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New Spanish government is dominated by women

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Spain has sworn in a new government which for the first time in the country’s history includes more women than men.

Prime Minster Pedro Sanchez‘s Socialist government features 11 women, including in top jobs such as defence, finance and economy, and six male ministers.

In Europe, only Sweden has more female ministers – 12, compared to 11 men.

Mr Sanchez hailed his new government, which has the highest proportion of women in a current cabinet, as “unmistakably committed to equality”.

He vowed his government would be “modernising and pro-European” through sharing “the same vision of a progressive society”.

Mr Sanchez replaced the conservative ex-PM Mariano Rajoy, who lost a confidence vote in parliament amid a corruption scandal.

Pedro Sanchez will be Spain's new prime minister
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Spain’s new prime minister Pedro Sanchez

Many of the new ministers are drawn from outside politics, such as former astronaut Pedro Duque, who has been appointed minister of science, innovation and universities.

Other appointments include prosecutor Dolores Delgado as justice minister; former president of the European parliament Josep Borrell as foreign minister; and journalist and author Maxim Huerta as culture and sports minister.

Catalonia-born Meritxell Batet is tasked with dealing with the divisive issue of Catalan independence and trying to keep Spain united as territorial minister. Mr Sanchez said the nation was “indivisible”.



Mariano Rajoy reacts to Catalonia separatists' election victory








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Spanish PM Mariano Rajoy ousted in no-confidence vote amid corruption scandal

Although Spain has never had a female PM, the country now joins a handful of nations including France and Canada where more than 50% of the government is female.

Madrid’s government is 61.1% female, with Finland the only country to do better in terms of gender equality: in 2015 its government was 64.7% female, according to the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development.

Spanish political commentators believe that one of Mr Sanchez’s biggest challenges will be addressing corruption in the country.

His minority government will rely on a confidence-and-supply agreement with smaller parties as the Socialist Party has only 84 out of 350 seats in parliament.

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US election 2020: ‘I voted for a guy named Trump’ – President casts his ballot in Florida | World News

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The president has cast his ballot in the US election, telling reporters: “I voted for a guy named Trump.”

After voting in West Palm Beach, Florida, Mr Trump also took the opportunity to attack mail-in ballots – warning that they can never be as secure as voting in person.

Describing his experience at the polling station as “perfect and very strict”, he added: “It was a very secure vote – much more secure than when you send in a ballot, I can tell you that.”

The president said that that he will be holding “three big rallies” today, and claimed: “I hear we’re doing very well in Florida and every place else.”

To secure the White House, winning in Florida is essential.

The state has consistently voted for the victor in every election except one since 1964 – and no Republican has won without the state in almost a century.

With 29 electoral college votes up for grabs, it’s the largest swing state and crucial for gathering the 270 votes needed.

Most polls show Mr Biden narrowly ahead in Florida. History suggests that, if Mr Trump loses here, he’ll likely lose the White House.

The election will take place on Tuesday 3 November – just under two weeks away.

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Coronavirus: Police find suspected illegal pub – complete with bar, 70in TV, toilet, pool table and smoking area | World News

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Police in Ireland have searched a suspected illicit pub, or “shebeen”, on suspicion of breaching coronavirus measures.

The property near Athy in County Kildare was targeted by Gardai officers on Friday evening.

The force had launched an investigation after they became aware of the premises, and the fact people were congregating in a breach of social distancing rules, through social media.

Police found a room that contained a pool table and large TV screen
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Police found a room that contained a pool table and large TV screen

Gardai searched the suspected shebeen at about 8pm and found a fully operational bar in a repurposed state.

Shebeen is an Irish term which refers to an illicit bar or club where alcoholic drinks are sold without a licence.

The premises was fitted with a bar, stools, tables, chairs, a 70in flat-screen television, and a full-size pool table.

There were several beer taps on the bar, along with an under bar cooler and kegs.

There was also a smoking area, store room and toilet on the premises.

Officers seized five kegs of beer, a significant amount of spirits and bottled beers, and various bar equipment including the taps, gas and coolers.

A full investigation is now under way and files will be prepared for the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP).

A bin outside the premises was full of empty drinks bottles
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A bin outside the premises was full of empty drinks bottles

The investigation in Ireland comes as a man in Manchester has been given a £10,000 fixed penalty notice after officers closed down a party with over 50 people in attendance.

Officers were called to a report of a party at a flat on Simpson Street in Angel Meadows shortly after 11.20pm on Friday night.

DJ mixing decks, industrial speakers and a buffet was found by officers on arrival.

A total of 52 fines have been handed out since Greater Manchester went into Tier 3 restrictions.

Assistant Chief Constable Mabs Hussain, of Greater Manchester Police, said: “This party was a blatant disregard of the rules and for public health. It is totally unacceptable in the current crisis the whole world is facing and is not what we want our officers to be spending their time doing.

“We had no alternative but to issue the maximum penalty for breaching the legislation on large gatherings and I hope this serves as a reminder to those considering to flout the rules – we will take action.”

It comes after a wedding attended by around 250 guests was shut down by police last week.

Officers were first called to the venue on Old Kent Road at 20:20hrs on Sunday 18 October, after concerned residents suspected the address was being burgled.

It appeared that those attending the ceremony had closed the shutters at the front of the venue, in an attempt to mask the celebration.

Police dispersed crowds at the scene.

Two people at the event were advised that they had been reported for consideration of a fixed penalty notice.

Detective Superintendent Nicky Arrowsmith, said: “This event was a blatant breach of the regulations and could have been a breeding ground for transmitting the virus.

“There were over 200 people inside, no social distancing and indeed no attempts to make the venue COVID secure, in line with the government guidelines.”

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Terminator star Schwarzenegger feels ‘fantastic’ after latest heart surgery | Ents & Arts News

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Terminator star Arnold Schwarzenegger has told fans he feels “fantastic” after undergoing heart surgery.

The 73-year-old former governor of California said he had been given a new aortic valve.

In 2018 he was given a new pulmonary valve to replace one he received in 1997 due to a congenital heart defect.

In a social media post, he thanked doctors from the Cleveland Clinic in Ohio and told the city’s residents he had been out and about enjoying the sights since his operation.

Photos showed him giving a thumbs-up from his hospital bed and exploring Cleveland.

Schwarzenegger talked in May about the surgery.

In the online graduation video, he admitted he could have died, adding: “The reason why I’m telling you all this is because no matter how successful you are, life will throw obstacles in your path, like it was with my heart surgery or your graduation now.

More from Arnold Schwarzenegger

“But if you have a very clear vision like I talked about earlier, of exactly what you want to do and who you want to be, you can go and find a way around all of these obstacles.

“That’s what life is all about, overcoming obstacles.”



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