It’s Friday, so that means it's panel time.
On Thursday, House Democrats concluded their 72-hour impeachathon with testimony from two witnesses: Fiona Hill, a former National Security Council adviser on Russia, and David Holmes, a counselor in the US Embassy in Ukraine, who backed up the allegations that US President Donald Trump conditioned military aid and a White House meeting for Ukraine on Kiev opening an investigation into former US Vice President Joe Biden, who may face Trump in the 2020 US presidential election, and his son Hunter. Have the Democrats been able to present a case to the American people that will impact how they vote in 2020? Has the needle been moved, or without a conviction in the Senate, will they have shot themselves in the foot? Does Trump’s personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani need to look both ways twice before crossing the street so he can avoid being hit by the bus they are trying to throw him under? Is it possible that when this gets to the Senate that former National Security Adviser John Bolton will flip on the president and spill the beans?
The Trump administration has reversed four decades of American policy, which may doom any efforts at peace between Israelis and Palestinians. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo announced Monday that the United States will no longer consider Israeli settlements in the West Bank a violation of international law, clearing what had been an obstacle to Israel annexing Palestinian territory.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was indicted Thursday on charges of fraud, bribery and breach of trust. This is the first prosecution of a sitting prime minister in Israel's history. Will it deepen the political paralysis in a country that has seen two elections this year, neither of which produced a ruling coalition, and may be headed to the ballots again soon?
"Swedish authorities have discontinued an investigation into a rape allegation against the WikiLeaks founder, Julian Assange, after a review of the evidence," the Guardian reported Tuesday. "The deputy chief prosecutor, Eva-Marie Persson, said the complainant’s evidence was deemed credible and reliable, but that after nearly a decade, witnesses’ memories had faded." Assange has denied all of the charges. Kristinn Hrafnsson, WikiLeaks' editor-in-chief, said in response: “Sweden has dropped its preliminary investigation into Mr Assange for the third time, after reopening it without any new evidence or information. Let us now focus on the threat Mr Assange has been warning about for years: the belligerent prosecution of the United States and the threat it poses to the first amendment.” Are Assanges’ problems over, or is this the beginning of the real fight?
Caleb Maupin — Journalist and political analyst who focuses his coverage on US foreign policy and the global system of monopoly capitalism and imperialism.
Jim Kavanagh — Political analyst and commentator and editor of The Polemicist.
Dr. Linwood Tauheed — Associate professor of economics at the University of Missouri-Kansas City.
Daniel Lazare — Journalist and author of three books: "The Frozen Republic," "The Velvet Coup" and "America's Undeclared War."
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