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Ex-White House Adviser Warns Impeachment Probe of GOP’s “Fictional Narrative” on Ukraine

Nov 22, 2019
H1 ex white house advisor fiona hill warns impeachment probe gop fictional narrative ukraine

On Capitol Hill, the president’s former top adviser on Russia and Europe told the House impeachment inquiry Thursday that Donald Trump sacrificed U.S. foreign policy goals by pressuring Ukraine’s leaders to announce an investigation into Joe Biden and his son. The adviser, Fiona Hill, said she came to realize the president was personally directing his attorney Rudy Giuliani and U.S. ambassador Gordon Sondland to pressure Ukraine into helping Trump’s re-election bid by smearing one of his main political rivals.

Fiona Hill: “He was being involved in a domestic political errand. And we were being involved in national security/foreign policy. And those two things had just diverged.”

During her opening remarks, Fiona Hill blasted what she called a “fictional narrative” promoted by Trump and his Republican allies that it was Ukrainian operatives — not Russians — who meddled in the 2016 election.

Fiona Hill: “Right now, Russia’s security services and their proxies have geared up to repeat their interference in the 2020 election. We are running out of time to stop them. In the course of this investigation, I would ask that you please not promote politically driven falsehoods that so clearly advance Russian interests.”

Hill said she warned Ambassador Sondland that his efforts in Ukraine on behalf of Trump would “blow up.” Another witness, David Holmes — an aide at the U.S. Embassy in Kiev — testified that he overheard President Trump discussing “investigations” into the Bidens with Ambassador Sondland over an unsecured cell phone at an open-air restaurant in Kiev, Ukraine. Late Thursday, House Intelligence Chair Adam Schiff gaveled the impeachment proceedings to a close.

Rep. Adam Schiff: “This president believes he is above the law, beyond accountability. And in my view, there is nothing more dangerous than an unethical president who believes they are above the law. And I would just say to people watching here, at home and around the world, in the words of my great colleague, 'We are better than that.' Adjourned.”

Senate Republicans May Limit Trump’s Impeachment Trial to Two Weeks

Nov 22, 2019
H2 senate republicans may limit trump impeachment trial twoweeks adam schiff

As the House Intelligence Committee wrapped up its final public hearing, President Trump lashed out on Twitter, writing, “Corrupt politician Adam Schiff’s lies are growing by the day. Keep fighting tough, Republicans, you are dealing with human scum.” His latest outburst came as the Washington Post reported top White House officials met privately with Republican Senate leaders Thursday to discuss limiting Trump’s impeachment trial to just two weeks. A senate trial could come as early as January if the House passes articles of impeachment, as expected.

Mass Protests in Colombia Oppose Right-Wing Government

Nov 22, 2019
H3 colombia mass protests oppose right wing government hundreds thousands bogota ivan duque

In Colombia, hundreds of thousands of people took to the streets Thursday in the largest national strike the country has seen in years. Labor unions, students, teachers, Indigenous and Afro-Colombian activists joined in peaceful marches across urban and rural Colombia as anger mounts against right-wing President Iván Duque and his cabinet. The peaceful movement was met with police repression and tear gas in Bogota, Cali and Medellin. Colombia shut down its borders with Venezuela, Ecuador, Brazil and Perú in response to the strike.

Bolivian Soldiers Tear Gas Funeral Procession for Slain Protesters

Nov 22, 2019
H4 bolivia soldiers tear gas funeral procession slain protestors la paz evo morales el alto

In Bolivia, military forces tear gassed a massive funeral procession in La Paz Thursday, as supporters of ousted president Evo Morales carried coffins of slain protesters through the streets. Thousands of demonstrators were mourning the eight indigenous protesters killed by the Bolivian police and military Tuesday in El Alto. But security forces descended on the procession as it drew near the presidential palace. Coffins were left in the streets as tear gas forced the demonstrators to disperse. It was the latest act of military repression since the coup that forced Evo Morales out of office almost two weeks ago. At least 32 people have been killed by security forces in the violence that followed — mainly indigenous people. Bolivia’s ousted president Evo Morales called Wednesday for an international truth commission to investigate his ouster.

Evo Morales: “From the north, we are informed, the United States does not want me to return to Bolivia; and the right wing in Bolivia, the coup right, the massacre-led right, expressed that 'Evo can't return to Bolivia.’”

Evo Morales was speaking from Mexico, where he’s been exiled. Click here to see all our coverage of the crisis in Bolivia.

Iran Continues Internet Blackout After Violently Repressing Protests

Nov 22, 2019
H5 iran continues blackout after violent repression protests

In Iran, a government blackout of all internet traffic has entered its fifth day, leaving tens of millions of people accustomed to hi-speed data cut off from the outside world. The blackout came amid a government crackdown on protests over soaring increases in the price of fuel. Amnesty International says more than 100 people were killed and over 1,000 arrested at protests in 21 cities, as Iranian forces fired live rounds into crowds from rooftops and helicopters. The fuel price hikes came after the Trump administration walked away from the Iran nuclear agreement last year, imposing harsh economic sanctions on Iran.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu Indicted on Corruption Charges

Nov 22, 2019
H6 israel prime minister netanyahu indicted corruption charges avichai mandelblit bribery fraud breach of trust

Israel’s top prosecutor on Thursday indicted Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on charges of bribery, fraud and breach of trust in three separate cases. This is Israel’s attorney general, Avichai Mandelblit.

Avichai Mandelblit: “A day in which the attorney general decides to indict a serving prime minister with severe offenses of administrative corruption is a difficult and sad day for the Israeli public and for me personally.”

Netanyahu is accused of trading political favors for positive press coverage and, separately, for accepting hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of luxury goods — including jewelry, cigars and Champagne — from a Hollywood producer and an Australian billionaire in return for favors. Netanyahu railed against the charges Thursday, calling them an “attempted coup.” He is the only sitting prime minister to be indicted in Israel’s history.

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Protesters Confront Joe Biden Over Obama-Era Deportations

Nov 22, 2019
H7 protestors confront joe biden over obama era deportations south caroline greenwood carlos rojas movimiento cosecha
Image Credit: Twitter: @jslovegrove

Back in the United States, former Vice President Joe Biden was confronted by protesters at a campaign stop in Greenwood, South Carolina Thursday over his support for the Obama administration’s deportation policies.

Protesters: “Not one more deportation! Not one more deportation! Not one more deportation!”

The protest came after Carlos Rojas of the immigrant rights group Movimiento Cosecha confronted Biden over the 3 million people deported from the U.S. under President Obama — a record pace of deportations. Biden responded to Rojas saying, “You should vote for Trump.”

Over 100 Lawmakers Call on President Trump to Fire Stephen Miller

Nov 22, 2019
H8 over 100 lawmakers call on president trump to fire stephen miller white nationalism far right extremism

More than 100 members of Congress called Thursday for President Trump to fire senior adviser Stephen Miller after emails emerged detailing Miller’s long-time support for white nationalism, far-right extremist ideas and racist conspiracy theories. In a letter to the White House, the lawmakers write, “Given Mr. Miller’s role in shaping immigration policy for your administration, his documented dedication to extremist, anti-immigrant ideology and conspiracy-mongering is disqualifying.”

Seven Arrested at UC Berkeley Protest of Ann Coulter Speech

Nov 22, 2019
H9 seven arrested uc berkeley protest ann coulter speech far right
Image Credit: Twitter: @ambertang_dc

In California, over a thousand students linked arms and tried to physically block people from attending a talk by far-right TV personality Ann Coulter on the UC Berkeley campus Thursday evening. Police in riot gear escorted Coulter and her fans inside Berkeley’s famed Wheeler Hall for the talk, which was hosted by the College Republicans. Students projected a giant sign reading “Berkeley Stands United Against Hate” on the outside of the Hall, while inside, a student was handcuffed and removed as she disrupted Coulter’s speech. Six other protesters were arrested throughout the evening. The Southern Poverty Law Center has called Coulter “an infamous far-right attack dog” with ties to white nationalist organizations.

Syracuse University Suspends Four Students Amid Rash of Racist Incidents

Nov 22, 2019
H10 syracuse university suspends four students amid racist incidents chancellor kent syverud
Image Credit: Twitter: @dailyorange

Syracuse University has suspended four students in connection with a string of racist incidents, including a verbal assault on an African-American student. There have been at least 12 reports of racist graffiti and swastikas found on campus; and in one instance, students at the university’s library received a white supremacist manifesto on their cell phones. On Thursday, Chancellor Kent Syverud signed a memorandum agreeing to 19 demands presented by student groups who organized a week-long sit-in protest of a campus building.

Indiana Police Officer Fired Over Viral Video Showing Racist Harassment

Nov 22, 2019
H11 indiana police officer fired over viral video showing racist harrassment

In Indiana, a white police officer has been fired after a viral video showed him harassing two African-American men for “acting suspicious” by spending over $1,000 at a shopping mall. Deputy constable Daryl Jones was working off-duty as a security guard at a Nordstrom Rack store in the Indianapolis suburb of Lawrence when he followed Aaron Blackwell and his cousin Durell Cunningham to their car in the mall parking lot, demanding to see their IDs. Blackwell recorded the interaction on his cell phone.

Officer Daryl Jones: “You get your driver’s license out right now and show me ID.”

Durell Cunningham: “Call your supervisor.”

Aaron Blackwell: “What do you need my ID for, sir?”

Officer Daryl Jones: “Because you wanna run your mouth to me.”

Officer Jones called for backup, and an on-duty officer arrived, eventually telling Blackwell and Cunningham they were free to go. Lawrence Township chief constable Terry Burns said he decided to fire Officer Jones immediately after watching the video.

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg and Peter Thiel Had Secret White House Dinner with Trump

Nov 22, 2019
H12 facebook ceo mark zuckerberg peter thiel secret white house dinner trump

Facebook has admitted that CEO Mark Zuckerberg secretly met with President Donald Trump over dinner at the White House in October. Also at the meeting was Facebook investor Peter Thiel, a major Trump donor and chair of the data technology company Palantir, a defense contractor whose case management system is used by Immigration and Customs Enforcement to surveil, track and deport immigrants. It’s not clear what Thiel, Zuckerberg and Trump discussed. Massachusetts Senator and 2020 presidential candidate Elizabeth Warren tweeted, “This is how the government keeps working for giant corporations and the wealthy and well-connected. It’s no wonder that companies like Facebook have been allowed to consolidate economic and political power without any real accountability.”

Wisconsin Governor Signs Bill Criminalizing Pipeline Protesters

Nov 22, 2019
H13 wisconsin governor signs bill criminalizing pipeline protesters tony evers alec oil gas
Image Credit: tonyevers.com

Wisconsin’s Democratic Governor Tony Evers has signed a bill making it a felony to trespass on the grounds of an oil or gas pipeline. Critics say the bill was inspired by ALEC — the American Legislative Exchange Council — and pushed through the Wisconsin legislature by the American Petroleum Institute. Opponents of the law include members of the Bad River Band of Lake Superior Chippewa, whose reservation is crossed by the Enbridge Line 5 tar sands oil pipeline. The tribe’s chair, Mike Wiggins, said, “Over and over, we’ve seen peaceful, nonviolent protests met with militarization, threats of violence and actual violence from some of these corporate mechanisms.”

More Women Accuse Jeffrey Epstein of Rape, Sex Trafficking

Nov 22, 2019
H14 more women accuse jeffrey epstein rape sex trafficking jane doe gloria allred prince andrew

More women have stepped forward to accuse the late serial sexual predator Jeffrey Epstein of rape and sex trafficking. On Monday, a woman identifying herself as “Jane Doe” publicly announced a lawsuit against Epstein’s estate, saying she was raped by Epstein at his New Mexico ranch when she was 15 years old. And on Thursday, Teala Davies told reporters in New York City that Epstein frequently raped and sexually assaulted her at his homes in New York, New Mexico, Florida, the Virgin Islands and France beginning when she was 17 years old.

Teala Davies: “I was a little girl. It took me a long time to break free from his mind control and abuse.”

On Thursday, the attorney representing the women, Gloria Allred, said Britain’s Prince Andrew should be obliged to meet with investigators to disclose his ties to Epstein. Virginia Giuffre, who is one of several Epstein accusers, says she was sexually trafficked by Epstein and forced to have sex with the prince when she was 17 years old. Prince Andrew has denied the accusations. He said this week he’s stepping back from public duties after he showed little remorse for Epstein’s victims in an interview with BBC Newsnight.

Emily Maitlis: “Do you regret the whole friendship with Epstein?”

Prince Andrew: “Now, still not and the reason being is that the people that I met and the opportunities that I was given to learn either by him or because of him were actually very useful.

Jeffrey Epstein has counted Presidents Donald Trump and Bill Clinton among his friends. Trump told New York magazine in 2002, “I’ve known Jeff for 15 years. Terrific guy. He’s a lot of fun to be with. It is even said that he likes beautiful women as much as I do, and many of them are on the younger side.”

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