Sturgeon: Independence within ‘touching distance’

It will be the first time she has spoken at an independence rally since 2014. The event prompted a counter demonstration by dozens of unionist supporters who waved flags and blew whistles as supporters of Scottish independence gathered. Ministers urged to agree indyref2 question test Election 2019: Questions facing Scotland’s parties FMQs: Rolling out the red carpet for indyref2? Speaking ahead of the event organised by The National newspaper, the SNP leader focused on the UK-wide election on 12 December. “This election really is the most important one Scotland has faced in modern times,” she said. “So much is on the line – people are completely fed up with the mess at Westminster. “But George Square will be packed as …

Senate Republicans Say ‘Nyet’ To That ‘Soviet-Style’ Impeachment Talking Point

“They don’t agree with the result with the 2016 election,” House Minority Whip Steve Scalise (R-La.) said on the floor Thursday after the chamber “This is Soviet-style rules,” he said, complaining about the closed-door process thus far. “Maybe in the Soviet Union you do something like this.” It’s unclear how exactly impeaching a president, which is a power afforded solely to the House by the U.S. Constitution, compares to the single-party socialist republic of the former Soviet Union, with its history of violent changes in leadership and political purges. But Republicans say they’re still not satisfied. They argue that Democrats have irreversibly tainted the inquiry by beginning with closed-door hearings where Republicans have been unable to call their own witnesses. …

Two House Democrats break ranks with Pelosi on impeachment rules vote

In this Thursday, Jan. 14, 2016, file photo, former state Sen. Jeff Van Drew, D-Cape May Court House, speaks at a Senate Budget and Appropriations Committee meeting in Trenton, N.J. Van Drew, now a freshman Democratic Congressman, was one of two Democrats to vote against the House resolution setting rules for the impeachment inquiry into President Trump on Tuesday. (Associated Press.) DEMS PUSH IMPEACHMENT RULES OVER REPEATED GOP OBJECTIONS, AS EXASPERATION BOILS OVER House committees have held nearly a dozen depositions of witnesses who have testified behind closed doors about their knowledge of a July 25 phone call between Trump and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky. It’s been alleged, by an anonymous whistleblower, among others, that Trump sought to persuade the foreign leader …

Will delaying Brexit cost 1bn a month?

That’s because budget payments until the end of 2020 are already part of the divorce bill calculations. Only if the transition is extended into 2021 and beyond could the cost in budget contributions to the UK begin to rise. In that sense, the longer Brexit is delayed the more chance there is that will happen. Mr Johnson might also argue that other factors, such as the continued uncertainty facing businesses, should be taken into account when calculating cost. But that’s not what he is referring to when he makes his £1bn a month claim.

Sir Lindsay Hoyle elected as Commons Speaker

Media playback is unsupported on your device Media captionSir Lindsay Hoyle was dragged to the chair after his election after four rounds of voting. Labour MP and deputy Speaker Sir Lindsay Hoyle has been elected by MPs as the new Commons Speaker, after John Bercow stepped down. After winning the final round of voting against Chris Bryant, Sir Lindsay was dragged to the chair by MPs, where he pledged to be a “neutral” Speaker. He also paid tribute to his daughter, Natalie, who died in 2017, saying she would “always be missed”. The Speaker keeps order in Commons debates and calls MPs to speak. Speakers must be politically impartial, which means Sir Lindsay will be required to resign from the …

GOP senators warn quick dismissal of impeachment trial would be bad for everyone

(CNN)Key Republican senators told CNN the Senate should conduct a fulsome trial of President Donald Trump — assuming the House soon sends over articles of impeachment, as expected — and not try to jam through a motion that would allow them to dismiss the case quickly on a partisan vote. They argued a comprehensive and public examination of the charges would be best for Trump, who wants to clear his name and stay in office, best for American people, who deserve to learn what happened, and best for the Senate as an institution, to demonstrate that even in these harshly partisan times, a careful examination of the charges can be conducted. “Unlike the process up to this point, I think …

Beto O’Rourke Fast Facts

(CNN)Here’s a look at the life of former US Representative Beto O’Rourke, a 2020 Democratic presidential candidate. Father: Patrick O’Rourke, former county commissioner and El Paso county judge Mother: Melissa O’Rourke, furniture store owner Marriage: Amy (Hoover Sanders) O’Rourke (September 24, 2005-present) Children: Henry, Molly and Ulysses Education: Columbia University, B.A., 1995 Religion: Roman Catholic O’Rourke in 2012: The US has an ‘extravagant government’ Other Facts:The nickname Beto, a shortened version of Roberto, was given to O’Rourke by his parents. Speaks Spanish fluently. He named his son, Ulysses, after the Greek hero in Homer’s Odyssey. O’Rourke was a member of two punk rock bands. He played guitar for the band known as Foss, which released an EP called “The El …

Missouri says health director didn’t track Planned Parenthood patients’ periods. But officials did have a spreadsheet

(CNN)The Missouri state health department on Wednesday acknowledged that a spreadsheet was generated after officials looked at statewide abortion data. But officials denied that the agency’s director tracked the menstrual cycles of women who visited Planned Parenthood, as had been reported Tuesday. In a follow-up story on Wednesday, the newspaper wrote that its reporting of the spreadsheet set off a firestorm in medical and political circles. The department said it grew concerned it may not be receiving complication reports for all failed surgical abortions. State law requires physicians providing post-abortion care to submit the reports to the department. The reports contain information such as type of abortion that was performed and the complication a patient suffered, according to state code. …

Theres No Such Thing as Christian Music

ShareTweetPin It’s a staple of American culture. “Christian music” “Christian movies” “Christian rap” There is a strict dichotomy drawn between the art of most Christians in the public sphere and the art of non-believers. TobyMac makes Christian music, but Drake does not. Darren Wilson makes Christian movies, but Chad and Carey Hayes (screenwriters of The Conjuring) do not. Become A Contributor Ever since an interview I read with Jon Foreman of Switchfoot, something has bugged me about this binary. Jon said, “I am a Christian and I make music. The music is not saved. It is not Christian.” In other words, Jesus did not come and die to save songs. He did not suffer in order to bring Oceans 11 out of the …

Elizabeth Warren’s excellent opening gambit on Medicare for All

(CNN)Sens. Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders have set themselves apart from the Democratic presidential field in explicitly advocating Medicare for All proposals. Under their plans, an expanded Medicare system would fully cover everyone in the country. There would be no co-pays, deductibles and premiums and no private insurance. The first part of her plan proposes cutting administrative costs. The administrative costs of private insurers are more than 25% of what they pay out in benefits each year. By contrast, the administrative costs of Medicare are less than 3% of what is paid in benefits. The potential savings from getting administrative costs for the whole system down to that of Medicare is close to $3 trillion over the next decade. Join …

Top Arizona Dem blasted for claiming Trump ‘aligned himself with ISIS’

Felecia Rotellini speaks during an election night party in Phoenix in 2014.  (AP Photo/Matt York) Rotellini was explaining why she thought Democrats were going to show up to vote in 2020. “Another reason why people are going to vote (is) because Donald Trump is manipulating the White House and has aligned himself with ISIS and Saudi Arabia,” Rotellini said. State Republican Chairwoman Kelly Ward immediately fired back.  “I have to say that is not true. That is not true,” Ward said as Rotellini tried to continue. In a major foreign policy win for the Trump administration, U.S. special forces raided an Islamic State (ISIS) compound in northern Syria; Baghdadi ultimately killed himself by setting off a suicide vest. Overall, U.S. forces killed …

House committee unveils impeachment resolution text

(CNN)A key House committee on Tuesday set the stage for the next phase of impeachment by releasing the rules that will guide Democrats through impeachment proceedings against President Donald Trump. The text of the resolution lays out how the House Intelligence Committee will conduct public hearings and how the House Judiciary Committee “shall report to the House of Representatives such resolutions, articles of impeachment, or other recommendations as it deems proper.” LIVE UPDATES: The latest on the Trump impeachment inquiry For the public hearings, the resolution includes language allowing the chairman and ranking member — in this case, the top-ranking Republican — of the Intelligence Committee to question witnesses for up to 90 minutes, split 45 minutes between each party. …

A single weekend showcases the Trump presidency’s highs and lows

New York (CNN Business)A version of this article first appeared in the “Reliable Sources” newsletter. You can sign up for free right here. Yet the week ended with an extraordinary national security development — a daring and dangerous raid approved by Trump and carried out by teams of elite US troops. Here’s the banner headline in Monday’s NYT: “It was the most significant announcement of the death of a terror leader since President Barack Obama revealed al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden had been killed by US Navy Seals in a dramatic late night address in May 2011,” CNN’s Zachary Cohen wrote. And Trump claimed al-Baghdadi’s death was a bigger deal than bin Laden’s assassination, though most experts disagreed. He clearly …

Rep. Katie Hill Resigns Amid Affair Allegations and Revenge Porn Scandal | Betches

Rep. Katie Hill of California has announced that she will resign amid an ethics investigation into her alleged relationship with a staffer. The allegation claims that Hill had a sexual relationship with her legislative director, Graham Kelly, which she denies. Such a relationship would violate a new House ethics rule that was implemented at the height of the #Metoo movement and forbids House members from having sexual relationships with their subordinates. While Hill denies the alleged relationship with her legislative director,  she has admitted to previously being in a throuple with a former campaign staffer and her soon to be ex-husband. Hill has conceded that this consensual relationship was inappropriate given that she was the individual’s boss, but there are …