Politics

Millennial Intelligencer: Controversial Tax Credit Cut Divides British Parliament And Society

Conservative MP’s in the British House of Commons have come under fire in recent days following a controversial measure which would cut tax credits for many middle and lower income British citizens.

Earlier this month the House of Commons passed a controversial measure proposed by the Chancellor of the Exchequer; (equivalent to Treasury Secretary) George Osbourne, that would cut an estimated £4.5 billion in tax credits to lower income British citizens.

In a major political defeat, the traditionally ceremonial House of Lords blocked the government supported tax cuts in what has been dubbed by some Conservatives as a “Constitutional Crisis.”

Peers in the upper house voted by a majority of 17 to back the opposition Labour Party’s calls for the government to provide full redress to tax credit claimants who would be affected when their entitlements are reduced; as well as, a delay in implementation of the tax credit cuts until the government has effectively assessed the full financial impact of the measure.

The tax credits were introduced by the previous Labour Government as a way to encourage work and give aid to low income British workers and families with children.

According to the Institute for Fiscal Studies, the average tax credit family-single earner family with children- would lose an estimated £1,000 annually as a result of the cuts.

Prime Minister Cameron defended the cuts during last Wednesday’s Prime Minister’s Questions, stating that any cuts not made to tax credits would have to be made to the police or the NHS.  The Prime Minister also stated his belief that the average family families will still be better off by 2017, as a result of the introduction of the National Living Wage.

In an interview with the BBC, Chancellor Osborne agreed to listen to people’s concerns and announce any modifications to the plan in November. The Chancellor maintained his belief; however, that reforms to the tax credit system were necessary to strengthen the British economy and provide economic security to families in the long run.

“If we have uncontrolled welfare bills, uncontrolled tax credit bills and the like, there will be no security for working families,” Osborne said.

The cuts were supported by David Cameron and a majority of Conservatives in the House of Commons; however, a number of Conservatives publicly challenged the measure.

Welsh Conservative Leader, Andrew Davies, stated that he supported the idea behind the reform but said he could not support the timing of the cuts insisting that the cuts should be phased in over a period of time. The majority of Scottish MP’s also raised concerns over the measure including the leader of the Scottish National Party who called the measure, “A daft idea”.

Chancellor Osbourne is expected to announce a modified version to the measure sometime in November. In an interview with the BBC, Chancellor Osborne agreed to listen to people’s  concerns but maintained his belief that reforms to the welfare system were necessary to strengthen the British economy and provide economic security to families in the long run.

“If we have uncontrolled welfare bills, uncontrolled tax credit bills and the like, there will be no security for working families,” Osborne said.

 

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Cover Photo Credit: DFID – UK Department for International Development/ Flick (CC By 2.0)

House Republicans Nominate Paul Ryan As Next Speaker, Expected To Take Office Thursday

House Republicans overwhelmingly voted for Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI) to be the party’s nominee to be the next Speaker of the House in a vote Wednesday afternoon.

Ryan made quick work of his only active opponent for the job- Rep. Daniel Webster (R-FL) and is expected to face a full house vote tomorrow before taking office. (Ryan is expected to easily win the full house vote, considering his party has a solid majority.)

According to the Huffington Post, the final vote count among Republicans was 200 votes for Ryan, 43 votes for Webster, 1 vote for Rep. Marsha Blackburn (R-TN.) and 1 vote for Kevin McCarthy (R-CA).

If he is elected tomorrow, Ryan will be the youngest Speaker of the House since the Civil War.

Cover Photo Credit: Tony Alter/ Flickr (CC By 2.0)

Mike Tyson Just Endorsed Donald Trump Because Of Course He Did

How’s this for an October surprise? (Yeah not really.)

Mike Tyson, the former world heavyweight champion of the world endorsed Donald Trump in his campaign for President today.

The endorsement came during a HuffPost Live broadcast where Tyson was promoting his Adult Swim television show, “Mike Tyson Mysteries.”

“He should be president of the United States,” Tyson said said in the interview. “Let’s try something new. Let’s run America like a business, where no colors matter. Whoever can do the job, gets the job.”

Watch the interview below in a Huffington Post video: 

Cover Photo Credit: Eva Rinaldi/ Flickr (CC By 2.0)

U.S. Universities Struggle With Specter Of Concealed Weapons Laws

By Camila Saenz

Mass shootings across the United States seem to be rising at an alarming rate.

Fears of mass shootings on college campuses are also acute in the nation and there are some who wish to add more weapons to the mix in order to fix the problem.

A new law- known as the Campus Carry Law will be going into effect in Texas on August 1, 2016, the date marking the 50th anniversary of the UT Tower sniper shooting.

The UT Tower sniper shooting was one of the first mass shootings on a college campus in the United States, when a former U.S. Marine killed 16 people.

Read More: Donald Trump Says He Would Take In 0 Syrian Refugees During National TV Town Hall

The Campus Carry law will allow for those who have a concealed weapons permit to carry a handgun on campus.

“I’ve spent my whole life around guns. I grew up in Texas hunting. I spent 37 years in the military. I like guns, but I just don’t think having them on campus is the right place,” University of Texas System Chancellor William McRaven told CNN.

McRaven is a former Navy SEALs admiral responsible for directing the raid that killed Osama bin Laden.

 “It isn’t about restricting people it is about making sure students feel safe on their campuses.”

UT Professor Daniel Hamermesh has already announced his intention to retire from the University.

“With a huge group of students my perception is that the risk that a disgruntled student might bring a gun into the classroom and start shooting at me has been substantially enhanced by the concealed carry law,” Hamermesh wrote to the UT president.

At Florida International University in Miami, many students and staff are against Campus Carry and do not want for the law to become active in Florida.

“I would rather that statute didn’t pass,” Alexander Casas, chief of the University’s police department told the FIU student newspaper, the Beacon.

Casas told the Beacon that more guns on a college campus would only make the situation more dangerous.

“Campus carry not passing would not infringe on our second amendment,” said Nicole Perdomo, a FIU student said. “It isn’t about restricting people it is about making sure students feel safe on their campuses.”

Eight states allow students and staff to carry concealed weapons on the grounds of public colleges: Colorado, Idaho, Kansas, Mississippi, Oregon, Utah, Wisconsin and Texas.

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Cover Photo Credit: F Delventhal/Flickr (CC By 2.0)

Miami Shores Councilman Resigns From Office, Says “It Just Isn’t Fun Anymore”

Miami Shores councilman and former Vice Mayor Jesse Walters resigned from office on Tuesday in a surprise announcement that has jarred the local political scene.

Walters announced his resignation before Tuesday’s regular Village Council meeting and was replaced by Mac Glinn, the man who barely lost out on a seat in the council election held in April. Glenn will serve out the remainder of Walters term, which runs out in April of 2017.

Walters will continue as the Executive Director of the Miami Shores Chamber of Commerce.

In an interview with Rise News, Walters said he resigned because he no longer enjoyed the job.

“It just isn’t fun anymore and I crossed it off my bucket list,” Walters said.

CouncilmanJesseWalters

Former Miami Shores councilmember Jesse Walters. Photo Credit: Miami Shores Village.

Walters also said that the tenor of correspondence between himself and members of the Shores community has grown darker in recent months.

“Some of the people that email you are really really angry,” Walters said. “I just feel like a huge weight has been lifted off my shoulders.”

Walters said that he intended to stay an active member in the community and now has more time to spend with his family.

“We love it here,” Walters said. “The vast majority of people are nice and great.”

Rise News reached out to Glinn but could not reach him before the publication of this story. We will update it with his comments.

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Freshly appointed Miami Shores council member Mac Glinn. Photo Credit: Facebook

Glenn did post a message to Facebook however celebrating his new role in the community.

“While I was very sorry to see Jesse resign and I am grateful for his years of service to the Village, I am also very honored to have been selected and am excited about this chance to directly influence our Village’s path forward,” Glinn wrote on the social media site. “I cannot thank you enough for all you did this year to help me reach this incredible opportunity. I look forward to the opportunity to deliver on the faith you have placed in me.”

Walters made news in in 2011, when he was only the fourth openly gay public official elected in the history of Miami-Dade County.

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Cover Photo Credit: Phillip Pessar/ Flickr (CC By 2.0)

Religious Tensions Rise As Indian Elections Come To Fore

Last week, India entered the second of five phases of voting for seats within the Indian Parliament.

This is the first major election in India since the conservative Indian People’s Party (BJP); led by Narendra Modi, won a landslide victory in the 2014 General Election. This election is viewed by many as a major test of approval for Modi’s policies as Prime Minister.

In addition to a reflection on Modi’s performance as Prime Minister, this election has taken a much greater significance as religious tension flares throughout the country. The tension comes as a result of conflict between India’s Hindu majority and other religious minorities.

In late September a 50 year old man in northern India was killed in a mob lynching allegedly over rumors that his family had been storing and consuming beef at home. The lynching took place in the state of Uttar Pradesh, one of a number of states that have imposed tightened laws banning cow slaughter and the sale and consumption of beef on religious grounds.

“We would want the BJP to win all the state elections because only then can significant social, political and cultural changes take place in this country,” said RSS Joint General Secretary Dattatreya Hosabale.

Uttar Pradesh is a traditional stronghold for the Hindu nationalist group, The Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS). The RSS was founded in 1925 as anti-colonial organization, but since independence has advocated for Hindu first policies in the hopes of uniting the Indian people under the Hindu faith. The RSS is the ideological forerunner to the BJP, and Prime Minister Modi was a volunteer with the RSS during his youth.

In addition to the lynching in the Uttar Pradesh region, the Punjab region of India has also erupted into violent protests by the region’s Sikh population following the destruction of copies of the Sri Guru Granth Sahib – Sikhism’s holy text.

The RSS played a major role in the BJP’s electoral victory in 2014, as a majority of the BJP’s ground volunteers were also members of the RSS. Likewise, the RSS is now running a grassroots campaign to ensure a victory in the upper house of Parliament for the BJP.

“We would want the BJP to win all the state elections because only then can significant social, political and cultural changes take place in this country,” said RSS Joint General Secretary Dattatreya Hosabale. “The 2014 election victory should be seen as the starting point of a long term mission.”

Read More: Deep Dive into the issue by Reuters

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Photo Credit: Al Jazeera English/ Flickr (CC By 2.0)

John Oliver Brings Americans Up To Speed On Today’s Canadian Election, Bashes Stephen Harper

While most Americans probably have no idea that there is a very important election going on in Canada today, John Oliver took to the air last night to try to bring us all up to speed.

And it was pretty hilarious.

Oliver made it clear that current Prime Minister and Conservative Party leader Stephen Harper is unfit for another term in office because of his regressive policies regarding minority rights and marijuana use among other things.

And while he poked fun at the two other main candidates for Prime Minister, Oliver saved his most devastating scorn for the current leader of the country.

If you are in a time crunch, we recommend jumping ahead to the 13:20 mark so you can see a really funny cameo from Mike Myers. Let’s just say that he touches on a certain landmark moment.

Watch: John Oliver begs Canada not to vote for Stephen Harper again. 

 

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Photo Credit: Screenshot/ Youtube (HBO)

Here’s What Obama Said When He Signed The Iran Nuclear Agreement Sunday

President Barack Obama officially signed the controversial nuclear agreement with Iran Sunday afternoon after Iran’s parliament passed the measure last week.

The agreement will offer relief from crippling economic sanctions on Iran if that country complies with numerous provisions designed to stop the country from developing nuclear weapons.

Much has been written about this issue. But here at Rise News, we believe in sometimes cutting through the confusion and just bringing you straight information from world leaders.

Here is what President Obama said about the agreement in a statement after signing it on “adoption day.”

“Today marks an important milestone toward preventing Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon and ensuring its nuclear program is exclusively peaceful going forward. On this Adoption Day of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) reached between the P5+1, EU, and Iran, JCPOA participants will make necessary arrangements and preparations for the implementation of their JCPOA commitments. Today, Iran begins to take the steps necessary to implement its JCPOA commitments, including removing thousands of centrifuges and associated infrastructure, reducing its enriched uranium stockpile from approximately 12,000 kilograms to 300 kilograms, and removing the core of the Arak heavy-water reactor and filling it with concrete so that it cannot be used again, among other steps. These next steps will allow us to reach the objectives we set out to achieve over the course of nearly two years of tough, principled diplomacy and will result in cutting off all four pathways Iran could use to develop enough fissile material for a nuclear weapon. I am confident in the extraordinary benefits to our national security and the peace and security of the world that come with the successful implementation of the JCPOA.

I have directed that the heads of all relevant executive departments and agencies of the United States begin preparations to implement the U.S. commitments in the JCPOA, in accordance with U.S. law, including providing relief from nuclear-related sanctions as detailed in the text of the JCPOA once the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) has verified that Iran has completed all of its nuclear steps. We will also be closely monitoring Iran’s adherence to its commitments, working closely with the IAEA and the other JCPOA participants, to ensure Iran fully fulfills each and every one of its commitments.

I welcome this important step forward, and we, together with our partners, must now focus on the critical work of fully implementing this comprehensive resolution that addresses our concerns over Iran’s nuclear program.”

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This Hilarious Video Makes A Pretty Important Point About Voting

Hey Americans, here’s something that we can be happy be about. It turns out that we aren’t the only wealthy democracy that has a hard time getting young people to show up to the polls and vote.

In Canada, youth rights activists are trying to drum up excitement for the next general election, which takes place on October 19.

At stake is the future of the country, as the Conservative Party hopes to maintain their 10 year lock on power.

During the last general election in 2011, less than 39 percent of young people aged 18 to 24 voted. At the same time however, 75 percent of people aged 65 to 74 voted in the race.

The group VoteSavvy thinks those numbers are all wrong and set out to dramatically increase youth turnout for the 2015 election.

They released this funny video explaining why young people shouldn’t let their parents make all important decisions in their lives, including in the dating and political spheres.

Watch:

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Cover Photo Credit: Vote Savvy/ Screenshot of Youtube

Exclusive: The Rent Is Too Damn High Guy Is Running For President In 2016, And He’s Totally More Reasonable Than Trump

Jimmy McMillan is best known as the founder and leader of the Rent Is Too Damn High party in New York state.

He is also a perennial candidate for public office, having run for Governor of New York in 2010, President in 2012 and in a number of other races dating back to the early 1990s.

He is running for office again in 2016, this time for president as a member of the Republican Party.

Perhaps only in the strange show that is the 2016 GOP primary for president would McMillan’s candidacy actually make sense.

It still doesn’t, but in a race with the likes of Donald Trump, Ben Carson and Carly Florina leading the pack, McMillan actually sounds like a viable alternative.

He has a plan to unite young people to form a quasi-conservative counterweight to the Tea Party in the GOP.

He also really doesn’t like Democrats; believing that the party manipulates minorities to vote for them and blames President Barack Obama for much of the nation’s issues.

If you close your eyes and ignore the periodic conspiracy theories that he spouts in a reserved tone, then you can almost envision McMillan on the debate stage next to Bobby Jindal and George Pataki. (If not Ted Cruz and Mike Huckabee.)

In a phone interview with Rise News, McMillan said that he was running as a Republican so he could reach out to young people.

“My job is to put the presidency in perspective. They’re [his opponents] all contributors to the failures of this nation,” McMillan said in a phone conversation last week. “We’re at the crossroads right now where the candidates running for president don’t really know what’s going on in America.”

McMillan came to national fame in 2010 when he basically hijacked a debate for New York Governor and pressed his famous message, a screed against the high cost of living in the City into nearly every answer he gave- “the rent is too damn high!”

Five years on from that viral campaign and McMillan is back to being being a fairly obscure figure. But his message and ideology have remained pretty consistent. He wants to lower the high cost of living in the country and things that statewide leaders are clueless on how to get it done.

He has special scorn for the current and former governors running for president in 2016.

“If they [governors] would have reduced the cost of living in their states, then we’d be in a different position but they didn’t do that,” McMillan said. “The governors need to come to my class to learn how to create jobs in their states.”

McMillan said that he also has an agenda for how to take America back over from “third world countries”, something that he contends is a legitimate thing.

Greg Fisher, a teacher from Long Island is his running mate. Because why not?

Here’s what a McMillan/Fisher administration would bring to America:

-Supports canceling student loan debts for all Americans.

-Wants to bring martial arts to the White House for national demonstrations. 

-Supports reducing the cost of living while also encouraging wealthy people to spend more money to spur economic growth. 

-Improving the Veterans benefits system. 

If you look past the martial arts thing, those are actually legitimate, close to mainstream political views.

So why should we take this person any less seriously than Donald Trump?

Like Trump, McMillan is also really quotable. Here’s some of the best verbatims from our 45 minute conversation:

“I endorsed Deez Nutz, he’s only 15 but he sees what’s wrong with this nation.”

“We have a precedent right now, not a president,” McMillan said in reference to President Obama being the first African-American president.

“The Democratic Party has used the minority people to get elected. The’ve used ministers, who I think are the biggest nincompoops in the world to brainwash minorities.”

“I have nothing to say about Trump. He’s not saying anything about policy, he’s just talking about Trump.”

Photo Credit: dumbonyc/Flickr (CC By 2.0)

Photo Credit: dumbonyc/Flickr (CC By 2.0)

” When I ran in 2012, I wanted Donald Trump to be my running mate.”

“Here in New York, you have a mayor and a governor who are stuck on stupid.”

“I’m a Vietnam vet. The Viet Cong almost caught me but I knew two things: how to speak Vietnamese and how to smile.”

“Even if the whitest guy in America found out that he has that nigger in him then it would make a difference,” McMillan said while talking about educating all Americans about our common African ancestry.

“I’m not African-American. I’m Jimmy McMillan, I’m a Vietnam veteran.”

“We’re not trying to reach out to conservatives. We’re trying to get young people to vote. When mommy and daddy go to the polls, try to put some butter on the ground or a banana  peel on the ground to get them to slip so they don’t vote.”

“I want to talk to the people in the street. I want to be the father of the country. It’s time for daddy to say its all alright. I’ll be daddy.”

Well what say you America? Ready to call Jimmy McMillan daddy? That probably beats the hell out of calling Donald Trump Mr. President.

Like this piece? Rise News just launched a few weeks ago and is only getting started. Follow us on Facebook and Twitter to stay up to date with global news. Have a news tip? (No matter how big or small!) Send it to us- editor@risenews.net. 

Cover Photo Credit: Paul Stein/ Flickr (CC By 2.0)

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