Six In The Morning Thursday 25 July 2019

Democrats plot post-Mueller plans without clear path to impeachment

Updated 0629 GMT (1429 HKT) July 25, 2019

After being built up for months, former special counsel Robert Mueller’s highly anticipated testimony Wednesday does not appear to be the turning point that will take Democrats — and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi — down a path toward impeachment.

That doesn’t mean impeachment is off the table. House Democrats are now pivoting to their court cases in an effort to obtain the special counsel’s grand jury evidence and force Mueller’s key witnesses to testify, which they say will give them the information they need to make a decision on impeachment.
But Democrats ahead of the hearing had hoped that Mueller would bring his report to life — that even if he stayed within the confines of the report, he would help illustrate to the public the misconduct the investigation had documented. Instead, Mueller’s constant one-word responses and decision not to engage on a multitude of issues even within in the report prompted Trump and Republicans to declare victory Wednesday and call for Democrats to move on.

‘All Hong Kongers are scared’: protests to widen as rural residents fight back

Sleepy town of Yuen Long becomes battleground after suspected gangster attack on commuters

Yuen Long, a quiet residential area close to the Chinese border, has become the unlikely next battleground of Hong Kong’s protest movement.

Over the last seven weeks, demonstrators have planned rallies across the territory – in parks, along main roads, in the airport and outside government offices – calling for the withdrawal of an extradition bill and making other political demands. But Yuen Long, known as one of the more remote, isolated areas in the north-west, had never been on the agenda.

On Sunday that changed. Commuters returning from dinner, going to meet friends or some coming back from the pro-democracy rally in central Hong Kong, pulled into the mass transit station to find dozens of men in white T-shirts waiting for them. They were masked, armed with rattan rods and other weapons.

Inside the hunt for Iraq’s looted treasures

Decades of war and instability made Iraq a thief’s paradise. Richard Hall meets the archaeologists fighting to retrieve their country’s treasure

Deep in the back offices of Iraq’s National Museum in Baghdad, at the end of a long corridor set away from the Babylonian obelisks and Assyrian winged bulls, an international treasure hunt is under way.

Wafaa Hassan is sitting at her desk, poring over a large stack of papers, sighing as she turns each page. She holds in her hands a catalogue of ancient relics that were originally discovered in Iraq, and are now scattered across the world.

“They are in the US, Britain, Switzerland, Lebanon, the UAE, Spain, everywhere,” she says. “They belong to us, and we are trying very hard to get them all back.”

Germany’s Muslims demand better protection amid increased threats

Germany’s Muslims feel increasingly threatened after a number of recent bomb scares at mosques. Now, the heads of the country’s leading Muslim associations want the government to take protective action.

In July alone, bomb threats have been made on mosques in the cities of Iserlohn, Villingen-Schwenningen and Munich, along with Cologne’s Central Mosque — the largest Muslim place of worship in Germany. In recent days, similar threats have been made on mosques in Duisburg, Mannheim and Mainz.

Enough is enough, says 49-year-old lawyer Nurhat Soykan, the spokeswoman for Germany’s Coordination Council of Muslims. The organization was established in 2007 as a platform to bring together Germany’s four major Islamic organizations: the Central Council of Muslims in Germany, the Turkish-Islamic Union for Religious Affairs (known as DITIB), the Islamic Council for the Federal Republic of Germany and the Association of Islamic Cultural Centers.

Puerto Rico governor announces resignation after mass protests

Ricardo Rossello says he will resign on August 2 amid public anger over obscenity-laced text messages.

Puerto Rico‘s embattled Governor Ricardo Rossello has announced he will resign after nearly two weeks of mass protests triggered by a leak of crude and insulting chat messages between him and his top advisers.

A crowd of thousands outside the governor’s mansion in San Juan erupted into cheers and singing after Rossello’s announcement late on Wednesday.

“I announce that I will be resigning from the governor’s post effective Friday, August 2 at 5 pm,” Rossello said in the video posted on Facebook. The protesters’ demands “have been overwhelming”, he said, adding: “And I’ve received them with highest degree of humility.”

Why Native Hawaiians are fighting to protect Maunakea from a telescope

The mountain is among the most sacred sites in Hawaiian cosmology.


On the morning of July 15 — the day Hawaii Gov. David Ige said construction would begin for the controversial Thirty Meter Telescope (TMT) project on the Big Island — a line of elders, known as kūpuna, positioned themselves in the roadway leading up to the summit of Maunakea. Each elder was assigned a caretaker to tend to their health and nutritional needs while they awaited and blocked access to the construction trucks. Farther up the road, a group of seven Native Hawaiian protectors chained themselves to a cattle guard as a second line of defense in case law enforcement arrested the kūpuna.

The group’s first and second days on Maunakea, among the most sacred sites in Hawaiian cosmology, ended without incident. But arrests began on the morning of July 17. Despite pleas from younger activists to protect the kūpuna, the elders insisted on remaining on the front line and being the first arrested, asking the younger protectors to stand down and remain silent while they were taken.