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  • Pompeo seeks reassurances from Brexit Britain

    Golocal247.com news

    US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo arrived in London on Wednesday seeking reassurances over China that could let the two old allies continue sharing intelligence and strike a post-Brexit trade deal. The first leg of a five-nation tour that also takes in Ukraine comes with Britain facing a historic crossroads as it parts ways with the European Union after nearly 50 years on Friday night. US President Donald Trump has long backed Brexit and trusted the ability of Prime Minister Boris Johnson -- a headline-grabbing leader he once compared to himself -- to set Britain on a more independent and pro-American course.

    Wed, 29 Jan 2020 15:05:17 -0500
  • Putin pardons US-Israeli woman jailed in Russia for drug trafficking

    Golocal247.com news

    Russian President Vladimir Putin on Wednesday pardoned an Israeli-US woman jailed for drug trafficking, on the eve of a visit to Moscow by Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. Netanyahu, who has pushed hard for her release in his campaign for re-election March 2, is to brief Putin on President Donald Trump's Middle East plan. "I thank my friend President Putin for having pardoned Naama Issahar," Netanyahu said in a statement before leaving Washington.

    Wed, 29 Jan 2020 15:04:21 -0500
  • Aid ship with 403 migrants rescued off Libya docks in Italy

    Golocal247.com news

    A European aid organization that co-operates migrant rescue ships denounced what it characterized as a chaotic maritime rescue system in the central Mediterranean Sea as one of its vessels disembarked hundreds of rescued passengers at an Italian port Wednesday. The Ocean Viking, which is jointly operated by SOS Mediteranee and the medical nonprofit Doctors Without Borders, arrived in the southern port of Taranto with 403 of 407 migrants rescued off Libya during five operations within a 72-hour period. SOS Mediteranee operations director Federic Penard said it took the ship 10 hours to reach the location of the last two rescues and that Maltese armed forces handled a third.

    Wed, 29 Jan 2020 14:43:15 -0500
  • Cheers, Tears and Jeers for the U.K.’s Final Bow in Brussels

    (Bloomberg) -- Squeezed between an argument over what to call its transport strategy and a debate on the coronavirus, the European Parliament voted overwhelmingly in favor of Britain’s orderly departure from the European Union.It was an anti-climactic way to issue the U.K.’s last rites. But Britain’s goodbye has been gradual since voters chose that path in June 2016, and inevitable since December’s general election returned Prime Minister Boris Johnson with a large majority. The parliament in Brussels always had a veto over the Brexit deal, but it was never seriously going to block it.Instead, a two-hour debate provided the stage for the last meaningful contribution for the British in Brussels since they joined the club in 1973. Some of the U.K.’s representatives, directly elected by voters who increasingly fell out of love with Europe, hailed their moment of freedom, waved the Union Flag and cheered “hip, hip, hooray.” For others it was a time of deep regret. Their voices cracked as they described Britain’s departure as betrayal and tragedy.“The British are too big to bully,” bellowed Nigel Farage, one of the most prominent Brexit campaigners and the EU parliament’s most unruly member since 1999. But his final flourish after more than 20 years was cut off for breaking the parliament’s rules on flag-waving.But this was about the EU, too. For decades it thought membership was irreversible. Now it’s losing one of its biggest countries. To jeers from Farage’s party, Germans, Poles, Spaniards and others decried the decision and said they still dreamed that one day the Brits would be back. Several called for the EU to learn lessons as well. “It’s also our failure -- we have to recognize that,” said former Belgian Prime Minister Guy Verhoftstadt.As the parliament displayed the result of the vote, read out by interpreters in 24 languages, many politicians linked arms and broke into “Auld Lang Syne,” the traditional Scottish folk song.“Should old acquaintance be forgot, and never brought to mind?” they sang. And then, with, according to some, indecent haste, moved onto other matters.Did we really have to end “at 6 p.m. sharp?” asked Belgian politician Philippe Lamberts. “It’s not every day a country leaves the European Union.”To contact the reporter on this story: Ian Wishart in Brussels at iwishart@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Ben Sills at bsills@bloomberg.net, Richard Bravo, Robert JamesonFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.

    Wed, 29 Jan 2020 14:30:36 -0500
  • Angry Palestinians face dilemma in responding to Trump plan

    Golocal247.com news

    AL-KASSARAT, West Bank (AP) — The Palestinians have furiously rejected President Donald Trump's plan to end the Mideast conflict, which would grant them limited autonomy in parts of the Middle East, while allowing Israel to annex its West Bank settlements and keep nearly all of east Jerusalem. The Western-backed Palestinian leadership will come under mounting pressure from ordinary Palestinians and its rivals in the Islamic militant group Hamas to cut off security ties with Israel and the United States or even dismantle the increasingly unpopular Palestinian Authority.

    Wed, 29 Jan 2020 14:11:19 -0500
  • Macron: Turkey is sending warships, mercenaries to Libya

    Golocal247.com news

    French President Emmanuel Macron on Wednesday accused Turkey of breaching an agreement to halt foreign interference in Libya by sending warships and mercenaries to the North African country. Following a meeting with Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis, Macron also described a maritime deal between Turkey and Libya's U.N.-backed government as a “void document" with no legal or political standing.

    Wed, 29 Jan 2020 14:03:14 -0500
  • Iraq's president issues deadline to choose next PM

    Golocal247.com news

    Iraq's president has given rival political blocs a deadline to select a prime minister nearly two months after the outgoing premier resigned under pressure from mass demonstrations, his office said in a statement Wednesday. Violence continued for a second week in Baghdad's Tahrir Square, the epicenter of the popular protests, with security forces using pellet guns to disperse protesters. President Barham Saleh asked parliamentary blocs to select a candidate to replace outgoing premier Adel Abdul-Mahdi by Feb. 1.

    Wed, 29 Jan 2020 13:33:03 -0500
  • Nigel Farage cut off during final address to European Parliament for waving British flags

    Golocal247.com news

    And with that Nigel Farage is on his way out of Brussels.Farage, a British Member of the European Parliament and leader of the U.K.'s Brexit Party, at long last got to say good bye to the European Union after MEPs ratified U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson's withdrawal agreement Wednesday, setting up the country's departure from the governing body at the end of the week. And, boy, did he enjoy it.Farage and his bellow Brexity Party members stood up and proudly waved the Union Jack as a farewell before getting cut off for breaking parliamentary rules, and he didn't seem to mind one bit. His allies then began a "hip-hip-hooray" chant.> "We are going to wave you goodbye." @Nigel_Farage and Brexit Party MEPs wave the Union flag in a farewell to the European Union. > > Get more on the UK's exit from the EU here: https://t.co/Z4HI1WcOoB pic.twitter.com/w7E17pQ4tC> > — Sky News (@SkyNews) January 29, 2020It certainly wasn't a happy day for everyone, though. Some British MEPs expressed their dismay over Brexit, while others said they were determined to one day bring the U.K. back into the fold. MEP Martin Horwood, a Liberal Democrat, received a standing ovation after declaring "We will be back."More stories from theweek.com It's 2020 and women are exhausted The 3 kinds of Republicans that Bolton's testimony would reveal Bolton reportedly received a formal threat from White House to prevent book publication

    Wed, 29 Jan 2020 13:01:00 -0500
  • Trump trial gets more pointed with Bolton book at the center

    Golocal247.com news

    President Donald Trump's impeachment trial shifted to sharply pointed, back-and-forth questioning Wednesday as Republicans strained to contain the fallout over John Bolton's forthcoming book, which threatens their hopes of ending the trial with a quick acquittal. Three Republican senators asked Trump's legal team: If there was more than one motive for Trump's conduct in Ukraine, as he pushed for political investigations of Joe Biden, should the Senate still consider the Biden pressure an abuse of power?

    Wed, 29 Jan 2020 12:54:12 -0500
  • Deployment of new US nuclear warhead on submarine a dangerous step, critics say

    Golocal247.com news

    First submarine to go on patrol armed with the W76-2 warhead makes a nuclear launch more likely, arm control advocates warnThe US has deployed its first low-yield Trident nuclear warhead on a submarine that is currently patrolling the Atlantic Ocean, it has been reported, in what arms control advocates warn is a dangerous step towards making a nuclear launch more likely.According to the Federation of American Scientists, the USS Tennessee – which left port in Georgia at the end of last year – is the first submarine to go on patrol armed with the W76-2 warhead, commissioned by Donald Trump two years ago.It has an explosive yield of five kilotons, a third of the power of the “Little Boy” bomb dropped on Hiroshima and considerably lower than the 90- and 455-kiloton warheads on other US submarine-launched ballistic missiles.The Trump administration’s nuclear posture review (NPR) in February 2018, portrays this warhead as a counter to a perceived Russian threat to use its own “tactical” nuclear weapons to win a quick victory on the battlefield.Advocates of W76-2 argued that the US had no effective deterrent against Russian tactical weapons because Moscow assumed Washington would not risk using the overwhelming power of its intercontinental ballistic missiles in response, for fear of escalating from a regional conflict to a civilian-destroying war.Critics of the warhead say it accelerates a drift towards thinking of nuclear weapons as a means to fight and win wars, rather than as purely a deterrent of last resort. And the fielding of a tactical nuclear weapon, they warn, gives US political and military leaders a dangerous new option in confronting adversaries other than Russia.Trump’s NPR says the US could use nuclear weapons in response to “significant non-nuclear strategic attacks”, including but not limited to “attacks on US, allied or partner civilian population or infrastructure”.The US Navy and Strategic Command did not immediately respond to a request for comment. Hans Kristensen, the director of the nuclear information project at FAS, said the report on the arming of the USS Tennessee is based on briefings from officials.“We have had conversations with people inside, and they’ve been pretty clear that this has happened,” Kristensen said. “They see a need to talk about it to some extent, because if people don’t know it’s out there, then how can it deter?”“This is a very rapid mind quick turnaround for a nuclear weapon, and that’s obviously because it was a fairly simple adjustment of an existing warhead,” he added. “They have argued that this is to deter Russia, but it also has clear implications or potential use against other adversaries, not least North Korea and Iran.”Kristensen said: “Certainly the low-yield collateral effect that would come from this weapon would be very beneficial to a military officer who was going to advise to the president whether we should cross the nuclear threshold.”

    Wed, 29 Jan 2020 12:53:11 -0500
  • Johnson to Hail Hope and Opportunity of Brexit Just as U.K. Leaves EU

    (Bloomberg) -- U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson will make a speech to the nation at 10 p.m. on Friday -- an hour before the country leaves the European Union.After three years of political turmoil over Brexit, Johnson said finally leaving the bloc will be “a great moment for our country”. It will be a time of “hope and opportunity” and a chance to come together, he said in a Facebook broadcast released by his office.The prime minister said he will mark the moment in a way that’s “mindful” of the nation’s divisions over breaking with the bloc. His Conservative Party has spent decades divided over the U.K.’s relationship with the EU and even Johnson’s own family has been split. Last year his brother Jo quit the cabinet over the premier’s Brexit plans.“I will be celebrating in a way that I hope is respectful of the scale of the event, that does justice to the astonishing feat that Britain has accomplished, but also is mindful or everybody’s feelings about what we are doing,” he said.To contact the reporters on this story: Jessica Shankleman in London at jshankleman@bloomberg.net;Olivia Konotey-Ahulu in London at okonoteyahul@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Tim Ross at tross54@bloomberg.net, Thomas Penny, Robert HuttonFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.

    Wed, 29 Jan 2020 12:46:58 -0500
  • EU Parliament Backs Brexit Deal, Clearing Way for U.K. Departure

    Golocal247.com news

    (Bloomberg) -- The European Parliament approved Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s Brexit deal, clearing the way for the U.K. to leave the EU on Jan. 31 with an agreement that, for the time being, will avoid a chaotic rupture.Officials on both sides say the fight over the divorce deal was the easy part. Over the next 11 months, the U.K. and the European Union will argue over the terms of their future relationship, which could be even tougher than the negotiations that began after Britain voted to leave in June 2016.The parliament’s backing in Brussels on Wednesday, a legal requirement for Britain to leave the EU with a deal, means the country will leave the bloc it joined in 1973 with an agreement over the terms of its divorce and a transition phase to soften the blow until the end of the year.While the parliament’s support was ultimately a formality -- it voted in favor by 621 votes to 49 -- it did have the power to veto the deal. Since the U.K.-EU negotiations began in June 2017, lawmakers occasionally threatened to use that power, particularly over the issue of the post-Brexit protection of rights of citizens.The endorsement follows approval by the British Parliament earlier this month after a revised deal was struck between the U.K. and EU in October.To contact the reporter on this story: Ian Wishart in Brussels at iwishart@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Ben Sills at bsills@bloomberg.net, Richard Bravo, Edward EvansFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.

    Wed, 29 Jan 2020 12:36:23 -0500
  • Parent resistance thwarts local school desegregation efforts

    Golocal247.com news

    As they try to address stubborn school segregation, many of the nation's school districts confront a familiar obstacle: resistance from affluent, well-organized and mostly white parents to changes affecting their children’s classrooms. From New York City to Richmond, Virginia, sweeping proposals to ease inequities have been scaled back or canceled after encountering a backlash. The debates have been charged with emotion and racist rhetoric reminiscent of the aftermath of Brown vs. Board of Education, the U.S. Supreme Court decision that threw out state laws establishing segregated schools.

    Wed, 29 Jan 2020 12:35:18 -0500
  • Human spread of virus in 3 countries outside China worrying - WHO chief

    Golocal247.com news

    The person-to-person spread of the new coronavirus in three countries - Germany, Vietnam and Japan - is worrying and will be considered by experts reconvened to consider declaring a global emergency, the World Health Organization said on Wednesday. WHO director-general Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, speaking to a news conference in Geneva on return from China, said of his meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping: "I was very encouraged and impressed by the President's detailed knowledge of the outbreak and his personal involvement in the outbreak, this for me is real leadership". Tedros, asked about an international team agreed to be sent to China, said it would be composed of WHO staff and countries should make "bilateral arrangements" to send their own experts.

    Wed, 29 Jan 2020 12:28:23 -0500
  • US expands troop, fighter jet presence at Saudi base

    Golocal247.com news

    Across the vast expanse of this desert air base, hundreds of tents have popped up and a newly arrived squadron of U.S. Air Force F-15E fighters is lined up on the tarmac, flying daily missions over Iraq and Syria. Off in the distance, two American Patriot missile batteries are scanning the skies, prepared to knock down any Iranian attack against the Saudi kingdom. The return of U.S. forces to Prince Sultan Air Base is one of the more dramatic signs of America's decision to beef up troops in the Middle East in response to threats from Iran.

    Wed, 29 Jan 2020 12:25:48 -0500
  • John Bolton will not be the next John Dean

    Golocal247.com news

    Former National Security Adviser John Bolton is the man of the hour. His forthcoming book, as summarized by The New York Times and other media outlets, appears to undermine the "no quid pro quo" defense of President Trump. He may have pried loose the Republican votes necessary to hear from additional witnesses and keep the Senate trial going. We may even get testimony from Bolton himself.Bolton is now getting fulsome praise in quarters where he was previously dismissed as a mustachioed menace. The Resistance recognizes that he may give them their best shot to take Trump down. But is Bolton, a creature of the conservative movement who relies on the Republican Party for influence, really ready to go the route of John Dean, the fired White House counsel whose Senate testimony in 1973 led to President Richard Nixon's resignation?Under Trump, we have seen a split among neoconservatives and other inveterate Republican hawks. Some have become such Never Trump mainstays that they functionally align with the left in opposition to the president, cultivating new audiences for themselves. Former Weekly Standard editor Bill Kristol, attorney George Conway (husband of Kellyanne), and Washington Post columnists Jennifer Rubin and Max Boot fit in this category. Others, like Sens. Tom Cotton and Lindsey Graham, have tried to win Trump's favor.Bolton's role in the latter camp briefly won him a spot as national security adviser to the president. As his foreign-policy differences with Trump mounted, he was eventually cashiered. He no doubt feels burned by Trump and his erstwhile colleagues who outmaneuvered him in Washington's bureaucratic games. This would be an unparalleled opportunity for revenge and perhaps a chance to install, via Vice President Mike Pence, a president more to his liking on these issues.Except Bolton isn't exactly like the Kristols and the Boots. Taking down a Republican president could permanently damage his brand and influence with the people he needs to accomplish his policy objectives. Is Bolton prepared to do that?Much is made of the fact that Bolton is not, strictly speaking, a neoconservative. In foreign policy terms, this matters little: He may be more skeptical than they of democracy promotion and some of the more idealistic arguments employed on behalf of the Iraq invasion, but he generally supports all the same wars. His threshold for the use of military force is lower than that which prevailed under Ronald Reagan or George H.W. Bush.Yet in domestic politics, it may matter more. Bolton isn't a liberal mugged by reality. His conservatism dates back to Barry Goldwater's 1964 presidential campaign. He does not find rank-and-file Republicans uncouth. Trump voters are a natural audience for his speeches, television appearances, and books — at least until now.While the fear that Trump would be insufficiently hawkish is a quiet motivation of many Never Trumpers on the right, Kristol, Rubin, and Boot have to some extent de-emphasized their foreign policy views as they have pursued a new following among the MSNBC set. Rubin in particular has criticized Iran moves by Trump she almost certainly would have praised if done by another Republican.Bolton isn't going to be able to do that, at least not so easily. His preferred foreign policy matters to him and it is only going to come to fruition under Republican presidents. He has appeared at events like the National Conservatism Summit in order to steer the new nationalist, populist right in a more hawkish and interventionist direction. He does not want to cede the field to Tucker Carlson.How much does any of this matter? If Bolton testifies, what matters most is what he saw and whether that is helpful or harmful to the president. Even if they don't make Trump's removal more likely, his revelations could become a damaging campaign issue. They could also secure majority support for an article of impeachment even if the votes to convict fall well below the required two-thirds.But if Bolton isn't ready to jump from the Trump Train to the Resistance, if he continues to have policies he needs Republicans to champion and he remains more Fox News than MSNBC, it could color his much anticipated testimony at the margins. Maybe he won't go the full John Dean. Or maybe there will be surprises that partisans of both stripes can't predict.If John Bolton looks like an unlikely hero for the Democrats, that's for one very simple reason: He is.Want more essential commentary and analysis like this delivered straight to your inbox? Sign up for The Week's "Today's best articles" newsletter here.More stories from theweek.com It's 2020 and women are exhausted The 3 kinds of Republicans that Bolton's testimony would reveal Bolton reportedly received a formal threat from White House to prevent book publication

    Wed, 29 Jan 2020 12:17:04 -0500
  • Putin pardons Israeli woman jailed in Russia on drug charges

    Golocal247.com news

    Russian President Vladimir Putin has pardoned an Israeli woman who had been jailed on drug charges, the Kremlin said Wednesday. A presidential decree ordering Naama Issachar's release on “humanitarian principles” was effective immediately, the Kremlin said. The 26-year-old backpacker was arrested in April at a Moscow airport, where she was transferring en route from India to Israel.

    Wed, 29 Jan 2020 12:14:41 -0500
  • British officials: Tanker on fire in Gulf off Sharjah in UAE

    The United Kingdom’s Maritime Trade Operations said the fire struck the vessel northwest of Sharjah, an Emirati sheikhdom. Emirati officials said they were working to put out the blaze some 21 miles (34 kilometers) off the coast of Sharjah. The blaze comes amid heightened tensions in the region after the U.S. killed Iranian Revolutionary Guard Gen. Qassem Soleimani in a drone strike in Baghdad and Iran fired ballistic missiles at Iraqi bases housing U.S. troops.

    Wed, 29 Jan 2020 12:00:28 -0500
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    Sanders defines a Jewish identity his way on the 2020 trail

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    Wed, 29 Jan 2020 11:38:07 -0500
  • Iran vows to oppose Trump Middle East plan that Gulf Arabs welcome

    Golocal247.com news

    Iran and its allies vowed to oppose a plan to carve up Israel and the Palestinian Territories touted as a peace initiative by the administration of Donald Trump while White House friends in the Arabian Peninsula welcomed the scheme, which was assembled by the president’s son-in-law and a coterie of lobbyists in Washington.The Twitter account of Iran’s supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, cited comments he made more than 18 months ago, when Ivanka Trump’s husband, real estate developer scion Jared Kushner, first began touting a Middle East peace initiative.

    Wed, 29 Jan 2020 11:19:00 -0500
  • What To Know About Donald Trump’s Senate Impeachment Trial

    Golocal247.com news

    Just when you thought impeachment season was coming to a close, a new set of trials will determine President Donald Trump’s future. On January 15, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi officially sent over the two articles of impeachment passed by the House of Representatives, ending a 27-day stalemate between our two most powerful legislative bodies. This move also set President Donald Trump’s formal Senate trial in motion. And ICYMI, it’s been quite the wild ride on Capitol Hill.This whole thing started back in August, when a whistleblower complaint alleged that Trump tried to use his office — and state officials — to force a foreign power to dig up dirt on a political rival, Joe Biden. The so-called Ukraine scandal rankled most everyone in Washington D.C. in the following months, when speculation over repeated attempts to impeach Trump suddenly became very plausible. And, it all came to a head on September 24 when Pelosi announced a formal impeachment inquiry, which lasted through mid-December. After the House of Representatives called several key witnesses to trial, the House took a final vote on December 18 to determine whether or not Donald Trump would be the third impeached President in U.S. history. On December 18, a 230-197 party-line vote in the House approved two articles of impeachment: obstruction of congress and abuse of power.And that seemed like the end of it — Donald Trump was officially impeached. But because nothing bureaucratic is ever simple, impeachment doesn’t actually mean removal from office. That’s where the Senate trial comes in. Now, the Senate will have the opportunity to conduct their own trial based on the articles of impeachment, but this time to determine criminality. Ahead, we’ve detailed what the next steps are in the Senate’s impeachment hearings. What is the difference between the Senate and House impeachment trial?Now that Trump is impeached, his trial will move from the House of Representatives to the Senate. The House tried him for impeachment, whereas the Senate will try him on criminal charges and determine if he should be removed from office. To date, the United States has never removed a sitting President from office following a Senate trial, though two presidents before Trump were both impeached: Andrew Johnson and Bill Clinton. Following the impeachment vote, Pelosi could’ve just held onto the articles of impeachment indefinitely and left Trump in limbo for as long as he holds office. But the House Speaker delivered the articles to the Senate on January 15, even handing out souvenir pens in the process. When will the Senate impeachment trial start?On Tuesday, January 21, the Senate will begin its impeachment hearings. In January, Pelosi named Reps. Adam Schiff, Jerry Nadler, Zoe Lofgren, Sylvia Garcia, Val B. Demings, Hakeem Jeffries and Jason Crow as the impeachment managers, functioning as prosecutors for the trial and responsible for making the House’s case for removal. Sen. Majority Leader Mitch McConnell announced that the impeachment managers would present the articles the following day, and began the process of establishing rules on Martin Luther King Jr. Day. Will the Senate impeachment trial be televised?Yes, the impeachment trial will be televised, but it will be very different from other congressional hearings you’ve watched on TV. This time, the Senate is controlling all cameras in the chambers and they will all have limited and fixed positions to avoid zoomed-in reaction shots. Although C-SPAN which is a cable-funded network, attempted to request cameras inside chambers, they haven’t received a response yet — and likely won’t. This essentially limits media coverage of the entire impeachment trial, which goes many precedents for reports, though it does mirror the same process as Bill Clinton’s 1999 Senate trial. How will the Senate impeachment trial work?Unlike a normal trial, instead of a judge determining what will and won’t be admissible, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell will have the power to introduce rules, shoot down proposals, dictate pace and control essentially every other facet of the trial. On Monday, January 20, McConnell announced that he plans to give House impeachment managers and Trump’s counselors each two days to lay out their opening arguments in court in an effort to stick to his speedy trial, taking place entirely between 1pm and 1am on consecutive days.McConnell also already indicated that witnesses will be a hard no, even though Democrats have only requested four. Trial rules are established by a simple majority — which the Republicans have at roll call, 53-47. Unlike a normal trial, instead of a judge determining what will and won’t be admissible, McConnell will have the power to introduce new rules, shoot down proposals, dictate pace, and control essentially every other facet of the trial. Who will be involved in the Senate impeachment trial?All 100 senators will be involved at the Senate hearings, even the ones who are currently campaigning, which means that Sen. Bernie Sanders, Sen. Elizabeth Warren and Sen. Amy Klobuchar will have to be in Washington during key weeks leading up to the Iowa caucuses.  Chief Justice John Roberts will oversee proceedings and Sen. Majority Leader Mitch McConnell will also play his leading role in determining the Senate’s trial rules throughout the process, in addition to the seven representatives that will act as impeachment prosecutors as named by Pelosi. On Monday, January 20, Trump’s counselors submitted a 110-page brief to the Senate calling for a swift acquittal. What does the Senate vote for in the impeachment trial?A couple of things. The Senate doesn’t just vote on Trump’s removal, they also vote on all the rules of the trial. The Senate will listen to arguments for and against the removal of the president, and they’ll vote to decide whether he should be acquitted or found guilty of criminal charges. A super majority is needed to actually remove a president, which means that anything less than 67 votes would spell an acquittal. For context, no president has ever been removed by impeachment, although Andrew Johnson was acquitted by just one vote. But, whether or not the president committed a crime doesn’t need to be a determining factor in any verdict during this trial. What matters is whether those crimes warrant a removal, in the Senate’s view. As a matter of fact, there are Republican senators — and his own Chief of Staff — that have already conceded the notion that the president probably did the things the House impeached him for doing, but those same senators haven’t given any indication they would vote to remove him from office. What will happen to President Trump in the Senate impeachment trial?If 67 senators conclude that Trump is guilty of crimes in the articles of impeachment, he will be removed from office. In his place, Vice President Mike Prince, who is next in the line of succession, will step into the President’s role. If less than 67 senators conclude that asking Ukraine to help take down a political rival is a removable offense, then Trump would be acquitted — and presumably emboldened. But as nearly every Democrat has reiterated, not impeaching Trump would’ve likely done the same thing. So now, we wait. What happened during opening arguments of the Senate impeachment trial?On Tuesday, opening arguments finally concluded between Democratic impeachment managers and Donald Trump’s legal team. Democrats argued that Trump abused power by trying to investigate a political opponent by withholding Congress-approved funds from the Ukraine. Spearheaded by Schiff, the managers also argued that Trump’s team attempted to stonewall the House of Representatives’ subpoenas, and called repeatedly for the testimony of former national security advisor John Bolton. But, Trump’s legal team responded by saying that all the accusations attempting to approve abuse of power were, in fact, “outside the range of impeachable offenses.” Now that opening arguments have concluded, Wednesday marks the first day of questioning in the impeachment trial.Related Content:Like what you see? How about some more R29 goodness, right here?Impeachment 2020: What Happens To Trump Next?Will The Iran Attack Affect Trump's Impeachment?A Timeline Of Donald Trump & Nancy Pelosi's Feud

    Wed, 29 Jan 2020 11:15:37 -0500
  • Bond denied for officer in handcuffed man's fatal shooting

    Golocal247.com news

    A judge denied bond Wednesday for a Maryland police officer who has been charged with murder after being accused of fatally shooting a handcuffed man in his patrol car. Judge Robert Heffron Jr. said he found convincing evidence that Prince George's County Police Cpl. Michael Owen Jr. posed a danger to the community.

    Wed, 29 Jan 2020 11:03:07 -0500
  • Palestinian refugees insulted by Trump's 'shameful' deal

    Golocal247.com news

    BEIRUT (AP) — “Insulting.” “Shameful." “A disgrace.” Those were some of the words used by Palestinian refugees in Lebanon on Wednesday to describe a White House plan for ending the Israel-Palestinian conflict. At refugee camps across the country, Palestinians staged strikes, protests and sit-ins a day after U.S. President Donald trump revealed the long-awaited details of the plan, denouncing it as ridiculously lop-sided and saying it gives them no rights. The words reflected the deep bitterness felt by Palestinians at the plan unveiled by Trump and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu at the White House on Tuesday.

    Wed, 29 Jan 2020 11:02:43 -0500
  • EU executive sets fair competition as condition of post-Brexit trade deal

    European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen told Britain on Wednesday that solid guarantees of free competition were a precondition to a new trade agreement with the EU after Brexit. Speaking at a plenary session of the European Parliament that was due to give its final approval for Britain's divorce deal later on Wednesday, von der Leyen said the two should go on working hand-in-hand on climate and security.

    Wed, 29 Jan 2020 11:02:09 -0500
  • Carnival Corporation Joins United Nations Initiative Promoting Workplace Equality

    Golocal247.com news

    Carnival Corporation & plc (NYSE/LSE: CCL; NYSE: CUK), the world's largest leisure travel company, today announced it is among the first companies to join the United Nations' Standards of Conduct for Business, a global campaign seeking to tackle discrimination against lesbian, gay, bi, trans & intersex (LGBTI) people in the workplace and in society. Carnival Corporation joins 272 major corporations as early supporters of the LGBTI diversity and inclusion initiative.

    Wed, 29 Jan 2020 10:37:00 -0500
  • U.K. Will Take Northern Rail Franchise Back Into State Ownership

    (Bloomberg) -- Boris Johnson’s U.K. government said it will take the troubled Northern Rail franchise back into state ownership from March 1, in the latest sign that his Conservative administration is willing to intervene in the running of ailing private companies.“The service provided by the rail network in the north has failed to meet the needs of passengers,” Transport Secretary Grant Shapps said as he made the announcement in a written statement to Parliament on Wednesday. “People across the north deserve better, their communities deserve better and I am determined to achieve that.”The Northern franchise is currently run by Arriva group, part of Deutsche Bahn. From March, it will be operated by the U.K.’s so-called operator of last resort, owned by Shapps’s Department for Transport. That operator has managed another franchise, the East Coast Mainline, for 19 months.The move shows Johnson’s government is ready to intervene to prioritize the needs of voters in pro-Brexit districts of northern England who backed his Conservatives in last month’s election, even at the expense of private companies.Johnson has pledged to “level up” the regions of the U.K. and the government stepped in two weeks ago to rescue airline Flybe from a collapse that threatened to shutter regional airports and reduce connectivity to badly served parts of the country.PrivatizationShapps said today’s decision will “inevitably raise questions about the future of rail privatization,” and suggested the performance of further franchises is being scrutinized. He also said the government-backed Williams Review is looking at what reforms can be made.“Over the past twenty years, privatization has reversed over two decades of declining passenger numbers and passenger journeys have almost doubled to nearly 2 billion,” he said. “However, it is clear that the current model is now struggling to deliver. Across the country a number of franchises are failing to provide the reliable services that passengers require. We know change is needed, and it is coming.”In recent weeks, Shapps has also said that FirstGroup and MTR Europe’s South Western rail franchise, which runs commuter trains into London, isn’t sustainable and has criticized FirstGroup’s TransPennine Express for unacceptable services.Arriva apologized for the problems with the franchise and said it will co-operate with the transfer to government control.“The scale of the challenges we faced outside of our direct control were unprecedented, particularly around delayed or canceled infrastructure projects and prolonged strike action,” Chris Burchell, managing director of the company’s U.K. rail unit, said in a statement. “We recognize however that overall service improvements have not come quickly enough, and passengers deserve better.”To contact the reporter on this story: Alex Morales in London at amorales2@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Tim Ross at tross54@bloomberg.net, Thomas PennyFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.

    Wed, 29 Jan 2020 09:23:17 -0500
  • 'Journeys of Faith with Paula Faris': Nikki Haley on the Sikh faith, running for president

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    On a special season of "Journeys of Faith," ABC News' Paula Faris sits down with 2020 presidential candidates and other political figures to discuss how faith and religion have shaped their politics. In this episode, Paula speaks with former Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley.

    Wed, 29 Jan 2020 09:12:00 -0500
  • A look at Israel's settlements ahead of possible annexation

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    President Donald Trump's plan for ending the Israeli-Palestinian conflict paves the way for Israel to annex most or all of its settlements in the occupied West Bank. The settlement enterprise began immediately after Israel captured east Jerusalem, the West Bank and the Gaza Strip in the 1967 war and accelerated through much of the decades-long peace process. The Palestinians view the settlements as illegal and the main obstacle to resolving the conflict, saying they make the establishment of a contiguous, viable Palestinian state virtually impossible.

    Wed, 29 Jan 2020 09:07:21 -0500
  • The Latest: Putin tells officials to prepare for new virus

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    Russian President Vladimir Putin has urged the country’s government to be prepared to deal with a possible outbreak of a new virus from China. “It is a new phenomenon, and the question is how well we are prepared for this challenge,” Putin said during a meeting with several Cabinet members. Russia shares a long border with China.

    Wed, 29 Jan 2020 09:02:04 -0500
  • CIA Interrogator Testifies That He Threatened to Kill Prisoner's Son

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    GUANTÁNAMO BAY, Cuba -- It started out as questioning about CIA policy, contracts and cables. Then it shifted to a more visceral examination of what happened to the men accused of conspiring in the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks while they were held in secret prisons, with a former interrogator testifying about chains, shackles, hoods and threats to kill one prisoner's son.In a pretrial hearing on Tuesday, David Nevin, the lawyer for Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, the accused mastermind of the 9/11 plot, held up various pieces of evidence collected at one of the CIA's now-closed overseas detention and interrogation sites. He asked the witness, James E. Mitchell, a former CIA contract psychologist who worked in the secret prisons and helped devise the torture program, what they were.Shown a chain with a red lock and built-in blue metal device, Mitchell said it looked like something you could "cinch up like a horse collar" but declared the device "completely unfamiliar to me."His answers were much the same as he was confronted with questions about other accounts of how the prisoners were treated. Mitchell said he did not recognize a screeching rendition of the heavy metal song "Let the Bodies Hit the Floor," which detainees claimed was blasted at them in isolation. He disputed the fictional portrayal in the recent film "The Report" of Mohammed being violently waterboarded.Mohammed "didn't scream, grunt or do anything," Mitchell said, citing his recollection of the 183 times he waterboarded him in March 2003. Nevin responded to Mitchell's account by reading from a CIA cable that described Mohammed letting out a "whimper, whine and moan" as guards led him to the waterboard.It was the sixth day of testimony by Mitchell in a pretrial hearing focused on the torture of the defendants during their three and four years of CIA captivity, before they were sent to the military prison at Guantanamo Bay.For much of last week, lawyers questioned Mitchell about documents, intelligence and alphanumeric codes used to mask the identities of people who worked at the black sites and obscure the locations of the prisons.But the tone changed dramatically on Monday, when Mitchell testified that he threatened to kill one of Mohammed's sons if there was another attack on America.He said he did so after he consulted a lawyer at the agency's Counterterrorism Center about how to make the threat without violating the Torture Convention.He said he was advised to make the threat conditional.So, before telling Mohammed "I will cut your son's throat," Mitchell said, he added a series of caveats. They included "if there was another catastrophic attack in the United States," if Mohammed withheld "information that could have stopped it" and "if another American child was killed."Mitchell said he made the threat in March 2003 as "an emotional flag" as he was transitioning from waterboarding and other violent "enhanced interrogation techniques" to more traditional questioning of Mohammed.Pakistani security forces reportedly seized Mohammed's sons, Abed, 7, and Yusuf, 9, in September 2002 in a joint raid with U.S. forces that apprehended Ramzi bin al-Shibh, another defendant in the 9/11 war crimes case. Mohammed would be captured in Pakistan six months later. He was at a CIA black site in Poland later that month when Mitchell made the threat.The boys were subsequently released and are believed to be living in Iran with their mother, but Mohammed apparently did not know their fate until many years later, after his transfer to Guantanamo Bay in 2006.It was one of the most emotional moments in the testimony by Mitchell on the question of torture to help the judge decide what evidence will be allowed at the death-penalty trial, which is scheduled to start next year.Mitchell was unapologetic.He said that eight children died in the 9/11 hijackings that killed 2,976 people in New York, in Pennsylvania and at the Pentagon. Then he gestured toward Mohammed, who was sitting with his lawyers 25 feet away and declared, "He's smirking."The smirk, or any emotion, was not visible from a spectator's gallery at the back of the court. Mohammed appeared impassive throughout the testimony, occasionally fingering his long, orange-dyed beard, while his lawyer questioned Mitchell."Do you think that telling someone that might instill fear in that person?" Nevin asked."Yes, I do," Mitchell replied. "That was the only time that I made that threat to him."Mitchell said he also invoked Mohammed's children during interrogations again that same month, March 2003, in pressing for details on the whereabouts of Mohammed's nephew, Ammar al-Baluchi. Mitchell quoted himself as telling Mohammed that it would be "safer" for his family if he helped the United States find al-Baluchi rather than "have him running around and the U.S. dropping a missile on him."Al-Baluchi, who is charged in the same case with helping the 9/11 hijackers with money transfers and travel arrangements, was captured in Pakistan in April 2003 in a vehicle with another defendant in the case, Walid bin Attash.Zeke Johnson, a program director for Amnesty International who was watching the proceedings, said the threat to kill one of Mohammed's children no doubt broke the law."Threatening to kill a detainee's child would violate the Convention Against Torture and be illegal," Johnson said. "Anyone who broke the law must be held accountable -- from those at the top who ordered it to those who carried it out."This article originally appeared in The New York Times.(C) 2020 The New York Times Company

    Wed, 29 Jan 2020 08:36:12 -0500
  • Islamophobia in the US did not start with Trump, but his tweets perpetuate a long history of equating Muslims with terrorism

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    President Donald Trump retweeted a doctored image of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi wearing a hijab and Senator Chuck Schumer wearing a turban on Jan. 13. In the fake photo, both were seen standing in front of an Iranian flag with a caption saying: “The corrupted Dems trying their best to come to the Ayatollah’s rescue.” Trump was again criticized for promoting anti-Muslim sentiments and for being a social media troll who spreads false information. The image was, presumably, meant to criticize Pelosi and other Democrats for questioning Trump’s order to kill the Iranian general Qasem Soleimani by positioning Pelosi and Schumer as defending America’s “enemy” – Iran. The image portrays the hijab, turban and Iranian flag in a derogatory manner. It’s not the first time Trump has promoted Islamophobia. With rhetoric like “Islam hates us” and policies such as banning the entry of immigrants from Muslim-majority countries, Trump has reinforced the idea that Islam is a threat to the U.S. Trump may have brought Islamophobia into the highest office in the land, but American Islamophobia did not originate with Trump. As a scholar of the history of representations of Arabs and Muslims in the U.S. media, I argue that Trump’s tweet plays into a long history of equating Arabs, Muslims and Iranians with terrorism and anti-Americanism. A series of political eventsRepresentations of Arabs, Muslims and Iranians as terrorists emerged after a series of political events starting in the late 1940s. In 1947, in the shadow of World War II and the Holocaust, the United Nations proposed that Palestine be partitioned to create the state of Israel. Most Palestinians rejected the U.N.’s proposal, seeing it as a transfer from British to Israeli colonial rule. They questioned why they would forfeit their land to compensate for the genocide committed by Nazi Germany.Subsequently two Arab-Israeli wars – one in 1948 and another in 1967 – were fought which resulted in the Israeli military occupation of Palestinian territories and the denial of civil rights to Palestinians.With the objective of recovering their land and bringing attention to their plight, Palestinian groups carried out a series of airplane hijackings. In 1972, at the Munich Olympics, they took members of the Israeli team hostage. These athletes were killed during the rescue attempt. “At the same time,” points out historian William L. Cleveland, “the Israeli government conducted operations against Palestinian leaders in Europe and Beirut and the Israeli air force killed scores of people in Jordan and Lebanon during its frequent raids.”What captured the Western world’s attention, however, was Palestinians’ terror activities. U.S. news reports focused on an “Arab enemy” and awe at the capabilities of the Israeli military. In the U.S., every president since the creation of Israel stated their unequivocal support for the country. Hollywood also frequently portrayed Palestinians as terrorists. The late media scholar Jack Shaheen found 45 Hollywood films from 1949 to 2001 that depicted Palestinians as terrorists, including the 1986 film “The Delta Force” and the 1996 film “Executive Decision,” both about Palestinians hijacking airplanes. Shaheen says “absent from Hollywood’s Israeli-Palestinian movies” are stories that reveal Palestinians as normal people – “computer specialists, domestic engineers, farmers, teachers and artists.” Developing the stereotypeWhile the terrorist stereotype emerged through the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, it developed an anti-American angle through a series of political events that followed. In 1973, the Organization of Arab Petroleum Exporting Countries announced an oil embargo against several nations, including the United States, in retaliation for their support for Israel in the 1973 October War with Egypt and Syria. The six-month Arab Oil Embargo led to gas shortages, an increase in heating bills and an economic recession in the U.S. Soon thereafter, Hollywood films such as the 1976 “Network” and 1981 “Rollover” portrayed rich and greedy oil sheikhs who were a threat to the U.S. economy.Midcentury developments in Iran, an oil power, contributed to these stereotypes. In 1953, intelligence services in the U.S and England collaborated to oust the democratic secular prime minister of Iran, Mohammad Mossadegh, because he had nationalized the country’s oil industry, severing the U.S. and U.K. as beneficiaries. He was succeeded by Mohammed Reza Pahlavi, also known as the shah of Iran, who kept a pro-Western foreign policy and was seen by many as suppressing political opposition. His rule resulted in violent demonstrations. In 1979, he was overthrown in the Islamic Revolution and Ayatollah Khomeini took over as the “supreme leader.” The overthrown shah, fleeing Iran, entered the U.S. seeking cancer treatment. Iranian students protested by holding U.S. Embassy staff and diplomats hostage for 444 days. They demanded that the shah be returned to stand trial. Known as the “Iran hostage crisis,” it became one of the most widely covered stories in U.S. As professor of international affairs Melani McAlister’s research shows, it was also a turning point in how Americans saw the Middle East.News reporting broadcast Iranian students burning the American flag and chanting “Death to America.” This reporting conflated Iran with Arabs and Islam in general. Iran also came to symbolize, as McAlister points out, virulent anti-Americanism and a threat to the U.S. The late scholar Edward Said, in his book on the Iran hostage crisis, documents how scholars and journalists cast Islam as a threat to the West by explaining the crisis as resulting from a “Shi’a penchant for martyrdom” and “the Islamic mentality.”Hollywood, again, furthered the conflation of Islam and terrorism. Films like “Not Without My Daughter,” about an American woman taken hostage by her husband and his primitive religion, Islam, and “Argo,” about the hostage crisis, depicted Iranians as unreasonable fanatical people. The terrorist attacks in the U.S. on Sept. 11, 2001 entrenched this decades-long narrative of Arabs, Iranians and Muslims – as a conflated category – as the enemy. Advancing IslamophobiaFollowing President Trump’s retweet, White House Press Secretary Stephanie Grisham was asked, “Why would the president take even the time to retweet something like this?” Grisham responded, “I think the president was making the point that the Democrats seem to hate him so much that they’re willing to be on the side of countries and leadership of countries who want to kill Americans.”Both President Trump’s retweet and this rebuttal tap into the deep-seated U.S. perception that Islam, Arabs and Iran are a threat to the U.S. [ You’re too busy to read everything. We get it. That’s why we’ve got a weekly newsletter. Sign up for good Sunday reading. ]This article is republished from The Conversation, a nonprofit news site dedicated to sharing ideas from academic experts.Read more: * Why Americans appear more likely to support Christian refugees * Why do Muslim women wear a hijab?Evelyn Alsultany does not work for, consult, own shares in or receive funding from any company or organization that would benefit from this article, and has disclosed no relevant affiliations beyond their academic appointment.

    Wed, 29 Jan 2020 08:21:25 -0500
  • Britain is about to leave the EU – what's next?

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    Britain will shortly leave the European Union. So that’s it. Brexit is over, right?Wrong. To channel former British Prime Minister Winston Churchill – as every leading Brexit supporter seems to want to do – “This is not the end. It is not even the beginning of the end. But it is, perhaps, the end of the beginning.”Although Britain formally leaves the European Union on Jan. 31, little will change until the end of the year. Britain will still adhere to the four freedoms of the tariff-free single market – free movement of goods, services, capital and people – as well as rulings from the European Court of Justice. This transition period is intended to give Britain and the EU time to arrange their post-Brexit relationship. The EU wants to extend the transition period to 2022, in order to ensure a comprehensive deal. However, Boris Johnson, the British prime minister, has promised to wrap negotiations up by Christmas. I am a historian who studies the effect Brexit is having on British society and culture. It is clear to me that Johnson and the country face two problems. First, Brexit supporters want to leave the EU quickly. But they have different – and conflicting – goals they want Brexit to accomplish. Different economic futuresCritics who believe the EU too closely regulates business hope Brexit will turn their country into a buccaneering, deregulated, low-tax, free-for-all economy they call “Global Britain.” Other Brexit supporters, worried that Britain had surrendered its sovereignty to the EU, want to reassert control over immigration policy and halt European Court of Justice rulings that place EU law above British law. White, working-class supporters of Brexit, particularly those who used to vote for the center-left Labour Party, have different expectations. They hope for a return to the high-wage, export-driven economy of the period from 1945 to 1979, supported by nationalized industries and government subsidies for private enterprise, which promoted full employment and a comprehensive welfare state.In the December 2019 general election, these voters came together to give the center-right Conservatives an 80-seat majority in Parliament. But this electoral coalition is unwieldy. It reflects the way that now, a person’s opinion on Brexit largely determines how they vote.In 2019, a slight majority of British voters backed parties that wanted to prevent Brexit or maintain a close relationship with the EU. Those votes were shared between Labour, the Scottish National Party, the Greens and the centrist Liberal Democrats. But voters who wanted Brexit, irrespective of how they had voted before, had just one choice: to opt for the Conservatives. Conflicting views of the EUThe U.K. government has tried to balance the competing interests of its electoral coalition. Ministers have promised policies that will appeal to former Labour voters who last year shifted to the Conservatives: more funds for the National Health Service and investment in declining industrial regions. However, if this is the plan, no one has told Sajid Javid, the chancellor of the Exchequer. Javid, the British equivalent to the U.S. treasury secretary, recently stated that Britain should diverge from EU “regulatory requirements” designed to address health, safety and environmental concerns. The EU could respond by excluding British products from its markets, making the prospect of catastrophic economic damage from Brexit more likely. This would make it harder for the government to generate the revenue to support its spending promises. Balancing powerThe difficulties Britain faces reflect the ways in which pro-Brexit voices in government and the media have presented relations with the EU to voters.Traditionally, British policy toward Europe had one clear purpose: to prevent any one power from dominating the continent. Despite real differences about the outcome of EU withdrawal, Brexit supporters generally see the EU as a singular power that dominates the continent, threatening British interests and sovereignty. This analysis results in a misreading of history, presenting Britain as apart from Europe, not a part of Europe. In reality, the U.K. has always involved itself in European affairs, if only to shape the continent to its liking. For instance, in the mid-1980s, the British economy was growing rapidly, but European economies were faltering. Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher’s administration argued that her country’s experiments with financial deregulation and privatizing nationalized industries were the difference. The U.K. encouraged its European neighbors to follow these policies, which resulted in the establishment of the tariff-free Single Market in 1993.The Single Market has benefited Britain. Currently, the EU accounts for 45% of British exports in goods and services. Britain sends to Europe around US$350 billion worth of food, pharmaceuticals, vehicles, financial services and other products a year.But paradoxically, Brexit may well leave Britain marooned in its long-feared predicament: subject to the whims of larger powers. Once it is no longer in the EU, no matter how close Britain is to the EU’s single market, its influence will fade. In order to trade, Britain will have to accept EU rules, but will not have a role in setting those rules. If it diverges from EU regulations and standards, it closes off itself from European markets. New opportunities?Some of the architects of Brexit argue that renewed links with the former British Empire, especially India and the so-called “Anglosphere” – including Australia, Canada and New Zealand – could make up for the loss of EU markets.This belief draws on a deep well of pride and nostalgia for imperialism. Unfortunately, it is not reciprocated by those living in the former empire. Recent talks with Australia fell apart over British demands for free movement of people between the two countries. The Australian government worried that this would lead to the U.K. trying to poach skilled workers, particularly doctors and nurses who could staff the perpetually understaffed National Health Service.Canada already has a large, rich market on its doorstep – the U.S.India has made clear that a trade deal would have to be accompanied by looser immigration restrictions. Other nations would be justified in making the price of “Global Britain” an overdue reckoning with the atrocities of empire. Nor are these markets particularly lucrative. The combined size of the Australian, Canadian and New Zealand economies is about $3.3 trillion. This is only $500 billion more than annual British GDP. The Indian economy is of a similar size to that of the U.K. By contrast, the EU generates $18.7 trillion of economic activity a year. None of this is to suggest that Brexit cannot be a success. But Britain is in a geopolitical pickle. It is reasserting itself as a nation-state at precisely the moment in which the world is reorganizing itself into powerful multi-national alliances and trading blocs.[ You’re smart and curious about the world. So are The Conversation’s authors and editors. You can get our highlights each weekend. ]This article is republished from The Conversation, a nonprofit news site dedicated to sharing ideas from academic experts.Read more: * Brexit poses a dilemma for Northern Ireland’s nationalists * Brexit could spell the end of globalization, and the global prosperity that came with itLuke Reader does not work for, consult, own shares in or receive funding from any company or organization that would benefit from this article, and has disclosed no relevant affiliations beyond their academic appointment.

    Wed, 29 Jan 2020 08:21:15 -0500
  • EU's Barnier eyes loose association deal as basis for new British ties

    Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier told the 27 EU states staying on together that a loose so-called association agreement like the one the bloc has with Ukraine should serve as the basis for a new relationship with Britain, diplomatic sources said. Barnier met Brussels envoys of the 27 countries earlier on Wednesday as part of preparations for looming talks on a new EU-UK deal that will start after Britain leaves the bloc on Friday. Diplomats briefed on the closed-door meeting told Reuters Barnier stressed the bloc would not give ground on its key principles and was ready to hold negotiating rounds with Britain every three weeks on a dozen-or-so issues in parallel.

    Wed, 29 Jan 2020 08:05:52 -0500
  • Germany Lifts Economic Outlook, But Says Better Is Needed

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    (Bloomberg) -- Terms of Trade is a daily newsletter that untangles a world embroiled in trade wars. Sign up here. Germany’s government raised its growth projection for this year and pledged investment to keep Europe’s largest economy competitive as it turns more digital and climate-aware, and its population ages.The administration’s first major assessment this year comes amid signs that Germany is putting the worst of its troubles behind it. A car industry slump and a manufacturing recession held expansion to just 0.6% last year, the weakest since 2013.The government now sees the expansion improving to 1.1% in 2020 -- up from 1% previously -- and 1.3% in 2021, but Economy Minister Peter Altmaier said it needs to be better.“Current growth can’t be considered satisfactory,” he said. “We have to strengthen growth, competitiveness and productivity. Only then we will see the necessary investments in the future.”Chancellor Angela Merkel’s government highlighted a spending plan allocating more than 160 billion euros ($176 billion) through 2023 in areas such as digital infrastructure and transportation. While welcome, that falls short of the scale of fiscal stimulus many say the country needs to bolster growth.The country’s comfortable fiscal position -- it’s run surpluses for the past six years -- has given critics of Germany spending policy even more reason to make demands. But an improved economic outlook will allow Merkel to push back against such demands, and may also help her hold together a coalition that has begun to fray.The new projections are in line with last week’s update from the International Monetary Fund, which also noted that the reduction in trade tensions between the U.S. and China is good for global growth.While Germany predicts strong consumer spending and a pickup in exports, trade is still a major risk. President Donald Trump is keeping alive the threat of levies on European Union cars as the U.S. and Europe clash over issues from agriculture to digital taxes. Germany’s auto industry is already in the midst of a generational upheaval as it tries to shift toward electric vehicles.On top of that, the global backdrop so crucial to Germany’s export-dependent economy is facing a new threat from the outbreak of the deadly coronavirus.Economists are a little less confident in the outlook than the government. In a survey this month, they predicted 0.6% German growth in 2020, though the quarterly pace will improve in the second half of the year.If the pessimists wanted reason to doubt, a drop in business expectations in January was a reminder that the recovery won’t be plain sailing. On the positive side, however, that report also showed expectations in manufacturing, hugely important for Germany, rose for a fourth month.In its report, the government also took a stance on European Central Bank policy. While it noted financing conditions for companies and households are very favorable, it also pointed to risks for banks and financial markets as well as dangers of asset-price bubbles as a result of negative interest rates.(Updates with 2021 GDP forecast)To contact the reporters on this story: Fergal O'Brien in Zurich at fobrien@bloomberg.net;Birgit Jennen in Berlin at bjennen1@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Alaa Shahine at asalha@bloomberg.net, ;Ben Sills at bsills@bloomberg.net, Jana Randow, Raymond ColittFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.

    Wed, 29 Jan 2020 07:58:56 -0500
  • The Ugliest Part of Trump’s Impeachment Defense

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    (Bloomberg Opinion) -- Get Jonathan Bernstein’s newsletter every morning in your inbox. Click here to subscribe.President Donald Trump’s legal team wrapped up its three-day defense presentation in the Senate impeachment trial on Tuesday. The president’s lawyers wound up taking up less than half of their allotted time, which doesn’t necessarily mean anything — after all, the House managers who played the prosecutorial role took up all 24 hours in part by making many of their points multiple times. Keeping the defense short might be thought of as a strategy, rather than an indication of a lack of anything useful to say.In this case, however? It’s really astonishing how unimpressive their overall case turned out to be. It might have been different if persuasion had really been required, but there simply aren’t 20 Republican senators who might even consider voting to remove Trump from office (so that along with all 47 Democrats they could reach the required two-thirds), let alone the 30 or more who realistically are needed to provide cover for each other. And of the 53 Republicans, few seem to feel the need for strong reasons to stick with the president. In part, the problem is that the defense lawyers’ attempt to knock down the factual case against Trump just didn’t work to begin with. And to the extent that a case against the House’s accusations might have been viable — the first article of impeachment says that Trump withheld congressionally approved security assistance and a presidential White House meeting to pressure Ukraine to announce two investigations, one of some fantastical Ukrainian scheme to influence the 2016 U.S. presidential election, and the other of a top Democratic rival, former Vice President Joe Biden, and his son — it was fatally undermined by the news of former National Security Adviser John Bolton’s confirmation of Trump’s direct participation in the plot in his upcoming book. In fact, that track was so unsuccessful that by Tuesday night, some Republican Senators were willing to abandon it and accept that, yes, Trump did what he obviously did. This gets us to what remains of the president’s defense: the claim on Monday night by defense lawyer Alan Dershowitz that abuse of power is not an impeachable offense. As a serious position, it falls flat. Deputy White House Counsel Patrick Philbin recapped the argument on Tuesday, and it boiled down to two preposterous assertions. One is that by eliminating “maladministration” from the constitutional grounds for impeachment, the framers were also removing “abuse of power,” even though — and I’ll admit I’m not a scholar of 18th-century legal terms, but neither are they — “maladministration” means something completely different. The framers removed it because they didn’t want a president impeached for incompetence; that is, for bad administration of the government. Rightly so: President Jimmy Carter should not have been impeached and removed for being bad at presidenting. For that matter, Trump should not be impeached and removed for being bad at presidenting. What that has to do with abuse of power, I couldn’t guess. And then Philbin argued that the framers went with “treason, bribery, and high crimes and misdemeanors” because they always chose precise terms, not vague ones, in drafting the Constitution. C’mon. That would obviously be news to anyone who has read the document, especially the incredibly vague Article II, the part that sets up the presidency. And of course the phrase “high crimes and misdemeanors,” the relevant passage here, doesn’t have any precise obvious meaning. What’s worse for the president’s case is that scholars who have studied the historical meaning of “high crimes and misdemeanors” wind up with something that looks a lot like “abuse of power.” High crimes and misdemeanors are important ones against the nation, and ones that pertain specifically to the use — the misuse — of the president’s formal powers. Dershowitz and Philbin are free to disagree, and Republican senators looking for any available lifeboat are free to clamber onto this one, but that doesn’t mean the rest of us have to take it seriously. Of course “abuse of power” is grounds, if anything is grounds, for removing a president through the impeachment and conviction process. Indeed, the notion of abuse of power is the powerful answer to those who complain about thwarting the will of the people by removing the duly elected president. After all, by electing a president, the nation confers on him or her certain constitutional and statutory powers, but only those powers. If the president misuses them, that’s a form of overstepping that grant of authority. It means the president is not governing as elected, but instead is governing unconstitutionally. Then, and especially then, it becomes necessary to do something about it, with impeachment and removal the ultimate way to ensure that a president is only doing what he or she is authorized to do. And, yes, that abuse of power could take the form of doing things that would otherwise be allowed under the constitution but doing them improperly. That is what “abuse of power” means! Dershowitz and others also made the case that many presidents have abused the powers of the office, and under that standard would have been subject to impeachment and removal. That’s correct. President Lyndon Johnson deceived the nation about a naval incident in the Gulf of Tonkin in 1964 to win congressional authorization for the Vietnam War; President Ronald Reagan sold arms to Iran despite a U.S. trade embargo and improperly funneled the money to Nicaraguan Contra rebels fighting that country’s communist government; President George W. Bush presided over the the decision to use interrogation techniques considered torture under international law and at least stretched the truth to justify the invasion of Iraq; fill in your own favorite. I’d guess that all 45 U.S. presidents have probably abused the power of the office in some way. But only three, or four if we count President Richard Nixon’s resignation before an impeachment trial could begin, have been impeached and only Nixon was forced out of office. That’s because impeachment and removal is a political standard, not a legal one, and Congress has correctly proven reluctant to wield it if there were good alternatives.The classic example was the Iran-Contra affair. It may well have been impeachable. But Reagan took responsibility, rid his administration of several of those involved, accepted a new White House chief of staff foisted on him by Congress and changed his own behavior, all of which was sufficient to deflate any serious drive for impeachment. It’s not hard to imagine that had Trump taken similar steps, the House would have settled for oversight hearings and at most a censure resolution. Instead … well, this one turned out differently. Fortunately, I doubt that many people outside of 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue take this argument seriously, including those who are going to hide behind it right now, because the idea that a president can abuse the powers of the office and there’s just nothing anyone can do about it (and remember, like all recent presidents, Trump maintains that he can’t be indicted while in office) is a scary one indeed. But it’s not healthy to have a political party making the claim. On the whole, I’d rather have Republicans pretend that the facts are not the facts than to pretend that they believe that the presidency is above the law.1\. Excellent Matt Glassman item at the Monkey Cage on the first week of the impeachment trial. 2\. Heather Hurlburt on the Trump peace plan.3\. Dan Drezner on Trump’s “all is well” presidency as a strength and a weakness. 4\. Melissa Murray at A House Divided on Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas and race, patriarchy and conservatism.5\. Ariel Edwards-Levy on the polling evidence of how electability is playing out. Major caveat: We’re all notoriously unreliable when we report how we’re making our voting decisions.6\. Jonathan Chait on Senator Bernie Sanders and electability. A bit strong, but the basic point is pretty much what I’ve said: We can’t know much about who will run better in the fall, and it’s easy to overestimate candidate effects anyway, but nominating Sanders would involve accepting some real downside risk. Also: What Sean Trende says.7\. And Harry Enten on Iowa and expectations.Get Early Returns every morning in your inbox. Click here to subscribe. Also subscribe to Bloomberg All Access and get much, much more. You’ll receive our unmatched global news coverage and two in-depth daily newsletters, the Bloomberg Open and the Bloomberg Close.To contact the author of this story: Jonathan Bernstein at jbernstein62@bloomberg.netTo contact the editor responsible for this story: Jonathan Landman at jlandman4@bloomberg.netThis column does not necessarily reflect the opinion of Bloomberg LP and its owners.Jonathan Bernstein is a Bloomberg Opinion columnist covering politics and policy. He taught political science at the University of Texas at San Antonio and DePauw University and wrote A Plain Blog About Politics.For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com/opinionSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.

    Wed, 29 Jan 2020 07:53:16 -0500
  • The Ugliest Part of Trump’s Impeachment Defense

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    (Bloomberg Opinion) -- Get Jonathan Bernstein’s newsletter every morning in your inbox. Click here to subscribe.President Donald Trump’s legal team wrapped up its three-day defense presentation in the Senate impeachment trial on Tuesday. The president’s lawyers wound up taking up less than half of their allotted time, which doesn’t necessarily mean anything — after all, the House managers who played the prosecutorial role took up all 24 hours in part by making many of their points multiple times. Keeping the defense short might be thought of as a strategy, rather than an indication of a lack of anything useful to say.In this case, however? It’s really astonishing how unimpressive their overall case turned out to be. It might have been different if persuasion had really been required, but there simply aren’t 20 Republican senators who might even consider voting to remove Trump from office (so that along with all 47 Democrats they could reach the required two-thirds), let alone the 30 or more who realistically are needed to provide cover for each other. And of the 53 Republicans, few seem to feel the need for strong reasons to stick with the president. In part, the problem is that the defense lawyers’ attempt to knock down the factual case against Trump just didn’t work to begin with. And to the extent that a case against the House’s accusations might have been viable — the first article of impeachment says that Trump withheld congressionally approved security assistance and a presidential White House meeting to pressure Ukraine to announce two investigations, one of some fantastical Ukrainian scheme to influence the 2016 U.S. presidential election, and the other of a top Democratic rival, former Vice President Joe Biden, and his son — it was fatally undermined by the news of former National Security Adviser John Bolton’s confirmation of Trump’s direct participation in the plot in his upcoming book. In fact, that track was so unsuccessful that by Tuesday night, some Republican Senators were willing to abandon it and accept that, yes, Trump did what he obviously did. This gets us to what remains of the president’s defense: the claim on Monday night by defense lawyer Alan Dershowitz that abuse of power is not an impeachable offense. As a serious position, it falls flat. Deputy White House Counsel Patrick Philbin recapped the argument on Tuesday, and it boiled down to two preposterous assertions. One is that by eliminating “maladministration” from the constitutional grounds for impeachment, the framers were also removing “abuse of power,” even though — and I’ll admit I’m not a scholar of 18th-century legal terms, but neither are they — “maladministration” means something completely different. The framers removed it because they didn’t want a president impeached for incompetence; that is, for bad administration of the government. Rightly so: President Jimmy Carter should not have been impeached and removed for being bad at presidenting. For that matter, Trump should not be impeached and removed for being bad at presidenting. What that has to do with abuse of power, I couldn’t guess. And then Philbin argued that the framers went with “treason, bribery, and high crimes and misdemeanors” because they always chose precise terms, not vague ones, in drafting the Constitution. C’mon. That would obviously be news to anyone who has read the document, especially the incredibly vague Article II, the part that sets up the presidency. And of course the phrase “high crimes and misdemeanors,” the relevant passage here, doesn’t have any precise obvious meaning. What’s worse for the president’s case is that scholars who have studied the historical meaning of “high crimes and misdemeanors” wind up with something that looks a lot like “abuse of power.” High crimes and misdemeanors are important ones against the nation, and ones that pertain specifically to the use — the misuse — of the president’s formal powers. Dershowitz and Philbin are free to disagree, and Republican senators looking for any available lifeboat are free to clamber onto this one, but that doesn’t mean the rest of us have to take it seriously. Of course “abuse of power” is grounds, if anything is grounds, for removing a president through the impeachment and conviction process. Indeed, the notion of abuse of power is the powerful answer to those who complain about thwarting the will of the people by removing the duly elected president. After all, by electing a president, the nation confers on him or her certain constitutional and statutory powers, but only those powers. If the president misuses them, that’s a form of overstepping that grant of authority. It means the president is not governing as elected, but instead is governing unconstitutionally. Then, and especially then, it becomes necessary to do something about it, with impeachment and removal the ultimate way to ensure that a president is only doing what he or she is authorized to do. And, yes, that abuse of power could take the form of doing things that would otherwise be allowed under the constitution but doing them improperly. That is what “abuse of power” means! Dershowitz and others also made the case that many presidents have abused the powers of the office, and under that standard would have been subject to impeachment and removal. That’s correct. President Lyndon Johnson deceived the nation about a naval incident in the Gulf of Tonkin in 1964 to win congressional authorization for the Vietnam War; President Ronald Reagan sold arms to Iran despite a U.S. trade embargo and improperly funneled the money to Nicaraguan Contra rebels fighting that country’s communist government; President George W. Bush presided over the the decision to use interrogation techniques considered torture under international law and at least stretched the truth to justify the invasion of Iraq; fill in your own favorite. I’d guess that all 45 U.S. presidents have probably abused the power of the office in some way. But only three, or four if we count President Richard Nixon’s resignation before an impeachment trial could begin, have been impeached and only Nixon was forced out of office. That’s because impeachment and removal is a political standard, not a legal one, and Congress has correctly proven reluctant to wield it if there were good alternatives.The classic example was the Iran-Contra affair. It may well have been impeachable. But Reagan took responsibility, rid his administration of several of those involved, accepted a new White House chief of staff foisted on him by Congress and changed his own behavior, all of which was sufficient to deflate any serious drive for impeachment. It’s not hard to imagine that had Trump taken similar steps, the House would have settled for oversight hearings and at most a censure resolution. Instead … well, this one turned out differently. Fortunately, I doubt that many people outside of 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue take this argument seriously, including those who are going to hide behind it right now, because the idea that a president can abuse the powers of the office and there’s just nothing anyone can do about it (and remember, like all recent presidents, Trump maintains that he can’t be indicted while in office) is a scary one indeed. But it’s not healthy to have a political party making the claim. On the whole, I’d rather have Republicans pretend that the facts are not the facts than to pretend that they believe that the presidency is above the law.1\. Excellent Matt Glassman item at the Monkey Cage on the first week of the impeachment trial. 2\. Heather Hurlburt on the Trump peace plan.3\. Dan Drezner on Trump’s “all is well” presidency as a strength and a weakness. 4\. Melissa Murray at A House Divided on Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas and race, patriarchy and conservatism.5\. Ariel Edwards-Levy on the polling evidence of how electability is playing out. Major caveat: We’re all notoriously unreliable when we report how we’re making our voting decisions.6\. Jonathan Chait on Senator Bernie Sanders and electability. A bit strong, but the basic point is pretty much what I’ve said: We can’t know much about who will run better in the fall, and it’s easy to overestimate candidate effects anyway, but nominating Sanders would involve accepting some real downside risk. Also: What Sean Trende says.7\. And Harry Enten on Iowa and expectations.Get Early Returns every morning in your inbox. Click here to subscribe. Also subscribe to Bloomberg All Access and get much, much more. You’ll receive our unmatched global news coverage and two in-depth daily newsletters, the Bloomberg Open and the Bloomberg Close.To contact the author of this story: Jonathan Bernstein at jbernstein62@bloomberg.netTo contact the editor responsible for this story: Jonathan Landman at jlandman4@bloomberg.netThis column does not necessarily reflect the opinion of Bloomberg LP and its owners.Jonathan Bernstein is a Bloomberg Opinion columnist covering politics and policy. He taught political science at the University of Texas at San Antonio and DePauw University and wrote A Plain Blog About Politics.For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com/opinionSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.

    Wed, 29 Jan 2020 07:53:16 -0500
  • Israeli president: Germany must win anti-Semitism fight

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    Lamenting rising anti-Semitism in Europe, Israel's president said Germany “must not fail” in fighting it as he addressed German lawmakers Wednesday to mark the 75th anniversary of the Auschwitz death camp's liberation. Israeli President Reuven Rivlin's address to parliament capped a three-day visit to Germany that started when he flew to Berlin from anniversary events at the Auschwitz site on Monday with German counterpart Frank-Walter Steinmeier. Rivlin, who recalled protesting when West Germany sent its first ambassador to Israel in 1965, praised today's Germany as “a beacon for democracy, for liberalism, for responsibility and moderate forces.” He said that gives Germany “enormous” responsibility at a time when there are “other trends” in Europe and elsewhere.

    Wed, 29 Jan 2020 07:50:42 -0500
  • 10 things you need to know today: January 29, 2020

    1.President Trump on Tuesday unveiled a Middle East peace plan that would give Israel control of a unified Jerusalem as its capital, and let it hold onto settlements in the West Bank. The proposal also called for a Palestinian state, but one with limited sovereignty and a capital in "eastern Jerusalem" cut off from the rest of the city by an Israeli military barrier. "My vision presents a win-win opportunity for both sides," Trump said. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu stood by Trump's side as he announced the long-awaited plan. There was no Palestinian representative present. Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas called Trump's proposal the "slap of the century," and thousands of Palestinians protested in Gaza and the West Bank. [The New York Times, Reuters] 2.President Trump's lawyers wrapped up the opening argument in their defense against charges that Trump abused his power by pressuring Ukraine to investigate Democrats. Trump's legal team argued against subpoenaing former National Security Adviser John Bolton to testify in the Senate impeachment trial, saying his testimony would be irrelevant. "This should end now, as quickly as possible," White House counsel Pat Cipollone said. Bolton reportedly wrote in a draft of his upcoming book that Trump said last year he was withholding security aid to Ukraine until its leaders committed to investigating Joe Biden, a frontrunner for the Democratic presidential nomination. That news increased pressure from potentially key Republicans to have Bolton testify, which could derail the White House's push to finish the trial quickly. [The Associated Press] 3.During a meeting of Republican senators on Tuesday afternoon, GOP leaders announced that they do not have enough votes to stop witnesses from being called at President Trump's impeachment trial, The Wall Street Journal and The Associated Press report. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) did not share any numbers, but did acknowledge the votes aren't where he needs them to be, people with knowledge of the meeting said. The senators will vote later this week on whether to allow witnesses in the trial, and a new Quinnipiac poll shows 75 percent of voters want to hear witness testimony. Trump's lawyers finished their opening arguments on Tuesday, and declared the trial should end "as quickly as possible" without any witnesses. [The Wall Street Journal, The Associated Press] 4.U.S. health officials on Tuesday expanded screening rules for international travelers in response to the fast-spreading coronavirus outbreak that started in China. Beijing has confirmed more than 4,500 infections, and more than 106 deaths. Despite the increased precautions, Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar said, "At this point Americans should not worry for their own safety." Hong Kong on Tuesday said it would cut rail links to mainland China and reduce flights. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has expanded a travel warning to its highest level, urging U.S. citizens against travel to China after confirming a fifth case in the United States. [The Associated Press, Time] 5.The Los Angeles County coroner's office announced Tuesday that search crews had recovered the remains of all nine people who died in the crash of basketball legend Kobe Bryant's helicopter, which crashed in heavy fog on Sunday. Bryant, his 13-year-old daughter, Gianna, two of her teammates, their parents, a coach, and the pilot died when the helicopter slammed into a hillside on the way to a youth basketball tournament. Bryant's remains were among the first four identified. Investigators are trying to determine what caused the tragedy. Some experts have said the weather, which had left some other aircraft grounded, could have been a factor. The chartered helicopter did not have a recommended warning system designed to alert the pilot the aircraft was too close to the ground, National Transportation Safety Board officials said. [The New York Times] 6.The Congress Budget Office released a report Tuesday predicting U.S. debt will reach 98 percent of the country's GDP by 2030, up from the 81 percent the office foresees the deficit reaching by the end of 2020. The CBO projects the government will spend $1 trillion more than it collects in 2020. The prognostication is reportedly mostly a result of tax cuts and the assumption that the government will continue to increase spending. If the Trump administration's tax cuts enacted in 2017 are extended beyond their current expiration at the end of 2025, the latest CBO estimates may fall short. CBO Director Phillip Swagel expects the deficit level to eventually reach some historic highs, especially for a time of low unemployment. He said his office's projections will approach figures not seen "since World War II." [The Wall Street Journal] 7.Britain on Tuesday decided to allow Huawei to supply some high-speed 5G network equipment to wireless carriers, despite a warning from the Trump administration that it would stop sharing intelligence with any country that did not ban the Chinese tech giant. The British government's decision marked a first among major U.S. allies in Europe. The U.S. has warned that doing business with Huawei could put government secrets at risk because Huawei could give China's government access to data, a charge Huawei denies. Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab said the U.K. would never do anything to threaten its national security, or that of its intelligence-sharing partners. "We know more about Huawei and the risks that it poses than any other country in the world," Raab said. [The Associated Press] 8.The U.S. military on Tuesday recovered the remains of two crew members who died when a U.S. military surveillance plane crashed in Afghanistan. The U.S. disputed claims by the Taliban that members of the Islamist extremist group shot down the aircraft, a Bombardier E-11A. The crash occurred in Taliban-controlled territory in Ghazni province. The Pentagon said the remains had been "treated with dignity and respect by the local Afghan community." U.S. forces recovered what was believed to be the plane's flight data recorder. "The cause of the crash remains under investigation, however there are no indications the crash was caused by enemy fire," the U.S. military statement said. [Reuters] 9.The Pentagon said Tuesday that 50 American service members suffered brain injuries in an Iranian missile attack on Al Asad Air Base in Iraq on Jan. 8. Thirty-one of the soldiers returned to duty after being treated in Iraq. Eighteen were transported to Germany for further evaluation. Immediately after the attack, President Trump said no Americans were injured, and as recently as last week he dismissed the injuries as "not very serious." "I heard they had headaches," he said. Iran fired the missiles from its own territory in what it said was retaliation for the Jan. 3 U.S. drone strike that killed a top Iranian general, Qassem Soleimani, in Baghdad. [The New York Times] 10.A 7.7 magnitude earthquake struck Tuesday in the Caribbean Sea between Jamaica and Cuba. The quake's center was six miles deep, about 70 miles northwest of Montego Bay, Jamaica. The powerful tremor, one of the most powerful on record in the Caribbean, caused severe shaking in western Jamaica, with light shaking on Mexico's Yucatan Peninsula, the U.S. Geological Survey said. The quake was felt as far away as Miami in South Florida, where several buildings were evacuated. Authorities issued a tsunami warning, but it was later lifted. There were no immediate reports of damage or injuries. The earthquake appeared to have been centered on the fault boundary between the North American and Caribbean plates. It was the fourth earthquake of magnitude 7 or greater recorded in the Caribbean since 2000. [USA Today]More stories from theweek.com It's 2020 and women are exhausted The 3 kinds of Republicans that Bolton's testimony would reveal Bolton reportedly received a formal threat from White House to prevent book publication

    Wed, 29 Jan 2020 06:49:00 -0500
  • Containing Paranoia as Well as a Deadly Virus

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    (Bloomberg) -- Want to receive this post in your inbox every day? Sign up for the Balance of Power newsletter, and follow Bloomberg Politics on Twitter and Facebook for more.China’s unprecedented decision to quarantine a city bigger than New York has prompted travel curbs that have spread around the world nearly as fast as the deadly virus they’re intended to stop.Many of those measures have found Chinese travelers — healthy or otherwise — facing suspicion, a sideways glance, or an awkward shuffle away. With nearly 6,000 cases in China alone and at least 132 deaths, the virus presents a major challenge for governments to limit the contagion.British Airways has stopped all flights to and from mainland China. Citizens in South Korea and Singapore are circulating petitions to ban all Chinese visitors. Hong Kong has halted most daily visitors from the mainland. Even within China, residents from the hard-hit quarantined city of Wuhan have faced greater scrutiny.The fact this virus came from China makes it more complicated. While Beijing says it is sharing information, it has a history of either reacting slowly to crises or being less than transparent on the details. At home, authorities have long sought to control what the public sees and hears.That backdrop could fuel fears officials either failed to respond fast enough or are now reacting so firmly because the virus is much worse than it’s letting on.That risks fueling paranoia against Chinese people in general. China is a rising economic and military power that’s challenging decades of U.S. dominance. A strong narrative in recent years has been fear of what the growing clout of the secretive Communist state might mean for the rest of the world. There’s much debate about the role of its telecoms giant Huawei in global networks and perceived threats to security.As governments move to protect their citizens from the virus, the balancing act is to avoid things tipping into anti-Chinese sentiment as a whole.Global HeadlinesDead on arrival? | Palestinian leaders swiftly rejected U.S. President Donald Trump’s Middle East peace plan, which heavily favors Israel and offers the Palestinians far less than they’d have received under two previous proposals they also deemed non-starters. While Arab leaders haven’t monolithically come out in opposition, winning support in their countries will be complicated by a lingering animus toward the Jewish state.Protests broke out in the West Bank and Gaza Strip and are set to continue through the week. But the crowds never topped a few hundred in each place, and Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas has urged a non-violent response.Question time | Senators will spend the next two days grilling Trump’s defense team and House impeachment managers, with Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell trying to salvage his plans for a quick trial. His strategy hinges on a pivotal vote, possibly Friday, on whether to call witnesses. McConnell told his Republican colleagues at a hastily called meeting yesterday that there weren’t yet the needed 51 firm votes to block witnesses. A failure would be a major blow to McConnell and the White House.Joe Biden’s resilience to attacks over his son Hunter’s work for a Ukrainian company could soon face its toughest test, Joshua Green reports, with Republicans threatening to subpoena the younger Biden as a an impeachment trial witness.High seas tensions | The U.S. Navy’s patrols of the South China Sea earned a rebuke from Beijing after a warship entered waters near the contested Spratly Islands. China, one of the archipelago’s six claimants, accused the U.S. of a “deliberate provocation” when the USS Montgomery sailed through without its permission, while the Navy’s Seventh Fleet said the maneuver was within the bounds of international law.Waning influence | Trump’s bid to convince U.S. allies to lock Huawei out of their fifth-generation telecommunications networks is expected to suffer another blow today when the European Union reveals its 5G guidelines. Facing threats of retaliation from both Washington and Beijing, the EU will probably follow the U.K.’s decision yesterday to exclude high-risk suppliers from core parts of their systems but reject an outright ban on Huawei.Jihadist raid | Islamist militants killed at least 39 people in a northern village of Burkina Faso in the West African nation’s deadliest attack this year. Eschewing their normal tactic of targeting teachers and soldiers, reports about the weekend assault say the insurgents surrounded a market, told the women to leave and executed the men. Violence in the region is spreading despite large contingents of French and United Nations forces.What to WatchGerman Chancellor Angela Merkel’s coalition partners are no longer talking about trying to bring down her government or demanding big spending projects and will focus instead on fine-tuning economic policy when they meet tonight. The EU and the U.K. face tough negotiations over subsidies, taxes, fish, and workers’ rights, as they try to hammer out a post-Brexit trade deal by year’s end, Ian Wishart and Jonathan Stearns explain. U.S. Secretary of State Michael Pompeo is set to meet U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson in London today before traveling to Ukraine to meet President Volodymyr Zelenskiy in a bid to persuade Kyiv that U.S. support remains amid the Trump impeachment saga.Tell us how we’re doing or what we’re missing at balancepower@bloomberg.net.And finally...South African billionaire Patrice Motsepe apologized for telling Trump that Africa loves him but warned of the continent’s growing anti-American sentiment, which he said may hamper investment. Motsepe’s remarks to Trump — who two years ago reportedly referred to African nations as “shithole countries” — at a dinner during last week’s World Economic Forum in Davos sparked a debate among his countrymen, who questioned his right to speak on behalf of the continent. \--With assistance from Karl Maier, Philip Heijmans and Amy Teibel.To contact the author of this story: Rosalind Mathieson in London at rmathieson3@bloomberg.netTo contact the editor responsible for this story: Kathleen Hunter at khunter9@bloomberg.netFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.

    Wed, 29 Jan 2020 05:58:09 -0500
  • Bangladesh to improve schools for Rohingya refugee children

    Golocal247.com news

    Authorities in Bangladesh in partnership with the United Nations will expand educational programs for hundreds of thousands of Muslim Rohingya children living in refugee camps who are currently receiving only basic lessons, officials said Wednesday. The children, who fled with their families from neighboring Myanmar to the camps in Bangladesh's Cox's Bazar district, now attend about 1,500 learning centers run by UNICEF that provide basic education, drawing and other fun activities. Under the new program starting in April, they will receive a formal education using a Myanmar curriculum from grade 6 to 9, the U.N. said in a statement.

    Wed, 29 Jan 2020 05:41:43 -0500
  • Israel postpones move to annex large parts of West Bank

    Golocal247.com news

    Israel has postponed a move to annex large parts of the West Bank, a government minister said Wednesday, a day after Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu vowed to quickly act on the Trump administration's Mideast plan despite fierce Palestinian opposition. Netanyahu had said the Cabinet would vote Sunday on extending Israeli sovereignty to dozens of Jewish settlements as well as the Jordan Valley, a move that risks provoking a harsh backlash from the Palestinians and the international community. Tourism Minister Yariv Levin told Israel Radio that a Cabinet vote on annexing territories on Sunday was not technically feasible because of various preparations, including the need to consult Israel's attorney general.

    Wed, 29 Jan 2020 05:10:41 -0500
  • Say hello to invisible Brexit

    Brexit arrived with a thunderclap, but it is leaving with a whimper.

    Wed, 29 Jan 2020 05:02:51 -0500
  • Why Brexit Opponents Lost the Vote and the Argument

    (Bloomberg Opinion) -- Britain will leave the EU at 11 pm London time on Friday, following Boris Johnson’s victory at last month’s general election. Much has been written, including in this column, about the results of the election, and in particular how the Labour Party lost it so badly. But Brexit also means another postmortem — why did the efforts to stop it fall short?There were effectively two routes by which Brexit could have been stopped — either for Parliament to legislate for a referendum with a “remain” option during last year’s standoff, or by electing a parliament that would do this. Neither succeeded.The Remainers were unable to convince enough lawmakers to back a plebiscite — on two occasions nonbinding parliamentary votes were lost narrowly. The debate will continue indefinitely as to whether and to what extent Labour’s ambiguous Brexit position hurt Labour itself. But it clearly hurt the chances of a referendum.But nor could they convince voters to elect a parliament that would deliver a referendum. This is only partly explained by the fact that many voters whose support such an effort would have needed weren’t prepared to back Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn as a possible prime minister.Smaller pro-European parties could have held the balance of power after the election. Yet the reality proved to be a series of mishaps and missed opportunities, from the botched launch of The Independent Group to the ups and downs of the Liberal Democrats, plus the failure of the two to work together when such an alliance would have been at its most powerful.Yet these failures speak to something more fundamental: The Remainers didn’t win the argument. It’s often overlooked that public opinion hasn’t shifted much from the 52% to 48% outcome in 2016. Number Cruncher polling indicates that Brits were still evenly divided on Brexit at the time of the election, with 46% saying it was wrong, 44% saying it was right, and about 85% of voters on both sides backing their original vote.The shift in headline numbers has been glacial and is largely explained by compositional change — those who have died since 2016 are much likelier to have been Leavers, while those newly eligible to vote are much likelier to be Remainers.Similarly, despite asking the question in many different forms, few polls showed more than narrow net support for a second referendum with an option to Remain.This paints a very different picture than the outpouring of enthusiasm for the EU shown by thousands marching and the millions signing petitions. Part of the difference is that many 2016 Remain voters — particularly fiscally conservative, “status quo” types — were quite happy to go along with David Cameron’s Remain campaign, but were never staunch Europhiles.Much like the parties, the anti-Brexit campaign groups were numerous, in some cases reflecting the intersection of Brexit and traditional party loyalties. There were certainly cases where this became an issue; for most of the general election campaign the groups couldn’t even agree on tactical voting advice.Then there were doubts around democratic legitimacy. Remainers repeatedly argued that a democracy can change its mind, as many countries indeed did after referendums on the EU that failed to ratify a significant change.However I struggle to think of a comparable referendum in which the change option had been endorsed by the public, only for voters to be asked to vote again without the change being implemented. Attempts by some activists to delegitimize the 2016 vote, whether based on allegations of campaign overspending or foreign interference, failed to move the dial.It’s also worth considering the legacy of the 2016 Remain campaign, and what lessons were and were not learned. The predictions of a year-long recession after the referendum, which never occurred, made it relatively easy to dismiss all subsequent warnings about the costs of Brexit as “project fear.”What’s more, the cultural gap underlying the Brexit divide has not gone away. While many Remainers, particularly those on the economic left, have tried to explain Brexit through economics, this was not the main driver of the Leave vote.And finally, the fatigue factor. Many people were just fed up and wanted to move on from Brexit gridlock. Boris Johnson’s mantra of “Get Brexit done” stuck and his victory provided the killer blow. But ultimately, it may well be that stopping Brexit simply wasn’t on the cards once the referendum had delivered its verdict.To contact the author of this story: Matt Singh at matt@ncpolitics.ukTo contact the editor responsible for this story: Therese Raphael at traphael4@bloomberg.netThis column does not necessarily reflect the opinion of Bloomberg LP and its owners.Matt Singh runs Number Cruncher Politics, a nonpartisan polling and elections site that predicted the 2015 U.K. election polling failure.For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com/opinionSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.

    Wed, 29 Jan 2020 04:58:44 -0500
  • Why Brexit Opponents Lost the Vote and the Argument

    (Bloomberg Opinion) -- Britain will leave the EU at 11 pm London time on Friday, following Boris Johnson’s victory at last month’s general election. Much has been written, including in this column, about the results of the election, and in particular how the Labour Party lost it so badly. But Brexit also means another postmortem — why did the efforts to stop it fall short?There were effectively two routes by which Brexit could have been stopped — either for Parliament to legislate for a referendum with a “remain” option during last year’s standoff, or by electing a parliament that would do this. Neither succeeded.The Remainers were unable to convince enough lawmakers to back a plebiscite — on two occasions nonbinding parliamentary votes were lost narrowly. The debate will continue indefinitely as to whether and to what extent Labour’s ambiguous Brexit position hurt Labour itself. But it clearly hurt the chances of a referendum.But nor could they convince voters to elect a parliament that would deliver a referendum. This is only partly explained by the fact that many voters whose support such an effort would have needed weren’t prepared to back Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn as a possible prime minister.Smaller pro-European parties could have held the balance of power after the election. Yet the reality proved to be a series of mishaps and missed opportunities, from the botched launch of The Independent Group to the ups and downs of the Liberal Democrats, plus the failure of the two to work together when such an alliance would have been at its most powerful.Yet these failures speak to something more fundamental: The Remainers didn’t win the argument. It’s often overlooked that public opinion hasn’t shifted much from the 52% to 48% outcome in 2016. Number Cruncher polling indicates that Brits were still evenly divided on Brexit at the time of the election, with 46% saying it was wrong, 44% saying it was right, and about 85% of voters on both sides backing their original vote.The shift in headline numbers has been glacial and is largely explained by compositional change — those who have died since 2016 are much likelier to have been Leavers, while those newly eligible to vote are much likelier to be Remainers.Similarly, despite asking the question in many different forms, few polls showed more than narrow net support for a second referendum with an option to Remain.This paints a very different picture than the outpouring of enthusiasm for the EU shown by thousands marching and the millions signing petitions. Part of the difference is that many 2016 Remain voters — particularly fiscally conservative, “status quo” types — were quite happy to go along with David Cameron’s Remain campaign, but were never staunch Europhiles.Much like the parties, the anti-Brexit campaign groups were numerous, in some cases reflecting the intersection of Brexit and traditional party loyalties. There were certainly cases where this became an issue; for most of the general election campaign the groups couldn’t even agree on tactical voting advice.Then there were doubts around democratic legitimacy. Remainers repeatedly argued that a democracy can change its mind, as many countries indeed did after referendums on the EU that failed to ratify a significant change.However I struggle to think of a comparable referendum in which the change option had been endorsed by the public, only for voters to be asked to vote again without the change being implemented. Attempts by some activists to delegitimize the 2016 vote, whether based on allegations of campaign overspending or foreign interference, failed to move the dial.It’s also worth considering the legacy of the 2016 Remain campaign, and what lessons were and were not learned. The predictions of a year-long recession after the referendum, which never occurred, made it relatively easy to dismiss all subsequent warnings about the costs of Brexit as “project fear.”What’s more, the cultural gap underlying the Brexit divide has not gone away. While many Remainers, particularly those on the economic left, have tried to explain Brexit through economics, this was not the main driver of the Leave vote.And finally, the fatigue factor. Many people were just fed up and wanted to move on from Brexit gridlock. Boris Johnson’s mantra of “Get Brexit done” stuck and his victory provided the killer blow. But ultimately, it may well be that stopping Brexit simply wasn’t on the cards once the referendum had delivered its verdict.To contact the author of this story: Matt Singh at matt@ncpolitics.ukTo contact the editor responsible for this story: Therese Raphael at traphael4@bloomberg.netThis column does not necessarily reflect the opinion of Bloomberg LP and its owners.Matt Singh runs Number Cruncher Politics, a nonpartisan polling and elections site that predicted the 2015 U.K. election polling failure.For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com/opinionSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.

    Wed, 29 Jan 2020 04:58:44 -0500
  • Dutch court throws out case against Israeli military chiefs

    Golocal247.com news

    A Dutch court threw out a civil case Wednesday brought by a Dutch-Palestinian man seeking damages from two former Israeli military commanders for their roles in a 2014 airstrike on a Gaza house that killed six members of his family. The Hague District Court ruled that the case filed by Ismail Zeyada can't proceed because the commanders, including high profile former military chief Benny Gantz, have immunity. Zeyada was attempting to sue Gantz, who is now a prominent Israeli politician, and former Israeli air force commander Amir Eshel.

    Wed, 29 Jan 2020 04:33:05 -0500
  • Confined at home, Chinese get creative to beat boredom

    Golocal247.com news

    Chinese around the country confined to their apartments either by choice or by order are making the best of the situation as cities remain in lockdown in a desperate bid to contain a new, dangerous virus. A couple from Shantou, a coastal city in Guangdong province, recreated a childhood game at home for their children. In video posted on Douyin, a popular Chinese social media platform, the mom pretends to be a street vendor selling hoops made of cardboard paper.

    Wed, 29 Jan 2020 04:08:31 -0500
  • Allies worry as US ponders cutting military forces in Africa

    Golocal247.com news

    As extremist violence grows across Africa, the United States is considering reducing its military presence on the continent, a move that worries its international partners who are working to strengthen the fight in the tumultuous Sahel region. The timing is especially critical in the Sahel, the vast arid region south of the Sahara Desert, where militants with links to al-Qaida and the Islamic State group have carried out increased attacks in the past six months. In Niger and Mali, soldiers have been ambushed and at times overpowered by hundreds of extremist gunmen on motorcycles.

    Wed, 29 Jan 2020 04:00:39 -0500
  • Syrian troops capture key town in rebel-held Idlib province

    Golocal247.com news

    Syrian government forces captured one of the largest and most strategic rebel-held towns in the country's northwest, the Syrian military and opposition activists said Wednesday, part of a Russian-backed military assault that has displaced hundreds of thousands of people fleeing to safer areas. The town of Maaret al-Numan in Idlib province, which had been in rebel hands since 2012, sits on the highway linking Damascus with Aleppo and is considered critical to President Bashar Assad's forces. Its capture is the latest in a series of military triumphs for Assad.

    Wed, 29 Jan 2020 03:32:13 -0500
  • RPT-WHO weighs science and politics in global virus emergency decision

    GENEVA/LONDON, Jan 28 (Reuters) - Most of the World Health Organization's (WHO) criteria for declaring a global emergency have been met, but it is awaiting clear evidence of a sustained spread of the new coronavirus outside China before doing so, some experts and diplomats said. The U.N. agency is seeking to balance the need to ensure China continues to share information about the virus while also giving sound scientific advice to the international community on the risks, according to several public health experts and a Western diplomat who tracks the WHO's work. Doing so can hurt host countries because it may lead to flight cancellations and travel or trade restrictions, dragging on the economy.

    Wed, 29 Jan 2020 01:49:51 -0500
  • London's 'City' is banking on wide appeal post Brexit

    Golocal247.com news

    London's powerful "City" financial sector, facing reduced access to mainland European markets following Brexit, is banking on its global appeal to forge new ties and remain an international force. With Britain exiting the EU on Friday, the City will eventually lose "passporting" rights that has allowed the driver of Britain's dominant services sector to operate freely across the bloc. The long-standing bilateral arrangement, which has convinced especially large US and Japanese lenders to set up massive operations in London, formally ends with the conclusion of a Brexit transition period due December 31.

    Wed, 29 Jan 2020 01:33:13 -0500
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