• US Senate Votes to Curb Trump’s Iran War Powers

    A handful of Republican senators joined their Democratic colleagues Thursday to pass a resolution calling on President Donald Trump to “terminate the use of U.S. Armed Forces for hostilities against Iran” unless those actions are authorized by Congress.

    The U.S. Senate passed the bipartisan war powers resolution by a vote of 55-45.  

    Trump is expected to veto the measure, arguing it would be dangerous to limit his war-making power.  

    “It is very important for our Country’s SECURITY that the United States Senate not vote for the Iran War Powers Resolution,” Trump said on Twitter Wednesday. “We are doing very well with Iran and this is not the time to show weakness.”

    It is very important for our Country’s SECURITY that the United States Senate not vote for the Iran War Powers Resolution. We are doing very well with Iran and this is not the time to show weakness. Americans overwhelmingly support our attack on terrorist Soleimani….

    — Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) February 12, 2020

    Trump said he had overwhelming American public support for the airstrike last month that killed Iranian general Qassem Soleimani.  

    “If my hands were tied, Iran would have a field day,” he said. “Sends a very bad signal. The Democrats are only doing this as an attempt to embarrass the Republican Party. Don’t let it happen!” 

    ….If my hands were tied, Iran would have a field day. Sends a very bad signal. The Democrats are only doing this as an attempt to embarrass the Republican Party. Don’t let it happen!

    — Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) February 12, 2020

    But Democratic Senator Tim Kaine, the resolution’s co-sponsor, argued it was time to reassert the U.S. Congress’ constitutional authority to declare war as tensions between the U.S. and Iran increased following the death of Soleimani.

    “War is the most solemn responsibility we have,” Kaine said of the Senate Thursday. “We have a special obligation to make sure that we deliberate and deliberate carefully before we send troops into harm’s way. The president of the United States — this president and every president — always needs the ability to defend the United States against imminent attack without asking for anybody’s permission. I think the world knows we will do that. This body, though, is the body that needs to decide if we go on offense and engage in military action.” 

    Republican support for the measure comes a little over a week after members of the president’s own party voted to acquit him of charges in the Senate impeachment trial. 

    But in floor remarks Thursday, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer addressed criticism of the resolution, saying it was not an attempt to embarrass Trump.

    “Well, then why are a good number of Republicans supporting it?” Schumer said. “This resolution is going to pass with a bipartisan majority of Senators in support — a rarity these days. If this is purely an attempt to embarrass the president, well, it’s going to be a bipartisan one.”

    But supporters of the resolution were unable to muster a two-thirds vote that would override an expected presidential veto.  

    Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., walks to the Senate chamber at the Capitol in Washington, Feb. 13, 2020.

    Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell, asked in opposition to the measure Wednesday, “What message will the Senate send to American service members? Should they doubt whether their own leaders are authorized to defend them?”

    He said, “What message should we send to our regional allies and partners? Can they count on continued solidarity from the United States? What would it say to a real great-power, competitors like Russia and China, if we cannot even remain united in the face of a lesser challenger such as Iran? Let’s send the right message with our votes. Let’s defeat this misguided resolution.”   

    Another Republican lawmaker, Senator John Thune, said Trump’s killing of Soleimani was justified, calling the war powers resolution “an ill-advised and potentially problematic response to the president’s action.”

    The killing of Soleimani heightened tensions between the United States and Iran last month, reviving a long-running debate over the role Congress should play in overseeing the president’s ability to manage foreign military operations.

    In the nearly two decades since the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, U.S. lawmakers have revisited the issue of congressional approval for conflicts with little success. 

    But those efforts gained renewed energy following a Jan. 8 intelligence briefing that congressional Democrats and two Republican senators said did not sufficiently inform Congress of the administration’s strategy in the Middle East.

    FILE – Senators Mike Lee and Rand Paul, both Republicans, walk to a vote on Capitol Hill, in Washington, June 27, 2019.

    Republican Senators Rand Paul and Mike Lee said the briefing on Trump’s engagement with Iran following the drone attack on Soleimani was among the worst they had been given during their time in the U.S. Senate.

    Kaine won their support for the resolution along with votes from Republicans Susan Collins, Todd Young and Jerry Moran to attain the majority needed to pass the legislation.

    Senate action on the war powers resolution follows a number of votes in the House of Representatives aimed at addressing rising tensions with Iran.

    In January, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi acknowledged Soleimani was a terrible person, while stressing the importance of congressional debate over war powers.

    The House voted nearly along party lines on January 9, passing a non-binding resolution similar to Kaine’s legislation by a 224-194 vote.

    Rep. Elissa Slotkin, D-Mich., does a television interview on Capitol Hill in Washington, Dec. 18, 2019.

    Representative Elissa Slotkin, a Democrat who co-sponsored the legislation, said in a House floor speech, “If our loved ones are going to be sent to fight in any protracted war, the president owes the American public a conversation. The resolution we will be voting on today allows us to start that debate as our founders intended.”

    Later in the month, a pair of bills limiting Trump’s military authority passed the House with some Republican support. The first bill limits funding for overseas military action if the president has not sought congressional approval for his or her actions.

    The second bill repealed the 2002 Authorization of Military Force (AUMF) resolution that has been broadly used by presidents of both parties to justify U.S. military actions overseas. Trump, in part, used the 2002 AUMF to justify his strike against Soleimani, also citing an imminent threat to U.S. personnel overseas.   

    The White House said Trump would veto both of the House-passed measures if they also are approved by the Republican-majority Senate.

    The U.S. Constitution gives Congress the sole responsibility to formally declare war. But American presidents have had wide latitude to unilaterally order military action in response to imminent threats and sudden crises.



  • Канал ATR може зупинити мовлення на Крим вже в п’ятницю через борги

    Кримськотатарський канал ATR може зупинити мовлення на анексований Крим вже 14 лютого через борги перед Концерном радіомовлення, радіозв’язку та телебачення. Про це канал заявив 13 лютого, опублікувавши лист, який генеральний директор Ленур Іслямов отримав від КРРТ.

    Згідно з листом, борги каналу почали накопичуватися ще у вересні 2019 року. Нині їхня загальна сума складає понад 368 тисяч гривень.

    «Концерн РРН наполягає терміново вжити заходів з погашення заборгованості та попереджає ТОВ «Телевізійна компанія Атлант-СВ» про те, що у разі відсутності конструктивної відповіді до 14 лютого 2020 року Концерн РРТ вимушений буде тимчасово призупинити надання телекомунікаційних послуг та звернутися про примусове стягнення заборгованості з пенями та штрафними санкціями», – йдеться в листі, який оприлюднив канал.

    10 лютого кримськотатарський телеканал ATR заявив про блокування його рахунків і фінансування з держбюджету. Через це телеканал запустив марафон #SaveATR, з ефірами без ведучих і гостей.

    Читайте також: Бородянський про ситуацію з ATR: влада намагається врегулювати ситуацію​

    ATR інформує, що в 2019 році держава перерахувала телеканалу 15 мільйонів гривень підтримки 28 грудня, коли банки були закриті, і жодні операції не можна було провести. Відтак канал знідно з законом мусив повернути гроші державі.

    «У 2020 році з держбюджету України на фінансування телеканалу виділено 50 мільйонів гривень. Частина цих грошей прийшла на рахунок ATR, але їх заблокувало казначейство», – повідомили на ATR.

    Раніше у зв’язку з браком ресурсів телеканал ATR запустив збір коштів.

    ATR отримує фінансову підтримку з державного бюджету з 2016 року за рахунок бюджетної програми розселення та облаштування кримських татар та осіб інших національностей, депортованих з території України.


  • На Донеччині затоплює шахту: її знеструмили через борги за електрику

    13 лютого о 15.30 представники постачальника електричної енергії повністю знеструмили шахту «Південнодонбаська № 1». Це підприємство розташоване у місті Вугледар Донецької області за декілька десятків кілометрів від зони бойових дій. З самого ранку шахтарі протестували проти відключення: блокували трасу, що розташована біля шахти, а також трансформаторну підстанцію на території підприємства.

    Як повідомив Радіо Свобода шахтар Олександр Дирда, знеструмлення підприємства спричинило затоплення шахти. Станом на 18.00 вода могла сягнути рівня 600 метрів, на якому розташоване різне устаткування, зокрема насоси.

    Цього ж дня керівник Донецької обласної адміністрації Павло Кириленко на своїй Фейсбук-сторінці повідомив, що на початку поточного тижня шахті перерахували 17 мільйонів гривень для часткового погашення боргу за електрику.

    Читайте також: ​«Чорна територія». Що відбувається з шахтами у ОРДЛО? (рос.)

    «Але шахтарі розпорядилися грошима по-іншому: спрямували на оплату електроенергії лише 6 мільйонів гривень, решту пустили на зарплату. Звичайно, питання зарплати вкрай важливе, але! На це надходять цільові кошти: у лютому надійшов 21 мільйон гривень, у березні теж заплановано виділити з держбюджету відповідну суму. А недоплачена сума боргу за електрику ставить шахту на межу знищення», – стверджує Кириленко.

    Керівник Донеччини зазначив, що завтра відбудуться чергові перемовини щодо врегулювання кризи на шахті «Південнодонбаська № 1».

    Зі свого боку Олександр Дирда повідомив Радіо Свобода, що спрямування частини грошей на заробітну плату було спільним рішенням, адже гірникам, фактично, ніде взяти грошей на найнеобхідніше.

    До цього, 11 лютого, декілька десятків шахтарів протестували під стінами Донецкої ОДА в Краматорську та просили чиновників запобігти відключенню. Гірники з Вугледара повідомили Радіо Свобода, що не отримують гроші упродовж трьох місяців і змушені позичати речі та їжу на місцевому ринку.


  • Апеляційний суд подовжив арешт Павловського на кілька годин

    Київський апеляційний суд залишив у силі рішення щодо арешту підозрюваного – про це повідомляє пресслужба суду 13 лютого. В заяві суду вказаний «підозрюваний П.», водночас обставини справи вказують на затриманого раніше експомічника народного депутата Ігоря Павловського.

    За повідомленням, колегія суддів Київського апеляційного суду розглянула скарги сторін обвинувачення й захисту на попередню ухвалу Печерського районного суду. Згідно з цією ухвалою, яка частково задовольняла клопотання обвинувачення, Павловський мав перебувати під вартою до 7:40 ранку 4 березня.

    Читайте також: Зеленський очікує на «швидку екстрадицію» з Болгарії фігуранта «справи Гандзюк» Левіна​

    Апеляційна інстанція постановила задовольнити скаргу прокурора і частково задовольнити скаргу захисту, скасувала ухвалу слідчого судді Печерського суду від 21 січня 2020 року та постановила нову.

    «Клопотання начальника відділу процесуального керівництва досудовими розслідуваннями СБУ та підтримання обвинувачення Офісу Генерального прокурора про застосування запобіжного заходу у вигляді тримання під вартою до підозрюваного П. – задоволено. Застосовано до підозрюваного П. запобіжній захід у вигляді тримання під вартою строком до (13 год. 20 хв.) 4 березня 2020 року», – йдеться в заяві.

    20 січня Ігоря Павловського затримали в Херсоні за підозрою в створенні злочинної організації, «яка займалася залякуванням, побиттям та знищенням майна громадян», і перевозять до Києва для обрання запобіжного заходу.

    Всього, за даними Офісу генерального прокурора, під час спецоперації на Херсонщині провели понад 35 обшуків, про підозру оголосили дев’ятьом особам, двоє з них – пов’язані з нападом на Катерину Гандзюк.

    Чиновниця Херсонської міської ради, активістка Катерина Гандзюк померла 4 листопада 2018 року. Це сталося через три місяці після того, як її облили концентрованою сірчаною кислотою у Херсоні.

    У справі про замах на Гандзюк були затримані підозрювані у виконанні і організації нападу, але замовників офіційно не встановили.

    5 серпня набув чинності вирок п’ятьом особам, засудженим до позбавлення волі за вчинення нападу на херсонську активістку.

    Як повідомили в СБУ, вони далі проводять слідство у межах п’яти кримінальних проваджень під процесуальним керівництвом Генпрокуратури.


  • Cruise Ship Refused by Other Ports Anchors off Cambodia

    A cruise ship turned away by other Asian and Pacific governments because of virus fears anchored Thursday off Cambodia, which is checking the health of its 2,200 passengers and crew.

    The Westerdam was unwelcome elsewhere even though operator Holland America Line said no cases of the COVID-19 viral illness have been confirmed among the 1,455 passengers and 802 crew members on board.

    The ship is anchored a kilometer (0.6 miles) from the main Sihanoukville port in the Gulf of Thailand and a team of health officials will conduct checks and determine the disembarkation process, Preah Sihanouk province Gov. Kouch Chamrouen told The Associated Press. 

    About 20 passengers have reported stomachaches or fever, Cambodian health officials said. The ship’s health staff considered them to be normal illnesses, but the ill passengers were being isolated from others, Health Ministry spokeswoman Or Vandine said.

    A military helicopter is on standby to carry samples from passengers to the Pasteur Institute in Phnom Penh for analysis. 

    She said if tests show any passengers have the disease, they’ll be allowed to get treatment in the country. 

    A speed boat, foreground, transports samples from some passengers who have reported stomachaches or fever, in the Westerdam, seen in the background, off Sihanoukville, Cambodia, Feb. 13, 2020.

    Health checks first

    Kuoch Chamrouen said that once the health officials on board are done checking the passengers, the Westerdam will be allowed to dock at the main port. About 500 passengers are scheduled to then disembark Thursday. From the port the passengers will board buses that will transport them to the nearby airport to take a flight to Phnom Penh from where they can proceed to their onward destinations.

    About 30 buses were waiting at the port to transport the passengers.

    U.S. Ambassador W. Patrick Murphy said he sent an embassy team to work with the ship’s representatives and Cambodian officials to help Americans disembark and transfer to their onward destinations.

    “We have also coordinated with foreign embassies of other nationalities,” he wrote on Twitter.

    Thailand refused to allow the Westerdam to dock this week after it had been turned away by the Philippines, Taiwan, Japan and Guam. 

    Cambodia agreed Wednesday to allow the ship in.

    “All approvals have been received and we are extremely grateful to the Cambodian authorities for their support,” cruise operator Holland America Line said on its website. The ship’s request to remain in Cambodia was approved through next Monday.

    Virus fears

    The Westerdam began its cruise in Singapore last month and its last stop before it was refused further landings was in Hong Kong, where 50 cases of the viral disease have been confirmed. 

    COVID-19 has sickened tens of thousands of people in China since December, and nearly 220 cases have been confirmed on another cruise ship, the Diamond Princess, which made stops in Hong Kong and other ports before arriving in Japan last week. 

    World Health Organization Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said earlier he was pleased Cambodia had agreed to accept the Westerdam and described it as an example of the international solidarity advocated by the U.N. health agency. 

    Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen is a strong ally of China and has played down any threat from the new disease in his country. He had declined to ban direct flights to China, a step taken by other governments and airlines. Cambodia has confirmed just one case of the virus, in a Chinese visitor.


  • China Replaces Head of Hong Kong and Macau Affairs Office

    China has replaced the head of its office overseeing matters in Hong Kong, making him the most senior Beijing-appointed official to lose his job in the wake of sometimes-violent anti-government protests in the Chinese-controlled territory.

    China’s Human Resources Ministry announced Thursday that Zhang Xiaoming would be removed as director of the Hong Kong and Macau Affairs Office (HKMAO), to be replaced by Xia Baolong, a 67-year-old vice chairman of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC).

    Hong Kong has been roiled by more than seven months of protests over an extradition bill that would have allowed suspects to be sent to mainland China for trial.

    Zhang’s removal follows Beijing’s move in January to replace the head of its Hong Kong liaison office.

    He will remain with the HKMAO as deputy director in charge of daily operations, the ministry said. 

    Xia served as Chinese President Xi Jinping’s deputy when Xi was Communist Party secretary of Zhejiang province from 2003 to 2007.

    “Xi now has his proteges in place over Hong Kong for the first time,” said Jean-Pierre Cabestan, a professor of political science at the Hong Kong Baptist University.

    “While that may give Hong Kong ‘face’, it is certainly going to put Hong Kong under more political pressure,” Cabestan said. A campaign in 2015 to tear down underground churches in Zhejiang gave Xia a reputation as a hard-liner.

    “Xia is not a moderate and he has shown himself to be a zealous servant of Xi Jinping. We can expect that to continue,” Cabestan said.

    Zhang had backed the controversial extradition bill, telling a visiting Hong Kong delegation how urgent it was that Hong Kong pass the measure, Reuters reported in December.

    The bill was scrapped after mass demonstrations, and the protests evolved into calls for greater democracy, posing the gravest popular challenge to Xi since he came to power.

    Beijing also said on Thursday that it had appointed as deputy directors of the HKMAO Luo Huining, who became the new liaison office head in January, and Fu Ziying, the director of the Macau liaison office.


  • China Replaces Two Top Officials in Virus Epicenter in Broader Shake-up

    China on Thursday replaced its top officials in central Hubei province and its capital, Wuhan, the epicenter of a viral outbreak that has infected more than 45,000 people worldwide.

    Former Shanghai Mayor Ying Yong succeeds Jiang Chaoliang as the ruling Communist Party’s chief in the beleaguered province, the Xinhua state news agency reported, while Wang Zhonglin will take over from Ma Guoqiang as the party secretary in Wuhan.

    The high-level appointments follow the sacking earlier this week of two leaders of the provincial health commission. State media also reported that a slew of others were expelled from the party for transgressions related to the epidemic.

    The public has widely criticized local officials for their handling of the outbreak of a new form of coronavirus. The virus first surfaced December in Hubei’s capital, Wuhan, and has since spread to more than two dozen countries.

    Lockdowns, travel restrictions

    Many countries have implemented travel restrictions on recent visitors to China, which has more than 99% of the world’s reported infections.

    In Vietnam, official media reported that a commune of 10,000 residents northwest of the capital Hanoi was put in lockdown because of due to a cluster of cases there. 

    The online newspaper VN Express cited a senior official of Vinh Phuc province as reporting an increase in cases in Son Loi commune. Vietnam has confirmed 16 case of the diseases, most of them in the province. 

    In an unprecedented measure to contain the disease, recently dubbed COVID-19, the Chinese government has placed the hardest-hit cities, home to more than 60 million, under lockdown.

    Japan’s Health Ministry announced Thursday that 44 more people on a cruise ship quarantined in the port of Yokohama, near Tokyo, have tested positive for COVID-19. The ship has 218 infections among its 3,700 passengers and crew.

    Health Minister Katsunobu Kato told reporters five of the patients who were already sent to hospitals for isolation and treatment of COVID-19 have severe symptoms and are on artificial respirators or under intensive care.

    Cruise ship docks

    Another cruise ship, the Westerdam, finally anchored Thursday off Cambodia after being turned away by several Asian and Pacific governments. No cases of the viral illness have been confirmed among its 1,455 passengers and 802 crew members, according to operator Holland America Line. 

    Thailand refused to allow the Westerdam to dock this week after it had already been turned away by the Philippines, Taiwan, Japan and Guam over virus concerns.

    The Westerdam began its cruise in Singapore last month and its last stop before it was refused further landings was in Hong Kong, where 50 cases of the viral disease have been confirmed.


  • Увольнение Сытника директора НАБУ и мафия бени коломойского

    Увольнение Сытника директора НАБУ и мафия бени коломойского.

    Мафия бени коломойского убирает конкурентов. Директор НАБУ Артем Сытник

    Для распространения вашего видео или сообщения в Сети Правды пишите на email: pravdaua@email.cz
    Лучшие предложения товаров и услуг в Сети SeLLines


  • Кремль угодил в цугцванг: Эрдоган вносит ясность

    Кремль угодил в цугцванг: Эрдоган вносит ясность

    Для распространения вашего видео или сообщения в Сети Правды пишите на email: pravdaua@email.cz
    Лучшие предложения товаров и услуг в Сети SeLLines


  • Андрій Єрмак про Богдана, путіна, вибори в ордло, воду в Крим і поїздку в Оман

    Андрій Єрмак про Богдана, путіна, вибори в ордло, воду в Крим і поїздку в Оман.

    Андрій Єрмак дав свою першу прес-конференцію в ролі голови Офісу президента України. Зокрема, він розповів про те, чи має конфлікт з Андрієм Богданом, чи чекати зустрічі Володимира Зеленського і володимира пукіна, за яких умов можуть бути вибори в ОРДЛО та чи були непублічі зустрічі українського президента в Омані

    Для поширення вашого відео чи повідомлення в Мережі Правди пишіть сюди,
    або на email: pravdaua@email.cz
    Найкращі пропозиції товарів і послуг в Мережі Купуй!


  • Stone Sentencing Controversy Raises Doubts About DOJ’s Independence From Political Influence 

    For decades, the U.S Justice Department has aspired to serve as a model law enforcement agency that largely operates independent of political influence. Federal prosecution decisions and sentencing recommendations have been made by career lawyers operating under strict rules of conduct, a rarity in countries with a weak rule of law. 

    Now that image is being severely tested in the wake of the Justice Department’s controversial decision Tuesday to reverse its own prosecutors’ recommendation that Roger Stone, a longtime confidant of U.S. President Donald Trump, receive seven to nine years in prison for crimes unearthed during the Mueller investigation into Russian election meddling. A jury convicted Stone in November of lying to Congress, obstruction of justice and witness tampering. 

    The extraordinary move led all four federal prosecutors assigned to the Stone case to withdraw from it, including one who resigned in protest, raising questions over whether Trump exerted undue influence over his attorney general, William Barr, to intervene in the case. 

    Barr to testify

    Amid calls for an investigation into Barr’s decision, House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerrold Nadler announced Wednesday that the attorney general would testify before his panel on March 31 “to address numerous concerns regarding his leadership of the Department of Justice and the president’s improper influence over the department and our criminal justice system.” 

    FILE – House impeachment manager Rep. Jerrold Nadler, D-N.Y., speaks during the trial of President Donald Trump in the Senate at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, Jan. 23, 2020.

    A letter signed by Nadler and 22 other Judiciary Committee Democrats asserts that Barr “engaged in a pattern of conduct in legal matters relating to the president that raises significant concerns for this committee.” 

    Trump has denied speaking to Barr about the case, although he says he is glad the Justice Department interceded. Still, many administration critics suspect that undue political influence played a role. That perception will hurt U.S efforts to present itself “as a model country with a model rule of law,” said former Justice Department prosecutor David Axelrod, now with the Philadelphia law firm of Ballard Spahr.  

    “It sends a message to countries that we’re not that much better than the countries that we’ve criticized for so many years,” Axelrod said. 

    It is not clear exactly what prompted Barr’s decision to intervene in the case. Sentencing recommendations are normally made by career prosecutors, and it is almost unheard of for an attorney general to intervene in a sentencing recommendation, according to former Justice Department officials. 

    ‘Excessive’ recommendation

    A Justice Department official said Tuesday that the recommended sentence was “extreme and excessive and disproportionate to Stone’s offenses” and that the decision to reverse it was made before Trump vented about it in a tweet late Monday. 

    That may have been the case, but the circumstances surrounding the decision suggested that prosecutors felt they were overruled for political reasons. Just hours after the controversy heated up, Trump tweeted early Tuesday to congratulate Barr “for taking charge of a case that was totally out of control and perhaps should not have even been brought.” 

    FILE – Attorney General William Barr speaks at the Center for Strategic and International Studies’ China Initiative Conference, Feb. 6, 2020, in Washington.

    The tweet, said Fordham Law School professor Bruce Green, reinforced a perception that Barr had acted improperly.   

    “The appearance is that it was done either because the president asked to or because [Barr] thought it would be consistent with what the president wanted, not with traditional criminal justice values and traditions,” Green said.  “If that’s the case, then the sentencing is a real black eye for the Department of Justice from the point of view of its independence.” 

    The Justice Department is a uniquely American institution. Headed by the attorney general who reports to the president, it is part of the executive branch. Although some presidents have tried to use it to advance their political agendas, recent administrations of both political parties have largely kept the department at arm’s length, allowing it to conduct investigations and prosecutions independent of political pressure. 

    That long-standing tradition has been put to the test under the Trump administration as the president, embracing a sweeping view of executive power, has sought to influence the outcome of investigations affecting him and his associates. 

    Comey, Sessions

    Just four months into his administration, he fired FBI Director James Comey over the Russian election meddling investigation, which he called a “witch hunt” meant to oust him. He repeatedly attacked his first attorney general, Jeff Sessions, for recusing himself from the investigation before firing him in late 2018. 

    Last year, Trump caused a stir among law enforcement officials when he suggested that charges against a top Chinese telecom executive under indictment by the Justice Department could be dismissed as part of a trade deal with China. 

    Barr, a conservative Republican lawyer now serving his second tenure at the helm of the Justice Department, has emerged as one of Trump’s biggest defenders in the administration. His views of executive power mirror those of Trump. 

    Last year, Barr cleared Trump of obstruction of justice in connection with the Russia investigation after Mueller left the question undecided. That led to criticism that he was serving as the president’s personal attorney. 

    FILE – A view of the Department of Justice building in Washington, Feb 1, 2018.

    Current and former Justice Department employees say that the Stone incident has had a debilitating impact on many at the department. 

    “It’s safe to say my former colleagues are appalled by what’s going on in the Department of Justice,” said William Yeomans, a former longtime Justice Department official.  “Every colleague I’ve talked to is deeply affected by it.” 

    The four prosecutors’ withdrawal is likely to encourage other Justice Department employees to push back in the face of outside pressure and to report instances of undue political influence to the Justice Department’s inspector general.  

    ‘Not what you signed up for’

    “Memo to all career DOJ employees,” former Justice Department Inspector General Michael Bromwich tweeted on Tuesday.  “This is not what you signed up for. The four prosecutors who bailed on the Stone case have shown the way. Report all instances of improper political influence and other misdeeds to the DOJ IG, who is required to protect your identity.” 

    But reporting abuse to the watchdog goes only so far, Axelrod said. 

    “If you have a Department of Justice who’s now decided that it is going to be political and he is going to act at the behest of the president,” he said, “there is not much legally that can be done.” 


  • Billionaire Bloomberg Campaigns as Moderate Alternative to Splintered Democrats 

    Splintered results for Democratic presidential contenders from the first two state nominating contests have further muddled the race and divided the moderate wing of the party. With no clear front-runner, some see an opening for former New York Mayor Mike Bloomberg’s media-driven campaign for the nomination.  VOA’s Brian Padden reports on the billionaire businessman’s unconventional strategy.


  • After New Hampshire Surge, Klobuchar Turns to Nevada, Beyond

    It took a year of campaigning, countless stump speeches and an especially strong night on the debate stage for little-known Democratic presidential hopeful Amy Klobuchar to break into the top tier of the 2020 campaign in New Hampshire.

    Now she has less than two weeks to make it count.

    The Minnesota senator began working Wednesday to turn her better-than-expected third-place finish — and a surge of fundraising — into enough momentum to be competitive in next-up Nevada, South Carolina and beyond. For Klobuchar, that means consolidating establishment and moderate voters, picking up traction with black and Latino Democrats and introducing herself to most everyone else.

    Her campaign launched two new television and digital ads in Nevada, and she was heading to Las Vegas to hold a Thursday campaign rally and speak at a town hall sponsored by a major Latino rights group. She also plans to stump over the next week in states that vote in the March 3 “Super Tuesday” contests, and is staffing up with help from the more than $6 million she’s raised since Friday’s debate.

    Counts as a victory

    Tuesday’s showing counted as a victory for a candidate who spent much of the campaign boasting about being in the “top five” of the crowded field. Klobuchar used the moment to put her no-nonsense appeal in the spotlight. She spoke of growing up the granddaughter of an iron ore miner, becoming the first female senator from Minnesota and defying expectations in the 2020 race and her plan to win the party’s nomination.

    “Because of you we are taking this campaign to Nevada. We are going to South Carolina, and we are taking this message of unity to the country,” Klobuchar told cheering supporters Tuesday night.

    Democratic presidential candidate, former Vice President Joe Biden, greets supporters at a campaign event in Columbia, S.C., Feb. 11, 2020.

    The senator appeared to benefit Tuesday from former Vice President Joe Biden’s sliding support, picking up moderate and conservative voters looking for an alternative to liberal Sen. Bernie Sanders, the New Hampshire winner, and rejecting political newcomer and second-place finisher Pete Buttigieg.

    But Klobuchar’s quest is still an uphill climb. The senator has focused almost all her time and campaign resources in Iowa and New Hampshire, building only spare operations in the states that follow on the primary calendar. She has polled poorly among minority voters, a big obstacle in more diverse states like Nevada and South Carolina. Although she will likely see a bump in support, more donations and new media attention, Klobuchar’s challenge is to set up the infrastructure to capitalize on her moment.

    She’s starting from behind. Klobuchar’s Nevada team wasn’t hired until last fall and numbered fewer than a dozen until the campaign redeployed staff from Iowa last week, giving her about 30 people on the ground. Sanders, who essentially tied Buttigieg in Iowa, has been organizing in Nevada since April 2019 and has more than 250 staffers in the state. Biden has more than 80, Buttigieg has about 100 and Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren has more than 50.

    Next stop is Nevada

    Klobuchar is now hoping the appeal that worked for her in New Hampshire will have a similar impact in Nevada on Feb. 22. The three-term senator campaigned as someone who has won even in conservative areas and who could draw support from Democrats, independents and disaffected Republicans to beat Trump. She also points to her record of getting things done in Washington and argues that proposals like “Medicare for All,” backed by Sanders and Warren, are nonstarters in the Senate.

    Democratic U.S. presidential candidate Senator Bernie Sanders is accompanied by his wife Jane O’Meara Sanders and other relatives as he speaks at his New Hampshire primary night rally in Manchester.

    But it was Klobuchar’s debate performance that appeared to have the biggest impact on her showing Tuesday. More than half of Klobuchar’s supporters made up their minds in the last few days, according to AP VoteCast, a survey of more than 3,000 Democratic primary voters in New Hampshire conducted for The Associated Press by NORC at the University of Chicago.

    On the attack

    Klobuchar went on the attack against Buttigieg and delivered a passionate closing promise to fight for the voters who don’t feel seen or heard by politicians in Washington.

    Those selling points helped convince voters like Linda Muchemore, a retiree from Greenland, New Hampshire, who settled on Klobuchar last week after leaning toward Warren.

    Klobuchar’s record in the Senate ”spoke to me of somebody who could maybe heal the animosity we have,” Muchemore said. ”I found out that I’m not as liberal as I thought I was. Those moderate plans that Amy has speak more to me than Elizabeth’s more radical, Bernie plans.”

    Democratic presidential candidate Elizabeth Warren speaks during a Democratic presidential primary debate at Saint Anselm College in Manchester, New Hampshire, Feb. 7, 2020.

    Klobuchar’s late surge over Warren was a surprise twist in the race. Warren, from neighboring Massachusetts, has been leading in the polling, but both women have struggled to convince voters that a woman can win. On Tuesday night, Warren congratulated Klobuchar — “my friend and colleague” — and noted how wrong pundits are “when they count us out.”

    Klobuchar responded to “my friend Elizabeth” soon after.

    “People told me just like they told her that they didn’t think a woman could be elected,” she said. “In my case it was elected to the U.S. Senate. No woman had ever done it before. But I came back, I defied expectations, and I won.”

    For much of the race, Klobuchar has lagged toward the back of the pack in fundraising and had just under $5 million in reserve at the end of 2019 — far less than all other leading contenders. Her goal coming out of Friday’s debate was to raise $1 million, a lifeline that would allow her to forge on in contests ahead. She quickly reached that amount and, to her own surprise, she doubled it within 24 hours.

    Hearing from first-time donors 

    By Tuesday, her campaign said that sum had climbed to $4 million.  She raised an additional $2.5 million after polls closed Tuesday, with about 60% of donations coming from first-time donors, which the campaign called a sign that her message is resonating with voters and that her campaign has room to grow.

    Unlike the other leading contenders in the race, Klobuchar is the only candidate who is not getting extra help from a super PAC or outside group, which can raise and spend unlimited sums so long as they do not coordinate advertising spending decisions with the candidate they support.


  • Перейменування станції метро «Дорогожичі» залежатиме від результату голосування жителів Києва – КМДА

    Питання про можливе перейменування станції метро «Дорогожичі» в Києві винесуть на електронне голосування жителів міста, повідомляє пресслужба Київської міської державної адміністрації.

    «Столична влада отримала пропозицію перейменувати станцію Сирецько-Печерської лінії метрополітену «Дорогожичі» на станцію «Бабин Яр»… Як зазначають ініціатори, такий крок стане даниною пам’яті й поваги до героїзму усіх жертв Бабиного Яру, а також усіх постраждалих від цієї страшної трагедії», – йдеться в повідомленні.

    У КМДА додали, що питання про перейменування станції метро внесене до порядку денного наступного засідання Комісії з питань найменувань, дата якого ще не визначена.

    «Перейменування вулиць або об’єктів інфраструктури затверджуються рішенням Київради. Проте, чи розглядатимуть депутати Київради таку ініціативу, залежить від мешканців міста… Якщо Комісія (з питань найменувань) ухвалить позитивне рішення щодо перейменування, на офіційному порталі Києва розпочнеться електронне голосування, яке триватиме два місяці. Під час цього етапу всі мешканці міста зможуть проголосувати «за» чи «проти» такої ініціативи, або надати свою пропозицію», – повідомили в міській владі.


    За результатами голосування, Комісія з питань найменування повторно розгляне ініціативу і, в залежності від результатів обговорення, або рекомендуватиме київському міському голові виносити питання на сесію Київради, або ні.

    З ініціативою перейменувати на «Бабин Яр» станцію київського метро «Дорогожичі» напередодні виступив Меморіальний центр Голокосту «Бабин Яр».

    У центрі розповіли, що передали відповідне звернення меру Києва Віталію Кличку. Там обіцяють, що всі витрати, пов’язані із процесом перейменування, покриє благодійний фонд.


    «Така ініціатива пов’язана із тим, що станція метро «Дорогожичі» розташована безпосередньо на історичній території урочища Бабин Яр – місця пам’яті, де у 1941-1943 роках відбулася одна з найбільших трагедій Голокосту. Саме тут здійснювалися масові розстріли, в яких, за даними істориків, загинуло близько 100 тисяч людей різних національностей та віросповідань – євреїв, українців, ромів, радянських військовополонених, пацієнтів психіатричної лікарні», – заявили в центрі.

    Крім того, на території урочища планують збудувати меморіальний центр. Таким чином, перейменування станції метро спростить навігацію у місті, переконані активісти.

    Станція «Дорогожичі» відкрита у 2000 році.


  • At UN, Palestinian President Rejects Trump Peace Plan, but Remains Open to Negotiations

    Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas appealed to the United Nations Security Council Tuesday not to accept a peace proposal put forward by US President Donald Trump, but left the door open to negotiations with Israel. VOA’s Richard Green has more on Abbas’s reaction to the Trump’s plan, based on reporting by UN correspondent Margaret Besheer