November 14, 2019 (San Diego’s East County) - East County Magazine's World Watch helps you be an informed citizen on important issues globally and nationally. As part of our commitment to reflect all voices and views, we include links to a variety of news sources representing a broad spectrum of political, religious, and social views. Top world and U.S. headlines include:
- Diplomats detail Ukraine pressure campaign at first open impeachment hearing (CBS)
- New testimony ties Trump more directly to Ukraine pressure (Washington Post)
- Pelosi calls Trump’s actions ‘bribery’ as Democrats sharpen impeachment case (Washington Post)
- How Republican defenses of Trump impeachment have shifted over time (Time Magazine)
Other national news
- Turkish forces launch attacks on Syrian Christian communities as Trump welcomes Erdogan to the White House (RawStory)
- Judge orders Trump to pay $2 million for misusing his foundation (NBC 7)
- Michael Bloomberg Actively Prepares to Enter 2020 Presidential Race (New York Times)
- Uber fined $649 million for saying drivers aren’t employees (New York Times)
- Stone Trial Links Trump More Closely to 2016 Effort to Obtain Stolen Emails (New York Times)
- Supreme Court refuses to block lawsuit against gun manufacturer brought by Sandy Hook families (USA Today)
- Indonesia plans to relocate 10 million people from the sinking city of Jakarta (Yahoo News)
- Australia bushfires: Three dead and thousands forced from homes (BBC)
- After a quiet night, a barrage of rockets strikes Israel (Jerusalem Post)
- Venice Expects More Flooding from High Tides; Prime Minister to Declare Emergency (Weather.com)
- All new rooftops must be covered in plants or solar panels in France( Return to Now)
- The Berlin Wall fell 30 years ago. But an invisible barrier still divides Germany (CNN)
- Bolivian President Evo Morales Resigns Amid Widespread Protests (NPR)
For excerpts and links to full stories, click "read more" and scroll down.
The two career diplomats who testified at the first public hearings in the impeachment inquiry told House lawmakers they became increasingly alarmed over an "irregular" effort to pressure Ukraine into announcing investigations that would benefit President Trump politically…The two diplomats insisted they are nonpartisan career public servants working to advance U.S. interests and bolster Ukraine's ability to counter Russian aggression, which they said was critical to U.S. national security.
New testimony ties Trump more directly to Ukraine pressure (Washington Post)
A top diplomat on Wednesday tied President Trump more directly to the effort to pressure Ukraine to probe his political opponents, describing a phone call in which Trump sought information about the status of the investigations he had asked Ukraine to launch one day earlier.
The shift toward bribery as an impeachable offense, one of only two crimes specifically cited in the Constitution, comes after nearly two months of debate over whether Trump’s conduct amounted to a “quid pro quo.”
The Democratic allegations at the heart of the ongoing impeachment inquiry are pretty simple: that Donald Trump used the power of the presidency to pressure a foreign government to improperly investigate Joe Biden. Or as Democrat Eric Swalwell of California summarized it on Nov. 7, “Defense dollars for dirt.” The Republican response, by contrast, has been less straightforward. In the weeks since Sept. 24, when the White House released a rough transcript of Trump’s July 25 call with Ukrainian president Volodomyr Zelensky, the Republican defense has shifted dramatically, from denying the charges and then dismissing that they would be impeachable if true, to denigrating witnesses and evidence and attacking the impeachment process.
Other national news
n the same day as the first public hearings in House impeachment inquiry began, President Trump welcomed Turkey’s president Recep Tayyip Erdoğan to the White House — a move that even Senator Mitch McConnell said made him feel a sense of “uneasiness,” in light of the fact that Erdogan’s forces and proxies are currently sowing chaos and committing atrocities in Syria.
The money raised "was used for Mr. Trump’s political campaign and disbursed by Mr. Trump’s campaign staff," the judge noted.
Michael Bloomberg Actively Prepares to Enter 2020 Presidential Race (New York Times)
Mr. Bloomberg is expected to file paperwork this week in at least one state with an early deadline, although an adviser said the former New York mayor had not made a final decision to run.
The move by New Jersey could reverberate across the gig economy.
Newly revealed calls between President Trump and Roger Stone dovetailed with key developments in the theft of Democratic emails, prosecutors said.
The Supreme Court refused Tuesday to shield a major arms manufacturer from potential liability in the 2012 school shooting that left 26 students and educators dead in Newtown, Conn.
Indonesia will re-locate 10 million people from its capital city of Jakarta to the sparsely populated eastern edge of Borneo island. Jakarta is one of the fastest sinking cities of Earth, which experts say that one third of the city will be submerged by 2050.
At least three people are dead and four missing in "unprecedented" bushfires in Australia. On Saturday, the fire emergency's second day, officials warned the death toll was likely to continue to rise. Prime Minister Scott Morrison said the military could be called upon to support the 1,300 firefighters currently tackling about 100 blazes.
After a quiet night, a barrage of rockets strikes Israel (Jerusalem Post)
On Tuesday, Israel was pounded by close to 200 rockets following the predawn targeted killing of Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ) Leader Bahaa Abu Al-Ata at his home in the Gaza Strip.
… Some 85% of Venice has been flooded at levels not seen since a historic inundation in 1966. Water surged inside St. Mark's Basilica and other monuments and works of art were under threat. Damage estimates already are in the hundreds of millions of euros, and high tides are expected to cause further flooding.
Frances’s new “green roof” law is cooling city streets, cutting heating and air conditioning costs, reducing water and air pollution, providing local, organic food and ecosystems for birds, bees and hundreds of other species
The Berlin Wall was torn down 30 years ago. The seismic event sent shock waves across Europe, and sparked hopes for millions of East Germans.
Bolivian President Evo Morales has resigned amid widespread protests across the country alleging fraud in the presidential election that he declared himself the winner of just three weeks ago.