Friday news roundup July 12, 2019
MPs voted to legalize same-sex marriage and decriminalize abortion in Northern Ireland. The UK House of Commons supported both measures via amendments to legislation designed to run Northern Ireland in the absence of a devolved executive. There has been no devolved government in Northern Ireland since January 2017, following the collapse of a power-sharing deal between the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) and Sinn Fein. Tuesday’s votes could prove to be complicated for whoever takes over from Theresa May as the UK’s new prime minister, as Boris Johnson and Jeremy Hunt have both said same-sex marriage and abortion should remain issues for the devolved government in Stormont.
A German court ruled that an Islamic State wife and her children must be repatriated to Germany. The Berlin court said the children would suffer if they remained in the al-Hol refugee camp in Syria. It is the first such ruling in the country and came about the woman's family sued the foreign ministry after officials refused to help her return to Germany. The court explained that “inaction” meant the three children would be faced with “serious, unreasonable and unavoidable disadvantages.” Dozens of German wives of suspected Islamic State fighters and at least 100 children remain in Syrian refugee camps, according to the BBC, living in terrible conditions.
If confirmed for the role of president of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen says her new cabinet will be 50% women. The nominee to replace Jean-Claude Juncker would also be the institution’s first female president. von der Leyen has asked EU member states to nominate two people, one man and one woman, as their candidates to be their EU Commissioners to ensure the posts can be divided equally between genders. The Commission president leads a college of Commissioners drawn from each of the EU member states. The Commission is responsible for proposing new EU laws, which are then scrutinized by the parliament and council.
The dividends for moving abroad to work are rising, especially for the under 35s. According to HSBC’s Expat 2019 Global Report, young expat workers can achieve a 35% pay increase, up from 30% in 2017. The gains for older workers are also respectable—24% for those aged 35?54, and 8% for those 55 and over. Pay is not the only reported benefit, the majority of expats surveyed said moving abroad for work also helped them learn new skills and become more confident. A large number also said they had become more creative as a result.