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media captionJacinda Ardern: “We will not take your support for granted.”

New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has won a landslide victory in the country’s general election.

With all votes tallied, Ms Ardern’s centre-left Labour Party won 49.1%, bringing a projected 64 seats and a rare outright parliamentary majority.

The opposition centre-right National Party won 26.8% in Saturday’s poll – just 35 seats in the 120-seat assembly.

The poll was originally to be held in September but was postponed by a month after a renewed Covid-19 outbreak.

Ahead of Saturday’s vote, more than a million people cast ballots in early polling, which opened on 3 October.

New Zealanders were also asked to vote in two referendums alongside the general election.

Ardern’s outright majority

The Electoral Commission’s final tally also gave ACT New Zealand 8% of the vote (10 projected seats), the Greens 7.6% (10), the Maori Party 1% (1) and others 7.7% (0).

NZ General Election. Final polling and seat projection.  Majority requires 61 seats in 120-seat assembly.

Ms Ardern, 40, told her supporters after the victory: “New Zealand has shown the Labour Party its greatest support in almost 50 years. We will not take your support for granted. And I can promise you we will be a party that governs for every New Zealander.”

media captionJacinda Ardern’s key leadership moments

National Party (NAT) leader Judith Collins congratulated Ms Ardern and promised her party would be a “robust opposition”.

“Three years will be gone in the blink of an eye,” she said, referring to the next scheduled election. “We will be back.”

image copyrightGetty Images

image captionJudith Collins of the National Party has conceded defeat

No party had managed to win an outright majority in New Zealand since it introduced a voting system known as Mixed Member Proportional representation (MMP) in 1996.

Ms Ardern, who dubbed the poll “the Covid election”, pledged to instil more climate-friendly policies, boost funding for disadvantaged schools and raise income taxes on top earners.

A big win driven by star power

By Shaimaa Khalil, BBC News

This was never going to be a nail-biting election. Opinion polls had comfortably put Ms Ardern on course to win a second term. The results have confirmed what everyone already knew.

The real question was how big Jacinda Ardern and her party were going to win and by anyone’s standard this is a remarkable victory.

It’s a big victory for a party that has been carried through by the star power of its leader. Ms Ardern has led New Zealand through a terrorist attack, a natural disaster and a global pandemic – and has done so focusing on kindness and compassion.

But things are going to be different during the second term. New Zealand is in recession for the first time in 11 years and Labour has been criticised for not having a clear Covid-19 recovery plan. A big bulk of the work is going to be turning the economy around with the pandemic still looming large.

It’ll take more than the Ms Ardern’s popularity and charisma to get that done.

What else did people vote on?

Aside from choosing their preferred candidate and party, New Zealanders were also asked to vote in two referendums: the end of life choice on euthanasia and cannabis legalisation.

image copyrightGetty Images

image captionNew Zealanders also voted in two referendums

The first aims to give terminally ill people the option of requesting assisted dying. This is a binding vote, which means it will be enacted if more than 50% vote “yes”.

The second is over whether the recreational use of cannabis should become legal.

This however, is not binding – which means even if a majority of people vote “yes” – cannabis might not become legal straight away. It would still be up to the incoming government to introduce a bill to legalise this.

Preliminary results for both referendums will be announced on 30 Oct

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WATCH: Convoy of Trump supporters’ trucks surrounds Biden-Harris campaign bus to ‘escort it out of Texas’

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Video footage out of Texas shows a convoy of pickup trucks and other vehicles bearing Trump flags and surrounding a Biden-Harris campaign bus, which Democrats called a dangerous harassment effort.

At one point, a black pickup is shown pushing a white sport-utility vehicle that was straddling two lanes out from behind the bus. Eric Cervini, an author who said he traveled to Texas to participate in a driving tour in support of Joe Biden’s presidential campaign, said trucks lined up along Interstate 35 between San Antonio and Austin Friday to “ambush” the Biden-Harris bus, which they surrounded and tried to force off the road.

The bus tour involved a group of Texas Democrats and was meant to “drum up enthusiasm” at polling sites. Cervini said the tour had to be canceled for safety reasons. He said he flagged down a police officer, who declined to help, saying the matter was not his “jurisdiction.”

I flew down to Texas to help with the Biden/Harris bus tour, intended to drum up enthusiasm at polling locations. Instead, I ended up spending the afternoon calling 911. 1/ pic.twitter.com/gKAjv7gv85

— Dr. Eric Cervini (@ericcervini) October 31, 2020

Video shot from another angle shows a different view of the convoy with more than a dozen trucks escorting the Democrat bus up the highway. A blogger who goes by the Twitter account name “L” called the long line of trucks “the most badass thing I’ve ever seen in my life.”

Democrat state Representative Rafael Anchia called the group “armed Trump trolls” and accused them of “ramming volunteer vehicles and blocking traffic for 40 minutes.” Travis County Democratic Party Chairwoman Katie Naranjo said the Trump supporters followed the Biden bus throughout central Texas and yelled curse words and threats.

This is a 1st for me – but we just cancelled a joint event in Pflugerville w/ @JoeBiden campaign, @AustinYoungDems, & more, due to security reasons. Unfortunately, Pro-Trump Protestors have escalated well beyond safe limits. Sorry to all who looked forward to this fun event. https://t.co/tSq4moqro0

— Sheryl Cole (@SherylCole1) October 30, 2020

Another video posted of the convoy indicated that there were about 100 vehicles in the pro-Trump group. A video by Austin television reporter Jordan Bontke purports to show Trump supporters getting in their trucks to follow the Biden-Harris bus.

A joint event that the Biden campaign and a group called Austin Young Dems planned to hold Friday in Pflugerville, north of Austin, had to be canceled for security reasons, Democrat state Representative

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Canadian opposition aghast as Trudeau responds to violence over Mohammed cartoons by saying freedom of expression must have LIMITS

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Canadian opposition party leader Erin O’Toole was appalled by Justin Trudeau’s tepid support for “free speech” in the face of Islamist attacks over Mohammed cartoons, saying the prime minister is undermining a pillar of democracy.

“It is very disturbing when the prime minister sends the signal that he is not protecting freedom of expression,” O’Toole said Saturday on Twitter.

It is one of the pillars of our democracy, and without it, we slide into ignorance.

O’Toole’s rebuke came one day after Trudeau responded to a question about the right to show a caricature of the Prophet Muhammed by saying: “We owe it to ourselves to act with respect for others and to seek not to arbitrarily or unnecessarily injure those with whom we are sharing a society and a planet.”

We will always defend freedom of expression, but freedom of expression is not without limits. 

Trudeau made his comments amid a wave of terrorist attacks in France, which began earlier this month with the beheading of a schoolteacher who had shown his class cartoons of the Prophet Mohammed as part of a discussion of free speech. Those cartoons had been first published by Charlie Hebdo satirical magazine, triggering an outrage all over the Muslim world and a 2015 terrorist attack that killed 12 people at the satirical magazine’s office in Paris.




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France’s president, Emmanuel Macron, last week responded to the schoolteacher murder by defending free-speech rights, leading to calls for a boycott of French products by Turkey and other Muslim countries.

Canada has strong ties to France. In fact, French is the mother tongue of 7.2 million Canadians, or 21 percent of the country’s population. Canada also is home to more than 1 million Muslims.

Trudeau called this month’s terror attacks “unjustifiable,” but appeared to distance himself from Macron. “In a pluralist, diverse and respectful society like ours, we owe it to ourselves to be aware of the impact of our words, of our actions on others, particularly these communities and populations who still experience a great deal of discrimination,” he said.




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Macron says he can ‘understand’ Muslim shock at Prophet Mohammed cartoons, but insists violence is unjustified



Trudeau’s comments were met with criticism  at home and abroad. Quebec journalist Benoît Dutrizac said Trudeau should be forced to resign after making statements that “place him on the side of the worst Islamists.” He added, “We already knew he had bad judgment, but now he’s gone way too far.”

Dear Justin,we don’t live in an ideal world,people mustn’t but everyday they are breaking signal,doing drugs,molesting others,hurting sentiments.If every petty crime’s punishment is beheading each other then why we need a Prime Minister or any law n order? https://t.co/U9ronFrvbZ

— Kangana Ranaut (@KanganaTeam) October 31, 2020

Toronto Sun columnist Brian Lilley said Trudeau failed to give a “full-throated” defense of the free-speech rights granted to all Canadians. “What Justin Trudeau did this week was say that he agrees with freedom of speech or freedom of expression as long as no one is hurt – or as long as you don’t offend people who may act out violently,” Lilley wrote.




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‘We are in a war’: French interior minister says country must brace for more terrorist attacks fueled by ‘Islamist ideology’



The controversy raised eyebrows as far away as India, where Bollywood actress Kangana Ranaut blasted Trudeau for failing to defend free-speech rights. “If every petty crime’s punishment is beheading each other, then why (do) we need a prime minister or any law and order?” she tweeted.

Except when it applies to his own freedom of expression of course — nothing he says ever applies to himself. Following his logic, it would be okay for someone to take offence to his costume and have a possibly unwanted reaction. #shoepolishtrudeaupic.twitter.com/8Tg4lVFnNR

— Dylan Hoey (@dylanBBhoey) October 31, 2020

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Anti-Trump mole Miles Taylor unveils President’s ‘shocking sins’… mostly farcical outbursts & PUBLIC promises to voters

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By Tony Cox, a US journalist who has written or edited for Bloomberg and several major daily newspapers.

The ex-Trump staffer who revealed himself as the author of an anonymous New York Times piece has tried to frame publicly stated policies, such as removing troops from Syria, as scandalous revelations and crimes against America.

Miles Taylor, a former Department of Homeland Security (DHS) employee, tweeted a list Saturday of what he called “foolish, unethical, un-American and/or illegal” directives that he witnessed from President Donald Trump during his tenure in the administration. But rather than condemning the president, the list appears to show the commander-in-chief taking steps that reflect the policies he promised to voters when he campaigned successfully for the job in 2016.

Trump told us: Bus thousands and thousands of illegal immigrants (especially those with criminal records) to Democratic sanctuary cities to create instability and strife. (2 of 25)

— Miles Taylor (@MilesTaylorUSA) October 31, 2020

For instance, Taylor cited Trump as saying “Let’s get the hell out of Afghanistan” and “Let’s get the hell out of Syria” on his list of alleged wrongdoing. Several of his other allegations had to do with deterring illegal immigration and altering policy to make immigration more advantageous to the country. For example, Taylor listed well known Trump statements on bringing more immigrants from prosperous nations and cutting off aid to Central American countries to force them to cooperate with the administration on migration policy.

Trump told us: Let’s ditch these NATO countries (despite it being the backbone of the U.S. global defense alliance). (13 of 25)

— Miles Taylor (@MilesTaylorUSA) October 31, 2020

Taylor also rehashed claims from a book that alleged absurd demands on border security, such as building a moat, using an electrified fence with spikes on top and shooting illegal immigrants in the legs to slow them down. Trump has denied those accusations. Taylor also faulted Trump for calling to “gas migrants at the border.” The president has openly defended use of tear gas to deter hundreds of migrants who rushed the border simultaneously to try to overwhelm enforcement agents.




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Less Deep Throat & more Deep-State Throat, Miles Taylor comes out of the New York Times closet like a Halloween skeleton



Trump talked tough on border enforcement during the 2016 election, much to the delight of his supporters. He has made every effort to deliver on his immigration promises, which has been made more difficult by a lack of support from people in his own party and administration. Ironically, Taylor, now a CNN contributor, thought he was impugning Trump Friday when he said, “I think I can count on two hands the number of people around this president that I really think are true loyalists.”

The former DHS employee also cited an alleged request by Trump to “spy on the personal phones of White House staff to catch leakers” as one of Trump’s grave sins against America. 

Taylor’s list is perhaps less revealing about Trump – offering no surprises – than the Deep State bureaucrats who have worked against the president’s agenda for the past four years. Missing is any notion that the elected president has a right to have his stated policy agenda – his mandate from voters – carried out faithfully by executive branch employees.

Trump told us: Deploy alligators & snakes in the border “mote” to attack migrants. How much would it cost to maintain that? (24 of 25)

— Miles Taylor (@MilesTaylorUSA) October 31, 2020

For example, Taylor thought it was a gotcha stab at Trump to allege that he told staffers to “stop talking about Russian election interference, and I’m going to fire those people that do. (Russian President Vladimir) Putin is our friend.”

Trump campaigned on a desire to build a more friendly relationship with Russia – a position that Washington’s unelected bureaucracy refused to accept. He also called Democrat allegations of collusion with Moscow in the 2016 election a “hoax,” and it might have been reasonable for him to expect the people in his own administration to refrain from joining what he saw as a conspiracy to oust him from office.




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Taylor took issue with those policies when he wrote an anonymous New York Times op-ed in September 2018, saying that he and “like-minded colleagues” were working to “thwart” the president’s agenda. The Times said it was taking a “rare step” of publishing the op-ed without identifying the writer, whom it described falsely as a “senior official” in the Trump administration. CNN allowed Taylor to keep his job at the network despite the fact that he lied on air to host Anderson Cooper about not being the anonymous Trump critic.

“Miles Taylor was always a neocon,” Will Chamberlain, editor of Human Events, said in reaction to the supposedly damning Trump list. “He had no business being in the Trump administration.”

It’s funny that he thinks this makes him look good

— Adam Trahan (@AdamTrahan) October 31, 2020

Many other observers reacted similarly, including one who tweeted, “So getting out of wars was considered illegal by this guy.” Another said, “You mean he’s against law and order?” Author Mike Cernovich summed up the reaction of Trump supporters to Taylor’s list in one word: “And?” 

Lmao he’s using the fact trump wanted out of Afghanistan and Syria to attack him. Oh no!!!

— Duke Chastaine (@DK_Chastaine) October 31, 2020

Wait until you read the last few points. I can’t tell if he’s just taking Trump’s jokes literally or making shit up.

— illusionary (@actual_illusion) October 31, 2020

Anti-Trump camp took the opposite view, thanking Taylor for coming forward,

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