Latest blog articles
Poles stage new protests over planned abortion restrictions
WARSAW, Poland (AP) — Polish women again donned black and took to the streets on Sunday, launching another round of protests against efforts by the nation's conservative leaders to tighten Poland's already restrictive abortion law.
A large group gathered Sunday outside the parliament building in Warsaw, chanting "We have had enough!" Polish media reported that similar protests were happening in cities and towns across the country.
The street protests are expected to continue on Monday, when some women also planning a strike, boycotting jobs and classes.
Similar protests took place earlier this month against a proposal for a total ban on abortion. But lawmakers rejected that proposal after massive crowds of women dressed in black staged streets protests under their umbrellas in the rain.
The latest round of demonstrations, held under the slogan "We are not putting our umbrellas away," was organized in response to a new proposal that would fall short of a total ban, but outlaw abortions in cases where fetuses are unviable or badly damaged.
Jaroslaw Kaczynski, the head of the ruling Law and Justice party, said recently he wants the law to ensure that women carry their fetuses to term even in cases of Down Syndrome or when there is no chance of survival. The move would allow for baptisms and burials, Kacynski said.
His socially conservative party won parliamentary and presidential elections last year with the support of Poland's powerful Roman Catholic church, Catholic media outlets and religious voters. Many observers see the attempts to further restrict abortion as a way for the party to re-pay its debt to its religious base.
However, the proposals have proven too restrictive for many Poles, including some who voted for the party.
Abortion was legal and easily available under communism in Poland, but after communism's fall the country re-embraced many of its Catholic traditions. The current law, passed in 1993, bans most abortions, with exceptions only made in cases of rape, if the mother's life or health is at risk, or if the fetus is irreparably damaged.
Official statistics show there were 1,040 legal abortions in Poland last year, although many more abortions are known to take place, with women or traveling to neighboring countries for the procedure or ordering abortion-inducing pills online.
BUSINESS IN BRIEF 15/11
ACFTA brings opportunities, challenges to farms The zero per cent tax on Chinese agricultural products exported to Viet Nam and ASEAN has increased domestic concerns about market domination, though others are optimistic, seeing competition as an opportunity for Vietnamese agriculture to change and rebound.According to agreements under the ASEAN–China Free Trade Agreement (ACFTA) for the 2016 to 2018 period, thousands of commodities from the ACFTA member countries will enjoy an import tax of… chat_bubble_outline Read More...
December 10 designated Vietnam Coffee Day
VietNamNet Bridge – The Viet Nam Coffee and Cocoa Association will celebrate the first Viet Nam Coffee Day, December 10, at the Youth Cultural House in HCM City. To mark the great contributions made by the coffee industry to the country’s development, the Government has designated December 10, the day President Ho Chi Minh visited Dong Hieu coffee farm in Nghe An Province in 1961, as Viet Nam Coffee Day, Luong Van Tu, the association’s chairman, said.A seminar on the future of the coffee… chat_bubble_outline Read More...
Moody’s: Outlook for Vietnam’s banks stable
Moody’s has forecast that the Vietnamese banking system will remain stable in the next 12-18 months, reflecting its expectation that the country’s macroeconomic stability will support the banks’ weak credit profiles. In a report titled “Banking system outlook -- Vietnam: Resilient economic growth drives stable outlook”, released on December 1, Moody’s analyst Daphne Cheng said: “The banks’ balance sheet buffers are weak because of the size of their legacy problem assets. But while legacy… chat_bubble_outline Read More...
Factbox: Quick action Trump could take on energy, environment and climate
By Valerie VolcoviciWASHINGTON (Reuters) - Donald Trump - a big supporter of the U.S. oil, gas and coal industries - has promised to get to work quickly after being sworn in as president of the United States, raising expectations that he will sign a slew of executive orders.Here are some of the executive actions and other maneuvers that could come quickly, related to energy, the environment, and climate change:CLEAN POWER PLANTrump, a Republican, has promised to kill Democratic predecessor… chat_bubble_outline Read More...
China rejects Uganda ivory trafficking claims against diplomats
Beijing (AFP) - China on Thursday rejected allegations that two of its diplomats working in Uganda were involved in the trafficking of ivory from the African country.The Chinese embassy officials are suspected of helping move ivory from the Democratic Republic of Congo, the Central African Republic and South Sudan, using Uganda as a transit point, Ali Munira, a spokeswoman for Uganda's top anti-corruption body, told AFP this week.Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni has ordered a probe into… chat_bubble_outline Read More...