Matteo Salvini Threw A Lame Party on Monday

Yesterday, Italy's far-right Interior Minister Matteo Salvini threw a big party meant to launch a new alliance of European populist nationalist parties.

There was just one problem: not many people showed up.


Mr. Salvini, the most powerful politician in Italy, wants to "broaden the . . . family" of far-right parties ahead of elections to the European Parliament next month. Not a bad plan, given that support for the far-right across Europe has surged in recent years.

But some of Europe's most powerful far-right leaders took a rain check on the get-together. Conspicuous no-shows included members of France's National Rally, Hungary's Fidesz, and Poland's Law and Justice.

The problem for Salvini is that while Europe's far-right populists all agree on the need to curb the EU's power and push back against its liberal values, they disagree on some very big issues:

Views of the EU differ widely: While bashing Brussels is a standard crowd-pleaser for right-wing parties, views of the EU actually vary widely across the countries currently governed by such parties: only 42 percent of Italians believe EU membership has been good for their country. But in Hungary and Poland 60 and 70 percent of people, respectively, say the same.

Who takes the migrants? Europe's far-right leaders generally agree they want to close Europe's borders to further migrants (at least non-Christian ones). But there's friction over how to handle those who manage to arrive. Countries like Italy, which has absorbed more than 360,000 migrant arrivals since 2016, want others to share the burden. But Hungary and Poland have refused to take even a single migrant, defying an EU resettlement program. This fundamental disagreement complicates attempts by the far-right to forge a common migrant policy, a key component of European governance.

Relations with Russia: Far-right leaders in Italy and Austria want better relations with Moscow, seeing Russia as a welcome business partner and source of political leverage against Brussels. But Poland's Law and Justice prefers a more cautious approach, owing to Poland's historical concerns about Russian intentions. So while Rome and Vienna expressly called for ending Ukraine-related sanctions on Russia, you'd never hear such a thing from Warsaw.

Upshot: Europe's far-right parties have surged in recent years, but when it comes down to it, they'll chafe at least as much against each other as they do against Brussels.

Democrats have the power to impeach Donald Trump.

After all, impeachment simply requires a majority vote of the House of Representatives, and Democrats hold 235 seats to just 199 for Republicans.

Of course, impeaching the president is only the first step in removing him from office. It's merely an indictment, which then forces a trial in the Senate. Only a two-thirds supermajority vote (67 of 100 senators) can oust the president from the White House. Just two US presidents (Andrew Johnson in 1868 and Bill Clinton in 1998) have been impeached. Neither was convicted by the Senate.

Many Democrats, including two of the party's presidential candidates, argue the Mueller Report and other sources of information offer ample evidence that President Trump has committed "high crimes and misdemeanors," the standard for removal from office under Article Two of the US Constitution. But the impeachment question has provoked intense debate within the Democratic Party.

Here are the strongest arguments on both sides of the Democratic Party's debate.

More Show less

Should Sri Lanka have blocked social media following the terror attacks?

That's a hard one. Misinformation spreads on social media and there's an instinct to say, "Wait, stop it!" But a lot of useful information also spreads and people get in touch with each other. So I would say no they should not have blocked it.

Are Tesla cars at risk of exploding?

There was one video from China of a parked Tesla exploding. I don't think you really have to worry about it though. I am curious to know what that video was really about.

Why do tech companies hate the census citizenship question?

Because if you ask people whether they're citizens. A lot of people will answer and you'll get bad data and the card companies need to know where they set up their operations. Good data matter to Silicon Valley.

What happened during the Space X Crew Dragon accident?

We don't know this one for sure either but one of the engines in a SpaceX test exploded. No one was hurt. Let's hope it was something to do with the way it was set up - not something deep and systematic.


And go deeper on topics like cybersecurity and artificial intelligence at Microsoft Today in Technology.

What's troubling you today? A revisionary new talk show hosted by Vladimir Putin offers real solutions to your everyday problems.

Crises create opportunities. That's the story of European politics over the past decade, and Spain offers an especially interesting case in point.

On Sunday, Spanish voters will go to the polls in the country's third national election in less than four years. Gone are the days when just two parties (center-right and center-left) dominated Spain's national political landscape. As in other EU countries, the economic spiral and resulting demand for austerity triggered by Europe's sovereign debt crisis, and then a tidal wave of migrants from North Africa and the Middle East, have boosted new parties and players. Catalan separatists have added to Spain's political turmoil.

More Show less