5 things you need to know now
5 things you need to know now
  • House Judiciary Committee votes to advance impeachment articles to House

  • North Korea conducts another test at satellite launch site

  • Newsom rejects PG&E bankruptcy plan

  • Violent protests over citizenship law continue in India

  • Sudan's ex-president receives 2-year sentence for corruption

After debating the articles of impeachment against President Trump on Wednesday and Thursday, the House Judiciary Committee voted Friday to advance the articles for a full House vote. The committee approved both articles on party lines, 23-17. The first article is abuse of power, alleging Trump wrongly pressured Ukraine to investigate his political rivals ahead of the 2020 election. The second article is obstruction of Congress, alleging Trump improperly refused to comply with the impeachment inquiry and blocked officials from supplying lawmakers with documents and testimony. Trump called the Friday vote "an embarrassment to our country." The full House is expected to debate and vote on the articles next week.

Source: The Associated Press

North Korea conducted its second successful test geared toward strengthening Pyongyang's nuclear deterrent in a week at the Sohae satellite launch site Friday, state media said Saturday. Although North Korea's Academy of Defense Science didn't specify what was tested, the trial may have included technologies to improve intercontinental ballistic missiles, The Associated Press reports. The test, in addition to one on Dec. 7, is widely seen as an attempt to pressure the Trump administration to make major concessions in nuclear negotiations between Washington and Pyongyang. North Korea set a year-end deadline for the United States to change course from its insistence on unilateral denuclearization.

Source: Reuters, The Associated Press

California Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) on Friday rejected Pacific Gas & Electric's plan to pull itself out of bankruptcy and pay victims of California's wildfires because the utility company's proposal didn't meet safety requirements under state law. Newsom said PG&E fell "woefully short" of the safety benchmark and won't receive state assistance without implementing major changes to its plan. PG&E, whose faulty equipment has been blamed for sparking some the state's recent fires, is on the hook for $30 billion in financial liabilities from California. The company pushed back against Newsom's comments, arguing its plan does conform to the safety requirements. PG&E has until Tuesday to revise its plan.

Source: The Wall Street Journal, The Los Angeles Times

Violent protests continued in eastern India on Saturday, as demonstrators pushed back against a new citizenship law implemented by Prime Minister Narendra Modi's government. Protesters set fire to buses and vandalized railroad stations. The law is centered on protecting religious minorities, such as Christians and Hindus, from persecution in Afghanistan, Pakistan, and Bangladesh by granting them citizenship. But critics believe it weakens India's secular foundations and have criticized the government for excluding Muslims from the protections. Muslim rights groups in India believe it is another example of Modi's Hindu nationalist agenda. The prime minister has been accused of attempting to marginalize the country's Muslim population. Modi denies this and has said that Muslims are not included in the law because Islam is not a minority religion in those countries.

Source: BBC, Reuters

Sudan's former President Omar al-Bashir, who was removed from power after 30 years earlier this year following nationwide protests, was sentenced Saturday to two years detention in a state-run reform center on financial irregularities and corruption charges. The 75-year-old reportedly is protected by a law that prevents anyone over the age of 70 from serving jail time. He will reportedly serve his sentence after a verdict is reached in another case in which he is accused of ordering security forces to kill the protesters in the movement that led to his removal, and he was also questioned about the 1989 coup in which he was brought to power. Al-Bashir is also wanted by the International Criminal Court in The Hague for crimes against humanity, war crimes, and genocide in Sudan's Darfur region.

Source: Al Jazeera, BBC
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