If the price is right, anyone can meet President Trump

(CNN)President Donald Trump and his team continue to dive into their grab bag of tricks to try to undermine the impeachment inquiry. Whether it’s criticizing the process, insulting witnesses, attacking the whistleblower, or pointing to exculpatory evidence that just doesn’t exist, the next phase of public hearings is likely going to be accompanied by a heavy dose of false advertising by the President and his supporters. Sam Vinograd While global audiences prepare to listen to public testimony, there is already ample indication that making the Trump presidency a pay-to-play operation has created serious risks for US national security. While Trump has denied any quid pro quo, witness testimony…

U.N. urges Lebanon to form government of ‘competence’, banks close

By Nadine Awadalla and Tom Perry BEIRUT (Reuters) – The United Nations urged Lebanon on Tuesday to form a competent new government that would be better placed to seek international aid, warning the country was in a critical financial and economic situation. Lebanon’s banks and schools were shut in a new wave of disruption as politicians struggled to agree on a new government to steer the country out of its worst economic crisis since the 1975-90 civil war. Lebanon has been swept by weeks of protests fuelled by anger at the ruling elite, including several former civil war militia leaders, widely perceived to have overseen rampant state corruption for decades. The top U.N. official in Lebanon…

U.N. urges Lebanon to form government of ‘competence’, banks close

By Nadine Awadalla and Tom Perry BEIRUT (Reuters) – The United Nations urged Lebanon on Tuesday to form a competent new government that would be better placed to seek international aid, warning the country was in a critical financial and economic situation. Lebanon’s banks and schools were shut in a new wave of disruption as politicians struggled to agree on a new government to steer the country out of its worst economic crisis since the 1975-90 civil war. Lebanon has been swept by weeks of protests fuelled by anger at the ruling elite, including several former civil war militia leaders, widely perceived to have overseen rampant state corruption for decades. The top U.N. official in Lebanon…

Edward Snowden says autobiography has been censored in China

Edward Snowden, a former US National Security Agency contractor and whistleblower, has said that the Chinese version of his recently published autobiography has been censored. Snowden, who exposed massive US government surveillance programmes in 2013, posted on Twitter that parts of his book, Permanent Record, had been struck from the Chinese version published last week, in violation of his publishing agreement. In response, Snowden posted images of the censored pages next to the original version and called on Chinese readers to help identify the missing sections. “Let us compile a correct and unabridged version of #PermanentRecord to publish freely online in Chinese, by assembling a cadre…