1. “No one will silence me as long as I can breathe.” Geert Wilders makes closing remarks at trial appealing his conviction for inciting discrimination
2. Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer elected as CDU leader as Merkel bids farewell
The Christian Democratic Union has elected Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer as leader, marking the start of a new era for Germany’s ruling party.
Kramp-Karrenbauer succeeds Angela Merkel, 64, who will step down as leader of the CDU but stay on as chancellor for the remainder of the parliamentary term.
CDU delegates, made up of 1,001 career politicians, lawmakers, mayors and councilors, voted to decide the new leader on Friday.
Kramp-Karrenbauer won most support in the first round, but a final round was needed to determine an outright winner.
She faced onetime rival of the Chancellor and former parliamentary leader, Friedrich Merz, winning with 517 votes from 999 votes cast by delegates.
3. Jeremy Corbyn tells EU's centre-left politicians he wants to build a “socialist Europe”
A Labour government would work to build a “socialist Europe” both inside and outside the EU institutions, Jeremy Corbyn has said.
Speaking at a meeting of left-of-centre parties in Lisbon on Friday, the Labour leader promised to emulate the success of Portugal’s left-wing government, which has reversed austerity policies and seen positive economic results.
Mr Corbyn said the continent’s centre-left parties needed to throw off the “failed neoliberal policies” of recent decades and find solutions to people’s problems – or they would find themselves displaced by the “fake populists of the far-right.”
Almost uniquely among centre-left groups in Europe, the Portuguese Socialist Party is riding high in the polls and winning elections. It is governing on a left-wing platform with ad hoc support from the Left Bloc, the Greens, and Portuguese Communist Party.
4. Germany most prolific at attempting to send Migrants to other EU countries
Germany, whose Chancellor Angela Merkel issued a call for unlimited numbers of migrants to travel to Europe in 2015, has also made the highest number of attempts to return migrants to other EU countries.
Dublin asylum regulations permit member states to attempt to return asylum seekers to the first European Union country the migrants arrived in.
According to figures released by Eurostat Thursday, Germany topped the list of attempted returns with 63,326 in 2017, followed by France (41,243), Austria (10,482), and Greece (9,559).
5. Irish lecturer stabbed to death in Paris had “insulted the Prophet Mohammed”, says his Pakistani killer
An Irish university lecturer stabbed to death by one of his former students had allegedly “insulted the Prophet Mohammed”, his killer has told French police.
The 66-year-old academic, named locally as John Dowling, was attacked and stabbed 13 times outside the Paris university where he worked on Wednesday.
Ali R., a 37-year-old Pakistani national, has confessed to the killing and told police he held a personal grudge against the teacher after failing his exams last year.
6. UN envoy slams opposition to Migrant Pact as Latvia is latest to pull out
The UN slammed “xenophobic” terms like “illegal immigrant” which it said was behind “negative reactions” to the migration pact, as Latvia revealed it would be the latest nation to withdraw from the controversial agreement.
On Thursday, lawmakers in Latvia voted 43 in favour and 31 against a resolution urging the government not to sign the Baltic country up to the so-called Global Compact for Safe and Orderly Migration, which is due to be ratified in Marrakech in just a few days’ time.
Though the government had previously expressed its full support for the framework, which declares mass migration to be “inevitable, necessary and desirable”, earlier in the week Latvia’s outgoing Prime Minister, Maris Kucinskis, promised to “adhere to parliament’s decision, whatever the outcome,” reported AFP.
Explaining why she voted to keep Latvia out of the agreement, New Conservative Party (NCP) lawmaker Dagmāra Beitnere-Le Galla, said the country “cannot be allowed to commit suicide”, adding that she could not support joining a treaty “so poorly prepared for a document that may have major implications throughout the entire world.”
7. Pro-Palestinian, Anti-Zionist, Anti-CNN protest in NYC in support of Marc Lamont Hill
On December 1, 2018, a pro-Palestine, anti-Zionist, and anti-CNN protest was held in New York City following CNN's firing of Marc Lamont Hill over comments about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict at the United Nations. Nancy Mansour, who is the founder of the pro-Palestinian organization "Existence is Resistance," said that the Zionists pressured CNN to fire Hill, and that she hopes this will be the beginning of a real fight against "anti-Semitic, white supremacist Zionists." Zacharia Barghouti of the Palestinian Youth Movement (PYM) said that the PYM recognizes that Israel cannot be a Jewish ethno-state and democratic simultaneously. Alexi Shalom from "In Our Lifetime – United for Palestine" said that Israel is not a state and that anti-Zionism is the fulfillment of the human rights of oppressed people all over the world.
8. France: Chaos in Toulouse: Students rise up against educational reforms
9. France Braces for Act 4 of Yellow Vest Protests.
France is bracing for a fourth consecutive weekend of violence, with competing marches Saturday by so-called "yellow vest" protesters and those demanding climate action. While authorities are reinforcing security and closing iconic sites, it is unclear if it will be enough to stop the wave of violence that amounts to President Emmanuel Macron's biggest crisis to date.
Related: Yellow Vests say “No” to Marrakesh
10. Belgium PM reshuffles government after government crisis
BRUSSELS — Prime Minister Charles Michel reshuffled his government after the leading coalition party said it could not accept Belgium backing a U.N. migration pact due to be endorsed early next week.
After days of teetering on the brink of collapse, the centre-right government decided to continue without the N-VA party, whose party leader Bart De Wever said that “we cannot agree with this pact.”
Michel had already said at the United Nations in September that he would endorse the pact at the U.N. meeting in Marrakech, Morocco next Monday. And late Saturday he said that “I stand by my word, I will leave for Marrakech.”
The departure of the right-wing N-VA leaves Michel with a coalition of Liberals and Christian Democrats, a minority government which will make governing difficult.