House Dem drafting articles of impeachment for Trump

A House Democrat will soon launch an official attempt to impeach President Trump.

Rep. Al Green, a Texas Democrat and member of the Congressional Black Caucus (CBC), is readying the articles of impeachment that mark the first official step in any congressional bid to remove a sitting president.

The articles have little chance of seeing the light of day in a House chamber controlled by Republicans, who have rallied behind Trump amid multiple investigations into ties between Russia and members of the president’s inner circle. But Green’s gambit highlights the growing apprehension many Democrats have towards the president, and it’s sure to energize a liberal base that’s sounded the impeachment alarm with increasing volume as the Russia saga has evolved.

Green’s criticisms focus on Trump’s firing of former FBI Director James Comey, who was leading the administration’s probe into Russia’s meddling in the 2016 elections. Trump had reportedly pressured Comey earlier in the year to drop the investigation into Michael Flynn, Trump’s former national security advisor, who was fired after lying about the nature of his conversations with a Russian ambassador.

Comey’s firing brought accusations, primarily from Democrats, that Trump may have obstructed an ongoing Justice Department investigation – an impeachable offense, in the eyes of Green.

“The facts are simple and indisputable. The President fired the FBI Director because the Director was investigating the President’s campaign connections to Russian interference in the Presidential Election,” Green said Tuesday evening in a statement. “This is obstruction of justice.”

The episode will be front-and-center on Capitol Hill later this week. Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, who was critical of Comey and had a hand in his firing, is set to appear Wednesday before the Senate Intelligence Committee. Comey himself is set to appear before the same panel the following day.

It’s unclear when Green will officially introduce the articles he’s currently drafting. It’s also unclear if he’ll have any co-sponsors, though Green has not been alone in his calls for impeaching Trump. (California Democratic Rep. Maxine Waters, another CBC member, has also beaten that drum).

A spokesman said Green will provide more details Wednesday afternoon, when he’s scheduled a press briefing in the Capitol.

Green’s effort comes even as Democratic leaders are treading much more lightly in their approach to the Russia-Trump saga. With Trump’s approval rating underwater – and new details in the Russia probe emerging almost daily – party leaders sense an opportunity to make huge gains at the polls in 2018 and don’t want to overplay their hand. They’ve tamped down any talk of impeachment, calling instead for the creation of an independent, 9/11-style commission to investigate the Russia inquiry.

“What I’ve said to members [is] the only thing that matters are the facts — the facts and the law,” House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) said Tuesday on CNN’s “New Day” program, when asked about impeachment. “That’s what [an] investigation will reveal to us.”

Green has rejected that argument, contending that Trump’s actions have already risen to a level demanding congressional intervention.

“This will remain obstruction of justice regardless of the findings of any investigation,” he said.

“Obstruction of justice by the President is the problem,” he added. “Impeachment by Congress is the solution.”

Attackers bomb Iran parliament and mausoleum; at least 12 dead

 

Suicide bombers and gunmen attacked Iran’s parliament and the Mausoleum of Ayatollah Khomeini in Tehran on Wednesday morning, killing at least 12 people in a twin assault at the heart of the Islamic Republic, Iranian officials and media said.

Islamic State claimed responsibility and released a video purporting to show gunmen inside the parliament building and one body, apparently dead, on the floor. The rare attacks were the first claimed by the hard-line Sunni Muslim militant group inside the tightly controlled Shi’ite Muslim country. Islamic State has regularly threatened Iran, one of the powers leading the fight against the militants’ forces in neighboring Iraq and, beyond that, Syria.

The raids took place at a particularly charged time, after Iran’s main regional rival Saudi Arabia and other Sunni powers cut ties with Qatar on Monday, accusing it of backing Tehran and militant groups.

Attackers dressed as women burst through parliament’s main entrance in central Tehran, deputy interior minister Mohammad Hossein Zolfaghari said, according to the semi-official Tasnim news agency. One of them detonated a suicide vest in the parliament, he said. About five hours after the first reports, Iranian news agencies said four people who had attacked parliament were dead and the incident was over.

At least 12 people were killed by the attackers, the head of Iran’s emergency department, Pir-Hossein Kolivand, was quoted as saying by state broadcaster IRIB.

“I was inside the parliament when shooting happened. Everyone was shocked and scared. I saw two men shooting randomly,” said one journalist at the scene, who asked not to be named.

Soon after the assault on parliament, another bomber detonated a suicide vest near the shrine of the Republic’s revered founder, Ayatollah Khomeini, a few kilometers south of the city, Zolfaghari said, according to Tasnim. A second attacker was shot dead, he said.

The Intelligence Ministry said security forces had arrested another “terrorist team” planning a third attack, without giving further details.

“I was shopping and suddenly heard shooting,” said housewife Maryam Saghari, 36, who lives near parliament. “People started to run away from the area. I was very scared. I don’t want to live in fear,” she told Reuters by telephone.

Sunni insurgency 

The raids on two of Iran’s most highly-protected sites will jolt both Iran’s recently re-elected President Hassan Rouhani, and his political rivals among the hardline clerics as well as the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), who are responsible for national security. Senior government officials have repeatedly described the their country as an “island of stability” in the past.

In an appeal to unity, Rouhani’s chief of staff, Hamid Aboutalebi, took to Twitter to praise the security services.

 

“If this attacks had happened in any other city in Europe or in the world, it would have left many casualties. Applause to the power and firmness of our revolutionary guards, basij, police and security forces,” he wrote.

Two senior government officials, who asked not to be named, said the blasts might prompt a blame game and exacerbate political in-fighting.

“They (hard-liners) are very angry and will use every opportunity to grow in strength to isolate Rouhani,” said one of the officials.

The other said the attacks, and speculation over who backed them, would push Iran toward “a harsher regional policy.” The Intelligence Ministry called on people to be vigilant and report any suspicious movement.

Despite unconfirmed reports of a hostage situation, state television said parliament had resumed, and broadcast footage of what it said was the opening session proceeding normally.

“Some coward terrorists infiltrated one of the buildings of parliament. They were confronted. It was not a major issue. Our security forces have taken necessary steps,” parliament speaker Ali Larijani said in an open session broadcast live by state TV.

Attacks are highly rare in Tehran and other major cities though two Sunni militant groups, Jaish al-Adl and Jundallah, have been waging a deadly insurgency, mostly in more remote areas, for almost a decade.

Iran’s restive Sistan and Baluchestan province, in the southeast on the borders with Pakistan and Afghanistan, is home to the Balouch minority and has long been a hotbed of Sunni insurgents fighting the Shi’ite-led Islamic Republic.

Last year Iranian authorities said they had foiled a plot by Sunni militants to bomb targets in Tehran and other cities during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan. Islamic State has lambasted “heretic” Shi’ite Iran for helping the Syrian and Iraqi governments battle Islamic State, which considers Shi’ites to be infidels.

Trump names FBI director nominee

President Trump on Wednesday announced he will be nominating Christopher A. Wray to serve as the new FBI director.

“I will be nominating Christopher A. Wray, a man of impeccable credentials, to be the new Director of the FBI,” the president tweeted Wednesday.

Trump’s diplomacy-by-Twitter sets off firestorm

UK police seeking missing attack victim find body in river

People look at floral tributes on London Bridge, Wednesday, June 7, 2017, to commemorate the victims in Saturday's attack. Much of the area around London Bridge remained cordoned off as police continued to investigate Saturday's attack that killed seven people and wounded dozens. (AP Photo/Markus Schreiber)

   LONDON — Police searching for a French man who has been missing since the London Bridge attack say they have recovered a body from the River Thames.

The Metropolitan Police say the body was found Tuesday downstream from the bridge. The force says formal identification has not yet taken place, but Xavier Thomas’ next of kin have been informed.

If confirmed, Thomas would be the eighth person killed in the vehicle and knife attack. Almost 50 were wounded.

Thomas, 45, was walking with his girlfriend over the bridge when the attack began on Saturday night.

Police said earlier that witness accounts suggested he might have been thrown into the river. Thomas’ girlfriend was struck and seriously injured by the van.

Police early Wednesday arrested a 30-year-old man in east London in connection to the attack and are searching his home.

Two men are now in custody on suspicion of violating the Terrorism Act. They have not been identified or charged. All others who had been arrested have been released without facing charges.

London officials said a large part of the outer cordon of the crime scene had reopened. Borough Market, a popular gathering place, remains closed as more evidence is gathered.

The attack, and prior attacks in Manchester and near Parliament in London, have prompted Prime Minister Theresa May to call for tougher counterterrorism laws even if it means changing human rights protections.

Reaction to the attack has dominated the final days of campaigning before Thursday’s general election, with opposition Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn and others criticizing May for cutting police numbers by roughly 20,000 during her tenure as home secretary.

In the Saturday night rampage, the attackers first drove a rented van into a crowd and then jumped out and randomly stabbed people they encountered.

Police killed all three attackers.

At least two of the men were known to British intelligence and law-enforcement officials, raising questions about whether anything could have been done to prevent the assault.

Police have named the attackers as Khurum Butt, 27, who had been known for his extremist views; 30-year-old Rachid Redouane, also known as Rachid Elkhdar; and Youssef Zaghba, a 22-year-old Italian national of Moroccan descent who was reportedly working in a London restaurant.

Italian authorities said Zaghba had been stopped and questioned in Italy but had not been charged with any crime. Italian officials said suspicions about him had been shared with British authorities.

Donald Trump calls for extra secruity measures after London attack

US. President , Donald Trump, has called on all security agencies in the country to be extra vigilant and what he termed “extra level of safety” following the multiple terrorist attacks in London on Saturday night.

Trump was briefed of the incident by the National Security Adviser, Herbert McMaster, according to the White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer.

 

 

The terror incidents reportedly left unconfirmed number of people dead and injured after van ploughs into pedestrians on London Bridge and Borough Market.

A third incident at Vauxhall, was, however said to be an isolated attack unconnected with the two other terror attacks.

Trump tweeted shortly after the attacks: “We need to be smart, vigilant and tough.

“We need the courts to give us back our rights.

“We need the Travel Ban as an extra level of safety!

“Whatever the United States can do to help out in London and the U. K., we will be there – WE ARE WITH YOU. GOD BLESS!”

The New York Police Department (NYPD) Counter-terrorism bureau said it was “deploying officers to heavily-travelled pedestrian locations across the city”.

NYPD spokesman Peter Donald said: “We’re monitoring the situation in London and we’re in touch with British authorities”.

NYPD said on its Twitter handle on that: “There are no specific, credible threats to NYC.

“Go about your Sat. night, NYPD cops are protecting you. Our prayers are with all in London”.

The U.S. Department of State also said: “We stand ready to provide all possible consular assistance should we become aware of any affected U.S. citizen.

“We strongly encourage U.S. citizens in the United Kingdom to directly contact concerned family members in the United States to advise them of  your safety”.

British Prime Minister Theresa May had earlier confirmed the attack as potential acts of terrorism.

“Following updates from police and security officials, I can confirm that the terrible incident in London is being treated as a potential act of terrorism.

“This is a fast moving investigation. I want to express my huge gratitude to the police and emergency services who are on the scene.

“Our thoughts are with all those who are caught up in this tragic event”.

US. President , Donald Trump, has called on all security agencies in the country to be extra vigilant and what he termed “extra level of safety” following the multiple terrorist attacks in London on Saturday night.

Trump was briefed of the incident by the National Security Adviser, Herbert McMaster, according to the White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer.

 

Uber’s President Jeff Jones Drops In Less Than 7 Months After Assuming Office

Jeff Jones, President of Ride services company Uber Technologies Inc has departed the company, an Uber spokesman has said. The spokesman said in statement in San Francisco that Jones quit less than seven months after joining the company. In a statement late on Sunday, Jones said he could not continue as president of a business

 

In a statement late on Sunday, Jones said he could not continue as president of a business with which he was incompatible.
 
“I joined Uber because of its mission, and the challenge to build global capabilities that would help the company mature and thrive long term.
It is now clear, however, that the beliefs and approach to leadership that have guided my career are inconsistent with what I saw and experienced at Uber.
I can no longer continue as president of the ride sharing business,” He said.

University warns female students against short haircuts

A Saudi university on Tuesday sent a warning to its female students of immediate dismissal for imitating men in haircuts and outfits, a media report said on Tuesday.The Imam Mohammed bin Saud Islamic University in Riyadh sent the warning messages, while the decision will beenforced staring April.The university stressed that the violated students would be suspended immediately without previous warning.“The decision covers women with very short haircuts as such styles are considered by conservative Muslims asa sin for imitating men,’’ it noted.Report says Saudi Arabia follows gender segregation in all walks in life, including education and female students in different education levels study in separate buildings from males.They are also taught by females, except at universities, while in case of male teachers they are either teach behind partitions or the students should be fully covered.In 2002, fifteen girls killed in a fire at their school in Mecca when religious police stopped the females from leavingthe building because they were not wearing correct Islamic dress.

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Taylor Swift: Crazed Fan Arrested For Stalking & Burglary After Waiting On Her Roof

Poor Taylor Swift! Once again, she’s allegedly had a scary run-in with a deranged fan. A 29-year-old man was arrested for stalking and burglary after climbing up on her roof and ringing her doorbell on several occasions. We have the freaky details, here
taylor
Taylor Swift just can’t catch a break! The 27-year-old pop star was forced to call the police on yet ANOTHER alleged stalker, TMZ reports on March 9. According to the outlet, an obsessed fan repeatedly climbed onto the roof of her stunning penthouse in New York City from 10pm-2am. He would ring her door bell continuously – once for a whole hour – and hang out in the lobby.

The fan is a 29-year-old man named Mohammed Jaffar, and understandably this really freaked out TayTay. He was finally arrested on charges of stalking and burglary, and it’s going to cost him $20k to get out of jail on bond.

We would think that Taylor would be extra safe in the glamorous building, which also houses Orlando Bloom and Steven Soderbergh. The poor thing spend $20 million on it so the least she could expect is a little protection!

The “I Don’t Wanna Live Forever” singer famously dealt with a similar situation less than 6 months earlier, when another stalker was arrested in Nov. 2016. In that situation, a 39-year-old man named Frank Andrew Hoover harassed Taylor’s family, demanded photos with her, and finally followed her to the airport, even after she got a restraining order against him. So creepy!

That whole scenario left Taylor really freaked out, and we can’t imagine it’s gotten any better now that there’s a second stalker involved. “She tries to not pay attention to it but she is very aware of it and when she starts thinking about it she gets scared,” an insider told HollywoodLife.com EXCLUSIVELY. “But she makes sure to not focus on it all the time because she doesn’t want it to consume her.”

Many South Koreans eat chicken to celebrate removal of president

Seoul – Many South Koreans ate chicken on Friday to celebrate the removal of President Park Geun-hye in a satirical nod to a derogatory nickname forthe former leader.South Korea’s Constitutional Court forced Park from office over an influence-peddling involving one of her close friends and thecountry’s powerful “chaebol” conglomerates.Even before the scandal, Park’s opponents called her “Chicken Geun-hye”, both a play on words – her family name rhymes with chicken in Korean –and a reference to what they see as her lack of intellect and stilted public“Chicken head” is an insult in Korea meaning an idiot.A restaurant in the rural city of Jeonju said it would offer chicken burgers at half price on Friday and Saturday to celebrate the court ruling.“We prepared twice as many chicken burgers asusual and, wow, they’ve almost all gone,” Yu Yeung-sang, owner of Eddis Kitchen, told Reuters by telephone.In Seoul, a photograph ofFriday’s menu at the national assembly cafeteria caused a stir on social media, with a noodle dish typically eaten at celebrations for lunch and chicken for dinner.“Party noodles” was trending on Korean Twitter for much of the day and, after the verdict, some users uploaded photos of fried chicken.South Korea’s biggest portals Naver and Daum posted recommendations for chicken restaurants.In 2014, officials in the town of Gwangju removed a painting from an exhibition by an artist who had painted a caricature of Park as a puppet.The artist, Hong Sung-dam, responded by replacing the caricature of Park with a cartoon chicken.Park becomes South Korea’s first democratically elected leader to be forced from office, capping months of paralysis and turmoil over a corruption scandal that also landed the head of the Samsungconglomerate in court ontrial.Park denies any wrongdoing.A snap presidential election will be held within 60 days.Acting South Korean President Hwang Kyo-ahn on Friday asked all parties concerned to respect the constitutional court’s ruling on former President Park Geun-hye.Hwang addressed the nation in a nationally televised speech, after the court’s unanimous decision to oust Park.Park became the first South Korean leader to be permanently removedfrom office through impeachment.The acting president saidhe felt a grave responsibility for the firstimpeachment of president in the constitutional history, vowing to mange state affairs with an unusually strong determination.Touching on the rival rallies among pro- and anti-Park protesters, Hwang said now is the time to end conflict and confrontation, asking all of people to respect the court’s decision.