– Trump signs historic $2 trillion stimulus bill.
President Donald Trump signed into law Friday afternoon a historic $2 trillion stimulus package as the American public and the US economy fight the devastating spread of Covid-19.
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* Trump signs historic $2 trillion stimulus after Congress passes it Friday
Washington (CNN) President Donald Trump signed into law Friday afternoon a historic $2 trillion stimulus package as the American public and the US economy fight the devastating spread of Covid-19.
The far-reaching legislation stands as the largest emergency aid package in US history. It represents a massive financial injection into a struggling economy with provisions aimed at helping American workers, small businesses and industries grappling with the economic disruption.
The House of Representatives earlier in the day approved the bill that passed the Senate earlier this week, overcoming last-minute drama by using an unusual procedural move to thwart a demand by a conservative Republican to force members to vote in person.
The Republican, Rep. Thomas Massie of Kentucky, infuriated members in both parties by bringing them back to Washington amid uncertainty over whether he would request a full roll call vote. That uncertainty forced many to travel during the public health emergency simply to deny his demand in order to ensure swift passage of the measure on Friday. …
* Trudeau promises 75% wage subsidy for businesses hit by coronavirus pandemic
The federal wage subsidy for small and medium-sized businesses hit by the new coronavirus pandemic is jumping up to 75 per cent, the prime minister announced on Friday.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau spoke with reporters at his daily update from Rideau Cottage, where he remains in isolation, as cases of the new coronavirus continue to spread across the country.
Last week, Trudeau announced a 10 per cent wage subsidy but admitted Friday that it’s not enough.
“It’s becoming clear that we need to do more — much more — so we’re bringing that percentage up to 75 per cent for qualifying businesses,” he said. “This means people will continue to be paid even though their employers have to slow down or stop their businesses.”
That wage subsidy will be backdated to March 15. …
News & VIDEO of the past days…
– Trump tours Taj Mahal, visits Gandhi’s former home on first India state trip | HIGHLIGHTS
U.S. President Donald Trump and his wife Melania were welcomed by Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi in the western Indian city of Ahmedabad on Monday at the start of Trump’s first official state visit during which the two sides will aim to reset trade relations.
On the first day of Trump’s visit, the president and his wife toured the former residence of independence hero Mahatma Gandhi, Sabarmati Ashram, alongside Modi.
Trump also made a speech in a 110,000-seat cricket stadium in Ahmedabad, the largest city in Modi’s home state of Gujarat which is the political home of Modi. A huge crowd has filled the stadium, claimed to be the world’s biggest cricket ground.
Trump capped off the day to visit India’s famed Taj Mahal with his family including Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner.
– Coronavirus outbreak: European health officials discuss response to the virus
The head of the Stockholm-based European Centre for Disease Control, Andrea Ammon, and the head of the Swedish health agency Johan Carlson, holds a news conference on the spread of the coronavirus and what steps are being taken in Europe to stop it from spreading.
– Coronavirus outbreak: China says new cases below 2,000 for first time since January
China’s Health Commission said on Tuesday, Feb. 18, that the number of new cases of COVID-19 in the Chinese mainland had fallen below 2,000 in one day for the first time since January.
Spokesperson Mi Feng said a total of 1,886 new cases had been reported, and a total of 98 deaths were confirmed.
In total, there were 58,016 confirmed cases across China, with a total of 1,868 patients who had died.
– Scene of ‘terror-related’ stabbing in Streatham, south London
London police have shot a man dead in the city’s Streatham area in a ‘terrorist-related’ incident. Three people have been stabbed, and video footage shared on social media shows armed police and ambulances on the street.
– Fox News hosts’ about-face on John Bolton.
John Bolton used to be a paid contributor on Fox News before leaving to become President Donald Trump’s national security adviser, but now Bolton is a target for criticism from some of the network’s personalities. CNN’s Brian Stelter reports.
– Justin Trudeau talks Iran, China, and new NAFTA ratification | FULL.
The Liberals will kick start the process of ratifying the new NAFTA trade deal when the House of Commons returns next week. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau spoke in a press conference from Winnipeg, Man., where the Liberal cabinet has been meeting over recent days.
He said a ways and means motion — a needed first-step for fiscal bills — will be introduced on Monday while the bill to ratify the deal will come on Wednesday. “Passing the new NAFTA is our priority,” said Trudeau..
– Iran’s supreme leader defends military over Flight PS752 disaster
In his first Friday sermon in Tehran in eight years, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said Iranian forces were protecting the country and made a call for national unity in the wake of protests.
* Iran plane crash: Khamenei defends armed forces in rare address
Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei has defended the country’s armed forces after it admitted shooting down a passenger plane by mistake.
He said the Revolutionary Guard – the elite unit responsible for the disaster – “maintained the security” of Iran.
Widespread protests and criticism from abroad have put growing pressure on Iran over its handling of the incident.
But the ayatollah tried to rally support as he led Friday prayers in Tehran for the first time since 2012.
The Ukraine International Airlines Boeing 737-800 was travelling to Kyiv from Tehran on 8 January when it crashed shortly after take-off. All 176 passengers on board, including nationals from Iran, Canada, Sweden and the UK, were killed.
The ayatollah called for “national unity” and said Iran’s “enemies” – a reference to
– Trump slams impeachment process, denies knowing Lev Parnas
Trump answers media questions in the White House as impeachment trial gets underway.
– Global National: Jan. 16, 2020 | FBI arrests Patrik Matthews, Trump impeachment trial.
Patrik Mathews, A former Manitoba army reservist with alleged ties to a neo-Nazi group has been arrested in the U.S. nearly five months after he went missing. Mike Drolet has more on Mathews deepening legal troubles.
– Watch Live: Pelosi to announce impeachment managers in press conference
Watch Live at 10 a.m. ET: Impeachment heats up as Speaker Pelosi holds a press conference announcing impeachment managers
* Russian govt quits after Putin calls for constitutional shake-up.
The entire Russian government resigned on Wednesday after President Vladimir Putin said a range of constitutional changes were needed.
Putin, in his annual address to Parliament, proposed a referendum on amending Russia’s constitution to increase the powers of parliament – while maintaining a strong presidential system.”I consider it necessary to conduct a vote by the country’s citizens on an entire package of proposed amendments to the country’s constitution,” Putin said, without specifying any date for a vote.
– Hong Kong leader cites ‘unprecedented challenges’ in prosecuting protesters.
Hong Kong courts are facing “unprecedented” challenges in processing the sheer number of protest-related arrests, the city’s leader Carrie Lam said at a news conference on Tuesday.
Hong Kong’s Chief Justice on Monday announced the creation of a task force to deal with protest cases, which would introduce new measures such as possibly extending the courts’ sitting hours.
– Ukrainian airline said it had ‘no information’ about possible threat before crash
Ukrainian International Airlines president Yevhenii Dykhne said on Saturday that the airline was not warned about any threat prior to the crash on Wednesday that resulted in the deaths of all 176 people on board.
– Iran admits to unintentionally shooting down Ukrainian passenger plane.
Iranian state TV says the country ‘unintentionally’ shot down a Ukrainian jetliner because of human error.
– Iran plane crash: what happened?
Ukraine International Airlines Flight PS752 has crashed near Tehran, Iran, killing all 176 people on board. Sixty-three of them were Canadian. Redmond Shannon reports on the devastation, while Eric Sorensen explains why getting answers on the investigation won’t be easy.
* Iran strikes back at U.S. with missile attack at bases in Iraq
TEHRAN, IRAN — Iran’s foreign minister is calling a ballistic missile attack on Iraqi bases housing U.S. troops a “proportionate measures in self-defence
WATCH: Pompeo delivers remarks from State Department amid growing U.S.-Iran tensions
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo delivers remarks from the State Department amid escalating tensions between the U.S. and Iran after Iranian commander Qasem Soleimani was killed in Iraq by a U.S. drone strike on Jan. 3.
– Iran’s leaders say US can expect harsh retaliation after air strike | ABC News
Iranians have taken to the streets displaying anger and grief over the killing of the country’s second-most powerful figure, General Qassem Soleimani
– US firefighters arrive to help with Australian fire crisis | ABC News.
Another contingent of US firefighters has touched down in Sydney to help with the ongoing fire crisis in New South Wales.
The group will perform mainly planning and logistics roles, with further reinforcements to arrive on Wednesday.
Jamie McKinnell reports.
– 2020 begins with host of foreign policy challenges for Trump
An attack on the U.S. Embassy in Iraq sets the table for a busy 2020 overseas; State Department correspondent Rich Edson has a look ahead.
– Marines arrive in Iraq to reinforce US Embassy
Militia and protesters begin to pull back after a second day of violence in Baghdad; Trey Yingst reports
– New Year’s 2020: Russia rings in New Year with fireworks display
As the clock struck midnight, fireworks lit up the night sky over the Red Square in Russia as people celebrated the new year.
– People in Chile city clean debris after wildfire destroys more than 200 homes.
People worked to clean debris while others sat by the now charred out remains of their homes on Thursday, Dec. 26, after a large wildfire burned through the community of Valparaiso, Chile on Tuesday, Dec. 24. More than 245 homes were destroyed and 700 people left homeless.
* Pope Francis-Christmas Message and “Urbi et Orbi” Blessing 2019-12-25
From the Central Loggia of St. Peter’s Basilica, the Holy Father’s Christmas Message and” Urbi et Orbi” Blessing
+ Pope Francis prays for migrants, Syria and Venezuela in Christmas speech
The Pope urged his followers to let the light of Christmas overpower the ‘darkness in human hearts’ as he shared a message of hope for impoverished and war-torn countries.
Thousands of tourists, pilgrims and Romans gathered in St Peter’s Square for the Catholic Church leader’s traditional Urbi et Orbi (to the city and to the world) speech. Pope Francis, 83, called for an end of bloodshed and unrest across the world and called for more compassion to be shown to migrants seeking a ‘dignified life’.
He prayed for peace for the people of Syria, ‘who still see no end to the hostilities that have rent their country over the last decade’.
– Pope Francis’ schedule for 2019 Christmas season – 24 DEC 2019
– LIVE at 9:00 a.m. ET | Trump impeachment inquiry: House final vote on articles of impeachment.
The full House of Representatives will debate and vote on the articles of impeachment. If at least one of the articles passes, Trump will be the third president in U.S. history to be impeached. If the House decides to impeach, the Senate will hold a trial to consider if Trump should be removed from office. On this historic day, The Post’s Libby Casey will be joined by Washington Post reporters Elise Viebeck, Amber Phillips, and Rhonda Colvin to take you through the process.
Trump is the fourth president in U.S. history to face impeachment, which could be approved this week on the House floor. At the center of the Democrats’ case is that Trump sought to withhold military assistance and an Oval Office meeting until Ukraine announced investigations into former vice president Joe Biden and his son.
House rules committee recesses impeachment hearing for floor votes.
Jim McGovern, the Democratic chairman of the House rules committee, has recessed the panel’s hearing on debate procedures for the impeachment resolution to allow for floor votes.
House Judiciary Committee approve article of impeachment; Ohio Congressman Jim Jordan weighs in.
VIDEO & Pictures:
=> Hong Kong protesters waved posters of Trump’s to thank him! |
– Pro-democracy protesters in central Hong Kong celebrated U.S. lawmakers and President Trump on Thursday night, thanking them for …
Two people have died and one has been injured in a shooting at a U.S. Navy and Air Force base at Pearl Harbor, according to the U.S. military.
– US President Donald Trump confirms the death of ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi
US special forces have successfully carried out a top secret raid to kill ISIS terror boss Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, it was reported this morning.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi on September 22 addressed the mega ‘Howdy, Modi’ event in Houston with record crowd of 50,000 Indian-Americans present at the NRG stadium. The event has been organised by Indian-Americans in Texas for Prime Minister Modi. US President Donald Trump joined PM Modi at the mega event as a “special gesture” by him to underscore the special bond between the two countries. It is for the first time that Trump and Modi shared a stage together. This is for the first time that the leaders of the two largest democracies of the world were addressing a joint mega rally in the US.
Beautiful Quotes of Thomas Paine:
* Every science has for its basis a system of principles as fixed and unalterable as those by which the universe is regulated and governed. Man cannot make principles; he can only discover them.
* I love the man that can smile in trouble, that can gather strength from distress, and grow brave by reflection. ‘Tis the business of little minds to shrink, but he whose heart is firm, and whose conscience approves his conduct, will pursue his principles unto death.
* He that would make his own liberty secure, must guard even his enemy from oppression; for if he violates this duty, he establishes a precedent that will reach to himself.
* It is not a God, just and good, but a devil, under the name of God, that the Bible describes.
Kim Jong Un’s elite bodyguards — famous for running next to his diplomatic Mercedes — were back for his entrance to Vietnam ahead of his second summit with Trump
Kim Jong Un’s 12 bodyguards, who seamlessly jog in formation around his official Mercedes, have made the journey to Vietnam for Wednesday’s US-North Korea summit.The suited guards shot to fame eight months ago when they jogged in formation around Kim’s car as it passed through Singapore during the first summit between Donald Trump and Kim, the first top-level meeting between the US and North Korea.They were captured again by TV cameras on Tuesday. Footage below from Euronews shows them transitioning into jogging formation as Kim’s official Mercedes passed crowds on the way to his residence in Hanoi…
North Korean bodyguards jog next to North Korea’s leader Kim Jong Un at the inter-Korean summit on April 27, 2018. They’re now back — at the 2019 Vietnam Summit between North Korea and US President Donald Trump.
You Can’t Unsee This Giant Parade Float of President Trump as an Emperor ‘Master-Drone’.The Trump float is called “The Master-Drone” and was made by artist Fabrizio Galli, who has made similar sculptures that satirize other political figures.
Kim Jong Un’s elite bodyguards — famous for running next to his diplomatic Mercedes — were back for his entrance to Vietnam ahead of his second summit with TrumpKim Jong Un’s 12 bodyguards, who seamlessly jog in formation around his official Mercedes, have made the journey to Vietnam for Wednesday’s US-North Korea summit.The suited guards shot to fame eight months ago when they jogged in formation around Kim’s car as it passed through Singapore during the first summit between Donald Trump and Kim, the first top-level meeting between the US and North Korea.They were captured again by TV cameras on Tuesday. Footage below from Euronews shows them transitioning into jogging formation as Kim’s official Mercedes passed crowds on the way to his residence in Hanoi…
The sculpture, which shows the president decked out as an emperor, complete with cape and sword, is appearing at the Carnevale Di Viareggio festival held in Viareggio each year during Carnival, an annual festival season before Lent.
This year’s festivities — which includes a weekly parade of large, elaborate paper-mâché floats that often have a political message — mark the 146th year of the event. It attracts more than 600,000 spectators each year, according to the official parade website.
The Trump float is called “The Master-Drone” and was created by artist Fabrizio Galli. Galli has made similar sculptures that satirize political figures in the past, including North Korea’s Kim Jong-un and Russian President Vladimir Putin
“The Master-Drone” shows the president in golden battle armor, including a sword covered in blue birds fashioned after the Twitter logo and a gold crown. He also has a large clawed hand.
On the float, an American eagle can be seen on one of Trump’s shoulders while Putin’s head rests on the other. The Statue of Liberty appears on one of his knees.