Ghana to make its climate policies legally binding
Ghana is considering enshrining its climate policies into law so as to send the right message to development agencies that the country is committed to climate mitigation and adaptation efforts. Peter Dery, Head of Climate Change and Sustainable Development Unit of the Ministry of Environment warned that until regulations are turned into laws their enforcement would face more challenges. The Readiness Programme was rolled out in June 2015 and comprised a series of workshops on climate policies and procedures.
S. Africa’s Cape Town considering legal action over water crisis
The City of Cape Town is considering legal action to compel the national government to come to its rescue as a depeening water crisis is gripping the city, opposition Democratic Alliance (DA) Mmusi Maimane. “This is not a finger pointing exercise. It is about ensuring that the Constitution is given effect to and that the rights of citizens and ratepayers are fought for and protected,” Maimane said at the launch of the “Defeat Day Zero” campaign in Cape Town. Cape Town, a drought-stricken city administered by the DA, is expected to become the first metropolis in the world to run out of water on April 12, known as Day Zero. Maimane said Day Zero has become “a very real possibility” as dam levels are currently at 27.2 percent as of now with 17.2 percent usable water left.
These are the US states where cannabis is legal
The United States is gradually becoming the land of the red, white, and green. On 1 January, it became legal to smoke marijuana without a doctor’s letter in nine states and use medical marijuana in 29 states. Support for the drug reached new highs in 2017. A Gallup poll showed that 64% of Americans favor legalisation, and even a majority of Republicans back it. The booming industry was expected to post nearly USD 10B in sales in 2017. Here are some of the states where you can legally light up: Nevada, California, Massachusetts, Maine, Colorado and Alaska.
Could Iceland’s equal pay law work in the US?
The New Year ushered in a new wage policy in Iceland, where it is now illegal for companies to pay men more than women for the same job. The policy requires companies with more than 25 employees to certify that they pay equally, regardless of gender or ethnicity. This move has drawn international attention, especially from the United States, where women still make substantially less than men.
One in three people with legal problems in UK develop health issues
Almost one-third of those with legal problems in the UK report developing a stress related or physical illness as a result of their experience, according to a new international survey comparing people’s perceptions of justice around the world. In the UK, 31% of respondents with a legal problem over the past two years said they had become ill, the same figure as Canada and 1% higher than in the United States. Of the 45 countries surveyed, Ethiopia came out highest in this category at 41%.
Brexit bill proceeds to upper house of UK Parliament
The UK House of Commons voted 324-295 to pass the European Union (Withdrawal) Bill, also known as the “Brexit” bill, after concluding its third and final reading of the bill. This is the primary bill that the parliament must pass to successfully accomplish UK’s withdrawal from the EU, and, among other things, repeals the European Communities Act of 1972 (ECA), transfers four decades of EU-derived domestic legislation and direct EU legislation into UK statutes so as to continue their legal effect in the UK post exit, preserves any rights, powers, liabilities, obligations, restrictions, remedies and procedures guaranteed by the ECA, and eliminates the precedential effect of any judgments or orders put forth by the EU courts.
Lawmakers call on Trump to drop bid for legal immigration cuts
Lawmakers in both parties said that the immigration debate should focus narrowly on efforts to legalise young immigrants known as “dreamers” and beef up border security, suggesting that President Trump’s demands to slash legal immigration levels are likely to sink a deal. Democrats have voiced fierce opposition to a White House plan, released late last week, that featured a path to citizenship for 1.8 million dreamers in exchange for USD 25B for his border wall and sharp cuts to family immigration visas.
Israeli bill strengthens East Jerusalem occupation
Israeli legislators have approved a bill that makes it more difficult to divide Jerusalem. The bill passed early last month stipulates that two-thirds support is needed in the Israeli parliament, the Knesset, before Israel can relinquish control over any portion of the holy city to a foreign entity, according to local media. The bill is widely seen as intended to make it more difficult to give up part of Jerusalem to the Palestinian Authority, which wants the city’s eastern half to be the capital of an independent Palestinian state.
Donald Trump issues legal threat to Steve Bannon after book revelations
Donald Trump’s lawyers threatened legal action against his former right-hand man Steve Bannon, marking a fresh escalation after a day of turmoil that left the White House reeling. A cease and desist letter accuses Bannon of violating a non-disclosure agreement by speaking about his time on Trump’s election campaign to Michael Wolff, whose new book has caused shockwaves in Washington. Trump’s hopes of turning the page on a chaotic 2017 were dashed by extracts from Fire and Fury: Inside the Trump White House by Wolff, first made public by the Guardian. It triggered an ugly and unprecedented war of words between Trump and Bannon.
EU drafting law to restrain Chinese takeovers
A draft EU law to restrain Chinese acquisitions of European firms and technologies is progressing, according to a deputy German minister. Matthias Machnig has said the initiative has found support in European capitals. Matthias Machnig, deputy secretary in Germany’s Economics Ministry, said that EU nations urgently needed a “legislative tool” to examine strategic takeovers and stake-holding by foreign states and, if necessary, powers to intervene. Germany, together with France and Italy, had launched the legislative initiative, which also had European Commission approval and is now subject to consultations within the EU Council of Ministers and the European Parliament, Machnig said.
With Roman law doctrine, India moves to stub out tobacco industry rights
The Indian government is pushing the Supreme Court to apply a rarely used doctrine that would strip the USD 11B tobacco industry’s legal right to trade, an effort aimed at deterring tobacco companies from challenging tough new regulations. New Delhi has for the first time asked the top court to classify tobacco as “res extra commercium”, a Latin phrase meaning “outside commerce,”. If applied, the doctrine – which harkens back to Roman law – would have far reaching implications: in denying an industry’s legal standing to trade, it gives authorities more leeway to impose restrictions.