through the machines again? I think all counties should have run their ballots through the machines again, because they were required to do it.
  1. Do you think Democrats should have begun planning for lawsuits earlier? I do believe Democrats should have planned lawsuits earlier, as this could have helped them win the election. They would have gotten more time to recount the ballots, and that could have given a different result.
  2. Do you think the Texas voting law signed by Governor Bush helped Gore’s case or was it irrelevant to Gore winning in the Florida Supreme CourtI think the Texas voting law signed by Governor G. W. Bush was helpful for Gore, because it helped Al Gore’s case

GLOBAL GOAL NR. 13: CLIMATE ACTION

 

The global goal climate action concerns climate change. Climate change is seen as one of the main reasons for the two hurricanes Harvey and Irma. What are the main causes for climate change? Can we as individuals do anything to combat climate change?

 

According to Global Goals the global emissions of CO2 have increased by more than 46% since 1990. In order to secure the future generations a life without having to worry about climate crisis we have to do something now, before it is too late. The global issues might seem too complex and big for you as an individual to have a chance in saving the world. But you can’t just point towards the big businesses and blame them for all of our environmental woes, because you, yes you, can actually do something to make the world a better place. And that is important to understand. It is like a puzzle, the more we all do our part, the faster we will create an entire ecology of living that promotes sustainability. Something is better than nothing. Being environmentally friendly simply means having a lifestyle that are better for the environment. Here are some easy and small changes you can make in your everyday life to help live a more eco-friendly lifestyle:

 

  1. Eat less meat: especially red meat.
  2. Use less paper and recycle more
  3. Only boil the water you need
  4. Use canvas bags instead of plastic
  5. Start a compost pile or bin
  6. Purchase the right light bulb and turn off the lights
  7. Choose cloth over paper
  8. Shower less
  9. Take the bus instead of the car, or even better get a bike
  10. Buy locally grown products
  11. Throw less food and stuff
  12. Buy second hand

 

“If the bee disappeared off the face of the Earth, man would only have four years left to live,” Einstein supposedly said. Bees are very interesting as the food ecosystem heavily rely on them. It is a huge cause of concern that the number of bees are declining, as if they disappear other animals will struggle with surviving and it will have massive consequences for the ecosystem. Think about the bees and make an garden bee-friendly place with plants such as lavender, roses and sunflowers. It can be as easy as that.

The temperature of the earth is rising at almost twice the rate it was 50 years ago. One of the reasons for this is the emission of greenhouse gases. There are several greenhouse gases responsible for global warming, the most important one is CO2, although others are methane, from agriculture and landfills, nitrous oxide from fertilizers and the loss of forests that would be able to store the CO2. CO2 is responsible for 64% of the man-made global warming. This means that by reducing our carbon dioxide emissions we can reduce the dramatic changes global warming and climate change do. However, methane traps more heat than carbon dioxide per molecule, in fact 20 times more heat per molecule. Methane is responsible for 17% of man-made global warming. The causes for the rise of emissions of greenhouse gases are burning coal, gas and oil. China is ranked as number one when it comes to emission of greenhouse gases, currently producing more than 25% of all greenhouse gases. The United States follow, with 13.9%, with India placed third emitting 6.43% of all greenhouse gases. Norway is responsible for 0.1% of all greenhouse gas emissions. Deforestation is also an important cause, because trees help to regulate the climate by absorbing carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. Since trees contain a lot of carbon dioxide, emissions of carbon dioxide will rise when burning trees. When cutting trees down emissions will also rise, because the carbon dioxide is released into the atmosphere.

 

We as individuals can do a lot to make the world a “greener” place and stray away from the polluting path we are on. Recycling is an easy and efficient way to cut down on greenhouse gas emissions and pollution in general. Through recycling we can decrease the amount of waste which has a huge impact on the natural environment. Recycling helps us reduce the amount of chemicals and greenhouse gasses released by trash in landfill sites reducing deforestation. With recycling we can help prevent our habitats destruction and decrease the effect of global warming, which are some of the few effects caused by deforestation.

 

Another take on the situation is to try and make bigger changes by affecting our government, and by doing so, our country could lead the revolution on climate change. Even though we are considered the best country in the world on almost all aspects surrounding the global environment development, we still have a lot of flaws, especially in the consume and waste department. That is why, on the lowest level we need to vote MDG at our election, and then MDG has to convince the other parties of the government to step up and start investing in our sustainable ecofriendly natural resources, and hopefully the rest of the world will follow. This will also be a much more affordable option for us as a country in the long haul, even though it might cost us some of our precious oil money right now for the research of how to develope it. There is no point in being one of the wealthiest countries in the world if our planet is trying to destroy us with natural catastrophes and disasters, because we choose not to take care of it.  

 

Sources:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_greenhouse_gas_emissions

https://ec.europa.eu/clima/change/causes_en

http://www.nationalgeographic.com/environment/global-warming/global-warming-causes/

www.recycling-guide.org.uk/importance.html

 

In collaboration with Mathias, Rebekka and Bibbi

The importance of knowledge in a changing world

By Ingrid, Tobias and Sondre B

 

History is one of the most important subjects in school, because by knowing history you can easily understand why people think as they do and why they act like they do. You understand why there are conflicts in the world, and why these conflicts seem like they will go on forever. A person that seemingly had no interest in participating in the subject in question is one of the most powerful men in the world, Donald Trump.

 

Donald Trump has claimed that the Lebanese government is fighting against ISIS, Al Qaeda and Hezbollah. That is partially true, the Lebanese government does fight ISIS and Al Qaeda, however Hezbollah is not opposing the Lebanese government, in fact they have been a part of the Lebanese parliament, and is currently holding 12 seats in the parliament as well as two cabinet positions, the Minister of Industry and the Minister of Sports and Youth.

 

Trump also claimed that Germany owed “vast sums” of money to the United States for NATO. This is just wrong. No country can owe money to another country through NATO. The NATO agreement specifies that every member has to spend two percent of their GDP on their military. Germany, among many countries, spends less than two percent of their GDP on their military, and in 2016 it was estimated that they would spend approximately 40 billion USD on their military, whilst the United States would spend approximately 664 billion USD. However, showing the pure numbers is misleading as the GDP in the NATO member states differ from the United States’ 18.5 trillion USD to Montenegro’s 10.4 billion USD. “ Europe may owe itself; it certainly owes nothing to the U.S.”  said Ivo Daalder, a former ambassador to NATO under Mr. Obama.

 

Another claim from the commander in chief was that Korea used to be a part of China. Korea was never a part of China, although Korea was protected by China in exchange for gifts, clearly showing an independent position. However, he got his information from the President of the People’s Republic of China, Xi Jinping, and he might have exaggerated China’s power, as Korean historians claim that Korea was similar to a colony, but not a part of China.

 

The President, whilst on a trip to Israel, said that he had just been in the Middle East, seemingly not knowing that Israel is a part of the Middle East, and a rather important one as well. Israel is the only free country in the Middle East, according to Freedom House. It is also a close American ally.

 

Trump confused Napoleon Bonaparte and Napoleon the third on a recent trip to France. Napoleon Bonaparte and Napoleon the third are two different people, in fact Napoleon the third is the nephew of the famous Corsican emperor Napoleon Bonaparte. They both held the title “Emperor of the French”, but Napoleon the third modernized infrastructure, and he was an elected president, as he won 74.2 percent of the votes in the 1848 election.

 

When the British prime minister Theresa May came to visit the US in January, the White House managed to misspell her name three times. They wrote about Teresa May, which is a British glamour model and soft-porn actress. This is quite the blunder, as the British prime minister probably does not like to be associated with a soft-porn actress. They also referred to Canada’s prime minister Justin Trudeau as Joe, and called Shinzo Abe the President of Japan, which is wrong because he is the prime minister.

 

The last blunder, of many, that we will write about is also quite a big one. The White House referred to Xi Jinping as the “President of the Republic of China”, and not the “President of the People’s Republic of China”. There is a huge difference between the Republic of China, and the People’s Republic of China. The latter is the mainland, whilst the Republic of China is Taiwan. Taiwan and China have had a terrible relationship for years, although they have begun work to cooperate on a certain level.

 

Do Trump`s historical missteps matter? Does it matter that the President of the United states seems to lack knowledge and understanding of the key events of his nation’s past and of what is going on in the world. He mentioned Abraham Lincoln during a fundraising dinner. “Most people don’t even know he was a Republican,” Trump said. “Does anyone know? Lot of people don´t know that!” (Most likely everyone in the room knew).

It seems pretty self explanatory that the president of the United States should have, and might benefit from, basic knowledge and insights of the world history. Perhaps he should go back to High School?

 

Sources:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hezbollah

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Parliament_of_Lebanon

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lebanese_government_of_December_2016

https://www.economist.com/blogs/graphicdetail/2017/02/daily-chart-11

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Montenegro

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States

http://www.koreatimes.co.kr/www/opinion/2017/03/633_191255.html

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Napoleon

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Napoleon_III

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cross-Strait_relations

 

EDIT:

Uncovering fake news

  1. Be skeptical to headlines. Fake news often has catchy headlines that captures your attention. If the headline has shocking statements that seem too crazy to be true, it’s likely that it’s not true.
  2. Pay attention to the URL. A fake or copied URL can be a warning sign that the news you are about to read, is fake. Many sites that produce fake news imitate authentic news sources by making small changes to the URL. You can go to the site and compare the URL with established sources.
  3. Examine the source. Make sure that the news is written by a source that you trust, and that the source has a reputation of being correct. If the news comes from an unknown source, be sure to check
  4. Look after unusual design! A lot of websites which produce fake news, have misspelled words or a clumsy layout. If you see these warning signs, you should be skeptical of what you are reading.
  5. Be aware of the pictures. Fake news often use manipulated photos or videos. Sometimes the photos can be real, but taken out of context. You can search for the picture to see where it comes from.
  6. Check the dates. Fake news may contain timelines that do not make sense, or dates that have been changed.
  7. Check the evidence. Check the writer’s sources to confirm that they are correct. If the news lacks evidence or “trust” unnamed experts, it could be a sign of fake news.
  8. Look at other reports. If there are no other news-platforms which talks about the issue, it could be a sign that the report is fake. If the case gets covered by other platforms you trust, it is more likely that the report is true.
  9. Is it a joke? Sometimes it can be hard to see the difference between false news, humour or satire. Check if the resource usually makes parodies, and if the details and the style of the report indicates that it is only meant as a joke.
  10. Some news are fake intentionally. Be critical to the news you read, and share only news you know are real.