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October 2020
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Liverpool midfielder Thiago Alcantara contracts COVID-19        Delhi Capitals skipper Shreyas Iyer fined Rs 12 lakh for slow over-rate        Serena Williams pulls out of French Open with hurt Achilles        Markets mixed after Trump-Biden debate; data lifts China        Govt opening up economy for greater pvt sector participation: Goyal        Maldives thanks India for $250 million support amid COVID-19 pandemic        Pak opens all educational institutions, six months after closure due to COVID-19        Trump urges supporters to watch ballots very carefully        Waiting eagerly for CBI probe outcome in Sushant case:Minister        NHRC notice to UP govt, state police chief over gang rape of Dalit woman        Cong will celebrate Diwali with people after bypolls: Kamal Nath        India's COVID-19 caseload races past 62 lakh, recoveries surge to 51,87,825        All 32 accused in Babri demolition case acquitted; court clears Advani, Joshi of conspiracy charge        Amnesty International halts operations in India        COVID-19:All party meet in Kerala decides to adhere to health protocol strictly,rules out lockdown        Kerala reports 7354 new COVID-19 cases,22 deaths        Tensions mount as Armenia, Azerbaijan continue fighting        Kuwaiti ruler Sheikh Sabah has died at 91        IPL 2020: SRH beat DC by 15 runs runs, register 1st win of season        Djokovic drops only 5 games        
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International News
Trump trial opens with clash over witnesses
 
Washington: The historic impeachment trial of US President Donald Trump opened with fireworks Tuesday as Democrats angrily accused Senate Republicans of seeking a "cover-up" without witnesses or new evidence.

With the US leader facing potential removal from office for abuse of power, his close ally Mitch McConnell laid out ground rules that would block subpoenaing key witnesses or documents while each side makes its case -- potentially crippling prosecutors' arguments.

Flexing his solid 53-47 majority, the Republican Senate leader also made clear he would summarily block any Democratic attempts to change his rules.

"The basic structure we're proposing is just as eminently fair and even-handed," McConnell said.

Adam Schiff, the leader of the House impeachment managers prosecuting Trump, countered that the process "makes no sense" for a trial, and was designed instead to ensure evidence is never heard and Trump is exculpated.

McConnell's rules aim to make the case "go away as quickly as possible to cover up his misdeeds," Schiff said in his opening presentation on the Senate floor.

"It's completely backwards, trial before evidence," he said.

"Most Americans don't believe there will be a fair trial."

Trump was impeached on December 18 by the House of Representatives, and formally charged on the floor of the Senate last week with abuse of power and obstruction of Congress.

It is only the third time a US president has endured an impeachment trial, after Bill Clinton in 1999 and Andrew Johnson in 1868.

Like his two predecessors, Trump looks almost certain to be acquitted by the Senate Republican majority in a trial that could be as short as two weeks.

Showing some compromise, McConnell's initial draft was modified at the last minute, allowing 24 hours of arguments by each side stretched over three days rather than the two-day, 12 hours a day schedule originally outlined.

Republicans also appeared ready to remove a block on the House managers presenting the evidence from their original investigation to the Senate at the beginning of the trial, rather than only after arguments have been made.

But there was no suggestion that McConnell would bend on Democrat demands that witness subpoenas be allowed from the outset.

Democrats want to hear from four current and former top Trump aides, including White House Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney and former national security advisor John Bolton, who have direct knowledge of the accusations against the president.

During the House investigation Trump claimed executive privilege and blocked their testimony, as well as the release of documents subpoenaed by the House.

The articles of impeachment state that Trump tried to pressure Ukraine into interfering in the 2020 election to help him win, and then to thwart the investigation by blocking witnesses and denying documents to the House of Representatives.

Central to the scandal is a July 25 telephone call in which Trump pushed Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky to announce an investigation of former vice president Joe Biden, his potential opponent in the November vote.

Trump is accused of withholding nearly USD 400 million in military aid for Ukraine's war against Russian-backed separatists, and refusing Zelensky a White House meeting, unless he opened a probe of Biden.

On Sunday Trump's legal team issued a 110-page defense which claimed the House has accused him of no specific "crime," that their investigation was a "rigged process," and that Trump was within his rights to push Ukraine to investigate Biden.

Jay Sekulow, one of Trump's lawyers, told the Senate Tuesday that the two articles of impeachment have only "a vague allegation about a non-crime allegation of abuse of power and obstruction of Congress."

The impeachment process is deeply divisive among Americans -- with polls showing the country split down the middle on whether the president should be removed from office, 10 months before voters go to the polls to decide whether to re-elect him.

The president himself was in Davos, Switzerland for the World Economic Forum on Tuesday, where he repeated his longstanding characterisation of impeachment as a "hoax."

In Davos, Trump said, "we're meeting with world leaders, the most important people in the world and we're bringing back tremendous business."

"The other's just a hoax," he said. "It's the witch hunt that's been going on for years and frankly it's disgraceful.


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Pak opens all educational institutions, six months after closure due to COVID-19
Trump urges supporters to watch ballots very carefully
Tensions mount as Armenia, Azerbaijan continue fighting
Kuwaiti ruler Sheikh Sabah has died at 91
Pakistan SC bars release of prime accused in Daniel Pearl murder case
Leaders to UN: If virus doesn't kill us, climate change will
Swiss vote on limiting jobs, residency for EU citizens
Trump expected to announce conservative Barrett for court
US moves to restrict stay of Chinese journalists to 90 days
Despite Trump attacks, both parties vow orderly election
UN panel says corruption hits the poor hardest
Trump, Biden clash on handling of coronavirus pandemic
Pak announces Nov 15 as poll date for Gilgit-Baltistan assembly; India reacts sharply
Covid scare: Saudi Arabia suspends air travel from three countries including India
Political decisions should be taken in parliament, not GHQ - Maryam Nawaz
Malaysia’s Ibrahim claims ‘strong majority’ to form new government
Poll indicates New Zealand''s Ardern poised to win reelection
Nepal halts distribution of new text book with revised map incorporating Indian areas
Opposition parties in Pak launch alliance to oust PM Imran Khan
ENTERTAINMENT NEWS
My whole life has been a miracle: Rajinikanth
 Mumbai: From starting out as a bus conductor to becoming one of the biggest stars of the: country,  
'Game of Thrones' star Indira Varma tests positive for coronavirus
Coronavirus: Release of Ranveer Singh-starrer '83' put on hold
'Joker' earns Joaquin Phoenix his maiden Oscar
KERALA NEWS
Kerala reports 7354 new COVID-19 cases,22 deaths
 Thiruvananthapuram: Kerala on Tuesday again registered a spike in new COVID-19 cases reporting 7,354
COVID-19 tally in Kerala racing towards 1.50 lakh mark
Take steps to attach properties of pvt financial institution; HC to govt
Kerala logs single-day highest spike of 3,830 COVID-19 cases
NATIONAL NEWS
Waiting eagerly for CBI probe outcome in Sushant case:Minister
 Mumbai, Sep 29 (PTI) Maharashtra Home Minister Anil Deshmukh on Tuesday sought to know what happened
NHRC notice to UP govt, state police chief over gang rape of Dalit woman
Cong will celebrate Diwali with people after bypolls: Kamal Nath
Amnesty International halts operations in India
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