Justice, Lifestyle, News, Politics

How Mitch McConnell Delivered Acquittal for president Donald Trump

“We can be smart or we can be stupid,” Mr. McConnell warned his rank and file during a closed-door lunch of halibut, fried chicken and pecan pie in the Capitol, steps from the Senate floor where the trial was to convene shortly. “The choice will be up to us.”

Republicans ultimately opted, as they almost invariably do, to stick with Mr. McConnell of Kentucky, the majority leader, and block Democrats’ attempts to allow new evidence to be considered. All but one of them voted on Wednesday to acquit Mr. Trump of both of the charges against him.

The story of how Mr. McConnell held Republicans together — even in the face of stunning revelations about the president’s conduct and uneasiness in his party about Mr. Trump’s actions — reflects how a master Senate tactician deployed his command of procedure and keen political instincts to lock down a process that posed an existential threat to the president.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., leaves the chamber after leading the impeachment acquittal of President Donald Trump, at the Capitol in Washington, Wednesday, Feb. 5, 2020. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

In doing so, he may have cemented the president’s hold on his office and provided a defiant campaign message to propel him to re-election, uniting the party around a figure who brooks no dissent and dealing a death blow to Democrats’ hopes of removing him.

“We thought they would finally work themselves up to doing this on something,” Mr. McConnell said. “It has been threatened endlessly. We needed to come up to speed on what actually happens, and that began in earnest last fall.”

So when Mr. McConnell fielded a phone call from Mr. Trump days before Christmas, he was ready. Stung by the House vote to impeach him on two charges, the president reached out to the majority leader from his Mar-a-Lago retreat in Palm Beach, Fla., throwing out ideas about how to handle his coming Senate trial.

Mr. McConnell had a reassuring response for the third president ever to face removal by the Senate, urging Mr. Trump to trust him to manage the confrontation.

“What I have consistently said to him is I think I know more about the Senate than you do, which he usually concedes,” Mr. McConnell recalled, saying he told the president to keep public commentary about impeachment to a minimum. “My consistent advice to him with regard to this subject was to avoid it — and for the most part, for the most part, he did.”

Throughout the process, Mr. McConnell consistently refused to say how he viewed the president’s conduct, even as other Republicans eventually said that Mr. Trump’s actions were wrong, inappropriate and even shameful.

“I say things I choose to say,” he said when pressed Thursday.

Mr. McConnell set out to create the framework for a trial that his members could get behind, that could withstand the possibility of compromising new information emerging and that would deliver the White House a quick but credible verdict of “not guilty.” It went far from perfectly for Republicans — among other setbacks, Senator Mitt Romney, Republican of Utah, voted “guilty” on the charge of abuse of power, depriving Mr. Trump of the absolute party loyalty he coveted — but Mr. McConnell reached his desired end.

“I’ve been in politics long enough to know you should never say never, but let me say this,” Mr. McConnell told Mr. Hoyer. “I will never allow the House of Representatives to dictate rules to the Senate. Never.”

Behind the scenes, Mr. McConnell was trying to nail down the backing of the handful of Republicans who could complicate his careful planning. Four senators had expressed enough qualms about the president to give them leverage to win concessions from Mr. McConnell: Mr. Romney of Utah, the 2012 presidential nominee; Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, who had in the past bucked Mr. McConnell and the White House; Lamar Alexander of Tennessee, a veteran politician with plans to retire, and Susan Collins of Maine, a centrist facing the re-election challenge of her career.

When Senator Elizabeth Warren, the Massachusetts Democrat running for president, asked whether the chief justice overseeing a trial without witnesses would undermine the courts, Mr. McConnell scrawled a quick note to Ms. Murkowski, who was still undecided on witnesses, to point out the attack.

With his eye on the undecided senators, Mr. Cruz also counseled the White House legal team to avoid arguing that there was no quid pro quo — “a strategic mistake” that might make Mr. Bolton’s testimony seem more relevant to those lawmakers. During questioning, Mr. Cruz helped draft a question, submitted jointly with senators like Ms. Murkowski and Mr. Alexander, that asked Mr. Trump’s legal team whether, if Mr. Bolton testified to the existence of a quid pro quo, it would amount to an impeachable offense.

When Patrick Philbin, a deputy White House counsel, rose to answer, asserting that Mr. Trump had never engaged in a quid pro quo, Mr. Cruz was “a little white-knuckled,” he recalled. But then the answer he was looking for came: Even if there was a quid pro quo, it did not matter.

“I think that answer played a really important part in helping get the votes of both Lamar and Lisa,” Mr. Cruz said later.

By the next day, Ms. Murkowski had come out against witnesses, using as a rationale what she characterized as an attack on Chief Justice Roberts. She followed Mr. Alexander, who said that while Mr. Trump had acted inappropriately, his actions did not merit impeachment. The final vote on witnesses was 51 to 49 and the trial hurtled to its finale, with Mr. Romney’s vote to convict the president as the final twist.

wikipedia – talk about Trump acquittal

Mr. McConnell shrugged off fierce criticism that he had overseen a sham.

“I didn’t rig anything,” he said. “We had a vote. No vote was prevented. No debate was prevented. These guys didn’t have the votes,” he said of Senate Democrats.

But this vote was of course influenced by a dozen reasons : confrontation with re-election of senators, pressure from president Trump, the fears they will lose presidential elections and the wonderful Senate seat.

Conclusion: President Donald Trump had what he wanted – Acquittal – Not guilty!

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Justice, News, Politics

How Middle East Reacting to Donald Trump’s Israeli-Palestinian Peace Plan

Middle Eastern nations offered mixed reactions to President Donald Trump’s long-awaited Israeli-Palestinian peace plan, a framework negotiated without the participation of Palestinians, who have been engaged in a land dispute with the world’s only majority-Jewish nation since its creation in 1948.

Trump released his “Vision for Peace, Prosperity and a Brighter Future” alongside Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Tuesday at a White House gathering boycotted by Palestinian officials that have severed ties to the administration over its decision to recognize the contested city of Jerusalem as the Israeli capital. Trump billed his initiative as the most detailed yet after successive U.S. administrations have tried and failed for years to settle the conflict.

The president’s plan grants Israel control over internationally-unrecognized Jewish settlements and occupied areas bordering Jordan in exchange for a Palestinian path to potential statehood and some desert territories along the Egyptian border should the Palestinians renounce violence and recognize Israel as a Jewish state. The strategy would also see up to $50 billion invested in Palestinian-administered territories.

Both Netanyahu and his upcoming elections rival Benny Gantz endorsed the proposal, but it was received less warmly in the Middle East.

Palestinian National Authority

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas roundly rejected the Trump administration’s strategy even before it was released. Following Trump’s reveal on Tuesday, Abbas held a press conference at which he responded to the plan “with a thousand no’s,” especially to the U.S. proposal for an “undivided” Israeli capital in Jerusalem and a separate Palestinian capital somewhere on the eastern outskirts of the holy city.

“Jerusalem is not for sale. Our rights are not for sale. Your conspiracy deal will not pass,” Abbas stated, warning that the Palestinian people will dump his plan “into the dustbin of history.”

Previously on Tuesday, Abbas spoke via telephone with Ismail Haniyeh, the chief of Palestinian Sunni Islamist movement Hamas. The two stressed unity in the face of the U.S. strategy.

“The comprehensive and united resistance is capable of thwarting all the projects to liquidate the Palestinian cause, foremost of which is the ‘deal of the century,'” Hamas spokesperson Hazem Qasem said Tuesday in a press statement, stressing “that the occupation will not obtain security through the deal of the century or any other promises as long as it occupies our land and our sanctities.”

Palestinians angrily reject Trump Mideast peace plan

Palestinian protesters clashed with Israeli forces on the outskirts of Ramallah, near the Jewish settlement of Beit El.

Jordan

Jordan is one of only two Arab countries that has a peace agreement with Israel, the other being Egypt. Still, Israel’s planned landgrab across the border is likely to be controversial among the kingdom’s Palestinian-origin majority.

Jordanian Foreign Minister Ayman Safadi called in a statement Tuesday for a “just and lasting peace that meets all the legitimate rights of the brotherly Palestinian people” but stated that a two-state solution would need to respect Palestinian claims to territories occupied by Israel since the Six-Day War of 1967, including an East Jerusalem capital.

“Jordan must condemn unilateral Israeli measures in violation of international law and provocative actions that push the region toward more tension and escalation,” he said.

“Jordan will continue to work with Arab countries and the international community for realizing peace,” Safadi added, offering support for “every real effort aimed at achieving a just and comprehensive peace accepted by the peoples.”

Saudi Arabia

The Saudi Foreign Ministry said it had reviewed the U.S. plan and would support any path toward realizing “a just and comprehensive solution to the Palestinian issue.”

“The kingdom appreciates the efforts made by the Trump administration to develop a comprehensive peace plan between the Palestinian and Israeli sides, and encourages the initiation and direct negotiations of peace between the Palestinian and Israeli sides under the auspices of the United States of America and to address any differences on any aspects of the plan through negotiations,” the ministry said.

Saudi King Salman also called Abbas directly, telling him that “your issue is ours, and the issue of Arabs and Muslims, and we are with you,” according to the Palestine News Agency, the official outlet of the Palestinian National Authority.

President Donald Trump and Prime Minister of Israel, Benjamin Netanyahu

Iran

Iran has portrayed itself as the premier supporter of the Palestinian cause and actively backs armed Palestinian groups such as Hamas, along with the power Shiite Muslim Hezbollah movement in Lebanon and other friendly forces in Syria and Iraq, where Israel has stepped up a semi-covert campaign against them. Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesperson Abbas Mousavi termed Trump’s plan “the betrayal of the century.”

“The Zionist regime is a usurper and occupation regime, and the only solution to the Palestinian crisis will be to hold a referendum among the main inhabitants of the land of Palestine, and such vicious plans are doomed to failure,” Mousavi said.
Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif called Trump’s proposal “simply the dream project of a bankruptcy-ridden real estate developer.”

“But it is a nightmare for the region and the world,” Zarif added. “And, hopefully, a wake-up call for all the Muslims who have been barking up the wrong tree #LetsUniteforPalestine.

Turkey

Turkey has often criticized what it saw as harsh and unfair Israeli policies towards Palestinians but was more recently feuding with Israel over disputed maritime territory in the oil-and-gas-rich Mediterranean Sea. In a statement issued Tuesday, the Turkish Foreign Ministry called the U.S. plan “stillborn.”

“This is an annexation plan aiming to destroy the two-state solution and seize the Palestinian territories. The people and the land of Palestine cannot be bought off,” the statement said. “Jerusalem is our red line. We will not allow any step seeking to legitimize Israel’s occupation and atrocities. We will always stand by the brotherly Palestinian people and will continue to work for an independent Palestine on Palestinian land.”

“We will not support any plan that does not have the support of Palestine,” it added. “There will not be any peace in the Middle East without ending Israel’s occupation policies.”

Egypt

Egypt was once the primary military backer of Palestinian commandos battling Israel but the countries’ 1979 peace treaty, facilitated by President Jimmy Carter, helped pave the way for plans for Palestinian autonomy. The Egyptian Foreign Ministry said Tuesday the country “appreciates the continued efforts made by the American administration to reach a comprehensive and just peace for the Palestinian cause, thus contributing to supporting stability and security in the Middle East, and ending the Palestinian-Israeli conflict.”

Cairo called on both sides “to carefully study the American vision for achieving peace, find out all its dimensions, and open channels of dialogue to resume negotiations under American auspices, to put forward the vision of the Palestinian and Israeli parties towards it, in order to reach an agreement that meets the aspirations and hopes of the two peoples in achieving a comprehensive and just peace between them.”

A solution, the statement said, should grant Palestinians their “full legitimate rights through the establishment of their independent sovereign state over the occupied Palestinian territories, in accordance with international legitimacy.”

United Arab Emirates

The ambassadors of the UAE, Bahrain and Oman to the U.S. all attended Trump’s talk Tuesday in an apparent sign of support for his Israeli-Palestinian initiative. Emirati envoy Yousef al-Otaiba said Abu Dhabi “appreciates continued US efforts to reach a Palestine-Israel peace agreement. This plan is a serious initiative that addresses many issues raised over the years.”

“The only way to guarantee a lasting solution is to reach an agreement between all concerned parties,” he added. “The UAE believes that Palestinians and Israelis can achieve lasting peace and genuine coexistence with the support of the international community.

The plan announced today offers an important starting point for a return to negotiations within a US-led international framework.”

Influential movements opposed to Israel also expressed their criticism of Trump’s plan. Lebanon’s Hezbollah “expressed its condemnation and strong rejection of the shameful deal launched by the savage Trump administration at the expense of the Palestinian people, their land, sanctities and their legitimate natural rights,” according to the group’s affiliated Al Manar outlet.

“The deal is a very dangerous step that will have very bad repercussions on the future of the region and its people,” the group added.

Yemen

Mohammed Ali al-Houthi, spokesperson for the Zaidi Shiite Muslim movement known as Ansar Allah, or the Houthi movement, said the “deal of the century will remain an illusion, and will not change the reality of Arab and Islamic awareness of the centrality of the Palestinian cause,” using language that mirrored the group’s stance toward Kushner’s economic proposal first revealed last June.

A day before Trump’s announcement, Islamic State militant group (ISIS) spokesperson Abu Hamza al-Qurayshi also blasted the anticipated plan during a 37-minute audio message. He called on “Muslims in Palestine and all countries” to “be a spearhead in the war against the Jews and in thwarting their plans and their deal of the century,” also criticizing Iran and Hamas.

Justice, News, Politics

New Evidence in Trump’s Impeachment

President Trump told his national security adviser in August that he wanted to continue freezing $391 million in security assistance to Ukraine until officials there helped with investigations into Democrats including the Bidens, according to an unpublished manuscript by the former adviser, John R. Bolton.

The president’s statement as described by Mr. Bolton could undercut a key element of his impeachment defense: that the holdup in aid was separate from Mr. Trump’s requests that Ukraine announce investigations into his perceived enemies, including former Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. and his son Hunter Biden, who had worked for a Ukrainian energy firm while his father was in office.

Mr. Bolton’s explosive account of the matter at the center of Mr. Trump’s impeachment trial, the third in American history, was included in drafts of a manuscript he has circulated in recent weeks to close associates. He also sent a draft to the White House for a standard review process for some current and former administration officials who write books

The book presents an outline of what Mr. Bolton might testify to if he is called as a witness in the Senate impeachment trial, the people said. The White House could use the pre-publication review process, which has no set time frame, to delay or even kill the book’s publication or omit key passages.

Over dozens of pages, Mr. Bolton described how the Ukraine affair unfolded over several months until he departed the White House in September. He described not only the president’s private disparagement of Ukraine but also new details about senior cabinet officials who have publicly tried to sidestep involvement.

Mr. Bolton also said that after the president’s July phone call with the president of Ukraine, he raised with Attorney General William P. Barr his concerns about Mr. Giuliani, who was pursuing a shadow Ukraine policy encouraged by the president, and told Mr. Barr that the president had mentioned him on the call. A spokeswoman for Mr. Barr denied that he learned of the call from Mr. Bolton; the Justice Department has said he learned about it only in mid-August.

And the acting White House chief of staff, Mick Mulvaney, was present for at least one phone call where the president and Mr. Giuliani discussed the ambassador, Mr. Bolton wrote. Mr. Mulvaney has told associates he would always step away when the president spoke with his lawyer to protect their attorney-client privilege.

During a previously reported May 23 meeting where top advisers and Senator Ron Johnson, Republican of Wisconsin, briefed him about their trip to Kyiv for the inauguration of President Volodymyr Zelensky, Mr. Trump railed about Ukraine trying to damage him and mentioned a conspiracy theory about a hacked Democratic server, according to Mr. Bolton.

The submission to the White House may have given Mr. Trump’s aides and lawyers direct insight into what Mr. Bolton would say if he were called to testify at Mr. Trump’s impeachment trial. It also intensified concerns among some of his advisers that they needed to block Mr. Bolton from testifying, according to two people familiar with their concerns.

The White House has ordered Mr. Bolton and other key officials with firsthand knowledge of Mr. Trump’s dealings not to cooperate with the impeachment inquiry. Mr. Bolton said in a statement this month that he would testify if subpoenaed.

Mr. Trump told reporters last week that he did not want Mr. Bolton to testify and said that even if he simply spoke out publicly, he could damage national security.

“The problem with John is it’s a national security problem,” Mr. Trump said at a news conference in Davos, Switzerland. “He knows some of my thoughts. He knows what I think about leaders. What happens if he reveals what I think about a certain leader and it’s not very positive?”

But all americans know that this is not about national security, it is about hiding the truth.

Democrats, including Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senator Chuck Schumer, the minority leader, said the Bolton manuscript underscored the need for him to testify, and the House impeachment managers demanded after this article was published that the Senate vote to call him. “There can be no doubt now that Mr. Bolton directly contradicts the heart of the president’s defense,” they said in a statement.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell very likely had advance knowledge that John Bolton’s book manuscript would contradict Trump’s defense lawyers.

But McConnell, as Wallace noted, said in December that he was coordinating closely with White House officials to be sure that his own impeachment trial strategy met Trump’s wishes, according to an earlier New York Times report.

The allegation that Trump tried to force the Ukrainian government into the Biden investigation by holding back a congressionally approved military aid package is at the heart of impeachment proceedings against Trump. On the first full day of Trump’s senate trial, January 21, the senate’s 53 Republicans, led by McConnell, voted to block testimony from all witnesses requested by the Democratic House impeachment managers. Bolton was one of the potential witnesses disallowed by the party-line votes.

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Iraq: protests to demand US troops to leave the country

Thousands of supporters of populist Iraqi cleric Moqtada Sadr gathered on Friday in Baghdad to demand the ouster of US troops.

The march has gripped the capital and the Shiite-majority south since October, demanding a government overhaul, early elections and more accountability.

In the early hours of Friday, thousands of men, women and children of all ages in the Jadiriyah district of east Baghdad ask to “Get out, get out, occupier!” some shouted, while others chanted, “Yes to sovereignty!”

Protests in Baghdad, Iraq

A representative of Sadr took to the stage at the protest site and called for all foreign forces to leave Iraq, the cancellation of Iraq’s security agreements with the US, the closure of Iraqi airspace to American military.

“If all this is implemented, we will deal with it as a non-occupying country — otherwise it will be considered a country hostile to Iraq,” the statement said.

The American military presence has been a issue in Iraq since a US drone strike killed Iranian general Qasem Soleimani and Iraqi paramilitary leader Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis outside Baghdad airport on January 3.

Two days later, parliament voted for all foreign troops, including some 5,200 US personnel, to leave the country.

The vote was non-binding and the US special envoy for the coalition against the Islamic State group, James Jeffrey, said Thursday there was no “real engagement” between the two governments on the issue.

Joint US-Iraqi operations against IS have been on hold since the drone attack, which triggered retaliatory Iranian missile strikes against US troops in Iraq.

Sadr, 46, battled US forces at the head of his Mehdi Army militia after the US-led invasion toppled Saddam Hussein in 2003. He later branded himself a reformist and backed the recent anti-government protests when they erupted in October in Iraq.

Sadr controls parliament’s largest bloc and his followers hold top ministerial positions. His spokesman Saleh al-Obeidy hinted that while others in Iraq unequivocally blamed either the US or Iran for instability, Sadr would choose a middle path.

Harith Hasan of the Carnegie Middle East Center said Sadr was trying to sustain various protests.

Sadr position himself as the leader of a reform movement, as a populist, as anti-establishment. He also wants to sustain his image as the leader of the resistance to the ‘American occupation’,” partly to win favour with Iran.

This protest will show Sadr is still the one able to mobilise large groups of people in the streets — but it’s also possible he wants other groups to respond by giving him more space to choose the prime minister.

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Impeachment: Donald Trump and Lev Parnas

President Donald Trump and aides sought Thursday to distance him from a Soviet-born businessman who said Trump knew all about efforts to pressure Ukraine into investigating U.S. political rival Joe Biden – a pivotal point in the Senate impeachment trial of the president.

“I don’t believe I’ve ever spoken to him,” Trump told reporters about Lev Parnas, taking questions after an event announcing new federal guidance he has said will “safeguard” the rights of students to pray in school.

Parnas, who once worked with Trump attorney Rudy Giuliani, has provided House investigators with documents to buttress his claims that Trump sought political dirt from a foreign country on Biden and on his son Hunter Biden, who once worked for a Ukrainian gas company called Burisma.

“It was all about Joe Biden, Hunter Biden,” Parnas told MSNBC host Rachel Maddow, adding that “it was never about corruption. It was strictly about Burisma, which included Hunter Biden and Joe Biden.”

Parnas said Trump knows him well and there are pictures of the two of them at various events.

In an interview with CNN, Parnas said that every time Trump denies knowing him, “I’ll show him another picture. He’s lying.”

Trump spoke about his latest accuser as the Senate formally began preparing for trial on impeachment charges that he abused power and obstructed a congressional investigation into his actions regarding Ukraine.

Downplaying Parnas’ claims, a series of Trump administration officials stressed that Parnas is under indictment, and claimed that he is trying to get a lighter sentence by accusing others.

“These allegations are being made by a man who is currently out on bail for federal crimes and is desperate to reduce his exposure to prison,” said White House press secretary Stephanie Grisham.

Parnas also said Vice President Mike Pence knew about the effort to lean on Ukraine to investigate Biden. He said Pence decided not to attend the inauguration of President  Volodymyr Zelensky because Ukraine had not announced an investigation of the Bidens.

Marc Short, Pence’s chief of staff, said that witnesses during the House impeachment investigation “have testified under oath in direct contradiction to Lev Parnas statements.”

It’s “very simple,” Short added: “Lev Parnas is under a multi-count indictment and will say anything to anybody who will listen in hopes of staying out of prison.”

In the wake of Parnas’ claims, Ukraine’s Interior Ministry announced Thursday it would investigate evidence that Parnas knew about surveillance of Marie Yovanovitch, who was then U.S. ambassador to Ukraine.

Parnas’ submission to House investigators included text messages between Parnas and a Trump supporter named Robert Hyde discussing what appeared to be efforts to track Yovanovitch’s movements in Kyiv.

On another front, the U.S. Government Accountability Office issued a legal opinion saying that Trump’s Office of Management and Budget “violated the law” in withholding $214 million in security assistance to Ukraine.

During the impeachment investigation, Democrats said Trump used the withheld aid in an attempt to extort Ukraine into announcing an investigation of Biden.

U.S. Sen. Chris Van Hollen, D-Md., who requested the GAO investigation, said the GAO report proves that “the Trump Administration illegally withheld assistance from Ukraine and the public evidence shows that the president himself ordered this illegal act.”

OMB spokesperson Rachel Semmel said the administration disagreed with GAO’s opinion.

“OMB uses its apportionment authority to ensure taxpayer dollars are properly spent consistent with the President’s priorities and with the law,” she said.

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Deadly protests erupted across India

Deadly protests erupted across India Sunday over a arguable citizenship invoice that critics worry could in addition marginalize the country’s minority Muslim community. Protests broke out throughout in nine states, in major towns Kolkata, Mumbai, Chennai, Hyderabad and the capital New Delhi, basically all round of college campuses. Meanwhile, ongoing protests in Assam, in India’s northeast, grew to become violent, with as a minimum five people killed, police said.

In Delhi, students started demonstrating at the prestigious Jamia Milia Islamia university early Sunday. Hundreds of people had been injured within the protests, and dozens arrested, as nicely as sizable harm to the campus, stated Najma Akhtar, the college’s vice chancellor. Protesting students from the university informed CNN they were beaten with batons, leaving 200 injured according to the university administration. But this contradicts the Delhi Police’s version, who say they were unarmed and used minimum pressure to bring the crowds below control.

Police use fire tear gas and batons against Delhi protesters

What is the Citizenship Amendment Bill?

Anger has been developing nationally over the Citizenship Amendment Bill (CAB), which become signed into law last week. The amendament promises to fast-tune citizenship for non secular minorities, inclusive of Hindus, Sikhs, Buddhists, Jains, Parsis and Christians, from Afghanistan, Bangladesh and Pakistan who arrived earlier than 2015.

But the exclusion of Muslims — which Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi says is because they are not minorities in India’s neighboring countries — has raised issues about the amendament’s constitutionality and the growing anti-Muslim rhetoric in India.

Many in Assam and Tripura, states in India’s northeast, also worry that it could see large numbers of Hindus migrating to the region, outnumbering the region’s 200 awesome indigenous groups.

There are around sixteen million Hindus in Bangladesh alone, and naturalizing big numbers of immigrants may also greatly impact employment, government subsidies and education.

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Justice, News, Politics

India protests spread over ‘anti-Muslim’ law

Protests in India against a new citizenship law that opponents say is anti-Muslim spread to other regions on Friday, a day after two people were shot dead by police in the northeast of the country, the epicentre of days of demonstrations.

Police with batons and firing tear gas clashed with hundreds of students in New Delhi, television pictures showed, as Muslim protesters set fire to placards in Amritsar and other rallies were held in Kolkata, Kerala and Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s home state Gujarat.

The Citizenship Amendment Bill (CAB) — approved this week — allows for the fast-tracking of applications from religious minorities from Pakistan, Afghanistan and Bangladesh, but not Muslims.

India protests spread over ‘anti-Muslim’ law

Protests in India against a new citizenship law that opponents say is anti-Muslim spread to other regions on Friday, a day after two people were shot dead by police in the northeast of the country, the epicentre of days of demonstrations.

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House Judiciary Committee has voted today Articles of Impeachment

President of US Donald Trump, who insists he did nothing wrong, is now only the fourth American president in history to face impeachment by the House of Representatives for “high crimes and misdemeanors” and possible conviction and removal from office by the Senate.

On Friday morning, 40 members of the panel solemnly took their places on the wood-carved dais and voted without any further debate. After a week of accusations and recrimination, the vote took fewer than 10 minutes.

“Today is a solemn and sad day,” Mr. Nadler said in a brief statement afterward. “For the third time in a little over a century and half, the House Judiciary Committee has voted articles of impeachment against the president, for abuse of power and obstruction of Congress. The House will act expeditiously.”

Panel Approves Impeachment Articles and Sends Charges for a House Vote

WASHINGTON – A fiercely divided House Judiciary Committee pushed President Trump to the brink of impeachment on Friday, voting along party lines to approve charges that he abused the power of his office and obstructed Congress.

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An alleged rape victim in northern India dies in hospital after burn attack

The 23-year-old woman suffered extensive injuries and was airlifted Thursday from Uttar Pradesh to Safdarjung Hospital in New Delhi, where she died late Friday of cardiac arrest, said Dr. Shalab Kumar, head of the hospital’s burn unit.

Five men were arrested in connection with the burn attack, police said.

Indian woman who alleged gang rape dies after burn attack

NEW DELHI (AP) – An alleged rape victim in northern India who was set on fire while heading to a court hearing in the case has died in a New Delhi hospital, officials said Saturday.

Yogi Adityanath, the state’s chief minister, said that the case would be heard in a fast track court and that the “strictest of punishment will be given to the culprits.”

The burn victim’s death came on the same day police in the southern state of Telangana fatally shot four men being held on suspicion of raping and killing a 27-year-old veterinarian after investigators took them to the crime scene. Their deaths drew both praise and condemnation in a case that has sparked protests across the country..

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Hong Kong protests

The trauma of Hong Kong’s teenage protesters

Psychologists warn that a new generation of Hongkongers are grappling with “collective trauma”.

Teenage protesters have become an increasingly common feature of Hong Kong’s demonstrations, with hundreds found on campus during the recent siege of Polytechnic University.

Psychologists warn that the protests have had a damaging effect on some teenagers. They say they are part of a new generation of Hongkongers who will be very different from other developed countries’ youths.