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Hier — 22 janvier 2020English News

Video: China’s J-20 Stealth Fighter Dogfights With J-16, J-10 Jets

To commemorate the anniversary of the People’s Liberation Army Air Force’s first combat engagement, the service posted a video of its new J-20 “Weilong” stealth fighter locked in a high-speed dogfighting scenario with other advanced Chinese jets like the J-16 and J-10C.

WADA Says It Has Temporarily Suspended Moscow Anti-Doping Laboratory

The suspension prohibits the Moscow laboratory from doing any work related to analysing blood samples in connection with the Athlete Biological Passport (ABP) programme and will last till pending disciplinary proceedings are carried out by an independent Disciplinary Committee.

Brazil Attempting to Silence Free Press with ‘Trumped-up Charges’ Against Greenwald

Brazilian prosecutors issued charges against American journalist Glenn Greenwald, alleging he “directly assisted, encouraged and guided” an operation to obtain text messages that were later published and embarrassed prosecutors. One expert told Sputnik that this is just the latest in a series of attacks against both Greenwald and the free press.

Photos: US Armored Carrier Catches Fire Amid NATO Show of Strength Against Russia

Firefighters were called to assist the 2nd Cavalry Regiment of the US Army Europe over the weekend after their armored infantry carrier burst into flames while traveling through the Polish village of Gorzekaly.

Half a Century On, Greenland Authorities Still Waiting for US to Do Something About Missing H-Bomb

Greenland, the autonomous island territory within the Kingdom of Denmark, made international news last summer after US President Donald Trump publicly hinted US interest at buying the island, an idea which Copenhagen dismissed as “absurd.”

Unknown Viruses From Earth's Ancient Past Found in Tibetan Glacier

As our planet’s climate appears to be getting warmer, the melting of glaciers may potentially result in previously unknown pathogens that lay dormant in the ice being unleashed upon the world, scientists warn.

US Man Kills Pro-Trump Boss After Political Argument Along Florida Highway

Mason Toney, 28, was charged with first-degree murder after allegedly killing William Knight on Monday in Orlando, Florida, over a difference in political views.

Brexit Bill Clears UK Parliament, Set to Become Law After Royal Assent

The Brexit Bill, officially known as the EU Withdrawal Agreement Bill, ensures that the UK leaves the EU on 31 January with a deal.

Why is OPCW Ignoring Facts About 'Chemical Attack' in Syrian Douma?

Russia calls for a briefing under the auspices of the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) to reach a consensus conclusion on the April 2018 incident in the Syrian Douma, Russia's Permanent Representative to the OPCW Alexander Shulgin said on Monday at the UN headquarters in New York.

UN Chief Calls on States to Ensure NPT Treaty’s Ability in 2020 to Prevent Nuclear War

UNITED NATIONS (Sputnik) - UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres on Wednesday called on all state-parties to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT) to guarantee at the Review Conference this year that the accord is able to prevent nuclear war and facilitate global disarmament.

Twitterians in Shock After Leadership Hopeful Lisa Nandy Receives Chinese For Labour Endorsement

Labour leadership hopeful Lisa Nandy is hoping to secure enough support from unions and affiliates to make her way to the top job. Centring on campaign on the appeal of being able to reconnect with the party's heartlands which it lost in the December 2019 general eelction.

'Why Are You There, Princess?': Ivanka Trump Bashed Online Over Her Actions at Davos Forum

While some netizens wondered aloud whether Ivanka should’ve attended the conference in the first place, there were also those who praised her conduct.

Day 1 of Opening Arguments in Donald Trump Impeachment Trial - Video

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell gave both Democrats and Republicans 24 hours each over three days to make their opening arguments.

Moody’s Believes Russia’s Economic Policy Will Remain Unchanged Despite Government Shuffle

The government of Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev resigned last week, immediately following President Putin’s address to the Federal Assembly. The new cabinet of Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin was appointed Tuesday, with most of the previous government’s economic bloc retaining its seats.

UK May Lose Access to Single Market if it Drops EU Regulations, European Commission President Says

As the United Kingdom is set to withdraw from the European Union at the end of January, the two will enter into a phase of negotiations to establish a new trading relationship.

Macron Snaps, Yells at Israeli Police During Jerusalem Visit – Video

France’s head of state is just one of dozens of foreign leaders visiting Israel for a two-day event commemorating the Holocaust and the 75th anniversary of the liberation of the Auschwitz death camp.

Protests Continue in Beirut After New Government Formed - Video

Beirut has been engulfed in protests over the poor economic situation and endemic corruption since October 2019. The protests were initially caused by a new tax on calls made using WhatsApp, a measure the government believed would help tackle the country's high public debt.

UK Competition Authority Opens Consultation Over Daily Mail Merger with JPI Media

Last year, Daily Mail and General Trust plc bought JPI Media Publications ltd, one of the largest multi-media corporations in the UK. On 21 January the Minister for Culture and Media triggered an inquiry into the merger on the basis that there may be “public interest considerations” regarding “sufficient plurality of viewpoints” in the UK press.

Iraqi President Barham Salih Addresses World Economic Forum in Davos - Video

The World Economic Forum (WEF) is taking place in Davos, Switzerland, from 21 to 24 January. It brings together world leaders and major businesses to discuss the most pressing economic issues on the global agenda.

Israel's ex-Ambassador to Russia: Common Interests Not Enough to Replace Washington as Main Ally

Out of more than 45 leaders who will attend the 5th Holocaust Forum, scheduled for Thursday in Jerusalem, the Israeli press has been focusing one in particular - Russia's President Vladimir Putin.

Cop Gets 4 Years in Prison for Urinating on Little Girl, Filming It, Trying to Kidnap Her

Par Matt Agorist
girlAn innocent little girl went from being excited about school to drawing pictures of suicide after this cop horrifically abuse her.

Don’t lock him up! Trump says (Bill) Clinton ‘shouldn’t have been impeached’

Par RT

US President Donald Trump has come out with a surprising defense of his fellow impeached president, Bill Clinton, claiming he has always thought the former leader “should not have been impeached.”

In between repeatedly defending himself as “the only one who’s ever been impeached and he didn’t commit a crime,” Trump spoke up in Clinton’s defense, arguing that the former president should not have been impeached in 1998 either.

I think,

"Bill Clinton should have not been impeached."

"With me there's no, lying, no crime"

Donald Trump talks about his impeachment. pic.twitter.com/rePv3IDGsI

— Global Politics🌏 (@Globalpoliticss) January 22, 2020

What he did was nothing good – there was a lot of lying going on – but with me, there’s no lying, no nothing, they don’t even have a crime,” Trump said during the World Economic Forum on Wednesday. He insisted he was merely “sticking up for Clinton” when he called independent counsel Ken Starr, who led the investigation of the former Arkansas governor, a “lunatic.”

His opinion of Starr has changed since meeting the lawyer – “a terrific man” who joined his own legal team earlier this month – but Trump insisted his thoughts on Clinton have remained the same, apparently unswayed by his bitter 2016 presidential contest with the former president’s wife. Clinton was ultimately impeached for lying under oath and obstruction of justice stemming from answers over his extramarital affair with intern Monica Lewinsky. While two other articles of impeachment were brought, including abuse of power, they did not pass the House. The Senate ultimately acquitted Clinton of both articles of impeachment in 1999, allowing him to finish his second term in office.

A handful of the starring figures in Trump’s impeachment were present during Clinton’s, often with dramatically different takes on the subject based on their party loyalties. When South Carolina Senator Lindsey Graham (R) tried the House’s case against Clinton in 1998, he claimed a president need not even commit a crime to be impeached, a view he had completely reversed by 2020. Meanwhile, House Judiciary Committee head Jerry Nadler (D-New York) went from believing in 1998 that both parties must support impeachment or it lacks legitimacy – and calling Clinton’s impeachment a partisan “lynching” – to enthusiastically supporting the partisan proceedings now unfolding against Trump.

Also on rt.com
© Reuters / Handout
Trump lawyers & intel committee head Schiff accuse each other of obstructing as Senate impeachment trial begins

Trump was impeached earlier this month by the Democrat-controlled House for abuse of power and obstruction of Congress relating to his allegedly withholding military aid to Ukraine to compel prosecutors to reopen an investigation into a natural gas firm linked to his chief Democratic rival Joe Biden. The Senate impeachment trial officially began Wednesday after an onerous 12-hour debate over ground rules for the proceedings.

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  • 22 janvier 2020 à 19:44

UK’s House of Lords passes Withdrawal Agreement to allow Brexit by end of January

Par RT

Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s Brexit bill has cleared its final parliamentary hurdle after Britain’s upper house of parliament passed the legislation on Wednesday.

The move comes some three and a half years after the referendum in which a narrow majority voted for the UK to leave the EU, having joined in 1973. The referendum sparked a tumultuous period in British politics including the resignations of two Tory prime ministers and two general elections.

Earlier on Wednesday, the House of Commons overturned changes made to the legislation by the House of Lords which would have included protections for child refugees following Britain’s exit from the EU. The House of Lords later passed the legislation without pushing the proposed changes. 

The bill now just needs Royal assent from the British monarch before passing into law.

Also on rt.com
© AFP / Adrian DENNIS
Want a free trade deal with the US? Then align with Washington not Brussels on foreign policy, former Trump aide tells BoJo

The UK has been granted a number of extensions to the initial Brexit deadline of March 29, 2019 by EU chiefs after a series of failures by both Johnson and his predecessor Theresa May to pass the negotiated agreement through parliament. Withdrawal agreement legislation was finally passed by the House of Commons following the Conservative Party's election success in December in which the Tories secured parliamentary majority.

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  • 22 janvier 2020 à 19:38

The thin line between fashion & bad taste: Most bizarre figure skating costumes of all time (PHOTOS, VIDEO)

Par RT

With the great variety of programs staged in figure skating, athletes’ scrupulously chosen outfits are an inseparable part of the image they try to portray on the ice. But sometimes their fashion choices leave fans astonished.

RT Sport recalls the most bizarre figure skating outfits which either spiced up or completely ruined their programs, making them literally unforgettable in every sense.

OKSANA DOMNINA AND MAXIM SHABALIN: ABORIGINAL COSTUMES

Oksana Domnina and Maxim Shabalin were one of the most remarkable ice-dancing duets of Russia, with memorable routines and perfectly matched music being their forte.

Oksana Domnina and Maxim Shabalin © Sputnik / Vladimir Baranov

But in 2010, the pair’s desire to create something unusual ended up embroiling them in an international scandal.

The skaters chose an aboriginal theme for their Olympic routine, which triggered criticism from Aboriginal Australians.

Oksana Domnina and Maxim Shabalin © Sputnik / Vladimir Baranov

The pair’s bright red loincloths, brown bodysuits, and eucalyptus leaves were deemed offensive and lacking in authenticity.

Responding to the criticism, Shabalin stressed that the program was inspired by the world’s aboriginal cultures, not Australia’s in particular.

BETINA POPOVA AND SERGEY MOZGOV: POWER RANGERS FASHION

Arguably the most extravagant duet in Russian figure skating, Betina Popova and Sergey Mozgov haven’t yet won international awards, but have made the entire figure skating community discuss their eye-catching routines.

Betina Popova and Sergey Mozgov © Sputnik / Alexei Danichev

Last season, they amazed fans with their costume choice, appearing in tight-fitting bodysuits which covered them from head to toe.

Skating to the music from martial arts fantasy ‘Mortal Kombat’, they imitated a fight on the rink, sending the crowd into frenzy.

The pair failed to qualify for the national team this year due to health problems.


EVGENI PLUSHENKO: SEX BOMB

Two-time Olympic champion from Russia Evgeni Plushenko is not only remembered for his incredible figure skating skills, but also for his unique artistry and acting talent, which sometimes perhaps even deserved an Oscar nomination.

Along with multiple exhibition routines created by the skating master, ‘Sex Bomb’ stands apart as one of the most popular routines in the sport’s history.

Performed in the 2000-2001 season, the dynamic program saw Plushenko slowly stripping, revealing his specially-made muscular suit underneath.

The routine became an international hit, with Plushenko’s fame rivalling that of the original performer of the song, Tom Jones.

Núnca me cansaré del Sex bomb de Plushenko 🙄 pic.twitter.com/L6UyjNN5xx

— Dulce no tan dulce- (@Dulce3pm) June 12, 2017

Even after his retirement, Plushenko still shows off the routine on figure skating tours, but now he is accompanied by his son Alexander, who has also embarked on a figure skating career.

KATARINA WITT: DRESS CODE CHANGER 

Figure skating legend Katarina Witt, who dominated women’s skating in the 1980s, dictated her own rules on and off the rink, forcing the ISU to change the dress code requirements.

Competing at the 1988 Olympics in Calgary, the skating diva donned a blue body-hugging outfit with feathers instead of a skirt, which barely covered her bottom.

Following her tremendous performance, which brought the East German skater her second Olympic gold, the ISU introduced ‘the Katarina Rule’, which requires all female competitors to have a skirt covering their hips and buttocks.

ELIZAVETA TUKTAMYSHEVA: ‘STRIPTEASE TREND’

Russian figure skater Elizaveta Tuktamysheva launched the ‘striptease trend’ last season, stealing the show at the Skate Canada Grand Prix by putting on a racy performance to the tune of Britney Spears’ ‘Toxic’.

Elizaveta Tuktamysheva © AFP/ GEOFF ROBINS

The skater stripped off her flight attendant jacket during the gala show, showing off her black lingerie, a move that generated a lot of discussion after the performance.

Tuktamysheva’s raunchy dance was a huge hit on social media, inspiring other skaters to try out new risqué routines along with provocative outfits which made their performances highly memorable, especially among male fans.

Elizaveta Tuktamysheva © Sputnik / Alexander Vilf

ANTON SHULEPOV: AUSCHWITZ-THEMED UNIFORM

Russian male figure skater Anton Shulepov found himself at the center of a scandal this season after his Auschwitz-themed outfit was included in the list of best costume award nominees.

The 23-year-old staged an emotional free-program set to music from the movie Schindler’s List. He chose a costume that included elements of a Nazi guard uniform and a concentration camp prisoner’s outfit.

Anton Shulepov © AFP / JUNKO KIMURA-MATSUMOTO

Shulepov’s costume design provoked outrage among figure skating fans who considered his style to be offensive.

Along with a striped uniform worn by concentration camp prisoners, Shulepov’s costume also had a Yellow Star of David, a badge that was used to identify Jews during the Nazi era.

The Russian figure skater Anton Shulepov wore a costume that was half Nazi guard uniform and half Jewish Holocaust inmate uniform.

I humbly nominate this photo as the mascot of the "both sides" brigade. pic.twitter.com/ILSvJr7CGE

— Alex (@JewishWonk) December 2, 2019

After an avalanche of complaints, the International Skating Union removed Shulepov’s costume from the list of nominees.  

EKATERINA RUBLEVA: EMBARASSING WARDROBE MALFUNCTION

Russian ice dancer Ekaterina Rubleva made headlines in 2009 when her dress tore midway through her performance at the European Figure Skating Championships.

Rubleva and her partner Ivan Shefer were demonstrating their compulsory dance when a strap on the skater’s backless pink dress unexpectedly broke, exposing her right breast.

Ekaterina Rubleva of Russia loses her top © REUTERS / Johannes Eisele

The mishap didn’t prevent them from finishing the routine, though Rubleva did become that day’s top news story from the event.

SARA HURTADO AND ADRIAN DIAZ: INSPIRED BY PICASSO 

Spanish ice dancers Sara Hurtado and Adrian Diaz staged a Picasso-themed program while competing at the 2014 Olympics in Sochi.

The first Spanish pair to qualify for the Olympics paid tribute to the renowned artist, with Hurtado’s dress including several of his masterpieces in its design.

Sara Hurtado and Adrian Diaz © AFP / Damien Meyer

The duo, who interpreted the love story between Picasso and Dora Maar, mesmerized the Russian audience, who responded with thunderous applause.

Despite achieving success on the international stage, the pair parted company in 2016, and Hurtado teamed up with former Russian skater Kirill Khaliavin, who now represents Spain.

Sara Hurtado and Adrian Diaz © AFP / Damien Meyer

  • 22 janvier 2020 à 19:16

#MeToo setback: French court finds assault accuser guilty of defamation

Par RT

French author Ariane Fornia has been found guilty of defamation, after a former government minister challenged her claim of sexual assault. The verdict is another blow for the #MeToo movement in France.

A Paris court ordered Fornia, the daughter of former minister Eric Besson, to pay a symbolic one euro in damages and 3,000 euros in legal fees to Pierre Joxe, a former socialist minister who Fornia defamed with an allegation of sexual assault.

In 2017, Fornia accused Joxe – now 85 – of sexually assaulting her during an opera performance in Paris seven years earlier. She did not make an official complaint, but wrote about the encounter in a blog post, describing how “He slides his hand inside my thigh, goes up to my crotch...I utter a cry of muffled indignation. Ten minutes later, he starts again.”

Poursuivie en diffamation par Pierre Joxe, Ariane Fornia fixée sur son sort ce mercredi #Société https://t.co/3t0H8LPODP

— Le Figaro (@Le_Figaro) January 22, 2020

Fornia’s accusation made national news, coming at the height of the MeToo movement. The same year, the New York Times reported that more than a dozen women accused film mogul Harvey Weinstein of assault, harassment and rape, and the hashtag #MeToo became a rallying call for a national outcry against similar stories of male misbehaviour, from the benign to the illegal and morally repugnant.

Joxe has been accused of sexual impropriety by more than one woman, but outright denies all the charges. He mounted the case against Fornia in 2018, after the author refused to retract her accusation and issue him an apology.

Also on rt.com
Weinstein (center) - truly diminished, or playing a role? © Reuters / Eduardo Munoz
As Harvey Weinstein trial begins, Hollywood dutifully feigns the outrage it kept quiet for the years he operated

The court’s decision is the latest blow for the MeToo movement in France, where it is more commonly referred to as the ‘#BalanceTonPorc’ or ‘Rat on your Pig’ campaign. The campaign’s French originator, Sandra Muller, was found guilty of defamation in September, when a court ordered her to pay €15,000 euros in damages and another €5,000 in legal fees to a television executive she claimed sexually harassed her at a cocktail party in 2012.

The executive, Eric Brion, admitted that he had come on to Muller at the party, but outright denied the charge of harassment and said he backed off when he realized Muller was uninterested in his advances. His lawyers told the court that he had simply exercised “his right to flirt.”

The Muller case threw the MeToo campaign into an unflattering spotlight in France. In an open letter published in the newspaper Le Monde, a hundred prominent French women, including actress Catherine Deneuve, called its supporters “puritans,” and argued that prosecuting men for minor indiscretions robs them of their “indispensable freedom” to play the game of seduction.

Also on rt.com
The "MeToo" campaign has seemingly spread to all the levels of the western society, including the European Parliament.
French #MeToo trial shows there is no winner in the battle of the sexes

The movement has not been criticized in the US as extensively as it has in France. As Deneuve’s letter made front-page news in France, actress and Weinstein accuser Asia Argento claimed that its authors had been “lobotomized” by their “interiorized misogyny.” 

Later that year in Washington, multiple unfounded accounts of sexual assault would be used by politicians, pundits and celebrities in an attempt to derail the confirmation of Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh.

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  • 22 janvier 2020 à 19:01

UD Ibiza vs Barcelona: Five reasons why Barca could suffer an upset against the team on the party island in the Copa del Rey

Par RT

Barcelona will be without Lionel Messi in their second match under new coach Quique Setien away to high-flying 3rd-tier team playing on an artificial pitch on an island. Here are five reasons why Ibiza will be no party.

The match is being played on artificial turf

Far from the home comforts of Camp Nou, Ibiza play on a latest generation artificial pitch. This synthetic style of pitch has drawn criticism from some coaches and purists, but is ideal for clubs that need an ultra-reliable surface in all weather conditions and want to let other clubs use their ground, which can be valuable in providing added revenue.

🔢👕 All set and ready to perfection in our dressing room! 💪👊🐂

📢 ¡VAMOS IBIZA! 📢

#IbizaBarça 🏆#CopaDelRey#VamosIbiza 💙 #IAMIBIZA pic.twitter.com/Qcb2U0sg1t

— UD Ibiza English (@ibizaud_en) January 22, 2020

“They won’t be used to the artificial surface,” reckons veteran striker and winger Sergio Cirio, a prolific threat who has a strike rate of almost a goal every other game since joining the club in 2017.

"We have to try to use that. We have to approach the games as we do in the league and try to use the home ground advantage and make life really hard for them.”

Star players are missing and a replay cannot save them

Lionel Messi and Gerard Pique have not travelled with Barca and Sergio Busquets is suspended. They won’t be able to rely on Busquets being back for a replay, either, as the format of the Copa del Rey has changed this season so that ties take place over a single leg.

That means, as Setien put it in Barca's official match preview“there will be no room for errors.” “The conditions won’t be what we are used to,” accepts the new coach.

“In the long term, this format is good because it means fewer matches, but these games are potential banana skins. Two legs would be better for us.”

Barca do, however, still arrive with a strong squad, including the likes of youngsters Carles Perez and Ansu Fati, who have shown they can hurt teams at a much higher level with mature performances in this season’s Champions League, where the latter this season became the tournament's youngest ever scorer.

Ibiza are flying high and have already caused an upset

Third in Segunda Division B with a nine-point gap over fourth-placed Pena Deportiva, Ibiza have lost just once in their last dozen matches and are nine without defeat.

In their last Copa del Rey match, they beat Albacete - the club against whom Messi scored his first goal for Barca - 5-3 on penalties following a 1-1 draw at the Estadi Municipal de Can Misses.

Also on rt.com
© Global Look Press / Imago-images
Return their fabled attacking flair, cure away-day woes – Quique Setien’s five major challenges as new Barcelona boss

“We were able to beat a side from the second division,” says coach Pablo Alfaro. “They are not on the level of Barcelona, obviously, but they are a side that competes at a higher level than we do.”

The home side enter off the back of two 1-0 wins. Rather than dealing an unwelcome distraction to the squad, Ibiza’s players were determined to do well in the pair of Segunda B matches preceding their brush with superstars.

“When we were drawn against Barcelona, we knew that we still had two league matches to go before the game,” says Cirio.

“So we focused on those games first and achieved our aim by taking six points.”

They face opponents with momentum and massive motivation

Winger and defender Kike Lopez has no doubt that the hosts will arrive more determined than Barca.

“Look, in terms of enthusiasm and being pumped up for the game, they won’t beat us,” points out the 32-year-old, who came through Real Valladolid's youth system and has spent much of his career in Division B.

Also on rt.com
© Global Look Press
'Leo has everything, he didn't need anything from me' – Ronaldinho on Lionel Messi

“I’m convinced of that. We will try to play our style of football, try to put on a near-perfect performance and hope that it won’t be their day.

"There are a number of factors that have to come together but our aim is to compete at the maximum level possible.”

Alfaro has given an insight into his players’ thinking. “I believe that we would never forgive ourselves if we didn’t give 100 percent of our abilities and didn’t give everything we can. Our side tomorrow will be the best we can put out.”

The fans and atmosphere will galvanize Ibiza

The sold-out Can Misses has increased its capacity by almost 2,000 to just shy of 6,500 for Barca’s visit, bringing in one of the DJs the island is known for, Manu Gonzalez, on a special night for a club that was only formed in its current guise in 2015.

“The whole island is behind us, so that’s a big plus for us,” points out Cirio. “It’s our excitement and duty to make sure that all the excitement is not in vain and wasted.”

Also on rt.com
© ZUMAPRESS.com / Global Look Press
Messi: My rivalry with Ronaldo 'will be remembered forever'

Hundreds of children from football clubs all around the island were invited to their last cup win. “The atmosphere against Albecete was electric so you can imagine what will happen against Barcelona,” warns Alfaro.

“We will try to keep the flame alive the way we lit it the other day. That’s our intention.

"We have nothing to lose - we can only win, whatever the result will be.”

  • 22 janvier 2020 à 18:45

Five Star leader Di Maio steps down as shaky Italian coalition seeks to avoid snap election

Par RT

Luigi Di Maio has resigned as leader of the anti-establishment Five Star Movement in a step that will shake up Italian politics and prompt fears of a snap election after months of internal party dissent and coalition infighting.

“It is time to rebuild,” Di Maio said in a speech in Rome confirming his departure as M5s leader. He added that he had worked to grow the movement “and protect it from the profiteers and traps along the way,” but “I have completed my task” and others must now step in to take on the role. 

Despite his resignation, Di Maio insisted he remains fully committed to the party, and said the government “must go on” and have time to fix “the mess made by those who governed for 30 years before.”

Earlier, ministers of the co-governing Five Star Movement (M5S) met to discuss strategy ahead of crucial regional elections in Emilia Romagna and Calabria, where the party is expected to face defeat to the right-wing League party led by Matteo Salvini.

The 33-year-old insurgent politician is expected to remain on as foreign minister for the coalition government which looks to be on increasingly shaky ground. 

M5S won more than a third of the vote in national elections in 2018, allowing it to enter into a rocky coalition government with Salvini’s League, but Di Maio’s popularity has been waning since then. 

He regularly clashed with Salvini, who ultimately left government leaving Di Maio to form an alternative and similarly uncomfortable coalition with the centre-left Democratic Party (PD) — a move intended to avoid snap elections which Salvini had hoped to use to capitalize on the League’s rising support.

Also on rt.com
League party leader Matteo Salvini welcomes former Italian PM Silvio Berlusconi on stage during an anti-government demonstration in Rome, Italy, October 19, 2019. © Reuters / Remo Casilli
Salvini’s euroskeptic League party triumphs in local vote

Recent polls put M5S at around 16 percent and lawmakers have been abandoning the party in their droves. More than 30 have left Five Star’s parliamentary group since the government was formed in September, with some leaving voluntarily and others being expelled — and many of those who remain have been eager for a change in leadership and worried about a party split. Meanwhile, the League is polling at around 31 percent, while PD is polling at 19 percent and warning its coalition partner to get its act together.

Di Maio was criticized by the M5S founder for seeming to pick fights with his coalition partners, Bloomberg reported. He has also been criticized for taking on too much by attempting to fulfill the roles of foreign minister and party leader simultaneously.

During his speech on Wednesday evening, Di Maio confirmed that Vito Crimi, head of the internal rules committee, will stand in as caretaker leader until a new leader is chosen in the coming months.

The ruling M5S and PD will now seek to avoid a coalition collapse, as a snap election triggered by Di Maio’s departure could ultimately see Salvini’s League sweep to victory and into power.

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  • 22 janvier 2020 à 18:39

ICYMI: Trump takes on Greta in Davos – suspicious optimism v warnings of apocalypse

Par RT

The one percent gathering in Davos for their annual celebration of being wealthy have been treated to some top end entertainment in the Swiss mountains – front row seats for Donald Trump versus Greta Thunberg.

The two heavyweights of the environmental debate brought their divergent views with them:  the suspicious optimism of Trump that the world isn’t about to burst into flames, and the apocalyptic warnings of Greta that it has already reached boiling point.

ICYMI’s Rite On takes a look at the two messages.

For more, follow #ICYMI on FacebookTwitterInstagram and YouTube.

  • 22 janvier 2020 à 18:25

Scientists find Earth’s oldest asteroid crater from 2.229 BILLION years ago which ‘may have ended an ice age’

Par RT

An innocuous crater in Yarrabubba, Western Australia has been identified as the oldest known extraterrestrial impact site on Earth, with researchers calculating that the natural structure dates back a whopping 2.229 billion years.

Researchers from Curtin University tested minerals found in rocks at the site. The zircon and monazite crystals in the rocks themselves contain tiny amounts of uranium, and by measuring the uranium's very specifically-timed decay into lead, the team was able to calculate exactly how old the crater is.

© NASA

The 70 kilometer (43 miles) diameter crater was actually discovered in the outback in 1979, with scientists mapping the area's magnetic field to determine the exact extent of the weather-worn structure. The recent mineral analysis means the site is now believed to be at least 200 million years older than the next oldest alien impact – the Vredefort dome in South Africa.

The impact was so powerful it may have knocked our planet out of one of its ‘Snowball Earth’ periods prior to the strike. 

“The age of the [crater] corresponds pretty precisely with the end of a potential global glacial period,” lead researcher Christopher Kirkland said. “So the impact may have had significant changes to our planetary climate.”

Also on rt.com
Illustration © Pixabay / Alexander Antropov
Australian desert FIREBALL may actually have been ‘MINIMOON,’ say scientists

The team calculated that the space rock struck a kilometers-thick ice sheet, releasing huge amounts of water vapor into the atmosphere and adding to the planet's warming during the Proterozoic era, long before complex life had formed on the planet. 

“Obviously we were very excited just with the age itself,” Kirkland added. “But placing that right with the context of Earth's other events makes it become really very interesting.”

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  • 22 janvier 2020 à 18:12
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