Democrats vs Republicans - US Politics News Headline

“The bottom line in Texas is Republicans are scared to death of demographic changes,” said Anthony Gutierrez, executive director of Common Cause in Texas, “and are doing anything and everything they can think of to keep those changing demographics from affecting elections.”

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Donald Trump and Hassan Rouhani- USA, Iran News

"We agreed… that the only solution to these crises is de-escalation from everyone and dialogue," Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani said on what was believed to be his first official visit to the Islamic republic.

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US Military News Today

U.S. officials braced for Iran to respond to the killing of its most powerful general, noting heightened military readiness in the country and preparing for a possible “tit-for-tat” attempt on the life of an American military commander. President Donald Trump ordered the Jan. 2 strike against Gen. Qassem Soleimani, the head of Iran’s elite Quds Force, after the death of an American contractor in Iraq. Now, as the massive demonstrations of Iran’s public mourning period for Soleimani come to a close, officials believe the next steps by America’s longtime foe will determine the ultimate course of the latest crisis. While officials say American intelligence isn’t clear on whether Iran’s latest military moves are designed to bolster Tehran’s defenses or prepare for an offensive strike, the U.S. is continuing to reinforce its own positions in the region, including repositioning some forces. One official said the U.S. anticipated a “major” attack of some type within the next day or two. On Monday, Defense Secretary Mark Esper said no decision had been made about withdrawing troops from Iraq. Pro-Iranian factions in the Iraqi Parliament have pushed to oust American troops following Soleimani’s killing on Iraqi soil. Esper spoke to reporters after a letter from a U.S. Army general circulated that seemed to suggest a withdrawal had been ordered in response to a vote by the Iraqi Parliament over the weekend. “There’s been no decision whatsoever to leave Iraq,” Esper said. Soleimani’s death, which has sparked major protests, further nuclear development and new threatsContinue reading

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Donald Trump vs Qassem Soleimani, US News, Iran Story

“Trump’s dangerous escalation brings us closer to another disastrous war in the Middle East that could cost countless lives and trillions more dollars,” leftist Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders said. “Trump promised to end endless wars, but this action puts us on the path to another one.”

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Donald Trump and Hassan Rouhani- USA, Iran News Headline

The U.S. airstrike that killed a prominent Iranian general in Baghdad raises tensions even higher between Tehran and Washington, after months of trading attacks and threats across the wider Middle East. How Iran will respond remains in question as well, though its supreme leader warned that a “harsh retaliation is waiting” for those who killed Revolutionary Guard Maj. Gen. Qassem Soleimani early Friday morning. That could include anything, from challenging U.S. warships in the Persian Gulf, firing ballistic missiles or deploying the asymmetrical proxy forces Iran has cultivated to cover for its long-sanctioned conventional forces. Soleimani’s death is the latest in a series of escalating incidents traces back to President Donald Trump’s decision in 2018 to unilaterally withdraw America from Iran’s nuclear deal with world powers. However, overall enmity between Iran and the U.S. date back to its 1979 Islamic Revolution, as well as a 1953 U.S.-backed coup in Tehran that cemented the power of its ruling shah over an elected prime minister. Here’s where things stand now: THE GENERAL’S KILLING A U.S. airstrike near Baghdad’s international airport killed Soleimani, 62, as well as Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, the deputy commander of Iran-backed militias in Iraq known as the Popular Mobilization Forces, and five others. The Defense Department said it killed Soleimani because he “was actively developing plans to attack American diplomats and service members in Iraq and throughout the region.” It also accused Soleimani of approving the attacks on the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad earlier this week. Soleimani led theContinue reading

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Affordable Care Act, Obamacare - Barack Obama Health Policy

As a candidate for the White House, Donald Trump repeatedly promised that he would “immediately” replace President Barack Obama’s health care law with a plan of his own that would provide “insurance for everybody.” Back then, Trump made it sound that his plan — “much less expensive and much better” than the Affordable Care Act — was imminent. And he put drug companies on notice that their pricing power no longer would be “politically protected.” Nearly three years after taking office, Americans still are waiting for Trump’s big health insurance reveal. Prescription drug prices have edged lower, but with major legislation stuck in Congress it’s unclear if that relief is the start of a trend or merely a blip. Meantime the uninsured rate has gone up on Trump’s watch, rising in 2018 for the first time in nearly a decade to 8.5% of the population, or 27.5 million people, according to the Census Bureau. “Every time Trump utters the words ACA or Obamacare, he ends up frightening more people,” said Andy Slavitt, who served as acting administrator of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services during the Obama administration. He’s “deepening their fear of what they have to lose.” White House officials argue that the president is improving the health care system in other ways, without dismantling private health care. White House spokesman Judd Deere noted Trump’s signing of the “Right-to-Try” act that allows some patients facing life-threatening diseases to access unapproved treatment, revamping the U.S. kidney donation system andContinue reading

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Migrants die of disease in Libya detention; UN criticized

When the European Union started funneling millions of euros into Libya to slow the tide of migrants crossing the Mediterranean, the money came with EU promises to improve detention centers notorious for abuse and fight human trafficking. That hasn’t happened. Instead, the misery of migrants in Libya has spawned a thriving and highly lucrative web of businesses funded in part by the EU and enabled by the United Nations, an Associated Press investigation has found. The EU has sent more than 327.9 million euros to Libya, with an additional 41 million approved in early December, largely funneled through UN agencies. The AP found that in a country without a functioning government, huge sums of European money have been diverted to intertwined networks of militiamen, traffickers and coast guard members who exploit migrants. In some cases, UN officials knew militia networks were getting the money, according to internal emails. The militias torture, extort and otherwise abuse migrants for ransoms in detention centers under the nose of the UN, often in compounds that receive millions in European money, the AP investigation showed. Many migrants also simply disappear from detention centers, sold to traffickers or to other centers. The same militias conspire with some members of Libyan coast guard units. The coast guard gets training and equipment from Europe to keep migrants away from its shores. But coast guard members return some migrants to the detention centers under deals with militias, the AP found, and receive bribes to let others pass en routeContinue reading

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Nicolás Maduro of Venezuela

Tour operator Alejandro Palacios joined hundreds of thousands of Venezuelans protesting in the streets early this year, wanting to believe that things would finally change in the country as upstart opposition leader Juan Guaido rallied international support and promised a swift end to President Nicolas Maduro’s rule. To Palacios, Guaido seemed different from the string of past opposition leaders who had challenged Maduro and his predecessor, the late Hugo Chavez, over 20 years of increasingly authoritarian socialist rule. The United States and dozens of nations had thrown their support behind the youthful congressional leader, recognizing him as the country’s legitimate president, arguing that Maduro’s re-election was invalidated by fraud and a ban on most opponents. And there seemed to be signs that the military might heed Guaido’s repeated calls for soldiers to abandon Maduro. A few joined him in the streets in a quickly quelled uprising. The U.S. and other nations sent caravans of aid to Venezuela’s borders to be distributed by Guaido’s backers, and they were put in charge of many Venezuelan embassies and assets abroad. Then February turned to March, and the months marched by. No international aid made it through Maduro’s blockade. The military stayed loyal. Even the nation’s catastrophic economy began to improve slightly. Maduro remains in power. “Here we are today, like nothing ever happened,” said a disillusioned Palacios, 26, who has watched many relatives pack up and leave in desperation while he stayed behind to care for his parents living on a government pensionContinue reading

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Donald Trump Signs

President Donald Trump on Friday celebrated the launch of Space Force, the first new military service in more than 70 years. In signing the 2020 National Defense Authorization Act that includes Space Force, Trump claimed a victory for one of his top national security priorities just two days after being impeached by the House. It is part of a $1.4 trillion government spending package — including the Pentagon’s budget — that provides a steady stream of financing for Trump’s U.S.-Mexico border fence and reverses unpopular and unworkable automatic spending cuts to defense and domestic programs. “Space is the world’s new war-fighting domain,” Donald Trump said Friday during a signing ceremony at Joint Base Andrews just outside Washington. “Among grave threats to our national security, American superiority in space is absolutely vital. And we’re leading, but we’re not leading by enough, and very shortly we’ll be leading by a lot.” Later Friday, as he flew to his Florida resort aboard Air Force One, Trump signed legislation that will keep the entire government funded through Sept. 30. Space Force has been a reliable applause line at Trump’s political rallies, but for the military it’s seen more soberly as an affirmation of the need to more effectively organize for the defense of U.S. interests in space — especially satellites used for navigation and communication. Space Force is not designed or intended to put combat troops in space. Defense Secretary Mark Esper told reporters Friday, “Our reliance on space-based capabilities has grown dramatically, andContinue reading

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Vladimir Putin - Russia Politics News Headline

Russian President Vladimir Putin called the U.S. impeachment process “far-fetched” Thursday, making a seemingly obvious prediction that Donald Trump will be acquitted in the Senate. Putin said Thursday at his annual news conference in Moscow that the move is a continuation of the Democrats’ fight against Trump. “The party that lost the (2016) election, the Democratic Party, is trying to achieve results by other means,” Vladimir Putin said. He likened Trump’s impeachment to the earlier U.S. probe into collusion with Russia, which Putin downplayed as being groundless. Putin noted that the impeachment motion “is yet to pass the Senate where the Republicans have a majority.” He added that “they will be unlikely to remove a representative of their own party from office on what seems to me an absolutely far-fetched reason.” Trump was impeached by the U.S. House of Representatives, becoming only the third American chief executive to be formally charged under the Constitution’s ultimate remedy for high crimes and misdemeanors. The historic vote split along party lines Wednesday night in the U.S., much the way it has divided the nation, over a charge that the 45th president abused the power of his office by enlisting a foreign government to investigate a political rival ahead of the 2020 election. The House then approved a second charge, that he obstructed Congress in its investigation. The articles of impeachment, the political equivalent of an indictment, now go to the Senate for trial. Putin spoke on a variety of issues during the marathonContinue reading

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US Democrats Officially Impeached President Donald Trump

President Donald Trump was impeached by the U.S. House of Representatives, becoming only the third American chief executive to be formally charged under the Constitution’s ultimate remedy for high crimes and misdemeanors. The historic vote split along party lines Wednesday night, much the way it has divided the nation, over a charge that the 45th president abused the power of his office by enlisting a foreign government to investigate a political rival ahead of the 2020 election. The House then approved a second charge, that he obstructed Congress in its investigation. The articles of impeachment, the political equivalent of an indictment, now go to the Senate for trial. If Trump is acquitted by the Republican-led chamber, as expected, he still would have to run for reelection carrying the enduring stain of impeachment on his purposely disruptive presidency. “The president is impeached,” Nancy Pelosi declared after the vote. She called it “great day for the Constitution of the United States, a sad one for America that the president’s reckless activities necessitated us having to introduce articles of impeachment.” Trump, who began Wednesday tweeting his anger at the proceedings, pumped his fist before an evening rally in Battle Creek, Michigan, boasting of “tremendous support” in the Republican Party and saying, “By the way it doesn’t feel like I’m being impeached.” The votes for impeachment were 230-197-1 on the first charge, 229-198-1 on the second. Democrats led Wednesday night’s voting, framed in what many said was their duty to protect the Constitution andContinue reading

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Donald Trump USA News Today

Donald Trump’s relations with his own intelligence services have never been so fraught: The U.S. president doesn’t listen to his spy chiefs, doesn’t seem to rank his sources and makes snap decisions without giving them any warning. The two sides have clashed repeatedly, including in May when, as part of efforts to defend himself against collusion accusations, Trump agreed that files on the investigation into Russian election meddling in 2016 could be declassified. A few weeks later, Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats announced he would step down as head of the 17 agencies that make up the intelligence community. Trump proposed as Coats’ replacement John Ratcliffe, a member of Congress known for repeating conspiracy theories on Fox News. Under withering criticism, Ratcliffe withdrew his nomination. But the president passed over Coats’s deputy Sue Gordon, who was in line to serve as acting director. Gordon, who spent a quarter century in the CIA, told the Women’s Foreign Policy Group this month that Trump was the first president “in my experience that had no foundation or framework to understand what the limits of intelligence are, what the purpose of it was and the way that we discuss it.” She said Trump’s typical response in briefings was, “I don’t think that’s true.” Her experience was borne out by a former CIA analyst who now works at a prestigious institution in Washington. “When I was in the CIA, the big thing to do was to get an article in the presidential daily brief.Continue reading

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Kim Jong-un - North Korea Politics Today

North Korea said it successfully performed another “crucial test” at its long-range rocket launch site that will further strengthen its nuclear deterrent. The test — the second at the facility in a week, according to North Korea’s Academy of Defense Science — possibly involved technologies to improve intercontinental ballistic missiles that could potentially reach the continental United States. Pak Jong Chon, chief of the Korean People’s Army’s general staff, asserted on Saturday that North Korea has built up “tremendous power” and that the findings from the recent tests would be used to develop new weapons to allow the country to “definitely and reliably” counter U.S. nuclear threats. The North in recent weeks has been dialing up pressure to coax major concessions from the Trump administration as it approaches an end-of-year deadline set by leader Kim Jong Un to salvage faltering nuclear negotiations. The Academy of Defense Science did not specify what was tested on Friday. Just days earlier, the North said it conducted a “very important test” at the site on the country’s northwestern coast, prompting speculation that it involved a new engine for either an ICBM or a space launch vehicle. The testing activity and defiant statements suggest that the North is preparing to do something to provoke the United States if Washington doesn’t back down and make concessions to ease sanctions and pressure on Pyongyang in deadlocked nuclear negotiations. Stephen Biegun, the U.S. special representative for North Korea, was to arrive in Seoul on Sunday for discussions withContinue reading

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UK Election News, UK Voters

U.K. voters were deciding Thursday who they want to resolve the stalemate over Brexit in a parliamentary election seen as one of the most important since the end of World War II. Voting was underway across the country in a contest that pits Prime Minister Boris Johnson, who says he will take Britain out of the European Union by Jan. 31, against opposition leader Jeremy Corbyn, who promises another referendum on Brexit. With so much at stake, political parties have pushed the boundaries of truth, transparency and reality during five weeks of campaigning. Johnson’s Conservative Party was criticized for using misleading tactics on social media, while Corbyn’s Labour Party sought to win votes by promising to tax the rich, boost government spending and nationalize industries such as railroads and water companies. One of the focal points of the ugly campaign was the National Health Service, a deeply respected institution that has struggled to meet rising demand after nine years of austerity under Conservative-led governments. Jill Rutter, program director for the Institute for Government, said one of the things that stood out during the campaign was the shamelessness of the politicians. She cited Johnson’s claim that the Conservatives would build 40 hospitals. In fact that number includes many existing facilities that will be renovated. “Normally, if you point out to people that something doesn’t stand up, it’s actually sort of fiction, you slightly expect them to start … replacing that with a different new fact? Rutter said. “But here, actually, you’veContinue reading

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Republican lawmakers disrupt Trump impeachment inquiry, USA NEWS

House Democrats announced two articles of impeachment Tuesday against President Donald Trump — abuse of power and obstruction of Congress — pushing toward historic votes over charges he threatened the integrity of the U.S. election system and endangered national security in his dealings with Ukraine. Speaker Nancy Pelosi, flanked by the chairmen of the impeachment inquiry committees, declared at the U.S. Capitol that thy were upholding their solemn oath to defend the Constitution. Voting is expected in a matter of days in the Judiciary Committee and by Christmas in the full House. Trump swiftly responded in a capital-letters tweet with the words he uses repeatedly to decry the investigations against him: “WITCH HUNT!” The White House said the charges were “baseless,” and his reelection campaign called them “rank partisanship.” In outlining the charges, Democrats said they had no choice but to act because Trump has shown a pattern of behavior that, if left unchecked, poses risks to the democratic process ahead of the 2020 election. “Our president holds the ultimate public trust. When he betrays that trust and puts himself before country, he endangers the Constitution; he endangers our democracy; he endangers our national security,” said Rep. Jerrold Nadler, D-N.Y., the Judiciary chairman, announcing the charges before a portrait of George Washington. “Our next election is at risk. … That is why we must act now.” Nadler said, “No one, not even the president, is above the law.? Chairman Adam Schiff of the Intelligence Committee said, “We stand here todayContinue reading

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Donald Trump Now Campaigns - USA News Headline

House Democrats are poised to unveil two articles of impeachment against President Donald Trump — abuse of power and obstruction of Congress — with an announcement expected early Tuesday. Democratic leaders say Trump put U.S. elections and national security at risk when he asked Ukraine to investigate his rivals, including Joe Biden. Speaker Nancy Pelosi declined during an evening event Monday to discuss the articles or the coming announcement. Details were shared by multiple people familiar with the discussions but unauthorized to discuss them and granted anonymity. When asked if she has enough votes to impeach the president, the Democratic leader said she would let House lawmakers vote their conscience. “On an issue like this, we don’t count the votes. People will just make their voices known on it,” Nancy Pelosi said at The Wall Street Journal CEO Council. “I haven’t counted votes, nor will I.” The outcome, though, appears increasingly set as the House prepares to vote, as it has only three times in history against a U.S. president. Trump spent part of the day tweeting against the impeachment proceedings, but did not immediately respond late Monday. The president and his allies have railed against the “absurd” proceedings. Pelosi convened a meeting of the impeachment committee chairmen at her office in the Capitol late Monday following an acrimonious, nearly 10-hour hearing at the Judiciary Committee, which could vote as soon as this week. “I think there’s a lot of agreement,” Rep. Eliot Engel of New York, the Democratic chairmanContinue reading

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Donald Trump - Nancy Pelosi - USA Politics Today

House Democrats moved aggressively to draw up formal articles of impeachment against President Donald Trump on Thursday, with Speaker Nancy Pelosi saying he “leaves us no choice” but to act swiftly because he’s likely to corrupt the system again unless removed before next year’s election. A strictly partisan effort at this point, derided immediately by Trump and other leading Republicans as a sham and a hoax, it is a politically risky undertaking. Democrats say it is their duty, in the aftermath of the Ukraine probe, while Republicans say it will drive Pelosi’s majority from office. Congress must act, Nancy Pelosi said. “The democracy is what is at stake.” “The president’s actions have seriously violated the Constitution,” she said in a somber address at the Capitol. “He is trying to corrupt, once again, the election for his own benefit. The president has engaged in abuse of power, undermining our national security and jeopardizing the integrity of our elections.” Trump has insisted he did nothing wrong. He tweeted that the Democrats “have gone crazy.” At the core of the impeachment probe is a July phone call with the president of Ukraine, in which Trump pressed the leader to investigate Democrats, including political rival Joe Biden. At the same time the White House was withholding military aid from Ukraine, an ally bordering an aggressive Russia. Youtube video thumbnail Drafting articles of impeachment is a milestone moment, only the fourth time in U.S. history Congress has tried to remove a president, and it intensifiesContinue reading

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