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JUST IN: Donald Trump acquitted in impeachment trial



By Agency Reporter

Former US president Donald Trump was acquitted by the Senate on Saturday of inciting the deadly January 6 attack on the US Capitol.

A two-thirds majority of the 100 senators was needed at Trump’s impeachment trial for conviction, but it fell short in a 57-43 vote.

Seven Republicans joined Democrats in voting to convict.


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World News

Power outages leave millions shivering in deadly US cold snap




Pike Electric service trucks line up after a snow storm on February 16, 2021 in Fort Worth, Texas. Winter storm Uri has brought historic cold weather and power outages to Texas as storms have swept across 26 states with a mix of freezing temperatures and precipitation. Ron Jenkins/Getty Images/AFP

By Agency Reporter

Millions of Americans were struggling without electricity Wednesday as bitter cold from a deadly winter storm system held its grip across huge swathes of the United States, even pushing as far south as Mexico.

The Arctic weather system — which has seen temperatures plummet to record-setting lows in places ill-prepared for such conditions — has overwhelmed local utility companies, infuriating residents left to huddle under coats and blankets and fend for themselves.

In Texas, power companies have implemented rolling blackouts to avoid grids being overloaded as residents cranked up electric heaters. Some people have been without power for days.

“Spending my second night without power during the coldest weather in Southeast Texas in more than 30 years,” Wes Wolfe, a newswriter in Lake Jackson, Texas said on Twitter.

“Eating half a falafel wrap by laptop light for dinner, before getting under my blankets, which are augmented by a heavy overcoat.”

According to the tracker, nearly three million residential, commercial and industrial customers in Texas remained without power Wednesday morning.

This week’s surge in electricity demand came just as icy conditions knocked gas-fired power stations offline and saw wind turbines freeze to a standstill.

The American Red Cross said it had opened over 35 warming centers across Texas.

More than 20 storm-related deaths have been registered since the cold weather arrived last week, including in traffic accidents in Texas, Kentucky and Missouri.

At Primarily Primates, a wildlife sanctuary near San Antonio, Texas, several animals reportedly died when staff were unable to warm them after the facility lost power Monday.

Brooke Chavez, the center’s executive director, told the San Antonio Express-News that a chimpanzee, several monkeys, lemurs and tropical birds had perished.

In the small western Texas community of Colorado City, the mayor resigned after telling residents impacted by a power outage to “come up with a game plan” and “get off your ass and take care of your own family!”

“I’m sick and tired of people looking for a damn handout!” Tim Boyd wrote on a now-deleted Facebook post.

– ‘Devastating’ conditions –
According to the National Weather Service (NWS), more than 71 percent of the continental United States was covered in snow Wednesday.

Pike Electric service trucks line up after a snow storm on February 16, 2021 in Fort Worth, Texas. Winter storm Uri has brought historic cold weather and power outages to Texas as storms have swept across 26 states with a mix of freezing temperatures and precipitation. Ron Jenkins/Getty Images/AFP

The storm system was expected to move towards the northeastern US and begin to loosen it grip over the central and southern parts of the country by Thursday, the NWS said, while warning of ongoing treacherous conditions.

“Crippling” ice accumulations were possible in parts of Texas, Louisiana, Arkansas and Mississippi.

“In the areas that contend with these devastating ice accumulations, residents can expect dangerous travel conditions, numerous power outages, and extensive tree damage,” the NWS said.

While several of the weather-related deaths so far have resulted from traffic accidents, Houston police said a woman and a girl died from carbon monoxide poisoning after sitting in a garaged car with the engine running to keep warm.

A man in Louisiana died when he hit his head after slipping on ice, and a 10-year-old Tennessee boy perished after he and his six-year-old sister fell through the ice into a pond Sunday.

The winter storm spawned at least four tornadoes, according to Atlanta-based, including one in coastal North Carolina late Monday that killed at least three people and injured 10 more.

Across the southern border, Mexican officials said six people died after temperatures plunged and frozen pipelines bringing natural gas from Tim Boyd the United States caused rolling power outages.

Four died in Monterrey, three of them homeless people who succumbed to exposure and one person who died at home from carbon monoxide poisoning from a heater.

Two agricultural workers also died in neighboring Tamaulipas from hypothermia.


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World News

Twitter CFO: Trump to remain banned forever, even if he runs again in 2024




By Oyindamola Ruth

Tech giant, Twitter has confirmed that former US President, Donald Trump’s Twitter ban will remain forever, even if he runs for another presidential election.

This was disclosed by Twitter’s chief financial officer, Ned Segal, in an interview on CNBC’s “Squawk Box”.

When asked if the platform would restore Trump’s account if he ran again and was elected president.

Ned Segal replied, saying Trump’s ban is permanent and it will never be restored.

He said,

“The way our policies work, when you’re removed from the platform, you’re removed from the platform whether you’re a commentator, you’re a CFO or you are a former or current public official.

“Our policies are designed to make sure that people are not inciting violence, and if anybody does that, we would have to remove them from the service and our policies don’t allow people to come back.

“So, no?

“He was removed when he was president, and there’d be no difference for anybody who [was] a public official once they’ve been removed from the service.”


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Trump impeachment trial at senate to begin February 8




By Agency Reporter

Donald Trump’s US Senate trial will begin in the second week of February, days after a fresh impeachment case against the former president is transmitted by the House, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer said Friday. 

The newly announced schedule reflects a deal struck by Senate leaders to delay the substantive portion of the trial for two weeks so that the chamber may conduct other critical business including confirmation of President Joe Biden’s cabinet nominees.

The House of Representatives impeached Trump for a historic second time on January 13, just one week before he left office.

Schumer said the article of impeachment will be delivered and read out to the Senate on Monday at 7:00 pm (0000 GMT Tuesday). The chamber’s 100 members will be sworn in as trial jurors the next day.

The House members assigned by Speaker Nancy Pelosi as impeachment managers, and members of Trump’s yet-to-be-named defense team, will then be given time to draft their legal briefs.

“Once the briefs are drafted, presentation by the parties will commence the week of February 8,” Schumer told colleagues on the Senate floor.

During the two-week interim, the Senate will act on Biden’s cabinet nominations “and the Covid relief bill which would provide relief for millions of American who are suffering during this pandemic,” Schumer added.

“Healing and unity will only come if there is truth and accountability, and that is what this trial will provide.”

Members will deliberate whether to convict Trump on what the US Constitution describes as “high crimes and misdemeanors.”

Trump was impeached on a single charge of “incitement of insurrection” for his role in whipping up his supporters during a speech in Washington on January 6, the day a pro-Trump mob stormed Congress and threatened the lives of lawmakers and then-vice president Mike Pence.

Five people died in the violence, including a police officer.

‘Unprecedentedly fast’

The delay is the result of a deal Schumer struck with Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell.

McConnell was a close congressional ally to Trump during his term, but he severely reprimanded the outgoing president for repeatedly seeking to overturn results of the election and for his incitement of protesters, and he left the door open for voting to convict Trump.

But he had sought a delay in the trial until February, arguing Trump needs time to hire lawyers and mount a defense.

On Friday, McConnell appeared to express regret for the Democrats’ speedy timetable.

“As I understand, it must be headed our way Monday. By Senate rules, if the article arrives, we have to start a trial right then,” he said on the floor.

But the Senate can agree to its own parameters of the trial timeline.

McConnell spoke of the “unprecedentedly fast” process in the House, where Trump was impeached in a single day.

“The sequel cannot be an insufficient Senate process that denies former president Trump his due process or damages the Senate or the presidency itself,” he said.

Trump survived a first impeachment almost a year ago when the then Republican-controlled Senate acquitted him of abusing his office to try to get dirt on Biden’s family before the presidential election.

With the Senate now comprised of 50 Democrats and 50 Republicans, and a two-thirds majority needed to convict Trump, at least 17 Republicans would have to vote against the former president to secure a conviction.

If that occurs, a subsequent vote would be held on whether to ban Trump from holding public office in the future.

A handful of Republicans have spoken out harshly against the president but it remains unclear if there would be enough GOP senators to vote for conviction.


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