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New Zealand's euthanasia bill passes, referendum to be held

Wellington - New Zealand lawmakers voted Wednesday in favour of making euthanasia legal, paving the way for the issue to be put to voters in a referendum next year.

New Zealand parliament backs euthanasia referendum

Wellington - New Zealand lawmakers narrowly backed a plan Wednesday to hold a referendum on legalising euthanasia alongside next year's general election.The proposal to put the issue to a public vote passed 63-57 during a heated late-night debate in parliament.

Bougainville set to hold long-awaited independence referendum

Port Moresby - The war-ravaged Pacific island of Bougainville will hold a referendum on independence from Papua New Guinea later this year, authorities said Friday, a vote that caps a decades-long peace process and is tipped to create the world's newest nation.

Swiss vote to tighten gun laws, safeguard EU relations

Geneva - The Swiss voted Sunday to toughen their gun laws and bring them in line with EU legislation, heeding warnings that rejecting the change could have threatened relations with the bloc.

Swiss vote to tighten gun laws, safeguard EU relations: early results

Geneva - The Swiss voted Sunday to toughen their gun laws and bring them in line with EU legislation, heeding warnings that rejecting the move could have threatened relations with the bloc, early results showed.

Swiss to vote on tightening gun laws, with EU relations in the balance

Geneva - The Swiss will vote Sunday on whether to bring the country's gun laws in line with EU legislation, with the government warning a 'no' could threaten relations with the bloc.

Independence vote delayed for Papua New Guinea's Bougainville

Port Moresby - A referendum that could lead to statehood for the troubled south Pacific Island of Bougainville has been delayed until the end of the year, top officials meeting in Port Moresby agreed Friday.

Japan's Okinawa 'votes against' controversial US base move: exit polls

Nago - Voters on the Japanese island of Okinawa have rejected the relocation of a controversial US military base, according to exit polls from a non-binding referendum cited by local media Sunday.

Japan's Okinawa to vote on controversial US base move

Okinawa - Residents of Japan's Okinawa go to the polls Sunday in a closely watched referendum on the controversial relocation of a US military base to a remote part of the island.

New Zealand to hold 'referendum' on legal pot

Wellington - New Zealand will hold a referendum on legalising recreational marijuana when the South Pacific nation votes in its next general election in 2020, the government announced Tuesday.

Caribbean islands vote to retain London-based appeal court

Saint John's - A centuries-old London body will continue to have the final say on the administration of justice in two Caribbean ex-colonies after referendums to replace it with a regional court failed to reach the requisite majorities.

Caribbean islanders to vote on whether to retain London-based court

Saint John's - Voters in two Caribbean countries long independent from Britain will wrestle with thorny issues of fairness and sovereignty on Tuesday as they go to the polls to decide whether to keep a London-based body as their final court of appeals or embrace a co...

Regional 'burqa ban' up for vote in Switzerland

Geneva - A second Swiss canton will vote Sunday on whether to introduce a regional "burqa ban", a controversial law that would prohibit all face-covering garments in public spaces.The ballot in northeastern St.

Romania sets October date for anti-gay marriage referendum

Bucharest - The Romanian government announced Tuesday that its planned referendum to change the constitutional definition of "family", so as to prevent same-sex couples from marrying, will be held in October and spread over two days to maximise turnout.

Mattis to visit Macedonia amid concerns of Russia meddling

Washington - US Defense Secretary Jim Mattis announced plans Tuesday to visit Macedonia, ahead of a referendum that could end a years-long spat with Greece over the country's name and pave the way for it to join NATO.

Clinging to power in Africa via constitutional reforms

Moroni - Monday's controversial referendum in the Comoros could allow its president, Azali Assoumani, to seek re-election and retain power beyond 2021, when his currently non-renewable term would otherwise end.

The Comoros at a glance

Moroni - One of the world's poorest countries, the Indian Ocean island nation of the Comoros has endured years of political turmoil, including a spate of coups.

Campaign for new Brexit vote gets boost from ex-minister Greening

London - After two years of government squabbling and parliamentary rifts on Brexit, support is growing for the idea that only another referendum can resolve Britain's future outside the European Union.

US denounces 'climate of fear' that marred Burundi referendum

Washington - The United States on Monday denounced the "climate of fear and intimidation" and "lack of transparency" it said marred a vote on constitutional reform in Burundi and questioned the results.

Armed group kills 26 ahead of Burundi referendum

Nairobi - An armed group has killed 26 people in northwest Burundi, the security minister said Saturday, days ahead of a constitutional referendum that could see President Pierre Nkurunziza rule until 2034.

Google to halt all ads on Irish abortion referendum

London - Google said on Wednesday it will pause all adverts related to the Irish referendum on abortion to be held later this month -- the day after Facebook announced a similar move.

Facebook bans foreign ads targeting Irish abortion referendum

Dublin - Facebook said on Tuesday it will block foreign adverts aimed at Ireland's referendum on abortion later this month.

Ecuador voters bar ex-president Correa from comeback

Quito - Ecuadorans on Sunday voted to bar ex-president Rafael Correa from being able to make a comeback in 2021 by unmistakably backing a referendum question on reimposing presidential term limits.

Ecuador: Correa starts campaign against 'traitor' Moreno

Quito - Ecuador's ex-president Rafael Correa on Saturday kicked off his battle for the support of the ruling party faithful, against President Lenin Moreno.

Swiss government opposes push for national burqa ban

Geneva - The Swiss government on Wednesday opposed an initiative aimed at creating a nationwide burqa ban, saying it was up to the regions to determine if such a ban was appropriate.

Rome to negotiate with regions after autonomy victory

Milan - Italian Prime Minister Paolo Gentiloni said Tuesday that Rome is prepared to negotiate with two of its wealthiest regions "within the limits of the law", after voters supported autonomy.

Regions ready Rome challenge after autonomy victory

Rome - Two of Italy's wealthiest regions were drawing up plans Monday to claw back power and money from Rome after a victory for autonomy campaigners that could deepen divisions in Europe.

Italy regions vote on autonomy bid

Milan - Voters in the northern Italian regions of Lombardy and Veneto were voting Sunday in referendums on autonomy, against the backdrop of Catalonia's push for independence from Spain.

Italy regions vote on autonomy bid

Milan - Voters in the northern Italian regions of Lombardy and Veneto vote Sunday in autonomy referendums attracting additional interest against the backdrop of Catalonia's push for independence from Spain.

Worried, Catalans against independence wonder what next

Barcelona - Asuncion Garcia sits on a bench in Barcelona anxiously reading a newspaper. She points to a graphic of the tumbling share price of CaixaBank, the biggest bank in Catalonia, a region which is threatening to split from Spain.
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