VOA news 2019-12-14

This is VOA news. I’m David Byrd.

The House Judiciary Committee voted Friday to send articles of impeachment against President Donald Trump to the full House. We get the details from AP’s Ben Thomas.

“For the third time in a little over a century and a half, the House Judiciary Committee has voted articles of impeachment against the president.”

Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerrold Nadler called it “a solemn and sad day.” President Trump used different but familiar words. “It’s a witch-hunt. It’s a sham. It’s a hoax.”

Speaking to reporters in the Oval Office, Trump said Democrats on the panel misquoted his request for a favor in his July phone call with Ukraine’s president.

“I kept saying ‘me.’ It was about me, it was us. The world was ‘us.'” That favor involved an investigation of Democrats and the Bidens.

Nadler says, “The House will act expeditiously.”

Ben Thomas, Washington.

The Supreme Court said Friday it will hear President Donald Trump’s pleas to keep his tax, bank and financial records private, a major confrontation between the president and the House that also could affect the 2020 campaign. AP’s Ed Donahue has more.

The president sued to stop banks and accounting firms from complying with subpoenas for his records from three committees in the House and Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance Jr. Vance wants eight years of tax returns as part of an ongoing criminal investigation of the president.

Arguments will take place in March, with decisions expected in June as Donald Trump is campaigning for a second term.

In three separate cases, the president has so far lost at every step, but the records have not been turned over pending a final court ruling.

A decision is up to the Supreme Court with two Trump appointees – Justices Neil Gorsuch and Brett Kavanaugh.

Ed Donahue, Washington.

For more on these stories and the rest of the day’s news, be sure to log on to our website This is VOA news.

The United States and China said Friday they have agreed on the text of the first phase of a trade deal that will avert further tariffs. VOA’s Steve Herman reports from the White House.

Trump calls the agreement “phenomenal,” telling reporters America’s farmers will have to buy larger tractors because agricultural purchases by China very soon will total $50 billion.

“It’s going to ultimately lead to the opening of China.”

Some Democratic lawmakers are criticizing the agreement, saying China is not making any hard commitments to structural reform.

Author and commentator Gordon Chang sees history repeating itself. “Here we go again. Trading real things for promises with Chinese will just dishonor.”

China’s government says Trump should now roll back some of the tariffs on $360 billion worth of Chinese goods.

Steve Herman, VOA news, at the White House.

Demonstrators took to the streets of central London Friday to protest results of Britain’s general election, which saw Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s Conservative Party win a sizable majority. We get more from Henry Ridgwell in London.

One by one, supposedly safe Labor seats fell. Boris Johnson’s mantra of “get Brexit done” broke through. His election gamble paid off.

In a victory speech, the prime minister said he would fulfil that central promise.

“We’ll get Brexit done on time by the 31st of January. No ifs, no buts, no maybes.”

For Labor, the results were a disaster. Leader Jeremy Corbyn said he would not lead the party into the next election. This was a thumping Conservative victory, but one confined mainly to England.

Boris Johnson seems certain to deliver Brexit. He may also be the last prime minister of a United Kingdom.

Henry Ridgwell, for VOA news, London.

Indian Muslims across the country took to the streets to protest against new citizenship laws. Ciara Lee reports.

Thousands of Indian Muslims took to the streets across the country on Friday as anger over new citizenship legislation grew.

Violent protests have erupted since the controversial law was passed by parliament earlier this week.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Hindu Nationalist government bill will allow citizenship for persecuted Hindus, Sikhs, Buddhists, Jains, Parsis and Christians who fled Muslim majority Pakistan, Bangladesh and Afghanistan before 2015.

The U.N. human rights office voiced concern over the law on Friday, saying it was fundamentally discriminatory in nature by excluding Muslims.

That’s Ciara Lee of Reuters.

For more, be sure to visit our website I’m David Byrd, VOA news.

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