Tuesday, November 19
Donald Trump has tweeted that he is “strongly” considering answering a challenge from opposition Democrats to testify in his own impeachment investigation.
The tweet followed speaker of the lower house, Nancy Pelosi, suggesting that the US President tell the “truth”.
Ms Pelosi told a TV news show on Sunday that Mr Trump “could come right before the committee and talk, speak all the truth that he wants if he wants.”
Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer echoed that suggestion.
“If Donald Trump doesn’t agree with what he’s hearing, doesn’t like what he’s hearing, he shouldn’t tweet. He should come to the committee and testify under oath. And he should allow all those around him to come to the committee and testify under oath,” Senator Schumer told reporters.
He said the White House’s insistence on blocking witnesses from co-operating begs the question: “What is he hiding?”
Mr Trump replied to the invitation on Twitter.
“Even though I did nothing wrong, and don’t like giving credibility to this No Due Process Hoax, I like the idea & will, in order to get Congress focused again, strongly consider it!”
It comes as US State Department officials have been informed that Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy was feeling pressure from the Trump administration to investigate former US Vice President Joe Biden even before the July phone call that has led to impeachment hearings in Washington, two people with knowledge of the matter told The Associated Press.
In early May, officials at the US Embassy in Ukraine, including then-Ambassador Marie Yovanovitch, were told Zelenskiy was seeking advice on how to navigate the difficult position he was in, the two people told the AP.
He was concerned that Mr Trump and associates were pressing him to take action that could affect the 2020 US presidential race, the two individuals said.
They spoke on condition of anonymity. State Department officials in Kyiv and Washington were briefed on Mr Zelenskiy’s concerns at least three times, the two sources said. Notes summarising his worries were circulated within the department, they said.
Queenslanders are being urged to conserve water as dam level capacity dips to 60 per cent in the south-east of the state for the first time in 11 years.
Actual water restrictions will not come in until dam levels drop to a combined 50 per cent capacity but Seqwater is asking homeowners to “think” about limiting usage.
Meanwhile, Seqwater has also ordered production at the Tugun desalination plant on the Gold Coast to be increased.
Since 2013, the plant produced between 10 million and 20 million litres of drinking water into the supply every fortnight, but now it would be ramped up to 100 per cent capacity.
Mr Foster said it would now produce 133 million litres of water at full capacity and can make up about 15 per cent of the region’s drinking water supply.
Seqwater external relations manager Mike Foster said the dams were at the lowest level since the Millennium drought broke back in 2008 and the region’s largest dam, Wivenhoe Dam north of Brisbane, has fallen below 50 per cent.
“We are certainly not in dire straits from a water supply perspective, but as of today, the first phase of our drought-response plan for the region is being implemented.”
The first phase is a voluntary one where Seqwater asks homeowners to “think” about limiting usage.
The table below shows how savings add up:
|Water-wise behaviour||Approximate water savings|
|Take shorter showers||9 litres per minute|
|Turn off the tap while brushing your teeth||5 litres per minute|
|Use the half flush instead of the full flush on the toilet||Up to 30 litres per day|
|Only do full loads in the dishwasher and washing machine||Thousands of litres per year|
|Use a pool cover when pool is not in use||36,000 litres per year|
What people have been suggesting for years is now even more apparent – Prince Andrew, sadly, is not the sharpest knife in the Royal household.
That’s the growing belief after he gave (against expert advice) a TV interview on his friendship with paedophile Jeffrey Epstein.
News out of London reveals The Duke of York is facing growing calls to give a formal statement to American authorities examining the Jeffrey Epstein sex scandal following the television interview.
His appearance on BBC’s Newsnight to explain his friendship with the convicted sex offender and deny allegations of having sex with an under-age teenager has been widely condemned, but the duke is said to be standing by his decision to put forward his side of the story.
The Queen and other senior royals are said to “back and believe” Andrew’s defence of himself “100 per cent”, sources have told the Evening Standard.
The fall-out from the interview has already begun with the Outward Bound Trust, which the duke supports as patron, saying it will hold a board meeting in the next few days when members will discuss the issues raised by Saturday’s interview.
US lawyer Spencer Kuvin, who represents a woman who claims she was a victim of Epstein, told Radio 4’s Today program Andrew should come forward to help the ongoing investigation into the disgraced American financier.
Saturday’s interview has been widely criticised, with commentators questioning Andrew’s responses and condemning his unsympathetic tone and seeming lack of remorse over the friendship with Epstein.
Gloria Allred, a lawyer representing other alleged victims in the Epstein case, questions what the duke knew about Epstein’s actions during an appearance on Good Morning Britain.
She said: “I don’t see how he could have not known that there were underage girls – minors. Because he did visit homes of Mr Epstein in New York, in Palm Beach, in the Virgin Islands; and I happen to know there were underage girls in all of those locations.”
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