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What Boris Johnsons victory means for Brexit

LONDON — Boris Johnsons victory puts Brexit on track — but this is just the beginning. After winning a strong majority in the December 12 general election, Johnson returns as prime minister with the political capital to pull the U.K. out of the European Union in early 2020 and move onto negotiations about Britains future relationship with the bloc. In his victory speech, Johnson declared the result puts the debate on a second Brexit referendum to bed. “This election means that getting Brexit done is now the irrefutable, irresistible, unarguable decision of the British people. And this this election I think we put an end to all those little miserable threats of a second referendum,” he said. Having insisted all Tory candidates backed the Brexit agreement he struck with Brussels in October, the prime minister can push his deal through the U.K. parliament without further delay. Brussels said Friday it was ready to start the next phase of negotiations. “Parliament as a whole will be ..

UK Politics

Pelosi Says She Wont Pressure Moderate Democrats to Back Impeachment

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) said Thursday that party leaders wont apply pressure to members of the Democratic caucus to support articles of impeachment against President Donald Trump after some Democrats have suggested they wont vote in favor of the articles. Pelosi said Thursday that the choice is theirs to make. “I have no message to them. We are not whipping this legislation, nor would we ever with something like this,” Pelosi told reporters.”Theyll make their own decisions. I dont say anything to them.” The House Judiciary Committee on Thursday held a hearing to debate on the two articles of impeachment: abuse of power and obstruction of Congress. “Theyve seen the facts as presented in the Intelligence Committee—theyve seen the Constitution, they know it—they take an oath to protect and defend it. But they see the constitutional experts speak about it. Theyll make their own decisions. I dont say anything to them,” Pelosi said. “The facts are irrefutable,” she said. “..

UK Politics

Rep. Lucy McBath, Vulnerable Democrat, Votes Yea on Impeachment

Rep. Lucy McBath (D-Ga.), whose district voted in favor of President Donald Trump in 2016 and who narrowly won her mid-term election, voted in favor of articles of impeachment in the House Judiciary Committee. On Friday, she voted “yea” on the articles of impeachment, joining 22 other Democrats as opposed to 17 Republicans. Earlier in the week, McBath said she “I believe the president abused the power of the office, putting his own interests above the needs of our nation, above the needs of the people I love and I serve, and for that I must vote my conscience,” reported The Hill. “This is not why I came to Washington; I came to Washington because I love my country. I came to Washington full of hope and empowered by my community to serve them in Congress…but after this vote I will continue to champion the ideals that this country instilled in me,” she said before making a reference to her son, Jordan, who was shot and killed seven years ago. Former Rep. Karen Handel (R-Ga.) has said..

UK Politics

Undecided Democrat Rep. Susie Lee Says Shell Vote for Impeachment

A previously undecided Democrat, Rep. Susie Lee (D-Nev.), announced Friday she will support articles of impeachment against President Donald Trump. Lee is one of a handful of Democrats whose districts Trump won in 2016. The House Judiciary Committee on Friday voted in favor of articles of impeachment along party lines. “This is a grave decision that requires thorough and solemn deliberation,” Lee said in a statement. “After weighing all of the facts, I will be voting in support of impeachment of the President.” She accused Trump of abusing his power in his dealings with Ukraine, which Trump has denied. Abuse of power and obstruction of Congress are the two articles of impeachment announced by House Democrats this week. “I took an oath of office to defend the Constitution against all enemies, foreign and domestic,” Lee stated. “This is a solemn decision. I end with this: democracies live and die by the integrity of our elections.” She added: “As I did before I voted to support an i..

UK Politics

Shadowy FISA Court at Center of IG Report Could See Major Changes, Senators Say

Several lawmakers are calling for reforms to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISA court) and its warrant application process following a damning report from Justice Department Inspector General Michael Horowitz, who found that the FBI was able to mislead courts to surveil Trump campaign adviser Carter Page. “I have serious concerns about whether the FISA court can continue unless there is fundamental reform. After your report, I think we need to rewrite the rules of how you start a counterintelligence investigation and the checks and balances that we need,” stated Senate Judiciary Chairman Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) during the Judiciary Committee hearing on Wednesday. “Mr. Horowitz, for us to do justice to your report, we have to do more than try to shade this report one way or the other. We have to address the underlying problem. The system and the hands in a few bad people can do a lot of damage.” The renewed interest in the court comes after a Judiciary hearing on Wednes..

UK Politics

Education Secretary Defends Debt Relief Plan, Blames Obama Administration for Leaving Problem Behind

Education Secretary Betsy DeVos endured testy exchanges on Thursday at a House Education and Labor Committee hearing on her plan to overhaul an Obama-era federal student loan forgiveness policy. DeVos appeared on Capitol Hill after facing lawsuits for her departments unwillingness to fully wipe out the federal student loans of borrowers who alleged that several for-profit education chains, including the now-defunct Corinthian Colleges, falsely advertised their ties to employers and the transferability of credits. Instead, the Department comes up with a new plan that would provide partial relief to most of the borrowers, based on their present-day income. “In response to a surge in claims, the Obama administration issued a new Borrower Defense rule to streamline the process for providing relief to defrauded students,” said Rep. Bobby Scott (D-Va.), the chairman of the Committee, in his opening statement (pdf). “However, under the present leadership, the Department refused to implement..

UK Politics

Supreme Court Agrees to Hear Appeals Over the Release of Trumps Financial Records

The Supreme Court has agreed to hear President Donald Trumps appeals in cases requesting the top court to block the House and a Manhattan investigation from having access to his financial records. The top court justices met in a private conference on Friday to discuss whether to hear Trumps appeals of lower court decisions that require his accounting firm Mazars USA and two banks to comply with the subpoenas issued by the House and a New York District attorney in a grand jury probe. Three cases relating to Trumps financial records have reached the Supreme Court in recent weeks after appellate judges upheld the subpoenas. Two of the cases stem from subpoenas that were issued earlier in the year by three House committees as part of their investigations into the presidents dealings. Meanwhile, the third case—the one where the private conference was scheduled—deals with a criminal investigation in Manhattan. Trump has asked the Supreme Court to reverse the lower courts decisions in all ..

UK Politics

Vulnerable Democrat Rep. Max Rose Says Hell Suport Impeachment

Rep. Max Rose (D-N.Y.), who represents a district Trump carried in the 2016 election, said Friday that he will vote in favor of the articles of impeachment against President Donald Trump. “A President coercing a foreign government into targeting American citizens is not just another example of scorched earth politics, it serves as an invitation to the enemies of the United States to come after any citizen, so long as they disagree with the President. Embarking on an unprecedented effort to obstruct this inquiry doesnt make the facts any less true,” Rose said in a statement after the House Judiciary Committee approved articles of impeachment in a party-line vote. “Therefore,” he added, “I will vote in support of the two Articles of Impeachment.” Up until that point, Rose, who is an Army veteran who served in Afghanistan, didnt indicate how he would vote on the measure. Rose also didnt partake in the impeachment hearings and wasnt involved in the drafting of the articles as he does no..

UK Politics

Trump Says He Wouldnt Mind a Long Impeachment Trial

President Donald Trump said that he “wouldnt mind” a lengthy impeachment trial in the Senate, following a vote by a House panel advancing two articles of impeachment to the full House. If the House votes to impeach Trump, a trial will take place in the Senate. Asked if he prefers a long Senate trial or a short one in the Oval Office on Friday, Trump responded, “Ill do whatever I want. Look there is—we did nothing wrong. So Ill do long, or short.” “Ive heard Mitch, Ive heard Lindsey. I think they are very much in agreement on some concept[s]. Ill do whatever they want to do. It doesnt matter. I wouldnt mind the long process, because Id like to see the whistleblower, whos a fraud,” Trump added. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) said Thursday night that he is “coordinating” with the White House and that, ultimately, it is up to Trumps lawyers to decide whether to call witnesses during the trial. Senate Judiciary Chairman Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) said this week hed prefer ..

Tech

Jumanji: The Next Level is less fresh this time around but still lots of fun

Enlarge / Jack Black, Kevin Hart, Dwayne Johnson, and Karen Gillan star in Jumanji: The Next Level.Sony Pictures The intrepid gang of teens who played their way out of a video game two years ago is back and facing a new in-game adventure in Jumanji: The Next Level, the latest installment in the popular franchise that originated with the 1995 film Jumanji. It's a solid sequel, following the same winning formula that made its predecessor such a big success. (Spoilers for 1995's Jumanji and 2017's Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle; mild spoilers for Jumanji: The Next Level.) The franchise has its roots in a 1981 fantasy children's book by Chris van Allsburg, about two children who discover a jungle adventure board game with the ominous warning, "Do not begin unless you intend to finish." The original 1995 film adaption followed the basic premise pretty closely, although it added several characters, most notably Robin Williams as a grown Alan Parrish and his childhood fr..

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