December 18, 2019
It’s happened – Donald Trump has been impeached.
Donald Trump Has Been Impeached. Heres What That Actually Means
The current president is only the third commander-in-chief to face the legal undertaking in the 243-year history of the United States.
On these shores, a general election and the omnipresent spectre of Brexit have somewhat relegated the story to a secondary concern for us Brits, so it seems timely to take stock and ask how we got here and what happens next.OK, what happens next?Steady on, let’s deal with Wednesday first.
The US House of Representatives – the lower of the two houses, which has a Democratic majority – on Wednesday discussed two charges against Trump: that he abused his power and obstructed the US Congress.
Two votes were held and both passed. Although all Republicans voted against impeachment, there weren’t enough of them in the House to stop it. The vote on the first of the two articles – abuse of power – came in as 230 in favour and 197 against. The second vote was carried by 229 to 198.Tell me more about those chargesCertainly.
The House impeachment resolution says Trump abused the power of his office and then tried to obstruct the investigation in congress like “no other” president in history.
Trump “betrayed the nation by abusing his high office to enlist a foreign power in corrupting democratic elections”, the resolution says.
“President Trump, by such conduct, has demonstrated that he will remain a threat to national security and the constitution if allowed to remain in office.”Sounds seriousIt is. Democrats are investigating allegations that Trump used the power of his office to pressure a foreign government – Ukraine – into discrediting his leading rival in next year’s presidential election, Joe Biden.
To do this he is accused of withholding millions of dollars of military aid to the country which is currently fighting a low-level war against Russian-backed separatists. 
The impeachment inquiry was sparked by a still-anonymous intelligence official who was so worried about what Trump said in a call to Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelenskiy, he took his concerns to the top levels of the US intelligence services.Did he do it?The evidence is pretty damning – Trump has said publicly that he wanted Ukraine to announce an investigation into Biden and his son Hunter, a move that could have harmed the vice president’s 2020 campaign.
Evidence clearly indicates Trump wished to leverage nearly $400m in military aid and a coveted White House meeting in exchange for the announcement. 
And to top it off, multiple high-level US government officials have testified under oath that Trump and his personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani explicitly sought a “quid pro quo” (a favour in exchange for a favour) with Ukraine.Trump tried to prevent a number of these officials from testifying, which is what the “obstruction” charge is about.
The president directed administration officials and agencies not to comply with lawful House subpoenas for testimony and documents related to impeachment – though some did anyway, most notably US ambassador to the European Union, Gordon Sondland.
He said he spoke directly with Trump about the effort to pressure Ukraine and said other top administration officials were involved. He testified that Ukrainian officials understood they would have to announce the investigations in order to get the withheld security aid.What’s Trump said?Oh boy, a lot. 
In an extraordinary and rambling six-page letter, the president on Tuesday smeared the impeachment process as “unconstitutional”, accusing Democrats of “perversion of justice and abuse of power” in their effort to remove him from office.
He also:Claimed the process is the biggest “abuse of power” in American history, even though other presidents have faced impeachment.Claimed it’s not about his alleged abuse of power but stopping him winning elections.Continued to insist his conversation with Zelensky was “perfect” even though a transcript of it that he released himself has been the basis for the charges against himAnd of course, he fired out a few tweets to just ram the message home.....They want to Impeach me (I’m not worried!), and yet they were all breaking the law in so many ways. How can they do that and yet impeach a very successful (Economy Plus) President of the United States, who has done nothing wrong? These people are Crazy!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 18, 2019OK, what happens next?Let us draw your attention to this handy little chart. We are currently in between Stages 3 and Stage 4.The charges will now move to the Republican-controlled Senate where an indictment will be written up and he will face trial.Ooh, dramaIt is very dramatic but the result is almost certainly a foregone conclusion. 
Republican senators have been accused of having a “see no evil, hear no evil attitude” and are highly unlikely to convict Trump.
The chamber’s top Republican, majority leader Mitch McConnell, has rejected Democratic proposals to call further administration officials to testify and has said there is “no chance” Trump will be removed from office, Reuters reports.
Removing Trump from office would require a two-thirds majority of those present and voting in the 100-member chamber, meaning Democrats would have to persuade at least 20 Republicans to join them and end Trump’s presidency.
It’s worth noting that a president has never been convicted in the Senate. Bill Clinton was acquitted and Richard Nixon stepped down before he could be tried.So what’s the point?Good question – the Democrats genuinely believe Trump has done wrong, and have portrayed impeachment as an undesirable but utterly necessary process ahead of the 2020 presidential election.Fearful of the political blowback, Democrats were long resistant to an impeachment inquiry even after special counsel Robert Mueller outlined potential episodes of Trump obstructing justice in his report on Russian interference in the 2016 election.
There is concern among Democrats that it could backfire and affect the election chances of those standing in swing states.What does the US public think?With Trump seeking a second term next year, impeachment has split voters, with most Democratic voters supporting it and most Republicans opposed.
But public opinion has shifted dramatically over the last few weeks, and not in favour of the president.The latest polling suggests a majority of people not only think he abused the office of president but also that he should be impeached.
What remains unclear is whether the months-long partisan drama will have any effect on the 2020 election beyond giving Trump reasons to boast of having beaten back Democratic efforts to remove him.
(Infographics supplied by Statista)Related... Protesters Across US Demand Trump's Removal Ahead Of Impeachment Vote Donald Trump Impeachment: 7 Highlights From His Bonkers Letter Blasting Democrats
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Star Wars Director Says It's About Time A Woman Makes A Star Wars Movie
Jan 02, 2024
Oscar-winning documentary filmmaker Sharmeed Obaid-Chinoy is directing an upcoming Star Wars movie that brings back Daisy Ridley in the role of Rey. Obaid-Chinoy will become the first woman to direct a Star Wars film, dating back to the franchise's origins in the 1970s. Speaking about this, Obaid-Chinoy told CNN that she is "very thrilled" to make the movie and create something that is "very special.""We're in 2024 now, and I think it's about time we had a woman come forward to shape the story in a galaxy far, far away," she said.Obaid-Chinoy won Best Documentary, Short Subjects Academy Awards for Saving Face (2012) and A Girl in the River: The Price of Forgiveness (2015).In 2020, Lucasfilm boss Kathleen Kennedy told the BBC that a woman would eventually direct a Star Wars movie, saying that would "absolutely" happen, "without question." Victoria Mahoney was a second unit director on The Rise of Skywalker, but a woman has never claimed a top directing credit on a Star Wars movie.On the TV side of things, The Mandalorian has featured a number of female directors, including Deborah Chow and Bryce Dallas Howard. Chow went on to direct the Obi-Wan TV series, too.Another high-profile franchise that has never had a female director is James Bond. Producer Barbara Broccoli and Skyfall director Sam Mendes have both said they want to see a woman direct a future 007 film.As for Obaid-Chinoy's Star Wars movie, little is known about it apart from the fact that Ridley will come back to play Rey. It is expected that this film will be the first of the three new Star Wars films to come to theaters, possibly releasing in December 2025.According to a report, Peaky Blinders creator Steven Knight is writing the Rey movie, taking over for Damon Lindelof and Justin Britt-Gibson.
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NBA Names Clare Akamanzi CEO Of NBA Africa
Jan 02, 2024 15:29
The NBA named Clare Akamanzi – an accomplished business executive and international trade and investment lawyer – as CEO of NBA Africa. Akamanzi will start her position on Jan. 23, 2024, and report to NBA Deputy Commissioner and Chief Operating Officer Mark Tatum. In this role, Akamanzi will oversee the NBA’s business and basketball development efforts in Africa and will be responsible for continuing to grow the popularity of basketball, the NBA and the Basketball Africa League (BAL) across the continent, including through grassroots basketball development, media distribution, corporate partnerships, and social responsibility initiatives that improve the livelihoods of African youth and families. For the last six and a half years, Akamanzi was CEO of Rwanda Development Board (RDB), where she spearheaded Rwanda’s economic development by enabling private sector growth. Under Akamanzi’s leadership, RDB implemented several business policy reforms and initiatives that led to significant investment and development for the country, including through partnerships with the BAL, Arsenal FC, Paris Saint-Germain FC, FC Bayern Munich and TIME Magazine, among others. “Clare’s business acumen, international experience and familiarity with basketball and the NBA make her the ideal executive to lead our business in Africa,” says Tatum. “NBA Africa and the Basketball Africa League are well-positioned for continued growth, and under Clare’s leadership we believe these initiatives will transform economies, communities and lives across the continent.” “I’ve seen firsthand how sports can positively impact businesses, families and communities in Africa, and the NBA and the BAL are a perfect example of that,” says Akamanzi. “The NBA has done an incredible job growing basketball and the economy around it across the continent, and I’m excited about the enormous opportunities ahead to build on that momentum.” Previously, Akamanzi was Chief Operating Officer of RDB and Head of Strategy and Policy Unit, Office of the President of the Republic of Rwanda. She has extensive international trade, business and diplomatic experience, having previously worked for the Rwandan Government at the World Trade Organization in Geneva, Switzerland and at the Rwandan Embassy in London, England. Akamanzi has worked or studied in seven different countries and holds an honorary LLD from Concordia University in Montreal, Canada, in recognition of her work in Rwanda. She earned a master’s degree in public administration from Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government in Cambridge, Massachusetts, where she was the recipient of three prestigious awards for academic excellence and distinguished contribution to the community: the Lucius N. Littauer Fellows Award, the Raymond & Josephine Vernon Award and the Robert Kennedy Public Service Award. In addition, Akamanzi holds a Master of Laws degree in international trade and investments from the University of Pretoria in South Africa, and a Bachelor of Laws degree from Makerere University in Kampala, Uganda. Akamanzi has served on several company boards, including the World Health Organization (WHO) Foundation, ECOBANK and Aviation, Travel and Logistics (ATL) company. She was recognized by Forbes as one of Africa’s Top 50 Powerful Women in 2020.
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