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The Duchess of Sussex, 38, attended the One Young World Summit Opening Ceremony at the Royal Albert Hall in London.
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(Bloomberg) -- President Donald Trump’s serial self-inflicted crises are testing Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and the rest of the GOP senators he’ll be counting on in an impeachment trial that lawmakers in both parties now see as all but inevitable.Trump has forced Republicans in Congress to bounce between chiding and defending the president in quick succession in recent weeks over, among other topics, his abrupt withdrawal of U.S. forces from northern Syria, his aborted decision to hold the next G-7 summit at his own golf resort, and a parade of damaging witness testimony in House impeachment proceedings.McConnell, who usually steps gingerly when talking about the president, took the rare step Tuesday of criticizing Trump by name for his decision on Syria, and he called his description of the House Democrats’ impeachment inquiry as a lynching “an unfortunate choice of words.”Then he pulled the rug out from under Trump’s claim that he had the majority leader’s assurance that the July telephone call with Ukraine’s president, where Trump asked for a probe of political rival Joe Biden and his son Hunter was “innocent.”“We’ve not had any conversations on that subject,” McConnell told reporters. Asked if the president had lied, McConnell said, “You’ll have to ask him. I don’t recall any conversations with the president about the phone call.”McConnell and the Senate Republicans, with rare exceptions, remain a bulwark of Trump’s defense. They are united in ripping the closed-door hearings used by Democrats in the House impeachment inquiry even as they hold back from a giving a full-throated defense of his actions regarding Ukraine that are at the heart of the investigation.When McConnell was asked why more Republicans weren’t defending the president, he pivoted to attacking Democrats.“I’m willing to talk about the process in the House,” McConnell said. “I think it’s grossly unfair. I think the president has legitimate complaints about the process.”A recent swell of public support for impeachment has taken a toll on both Trump and Republicans, as polls have suggested McConnell’s 53-47 majority in the Senate could be in play in the 2020 elections. In a CNN poll out this week, half of Americans said the president should be impeached and removed. It was the latest of several recent surveys showing similar results.McConnell has effectively served as Trump’s firewall on Capitol Hill, but he also has long pursued a political strategy that isn’t wholly tied to Trump. He’s touted the 2020 Senate elections more as a fight to save the country from socialism than a bid to save Trump’s accomplishments from attack.The majority leader’s chief complaints with Trump continue to be primarily focused on foreign policy. Following up a sharply worded opinion piece last week opposing Trump’s abandonment of the Kurds in Syria -- without mentioning the president’s name -- McConnell on Tuesday called on the Senate to dissuade Trump from doing something similar in Afghanistan and Iraq.There’s no sign that McConnell would pull his support for Trump, but he’s leading 52 other Senate Republicans who are tired of having to explain the president’s controversies -- and eyeing next year’s Senate and House elections with rising unease.“I think I’ve said enough about the president’s tweets as of late,” Senator Mitt Romney, a Utah Republican and frequent Trump critic, said when asked about Trump’s “lynching” rhetoric.Some members of McConnell’s leadership team aren’t hiding their own exasperation, even as they join House Republicans in criticizing the closed door impeachment hearings.Asked if Trump is in trouble, Senator Roy Blunt of Missouri simply responded, “I don’t know.”He dismissed questions about whether the president should stop talking and tweeting about the inquiry.“As far as I know, he has never asked me for any advice, and I don’t expect him to ask for advice on this,” Blunt said.Democrats argue that Republicans have plenty of reasons to be concerned. At a closed hearing Tuesday, Acting Ambassador to Ukraine William Taylor testified that a senior diplomat told him in early September that Trump made U.S. security aid to Ukraine entirely dependent on a public promise to investigate Joe Biden and a conspiracy theory regarding alleged Ukrainian interference in the 2016 election.Taking a Toll“There’s substance here,” Democratic Senator Ron Wyden, an Oregon Democrat, about Taylor’s opening statement. “The number of witnesses who are coming in and contradicting the president is significant,” Wyden said. “Around here, that takes a toll on your standing.”But GOP Senator John Cornyn of Texas, an adviser to McConnell, said no one should expect significant defections in the Republican ranks, and not because they are fearful of becoming a target of Trump’s derogatory tweets.“Republicans I don’t believe think it’s in their long-term policy interest to divide the party in order to elect Democrats,” Cornyn told reporters. “That’s what I think the calculation is.”To contact the reporters on this story: Steven T. Dennis in Washington at email@example.com;Laura Litvan in Washington at firstname.lastname@example.orgTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Joe Sobczyk at email@example.com, John HarneyFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.
- News The Canadian Press
CALGARY - There's been a surge of support for an Alberta separatist group since the Liberals secured a minority government Monday night, and while political scientists say a split from Canada may not be a real possibility, the anger underlying the movement is serious."The idea of Canada has died in the hearts of many, many western Canadians," said "Wexit" Alberta founder Peter Downing, a former soldier and RCMP officer.The Liberals managed to hang onto seats in Atlantic Canada, Quebec, Ontario and British Columbia, but Alberta and Saskatchewan ended up Conservative blue except for one NDP riding in Edmonton.The VoteWexit Facebook page with its motto "The West Wants Out" went from 2,000 or so members on Monday to nearly 160,000 and counting by Tuesday afternoon. Downing said his group received more than $20,000 in donations and membership fees overnight.A separate online petition calling for a western alliance and for Alberta to separate was backed by more than 40,000 people.Downing got the idea for "Wexit" - an apparent play on Brexit in the United Kingdom - late last year when he heard United Conservative Leader Jason Kenney warn of rising separatist sentiment if the Liberal government didn't back off from policies he said were hostile to the energy sector. Those include the overhaul of environmental reviews and an oil tanker ban off B.C.'s north coast."Justin Trudeau is obviously the fuel for it, but Jason Kenney was the spark," said Downing.He said his group is pushing for Kenney, who describes himself as a staunch federalist, to call a referendum on whether Alberta should separate. If successful, that would result in the province replacing the RCMP with its own police force and having control over immigration, taxation, firearms and pensions, Downing said.The idea is getting interest from people in Saskatchewan, Manitoba and parts of British Columbia, too, he added.In the meantime, Downing wants to get "Wexit" representatives elected to Parliament."We're going to push into Canada and cause havoc and chaos until the grounds are right and the conditions are set to have that referendum on separation and become an independent nation."Grant Fagerheim, CEO of oil company Whitecap Resources Inc., said Alberta and Saskatchewan's contributions to the Canadian economy have not been respected and he's not surprised there has been talk of the region splitting off."I don't believe at this particular time, whether you live in Saskatchewan or Alberta, that people would say they're Canadian first."Whether that amounts to anything is another matter.David Taras, a political scientist at Calgary's Mount Royal University, said he doubts people in Alberta would back separation if they understood the practicalities. Would they need a visa to take a ski trip or wine tour in B.C., for instance?"The vast majority of Albertans love being in Canada and have a deep emotional attachment to Canada, so I don't think that will be severed easily," he said. "But the anger and frustration is real."Taras said he'll be curious whether Kenney chooses an "endless war" with Trudeau over energy policy, or decides on a more conciliatory tack.Ted Morton, a former Alberta Progressive Conservative cabinet minister, said the angst may not lead to separation, but it could propel Kenney's efforts to exert pressure on Ottawa.The premier has already said Alberta will hold a referendum on equalization - a federal program meant to even out fiscal disparities between "have" and "have not" provinces - along with municipal elections next October if there's no substantive progress on building a market-opening pipeline.Morton, now an executive fellow at the University of Calgary's School of Public Policy, has said he's heard calls to do it sooner.He suggested increasing "Wexit" talk is a barometer of the anger and fear western Canadians feel. People in the energy sector are losing their jobs and, in many cases, that leads to domestic strife and addiction, he said."Pipelines aren't just an infrastructure and finance issue in Alberta and Saskatchewan," Morton said. "They're a people issue."This report by The Canadian Press was first published Oct. 22, 2019.Lauren Krugel, The Canadian Press
Bollywood actress Malaika Arora turns a year older today, we bring you some of her most beautiful red carpet looks from our photo archives. Take a look at the pictures...