Donald Trump on Wednesday became the third president of the United States to be impeached. Photo: Aaron-Schwartz / Shutterstock.com
Australian heatwave, Queen’s speech, Obamacare ruling, Catalan protests, locust plage, NZ paradise and a quick weekend what’s on guide. Delano’s breakfast briefing.
Trump impeached by House
The House of Representatives has formally charged president Donald Trump with abuse of power and obstruction of Congress. Reuters has a neat visualisation of the inquiry. Trump becomes the third president, after Andrew Johnson in 1868 and Bill Clinton in 1998, to be impeached. But The Hill reports that speaker Nancy Pelosi has so far refused to say whether she will pass up the articles of impeachment to the Senate. CNBC has a “here’s what happens next” guide. The Wall Street Journal (paywall) reckons the impeachment “folly” will help Trump win the 2020 election. In The Washington Post, Fox News legal analyst Andrew Napolitano argues that the case is clear and that “in the language of the streets” what Trump did in Ukraine “is a shakedown”. But CNN says that there is growing evidence that the proceedings may actually be helping Trump politically. Indeed, CNBC’s All-America Economic Survey indicates that 49% of Americans approve of Trump’s handling of the economy, which is the highest level in a year. At a rally in Michigan Trump repeatedly told thousands of his supporters that “we did nothing wrong”, The Guardian reports.
Von der Leyen warns of cliff-edge
EU Commission president Ursula von der Leyen has warned that the timetable imposed by the UK for finalising a trade deal with the EU was very challenging. Reuters cites von der Leyen as saying that that if no agreement is concluded by the end of 2020 “we will face again a cliff-edge situation.” The Express gave voice to Brexit party MEP Nigel Farage, who told the European Parliament that the UK was leaving the EU “prison” and mocked Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier and von der Leyen as being "dull as dishwater" bureaucrats.
Heatwave down under
Australia experienced its hottest day on record on Wednesday, with the national average temperature reaching a high of 40.9C. But ABC reports that some locations experienced temperatures of over 45C and that the town of Oodnadatta in South Australia is expected to suffer 48C on Thursday. The BBC reports that a state of emergency has been declared in New South Wales.
Queen’s speech to open parliament
Queen Elizabeth II will today deliver her second speech to open parliament in just over two months. The BBC says the speech, which outlines the government’s agenda, will include mention of bills on extra health service funding and longer sentences for violent criminals, as well as on taking the UK out of the EU on 31 January 2020.
Obamacare in limbo
The fate of the so-called Obamacare healthcare statute is in “limbo”, according to Reuters. A legal challenge brought by 18 conservative-led states saw an appeals court rule on Wednesday that the law’s individual mandate that directed Americans to obtain health insurance was unconstitutional. But Politico says the court ruling “largely ducked the central question” of whether the rest of the law could be retained.
Catalan protest at el clásico
Protestors carrying Catalan separatist flags clashed with police outside the Camp Nou stadium in Barcelona as the city’s main football club played Real Madrid on Wednesday night. The Guardian reports 46 injuries and 5 arrests outside the stadium, and a 0-0 draw on the pitch.
Reuters reports that locusts have damaged about 70,000 hectares of land in Somalia and neighbouring Ethiopia. The United Nations food agency has said the invasion is the worst in 25 years.
The Guardian reports on plans by a German multi-millionaire to set up a commune on his NZ$8.5m estate, which features a winery, horse stables and sea views. Karl Reipen wants 10 people to share his self-styled “paradise”.