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 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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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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Joe Biden - US Today Headline Stories

“I promise you, I promise you,” Joe Biden told a few hundred supporters outside his Council Bluff campaign office, “we’re going to win this race, and we’re going to beat Donald Trump, and we’re going to change America.”

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Hong Kong Election Voters

Record numbers of Hong Kong people voted on Sunday in district elections viewed as a barometer of support for Chief Executive Carrie Lam, a turnout apparently triggered by six months of demonstrations for greater democracy. The police presence was thin, and no violence or other disturbances were reported. Protests have been muted in recent days after pro-democracy figures urged citizens to cease disruptions to avoid giving the government an excuse to delay or suspend the polls. The vote is the closest Hong Kongers get to direct representation. Brutal attacks on candidates in recent weeks have thrust the lowest tier of government in the Chinese-ruled city into the world spotlight as authorities struggle to quash angry demands for universal suffrage. A record 1,104 candidates were vying for 452 seats, and a record 4.1 million people had enrolled to vote for district councilors, who control some spending and decide issues such as recycling and public health. If the pro-democracy campaigners gain control, they could secure six seats on Hong Kong’s Legislative Council and 117 seats on the 1,200-member panel that selects the city’s chief executive. Government data showed 1,746,709 people had already voted by 2:30 p.m., surpassing the 1,467,229 who voted in the last district elections four years ago. Campaigning has been marred by acrimony. One pro-democracy candidate’s ear was bitten off in an attack, and 17 other candidates of all stripes have been arrested over protest-related activities. Election authorities banned leading democracy activist Joshua Wong from running in the district electionContinue reading

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Protesters hold a portrait of Hindu deity Ayappa - India News

India’s Supreme Court on Saturday ruled in favor of a Hindu temple on a disputed religious ground in the country’s north and ordered that alternative land be given to Muslims to build a mosque — a verdict in a highly contentious case that was immediately deplored by a key Muslim body. The dispute over land ownership has been one of India’s most heated issues, with Hindu nationalists demanding a temple on the site in the town of Ayodhya in Uttar Pradesh state for more than a century. The 16th century Babri Masjid mosque was destroyed by Hindu hard-liners in December 1992, sparking massive Hindu-Muslim violence that left some 2,000 people dead. Saturday’s verdict paves the way for building the temple in place of the demolished mosque. As the news broke, groups of jubilant Hindus poured into Ayodhya’s streets and distributed sweets to celebrate the verdict, but police soon persuaded them to return to their homes. As night fell, a large number of Hindus in the town lit candles, lamps and firecrackers to celebrate, and police faced a tougher time in curbing their enthusiasm. The five Supreme Court justices who heard the case said in a unanimous judgment that 5 acres (2 hectares) of land will be allotted to the Muslim community to build a mosque, though it did not specify where. The court said the 5 acres is “restitution for the unlawful destruction of the mosque.” The disputed land, meanwhile, will be given to a board of trustees for theContinue reading

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Boris Johnson and Nigel Farage, UK

Nigel Farage, the minor-party leader who played a major role in Britain’s decision to leave the European Union, is trying to throw his weight around again in the U.K.’s Brexit-dominated election. Farage on Friday piled the pressure on British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, saying his Brexit Party will run against Johnson’s Conservatives across the country in the Dec. 12 early election unless Johnson abandons his divorce deal with the EU. Farage spoke a day after U.S. President Donald Trump barged into the British election campaign, urging his friend Farage to make an electoral pact with Johnson’s Conservatives. Trump told Farage on the Euroskeptic politician’s own radio phone-in show Thursday that he and Johnson would be “an unstoppable force.” Johnson on Friday gently rebuffed Trump’s suggestion and ruled out an electoral pact with Farage. “If I may respectfully say to all our friends around the world … the only way to get this thing done is to vote for us,” Johnson told ITV News. “If you vote for any other party, the risk is you’ll just get Jeremy Corbyn, the Labour Party, dither and delay.” All 650 seats in the House of Commons are up for grabs in the election that is coming more than two years early, with winners to be chosen by Britain’s 46 million voters. If the Brexit Party runs in only a small number of seats, that would help the Conservatives, who are vying with Farage for the support of Brexit-backing voters. Farage’s party, which was foundedContinue reading

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Arlene Foster - Northern Ireland Headlines Politics Today

Boris Johnson’s allies in Northern Ireland vowed Saturday to keep rejecting the British prime minister’s divorce deal with the European Union until his government wins more concessions from the bloc. Arlene Foster, the leader of Northern Ireland’s Democratic Unionist Party, said she demanded honesty from the British government. She told her party conference in Belfast that regulatory and customs borders between Northern Ireland and the rest of the United Kingdom were not acceptable. “We will not give support to the government when we believe they are fundamentally wrong and acting in a way that is detrimental to Northern Ireland and taking us in the wrong direction,” Arlene Foster said. “We will oppose them and we will use our votes to defeat them.” Her comments are important because Johnson needs more votes in Parliament than just his Conservative party to get his Brexit deal passed. “Let me say clearly from this platform today that we want to support a deal that works for the whole of the United Kingdom and which does not leave Northern Ireland behind,” she said. “But without change, we will not vote for the prime minister’s agreement.” Parliament has already dealt Johnson a series of setbacks and derailed his promise to take Britain out of the EU by the end of the month “come what may.” Johnson has now pinned his hopes on an early general election, calling for one on Dec. 12, but how Britain will solve its Brexit stalemate is still completely up in theContinue reading

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Donald Trump and Barack Obama, USA News

Back in 2012, Donald Trump had tweeted: “Why Is @BarackObama constantly issuing executive orders that are major power grabs of authority?”

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Vladimir Putin and Recep Tayyip Erdogan Phone Calls, Turkey and Russia

Russian President Vladimir Putin has warned that the Turkish military incursion into northeastern Syria could lead to the revival of the Daesh terrorist group in the region. Putin issued the warning in a televised address during a visit to Turkmenistan on Friday, saying that members of the Takfiri outfit held in northeast Syria could escape from jail as a result of the Turkish offensive. “I’m not sure whether the Turkish army will be able to take this under control — and how soon,” Vladimir Putin was quoted as saying by the Russia’s Interfax news agency. “This is a real threat to us.” Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan announced on Tuesday that his country’s military forces and the Turkish-backed militants of the so-called Free Syrian Army (FSA) had launched an offensive in Syria’s northeast. Erdogan has claimed that the offensive only targets militants affiliated with Daesh as well as Kurdish militants in order to establish a Turkish safe-region there and resettle millions of refugees in the area. Ankara views US-backed YPG militants as a terrorist organization tied to the homegrown Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) militant group, which has been seeking an autonomous Kurdish region in Turkey since 1984. The YPG also constitutes the backbone of the so-called Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), an anti-Damascus alliance of predominantly Kurdish militants, which has much of northern Syria under control. Russia calls on Turkey to show restraint The Russian Foreign Ministry also called on Ankara on Friday to exercise restraint in northeast Syria, saying inContinue reading

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Democratic organizer Bill Chandler, USA

US Democratic organizer Bill Chandler says: “It’s neighbor to neighbor. The grass roots, from people to people, overrides money.”

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Sergei Lavrov - Russia

Russia’s foreign minister Sergei Lavrov took aim at the West on Friday, saying its philosophies are out of step with the times and that it is struggling to accept what he called its diminishing dominance in world affairs. In his speech before the U.N. General Assembly, Sergei Lavrov blamed the countries that declared themselves winners of the Cold War between the U.S. and the former Soviet Union for the current challenges facing the world, and for the increasing fragmentation of the international community. He pointedly scorned much of the “West,” a term Russian officials typically use to refer to the United States and its traditional allies in Europe. He accused them of manipulating their citizens, disseminating false information, and preventing journalists from doing their work — all charges that the West has long lobbed at the Russian government and its predecessor, the Soviet Union. “It is hard for the West to accept seeing its centuries-long dominance in world affairs diminishing,” Sergei Lavrov said. “Leading Western countries are trying to impede the development of the polycentric world, to recover their privileged positions, to impose standards of conduct based on the narrow Western interpretation of liberalism on others.” The relationship between Russia and the U.S. has been deteriorating for years. The two countries are at odds on many issues internationally, from Iran’s nuclear program to Russia’s annexation of Ukraine’s Crimea to the war in Syria. Relations frayed even further amid U.S. allegations that Russia interfered in the 2016 U.S. presidential election. AtContinue reading

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Jeremy Corbyn and Tom Watson - UK POLITICS NEWS

Tom Watson has espoused a number of viewpoints, particularly on Brexit, that angered many of Jeremy Corbyn’s left-wing supporters but appealed to the Labour Party’s moderate wing.

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Houthi Drones Strike Big Saudi Refineries Trigger Huge Fires

Yemen’s Houthi rebels launched drone attacks on the world’s largest oil processing facility in Saudi Arabia and a major oil field Saturday, sparking huge fires and halting about half of the supplies from the world’s largest exporter of oil. The attacks were the latest of many drone assaults on the kingdom’s oil infrastructure in recent weeks, but easily the most damaging. They raise concerns about the global oil supply and likely will further increase tensions across the Persian Gulf amid an escalating crisis between the U.S. and Iran over its unraveling nuclear deal with world powers. The attacks resulted in “the temporary suspension of production operations” at the Abqaiq oil processing facility and the Khurais oil field, Energy Minister Prince Abdulaziz bin Salman said in a statement carried by the state-run Saudi Press Agency. The fires “were controlled,” the statement said, and no workers were injured. The fires led to the interruption of an estimated 5.7 million barrels in crude supplies, according to the statement, which said part of that would be offset with stockpiles. The statement said Saudi Aramco, the state-owned oil giant, would provide updated information in the next 48 hours. The Iranian-backed Houthis, who hold Yemen’s capital, Sanaa, and other territory in the Arab world’s poorest country, took responsibility for the attacks in the war against a Saudi-led coalition that has fought since 2015 to reinstate the internationally recognized Yemeni government. But the U.S. blamed Iran, with Secretary of State Mike Pompeo tweeting, “There is no evidenceContinue reading

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Benjamin Netanyahu - Israel Politics News Headlines

A visibly frantic Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is in the fight of his political life as the country heads to national elections for the second time this year. With Netanyahu locked in a razor tight race and facing the likelihood of criminal corruption charges, a decisive victory in Tuesday’s vote may be the only thing to keep him out of the courtroom. A repeat of the deadlock in April’s election, or a victory by challenger Benny Gantz, could spell the end of the career of the man who has led the country for the past decade. Netanyahu’s daily campaign stunts have helped him set the national agenda — a tactic the media-savvy Israeli leader has perfected throughout his three decades in national politics. But it may well be the things he can’t control — including a former political ally turned rival and Palestinian militants in the Gaza Strip — that bring him down. Throughout the abbreviated campaign, Netanyahu has seemed to create new headlines at will. One day he is jetting off for meetings with world leaders. The next, he claims to unveil a previously undisclosed Iranian nuclear site. Then he vows to annex parts of the occupied West Bank. Nearly every day, he issues unfounded warnings about the country’s Arab minority “stealing” the election, drawing accusations of incitement and racism. “Netanyahu is always worried. That’s why he has survived this long,” said Anshel Pfeffer, a columnist at the Haaretz newspaper and author of a recent biography of Netanyahu. “EveryContinue reading

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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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Jim Mattis - USA Headline News Today

Try as he might, Jim Mattis can’t seem to hide his real feelings about Donald Trump – that the president is leading the world’s most powerful nation down a dangerously wrong path. Mattis, the retired Marine general who resigned as defense secretary last December in a military policy dispute with Trump, says he owes the nation public silence while his former boss remains in office. Yet the comments Mattis is making as he promotes his new book suggest a strong, if implicit, message: Trump’s leadership is diminishing America. From the day he accepted Trump’s offer to lead the Pentagon, Mattis knew his views didn’t align entirely with those of the president-elect, particularly on what Mattis considers a central pillar of American global power and influence: respect for allies. Trump often denigrates allies, calling them ingrates and freeloaders. Mattis, who spent more than four decades in the Marines, is a former NATO supreme allied commander. Strengthening alliances was No. 2 on his list of strategic priorities as defense secretary, behind only his push to restore what he saw as America’s eroding military edge. Nations with allies prosper, Mattis likes to say, while those without them wither. Trump prefers to largely go it alone, America first. During his two-year tenure at the Pentagon, Mattis was consistently circumspect. He shied from news cameras, concerned that any utterance could offend his boss or amplify the daylight between the two men on any number of issues. To preserve his influence, he felt he must holdContinue reading

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