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  1. Politics
25 September 2019

Five things you need to know today: Parliament returns & Trump’s impeachment moves closer

Also: the fish is running out.

By New Statesman

De-prorogued

Parliament is to re-open this morning at 11.30, after 11 Supreme Court judges unanimously ruled yesterday that its recent prorogation was unlawful. Perhaps not surprisingly, however, a number of the papers have taken Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s side over that of Parliament or the court, potentially rolling the pitch for the “People vs the politicians” election he is understood to want.

“Unlawful? What’s lawful about denying 17.4m Brexit!” splutters the Express. (Funny: didn’t the government said prorogation was nothing to do with Brexit?) “Boris Blasts: Who Runs Britain?” thunders the Mail. “Ooh, you are lawful… but we don’t like you,” babbles the Sun, and good luck making sense of that.

The continuing staunch support of the pro-Brexit press will comfort the PM after the court yesterday found that he had misled MPs, the voters and the Queen, and the Financial Times took the unprecedented step of calling for his head. Especially since…

GLA to investigate PM’s potential conflict of interest

…the Greater London Assembly’s Oversight Committee has demanded details of “all contact” between Johnson and US businesswoman Jennifer Arcuri during the period when he was the capital’s mayor. Johnson stands accused of failing to declare a potential conflict of interest regarding the nature of his relationship with a woman who had accompanied him on trade missions, and whose business had received public funds. He has denied any impropriety. 

It never rains, does it?

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Impeachment moves closer

Nancy Pelosi, the speaker of the United States House of Representatives, last night announced the launch of a formal impeachment inquiry into President Trump.

“This week, the president has admitted to asking the president of Ukraine to take actions which would benefit him politically,” Pelosi said, referring to the fact Trump seemingly encouraged the Ukrainian authorities to investigate former vice president and current Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden. She added that Trump’s actions “revealed dishonorable facts of the president’s betrayal of his oath of office, betrayal of national security and betrayal of the integrity of our elections”.

Don’t get excited quite yet, though. The United States constitution requires a two-thirds majority in the Senate to convict a person being impeached – and the Republican party holds a majority in the upper house.

Mont Blanc glacier could collapse

An Italian mayor has closed roads and mountain huts on Mont Blanc, after experts warned that around 250,000 cubic metres of ice are in danger of breaking away from a glacier. A section of the the Planpincieux glacier, near to the town of Courmayeur, is moving at a rate of around 50-60cm per day. 

“These phenomena once again show how the mountain is going through a period of major change due to climate factors,” the town’s mayor Stefano Miserocchi told local media.

The fish is running out

More cheery climate news closer to home: your local chippy could be about to stop serving North Sea cod. 

Regional cod stocks were certified as sustainable as recently as 2017, a decade after they almost collapsed completely. Just two years later, however, scientists are warning that fish numbers are much lower than previously thought, leading the Marine Stewardship Council to announce it was revoking the “blue-tick” status which marks fish as coming from a sustainable source.

But fear not, fish-fans. The vast majority of cod sold in Britain is already imported from Iceland, Norway or Russia.

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