The Senate voted to acquit Trump of the House impeachment articles. The two votes went almost entirely down party lines. Mitt Romney voted with Democrats to remove Trump from office for abuse of power. The vote for obstructing Congress was down party lines, 48-52. The votes fell well shy of the two-thirds needed to remove Trump. [Link]
Presidential candidate Amy Klobuchar has a history of targeting the Somali community for the use of Khat. Khat is a herb grown in Africa and is similar to coffee or tea. However, the US government labels Khat as a controlled substance. As a prosecutor, Klobuchar increased the persecutions of Somalis in her district who used Khat. [Link]
At the prayer breakfast, Trump said war with Iran was closer than you thought. [Link]
The US drives 80% of the global arms trade. [Link]
Human Rights Watch reports that over 130 Salvadorians have been killed after being deported from the US since 2013. [Link]
Venezuelan coup leader Juan Guaido attended Trump’s SOTU. After the speech, the US warned the Venezuelan government against interfering in Guaido returning to Venezuela. The US also threatened to sanction Russian energy companies doing business inside Venezuela. [Link]
Russia says it will begin delivering S-400 air defense systems to India by the end of 2021. Russia and India signed a deal for the systems in 2018. [Link]
India will attempt to double its arms exports, to $5 billion, over the next five years. [Link]
The IAEA says Iran has not taken further steps from its commitments to the Nuclear Deal. Iran has publicly announced all its decision to step back from its commitments to the JCPOA. Iran is allowed to reduce its commitments to the deal because the US withdrew from it and reimposed sanctions. [Link]
Iran says it will support armed Palestinians. [Link]
The Iraqi government instructed its military not to seek assistance from the US in anti-ISIS missions. [Link]
Supports of Iraqi cleric Sadr attacked a camp of protesters killing at least eight. [Link]
After Turkey invaded Syrian-Kurdish held territory in October, the US ended a secret program where the US flew unarmed drone missions over Turkey to provide the Turkish government with intelligence on the Turkish Kurds. [Link]
Turkey threatens to push Syrian forces out of the Idlib province of Syria. Idlib has long been held by Syrian rebels affiliated with al-Qaeda and supported by Turkey. Through previous agreements, Turkey set up several observation posts within Idlib to try to enforce ceasefires. However, the rebels continued to attack Syrian forces, and the Syrian government has started to retake the Idlib. Two of the 12 Turkish observation posts are now in territory held by the Syrian government. [Link]
The Syrian government takes a key town east of Idlib City. [Link]
The US claims Russia is violating a de-escalation agreement in northeast Syria. The US also called on Russia and Syria to halt the Idlib offensive. [Link]
US News A new California bill would require adult entertainers to get professional licenses from the state. [Link]On the first day of his extradition hearing, Assange was handcuffed 11 times and stripped naked twice. He also had his case files confiscated. [Link]Trump...
US News Trump’s 2021 budget includes money to prosecute medical marijuana users in states where it is legal. [Link]Intelligence officials are sowing discord in the 2020 election by claiming Russia is backing Trump and Bernie. [Link]Three senior Democrat Senators write...
US News New Mexico’s Attorney General claims Google illegally collected data on school children using Chromebooks. [Link]Assange’s extradition hearing begins today. [Link] Afghanistan The Taliban and the US started the week-long reduction in violence pact. If...