Politics

US Capitol (East Side). Image: Martin Falbisoner
Breaking News News Politics

US Government Shuts Down (ARTICLE UPDATED)

The federal government of the United States was shut down Friday at midnight.

The shutdown means that most of the services provided by the federal government won’t be available.

It happened because the government failed to get enough votes to pass its 2018 federal budget; it needed 60 votes but only got 50. (The budget is an important document that details how the government will spend money. Without a budget, the government cannot fully operate.)

Both of the major parties in the United States are blaming each other. The Democrats are blaming Trump and his Republican Party and vice-versa.

The reasons for the shutdown are complicated, and they have to do with the fact that government bills are usually about more than one thing. Voters have to agree to the whole bill when they vote for it. One of the reasons the Democrats didn’t vote to pass the budget had to do with the “DACA” part of the bill.

Head shot of Robert Mugabe, taken in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, in 2009.
News Politics

Zimbabwe Leadership Uncertain

Robert Mugabe has been the president of Zimbabwe since 1987.
Anyone younger than 37 years old in the African country has never had another leader.
Now, many people in Zimbabwe, as well as the military, want him to step down–to leave the job so they can choose a new president.
There have been demonstrations in the country, as tens of thousands gathered in Zimbabwe’s cities to make it clear that they wanted Mugabe to leave his job. The military placed Mugabe under house arrest.
However, he may try to hold onto power.

News Politics

US Democratic “Election Wave” In Virginia

Last week, some elections were held in the U.S. state of Virginia, to choose a new governor and other leaders.

There were some surprising results in that election; some key Republicans lost their positions to Democrats.

The new governor, Ralph Northam, was elected on Nov. 7. He is a Democrat.

Republicans are currently in power in the United States; the president, Donald Trump, most of the leaders in the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives and most U.S. governors are Republican. The Democrats are the other major political party in the United States.

News Politics

Quebec’s Bill 62 Bans Face Coverings For Public Workers

People in Quebec are worried that Muslim women could be denied certain public services, after the government passed a “religious neutrality” bill.
The province’s Bill 62 was passed by the Quebec provincial government on Oct. 18. It says that people who work for the government in certain jobs must have their face uncovered. It also requires people who are using government services — for instance, riding a bus or using a library — must do so with their face uncovered.
It also bans public workers, like doctors and teachers, from covering their face while they are working.

LGBT Canadian Flag. Image: Osado
News Politics

Canada Passes Bill C-16 To Give Transgender People Equal Rights

In Canada, it will soon be a law that transgender people cannot be treated differently than other people are treated.

What is transgender? It refers to a person who doesn’t feel like they are the gender (male and female are two genders, for instance) that they were assumed to be when they were born. For instance, a person who was originally thought to be male and who is known as male, but doesn’t feel like they are male. (And the same for female.)*

Last week, Bill C-16 was approved by the Canadian Senate. It says no one can discriminate against transgender people. (In this case discriminate means treat them differently than they would be treated if they were not transgender.)

Theresa May. Image: UK Home Office
News Politics

Theresa May’s Majority Becomes A Minority

The British Prime Minister may be regretting her decision to call an early election.
Theresa May and her political party, the Conservative Party, were the leaders in the UK (United Kingdom). They had a “majority” government. (In other words, they had more “seats”—or representatives—in the House of Commons than all of the other political parties, combined.) That’s important, because having a majority means that you can really get things done—you won’t be voted down by the other parties. May hoped that by holding an election, she could expand her majority even more.
However, things didn’t go as she planned.

News Politics

Trump Fires FBI Director

US president Donald Trump fired the head of the FBI last week. When he did that, he shocked many people. The FBI is a special organization in the United States that investigates (looks carefully at) problems and issues. The FBI has been investigating an issue that Donald Trump cares about. They have been trying to figure out if some people in Russia influenced the US election, and helped get Trump elected. (No outside country is allowed to affect the results of a US election.)

Emmanuel Macron. He is standing outside, with a fountain in the background. He is wearing a natty blue suit and tie. For some reason, he is also wearing a mic. I have no idea why, but it doesn't really affect the image which, essentially, is a nice photo ofMacron. Image: gouvernement.fr
News Politics

French Elect Emmanuel Macron As President

France has a new president. On May 7, the French people elected Emmanuel Macron.

It was an important decision for France. Macron’s opponent was Marine Le Pen, a “far-right” politician. If she had won, France may have pulled out of the European Union* (EU). That would have meant big changes not only for France, but possibly the whole EU.

Many people in Europe are relieved that Macron won the election. Macron is a “centrist” politician, which means he’s in the “middle” – not too far “left” or “right.”** His win means that France will stay in the European Union.

Kids News Politics

Malala Yousafzai Becomes Honourary Canadian

Malala Yousafzai has a message for Canadian kids: Don’t wait, to make a difference. Just because you’re young doesn’t mean you can’t be a leader.
Yousafzai is an activist for children’s rights, and particularly the right for girls to get an education.
In this case, “activist” means that she tries to get that message out, no matter how difficult that may be for her.