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What did the President do and when did he do it?

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There has never been a hearing in the United States Congress like it in terms of content and drama

The United States house of Representatives Select Committee To Investigate the January 6th Attack on the United States Capitol began to report to the American people what happened on that fateful day. The Capitol was attacked with the intent of stopping the Congress from fulfilling its constitutional responsibility to certify the 2020 presidential election and ensure the peaceful transfer of power. 

At the heart of their inquiry is the objective of discovering, and documenting, this decisive question with respect to the insurrection:  What did the President do, and when did he do it?  

Rep Bennie Thompson of Mississippi

The committee’s chairman, Rep Bennie Thompson of Mississippi (who is about to become a folk hero to audiences across the country) gave a history lesson in his opening remarks, drawing on the issues of race, voting and the imperative of preserving the Union and its democracy, from Lincoln to Trump. 

Thompson said that the president of the United States was trying to stop the transfer of power. Thompson said that Trump was at the centre of this conspiracy, and that January 6 was the culmination of an attempted coup to overthrow the government.  “We must confront the truth,” Thompson said.

In terms of drama, the hearing presented hard evidence, with cinematic force, of how that day unfolded, and to document that the President had been repeatedly told, in the days following the November 3, 2020, election, that he had lost the election, and must abide by its result.

This, Trump refused to do.

Rep Liz Cheney. Republican of Wyoming, and vice chair of the committee, has been ostracised and vilified by her party for supporting and helping to direct this investigation. Cheney said there was evidence that Trump was complacent about threats made by the mob to hang Vice President Mike Pence.

Rep Liz Cheney. Republican of Wyoming

She said that those who attacked the Capitol were provoked by what Trump had been telling them for weeks and were motivated by what Trump said earlier that day at the rally on the Ellipse. Cheney said that Trump knew he had lost the election, that the Trump staff told him he had lost the election, and showed video of Ivanka Trump, the president’s daughter, saying that she sided with the judgment of the Attorney General that the election was not stolen, and was not marred by fraud.

There were many other revelations: that Trump spent millions in a campaign of misinformation on the outcome of the election that led the violence, that several members of Congress sought pardons from Trump in the wake of their efforts in support his intent to overturn the election, that on January 6 Trump refused for hours requests that he tell the mob to leave the Capitol.

Capitol Police officer Caroline Edwards

The first-hand testimony of Capitol Police officer Caroline Edwards, relating how she was attacked and saw her colleagues viciously assaulted, was harrowing.

In Monday’s hearings, former Attorney General Bill Barr said that Trump was delusional in his judgment of the election result – that Trump was “detached from reality.” Trump’s delusions drove all his efforts to campaign with his supporters to “stop the steal.” Trump raised hundreds of millions of dollars from his loyalists to prosecute his cause.

What is clear is that what the President did in the weeks following the election, and on January 6, almost ended America’s democracy.

ABC News

Even the editors of the Wall Street Journal, one of Trump’s strongest supporters through his presidency, refuse to be blinded further.  This was their judgment over the weekend:

“The person who owns Jan. 6 is Donald Trump. Remarkably, he seems to welcome this. “January 6th was not simply a protest,” he wrote Thursday on Truth Social, “it represented the greatest movement in the history of our Country to Make America Great Again.”

Pity the people who went to Washington believing this nonsense, not least the more than 800 who have been charged with criminal offenses. Thursday’s hearing ended with video of rioters explaining their thinking, as their criminal charges flashed on the screen. “I did believe that the election was being stolen,” one man said, “and Trump asked us to come.” Mr. Trump betrayed his supporters by conning them on Jan. 6, and he is still doing it.”

Throughout this month, the Select Committee will show us what the President did in his attempted coup against the Republic, and when he did it.

Bruce Wolpe is a Ticker News US political contributor. He’s a Senior Fellow at the US Studies Centre and has worked with Democrats in Congress during President Barack Obama's first term, and on the staff of Prime Minister Julia Gillard. He has also served as the former PM's chief of staff.

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“Woman. Life. Freedom,” Iran protests now on the world’s stadium

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Protests are engulfing Iran as a revolution against oppression spills onto the global stage, with the world unable to turn a blind eye

In Iran, protests are engulfing the country as thousands take to the streets in a revolution against oppression. 

Women are cutting their hair and burning their hijabs, demanding some form of change to the strict rules that impact their ultimate freedom.

“Woman. Life. Freedom”

DONNA MILES, WRITEr, & COLUMNIST

From the Iranian Revolution in 1979 to the Iran-Iraq war in the 1980s, the nation’s residents have witnessed their fair share of turmoil.

Many insist that religion, like Islam, is being used as a reason to violate basic human rights in Iran.

Women in the country and around the world, are now lifting the veil on Iran’s corruption.

“What is happening in Iran fills me with both fear and hope… Hope that there might be some meaningful change.”

Donna miles, writer, & Columnist

Pure desperation

For nearly forty years, women in Iran have faced a life of control and oppression. Subject to the strict Islamic Republic rules, bound by religion.

There have been protests in Iran before, but nothing like what we see today.

Women and men are filling the streets of the entire country, in a show of solidarity against the regime, putting their lives on the line.

Footage of Iranian women burning the hijabs and cutting their hair has encapsulated social media.

“People are risking their lives… The regime is very brutal. It significant that this time round that there is international focus and attention on Iran.

One thing is clear…The revolution is taking place, at least in people’s hearts and minds.”

Donna miles, writer, & Columnist

Spilling onto the global stage

The uprising against the regime in Iran and its treatment of women is openly and loudly spilling onto the global stage.

Its voice is so powerful it is even flooding into the sporting arena. In Qatar, Iranian soccer players refused to sing their national anthem before their World Cup game.

Credit: Al Jazeera

While the move from the sporting stars was seen by a global audience, a cloud of fear now looms over the safety and wellbeing of the players returning to their homeland.

“The players have been extremely brave. This is a significant issue for them. Enough to take a political stand to refuse to sing the national anthem.”

DONNA MILES, WRITEr, & COLUMNIST

As history shows us, sport has often been used as an avenue to express a political stance.

At the 1968 Mexico Olympics, U.S. athlete Tommie Smith raised his black-gloved fist, in defiance of racial segregation.

This is perhaps one of the most iconic moments, illustrating the blurred line between politics and sport.

Credit: The New York Times

UN finally calls out Iran

During the Iran protests, footage of authorities using brutal force against protestors sparked global attention and outrage.

Now, the United Nation has called out Iran’s actions.

At its 35th special session, the UN Human Rights Council launched a new investigation. It will independently investigate alleged human rights violations during the protests.

“It will be independently investigated.”

DONNA MILES, WRITEr, & COLUMNIST

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Is Musk flushing Twitter down the drain?

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Elon Musk

Elon Musk has made plenty of changes to Twitter, but will it make or break the social media platform?

When Elon Musk walked into Twitter with a sink you knew things were about to get interesting. 

It’s been a chaotic few weeks of change for the social media platform. Musk quickly showed thousands of employees the door.

Noticeably, he also upended the iconic ‘blue tick’ hierarchy. 

The new boss is adamant in making the platform a place of free speech, often using public Twitter polls to dictate his next move.

It’s not very often you have a billionaire and CEO of a tech giant communicate with people everyday via a tweet thread.

“As far as communicating with people, that is something we haven’t seen. You don’t see Jeff Bezos or Bill Gates out there communicating like this or any other billionaire.”

greg nibler, tech expert

While people have been quick to judge Musk’s changes, he remains one of the most successful businessmen in history.

He lead the charge on flying to space with his SpaceX empire and was ahead of the game in the electric vehicle market.

Perhaps, the changes to the platform are a smart move for the company to succeed, despite the abruptness of them.

Proof is in the pudding because the numbers show Twitter has added 1.6 million daily users this week alone, which is an all-time high.

“It is a reality show on Twitter and people want to see it…
Is that going to turn into profitability, I don’t know.”

Greg nibler, tech expert

Plus World Cup traffic hit almost 20,000 tweets per second today, breaking another record. 

It’s likely Twitter may be more successful in private hands. Financially though, the company has declined, causing widespread concern about its economic stability.

Musk wants to vastly increase the revenue the company makes through subscriptions, but a question mark looms over its ability to triumph.

“The way in which Twitter has lost so much money in value so quickly must also be a concern to people who have lent money to Musk… Wondering has it been a good investment for them.”

KEITH SUTER, international affairs commentator

Suspended accounts debate

Previously, Twitter had banned the accounts of many users, particularly those prone to far-right rhetorics.

Former President Donald Trump’s account had been suspended for nearly a year, alongside conspiracy theorist Alex Jones and controversial Andrew Tate.

Musk asked his followers in a poll if Twitter should “offer a general amnesty to suspended accounts? As Musk says, they haven’t broken the law?”

It all follows a turbulent economic time for the social media giant as it finds its place in the ever changing cyber sphere. 

Whether or not Twitter goes down the drain, remains to be seen. 

But love him or hate him, Musk has created an entertaining platform, with millions flocking to get a taste of what is the Twitter saga.

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Does Donald Trump need Twitter to win in 2024?

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Donald Trump is making a political comeback in 2024, but can he gain relevance without Twitter?

Donald Trump is making his political comeback, and Twitter boss Elon Musk has welcomed the former President back to the platform with open arms.

It was only a matter of weeks after taking over that Musk decided to lift Trump’s nearly year-long suspension.

Many expected Trump to jump at the offer and begin flooding our Twitter feeds again.

However, the former President may not want to return to Twitter, but why?

U.S. Commentator Susan Tehrani believes Trump’s decision to withhold his return to Twitter comes back to money.

“It might have to do with millions of dollars… [If he returns to Twitter] He may stand to lose a lot of money…

If Trump’s company goes public and only for him to go back on Twitter, start Tweeting and devalue Truth Social… He’s going to give his followers a reason to abandon Truth Social.”

Susan Tehrani, u.s. commentator

Twitter was Trump’s favourite app when he was President. He used the platform to drum up support and create buzz. Love him or hate him, Trump undeniably had people right around the world speaking about his latest thought.

In today’s society, people consume news via social media, in particular via Twitter.

With Trump absent from Twitter, it raises question about how he will maintain relevance in social media sphere in the lead up to his 2024 return.

Trump heads his own social media platform ‘Truth Social’, but it has just four million users, opposed to Twitter’s more than 200 million.

“With El on Musk at the helm it encourages a health debate…Then it going to be a place where Donald Trump can once again bypass even the mainstream media…And communicate directly with a wide audience.

Donald Trump would stand winning if he came back on Twitter.”

Susan Tehrani, u.s. commentator

Does Twitter need Trump, more than Trump needs Twitter?

With Musk at the reigns of Twitter, the social media giant is shifting its direction. Musk has made it clear he doesn’t believe in the previous ‘blue tick’ hierarchy, quickly scrapping the process.

He has been vocal about his desire for free speech on the platform. However, many are concerned that the changes may have a negative impact.

Although, change isn’t always a bad thing and perhaps Twitter needed a makeover, to keep up with today’s evolving society and array of opinions.

While Twitter is still popular, Musk’s move to reinstate Donald Trump’s account might have been strategic.

Trump is a bold politician, and regardless of his Twitter status, many are wondering what his next move will be.

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