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Second Trump whistleblower comes forward with “first-hand information”

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Second Trump whistleblower comes forward with “first-hand information” | The Thaiger
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“Biden wrote in The Washington Post that Trump was “frantically pushing flat-out lies, debunked conspiracy theories and smears against me and my family, no doubt hoping to undermine my candidacy.”

MONTAGE: Wall Street Journal

A second whistleblower has come forward, this one with first-hand information about events that triggered an impeachment investigation into US President Donald Trump.

The original whistleblower alleges Trump abused his power as president by attempting to withhold US military aid to pressure his Ukrainian counterpart Volodymyr Zelensky into seeking damaging information on political rival Joe Biden.

As pressure mounted over the weekend, Trump pushed back Sunday and accused House Speaker Nancy Pelosi – who announced impeachment proceedings last month – of being guilty of “treason”, and called for her to be impeached. Earlier, the original informant’s lawyer Mark Zaid, tweeted confirming an ABC News report that a second whistleblower was “represented by our legal team.”

“They also made a protected disclosure under the law and cannot be retaliated against. This WBer has first-hand knowledge.”

Earlier, Zaid’s co-counsel, Andrew Bakaj, said his firm and team “represent multiple whistleblowers” in the case. However it was unclear whether Bakaj was using “multiple” to refer to more than two whistleblowers, typically, several officials would listen in on a presidential call and a foreign leader.

The existence of a whistleblower claiming first-hand knowledge would make it harder for the president and his supporters to dismiss the original complaint as hearsay, as they have repeatedly done.

Trump responds

Trump pushed back at the allegations in tweets yesterday but did not mention the second whistleblower.

He repeated his assertions that Joe Biden’s son Hunter had been “handed $100,000 a month (Plus,Plus) from a Ukrainian based company, even though he had no experience in energy…and separately got 1.5 Billion Dollars from China despite no experience and for no apparent reason.”

Hunter Biden was paid up to $50,000 a month as a board member for Ukrainian gas company Burisma, media reports said. Trump tweeted that “as president I have an obligation to end CORRUPTION, even if that means requesting the help of a foreign country or countries. It is done all the time.”

In a back-and-forth on Twitter, Biden responded: “In my experience, asking a foreign government to manufacture lies about your domestic political opponent is not ‘done all the time.'”

Trump also said that Biden, among the leading Democratic presidential candidates for 2020, should “hang it up.” No evidence has been found that either Biden did anything illegal.

In perhaps his strongest response yet, Biden wrote in The Washington Post that Trump was “frantically pushing flat-out lies, debunked conspiracy theories and smears against me and my family, no doubt hoping to undermine my candidacy.”

“It won’t work, because the American people know me – and they know him,” Biden said in an op-ed article.

Trump remained in the White House on Sunday and, despite the snowballing crisis. No administration officials appeared on the morning television programs. But Republican senator Ron Johnson told NBC that in conversation Trump had sharply rejected allegations he had linked military aid for Ukraine to any effort to find dirt on the Bidens.

“When I asked the president about that,” said Johnson, who serves on the Foreign Relations Committee, “he completely adamantly, vehemently, angrily denied it.”

SOURCE: Agence France-Presse

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    Ada Polson

    Wednesday, December 30, 2020 at 7:10 am

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Election

U.S. President Joe Biden reverses Trump’s policies on first day of presidency

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U.S. President Joe Biden reverses Trump’s policies on first day of presidency | The Thaiger

Just after being sworn in, the new U.S. President Joe Biden is reversing Trump’s policies by signing 15 executive actions while targeting pandemic and climate change. Biden, now America’s 46th President, said there is “no time to waste” as he referenced America’s battle with Covid-19.

“Some of the executive actions I’m going to be signing today are going to help change the course of the COVID crisis, we’re going to combat climate change in a way that we haven’t done so far and advance racial equity and support other underserved communities. These are just all starting points.”

Among his initiatives, Biden signed a mask mandate for those on federal property and federal employees. He also signed an order to designate a new White House office to coordinate the response to Covid-19 while halting the process of withdrawing from the World Health Organisation. His press secretary, Jen Psaki, says his quick actions are just te beginning of many changes.

“The Day One plans were just the start of a flurry of executive actions Biden would take soon after entering office. In the coming days and weeks, we will be announcing additional executive actions that confront these challenges and deliver on the president-elect’s promises to the American people.”

Biden signed documents to begin the process of rejoining the Paris climate accord, including revoking the permit that was granted by Trump to the Keystone XL oil pipeline.

Biden stopped Trump’s emergency declaration that helped the border wall’s construction and ended travel bans on some majority-Muslim countries. Psaki says he will revoke the ban on transgenders joining the military and reverse a policy that blocks U.S. funding for abortion programs overseas.

He also asked to extend a moratorium on housing evictions until the end of March and on student loan payments until the end of September.

SOURCE: Thai PBS World

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Coronavirus (Covid-19)

Covid-19 travel pass to pilot on Etihad and Emirates Airways flights

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Covid-19 travel pass to pilot on Etihad and Emirates Airways flights | The Thaiger
PHOTO: Travel Daily

A travel pass for passengers inoculated against Covid-19 or who have tested negative will be piloted on flights for Dubai’s Emirates and Abu Dhabi’s Etihad Airways. With the travel pass issued by the International Air Transport Association, passengers can keep control of their data and share their test results with airlines and authorities for travel.

The travel pass will be offered on selected flights from Abu Dhabi in the first quarter, and will expand the pass to other destinations of the trail is successful. Emirates is going to implement phase 1 of the travel pass in April for flights departing from Dubai.

Recently, the IATA travel pass programme has been also tested in International Airlines Group and Singapore Airlines.

SOURCE: Reuters

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World

Australia might keep borders closed throughout 2021

Caitlin Ashworth

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Australia might keep borders closed throughout 2021 | The Thaiger
Stock photo by Josh Withers for UnSplash

It might be a while until tourists can visit Australia. Borders might not be fully reopen until at least 2022. Australia is rolling out its immunisation program next month, but even if most of the population is vaccinated against Covid-19, the Australian government says it will probably wait to make sure the vaccine prevents the transmission of the virus before fully reopening borders.

Australia’s borders are only open for citizens, residents, those with family in Australia and travellers who have been in New Zealand for the previous 14 days. All incoming travellers must quarantine for 14 days unless they come from an area classified as a “green safe travel zone.”

There are currently 1,881 active Covid-19 cases in Australia, according to Worldometers. No local Covid-19 cases were reported today. Since the start of the pandemic, Australia has reported more than 22,000 local cases and 909 deaths related to Covid-19.

The state of New South Wales is a main focus for Covid-19 prevention measures at this stage and some neighbouring states have imposed travel restrictions on those from the state. NSW state Premier Gladys Berejiklian floated the idea about allowing venues in the area to ban entry to those who aren’t vaccinated against Covid-19.

“Already airlines have indicated that if you’re not vaccinated you can’t travel overseas and I think that’ll be an incentive to a lot of people… We’ll also consider whether we allow venues … make up their own rules if they have a business or run a workplace about what they feel is Covid safe.”

SOURCE: Aljazeera

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