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Jared Kushner heading to the Middle East for talks

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Jared Kushner will return to the Middle East later this month as he pushes his controversial plan for peace between Israel and the Palestinians, a senior official in President Donald Trump’s administration said Sunday.

“Kushner will travel to the region at the end of July for discussions to continue the momentum of the successful Bahrain workshop on the economic plan,” the official said on condition of anonymity.

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The official did not give details on an itinerary for Kushner, who is Trump’s son-in-law, but on previous trips he has visited Israel as well as Saudi Arabia and Jordan.

He will be accompanied by White House advisor Jason Greenblatt and US envoy for Iran Brian Hook, the official said.

The trip will come around a month after Kushner convened an economic workshop in Bahrain that dangled the prospect of $50 billion in investment under a peace deal.

But the Palestinian Authority boycotted the “Peace to Prosperity” workshop, accusing the unabashedly pro-Israel Trump of using the prospect of cash to try to impose political solutions, and of ignoring the fundamental issue of Israeli occupation.

Trump took the landmark step of recognizing bitterly disputed Jerusalem as Israel’s capital and Kushner, a family friend of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, has suggested that his plan would not mention a Palestinian state, a longtime goal of US diplomacy.

Kushner’s trip also comes amid heightened tensions between Tehran and Washington, which withdrew last year from a deal aimed at curbing Iran’s nuclear program and has imposed punishing sanctions on the country.

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The US said it shot down an Iranian drone on July 18 and has accused Tehran of multiple attacks on tanker ships, while the Islamic republic downed an American drone last month.


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Two impeachment articles expected against President Trump: reports

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Democrats are expected to announce on Tuesday two articles of impeachment against Donald Trump, US media reported Monday evening, after laying out their case at a hearing against a president they branded a "clear and present danger" to national security.

The articles will focus on abuse of power and obstruction of Congress, The Washington Post said, citing three official familiar with the matter.

It added that the full House of Representatives would vote on the articles next week, ahead of a trial in the Senate.

CNN said a third article on obstruction of justice was still being debated, and the network's sources cautioned that plans were still being finalized.

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Ambassador McFaul ‘shocked’ Trump invited Sergey Lavrov back to the Oval Office: ‘What are they thinking?’

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Former Ambassador to Russia Michael McFaul repeatedly said he was shocked that President Donald Trump will meet with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov on Tuesday.

McFaul was interviewed Monday evening by Lawrence O'Donnell on MSNBC "The Last Word," where he contrasted how Trump is treating the Russian government of President Vladimir Putin to the Ukrainian government of President Volodymyr Zelensky.

"Ambassador McFaul, I want to get your reaction to the Russian foreign minister meeting tomorrow at the White House, in the Oval Office, with President Trump," O'Donnell said. "That's his second time. President Zelinsky still hasn't gotten that meeting and Donald trump apparently, apparently may be voted articles of impeachment in committee this week because of his interactions with President Zelensky."

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House Judiciary to vote on Thursday to impeach Donald Trump: report

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Democrats are moving ahead with the impeachment of President Donald Trump following another day of testimony on Monday.

"House Democrats plan to unveil at least two articles of impeachment Tuesday, charging President Donald Trump with abuse of power and obstruction of Congress, according to multiple lawmakers and aides. The Judiciary Committee plans to vote on the articles on Thursday, setting up a vote on the House floor next week to make Trump the third president in history to be impeached," Politico reported Monday evening.

"Democratic leaders plan to formally announce the articles at a press conference Tuesday morning. Judiciary Committee Democrats intend to meet ahead of the announcement and review the articles," Politico reported. "The decision to move forward with specific impeachment charges is the most significant move yet for the year-old Democratic House majority, a legacy-defining moment for Speaker Nancy Pelosi that sets up a Senate trial for Trump in early 2020."

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