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At 01:33 on Monday, Szymon Szumniak cast his vote at Wroclaw Polling Station No 148, having endured a six-hour queue in the freezing cold, long after the polls were due to close. The lengthy wait, a symbol of the immense engagement in Poland’s parliamentary election, saw a record turnout of over 74%, resulting in the removal of the right-wing Law and Justice party (PiS) from power.

Szymon, an entertainment blogger, recounted the remarkable solidarity shown in the queue, with locals offering blankets, hot beverages, and even entertainment. Similarly heartening instances of community support unfolded, such as a local pizza company distributing free food and redirecting surplus funds to charity, prompting Szymon to stay determined and contribute to the democratic process.

The election witnessed a notable surge in the participation of young voters, with 68.8% of those under 29 turning out, surpassing the turnout of the over-60s, which is an unusual trend. The youth’s support for change was evident in areas like Wroclaw, where the opposition Civic Coalition secured a significant victory over PiS.

Both major parties directed aggressive campaigns during the election, with the government propagating fears of chaos under Civic Coalition, and its leader, Donald Tusk, being labeled a European pawn. In contrast, Tusk emphasized the threat PiS posed to democracy, a message that resonated strongly with younger voters.

The high voter turnout, along with strategic voting efforts, emphasized the significance of this election in safeguarding democratic values and the country’s relationship with the EU. Women’s voices, particularly in response to restrictive abortion laws, were also pivotal, with campaigns urging them to exercise their rights at the ballot box.

With the potential government change, issues such as abortion laws are poised for reform, with promises of terminations on demand up to 12 weeks by the Civic Coalition and Left parties. The mandate from society for such changes underscores the need for the new administration to deliver on their promises.

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According to an exit poll, Poland’s Law and Justice party, led by Jaroslaw Kaczynski, is projected to secure the most seats in the general election but might not secure a third term. The party is estimated to receive 36.6% of the vote, with the Civic Coalition, led by Donald Tusk, closely trailing at 31%.

The high turnout, possibly the highest since the fall of communism, reflects the gravity of the election. While the initial results indicate PiS’s lead, it falls short of the majority needed.

Tusk aims to improve relations with the EU and unlock frozen EU Covid recovery funds, while Kaczynski maintains anti-migration policies. The final government formation depends on potential coalition building, with the fate of Poland’s political future at stake.

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In Germany’s largest state, Bavaria, voters recently participated in a contentious parliamentary election marked by a toxic atmosphere and the rise of populist forces. The far-right Alternative für Deutschland (AfD) aimed for a strong showing but faced accusations of manipulating the truth for political gain, while claiming to be victims of physical attacks and threats.

Tino Chrupalla, an AfD co-leader, was hospitalized after an incident during an election rally, which the party described as a “physical attack,” though police found no evidence of poisoning. Alice Weidel, another AfD co-leader, was placed in a safe house by Swiss police due to security concerns, even though she was on holiday abroad at the time.

On the other side, the Bavarian Greens faced hostility from right-wing factions, including physical attacks on their co-leader Katharina Schulze. Bavaria, once a tranquil and conservative stronghold, is experiencing turmoil as it grapples with various crises, including the Ukrainian refugee influx and the transition to renewable energy.

Despite these challenges, the government has managed to avert economic catastrophe, but public sentiment remains gloomy. The political landscape in Bavaria is increasingly polarized, with right-wing populists gaining traction by opposing climate reforms and presenting themselves as victims of persecution.

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Alberto Núñez Feijóo, the leader of Spain’s opposition conservative party, claimed victory in a snap election but fell short of the desired result as his Popular Party (PP) failed to secure a majority in parliament, even with the support of the far right. Meanwhile, the rival Socialist camp, led by Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez, celebrated as well. The inconclusive outcome leaves Spain facing uncertainty.

Despite the victory claim, Mr. Feijóo’s PP and Vox, the far-right party, together would still be seven seats short of an absolute majority of 176 in parliament, making another election likely towards the end of the year. Pedro Sánchez’s Socialists and their far-left allies appeared pleased with the result, as they criticized the “reactionary bloc” for opposing progress made in the past four years, particularly on issues such as sexual consent, abortion, and transgender rights.

The election turnout was high, with 70% of voters participating, partly due to almost 2.5 million postal votes being cast. Vox remained the third-largest party but experienced a drop in seat numbers, while the newly enfranchised young voters also played a significant role in the election.

Vox leader Santiago Abascal did not show signs of celebration, as his party viewed the election as a stepping stone to a potential “second round” by Christmas, aiming to gain further support for their anti-immigration and anti-feminism platform.

Overall, the outcome of the election left both major parties claiming some level of success, but Spain remains in a state of uncertainty as forming a government will be challenging without a clear majority in parliament.

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354 members of the House of Commons vote in favour of a report from the COVID epidemic ‘Partygate’ incident that said the former prime minister lied about it.

A study that suggested punishing former British Prime Minister Boris Johnson for misleading the legislature about illegal, intoxicated parties hosted during the COVID-19 outbreak was approved by lawmakers in the country.

The report from the privileges committee, which recommended that the former leader should have his parliamentary pass removed, was approved by the House of Commons on Monday by a vote of 354 to 7. It would have also suggested a 90-day suspension from the legislature if he hadn’t already resigned.

Johnson abruptly left the House of Commons ten days ago after reading a draught of the report and branding the investigation a “witch hunt.”

Theresa May, a member of the Conservative Party and Johnson’s predecessor as prime minister, remarked, “It is important to show the public that there is not one rule for them and another for us.”

House of Commons Leader Penny Mordaunt urged lawmakers to “do what they think is right” as she opened the five-hour discussion. Mordaunt, a Conservative like Johnson, declared she will support the Commons Privileges Committee’s findings with her vote.

“This matters because the integrity of our institutions matter. The respect and trust afforded to them matters,” said Mordaunt. “This has real-world consequences for the accountability of members of Parliament to each other and the members of the public they represent.”

A few Johnson supporters stood forward to support the former leader. “I cannot see the evidence where Boris Johnson misled Parliament knowing, intentionally, or carelessly,” said MP Lia Nici.

Rishi Sunak, the prime minister of India, was among the several Conservative MPs who skipped the discussion. He remained aside out of concern for upsetting Johnson’s surviving fans.

The prime minister had “a number of commitments,” according to Sunak’s spokesperson Max Blain, including a meeting with the president of Sweden.

Johnson, who celebrated his 59th birthday on Monday, wasn’t either. He left his position as prime minister in September 2022, although he continued to serve as a member of parliament until June 9, when he resigned after learning of the Privileges Committee’s conclusions.

The debate on Monday was the most recent repercussion of the “Partygate” affair concerning events at Downing Street and other government facilities in 2020 and 2021.

When it was revealed that political staffers had birthday parties, garden parties, and “wine time Fridays” during the pandemic, it infuriated Britons who had abided by the regulations put in place to stop the coronavirus’s spread but were unable to visit friends and family or even say goodbye to relatives who were dying in hospitals.

In response to Partygate, Labour Party MP Chris Bryant claimed that “there is visceral anger” among people.

The Sunday Mirror newspaper’s publishing of a video this week of staff members dancing and drinking at a Conservative Party headquarters event in December 2020, when mingling between different families was prohibited indoors, brought back memories.

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The Home Office reported that on Sunday, more than 600 migrants made it across the English Channel, the most in a single day thus far this year.

Twelve small boats carrying approximately 616 people from France were spotted making the journey. The previous record for this year’s daily high was 497 people on April 22. This year, more than 8,000 migrants have made the journey, which is about 2,000 fewer than at the same time last year. Last week, Prime Minister Rishi Sunak said in a speech in Dover that his plan to reduce the number of migrant boats crossing the Channel was working, and that for the first time, numbers were down.

According to Chris Mason, a political editor at the BBC, crossings into the UK had decreased by a fifth, and the number of Albanians travelling to Britain had decreased by ninety per cent. As of now last year, the total figure had recently passed 10,000. This past year, there were 45,755 crossings all together. Mr Sunak has made lessening the quantity of Channel intersections a vital piece of his prevalence, including by means of the Unlawful Relocation Bill.

Those who attempted to enter the UK without permission would be detained and promptly deported, either to their home country or to a third nation like Rwanda, according to the plans.

Migrants would be prohibited from claiming asylum, and the bill would establish extensive new powers for detention and search. It would still apply to someone who claims to have been a victim of modern slavery or human trafficking.

Campaigners have criticized it severely, and earlier this week, the Joint Committee on Human Rights, made up of MPs and peers, stated that it would violate “a number of the UK’s human rights obligations.”

Despite the fact that the bill has already been approved by the Commons, it was harshly criticized on Monday during a debate in the House of Lords that lasted into the early hours of Tuesday morning. Liberal Leftist Aristocrat Ludford said peers had been “abused, bullied and intimidated” by the public authority over the plans.

But Mr. Sunak and ministers from the government say that tough measures are needed to stop people-smuggling networks from making money off of the risky Channel route. Stephen Kinnock, the shadow immigration minister for Labour, stated that the PM “needs to roll up his sleeves and start doing the hard graft, rather than ploughing on with the headline-chasing, government-by-gimmick approach.” Kinnock was referring to the PM’s strategy.

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US Vice President Joe Biden told Congress that his Russian counterpart, Vladimir Putin, miscalculated how the West would respond when he invaded Ukraine.

Mr. Biden promised in a primetime speech that “freedom will always triumph over tyranny.” His State of the Union address comes at a time when pandemic-weary Americans are grappling with skyrocketing inflation. At this point in his presidency, Mr. Biden is almost as unpopular as Donald Trump.

Mr. Biden announced that the United States would prohibit Russian aircraft from flying in American airspace, following similar bans imposed by Canadian and European authorities.

The US president threatened Russia with more economic retaliation, saying, “He has no idea what’s coming.”

Ukrainian Ambassador Oksana Markarova, who was sitting in US First Lady Jill Biden’s VIP box for the event, was also welcomed by the US president.

Mr. Biden’s State of the Union address, an annual event that pushes a president’s agenda, comes at a time when his personal popularity is at an all-time low.

According to the RealClearPolitics polling average, only 40.6 percent of Americans approve of the job he is doing. Despite the fact that the unemployment rate in the United States has fallen to 4%, inflation has reached a 40-year high.

The homicide rate in the United States has reached a 25-year high.

According to polls, Americans are dissatisfied with Mr. Biden’s handling of the coronavirus pandemic and the chaotic US withdrawal from Afghanistan last year.

On Tuesday night, the president attempted to empathise with hard-pressed working families, saying: “Inflation is robbing them [Americans] of gains they thought they would be able to feel otherwise. I understand.”

However, the invasion of Ukraine, his most serious foreign policy crisis, dominated the opening of his speech.

Mr. Biden spoke with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky hours before his speech to discuss what US assistance he could provide his country after six days of a Russian assault.

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Paving the way for the formation of a coalition government, the biggest separatist party based in Catalonia has extended its support to Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez.

The move has end the deadlock under which Spain was brought by an inconclusive election result.

The support means Spain can no longer look the question of the independence of Catalonia with disrespect.

At this moment, it remains unclear the new coalition government will agree to conduct a formal Catalan independence referendum.

Earlier, an informal referendum conducted by the regional government in Catalonia was supported hugely by the people of the region.

It even paved the way for the emergence of a confrontation between the regional government in Catalonia and the central government.

Meanwhile, another big question that remains is whether the destiny of the punished Catalonian separatist leader will be overturned.

Several Catalonian leaders have been punished severely as the central government has chosen not to take a lenient stand in the independence issue.

Catalonia is a rich territory in Spain. Its culture is a bit different from that of the rest of the country. A considerable number of Catalonians want to be identified with Catalonia than with Spain.

Anyway, the new political development in Spain is a big boost to the Catalonian separatist movement.

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Today, it is a big day for the UK. The entire UK is at present in the polling stations across the country to decide who should rule their country in future. Along with the future of the present government, the British people today will also decide indirectly whether the UK should be allowed to pull back from the European Union. In that sense, the ongoing election is the second referendum on Brexit.

All the three main political parties, the Conservatives, Labour and the Liberal Democrats, have attached their campaign close to the matter of Brexit. When the Conservatives has promised a swift withdrawal of the UK from the EU, the Labour has pledged to seek the opinion of the people of the country on the matter of Brexit again in the form of a second referendum on the hope that the ongoing political turbulence may have changed the mind of the people who earlier cleared the Brexit proposal with a narrow margin.

At the same time, the Liberal Democrats have taken an entirely different stand. It has stongly opposed the idea of Brexit and assured the scrapping on Brexit.

As per a preliminary report, no political party is likely to get a clear majority in the parliament in the latest election. The report also predicts the loss of strength of the Conservatives in the election.

At present, the Conservatives has more than 43 per cent vote share in the country and the Labour has less than 34 per cent. And, the Liberal Democrats has over 12 per cent vote share.

If the Conservatives’ strength comes down below the majority line, then the Brexit will be a much harder thing to achieve.

Anyway, speaking to the media personals, British Prime Minister and Conservative leader Boris Johnson has expressed his confidence in winning the election with a huge majority.

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A Hong Kong pro-democratic activist, who has found himself emotionally disturbed due to the ongoing confrontation between the pro-democracy camp and the Hong Kong administration controlled by the mainland, has alleged, in a footage appeared in a leading International Media website, that the United Kingdom sold out his city to the Communist Country of China during the 1980s.

Until the year 1997, the city of Hong Kong was under the UK. In that year, it was handed over to China – but, with a condition that it would not threaten the lifestyle and values the people of the city inherited from their colonial master.

But, the present reality is different. Now, there are many in the city who shares the same opinion as that of the aforementioned activist.

It is the China’s increased interference in the internal affairs of the city that has fuelled the formation of a strong anti-China sentiment in the minds of the youngsters of the city.

At present, China rules Hong Kong as per a one country two system policy. What the pro-democratic faction fears is the gradual transformation of this policy to a much-aggressive one country one system policy – which is capable enough to threaten the present lifestyle and values of the people of the city.

They consider some of the policies the pro-China Hong Kong administration have introduced in the recent past including the much opposed bill seeking the easy extradition of crime suspects from the city to the mainland as the predecessor of that possible transformation.

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