In a historic step, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has instructed the chairs of key House committees to begin drafting articles of impeachment against President Trump. Pelosi said Trump’s actions to seek foreign help in the 2020 election strike at the very heart of the Constitution.
Speaker Nancy Pelosi: “Our democracy is what is at stake. The president leaves us no choice but to act, because he is trying to corrupt, once again, the election for his own benefit. The president has engaged in abuse of power, undermining our national security and jeopardizing the integrity of our elections. His actions are in defiance of the vision of our Founders and the oath of office that he takes to preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States.”
Nancy Pelosi’s announcement sets the stage for a full House vote on impeachment that could take place before Christmas. Hours after making her announcement, Pelosi was asked by a reporter at a press conference if she hated President Trump.
Speaker Nancy Pelosi: “This is about the Constitution of the United States and the facts that lead to the president’s violation of his oath of office. And as a Catholic, I resent your using the word 'hate' in a sentence that addresses me. I don’t hate anyone. I was raised in a way that is a heart full of love, and always prayed for the president. And I still pray for the president. I prayed for the president all the time. So don’t mess with me when it comes to words like that.”
Pelosi’s actions come as the House Judiciary Committee says it will convene another hearing on Monday to allow lawyers to formally present evidence in the impeachment inquiry, which centers on how President Trump withheld military aid to Ukraine in order to pressure the Ukrainian president to investigate Trump’s political rival Joe Biden and his son Hunter.
Presidential candidate and former Vice President Joe Biden lashed out at a town hall in Iowa Thursday after an audience member suggested Biden helped his son Hunter get a lucrative job in Ukraine. Hunter Biden had been on the board of a Ukrainian gas company, Burisma, and the Republicans have been spreading debunked conspiracy theories about Hunter’s position. This is a retired farmer from Iowa.
Iowan farmer: “But you, on the other hand, sent your son over there to get a job and work for a gas company that he had no experience with gas or nothing, in order to get access for the president. So, you’re selling access to the president just like he was.”
Joe Biden: “You’re a damn liar, man. That’s not true. And no one has ever said that. No one reported that.”
Iowan farmer: “They’re telling me. I’ve seen it on the TV.”
Joe Biden: “You’ve seen it on the TV.”
Iowan farmer: “That’s all I’ve got for proof, watching TV.”
Joe Biden: “No, I know you do. And, by the way, that’s why I’m not sedentary. I get up and — no, no, let — let him go. Let him go.”
And that was former Vice President Joe Biden, lashing out at the town hall in Iowa Thursday.
The Pentagon is considering sending thousands more troops to the Middle East to counter Iran. The Wall Street Journal reports up to 14,000 more U.S. troops could be deployed. The potential deployment comes as the United States claims Iran has transferred short-range missiles into Iraq.
Saudi Arabia has taken the world’s most profitable company public. The state-owned oil giant Saudi Aramco raised a record $25.6 billion in its initial public offering. When trading begins, the company will be valued at $1.7 trillion, making it the most valuable listed company in the world.
More than 140,000 people around the world died from measles last year amid a surge in the number of cases of the preventable disease partially caused by misinformation about vaccines. The vast majority of the victims were children under the age of 5. The new figures come as the Pacific island nation of Samoa has arrested an anti-vaccination campaigner amid a massive outbreak of measles that has already killed over 60 people, mostly young children.
At least 62 people have died after a boat capsized in the Atlantic Ocean off the coast of the West African nation of Mauritania. The boat was headed to Spain’s Canary Islands. It was carrying over 150 refugees when it ran out of fuel and sank on Wednesday.
A shocking video obtained by ProPublica shows the last hours of the life of 16-year-old indigenous Guatemalan asylum seeker Carlos Gregorio Hernández Vásquez. He was found dead by his cellmate in a Texas Border Patrol holding cell in May. The footage is disturbing. Hernández Vásquez had been diagnosed with the flu and a fever of 103 when he was put in the holding cell with another sick boy. A nurse recommended he be sent to the emergency room if his conditions worsened. Instead, Border Patrol left him in a cold, cement, quarantined cell, where he was found dead the following morning in a pool of blood next to a toilet. An agent checked on Hernández Vásquez three times while the boy was dying. But ProPublica reports the Customs and Border Protection agent failed to perform adequate checks on the boy and never reported anything alarming with the boy’s health status. The video also shows that CBP lied about how the boy’s body was found.
In France, hundreds of thousands of workers are continuing their strike today in protest of French President Emmanuel Macron’s proposed pension plan. Over 800,000 people poured into the streets Thursday as the strike’s first day shuttered schools across the country and canceled hundreds of trains and flights. This is French pensioner and former construction worker Michel Laurent.
Michel Laurent: “Today, I demonstrate for the next generation, because when you see that we have worked all our lives — I have worked 43 years, I have a 1,200 euros pension — I doubt that younger people will have a pension like we currently have. If they want it, they will have to work until they’re 70 years old. It is untenable.”
Uber says it received over 3,000 reports of sexual assault in the United States last year. The Wall Street-backed ride-hailing app has repeatedly been criticized for not taking passenger safety seriously and for ignoring reports of rape and sexual assault by its drivers. Regulators in London have refused to renew Uber’s license to operate in the city, citing “several breaches that placed passengers and their safety at risk.” Uber can still operate in London while it appeals the decision.
The Guardian reveals Congressmembers Ilhan Omar of Minnesota and Rashida Tlaib of Michigan were targeted by a mysterious Israeli-based Facebook group in a far-right campaign to spread misinformation and Islamophobic attacks against the two Democratic congresswomen. Ilhan Omar and Rashida Tlaib are the first Muslim women to serve in Congress. They have been subject to racist insults from President Trump and Islamophobic rants from Trump supporters and other political opponents. They have both also received violent death threats.
A retired New York police officer has revealed the police department’s Transit District 34 in Brooklyn encouraged officers to arrest black and Latino men in exchange for rewards. The testimony is part of a discrimination lawsuit filed by Sgt. Edwin Raymond and three other officers, who say they were forced to apprehend more black and Latino men than other racial and ethnic groups. The former officer Pierre Maximilien also said Asian, Jewish and white people — who were referred to as “soft targets” — were not to be cuffed and that all officers in that district were required to fill a “collar quota.” Maximilien retired in 2015 after being retaliated against for not following these orders.
Nearly 700,000 people are poised to lose access to food stamps after the Trump administration gave its final approval to a rule change proposed by the Agriculture Department. The Trump administration gave its stamp of approval despite receiving over 140,000 letters in recent months opposing the highly unpopular rule change.
The University of North Carolina is facing student and faculty protests after the school secretly agreed to provide $2.5 million to a neo-Confederate organization to preserve and display a Confederate statue known as Silent Sam. Last year anti-racist protesters toppled the statue, which had stood on the UNC Chapel Hill campus for over a century. Critics are accusing the school of helping to subsidize white nationalists.
Nigerian secret police have rearrested the prominent Nigerian-American journalist and activist Omoyele Sowore just hours after he was released on bail after four months in detention. Sowore is a former presidential candidate in Nigeria and the founder of the New York-based news outlet Sahara Reporters. Sowore’s co-defendant Olawale Bakare was also released on Thursday and then rearrested today. Amnesty International recently declared both men to be prisoners of conscience.