Weekly News Roundup

August 24, 2018

Image: ABC News

FRIDAY, August 24

US President Donald Trump has warned that any attempt to impeach him would result in the crash of the American economy.

The President made the claim as the White House struggled to manage the fallout from a plea deal Mr Trump’s longtime personal lawyer Michael Cohen made with prosecutors, and the conviction of his former campaign chairman Paul Manafort on financial charges.

The back-to-back legal blows have raised speculation that the Democrats would launch impeachment proceedings if they win the House of Representatives later this year.

Mr Trump argued the move would have dire economic consequences.

“If I ever got impeached, I think the market would crash. I think everybody would be very poor,” Mr Trump told Fox News.

“I don’t know how you can impeach somebody who’s done a great job,” he added.

Incensed over the deal Mr Cohen has made, Mr Trump said it might be better if “flipping” was illegal because people “just make up lies”.

The President tried to play down his relationship to his longtime “fixer”, who said the President directed a hush money scheme to buy the silence of two women who say they had affairs with Mr Trump.

Mr Trump said Mr Cohen only worked for him part time, and accused the lawyer of making up stories to reduce his legal exposure.

“I know all about flipping. For 30, 40 years I’ve been watching flippers,” Mr Trump said.

“Everything’s wonderful and then they get 10 years in jail and they — they flip on whoever the next highest one is, or as high as you can go.”

That tool “almost ought to be outlawed. It’s not fair,” Mr Trump said, adding it creates an incentive to “say bad things about somebody … just make up lies”.

The President suggested that Mr Cohen’s legal trouble stemmed from his other businesses, including involvement with the New York City taxi industry.

On Manafort, Mr Trump did not say whether he would offer a pardon, but expressed “great respect” for him and argued that some of the charges made against him are things that “every consultant, every lobbyist in Washington probably does”.

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A shipment of grain worth more than $15 million has arrived in Queensland, destined for drought-stricken cattle farmers crying out for feed, THE ABC reports.

The 30,000 tonnes of grain, which arrived from Western Australia into the Port of Brisbane this week, will be driven out to the Darling Downs, west of Brisbane, where local supply is running out.

The commodity is normally exported from Queensland, but due to poor growing conditions it is having to be shipped in to supply feedlots.

GrainCorp terminal manager Josh Connell said it was a desperate situation.

“This is a one-in-10, one-in-25, one-in-a-100-year event,” Mr Connell said.

“It is certainly not common, and unfortunately it doesn’t look like stopping in the near future.

“There’s no other supply, so it’s a necessity.

“It has got to the stage where stock literally don’t have anything else to eat, so if this grain doesn’t come in then they have no food source, and there’s only unfortunately one outcome that comes along with

AgForce Grains president and Dalby grower Wayne Newton said it was the driest season he has had in the 40 years he has been farming.

“Some are claiming it’s as bad as the Federation drought over 100 years ago,” Mr Newton said.

He said some growers were lucky enough to plant a few isolated crops due to storm activity in March and April, when there was some moisture, but he was not one of them and considered his season a failure.

He said the Darling Downs had the highest concentration of feedlots in the country, and with pastures so dry, more cattle were relying on growers’ grain crops to survive, with each beast consuming about 12 kilograms of feed every day.

“We’ve pretty well exhausted all of the supplies that are available locally,” he said.

This weekly news roundup is curated with stories from ABC News.

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