Freedom of religion is one of the foundations of the United States Constitution, not least because many of the European emigrants who founded the nation fled from religious oppression. The United States has many active believers and religious affiliation is often an important part of identity. But the proportion that does not identify with any religion is increasing rapidly.
Religious groups, not least the Christian right, have been a factor of power in American politics in recent decades. At the same time, young Americans are often less religious than their parents, and religious revival movements attract fewer new members. Religion is not registered in the censuses, but in surveys, every quarter now state that they have no religious affiliation. The share has increased rapidly in a short time, in 2009 the corresponding figure was 17 percent.
Two-thirds of Christians are Protestants. They are divided into a variety of communities where Baptists are the most followed by Pentecostal friends, Lutherans, Presbyterians and Methodists. The Anglican Church is called the Episcopal Church in the United States. Protestants are also often divided into the three main categories of evangelicals, so-called mainline churches and historically black churches. The different communities can be found in several of the categories.
The Roman Catholic Church comprises just under one-third of Christians and one-fifth of the population, many with roots in Catholic countries. Christians also include supporters of Orthodox churches as well as Mormons and Jehovah’s Witnesses.
Non-Christian religious groups are growing rapidly, but they still gather less than one in ten residents in the United States. The largest Jewish minority is estimated at just under 6 million people, or 2 percent of the population. Jewish influence is particularly high in New York and in some cities in Florida and California. Muslims, Buddhists and Hindus make up about one percent each.
- Countryaah: Population statistics for 2020 and next 30 years in United States, covering demographics, population graphs, and official data for growth rates, population density, and death rates.
The USMCA trade agreement enters into force
The new United States-Mexico-Canada-Agreement (USMCA) trade agreement between the United States, Canada and Mexico, which replaces the 1994 Nafta Agreement, will formally enter into force (see also December 2019). It includes, among other things, new agreements on intellectual property, digital commerce, financial services, labor law and the environment. It happens at a sensitive time, when the corona pandemic has hit hard on all three countries’ economies. In April, trade between countries was at the lowest level in a decade.
Try to stop the Trump-critical book
17th of June
The Justice Department is appealing to the court to stop publishing a book by former security adviser John Bolton (see also January 31, 2020), citing national security. It comes a few hours after the Wall Street Journal published an excerpt from the book claiming that President Trump was trying to get China’s President Xi Jinping to help him get re-elected, including by buying US agricultural products. According to the Ministry of Justice, the book contains classified information. But hundreds of thousands of previews of the book have already been sent out.
LGBTQ rights are strengthened
Supreme Court strikes by a vote of 6-3 that the Civil Rights Act of 1964 also includes LGBT -Persons. Thus, it is expressly prohibited to dismiss employees for sexual orientation. The ruling is surprising since the court has a conservative majority. Among the two Conservative judges joining the Liberal line are Neil Gorsuch who has been appointed by Trump. The President himself has opposed rights for LGBTQ people and stopped just a week ago from protection against LGBTQ discrimination in health care.
The shooting in Atlanta raises new anger
An African-American man suspected of drunk driving is shot dead by Atlanta police, which is fueling new widespread protests against police brutality against black residents. The man managed to take an electric shock weapon from the police during a riot and aimed it at a policeman, whereupon he tried to escape and was shot in the back. The next day, protesters set fire to the fast-food restaurant outside of which the event took place. The wave of protests also continues elsewhere. In several cities and states, political attempts are made to meet the protesters’ demands. In Minneapolis, the city council has decided to replace the city’s police force with a new force where residents will be given greater influence.
Penalties for ICC cooperation
President Trump issues a decree that puts people who cooperate with the International Criminal Court (ICC) at risk of freezing their assets in the United States. The background is that the ICC wants to investigate war crimes in Afghanistan between 2003 and 2014, where foreign forces are also at risk of being investigated. The ICC calls the measure “unacceptable” and the EU voices criticism. The United States is not a member of the ICC.
Trump in conflict with Seattle
Washington State authorities are beating back after President Trump, via Twitter, threatened to “take back” Seattle unless local authorities regain control of a “police free zone” in the city. Governor Jay Inslee urges Trump to stay away from the state’s affairs, and Seattle’s mayor says a federal intervention would be illegal. The police withdrew on June 8 from the zone called Chaz and consists of several blocks in the city, after several days of violent clashes with protesters. Since then, no disturbances have occurred in the zone, but Trump calls those involved “domestic terrorists” and “ugly anarchists”.
Corruption charges when the loan recipient is kept secret
Sharp criticism is directed at the government after Secretary of Commerce Steve Mnuchin made it clear that the government will not account for which companies received loans worth a total of $ 500 billion, under the stimulus package PPP (Paycheck protection program) during the corona crisis. These are 4.5 million companies that have received PPP loans. The loans are intended to go to small business owners, but it has already been revealed that several large listed companies have received money. The responsible authority has let the banks that make the payments themselves decide who will receive the money, and banks have in many cases benefited their most affluent customers. Even the Government Accountability Office, which is to keep Congress informed of the use of money from the crisis packages, does not even know who the beneficiaries are.
Ex-Defense Minister to attack Trump
Former Secretary of Defense James Mattis is accusing President Trump of abusing power and trying to divide the nation. Mattis writes in The Atlantic magazine that he is “angry and upset” at Trump’s way of handling the wave of protests after George Floyd’s death. He expresses support and understanding for the protests and says he could never have dreamed that American soldiers would be ordered to violate citizens’ constitutional rights. Mattis resigned in protest against Trump’s decision to withdraw US troops from Syria (see December 2018) and has essentially kept a low profile ever since. Trump responds to Matti’s statements with a twitter tirade, claiming he dismissed Mattis, “the world’s most overrated general.” Around the country, protests continue, even in spite of curfews.
Trump threatens military intervention
In a first televised speech since the wave of protests erupted, President Trump says that he may send military to states where violence is taking place. In a video interview with the state governors, he has said in the past that many of them are “weak” and must use harsh measures against violent perpetrators who he believes are liars and terrorists. Trump has also said that the anti-fascist movement Antifa should be labeled as terrorist. After the speech, police and the National Guard use tear gas to disperse peaceful protesters outside the White House, allowing Trump and several of his family members and advisers to go to a nearby church outside of which the president is allowed to be photographed with the Bible in hand. The criticism is harsh on the actions, including from the bishop of the church.
Protest wave against violence against blacks
The protests that erupted in Minneapolis are spreading across the country and are soon the most extensive since the 1960s. The protests are aimed primarily at the widespread violence to which African Americans are subjected to order power, but fueled by pent-up frustration over economic and social inequality that has become evident during the Corona pandemic. Looting and damage occur, the National Guard has been called in half of the states and curfew in the evening prevails in some 40 cities. People largely ignore the bans, which leads to clashes where riot police use tear gas and pepper spray. Many are shocked by new police violence against both protesters and journalists. Trump threatens to deploy the military and says the anti-fascist leftist movement Antifa should be classified as a terrorist group. Others claim that right-wing extremists are behind much of the violence. Several thousand people have been arrested and at least four people have been killed. Violence surrounding the White House causes Trump to become a security bunker.
Trump: US leaves WHO
President Trump announces in a press conference that the US should leave the World Health Organization WHO. He has long accused the WHO of helping China initially darken the new corona virus. He now again accuses China of the pandemic and the many deaths it caused worldwide, as well as the economic collapse in its wake. There is no evidence that WHO contributed to a blackout. Reviewers see Trump’s play as an attempt to turn criticism off his own mismanagement of the pandemic.
Protests against police violence in Minneapolis
Extensive and partially violent street protests erupt in Minneapolis after a black man, George Floyd, passed away following a police intervention. A video footage shows Floyd on the ground while a white cop pushes his knee to his neck, and he is repeatedly heard saying “please, I can’t breathe” while three policemen are watching. The four police officers are dismissed, but the protests against racially colored police violence are widespread. Just weeks earlier, a filmed sequence from a cellphone showed how a black jogger in Georgia, Ahmaud Arbery was shot to death by two white men. The men were not initially prosecuted when they claimed to have acted in self-defense.
Trump against Twitter
Twitter for the first time provides President Donald Trump’s post with a warning label, according to the company’s new policy of flagging for potentially harmful and misleading content. It happens when Trump tweeted that postal votes will certainly lead to widespread cheating: “There is NO WAY (ZERO!) That Mail-in-Ballots will be anything less than substantially fraudulent.” Trump’s reaction to Twitter’s warning label is to accuse the company of “completely stifling freedom of speech.” Two days later he signs a decree which will make it possible to prosecute social media giants for the content they disseminate. Shortly thereafter, Twitter hides a post from Trump accused of glorifying violence when, in connection with the wave of protests that erupt, he writes that looting leads to shootings (“when the looting starts, the shooting starts”), an expression associated with racist violence.
The United States plans to submit disarmament agreements
President Donald Trump announces that the United States will enter into an international disarmament agreement, the so-called Open Skies Treaty. The 2002 agreement covers more than 30 countries, including Sweden, and allows members to monitor each other by air. The United States has long argued that Russia violates the agreement. Trump’s message is interpreted by many analysts as a sign that he also plans to withdraw the United States from the only remaining major disarmament agreement with Russia, New Start, which expires in February 2021. Trump has insisted that China must join the New Start if it should be renewed. The INF agreement, which banned ground-based robots with a range of between 50 and 500 kilometers, expired in August 2019 following a decision earlier that year (see Calendar).
New intelligence manager added
The Senate approves John Ratcliffe as new Director of Intelligence Services (Director of National Intelligence, DNI), with numbers 49–44. The vote is entirely according to the party lines and Ratcliffe thus becomes the first intelligence chief to be appointed without support from the opposition party since the post was established in 2004. When Trump first mentioned Ratcliffe as a candidate for the post in the summer of 2019, he soon withdrew his candidacy, due to doubts about qualifications, the fact that he was a Republican member of the House of Representatives and that he exaggerated his resume from his time as a prosecutor in Texas.
Trump claims to take anti-malarial drugs
President Donald Trump tells a press conference that he has been taking hydrochloroquine for about 10 days for the purpose of preventing the corona virus for about ten days. Trump has repeatedly advocated the use of hydrochloroquine in the fight against the virus since March, despite the lack of evidence that it helps and scientists warn that the drug could be harmful instead.
Michigan State Congress stormed
A group of protesters, some of whom are armed, enter the state of Michigan’s congressional building in Lansing, protesting Democratic Gov. Gretchen Whitmer and the quarantine rules introduced to prevent the spread of the corona virus. Police prevent protesters from entering the chamber. President Trump later draws attention when he seems to be giving the protesters his support via Twitter.
At a press conference, Trump talks about the possibility of drinking or injecting disinfectants to cure covid-19. He also says that UV light can help with the infection. The statements raise great concern. As disinfectant sales increase afterwards, as do poison alarms, Trump says he has no idea why. “I’m president and you’re fake news” is his response to a reporter.
Trump stops immigration
President Donald Trump signs a presidential order for a 60-day work permit to be issued in the United States on the occasion of the “attack from the invisible enemy,” the corona virus. The purpose is stated to be that American citizens should have priority over jobs when the economy turns up again. At the same time, a feud between Trump and state governors continues over when quarantine rules should be repealed and the economy “reopened”. The president has drawn attention when, via Twitter, he expressed support for protesters who, in several states, demand that restrictions on freedom of movement be abolished. Over 800,000 cases of coronary infection have been found in the United States and the number of deceased in covid-19 is approaching 50,000. New York is the hardest hit, but the state is now believed to have reached its peak.
Trump is stripping support to WHO
Trump announces that the United States is withdrawing its funding to the World Health Organization (WHO), amid the ongoing corona pandemic. Trump accuses the WHO of having failed its basic mission and “seriously misunderstood and darkened” the spread of the virus. The United States is WHO’s single largest financier and in 2019 accounted for just under a tenth of the budget of about $ 6 billion. The accusations that Trump is now facing the WHO have largely been directed at himself: according to critics, reactions from the federal government have come late and been ineffective. Trump has more aggressively dismissed all criticism. After previously shedding responsibility for the handling of the pandemic in the states, on April 13, he asserted that the president has “total authority” and the right to completely control the states.
Oil countries are reducing production
The member countries of Opec and other oil-producing countries – including the United States – agree on what is known as a “historic agreement” to reduce production in order to raise oil prices. It is at the lowest levels in almost two decades due to the ongoing corona pandemic and a price war between Russia and Saudi Arabia. President Trump pays tribute to the agreement and congratulates especially Russian President Vladimir Putin and Saudi Arabia’s King Salman. Trump also says hundreds of thousands of US energy jobs have now been saved. Despite the agreement, oil prices continue to fall and fall after just over a week below the zero line.
New record figure for unemployment
The number of new people applying for unemployment benefits continues to rise due to the corona pandemic. The total number of new applicants is now up to 16.8 million in three weeks (see also March 6, 2020), which corresponds to 11 percent of the workforce in the US. The increase is unparalleled in history, especially given how fast it has gone.
Bernie Sanders jumps off
Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont announces he is withdrawing from the fight to become the Democrats candidate in the presidential election. That makes it clear that it will be former Vice President Joe Biden who will challenge Donald Trump in the November election. Sanders writes in a Twitter message that his campaign has transformed Americans’ awareness of “what kind of nation” the United States can be and that “the fight for justice continues.” Sanders announces a few days later explicit support for Biden before the election. The primary election campaign has basically stopped entirely because of the ongoing corona crisis. The Democrats’ convention has been postponed from July to August.
Contested elections are held in Wisconsin
In Wisconsin, elections are being conducted in the midst of the ongoing corona pandemic. It concerns both several primary elections before the fall election and the election of a judge to the state’s highest court. The election is held after a battle between the state’s Democratic governor Tony Evers and the Republican-dominated state congress, a battle the Republicans won through two court messages the day before the election. The governor’s attempt to postpone the election in June was halted by the state’s highest court. A decision to extend the six-day postal vote was halted by the federal Supreme Court. Both courts have a conservative majority. All other states that would have voted in April have either postponed the elections until June or have gone completely to the postal vote. From Wisconsin, pictures on election day are wired to mouth-watering voters in extremely long queues, when people try to maintain physical distances. In the largest city of Milwaukee, so many polling station workers have hoped that only 5 polling stations will be open, against the 180 planned. The National Guard has been sent out to monitor the vote instead. When the result becomes clear six days after the election, it turns out that the incumbent Conservative judge in the state Supreme Court Daniel Kelly was unexpectedly defeated by a liberal challenger, Jill Karofsky.
Trump is changing tracks about the corona’s seriousness
President Trump warns of two “very painful” weeks ahead, saying that at least 100,000 Americans are likely to die in covid-19. The message is contrary to what has long been the reign of Trump, who from the beginning largely dismissed the coronas center and later talked about being able to open the country again soon. A majority of the states have now decided on some kind of quarantine for residents, and around 80 percent of Americans are estimated to be subject to rules that restrict freedom of movement. A political quarrel is ongoing between President Trump and a number of governors regarding access to test equipment.
Record-sized support package against the corona crisis
President Trump signs a $ 2 billion financial aid package. The package of measures, the third during the corona crisis and the most extensive in US history, was approved this week in the Senate and House of Representatives. It includes investments for companies and healthcare, as well as cash contributions of $ 1,200 to individuals with incomes below $ 75,000 per year, as well as $ 500 per child. The unemployment benefit is extended to individuals who are not normally covered. Roughly every fourth American is now in some kind of quarantine, though the rules vary between states and cities. Trump is also ordering car manufacturer General Motors to begin manufacturing respirators, backed by a 1950s law. Trump has previously criticized GM’s leadership for slowness when life is at stake.
Record figure for new unemployed
New unemployment figures show that nearly 3.3 million Americans applied for unemployment benefits the week before. Just three weeks earlier, the corresponding figure was about 200,000. The new number is more four times more than the previous record from 1982. The figure gives a clear picture of the extreme crisis situation that the economy has quickly reached due to the spread of the corona virus. At the same time, many are affected by the downturn in the economy, which is not covered by the unemployment fund, as self-employed and hourly workers. During the day, figures will also show that the United States now has the most cases of confirmed coronary infection in the world. In the past, China and then Italy have had more cases. The number of cases continues to increase rapidly in the United States. The state of New York and New York City are particularly vulnerable.
California orders people to stay home
Residents of the United States most populous state of California are ordered not to leave their homes other than for necessary matters, such as buying food or teasing the dog. The state, which is the world’s fifth largest economy, is the first in the United States to issue such an order, although similar restrictions have already been introduced in several major cities.
Continued success for Biden, primary election postponed
Former Vice President Joe Biden clearly defeats Vermont senator Bernie Sanders in the three states where the primary election is conducted as planned: Florida, Arizona and Illinois. In total, Biden has now received the most votes in 19 states and territories against 8 for Sanders. In Ohio, which would have held primary elections at the same time, the governor decides to postpone just eight hours before polling stations open, due to the corona pandemic. In the past, Louisiana and Georgia have also postponed the primary elections, and after Ohio several states are following suit.
Trump warnings and new stock market fall
President Trump, who has long toned down all the danger with the corona virus, urges Americans to avoid public places and not gather in groups of more than ten people. He now talks about an invisible enemy who is “so contagious”. He also admits that the economy may be heading for a recession. After the press conference, the stock market falls by more than 12 percent, the largest case since 1987.
Corona causes shutdowns and interest rate cuts
The CDC recommends that all public groups with more than 50 people be set up – with the exception of teaching and work – to stop the spread of the new corona virus. However, many governors and mayors around the United States have ordered closures of schools, restaurants, bars and other environments where many people normally gather. The entry ban now also covers the UK and Ireland. The travel bans lead to congestion and long waiting times at airports, as many residents of the United States quickly return home. The Federal Reserve Federal Reserve lowers the interest rate to near zero and eases the rules on banks’ lending. President Trump is trying to calm markets and people by claiming that the government has “fantastic control” of the situation. On March 12, Trump announced a national emergency to stop the spread of infection. At the same time, $ 50 billion was released to support states and local governments.
Entry bans should stop virus spread
11th of March
President Trump announces in a televised speech a ban on entry from Europe, to stop the spread of the new coronavirus causing the covid-19 disease. The ban is later specified to apply to only the 26 countries in the Schengen area – including Sweden but not, for example, the United Kingdom. The ban applies to foreign nationals. Trump talks about “the foreign virus” and accuses the EU of not acting as forcefully as he himself to fight it. Already on January 31, Trump introduced an entry ban from China, where the virus originated. Otherwise, Trump has essentially toned down the risks of the virus, accusing the opposition and media of exaggerating. In the TV talk, however, he pledges billion loans to small business owners due to the corona crisis. In the US, more than 1,300 people have so far been confirmed infected and up to 40 have died.
HD gives Trump victory in migration policy
11th of March
The Supreme Court gives a clear sign of the “Remain in Mexico” practice introduced in December 2018, which states that non-Mexicans seeking asylum in the United States must stay in Mexico while their case is being decided. Tens of thousands of asylum seekers, mainly Central Americans, have since been forced south of the border. The ban has been handled by courts right up to the Supreme Court, which until now decides in Trump’s favor. However, the issue must be further investigated.
Election success for Biden during Super Tuesday
Super Tuesday – when primary elections are held in 14 states – is seen as something of a “comeback” for Democratic former vice president and presidential candidate Joe Biden. He wins in ten states, including Texas, which is the second largest state in terms of population. Bernie Sanders takes home California, the largest and thus the most influential state of all, and another three states. The days after Super Tuesday, Michael Bloomberg and Elizabeth Warren first pull out of the primary election. Thus, besides Biden and Sanders, there is only one candidate, Congressman Tulsi Gabbard from Hawaii.
Joe Biden’s first victory in the primary
In the Democratic primary election in South Carolina, former Vice President Joe Biden wins by nearly half the vote, followed by Bernie Sanders with 20 percent. It is Biden’s first success in the primary elections and comes in the fourth state where the Democrats go to the polls. After Iowa (see February 3, 2020), Sanders got the most votes first in New Hampshire, where Biden came in fifth place, and then in Nevada, now with Biden second. After the election in South Carolina, Tom Steyers, Pete Buttigieg and Amy Klobuchar resign, leaving five candidates ahead of Super Tuesday, March 3, when 14 states hold primary elections. One candidate stands on the ballot boxes for the first time on Super Tuesday: billionaire and former New York mayor Mike Bloomberg.
Peace agreement with Taliban in Afghanistan
The United States signs an agreement with the Taliban in Afghanistan that states that the Islamist movement will cease terrorist attacks against the withdrawal of the US military. The settlement may be the first step towards an end to the war that has been going on for just over 18 years. The first information that a settlement was imminent came in conjunction with a security conference in Munich two weeks earlier, and a week earlier, a partial armistice came into force. The Taliban pledged, with the agreement, not to let Afghanistan be a haven for international jihadists. The United States today has about 14,000 soldiers in Afghanistan. More than half of them, according to the agreement, must leave the country for the first 135 days and all should be gone within 14 months.
New warning about Russian involvement in the elections
Intelligence services have warned members of Congress that Russia is trying to help President Donald Trump be re-elected in November. The report causes President Trump to rage that Democrats can use the charges against him. The warning was made in a closed meeting with the House of Representatives on February 13. According to the report, Russia plans to try to influence the democratic primary elections that have already begun. After the 2016 election, US intelligence services ruled that Russia engaged in impact operations in Trump’s favor, something that Trump has never accepted (see January 5, 2017).
Trump imposes milder penalties on former advisers
President Trump is protesting via Twitter against a recommendation by prosecutors in the Justice Department that his former adviser Roger Stone should be sentenced to between seven and nine years in prison. Stone was arrested in January 2019 and convicted in November of lying to Congress, hindering justice and affecting witnesses. Trump’s Twitter protest of “justice killings” is followed just hours later by a new message from Justice Secretary William Barr that the sentence should be relieved. The change, in turn, results in four federal prosecutors resigning in protest. A few days later, more than 1,100 lawyers, all former employees of the department, demand the departure of Barr. They write in an open letter that the minister violated basic legal principles and the Ministry’s own rules when he ran over the prosecutors. Governments that use their power to punish opponents and reward allies constitute autocracies. Stone is sentenced a week later to three years and four months in prison.
Witnesses against Trump are dismissed
Two of the people who testified when the House of Representatives investigated the charges against President Trump in the fall are fired from their jobs in the White House. One is EU Ambassador Gordon Sondland (see November 2019) and the other is Lieutenant Colonel Alexander Vindman, Ukraine expert in the NSC Security Council. Vindman’s twin brother who is a lawyer for NSC may also go.
Donald Trump is acquitted in national court
The Senate is voting as expected to acquit President Donald Trump in the trial that is a result of the House of Representatives bringing state law against him (see December 18, 2019). On the issue of abuse of power, Trump is acquitted with the numbers 52-48 – the only one who does not vote with his party is Republican Mitt Romney from Utah. On the issue of impeding Congress’s work, all senators are following their party and voting numbers are 53-47.
Trump speaks to the nation
When Trump gives the president’s annual speech in Congress on the State of the Union, polarization is clear: he is not shaking hands with House of Representatives President Nancy Pelosi before the speech, and she is tearfully tearing his copy of the speech behind his back. In the speech, Trump highlights what he himself calls major successes in finance, migration and healthcare.
Chaotic start to the rolling season
The primary election season begins traditionally with the Democrats’ nomination meetings in Iowa, but it all turns into a failure. The compilation of the results does not work at all and it takes several days for the figures to be clear. It basically shows a dead run in the lead between Pete Buttigieg and Bernie Sanders. Buttigieg resigns with the victory in terms of number of delegates, although Sanders gets slightly more votes (26.5 percent versus 25.1 for Buttigieg). Elizabeth Warren comes in third place followed by Joe Biden and Amy Klobuchar.
The Senate votes no to witnesses
The Senate votes by numbers 51–49 against new testimony in the ongoing trial of President Donald Trump. Only two Republican senators vote with the Democrats support the proposal to let new witnesses be heard. In particular, Democrats wanted former security adviser John Bolton to testify. He claims in a book to be published shortly that Trump explicitly told him to withhold military assistance to Ukraine, making him a first-hand witness to one of the basic charges in the prosecution of Trump. The White House has tried to stop publishing the book.
Trump launches Middle East peace plan
President Donald Trump presents his long-promised Middle East peace plan, a proposal he himself says may be “the last chance of the Palestinians”. The plan advocates a two-state solution: a Palestinian state to be formed, but Israel gains control over large parts of the West Bank, where settlements now exist, and Jerusalem remains the country’s undivided capital. At the same time, Trump says Palestinians will have a capital in East Jerusalem. Trump puts forward the proposal in Washington in association with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu but without a Palestinian presence. The Palestinian Authority dismisses the plan, which President Mahmud Abbas calls a “conspiracy.” Israeli settlers are also negative about the proposal.
International law against Trump begins in the Senate
The actual judicial process against President Trump begins in the Senate. Trump thus becomes the third president in US history to stand trial. The House of Representatives voted on January 15 to hand over the two charges against President Trump, which the House decided in December. Seven members have been commissioned by President Nancy Pelosi to lead the process, all Democrats. The group is led by the intelligence committee chair Adam Schiff. In a comment, Trump’s attorneys have described the prosecution as “a dangerous attack” on democracy and an attempt to change the 2016 election results and influence the 2020 election. The trial begins with a battle between Republicans and Democrats over how the process itself should be implemented. Disagreements include, among other things, whether witnesses should be called, and if so, which ones. After a debate that goes on until after midnight, Republicans vote down Democrats’ request to call new witnesses.
Part-trade agreement with China
The United States and China sign what is known as the first phase of a trade agreement and which means a kind of ceasefire in the ongoing trade war. Just as announced in mid-December, the United States pledges not to impose additional duties on Chinese goods while China promises to buy more from the United States. China also promises not to manipulate its currency. The deal is signed by Trump and China’s Vice President Liu He in Washington. According to Trump, that means a great success for him and the United States. However, negotiations continue.
The last debate before the primary elections
Six candidates take part in the seventh Democratic TV broadcast primary election debate, which is also the last held before the first party is held, in Iowa on February 3. They are the only ones this time qualifying according to the requirements for support in opinion polls and donations, as determined by the Democratic Party’s National Committee (DNC). Another six candidates remain in the fight to become parity presidential candidate, while 17 have dropped out. Leading opinion polls still make former Vice President Joe Biden, Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders and Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren.
Iranian attack on US bases in Iraq
7 th of January
Iran is carrying out robotic attacks against two air bases in Iraq where there is US military, in response to the liquidation of General Soleimani four days earlier. No deaths are reported on the bases where other foreign militaries are also present, including Swedes. Iran is not seeking “escalation or war”, it says from its government, though leader Ayatollah Khamenei reiterates a demand for the US to leave the region. President Trump tweeted after the attack that “everything is good”. Later, it appears that over 100 soldiers suffered mild brain damage in connection with the explosions.
Iranian general killed in Iraq
President Trump commands an air strike against the airport in Iraq’s capital city of Baghdad directed at a general of Iran’s elite Guard Revolutionary Guard. General Qasem Soleimani – and nine others – were killed in the attack described by the Pentagon as a defense operation to protect US diplomats and military. Soleimani was the commander of the Iranian foreign force al-Quds and a key figure in Iran’s military and political actions in neighboring Iraq and Syria. The United States also accuses him of being ultimately responsible for attacks against Americans on Iraqi soil. Several US analysts call the attack a declaration of war on Trump’s part. Iran threatens retaliation which in turn triggers new threats from Trump. The United States decides to send another 3,000 troops to Iraq.