Jair Bolsonaro declared Brazil’s next president


Controversial admirer of dictators says in video broadcast: ‘We are going to change the destiny of Brazil’.

Celebrations and protests in streets of Brazil after Bolsonaro win – video

A far-right, pro-gun, pro-torture populist has been elected as Brazil’s next president after a drama-filled and deeply divisive election that looks set to radically reforge the future of the world’s fourth biggest democracy.

Jair Bolsonaro, a 63-year-old former paratrooper who built his campaign around pledges to crush corruption, crime and a supposed communist threat, secured 55.1% of the votes after 99.9% were counted and was therefore elected Brazil’s next president, electoral authorities said on Sunday.

Bolsonaro’s leftist rival, Fernando Haddad, secured 44.8% of votes.

In a video broadcast from his home in Rio de Janeiro, Bolsonaro thanked God and vowed to stamp out corruption in the country.

“We cannot continue flirting with communism … We are going to change the destiny of Brazil,” he said.

 Jair Bolsonaro’s provocative views in six clips – video

Haddad, the defeated Workers’ party (PT) candidate, urged the 45 million voters who had backed him not to lose hope. “We will continue with our heads held high, with determination and with courage,” he said. “We have a lifelong commitment to this country and we will not allow this country to go backwards.”

Donald Trump called Bolsonaro to congratulate him and both men expressed a strong commitment to work together, the White House said.

Italy’s far-right interior minister, Matteo Salvini, offered his congratulations to Bolsonaro, tweeting: “Even in #Brazil the citizens have sent the left packing!” The French far-right leader Marine Le Pen also sent a message of encouragement.

Supporters of Jair Bolsonaro celebrate in front of the National Congress in Brasilia.
 Supporters of Jair Bolsonaro celebrate in front of the National Congress in 

News of the results sent Bolsonaro devotees outside his beachfront home in western Rio de Janeiro into ecstasy.

“This is phenomenal. It’s a unique feeling,” said Rafael Gomes, a 34-year-old salesman who was among the crowds. “I can see a better future for my son, better health, education and security, something we haven’t had for years.”

In the midst of an increasingly raucous atmosphere one group of young men jumped up and down chanting: “Go fuck yourselves, PT!”

Hordes of jubilant Bolsonaro supporters flocked on to Avenida Paulista, one of São Paulo’s most important boulevards, where they sang Brazil’s national anthem and set off fireworks.

Many fans wore the green and yellow colours of Brazil’s national flag, which has become the trademark of Bolsonaro’s push for power.

“I feel so happy. Brazil is waking up. We are coming out of a trance,” said Jordan Requena, a 20-year-old student who was among the crowds.

Celebrations continued into the night.
 Celebrations continued into the night. Photograph: Mauro Pimentel/AFP/Getty Images

Pietro Sambugaro, a 28-year-old Bolsonaro activist, broke down in tears as he described his joy. “I feel so proud to have been part of this change. He is our hope!”

“For the first time we are going to have a God-fearing and genuinely right-wing president,” said Fernando Pereira, a 40-year-old physiotherapy student celebrating as fireworks exploded around him. “He is the president we have been waiting for for so long.”

But Bolsonaro’s triumph will leave many millions of progressive Brazilians profoundly disturbed and fearful of the intolerant, rightwing tack their country is now likely to take.


Who is Jair Bolsonaro?

Over nearly three decades in politics, he has become notorious for his hostility to black, gay and indigenous Brazilians and to women, as well as for his admiration of dictatorial regimes, including the one that ruled Brazil from 1964 until 1985.

“The extreme right has conquered Brazil,” Celso Rocha de Barros, a Brazilian political columnist, told the election night webcast of Piauí magazine. “Brazil now has a more extremist president than any democratic country in the world … we don’t know what is going to happen.”

Clóvis Saint-Clair, a Rio-based journalist who has written an unauthorised Bolsonaro biography, said he feared Brazil’s young democracy was at risk. “This is a moment of great doubt and apprehension.”

Saint-Clair said a cocktail of voter frustration at political sleaze and the successful demonization of the PT explained how a once widely ridiculed and peripheral firebrand had been catapulted from the political wilderness to the presidency.

Bolsonaro voters had voted on “feelings not facts” and were obsessively focused on the PT’s not inconsiderable sins while refusing to recognise the advances of its 13 years in power, which ended with Dilma Rousseff’s highly controversial impeachment in 2016.

Supporters of Jair Bolsonaro pose with a cardboard cutout of him in Brasilia.
 Supporters of Bolsonaro pose with a cardboard cutout of him in Brasilia. Photograph: Adriano Machado/Reuters

“The PT got many things right,” he said, pointing to the war on extreme poverty launched by Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, Brazil’s now jailed former president.

Saint-Clair said he expected Bolsonaro to intensify police repression and pay scant attention to Brazil’s neediest citizens. “If he follows through on all the promises he has made, the next four years will be very difficult for the majority of the population.”

Chico Paiva Avelino, whose politician grandfather, Rubens Paiva, was tortured and disappeared under Brazil’s military regime in 1971, said he was disgusted that a man who had praised that dictatorship was on his way to the presidency.

“It is unacceptable that in 2018 someone can be elected off the back of this discourse,” the 31-year-old said.

However, for the tens of millions of voters who backed Bolsonaro, he represents change after years of economic recession and eye-watering corruption scandals that they blame on the Workers’ party, which ruled Brazil from 2003 until the impeachment of President Dilma Rousseff in 2016.

“We are happy. We want change,” declared Maicon Mesquita, a 23-year-old businessman who had brought his family to Avenida Paulista to celebrate. “He will be a president who has no involvement at all in corruption.”

The previous night, a group of young activists had set up camp just a few metres from where he stood in an ultimately futile last-minute bid to convince undecided voters to oppose Bolsonaro with offers of conversations and free cake.

“This is already a resistance movement to say that we don’t want war … we want a government that preaches peace,” said Luciano Andrey, a 39-year-old actor.

Andrey carried a handwritten placard that asked passersby: “Let’s talk about the future?”

On Sunday, as it entered a new, potentially illiberal political era, Brazil’s looked deeply uncertain.

Obama Used Three Words To Attack Trump That Every Democrat Instantly Regretted

Merkel takes first step towards exit after poll drubbing


BERLIN, Germany — Angela Merkel will step down as German chancellor when her mandate ends in 2021, a party source told AFP Monday, after a series of political crises and regional vote debacles rocked her fragile coalition.

Often hailed as the world’s most powerful woman and Europe’s de facto leader, a weakened Merkel has faced growing calls to spell out her succession plans after 13 years in power.

Speaking at a meeting of her centre-right Christian Democratic Union on Monday, a day after a bruising state poll in Hesse, Merkel told top brass that she planned to give up the party leadership, a role she has held for 18 years.

She said she wanted to complete her fourth stint as chancellor but stressed that it would be “her last term”, a party source told AFP.

“She was genuinely sad and not at all bitter and asked that the discussion about her succession be conducted in a kind manner,” the source said, adding that Merkel’s words were greeted with a standing ovation.

Germany’s veteran leader had been widely expected to run for reelection as CDU leader at a party congress in December.

Merkel had until now always insisted that the posts of party chief and chancellor in Europe’s top economy should be held by the same person.

She is due to give a press conference at 1:00 pm (1200 GMT).

AfD gloats 
Merkel’s power has been on the wane since her fateful 2015 decision to keep Germany’s borders open, ultimately allowing in more than one million migrants.

The mass arrivals deeply polarised Germany and are credited with fuelling the rise of the far-right.

Railing against the newcomers, the anti-immigrant AfD is now the biggest opposition party in the Bundestag, and after a strong showing in Hesse on Sunday now has seats in all of Germany’s state parliaments.

AfD leader Joerg Meuthen hailed Merkel’s eventual departure as “good news”.

AKK to take the reins? 
Die Welt reporter Robin Alexander said the path could now be clear for Merkel’s chosen heir, CDU general secretary Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer, to take the reins if no other credible candidate emerges by December.

“The two women have taken back the momentum, because none of their opponents were ready for this,” he tweeted.
But other candidates are also waiting in the wings, including ambitious health minister Jens Spahn, a frequent Merkel critic.

Merkel’s surprise news comes after the CDU and its junior federal coalition partner the Social Democrats (SPD) suffered heavy losses in an election in the state of Hesse on Sunday.

Just two weeks earlier, Merkel’s conservative CSU sister party suffered a similar drubbing in Bavaria.
Both polls were seen as damning verdicts on Merkel’s grand left-right coalition in Berlin which has lurched from crisis to crisis, often over the hot-button issue of migration.

‘Mistake’ to cling to power 
The Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung said on Sunday it would be “a mistake” for Merkel to cling to power.
“By passing the baton of her own free will she would show that she knows the same thing everyone knows: the end of her chancellorship is approaching.”

Merkel’s first step towards the exit door is likely to send ripples across the European Union, where she has served a beacon of stability as bloc grapples with multiple global crises, Brexit and an unpredictable ally in the White House.

While still widely respected abroad, her recent domestic woes have kept Merkel away from the European stage, thwarting French President’s Emmanuel Macron’s push to reform the eurozone with Merkel by his side.

Despite her global standing, Merkel has no plans to seek a post in the European Commission after bowing out of German politics, the CDU source told AFP, despite speculation to that effect in Brussels.

SPD ultimatum 
But the woman dubbed the “eternal chancellor” may not get to choose her own timetable — and her departure could be hastened if her junior coalition partner brings down the government before 2021.

SPD chief Andrea Nahles said her centre-left party, Germany’s oldest, had failed “to break free from the government” and carve out a clear profile of its own after serving in multiple, compromise-laden “grand coalitions.”

She said the SPD would now propose a “discussion paper” in Berlin demanding concrete progress on key issues by next October, including pension rights and better childcare, before deciding whether to remain in the coalition.

Increasing numbers of SPD members have been calling for the party to quit the government and lick its wounds in opposition, as it is presently polling below AfD nationwide, at 15 percent to the far-right’s 16 percent.

Germany election: Further blow for Merkel in Hesse


Both the parties in German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s governing coalition have suffered heavy losses in a regional election, early results show.

Her centre-right CDU party and the centre-left SPD were each 10% down on the previous election in Hesse state.

SPD leader Andrea Nahles said the federal government’s poor performance had “significantly” contributed to the disappointing result.

She told reporters the state of the government was “unacceptable”.

The federal government must find a “reasonable way of working”, after what looks to be the SPD’s worst result in the western state since 1946.

The CDU must agree to a “clear, binding roadmap” ahead of a scheduled coalition review next year. “Then we’ll be able to check whether this government is still the right place for us,” she said.

Both the CDU and the SPD have seen their support slip nationally in recent months, and the coalition has already come close to collapse.

“The message to the parties ruling in Berlin is people want fewer disputes and more focus on the important issues,” state premier and CDU member Volker Bouffier told supporters.

Meanwhile the left-leaning Greens surged into third place in the Hesse regional government, with about 19.5%.

And the far-right AfD will enter the regional assembly for the first time, having secured about 12% of the vote.

Results of a Hesse state election exit poll on a screenImage copyrightREUTERS
Image captionThe CDU still came first, but with a heavily reduced vote share
Presentational grey line

The exit poll results

Christian Democratic Union (CDU) – 27.9% (down from 38.3%)

Social Democratic Party (SPD) – 19.9% (down from 30.7%)

Green Party – 19.5% (up from 11.1%)

Alternative für Deutschland (AfD) – 12%

Free Democrats (FDP) – 7.5% (up from 5%)

Presentational grey line

Hesse’s election comes just weeks after Mrs Merkel’s Bavarian sister party suffered huge losses in a state parliament vote.

Parties like the AfD and the Greens have grown in national support following Germany’s 2017 general election, as support for the major centre parties has waned.

And with the CDU’s party conference scheduled for December, Mrs Merkel could lose her leadership re-election bid.

She has said previously she could not continue as chancellor – a position she has held for 13 years – were she to lose that role.

Presentational grey line

A big blow for Angela Merkel

By Jenny Hill, BBC’s Berlin correspondent

It’s been a bruising evening for Angela Merkel.

Her party has lost significant support in the wealthy state of Hesse, home to the financial centre of Frankfurt.

The result is widely interpreted not as a rejection of local politicians but rather a protest against Mrs Merkel’s unhappy coalition government in Berlin.

The losses are undoubtedly ammunition for critics in her party who want rid of Mrs Merkel. But she may face a more immediate problem.

Her Social Democrat coalition partners are in electoral freefall, haemorrhaging support at federal level.

The SPD’s poor performance tonight in Hesse follows a drubbing in Bavaria two weeks ago. Many in the party blame the controversial coalition with Mrs Merkel’s conservatives. The SPD’s leaders may decide to pull out of the alliance and bring down her fragile government.

Germans are calling this a ‘schicksalswahl’, or vote of destiny. It may yet seal the fate of this country’s government – and perhaps even its leader.

5 Reasons New Hires Hate Onboarding


Pop quiz: What’s the fastest get rid of a new hire? Answer: Give them a poor onboarding experience. A poor onboarding experience not only leaves new hires feeling confused about their role within the company and what’s expected of them, it may drive them away entirely. A recent study found that employees who have negative new hire onboarding experiences are twice as likely to look for new opportunities in the near future. And another report from SHRMestimates that 1 in 25 employees leave their jobs due to poor onboarding.

What makes the onboarding experience so unbearable? Here are a few reasons new hires hate onboarding, and a few ways to fix them.

Reason #1: They Have No Idea What’s Going On. All too often, new hires don’t have any idea what their first day on the job will be like. Once they sign the offer letter, they’re given a time and place to show up, and that’s it. Starting a new job is stressful enough without the added anxiety of not knowing what to expect when you show up. Alleviate some of your new hire’s first day jitters by sending them a schedule for their first week ahead of their start date, along with a list of FAQ’s to address common questions about the company.

Reason #2: It’s About You, Not Them. While the main purpose of onboarding is to teach your new employees with the company, that doesn’t mean simply giving a few PowerPoint presentations and calling it a day. A good onboarding process should focus on acclimating your new hires to the company and ensuring they feel confident in their new roles. In other words, making it more about them. Use this time to learn about the employee’s strengths, how they like to work and receive feedback, what motivates them and their career goals. This is also an ideal time to set goals and expectations, assign mentors and discuss learning and development opportunities. The more you personalize the onboarding process, the more engaged your new employees will be and the more value they will get out of it.

Reason #3: It Feels Like a Waste of Time. Many onboarding programs leave new hires asking themselves, “What’s the point of this?” That’s usually because the organization hasn’t clearly defined or communicated the purpose of the onboarding process, and what they want new hires to get out of it, which only leads to confusion and frustration on both sides. (In fact, a recent CareerBuilder study found that, of the 64 percent of employers who have a structured onboarding process, only 35 percent go over goals and expectations during this time.) And here’s the kicker: If employees feel that onboarding is a waste of time, they might be right. More than half of organizations (55 percent) don’t measure the effectiveness of their onboarding programs, according to research. If you’re not measuring results, how do you know your onboarding experience is even worth your new hires’ time?

Reason #4: There’s. So. Much. Paperwork. Nothing kills a new hire’s enthusiasm for the new job like having to fill out a bunch of paperwork on their very first day. Unfortunately, collecting personal information is a necessary part of the onboarding process; however, there is a way to make it a lot less tedious for your new hires (and your HR team). With the right onboarding technology, you can send new hires the necessary employment forms, verifications, and benefits and learning materials to fill out and sign electronically before they even start. By using a paperless system, you can get the paperwork out of the way, so you can focus on the engagement part of onboarding. The best part? A paperless system makes your HR team’s job easier, and mitigates the risk of human error that can happen when managing information manually.

Reason #5: It’s Information Overload. While you want new hires to become familiar with your company, services and products, clients and culture as soon as possible, you do not want to overwhelm them with too much information too soon. If you rush the onboarding process, it doesn’t enable new hires time to absorb all of the information you’re throwing at them, truly get a sense of the culture, and understand or appreciate how their roles contribute to overall company goals. The ideal onboarding process should last weeks or even months – not just a few days or hours. This gives the employee time to get acclimated to the new role, ask questions and get feedback, meet performance goals and set a solid groundwork for success.

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