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Reform News

Leading Saudi women's activist vows to return and drive

Sydney - A Sydney-based Saudi rights activist who led a campaign for women to drive in the conservative kingdom Thursday vowed to return and become one of the first to legally get behind the wheel.

Saudi Arabia wins plaudits for ending ban on women driving

Riyadh - Saudi Arabia's historic decision to allow women to drive won plaudits internationally and inside the conservative kingdom on Wednesday, as euphoria mixed with disbelief among activists who long fought the ban.

Vatican says it axed chief auditor for spying

Rome - The Vatican said Sunday it had been forced to oust its former auditor general -- who resigned without explanation in June -- because he had been spying on senior officials.

Auditor claims Vatican axed him for probing illegal activity

Rome - The Vatican's former auditor general, who resigned without explanation in June, said Sunday he was forced out after his investigations into possible illegal activity hit too close to home."Let me be clear: I did not voluntarily resign.

China to change state-owned firms into corporations

Bejing - China said Wednesday it would move to transform all state-owned companies into corporations by the end of this year, as part of efforts to reform the sclerotic industrial giants.

Sluggish reforms blot pope's four-year report card

Vatican City - Elected in 2013 with a brief to reform a scandal-hit Vatican, Pope Francis has launched numerous initiatives but, four years later, he is still struggling to deliver real change.

Obama urges more progress on criminal justice reform

Washington - The United States has "much work to be done" to reform the criminal justice system and humanize the prison system, President Barack Obama said Thursday in a Harvard Law Review article.

Pope tells Vatican to put women, lay experts into top jobs

Vatican City - Pope Francis on Thursday told Vatican officials to start appointing women and lay people to top jobs in the Curia, the Holy See bureaucracy that he is seeking to shake-up.

Qatar abolishes dreaded 'kafala' labour system

Doha - Qatar on Monday formally announced the end of its controversial "kafala" system, arguably the biggest ever labour reform undertaken by the 2022 football World Cup host nation.

Desert industrial city points to Saudi economic future

- In the desert, far from the skyscrapers and busy streets of its big cities, oil-dependent Saudi Arabia is looking to build its future on two other natural resources.

Polish lawmakers adopt lower retirement age

Varsovia - Polish lawmakers on Wednesday voted to reinstate a lower retirement age of 65 for men and 60 for women starting in 2018, despite questions over its effect on public finances.

EU faces big changes, with or without Britain

Brussels - The atmosphere in Brussels has been surreal for weeks -- business goes on as usual, officials are barred from using the word "Brexit" and life proceeds as if Britain's EU referendum does not exist.

French citizens' movement calls for worldwide demos on May 15

Paris - The French citizens' movement "Nuit debout" that has been holding a nightly sit-in in central Paris for more than a month called on Saturday for demonstrations on May 15 around Europe and the world.

Who are France's masked cobblestone throwers? Opinions abound

Paris - French political activists agree with the government that small groups of "troublemakers" are to blame for violence that has marred many of the protests seen nationwide over the past two months, but their identity is largely a matter of conjecture.

France touts good economic news as violent protests persist

Paris - France's embattled Socialist government seized on good economic news showing "solid growth" on Friday after fresh protests over planned labour reforms descended into violence.

Twelve arrested after clashes at Paris youth protest

Paris - Twelve people were arrested overnight in Paris during clashes between the police and anti-government demonstrators following the nightly "Nuit Debout" sit-in, police said.

Violence crowds in on France's 'Up All Night' protests

Paris - The "Up All Night" protests that are sweeping France are increasingly being marred by violence and police have warned the organisers not to let their peaceful cause be hijacked by troublemakers.

Varoufakis rallies anti labour reform protesters in Paris

Paris - Former Greek finance minister Yanis Varoufakis on Saturday addressed opponents of the French government's workplace reforms at a protest in Paris, telling them the planned changes would "devalue labour".

Violence erupts at protests over French labour reforms

Paris - Twenty-two people were arrested in Paris during clashes with police at a demonstration over labour reforms seen as threatening workers' rights, French police said Saturday.

New violence in protests over French labour reforms

Paris - Sporadic violence erupted as tens of thousands of people took to the streets in dozens of French cities on Saturday in the latest protests against labour reforms seen as threatening workers' rights.

French youths scuffle with police in labour reform protest

Paris - French youths set off smoke bombs and scuffled with police on Thursday as they protested against proposed labour reforms, despite government climb-downs on the contentious bill.

Senegal submits president's reform to limit terms

Dakar - Senegalese leader Macky Sall's proposal to limit presidents to two consecutive terms was Monday submitted to the constitutional council, putting him at odds with several fellow African heads of state criticised for clinging to power.

Pope speeds up Vatican streamlining in surprise synod move

Vatican City - Pope Francis on Thursday accelerated his streamlining of the Vatican bureaucracy by announcing plans to create a new ministry which will increase the role of lay believers in the Church.

Italy Renzi victory as Senate votes to fall on its sword

Rome - Italy's Senate voted Tuesday to relinquish most of its power in a revolutionary move aimed at ending decades of political instability, to the delight of a triumphant Premier Matteo Renzi."The long history of inconclusive politics is over.

Teachers strike in France to protest school reforms

Paris - Teachers in France went on strike Tuesday to protest against a proposed reform of secondary education that has become a bitter battleground for one of the country's rising political stars.

WHO chief announces operations shake-up after Ebola shock

Ginebra - The World Health Organization will dramatically reform its emergency response operations this year, its chief said Monday, after the UN agency faced blistering criticism for its slow Ebola response.

Italy's cabinet green-lights school reform bill

Rome - Italy's cabinet on Thursday adopted Prime Minister Matteo Renzi's school reform bill, which he said would see 100,000 substitute teachers given permanent contracts and extra funds designated for teacher development.

Cleaning ladies first winners in new anti-austerity Greece

Athens - The reinstatement of the cleaning ladies at Greece's finance ministry was perhaps the most symbolic measure announced by the new anti-austerity government of Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras on Wednesday.

Pope's scathing attack on Vatican plagued by ills

- Pope Francis lambasted the Vatican's bureaucracy on Monday, saying some within the Church lusted for power and suffered from "spiritual Alzheimer's" in comments likely to outrage his adversaries.

Games chiefs give green light for joint Olympic bids

Monaco - The International Olympic Committee on Monday voted to allow Olympic Games to be hosted by two countries as it started passing sweeping changes to the world's biggest sporting event.
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Protesters in Madrid  Spain on 29 March 2012
Protesters in Madrid, Spain on 29 March 2012
Alvaro Minguito
Protesters in Madrid  Spain on 29 March 2012
Protesters in Madrid, Spain on 29 March 2012
Carol
Workers across Europe protest against government austerity policies
Workers across Europe protest against government austerity policies
Alvaro Minguito

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