This weekend, drama began to unfold in Italy after PM Matteo Renzi’s constitution referendum plan was rejected by voters. An angry Renzi announced that he was stepping down. President Sergio Mattarella now needs to decide whether to appoint a new PM or hold elections. This instability has led to fears that Italy’s banking sector, which has been decreasing steadily since the 2008 financial crisis, is at further risk.
Renzi’s political future was based around trying to reform the Italian political system. He wanted to strengthen the central government and weaken the Senate. Not surprisingly, most of the country was opposed to this idea, since it gave the Prime Minister (in this case Renzi) too much power. The referendum was viewed by many as a chapter in the establishment vs. anti-establishment politics that’s been growing around the world. Renzi’s opposition was headed by various populist parties, headed by the so-called “Five Star” movement. Thanks to Renzi’s declining popularity, economic stagnation and a rising number of African immigrants, their anti-establishment message has caught on with many Italians. Sounds similar to the US, doesn’t it?
The rejection of Renzi’s referendum, 60-40, was an even bigger victory than a November opinion poll had predicted. Renzi will be resigning this week. Finance Minister Pier Carlo Padoan is expected to succeed Renzi, although Five Star has been getting ready to govern Italy. Although Italy isn’t expected to leave the UK, this is viewed as another blow to the EU. Both Five Star and another opposition party, the anti-immigrant Northern League, are opposed to the eurozone.
Stocks and the euro fell in early trading in Asia, although there weren’t any signs of panic. Nonetheless, some are afraid that this referendum could have long-term implications.
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Sometime the apple, as the saying goes, doesn’t fall far from the tree. And to see an example of that, look no further than Hamza bin Laden, the son of, you guessed it, Osama. Yesterday, the twenty-something was blacklisted by the US State Department for his ties to extremism. This will block him from engaging in any financial transactions either in the US or with Americans. Sort of like a one-man embargo. Hamza is the leader of al-Qaeda’s Arabian Peninsula operations. In 2015, he was declared as a member of the group by Ayman Zawahiri, who has headed the group’s operations since Bin Laden’s death in 2011.
According to Fawaz Gerges, an expert on Middle Eastern politics, Hamza was a “charismatic” leader, and “popular with the rank and file”. He was his father’s favorite son, and in the past ten years there was much talk about him succeeding his father. Not surprisingly, the media has had a field day with young Hamza, labeling him the “crown prince of terror”, and many have speculated if he’ll succeed Zawahiri as the leader of al-Qaeda. He pledge revenge against the US, promising he would continue attacking them in retribution for their actions in the Middle East and beyond.
Even though he had to share him with over 20 siblings, Hamza was close with his father, and was in featured in al-Qaeda propaganda videos as a child. After the death of his brother Sa’ad in 2009, Hamza was being groomed to succeed his father, although he was not at the Pakistan compound during the 2011 Navy SEAL raid that killed his father and brother Khalid. His role as a potential successor to Osama has made him an inspirational figure to jihadists, and his relatively young age could make him appeal to younger generations of terrorists.
About Nelson Lewis
An exposure to politics at a young age had a profound effect on media maven Nelson Lewis, who worked as a volunteer for numerous Republican politicians in and around his native Savannah. Nelson worked as a reporter and eventually anchor at two Savannah television stations growing up, WJCL ABC-22 and WTGS FOX-28, also recording voice teasers for airing on Fridays on WJCL-FM KIX 96 and previewing his upcoming stories, which aired on the Sunday evening news.
One of Nelson’s favorite experiences at WJCL was reporting live from the St. Patrick’s Day Parade (America’s second largest) from 1998-2000. Continuing in the spirit of his grandfather’s pioneering and trailblazing footsteps (he was the first to bring all-color television and stereo to the Savannah market), Nelson became the first person in Savannah market to bring a kid’s perspective to local news as its first youth reporter. In fact, one of the competing stations, WSAV NBC-3 hired their own youth reporter, Sean Champion, 18 months after Nelson began his reports and WJCL/TGS’s ratings dramatically increased.
Work In Political Media
While a sophomore and junior at Lynn University, Nelson Lewis hosted “Politijam”, a lively political debate show that became well known across the university campus and served as the media editor of the univeristy’s weekly EPulse newspaper. While at Lynn, Nelson was selected to represent the entire undergraduate student population as a member of Lynn University’s Academic Task Force, charged with the duty of streamlining the core curriculum of the universities.
While attending Lynn’s College of International Communication, Nelson developed a friendship with Irving R. Levine, a well-known and nationally recognized correspondent for NBC News who became the network’s first full time economics correspondent, and was the creator of the precursor to CNBC. After a 45-year career in journalism, Levine went on to become Dean of Lynn’s communication program. After finishing college, Nelson Lewis followed Levine’s suggestion and moved to Washington, DC where his first job was as a press intern for a Republican congressman, which then led to a job booking at the Fox News Channel from 2006-2010. Here, he was able to put his love of politics and interest in the Republican Party to good use.
Upon the suggestion of Mr. Levine, Nelson Lewis enrolled in the Masters of Professional Studies in Journalism (International Politics) program at Georgetown University in 2009, where a special emphasis was placed on the dissolution of America’s Fairness Doctrine and on the major player in its demise, Bruce Fein.
Nelson was honored to be invited to speak at a roast honoring Levine’s 2009 death at the National Press Club, where he spoke alongside Levine family members and contemporaries such as former Meet the Press Moderator Marvin Kalb. He subsequently wrote a letter to the editor published in The Hill newspaper eulogizing Levine as a “top-notch raconteur” who many others have tried to emulate.
From his work at Fox News, Nelson Lewis was able to take a firsthand role in the DC journalism scene, and was blessed with the opportunity of meeting entertainment, political, and academic luminaries on a daily basis, including numerous sitting and former representatives, senators, governors and cabinet secretaries. These unique experiences gave Nelson a front row seat to many historic events and gave him a firsthand experience of how the Washington system works, from how laws are created to how news is made.
Through Nelson Lewis’ work creating Her Golf Network, coupled with his extensive booking experiences in segment producing gained at America’s highest rated cable news channel and through his time performing key internships at places such as WPBT’s Nightly Business Report in Miami, where he honed his scriptwriting skills, and at WTOC in Savannah, where he provided copyediting and on-site production assistance at the 2004 Sea Island G-8 summit, have provided him with a solid foundation and understanding of the news business. His time as a reporter/anchor growing up prior to his undergraduate studies helped him get an early start at doing what he loves most, reporting.