Trump in Trouble

Wednesday's testimony before the House Oversight Committee from Trump's former personal attorney, Michael Cohen, marks an important milestone in the fight over Trump's future.

To better understand the most divisive US political drama in decades, we divide the Trump investigation story into three broad phases:

1- Investigations

2- Accusations

3- Court Decisions

Phase one (investigations) continues. Special Counsel Robert Mueller continues to probe potential ties between the Trump presidential campaign and the Russian government. Federal prosecutors in New York appear to be looking closely at Trump's businesses. The House and Senate have ongoing investigations of their own.

But phase two (formal accusations) began this week, because Michael Cohen is the first person directly implicated in any Trump investigation to speak in public under oath. His appearance on Wednesday will add to the lengthening list of those that Democratic lawmakers will call to testify. Mueller will produce a report at some point, and federal prosecutors in the Southern District of New York will have announcements of their own. In this second phase, the drama will play in committee rooms in front of cameras, not simply behind closed doors.

We'll enter the third phase (court decisions) when attempts by Democrats to gain access to business records, including Trump's tax returns, and to subpoena testimony from members of Trump's family begin their journey through the courts.

This final phase, which will center on battles over the authority of the executive to resist the demands of Congress and lower courts, will test the independence and integrity of US political institutions and the courts like nothing we've seen in the modern era of American politics.

Bank of America CEO Brian Moynihan announced a $1 billion, four-year commitment of additional support to address economic and racial inequalities in our local communities that have been intensified by the global pandemic.

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Have you heard? The Republican president of the United States proposed a plan for "partial basic income" and his plan passed the House of Representatives. In 1969.

President's Nixon's plan, which he called "the most significant piece of social legislation in our nation's history," died in the Senate and never became law. It hasn't really made a comeback in the US. But the idea of "guaranteed basic income" is already back in the news in Europe, because income inequality — exacerbated by COVID-19 — will become increasingly hard for the world's political leaders to ignore.

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Poland's election set: After a grueling political fight between the far-right Law and Justice Party, which heads the government, and opposition parties on how and when to hold a presidential election during a global pandemic, Poland says the ballot will now go ahead on June 28. For the incumbent government, led by President Andrzej Duda, the election is a chance to further solidify its agenda of social conservatism and an alarming reworking of the country's democratic institutions. While April polls strongly favored Duda, the pandemic-induced economic crisis has dented his ratings in recent weeks, giving centrist candidates a slightly better chance to take the nation's top job. Indeed, in last year's election, the Law and Justice party won only a very shaky parliamentary majority and needs Duda to stay at the helm, not least in order to pass controversial judicial reforms that the EU has long-deemed as undemocratic.

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The coronavirus crisis has clobbered all European economies, but most have avoided a severe spike in unemployment. That's in part because of government programs that directly subsidize workers' wages while also incentivizing employers to keep workers on the payroll by reducing their hours. This approach has shielded much of Europe from the kind of unemployment calamity that's plaguing the United States, where the jobless rate has increased sixfold since January and is now more than double that of the Euro area. Here's a look at how European job markets have fared in the time of coronavirus.

As protests over the police killing of George Floyd raged across the country, there have been more than 125 instances of journalists being shot with rubber bullets by police, arrested, or in some cases assaulted by protesters while covering the unrest.

Foreign news crews from Germany and Australia have been caught up in the crackdown. Australia's Prime Minister has even called for an investigation. Some of these journalists have simply been caught in the crossfire during surges of unrest, but video and photographic evidence reveals cases where police have deliberately targeted reporters doing their jobs.

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