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US President Donald Trump speaks at a military briefing during an unannounced trip to Al Asad Air Base in Iraq on December 26, 2018. (Photo by AFP)

Here is a brief look at Press TV newsroom's headlines from 1800 GMT, December 28, 2018 to 0800 GMT, December 29, 2018.

US majority versus Trump

A new opinion poll shows 39 percent of Americans want their president impeached and sacked. The poll commissioned by The Hill newspaper also found that 20 percent of voters want the congress to formally censure Donald Trump. Meanwhile, 59 percent of the participants said the investigations into possible links between Donald Trump’s election campaign and Russia are hurting the country. The criminal investigation comes as Trump also faces accusations of paying hush money to two women to cover up alleged sex scandals. Trump can be impeached with a majority vote in the House of Representatives and a two thirds support in the Senate. An impeachment attempt could get past the new Democrat-controlled house. But it is unlikely to get the needed support in the Senate due to heavy Republican control.

UN chief appeal

The United Nations secretary-general has called on all sides to ensure that elections in the Democratic Republic of the Congo be free of violence so that all eligible voters can peacefully cast their ballots. Antonio Guterres reminded the DRC authorities, political leaders, election officials and civil society that they have a critical role to play in preventing electoral violence, by refraining from any form of provocation. Millions of Congolese voters will head to the polls on Sunday for long-delayed elections. President Joseph Kabila, in power since 2001, is not seeking re-election but his party has designated former interior minister Emmanuel Ramazani Shadary as its candidate.

Dakar demonstration

Senegal's opposition supporters have taken to the streets of the capital Dakar to demand transparency in next year's election. Thousands turned out for the march that was authorized by the government. The demonstrators called for a free and transparent presidential election on February 24. They also demanded political opponents of the ruling administration be freed from prison. The African nation is preparing to head to the polls while two of the main opponents of the incumbent president will likely be unable to contest. The protesters also expressed dismay at a new election law that they say is designed to prevent opposition candidates from running. But the government argues the reform was needed to simplify the electoral process and reduce costs.

Eastern Ukraine conflict

France and Germany have called for a sustainable ceasefire in eastern Ukraine ahead of a planned cessation of hostilities in the area. French President Emmanuel Macron and German Chancellor Angela Merkel urged the parties to the conflict to hold a solid, full and permanent truce. The two leaders said the New Year’s holidays must serve as an opportunity to focus on the needs of civilians in the eastern Donetsk and Lugansk regions. This comes as representatives from Ukraine, Russia and the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe announced that a fresh ceasefire would come into effect on Saturday. The two regions have been the scenes of armed conflict between Ukrainian army and pro-Russia forces since 2014. The clashes have so far left over 10,000 people dead.

Call for calm in Sudan

The United Nations secretary-general has called on authorities in Sudan to investigate deaths during violent protests in the capital Khartoum and other cities. Antonio Guterres appealed for calm and restraint and urged the authorities to conduct a thorough probe into the killings and violence. According to the government, at least 19 people have been killed since December 19 during protests erupted by Khartoum's decision to hike the price of bread. Sudan is facing an acute foreign exchange crisis and rising inflation, despite the US decision to lift an economic embargo in October 2017.

Saudi Yemen airstrikes

Saudi Arabia continues to violate the UN brokered ceasefire in Yemen, bombing the port city of Hudydah more than a week after the warring parties agreed on a truce deal that took effect on December 18th. The fresh attacks by Saudi airplanes and sporadic clashes in the city have cast doubts on the sustainability of the truce. Mohammed al-Attab reports from Hudaydah.

US political wrangling

The ongoing confrontation between the Democrats and the Republicans in the US Congress has reduced the prospects of an immediate resolution of the government shutdown. The division over the US-Mexico border wall funding has taken the US government into its eighth day of partial closure. The two parties continue to trade blame for the impasse. President Donald Trump has threatened to seal the borders with Mexico if Congress doesn't fund his dream wall project. He also said he will cut aids to Central American countries from where many migrants have recently fled. The newly empowered democrats in the house, however, refuse to fund what they call an “immoral” wall. The ongoing shutdown has forced hundreds of thousands of federal employees to either stay home or work without pay.

Bangladesh elections

Bangladesh has beefed up security ahead of Sunday’s general elections. Officials say around 600,000 security personnel have been deployed nationwide. The authorities have also imposed restrictions on public transport and cars on the election day. The measures follow violent clashes during the electoral campaigning that left over a dozen people dead and thousands more injured. The clashes were reported mainly between the supporters of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina’s ruling Awami League and the activists of the opposition Bangladesh Nationalist Party. The opposition claims its supporters have been deliberately targeted to prevent them from voting and rig the election in Hasina's favor. The ruling party denies the allegations.

 


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