Battle Over Animal Rights Almost Brings Down the Polish Government

KASZEWSKA WOLA, Poland — When the European Union condemned Poland’s government for demonizing gays and lesbians, the country’s governing coalition defiantly stood together. When state media was accused of spreading hate speech that fueled violence, the governing parties brushed off concerns. And when protests erupted against efforts to control the judicial system, they pressed ahead regardless.

Then came the minks.

Proposed legislation that would ban the farming of minks, semiaquatic mammals prized for their fur, and put in place a range of protections for other animals, opened deep divisions in the coalition that almost brought down the government.

It took the intervention of Jaroslaw Kaczynski, the head of the dominant Law and Justice Party, to quell the uprising for now by taking on a formal role that allowed him to act as a buffer between opposing factions.

The bill, which gained momentum after a documentary aired on Polish television showing

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Q & A-Twists and turns in Atlantia’s battle with Italian government

MILAN, Oct 5 (Reuters)More than two years after a bridge collapse killed 43 people in Genoa, the Italian government is threatening to strip Atlantia’s ATL.MI Autostrade per l’Italia of its lucrative concession to run much of Italy’s motorway network.

The dispute seemed to have been resolved in July when the government approved a plan that would see Atlantia pull out of Autostrade to make room for state lender CDP.

But that agreement risks unravelling, after talks with CDP stalled, prompting the Benetton-backed group to launch a competitive sale process for Autostrade.


Under the plan brokered by the government on July 14, CDP was expected to cooperate with Atlantia on the spin-off of its 88% stake in Autostrade to secure control of the business along with allied investors.

The deal, however, did not fully address the financial details and was subject to

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Swedish government faces battle to stay in power as labour talks fail

STOCKHOLM (Reuters) – Sweden’s minority government faces a potential rebellion by three small parties that keep it in power over plans to ease rules in the country’s rigid labour market.

Talks between trade unions and employer organisations broke down early on Thursday, handing the job of finding a solution to the Social Democrat-Green government. The government needs the backing of the Left Party as well as two small centre-right parties to pass its budgets.

Prime Minister Stefan Lofven had promised the two centre-right parties that if the unions and employers fail to agree new practices, the government would adopt proposals made by a commission to ease first-in-last-out rules, which critics say hamper companies’ ability to adapt to changing conditions.

Left Party leader Jonas Sjostedt said he would try to bring down the coalition if that plan goes ahead.

“Stefan Lofven cannot remain as prime minister if he plans to put

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Democrats focus Supreme Court battle on fate of health-care law under Trump

“Obamacare is terrible. It doesn’t work. We’ve made the best of it,” Trump said at a White House news conference, one day after he had introduced Judge Amy Coney Barrett as his nominee to succeed the late Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg.

Democrats say Trump is rushing the nomination in hopes of improving his reelection chances and in preparation for a potential court fight over the results. But with little chance to block Barrett’s confirmation, Democrats are increasingly turning to the practical question of her vote in a case the high court will hear a week after Election Day.

“If we can end Obamacare and come up with a much better health-care system that’s much cheaper and much better, which is what we’ll do,” the country would be better off, Trump said.

Democrats think Barrett could spell the end of the law’s popular guarantee that health care cannot be denied to

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Despite Claims, Trump Rarely Uses Wartime Law in Battle Against Covid

As schools reopen and cold weather heightens the likelihood of a spike in coronavirus cases, nurses and doctors fear that shortages of the respirator masks, surgical gowns and disposable gloves needed to shield them from infection will return with a vengeance.

President Trump has sweeping powers to compel companies to produce protective gear and to guarantee that the federal government will pay them for it — and as his election campaign intensifies, he has been boasting about aggressively using them. But in fact, most of his administration’s use of that authority, granted under the Cold-War Defense Production Act, has had nothing to do with the pandemic.

A White House report released last month claimed that Mr. Trump has wielded the act nearly 80 times to alleviate shortages of masks and other medical supplies.

“My administration has harnessed the full power of the Defense Production Act to achieve the greatest industrial

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