Trump chastises reporter while detailing Putin phone call

Trump chastises reporter while detailing Putin phone call

Trump answers questions from the media after meeting with Slovak Prime Minister Peter Pellegrini. #DailyBriefing #FoxNews

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Why do Central European nationalists love Israel?

ReutersReuters
Hungarian Prime Minister Orban and Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu attend a news conference in Budapest

Periods of major political transformation have never been particularly easy for Jews, and the current moment is no exception. Anti-Semitism is ascendant in Europe and many fear that the resurgence of nationalism will exacerbate it.

But there is a twist: anti-Semitism’s rise in Europe is being accompanied by a growing fascination among Europe’s hard right with Israel and, in particular, its prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu. This captivation is particularly acute among the governing national populist parties in Central Europe, a region where anti-Semitism has historically found fertile ground.

Central European leaders view Mr. Netanyahu as a close ally. Last year, the Visegrad Group, an organisation for cooperation between Central European countries, announced plans to hold a meeting in Israel — its first outside of Europe. That plan was ultimately foiled by a spat between Poland and Israel over the Holocaust, but the symbolism was nonetheless significant and leaders from the three remaining Visegrad Group countries — Hungary, the Czech Republic and Slovakia — went to Israel. For his part, Mr. Netanyahu has cultivated relationships with Central European populist leaders. He called Viktor Orban a ‘true friend of Israel’ at the same time that prominent members of the Jewish community in Budapest were criticizing the Hungarian leader for the anti-Semitic tones of his campaign against George Soros.

Why are Central European populists attracted to Mr. Netanyahu’s Israel in the way that Western European leftists of the 1960s and ’70s were once mesmerized by Fidel Castro’s Cuba?

Israel’s Eastern European politics

Undeniably, there is realpolitik here. Israel is a rational actor and like any rational actor, it wants allies. Mr Netanyahu sees in the governments of Central Europe potential defenders within the European Union who could help dampen pressure from Brussels over Israel’s checkered human rights record. To that end, he has frequently visited the region. His efforts have been repaid: The Czech Republic, Hungary and Romania recently blocked a European Union statement criticising the United States over its plan to move its embassy in Israel to Jerusalem.

For Central European governments, a special relationship with Israel is a way to benefit from Israel’s dynamic economy and cosy up to President Trump and his pro-Israel administration. It is widely believed in the region that in order for a leader of a small Central European country to get an invitation to visit the White House, he should either buy a lot of American military equipment or Mr Netanyahu should lobby for the visit.

But the populist alliance with Israel is…

Political Risk Is on the Rise in Europe. Here’s Why.

  • Recent election results suggest that the political landscape in several European countries is fragmenting. This fragmentation will make general elections harder to predict and slow the formation of new governments.
  • Government coalitions will likely become more heterogeneous, which in turn will lead to more complex policymaking.
  • These developments will increase uncertainty about the policy direction of countries, leading to higher political risk across the Continent.
  • Increasing political volatility at home will make it harder for governments to participate in decisions at the continental level, potentially slowing the decision-making process in the European Union.

European politics has entered a period of political fragmentation. Across the Continent, mainstream political parties are losing ground to new competitors, parliaments are becoming more atomized, negotiations to form governments are taking longer and the overall policy direction of countries is getting harder to predict. This development is increasing political risk across the Continent, as companies, institutions and households are forced to operate in a political atmosphere that is becoming harder and harder to read.

Political risk is on the rise in Europe, with the electoral landscape in some of the Continent’s largest economies becoming more fragmented. In the coming years, political trends in Europe will force social, economic and political actors to operate in a context of increased uncertainty.

A Decade of Increasing Divisions

Election results in Europe’s largest economies over the past decade show increasing divisions in the political landscape. This fragmentation has manifested in different forms. In some cases, the number of political parties represented in parliament has increased. In Germany, for example, the 2017 general election produced its most fragmented parliament in the postwar period with seven political parties winning seats in the Bundestag, up from five in the previous election in 2013. Similar sitiuations unfolded in the Netherlands, where the number of political parties in parliament rose from 10 in 2010 to 13 in 2017, and in the Czech Republic, where the number of parties winning parliamentary seats went from five in 2006 to nine in 2017.

In other places, the number of parties with seats in parliament has remained stable or even decreased, but mainstream parties have lost ground to new rivals. To assess this trend, we looked at the number of parties that received at least 10 percent of the vote, a symbolic electoral threshold that increases a party’s chances of becoming a relevant political force, particularly in countries where coalitions of several parties are necessary to form governments.

Spain, which holds a general election on April 28, is this trend’s paradigm. For decades, the center-left Socialists and the center-right People’s Party dominated Spanish politics and would jointly obtain roughly 80 percent of the vote. In recent years, however, the popularity of these parties decreased as new forces emerged to their right and to their left. So, while there are fewer overall parties in Spain’s parliament than a decade ago, the distribution of seats is much more balanced. In Italy, two parties received more than 10 percent of the vote in 2008; four did in 2018. That trend was mirrored in France, where four parties obtained more than 10 percent of the vote in the first round of elections for the General Assembly in 2017, up from only two in 2007.

A chart showing the results of the past three parliamentary elections in Europe's 20 largest economies, illustrating the Continent's political fragmentation.

Multiple factors are driving these developments. Across Europe, there is a widespread feeling that the traditional political forces are out of touch with the reality of millions of families, and voters are looking for new options. The economic crisis of the 2010s damaged the popularity of mainstream political parties and contributed to the emergence of new, sometimes anti-establishment, political forces on the right and the left. The immigration crisis has also contributed to the emergence of nationalist and anti-immigration parties across the Continent. The emergence of more extremist parties has forced centrist parties to move further to the right or to the left to compete, deepening polarization in many countries. This phenomenon is not exclusive to the European Union. In Norway, which is not a member of the continental bloc, the data also shows that the political landscape has become more fragmented.

Naturally, there are exceptions. In Poland, for example, the number of parties in parliament has been…

French President Emmanuel Macron: ‘We Will Rebuild Notre Dame’ | Katy Tur | MSNBC

French President Emmanuel Macron: ‘We Will Rebuild Notre Dame’ | Katy Tur | MSNBC

French President Emmanuel Macron spoke out following the Notre Dame Cathedral fire in Paris. Macron said the historic church will be rebuilt within five years. No one was killed in the fire but two police officers and a firefighter were injured.
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French President Emmanuel Macron: ‘We Will Rebuild Notre Dame’ | Katy Tur | MSNBC

Gingrich praises Macron’s response to Notre Dame fire

Gingrich praises Macron's response to Notre Dame fire

Citing reconstruction efforts after World War II, former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich expresses confidence that Notre Dame Cathedral will be restored to its former glory following devastating fire. #AmericasNewsroom #FoxNews

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Notre Dame Cathedral fire is out, French firefighters say

Notre Dame Cathedral fire is out, French firefighters say

Inspectors descend on the iconic Parisian landmark to check the cathedral’s structural integrity following massive blaze; Greg Palkot reports. #AmericasNewsroom #FoxNews

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Notre Dame’s mournful remains seen in haunting new images

Notre Dame’s mournful remains seen in haunting new images

Here are the first images inside Notre Dame Cathedral after a fire destroyed its roof and iconic spire. #FoxNews

FOX News operates the FOX News Channel (FNC), FOX Business Network (FBN), FOX News Radio, FOX News Headlines 24/7, FOXNews.com and the direct-to-consumer streaming service, FOX Nation. FOX News also produces FOX News Sunday on FOX Broadcasting Company and FOX News Edge. A top five-cable network, FNC has been the most watched news channel in the country for 17 consecutive years. According to a 2018 Research Intelligencer study by Brand Keys, FOX News ranks as the second most trusted television brand in the country. Additionally, a Suffolk University/USA Today survey states Fox News is the most trusted source for television news or commentary in the country, while a 2017 Gallup/Knight Foundation survey found that among Americans who could name an objective news source, FOX News is the top-cited outlet. FNC is available in nearly 90 million homes and dominates the cable news landscape while routinely notching the top ten programs in the genre.

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Europe urged to reject US Middle East plan if it is unfair to Palestinians

Donald Trump and Benjamin Netanyahu in Washington DC

High-ranking former European politicians have condemned the Trump administration’s one-sided Israel-Palestine policy and called in a letter for Europe to reject any US Middle East peace plan unless it is fair to Palestinians.

The letter, sent to the Guardian, the EU and European governments, was signed by 25 former foreign ministers, six former prime ministers, and two former Nato secretary generals.

“It is time for Europe to stand by our principled parameters for peace in Israel-Palestine,” read the letter, calling for a two-state solution in which Israel and Palestinian states live side by side.

Europe, it said, should reject any plan that does not create a Palestinian state alongside Israel with Jerusalem as the capital for both countries.

“Unfortunately, the current US administration has departed from longstanding US policy,” it said, criticising Donald Trump’s 2017 recognition of “only one side’s claims to Jerusalem”.

Washington had also “demonstrated a disturbing indifference to Israeli settlement expansion” in the occupied West Bank and cut hundreds of millions of dollars in aid to Palestinians, a move the letter said was “gambling with the security and stability of various countries located at Europe’s doorstep”.

Since taking office, and amid praise from Israel’s government, Trump has taken measures seen as both punishing to Palestinians and which also stifle the viability of a Palestinian state.

The US president has promised to unveil a still-secret “ultimate deal” for Israelis and Palestinians, although the Palestinian leadership preemptively rejected it as biased, and Israel’s leader, Benjamin Netanyahu, categorically ruled out a Palestinian state.

The US team tasked with drafting the plan includes Trump’s son-in-law, Jared Kushner, and the US ambassador to Israel,…

Dangerous products could swamp UK after Brexit, warns Which?

Child playing with slime.

Dangerous cars, electrical goods and toys could flood into the UK after Brexit unless the government urgently reforms the current “failing” safety enforcement system, a consumer group warned on Monday.

Which? says the public will be vulnerable to delays in spotting and dealing with unsafe products unless continued access to the European Safety Gate system is negotiated.

Its new analysis shows the scheme, under which 31 European countries alert each other to products with serious safety problems, issued 34% more notifications in 2018 than a decade ago.

In recent months, alerts have included a toxic children’s putty that could damage youngsters’ reproductive systems, and clothing which posed a strangulation risk.

Recall notices have also appeared for fire-risk HP laptop batteries, explosive Honda airbags and a…

Kate and Gerry McCann given full custody of Brexit

Kate and Gerry McCann will be given full custody of Brexit after PM Theresa May called them both a ‘safe pair of hands’, citing their previous experience dealing with European authorities.

After the Prime Minister conceded that her negotiations were going nowhere, she sought out the best that Britain has to offer.

‘To some, Brexit is…