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This Week in World: Impeachment, Russia, and More

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Trump Impeachment To Go Ahead

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi announced that the House of Representatives will press impeachment charges against President Trump. They accuse Trump of alleged “abuse of power”. “Our democracy is what is at stake, the president leaves us no choice but to act,” the top elected Democrat said. In addition, Trump called the Democrats “crazy”, and urged them to move quickly if they pressed impeachment charges.

The Democrats also say that Trump made military aid to Ukraine conditional on it investigating rival Joe Biden. “The facts are uncontested. The president abused his power for his own political benefit at the expense of our national security, by withholding military aid and a crucial Oval Office meeting in exchange for an announcement for an investigation into his political rival,” Pelosi said.

Russia Ready To Extend New START Nuclear Treaty

Russian President Vladimir Putin announced that Russia was ready to extend the New START nuclear treaty on Thursday. In addition, he said that new conditions or discussions were necessary. “Russia is not interested in starting an arms race and deploying missiles where they are not present now,” Putin told officials in a meeting.

The New START was signed in 2010. It limits the amount of strategic nuclear warheads that both Washington and Moscow can own. Recently, however, its fate has been up in the air. With the US pulling out of another key arms treaty in August, people were unsure if the New START would still stand. “Russia is ready to immediately, as soon as possible, by the end of this year, without any preconditions, extend the START Treaty so that there would be no further double or triple interpretation of our position,” Putin said.

Russians Charged Over Hacking Attacks

US authorities filed charges against Russian nationals for running a global cyber theft operation. The operation, named Evil Corp, targeted schools and religious organizations. In addition, the attacks occurred over 40 different countries all over the world. The hackers used malware to steal millions of dollars.

In a news conference, Assistant Attorney General Brian Benczkowski called the attacks some of “the worst computer hacking and bank fraud schemes of the past decade”. US authorities also allege that the hackers stole at least $100M using Bugat malware. The attackers spread the malware, named Dridex, through phishing emails.

Pirates Kidnap 19 Crew Members Of Greek Tanker

Pirates have kidnapped 19 crew members of a Greek oil tanker off the coast of Nigeria. They attacked the vessel, the Nave Constellation, 77 miles off the coast of the Bonny Island on Tuesday. They also seized 18 Indians and one Turk from the tanker. Currently, seven other crew members remain on board. In addition, they damaged neither the vessel nor the cargo.

Iran Developing Nuclear-Capable Warheads

European officials said that Iran is developing nuclear-capable warheads in violation of a Security Council resolution. A letter sent by the UK, France, and Germany says Iran tested a Shahab-3 missile variant “equipped with a manoeuvrable re-entry vehicle” that could deliver a nuclear weapon.

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