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Donald Trump - USA Politics News Headlines

The House Judiciary Committee is escalating its impeachment investigation into President Donald Trump, preparing a vote as soon as next Wednesday to establish procedures for hearings the panel hopes to hold this fall. The details are still being negotiated, but a procedural vote next week could set rules for the hearings, according to a person familiar with the plan. The person requested anonymity because the resolution is still being worked out and the person wasn’t authorized to discuss it. The rules could include allowing staff to question witnesses; allowing some evidence to be presented in closed sessions to protect sensitive materials; and allowing the president’s counsel to respond in writing to evidence and testimony, among other guidelines. The vote would be similar to procedural votes taken at the beginning of the impeachment investigations of Presidents Richard Nixon and Bill Clinton, according to the person. Tentative details of the resolution were discussed on a call with members of the committee Friday as they prepare to return to Washington next week after a six-week recess. House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerrold Nadler said just before the recess that the committee is already in an impeachment investigation as it has called multiple witnesses related to former special counsel Robert Mueller’s report and sued the White House for blocking testimony. The vote would make clear that the committee is indeed serious about moving forward with an impeachment probe, even as House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has urged caution to members, saying earlier this month that theContinue reading

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US Democrats

As Democrats try to win control of the White House and the Senate in 2020, they face a geographical puzzle — the path to the presidency may conflict with the one to a Senate majority. Democrats’ best shot at the White House is to win back their old turf — the Rust Belt states heavy with working-class white voters who have become increasingly difficult to hold in the party’s tent. But the path to winning the Senate travels through what many believe is the Democrats’ territory of the future. College-educated suburbanites, young people and minorities make up the winning coalition in Arizona, Colorado, Georgia and North Carolina, the states where Democrats will need to pick up seats to wrest control of the Senate from the GOP. The tensions between the two contests — the two paths to two different victories — highlight the geographic concerns that have long bedeviled Democrats. The party has successfully built support in the growing West and Sun Belt states, but not yet enough to put the fight over the Rust Belt in the rearview mirror. “They’re kind of stuck between their past and their future,” said William Frey, a demographer at the nonpartisan Brookings Institution in Washington, D.C. “It’s an interesting conundrum.” For Democrats wrestling with picking their nominee, it’s more than just a head-scratcher. Senate races and presidential races are linked — Senate candidates rarely win when their party’s presidential candidate loses their state. If the party wants to win the White House andContinue reading

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Iran Uranium News

Iran has begun using arrays of advanced centrifuges to enrich uranium in violation of its 2015 nuclear deal, a spokesman said Saturday, warning that Europe has little time left to offer new terms to save the accord. The comments by Behrouz Kamalvandi of the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran signal a further cut into the one year experts estimate Tehran would need to have a enough material for building a nuclear weapon if it chose to pursue one. Iran maintains its program is peaceful. Iran already has breached the stockpile and enrichment level limits set by the deal, while stressing it could quickly revert back to the terms of the accord if Europe finds a way for it to sell its crude oil abroad despite crushing U.S. sanctions. However, questions likely will grow in Europe over Iran’s intentions as satellite photos obtained by The Associated Press on Saturday showed an once-detained oil tanker Tehran reportedly promised wouldn’t go to Syria was off its coast. Tensions between Iran and the U.S. have risen in recent months, with mysterious attacks on oil tankers near the Strait of Hormuz, Iran shooting down a U.S. military surveillance drone, and other incidents across the wider Middle East. Iran separately seized another ship and detained 12 Filipino crewmembers, a semi-official news agency reported Saturday. “Our stockpile is quickly increasing,” Kamalvandi warned in a news conference. “We hope they will come to their senses.” The accord saw Iran limits its enrichment of uranium in exchange for sanctionsContinue reading

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Boris Johnson and Donald Trump - USA - UK News

Britain hasn’t even divorced the European Union yet, and already a new suitor has come calling: the United States. During a visit this week to the United Kingdom, Vice President Mike Pence brought word from his boss, President Donald Trump: The United States is eager to reach a new trade pact — one that won’t be possible until Britain completes Brexit and moves out of the 28-country EU trading bloc. “Our message is clear: The minute the UK is out, America is in,” Vice President Mike Pence said in a visit with British Prime Minister Boris Johnson at 10 Downing Street on Thursday. Not so fast. Building a new U.S.-U.K. trading relationship atop the wreckage of Brexit won’t be easy. British officials are already vowing to resist an agreement that is lopsided in favor of the more powerful United States, creating potential for disputes over matters such as chlorinated chicken and the divisive Scottish dish haggis. “I know that you guys are pretty tough negotiators,” Johnson told Pence. “So, we’re going to work very hard to make sure that that free trade deal is one that works for all sides.” As a member of the EU, Britain outsourced its trade policy to the bloc’s bureaucrats in Brussels. Before it can pursue an independent course and reach a brand-new trade pact with Washington, London will have to negotiate a divorce with the EU— or crash out of the bloc without a deal and risk damaging its own economy. “Until that getsContinue reading

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Carrie Lam - Hong Kong News HEadlines

Hong Kong leader Carrie Lam said that the decision to withdraw an extradition bill that sparked months of demonstrations in the semi-autonomous Chinese territory was her government’s own initiative to break the impasse, and not Beijing’s directive. Lam told a news conference that China’s central government “understands, respects and supports” her government in the entire process. Withdrawal of the bill meets one of protesters’ five key demands, but activists have vowed not to yield until the government fulfills all of them. Those also include an independent investigation into allegations of police brutality during the protests, the unconditional release of those detained, not labelling the protests as riots, and direct elections of the city’s leader. The massive but peaceful demonstrations began in June against the legislation, which would have allowed criminal suspects to be sent to mainland China for trial, but clashes with police have become increasingly violent as the demands evolved into a wider call for democracy. Demonstrators threw gasoline bombs at officers last weekend protests and police retaliated with water cannons, tear gas, rubber bullets and batons. Nearly 1,200 people have been detained so far. Lam reiterated that the government cannot accede to the protesters’ other demands. She said the police watchdog agency will be impartial and best suited to investigate alleged police misconduct, and that releasing detainees without charges would be “unacceptable.” She denied making a U-turn on the bill, noting that she suspended the bill in mid-June, days after the protests began, and in July declared theContinue reading

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Robert Mugabe - Zimbabwe News Today

Zimbabwe’s Robert Mugabe was feted as an African liberation hero and champion of racial reconciliation when he first came to power in a nation divided by nearly a century of white colonial rule. Nearly four decades later, many at home and abroad denounced him as a power-obsessed autocrat willing to unleash death squads, rig elections and trash the economy in the relentless pursuit of control. Mugabe was ultimately ousted by his own armed forces in November 2017. He demonstrated his tenacity — some might say stubbornness — to the last, refusing to accept his expulsion from his own ZANU-PF party and clinging on for a week until Parliament started to impeach him after the de facto coup. His resignation triggered wild celebrations across the country of 13 million. For Mugabe, it was an “unconstitutional and humiliating” act of betrayal by his party and people, and left him a broken man. Confined for the remaining years of his life between Singapore, where he was receiving medical treatment, and his sprawling “Blue Roof” mansion in Harare, an ailing Mugabe could only observe from afar the political stage where he once strode tall. The Twitter account of Zimbabwe President Emmerson Mnangagwa said Friday that Mugabe had died at age 95. “It is with the utmost sadness that I announce the passing on of Zimbabwe’s founding father and former President, Cde Robert Mugabe,” a post said. It gave no details. In November, Mnangagwa said Mugabe was no longer able to walk when he wasContinue reading

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Deutsche Bank - Germany

U.S. congressional investigators have identified possible failures in Deutsche Bank AG’s (DBKGn.D) money laundering controls in its dealings with Russian oligarchs, after the lender handed over a trove of transaction records, emails and other documents, three people familiar with the matter said. The congressional inquiry found instances where Deutsche Bank staff in the United States and elsewhere flagged concerns about new Russian clients and transactions involving existing ones, but were ignored by managers, two of the people said. Lawmakers are also examining whether Deutsche Bank facilitated the funneling of illegal funds into the United States as a correspondent bank, where it processes transactions for others, one of the sources said. The congressional probe, whose initial findings have not been previously reported, is at an early stage, and it is not yet clear whether it will lead to any action against the bank, the three sources said. A Deutsche Bank spokesman, Troy Gravitt, said the bank cannot comment on the work of the congressional committees but remains committed to cooperating with authorized investigations. Addressing past deficiencies in the bank’s controls, the spokesman said: “We have worked to address them, taken disciplinary measures with regards to certain individuals and reviewed our client onboarding and monitoring processes.” The House of Representatives Financial Services Committee declined to comment. The Democrat-controlled House began examining possible money laundering in U.S. property deals involving President Donald Trump, a Republican, earlier this year. The lawmakers are also looking into whether Trump’s dealings left him subject to the influenceContinue reading

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Boris Johnson in Parliament - UK Politics News Headline Today

Prime Minister Boris Johnson kept up his push Thursday for an early general election as a way to break Britain’s Brexit impasse, as lawmakers moved to stop the U.K. leaving the European Union next month without a divorce deal. Already dealt stinging defeats this week from his opponents in Parliament, Johnson suffered a personal blow as his own brother quit the government, saying it was not serving the national interest. Johnson remained determined to secure an election after lawmakers on Wednesday rejected his attempt to trigger a snap poll. House of Commons leader Jacob Rees-Mogg told Parliament that a vote would be held Sept. 9 on a new motion calling for an election in October. Johnson’s office said the prime minister would appeal directly to the public with a speech later in the day, arguing that politicians must “go back to the people and give them the opportunity to decide what they want.” Boris Johnson called the refusal by Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn to endorse an election a “cowardly insult to democracy.” Johnson’s determination to lead Britain out of the EU on Oct. 31 faces strong opposition from lawmakers, including members of his own Conservative Party who oppose a no-deal Brexit. His brother, Jo Johnson, quit the government, saying he could no longer endure the conflict “between family loyalty and the national interest.” Jo Johnson was an education minister in his older brother’s government, despite his opposition to leaving the EU without a divorce deal. He said he wouldContinue reading

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Pope Francis - Vatican News

Pope Francis urged the people of Mozambique on Thursday to nurture their hard-earned peace and strive to provide equal opportunities for all so as not to slip back into civil war. Francis addressed President Filipe Nyusi of the ruling Frelimo party and leaders of the Renamo opposition at the colonial-style presidential palace, where peacocks roamed lush gardens in contrast to bustling streets outside. The two sides in the former Portuguese colony fought a 15-year civil war that ended in 1992 and killed about a million people. But only last month did they sign a permanent ceasefire. “In the course of these years, you have come to realize how the pursuit of lasting peace – a mission incumbent upon all – calls for strenuous, constant and unremitting effort. For peace is like a delicate flower, struggling to blossom on the stony ground of violence,” Pope Francis told them. Some fear that as the country of 28 million people approaches new elections scheduled for next month, violence could break out, particularly in rural areas where the former rebels have more sway. Ossufo Momade, leader of Renamo, was in the audience for the papal address and received a round of applause when the president mentioned him. In his address to the pope, the president vowed to help build a nation “where non-violence becomes a culture lived by all, where politics is practiced through the force of argument and not the force of arms.” But Francis said if they wanted lasing peace, leaders hadContinue reading

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Afrophobia, Xenophobia

South Africa’s government acknowledged on Thursday that prejudice was partly to blame for deadly rioting that has targeted foreign businesses, as those attacks and reprisals overshadowed a continental economic conference for a second day. President Cyril Ramaphosa had hoped the World Economic Forum conference in Cape Town would serve as a shop window for his efforts to revive South Africa’s ailing economy and boost intra-African trade. But the backdrop of violence has dominated proceedings, above all exposing dormant tensions between the host country and Nigeria, the continent’s two biggest economies. At least five Africans have been killed this week in attacks on foreigners in South Africa. On Wednesday local companies MTN, and Shoprite closed stores in Nigeria after retaliatory attacks, and threats of reprisals forced Pretoria to shut its embassy in Abuja, its foreign minister said. Nigeria’s vice president boycotted the meeting on Wednesday over the rioting. On Thursday Jim Ovia, chairman of Nigeria’s Zenith Bank and a co-chair of the whole event, also withdrew, citing the “hypersensitivity of the issues surrounding the lives and well-being of Nigerian citizens living in South Africa.” In Abuja, Nigeria’s Information Minister Lai Mohammed said it was recalling its High Commissioner to South Africa. As his ministers sought to manage the fallout, Ramaphosa cancelled his appearance at the WEF plenary session to address a crowd of protesters demonstrating for a second day about violence against women. Speaking in his place, Finance Minister Tito Mboweni said most South Africans disapproved of the attacks on foreignersContinue reading

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Mike Pence - USA Politics News Headline

US Vice President Mike Pence is receiving a tongue-lashing from European allies as he plays understudy to the president on the world stage. From the Taoiseach of Ireland to the mayor of Reykjavik, leaders have been publicly confronting Pence on issues such as the U.K.’s exit from the E.U., nuclear disarmament and climate change. The appeals appear part of a desperate effort to try to get through to a Trump administration that follows its own norms and rules, and find someone— anyone — who might be able to change the president’s mind. But again and again, Pence has appeared to brush off the efforts, which spilled into public view before he’d even left the airport in Shannon, Ireland. There, Simon Coveney, the country’s foreign minister, confronted Pence with an urgent message about the potential impact of Brexit. He warned a return to hard borders between Ireland and Northern Ireland would not only disrupt commerce, but could also threaten a fragile peace. “As somebody who understands Ireland well, I think you understand why it’s such an emotional issue,” Coveney said, trying to leverage Pence’s personal connections to the country. “It’s a huge issue for this country right now. It’s dominating politics here. It’s about trying to mitigate against potential damage.” Pence, appearing less than amused by the public confrontation, said he was “grateful” for Coveney’s “candor” and quickly pivoted. But the pleas continued in Pence’s meetings with other Irish leaders, including Taoiseach Leo Varadkar. “All I ask is that you bringContinue reading

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Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer Bans Flavored Electronic Cigarettes

Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer moved Wednesday to make her state the first to ban flavored electronic cigarettes, accusing companies of using candy flavors and deceptive advertising to “hook children on nicotine.” The Democrat ordered the state health department to issue emergency rules that will prohibit the sale of flavored nicotine vaping products, including to adults, and the misleading marketing of e-cigarettes. Retailers will have 30 days to comply with the rules once they’re filed in coming weeks. The rules will almost certainly be challenged in court. New York last November began taking steps to bar the sale of flavored e-cigarettes but withdrew proposed rules, and legislators rejected Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s budget proposal to clarify the state health department’s authority to limit sales. The federal government and states ban the sale of vaping products to minors, yet government survey figures show that last year, one in five U.S. high school students reported vaping in the previous month. Top government health officials, including the surgeon general, have flagged the trend as an epidemic. “This is a health crisis that we’re confronting, and it would never be permitted if it was cigarettes. We’re letting these companies target our kids, appeal to our kids and deceive our children,” Gretchen Whitmer told reporters. Michigan’s chief medical executive determined that youth vaping constitutes a public health emergency. As of last week, 215 possible cases of severe pulmonary disease associated with the use of e-cigarettes had been reported by 25 states, according to the Centers for DiseaseContinue reading

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Joe Biden - US Today Headline Stories

Democrats have a Joe Biden problem. The former VP might still lead the polls, but with serious concerns raised about his memory and mental state, nominating him to face Donald Trump in 2020 is a risk the party can’t afford. Biden relayed a moving story of military heroism and his own role in honoring a US Navy captain to a rapt audience last week. The problem was, as the Washington Post reported, “almost every detail in the story appears to be incorrect.” In fact, Biden combined elements of three different events into “one story of bravery, compassion and regret that never happened.” The generous interpretation here is that Biden did not intentionally lie, but genuinely mixed up the details due to failing memory. The cynical interpretation is that he embellished in order to play up his own role in the tale to win some campaign brownie points. Whatever the case may be, there’s no good way to spin it. The Post’s report sparked a flurry of headlines and speculation about Biden’s mental state: “We Need to Talk about Joe Biden,” reads a National Review headline. “Joe Biden Needs An Intervention,” says Townhall. “Pull it together, Joe Biden,” argued an op-ed in the Post itself. Everyone knows Joe Biden has been a gaffe machine throughout his entire career, and Democrats have always considered his blunders to be part of a folksy charm. But it’s time to get real. As long as Biden leads in the polls, Trump will be laughing himselfContinue reading

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Emmanuel Macron - France Politics Headline Today

France has proposed offering Iran credit lines worth about $15 billion (12 billion pounds) until the end of the year in return for Tehran coming fully back into compliance with its 2015 nuclear deal, an offer that hinges on Washington not blocking it, Western and Iranian sources said. European leaders have struggled to calm confrontation between Tehran and Washington since U.S. President Donald Trump quit the deal, which guarantees Iran access to world trade in return for curbs to its nuclear programme. The United States re-imposed sanctions on Iran last year and tightened them sharply this year. Iran has responded by breaching some of the limits on nuclear material in the deal, and has set a deadline for this week to take further steps. Macron has spent the summer trying to create conditions that would bring the sides back to the negotiating table. An Iranian delegation was in Paris on Monday, including oil and finance officials, to fine tune details of credit lines that would give Iran some respite from sanctions that have crippled its economy and cut off its oil exports. “The question is to know whether we can reach this $15 billion) level, secondly who will finance it, and thirdly we need to get at the very least the tacit approval of the United States. We still don’t know what the U.S. position is,” said a source aware of the negotiations. A senior Iranian official familiar with the negotiations said: “France has offered the credit line of $15Continue reading

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Joe Biden - US Today Headline Story

Joe Biden entered the Democratic primary promising “from day one” to reject campaign cash from lobbyists. “I work for you — not any industry,” Joe Biden tweeted. Yet hours after his April campaign kickoff, the former vice president went to a fundraiser at the home of a lobbying executive. And in the months since, he’s done it again and again. It’s hard to quantify how much Biden has raised from the multibillion-dollar influence industry, but the roughly $200,000 he accepted from employees of major lobbying firms is far more than any of his rivals have received, according to a review of campaign finance data by The Associated Press. Though it’s a small fraction of the $21.5 million he reported raising in the second quarter of 2019, the money demonstrates a comfort with an industry that is the object of scorn of Democratic activists and some of Biden’s principal rivals. Biden’s pledge applies only to federally registered lobbyists, and most of the money tracked by the AP was from others in the influence industry. But thousands of dollars did come from federally registered lobbyists, and Biden’s campaign said it is returning such donations. His campaign accepted roughly $6,000 in contributions from at least six federally registered lobbyists, including representatives of Google, aerospace and defense giant Lockheed Martin, and pharmaceutical companies, records show. An additional $5,750 was donated by two lobbyists who had been registered shortly before making contributions to Biden’s campaign, records show. In at least two instances, donations came fromContinue reading

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Hezbollah Military Against Israel

An escalation between Israel and Hezbollah has ended after a brief exchange of fire, but tensions remained high along the Lebanese border Monday after a series of accusations from the two enemies. Burnt fields could be seen in the border area and a new military checkpoint was set up outside the Israeli community of Avivim. Schools were however open and residents were returning to normal activity in Avivim, from where the Lebanese town of Maroun al-Ras is clearly visible on a nearby hill. “The war can start in a minute. I am worried it could happen,” Dudu Peretz, 35, said as he was dropping his son off at kindergarten. Sunday’s incident — which caused no casualties — followed a week of rising tensions that included what Hezbollah described as an Israeli drone attack on its Beirut stronghold on August 25. Israel has not acknowledged that attack but subsequently accused Hezbollah of working with Iran in Lebanon to produce precision-guided missiles. Hezbollah had warned of retaliation, and on Sunday it fired up to three anti-tank missiles from Lebanon at an Israeli battalion headquarters near Avivim and at a vehicle Israel said was a military ambulance. Israel retaliated with around 100 artillery shells targeting the squad that fired the missiles. Hezbollah issued a statement soon afterward saying it had destroyed an Israeli military vehicle and killed and wounded those inside. Israel’s military later refuted the claim, saying no one was injured, but Israeli media reported that a ruse may have contributed toContinue reading

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China vs US - United States - America News Headlines

The United States and China on Sunday put in place their latest tariff increases on each other’s goods, potentially raising prices Americans pay for some clothes, shoes, sporting goods and other consumer items before the holiday shopping season. President Donald Trump said U.S.-China trade talks were still on for September. “We’ll see what happens,” he told reporters as he returned to the White House from the Camp David presidential retreat. “But we can’t allow China to rip us off anymore as a country.” The 15% U.S. taxes apply to about $112 billion of Chinese imports. All told, more than two-thirds of the consumer goods the United States imports from China now face higher taxes. The administration had largely avoided hitting consumer items in its earlier rounds of tariff increases. But with prices of many retail goods now likely to rise, the Trump administration’s move threatens the U.S. economy’s main driver: consumer spending. As businesses pull back on investment spending and exports slow in the face of weak global growth, American shoppers have been a key bright spot for the economy. “We have got a great economy,” said Sen. Pat Toomey, R-Pa. “But I do think that the uncertainty caused by volatile tariff situation and this developing trade war could jeopardize that strength, and that growth, and that is, I think, that’s a legitimate concern,” he told ABC’s “This Week.” As a result of Trump’s higher tariffs, many U.S. companies have warned that they will be forced to pass on toContinue reading

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