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Constitutional expert: McConnell’s ‘perversion’ of Senate rules is ‘dangerous step toward autocracy’

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Laurence Tribe, a professor of constitutional law at Harvard University, warned on Wednesday that the U.S. was heading down a slippery slope toward autocracy after Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) used Senate rules to silence Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA).

During a Senate debate over Jeff Sessions’ confirmation for attorney general Wednesday night, McConnell invoked Senate Rule 19 to silence Warren while she was reading a letter written by the widow of Martin Luther King, Coretta Scott King, about Sessions 30 years ago. The rule says senators cannot “directly or indirectly, by any form of words impute to another Senator or to other Senators any conduct or motive unworthy or unbecoming a Senator.”

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On Wednesday, Tribe suggested that the incident was a troubling sign for democracy.

“When Trump equates our errors with how Putin deals with political opponents, we should reflect on how Sen. Warren’s critique of Jeff Sessions would go down in Putin’s Russia,” Tribe wrote on Twitter. “Then reflect on how McConnell’s outrageous silencing of Warren takes us a dangerous step toward autocracy and a society we won’t recognize unless we stop this scary slide down a very slippery slope.”

He added: “Applying Senate Rule 19 to prevent a Senator from impugning the character of a fellow Senator who is up for confirmation as AG is a perversion of Rule 19, an abdication of the Senate’s Advise & Consent duty, and a threat to DOJ’s role in enforcing the rule of law.”


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Swiss holding ‘funeral march’ to mark disappearance of an Alpine glacier

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Dozens of people will undertake a "funeral march" up a steep Swiss mountainside on Sunday to mark the disappearance of an Alpine glacier amid growing global alarm over climate change.

The Pizol "has lost so much substance that from a scientific perspective it is no longer a glacier," Alessandra Degiacomi, of the Swiss Association for Climate Protection, told AFP.

The organisation which helped organise Sunday's march said around 100 people were due to take part in the event, set to take place as the UN gathers youth activists and world leaders in New York to mull the action needed to curb global warming.

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2020 Election

UAW strike ‘threatens to upend the economy in Michigan’ — and could destroy Trump’s re-election: report

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At the end of the first week of a major strike by the United Auto Workers, the employment standoff threatens to upend President Donald Trump's 2020 re-election map, the Chicago Times reported Saturday.

Approximately 46,000 workers have been striking against General Motors.

There are two major threats to Trump's campaign from the strike.

The first is that the strike could cause regional recessions -- threatening Trump's political standing in key Rust Belt states.

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Security forces fired live rounds at protesters calling for the ouster of Egyptian president: report

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Egyptian security forces clashed with hundreds of anti-government protesters in the port city of Suez on Saturday, firing tear gas and live rounds, said several residents who participated in the demonstrations.

A heavy security presence was also maintained in Cairo's Tahrir Square, the epicentre of Egypt's 2011 revolution, after protests in several cities called for the removal of general-turned-president Abdel Fattah al-Sisi.

Such demonstrations are rare after Egypt effectively banned protests under a law passed following the 2013 military ouster of Islamist ex-president Mohamed Morsi.

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