The Wider World

Impeachment trial starts Feb. 8

IN 2019, the U.S. House of Representatives voted to impeach President Donald Trump (House photo).

The second impeachment trial of Donald Trump will begin on Monday, Feb. 8.

According to the Associated Press, Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-New York) on Friday announced the schedule after making a deal with Republicans in the Senate. The delay is intended to give Trump more time to prepare a defense against the charge of “incitement to insurrection” in connection to the storming of the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6.

“We want to put this awful chapter in our nation’s history behind us.” said Schumer.

Many Republicans are critical of the process because Trump is no longer in office, dismissing it as pointless, and of questionable legality. Democrats argue that because of the nature of the incident, some action is required.

If Trump is convicted, he could be barred from running for president in 2024.

While there have been three impeachments of presidents to date, none have ever been convicted. That would require a two-thirds vote of the U.S. Senate, where the parties are split 50-50. Democrats are considered the majority because Vice President Kamala Harris – in her constitutional role as president of the Senate – can break a tie by voting.

News: $15 minimum wage for U.S. employees

President Joe Biden on Friday signed an executive order directing all federal agencies to pay their workers a minimum wage of $15 an hour and to give them emergency paid leave.

According to United Press International, the minimum wage for federal employees is $7.25 an hour. His order requires that the raise go into effect within 100 days.

In another order, he directed the Department of Agriculture to increase benefits for programs like food stamps by 15 percent.

TELEVISION SHAKEUPS: NBCSN, the sports channel owned by NBCUniversal, will be shut down, its content merged into the USA network, or Peacock, the new streaming service, according to USA Today. NBCSN has featured the Stanley Cup playoffs and NASCAR racing.

Also on Friday, the Nielson TV ratings firm, has CNN passing Fox News as the most-watched cable news network. From Election Day through the inauguration, CNN had the biggest average audience, 1.8 million to 1.6 million for MSNBC and 1.5 million for Fox. Some of the loss for Fox, USA Today reported, was to the conservative Newsmax channel, which had an audience of 250,000.

Sports:  Hank “Hammer” Aaron dead at 86

Hank Aaron, the man who broke Babe Ruth’s all-time home run record of 714 with 755 of his own, has died at the age of 86. His career spanned 23 years in major league baseball, most of them with the Milwaukee/Atlanta Braves. He also was a link between the old Negro leagues and “big league” ball, having played one season for the Indianapolis Clowns. A 25-time all-star, Aaron was also an advocate for civil rights, both within and outside of professional baseball.

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