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  • Impeachment hearings: Fiona Hill rejects Republicans' ‘fictional narrative’ Ukraine meddled in US election – live
    by Tom McCarthy on November 21, 2019 at 6:51 pm

    Military aid was withheld by Trump to express dissatisfaction or increase pressure, state department aide Holmes testifiesIn this defining moment for America, support the Guardian’s independent journalism. Make a contribution 6.51pm GMTSchiff is back.He asks Hill about the dual loyalty charge leveled on Tuesday against Vindman.This is what for me really does make America great... everyone has some kind of appellate to them... I do not believe that my loyalty is to the UK, I believe that my loyalty is here... my colleagues... think it’s exactly the same. I think it’s deeply unfair. 6.48pm GMTHill is asked about Tim Morrison, her successor, saying that Hill had questioned Lt Col Alexander Vindman’s judgment.In her opinion, Vindman did not have the political antennae to deal effectively with the informal policy channel emerging on Ukraine, she said. Continue reading... […]

  • The Hong Kong government and police are trying to restore peace | Letters
    by Letters on November 21, 2019 at 6:14 pm

    Letters from Winky So, director general of the Hong Kong Economic and Trade Office in London, and from Hong Kong resident Koh-Ann ChuYour editorials (19 November and 13 November) allege that actions by the Hong Kong special administrative region government and the force used by the police have accelerated and magnified the protests in Hong Kong. The government’s political team and the police have worked tirelessly to seek ways to restore peace and order. In the past few months, the chief executive, Carrie Lam, and all principal officials have been meeting various community representatives to hear their views.The government is open to frank and candid exchanges with groups from all sides. Its priority is, first and foremost, to end the violence and restore calm so as to create a positive environment for dialogue on the deep-seated issues in our society. Continue reading... […]

  • Fallout from Prince Andrew’s empathy failure | Letters
    by Letters on November 21, 2019 at 6:14 pm

    Cass Witcombe says the Duke of York’s BBC interview should result in a debate about the monarchy and taxpayer support for it. Scott Wilson compares his behaviour with that of Boris Johnson and Jacob Rees-MoggPrince Andrew’s failure, in his BBC interview, to show any compassion for Jeffrey Epstein’s victims must surely trigger a debate about paring back the bloated monarchy and reviewing the extent of taxpayer support for it (Scandal forces prince to suspend public duties, 21 November). Offering financial support and blind deference to such individuals as the Duke of York has damaged Britain’s reputation as a mature democracy.Cass Witcombe London• Prince Andrew’s lack of empathy is on a par with Boris Johnson’s detached visit to Yorkshire’s flooded villages and Jacob Rees-Mogg’s disdain for the inhabitants of Grenfell Tower. Whatever qualities public schools inculcate in their students, clearly empathy is not one of them.Scott WilsonStrathkinness, St Andrews, Fife Continue reading... […]

  • Iran's digital shutdown: other regimes 'will be watching closely'
    by Michael Safi Middle East correspondent on November 21, 2019 at 6:07 pm

    Blackout is part of growing trend of governments shutting citizens off from the worldAccess to the internet is gradually being restored in Iran after an unprecedented five-day shutdown that cut its population off from the rest of the world and suppressed news of the deadliest unrest since the country’s 1979 revolution.The digital blackout that commenced last Friday is part of a growing trend of governments interfering with the internet to curb violent unrest, but also legitimate dissent. Continue reading... […]

  • Serbia investigates video claiming to show Russian spy paying off official
    by Shaun Walker Central and eastern Europe correspondent on November 21, 2019 at 6:00 pm

    Serbia’s president summons Russian ambassador over secret cash payout filmed and uploaded to YouTubeA video uploaded to YouTube by an anonymous user that purportedly shows a Russian spy handing over a bag of cash to an unnamed Serbian official is being investigated by authorities, the government in Belgrade has confirmedPresident Aleksandar Vučić summoned the Russian ambassador over the incident on Thursday. In the evening, he was due to chair a meeting of the country’s national security council and make a public statement on the affair. Continue reading... […]

  • Saudi Arabian oil firm Aramco hires 25 banks to work on flotation
    by Jillian Ambrose on November 21, 2019 at 5:43 pm

    Near-record number of banks handling stock market listing reflects size of the IPO Saudi Aramco has hired a near-record 25 banks to work on its upcoming listing on a single stock market.Companies normally hire between one and three banks for a market debut. But the listing of the world’s most profitable company has attracted an army of international banks eager to work on one of the biggest IPOs in history. Continue reading... […]

  • German SPD backs down after row over crude typo on memorial wreath
    by Kate Connolly in Berlin on November 21, 2019 at 5:25 pm

    Party had suspected extremists of altering the word ‘fascism’, but now blames ‘human error’Germany’s Social Democratic party has backed down after becoming locked in a blame game with a florist and a printer over who was responsible for misspelling “fascism” on a war memorial wreath so that it resembled the word “fuckup”.The error was only spotted once the wreath had been laid on Memorial Sunday, 17 November, when Germany traditionally commemorates the victims of war and fascism. Continue reading... […]

  • Trump impeachment inquiry: Fiona Hill rebukes Republicans for 'fictional' Ukraine narrative – video
    on November 21, 2019 at 5:10 pm

    A former White House official has criticised politicians for advancing discredited conspiracy theories about Ukraine during impeachment hearings. 'I refuse to be part of an effort to legitimise an alternate narrative that the Ukrainian government is a US adversary, and that Ukraine – not Russia – attacked us in 2016,' said Fiona Hill in her opening statement.Republicans have used the hearings to push the idea that Donald Trump was rightly suspicious of Ukraine because of allegations it attempted to meddle in the 2016 election – a widely debunked claim pushed by some of Trump's closest advisers including his personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani.Who is Fiona Hill and what can we expect from her impeachment testimony?Two key witnesses expected to add to growing evidence in Trump inquiryContinue reading... […]

  • Queensland says it won't back Coalition's emissions reduction scheme without gas funds
    by Amy Remeikis on November 21, 2019 at 5:01 pm

    Angus Taylor wants support for $2.55bn rebadged fund and roll out of new generation and transmission projectsQueensland has demanded federal funds for gas infrastructure in return for its co-operation with the Morrison government’s rebooted emissions reduction scheme.The state’s energy minister, Anthony Lynham, will head to Western Australia for the energy Coag meeting later on Friday, pressing for Canberra’s financial support to expand its gas industry into the Galilee and Bowen basins. Continue reading... […]

  • Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu indicted for bribery and fraud
    by Oliver Holmes in Jerusalem on November 21, 2019 at 4:45 pm

    Attorney general announces charges as crisis deepens for longest-serving leaderIsrael’s attorney general has indicted Benjamin Netanyahu for bribery, fraud and breach of trust, in a damning blow to the prime minister as he fights for his political survival.Avichai Mandelblit charged the 70-year-old leader on Thursday in all three major corruption cases for which he was investigated. It was the first time a sitting Israeli prime minister has been charged with a crime. Continue reading... […]