Donald Trump’s second impeachment trial started on Tuesday with extensive video footage of the deadly January 6 siege on the US Capitol, as Democrats made the case that the former president should be convicted for inciting an insurrection.
Following four hours of debate over whether it is constitutional to put a former president on trial in the Senate, lawmakers voted to let the trial proceed.
Jamie Raskin, the Democratic congressman from Maryland who is the lead impeachment manager and de facto chief prosecutor, began the hearing with the often graphic 10-minute video. The compilation of clips of the attack, as seen from outside and inside the Capitol, included a snippet of Trump encouraging the crowds to “fight like hell” and march on the legislature. Raskin wrapped up the prosecution’s arguments on Tuesday with an emotional speech, in which he reminded lawmakers that he buried his 25-year-old son, who died at the end of last year by suicide, just one day before the Capitol siege. Raskin also had his daughter and son-in-law with him at the Capitol on the day it was attacked, as the family grieved together.
Following the Maryland lawmaker’s remarks, Bruce Castor, Donald Trump’s lawyer, denied Donald Trump was responsible for the riot in a meandering opening statement in which he heaped praise on senators and shared a variety of philosophical musings. (FT, NYT, Bloomberg, Politico)
We risk remaining inside national prisons indefinitely if global leaders do not raise their vaccination gaze from their own countries, writes Martin Wolf. Follow the latest with our live blog.
Huawei challenges its designation as a threat to US security The Chinese telecoms equipment maker has asked a US court to overturn a Federal Communications Commission ruling that it poses a security threat to the country because of alleged ties to the Chinese military. (FT)
BlackRock’s new Asia-Pacific chief sees HK retaining power Hong Kong will continue to be a pre-eminent financial centre and will play a central role in opening up China’s financial system to the rest of the world despite recent political upheaval, according Rachel Lord, the new head of BlackRock’s Asia-Pacific operations. (FT)
Twitter’s user growth slows as pandemic surge fades The social media company’s user growth fell short of expectations for the second quarter in a row and it warned that the pace of growth would slow in 2021 as a pandemic-related boost wears off. (FT)
Taiwan on alert for signs of shift in US relations President Tsai Ing-wen ordered the island’s national security team to keep close tabs on relations with the US. “There are some confused signals from Washington,” said a senior Taiwanese government official. (FT)
Amazon must not interfere with US union effort, say investors A group of more than 70 of the company’s investors said the ecommerce group should stop interfering with efforts by its workers to unionise ahead of a pivotal vote in Alabama. With mail-in ballot voting beginning this week, the company had been waging an anti-union campaign. (FT)
Number of registered newborns in China drops 15% in 2020 Births in the country fell sharply last year as the coronavirus pandemic intensified the scale of the demographic challenge facing the world’s most populous nation. The steep decline is the latest evidence of the demographic challenges facing China. (FT)
Reddit boosts valuation with $250m fundraising The edgy online discussion forum that has been at the centre of the recent US retail trading mania, has raised $250m from private investors as it continues its attempt to attract advertisers’ dollars from big brands. (FT)
Saudi Arabia central bank overhaul The central bank is set for its most significant changes in decades under a law that comes into force this month. Analysts said it could diminish the bank’s role in investing the nation’s hard currency surpluses in favour of the sovereign wealth fund chaired by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman. (FT)
China economic data Mainland China will release its consumer price index and producer price index figures for January on Wednesday.
Salmond testimony Former Scottish first minister Alex Salmond is on Wednesday due to appear before a parliamentary committee investigating the Holyrood government’s handling of harassment complaints against him.
Live Q&A Leslie Hook, our environment and clean energy correspondent, and Henry Sanderson, our metals and mining correspondent, will answer your questions on the international race for clean energy throughout the day on Wednesday, February 10. (FT)
Politics are no laughing matter for India’s comedians Colonial-era criminal statutes — which make it a crime to deliberately offend people’s religious feelings or promote enmity between communities — give authorities the legal tools to apply pressure on critical voices. The measures put Munawar Faruqui, a young stand-up comic in jail for 36 days. (FT)
Can you imagine life without Google? That is the curious reality Australians have been contemplating since the US technology group threatened to shut its ubiquitous search engine in their country over a draft law that would force Big Tech to pay news providers for content. (FT)
Ride to nowhere A potential merger of ride-hailing services Grab and Gojek could prove detrimental to drivers’ working conditions. Gig workers were already feeling the squeeze of fewer people using ride shares during the pandemic. Now, as investors look for ways to cut costs, workers will likely pay the price. (Rest of World)
Musk’s effect on crypto shows how irrational markets are The volatile value of cryptocurrency is only as much as the next person is prepared to pay. When that next person is Tesla founder Elon Musk, a billionaire idolised by countless amateur traders, the amount can turn out to be quite high. But Tesla’s bitcoin bet is unlikely to have many corporate copycats. (FT)
Joe Biden’s $1.9tn plan is necessary as economic recovery insurance The Biden administration should tailor its stimulus package not to its best guess of the precise size of today’s crisis, but with the recognition that things might go wrong and might already be worse than expected, writes Gene Sperling, US national economic adviser to Barack Obama and Bill Clinton. (FT)
Draghi and the EU recovery fund As Italy draws up ambitious reform plans to relaunch its weak economy, powered by €200bn of EU funds, uprooting entrenched barriers to investment will determine whether the scheme is a success. Now the country is turning to Mario Draghi, the former European Central Bank president, to carry out the programme. (FT)
Is the retail investor revolution unravelling? Markets editor Katie Martin looks at what has happened since so-called retail traders and amateur have-a-go investors bet against GameStop, and whether they really understand the market risks.