So far the hearings have been held behind closed doors.

Now they are being expanded. At the end of the process, the first woman could take over the office.

The US Democrats have cleared an important hurdle with regard to the possible impeachment of President Donald Trump. The preliminary investigations that have been going on for weeks have been officially confirmed in a vote in the House of Representatives. So far the hearings have been held behind closed doors. From Wednesday they will now be continued publicly (t-online.de will broadcast the hearings live from 4 p.m.).

Concrete steps for possible impeachment proceedings against the president have already been initiated. The background to this is the Ukraine affair. The Democrats accuse Trump of abuse of office, among other things. The investigation is expected to be completed by the end of this year. However, there is no precise schedule. There is still a long way to go before an actual impeachment. 

(Source: t-online)

The judicial committee decides on procedures

First of all, the six committees of the Congress Chamber are now instructed to collect the results of the investigation and submit them to the Justice Committee of the House of Representatives. This committee then has to decide whether there are serious allegations against Trump. The constitution names “treason, bribery or other serious crimes and misdemeanors” as reasons for this. 

In a next step, the entire House of Representatives would then have to vote on whether it wants to prosecute the President over the identified charges. This requires a simple majority of 218 of the 435 votes. Because the Democrats have a majority there with 235 votes, an indictment is considered likely. 

In the end, the Senate has to approve

In the end, the decisive body is the Senate. He takes on the function of a court in such proceedings. A two-thirds majority of the 100 seats would be required for an impeachment vote, that would be 67 votes. Since the Republicans have a majority in the Senate with 53 votes, an actual impeachment is currently unlikely.

Should Trump actually have to move out of the White House early, Vice President Mike Pence would take over the office of President. But whether he will really move into the White House as Trump’s successor also depends on Pence’s role in the Ukraine affair. If further investigations reveal that Pence knew early on about the phone calls and their content between Trump and Selenskyi, he too could face impeachment proceedings.  

Ukraine affair: The shady role of Trump’s EU ambassador Post from Washington: Trump’s anger, Trump’s plan News blog: The latest news on the Ukraine affair Impeachment: This man is now Trump’s number one opponent 

 In the unlikely event of double impeachment, the US House of Representatives Speaker and Democratic Chairwoman Nancy Pelosi would become the US’s first woman president.

Sources used: dpa’s own research

Istanbul (AP) – Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan is ruling out a ceasefire in northern Syria despite massive pressure from the USA and Europe. At the same time, the head of state made fun of the partial stop of German arms exports and attacked Foreign Minister Heiko Maas (SPD) personally.

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Immediately before US Vice President Mike Pence’s visit to Ankara, Erdogan declared that negotiations would not be carried out with the opponents of the Kurdish militia YPG. Turkey does not sit down at the table with “terrorists”. But he wants to talk to Pence this Thursday, whom US President Donald Trump sends as a mediator.

At the same time, Russian President Vladimir Putin wanted to talk to Erdogan personally about how to avoid a direct confrontation between Syrian and Turkish troops in the civil war country.

According to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, during the ongoing fighting in northeast Syria, Syrian government troops fought alongside Kurdish militias against the rebels supported by Turkey for the first time.

The Turkish military offensive in northern Syria has been running for a week. It is directed against the Kurdish militia YPG, which controls a large area on the Syrian side of the border. Turkey sees it as an offshoot of the banned Kurdish Workers’ Party PKK and thus a terrorist organization. The offensive met with sharp criticism internationally.

Erdogan was unimpressed by the restriction of German arms exports and attacked Maas. “If you knew anything about politics, you wouldn’t speak like that,” said Erdogan to Maas, describing him as a “political dilettante”. Germany was the only sanction to date that had partially stopped its arms exports to Turkey. Armaments that cannot be used in the conflict can still be exported.

US Vice President Pence and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo were due to leave for Ankara on Wednesday. The US hopes to reach a ceasefire between Turkey and the Kurdish militias in the talks. The US had imposed sanctions. Among other things, two ministries and three ministers were given punitive measures. Trump said the previous sanctions could be expanded if necessary. The Kurdish militias had long been a close ally in the fight against the terrorist militia IS in Syria.

“Come and stand on the side of Turkey in this fight and not against it. Or at least don’t get involved,” said Erdogan to members of his ruling party, the AKP, in Ankara, addressing the West. Turkey does not need mediators. Erdogan had previously stressed to Turkish journalists that Turkey could “never” declare a ceasefire. First, Turkey must achieve its goal, namely the establishment of a so-called security zone along the border and the expulsion of the YPG.

Erdogan stressed that the offensive would “end of its own accord” as soon as the Kurdish militias lay down their arms and left the area designated for the so-called security zone. The quickest solution would be if that happened “tonight,” said Erdogan.

In response to an invitation from Trump to Washington in mid-November, Erdogan said, according to the state news agency, that he would evaluate such a trip “after meeting the delegations who come here.” How he and his family are judged in the USA is a “great disrespect” for the Turkish state.

Kremlin chief Putin invited Erdogan to Russia, and Moscow is an ally of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad in the conflict. The Turkish-Russian relations are not harmonious, but Ankara is dependent on energy supplies from Russia and is increasingly turning to Moscow on defense issues.

The UN Security Council in New York also wanted to deal again with the northern Syria conflict on Wednesday. Last Thursday, Germany and five other EU countries announced an end to the offensive. However, the Council was unable to agree on a joint communication.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights announced that the Kurdish militias and the Syrian army were involved in fighting near Ain Issa. There is also fighting near the M4 expressway, which runs along an important supply route for the Kurdish militias.

According to Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, the government in Damascus and the Kurdish militias are exchanging views on the situation in the north-east of the country. “Such a dialogue has started and is already producing concrete results,” said the chief diplomat of the Interfax agency. Russia advocated that the situation could only be resolved through talks. The Turkish and Syrian military should also lay down “concrete conditions for cooperation”. Russia wants to support this dialogue.

The Syrian Observatory also stated that US troops in Kurdish-controlled Kobane had destroyed their base and left the area. The US military did not initially confirm this.

On Tuesday, the American troops had already withdrawn from the city of Manbij. The Syrian army and allied Russian troops arrived there on Monday – after an agreement with the Kurdish militias, which had turned to the government in Damascus for help in the fight against Turkey.

According to activists, more than 70 civilians, including 21 children, have been killed since the Turkish invasion of northern Syria began a week ago. The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights reported that more than 160 fighters were killed in the ranks of the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) led by Kurdish militias and almost 150 fighters on the part of the rebels supported by Turkey. In an attack by the Turkish army and their allies, two soldiers from the Syrian army were also killed.

Washington (AP) – With a newly created “Space Force”, the US military is preparing for conflicts in space.

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After being passed by Congress, President Donald Trump signed a package of laws on the Defense Budget (NDAA) on Friday evening (local time), which includes the law to create a separate armed force. “With my signature today you will witness the birth of the Space Force, and it will now officially become the sixth branch of the United States’ armed forces,” Trump said at the ceremony at Andrews Air Force Base near Washington. Space is the newest military area of ​​operations.

With the “Space Force”, a separate US armed force was created for the first time since 1947 – at that time the US Air Force was formed as a separate unit. This is a success for Trump because he campaigned for the formation of his own “Space Force”. “This is a big moment,” said the president. “In the midst of grave threats to our national security, American superiority in space is absolutely essential.”

Vice President Mike Pence – who pushed the project – wrote on Twitter on Saturday that the “Space Force” will “make America and the world safer”. He added: “This achievement by President Trump is not only historic, it is non-partisan.” In a guest article for the Orlando Sentinel newspaper, Pence wrote, “Our freedom to operate safely in space is critical to the way we live. Modern communications, commerce, weather forecasting, and even agriculture depend in large part on the security of our space resources . “

Trump nominated General Jay Raymond as the first commander of the “Space Force” (“Chief of Space Operations”). “He will become the very first member of the Space Force,” Trump said at the signing ceremony. The commander – who is subordinate to the civilian head of the Air Force – must be confirmed by the Senate. The law does not provide for additional soldiers for the “Space Force”, these are to be recruited from the Air Force.

The “Space Force” is now the sixth independent military force in the USA alongside the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps and Coast Guard. The law states that the “Space Force” should guarantee the freedom of the USA to operate in space and protect the interests of the Americans there. The task of the new armed forces is also to fend off aggression in and from space and to carry out operations there.

He is the head of Trump’s Corona working group, but himself seems to have doubts about the seriousness of the virus crisis. Vice President Mike Pence broke hygiene rules during a clinic visit.

US Vice President Mike Pence did not wear a respirator when visiting a clinic during the Corona crisis, regardless of a corresponding regulation. Videos showed Pence standing on a patient’s bed on Tuesday at the Rochester, Minnesota hospital.

Everyone around Pence had their nose and mouth covered in masks. The Mayo Clinic wrote on Twitter that Pence had been informed of the mask wearing policy prior to his arrival. A few minutes after the tweet was published, it was deleted again.

Since mid-April, the clinic has required all patients and visitors to wear a respirator to slow the spread of the coronavirus.

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Vice President Pence heads the White House’s Corona working group. The CDC health authority has been recommending since the beginning of April that healthy people without symptoms should also wear cloth masks in public in the fight against the coronavirus

2021-01-11T16:04:25+00:00

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