February 12, 2013 |
In a key victory Tuesday for same-sex couples in France, a measure allowing them to marry and adopt children passed the lower house of Parliament, the National Assembly. The measure, pushed through by the Socialist administration of President Francois Hollande, passed by a vote of 329 to 229. It now goes to the Senate, which is also controlled by the Socialists and their allies. A vote is scheduled for April 2. If the bill passes in the Senate, France will join 11 other nations, including Portugal, Spain, Sweden, Norway, the Netherlands and South Africa, where same-sex marriage is legal.
December 19, 2012 |
MOSCOW - Russia's parliament took a first step Wednesday toward banning the adoption of Russian children by American parents, a move intended as retaliation for an anti-corruption law recently passed by Congress. The State Duma, the lower house of parliament, voted 399 to 17 in favor of a bill that included the ban and also would annul an adoption agreement between the two countries that Russia ratified in July. The measure still has to be approved by the upper house and signed by President Vladimir Putin, who has sent mixed signals about his support.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
November 12, 2012 |
SACRAMENTO - The next class of the Legislature will be stocked with a new variety of lawmaker, the product of a new political order intended to foster moderation, compromise and foresight in an institution not known for such things. Able to serve longer in one house under revamped term limits, the newly elected will have time to develop expertise. They may well be more accountable to voters because their seats will no longer be safe as they were when districts were gerrymandered to maintain the status quo. And their moderation, born of more balanced districts and nonpartisan primaries, can serve as a check on Democrats' emerging supermajorities in both houses.
September 15, 2012 |
MOSCOW - A prominent opposition activist was stripped of his seat in the lower house of the Russian parliament Friday, a move that heightens concern the Kremlin will continue its aggressive crackdown on political dissent. Gennady Gudkov, 52, a protest movement leader and member of the opposition Just Russia party, was expelled by a 294-151 vote of the State Duma, controlled by President Vladimir Putin's United Russia party. Gudkov, once an ally of Putin, called the action political vengeance by the Kremlin.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
July 19, 2012 |
SACRAMENTO - Lawmakers gave raises worth $4.6 million annually to more than 1,000 of their aides before cutting the pay of most other state workers, newly released records show. The lawmakers said they were trying to make up for several years without staff pay increases. "Modest adjustments based on individual performance were appropriate," after pay and hiring freezes during the previous four years, Senate President Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg (D-Sacramento) said in a statement.
July 14, 2012 |
MOSCOW - Russian lawmakers this week passed three measures to increase government control over the Internet, media and foreign-funded activist groups, despite widespread protests from Web professionals, journalists and human rights advocates. A bill that criminalizes libel and imposes fines of up to $153,400 on violators, and a measure that requires nongovernmental organizations, or NGOs, that receive foreign funding to register as "foreign agents," were approved by the lower house of the parliament Friday, the last day of the legislative session.