She's the career diplomat Rudy Giuliani sought to have removed as U.S. ambassador to Ukraine, and who the president himself has called "bad news." And on Friday she arrived to testify to House committees in the escalating impeachment probe against Donald Trump. Marie Yovanovitch, who was abruptly recalled from her post in Ukraine in May, was set give a deposition to congressional investigators probing Trump's dealings with Ukraine - despite a pledge from the White House to stonewall the congressional impeachment probe. Her testimony behind closed doors is among the first of several key depositions sought by House Democrats, who are investigating whether Trump pressured Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelenskiy to investigate former Vice President Joe Biden. Lawmakers on Friday are expected to ask Yovanovitch about what she knew about efforts by Giuliani and Trump to push Ukraine to investigate Biden and his son. Giuliani has alleged she blocked those efforts. On Thursday, two of Giuliani's associates were arrested in what New York federal prosecutors said was a scheme to illegally funnel money to a pro-Trump election committee. Lev Parnas, a Ukrainian-American businessman, and Igor Fruman, who are mentioned in the whistleblower complaint that sparked the impeachment probe, are also accused by prosecutors of acting on behalf of Ukrainian officials and using their political connections to get Yovanovitch recalled. Earlier this week, the Trump administration blocked another key witness from testifying, U.S. ambassador to the European Union, Gordon Sondland. But his lawyers now say he will come back to testify before the House committees next Thursday.
More depositions in the Democratic-led House of Representatives and more angry tweets from the Republican president on Monday, as the impeachment probe into Donald Trump cranked back up this week. Fiona Hill, the former senior director for European and Russian Affairs on Trump’s National Security Council, arrived on Capitol Hill on Monday as the latest witness summoned by the House Intelligence Committee for closed-door testimony. Hill, who stepped down from the National Security Council this past summer, is likely to be asked about the Trump administration’s removal of Marie Yovanovitch as U.S. ambassador to Ukraine. On Friday, Yovanovitch testified that she had been removed based on “unfounded and false claims” after coming under attack by Trump’s personal lawyer, Rudy Giuliani, who had been working to get Ukraine to investigate Trump’s political rival, Joe Biden. Also on Monday, the House is scheduled to hear from Sam Kislin, an Ukrainian-American businessman with ties to Giuliani. The former mayor of New York City has become a key figure in the impeachment probe into the president, which focuses on a July 25th phone call in which Trump pressed Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy to investigate former Vice President Biden and his son Hunter. In a series of tweets on Monday, Trump demanded to know the identity of the whistleblower who sparked the impeachment probe. Trump has denied wrongdoing. The House probe could prompt the approval of articles of impeachment leading to a trial in the Senate on whether to remove Trump from office.
'Dirty, rotten, mongrel bastards': Farmer says he may not have closed if supermarkets passed on m...
Queensland dairy farmer Scott Priebbenow, who says after nearly 60 years of dairying on their Greenmount farm near Toowoomba, his family has been forced to send their herd to the meatworks, says it may not have come to that, if major supermarkets had passed on milk price increases.
In the first criminal charges related to the Ukraine controversy, prosecutors announce a campaign finance case against two businessmen tied to efforts by President Donald Trump's lawyer, Rudy Giuliani, to prod Ukraine to investigate former Vice President Joe Biden and his son. The top federal prosecutor in Manhattan says two associates of Giuliani who are accused of trying to buy influence over U.S. policy on Ukraine were arrested while trying to leave the country. U.S. Attorney Geoffrey Berman told reporters Thursday that businessmen Lev Parnas and Igor Fruman were about to board an international fight from Washington D.C. with one-way tickets when they were detained at 6 p.m. Wednesday. The pair and a third man are accused of trying using straw donors to hide the source of money they contributed a Congressman and a political action committee supporting Trump's re-election. Berman says the men asked a U.S. congressman to help remove the American ambassador to Ukraine. He says Parnas and Fruman were acting at the request of a Ukrainian government official. Parnas and Fruman were arrested on a four-count indictment that includes charges of conspiracy, making false statements to the Federal Election Commission and falsification of records. The men had key roles in Giuliani's efforts to launch a Ukrainian corruption investigation against Democratic presidential contender Joe Biden and his son Hunter. The charges, linked to a $325,000 donation to a political action committee supporting Trump's reelection, don't suggest wrongdoing by the president but probably will add fuel to the House impeachment inquiry.
The minister for agriculture Bridgette McKenzie speaks to the media in Canberra about how a 44-year-old Vietnamese woman tried to smuggle in pork products last weekend. African swine fever has reached epidemic proportions across Asia and elsewhere. The fever in China has killed over 60 per cent of the pig population. "She had not declared that in her suitcase was 10 kilograms of a mixture of quail, squid and cooked pork products", Ms McKenzie says. "She will be unable to visit this country for the next three years".
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Swedish climate activist Greta Thunberg who has sparked school strikes worldwide against global warming joins thousands of students in Hamburg, urging them to stay angry and fight for change.
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