Politico – David M. Herszenhorn / Pompeo non grata, or just too busy? Secretary of state cancels Europe trip
- According to a State Department press release issued Tuesday, just hours before Pompeo’s scheduled departure for Brussels, the trip — billed as his final voyage abroad as U.S. President Donald Trump’s top envoy — was scrapped to ensure a “smooth and orderly transition.”
- But other officials said the cancellation was more a case of American snobbery being answered by European snubbery: Pompeo abandoned the trip because European officials balked at seeing him after last week’s deadly riot by Trump supporters at the U.S. Capitol.
- Earlier Tuesday, before news of Pompeo’s cancellation, the European Commission said that no EU official would meet the secretary of state. A spokesman declined to elaborate further on the reasons or decision-making process.
- Pompeo had also planned to see Luxembourg Foreign Minister Jean Asselborn, but European officials said that meeting was called off. A day after the violent uprising at the Capitol, Asselborn had told Luxembourg Radio that Trump was a “political pyromaniac who must be brought before a court.”
- Foreign Policy – Jeffrey Lewis / Mike Pompeo is trying to bluff his way to a legacy
The Washington Post – Mike DeBonis, Josh Dawsey and Seung Min Kim / Several senior Republicans join impeachment push
- The push for an unprecedented second impeachment of President Trump took a dramatic bipartisan turn Tuesday, as several senior House Republicans joined the Democratic effort to remove Trump for his role in inciting an angry mob to storm the Capitol last week.
- Rep. Liz Cheney (Wyo.), the third-ranking House Republican, and Rep. John Katko (N.Y.), the top Republican on the House Homeland Security Committee, both publicly held Trump responsible for last Wednesday’s violence. They were later joined by Reps. Adam Kinzinger (R-Ill.), Fred Upton (R-Mich.) and Jaime Herrera Beutler (R-Wash.).
- Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) has been telling associates since the attack that Trump probably committed impeachable offenses, as first reported by the New York Times. McConnell, a close adviser said, has not decided how he will vote on impeachment and wants to hear the case first.
- McConnell has not returned Trump’s calls in weeks and remains livid with him, and he will not pressure his colleagues to oppose or support convicting the president. “He’s not going to whip the vote,” said the adviser, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss private conversations.
- Financial Times – Demetri Sevastopulo and Lauren Fedor / Mike Pence rules out using 25th amendment to remove Donald Trump as Democrats prepare to impeach
Financial Times – Guy Chazan / After Merkel: battle for the soul of the Christian Democratic Union
- It is a Friday evening in Berlin and three middle-aged, dark-suited men are setting out their vision for the future of Germany — the last debate in a withering 10-month campaign for the leadership of the country’s most powerful political party.
- Friedrich Merz, a millionaire businessman, says he will “dare to make a fresh start, and renew Germany and the EU”. Armin Laschet, governor of one of Germany’s biggest regions, says he wants to modernise his country for the 2020s and fix “all the deficiencies” exposed by the coronavirus pandemic.
- Norbert Röttgen, an MP and foreign policy expert, says he is not part of any camp — “I stand for all . . . for the modern centre.” The tone is polite and low-key. All three seem to agree on almost everything — battling climate change, for example, and strengthening Europe.
- But Saturday’s election, at a digital party conference in Berlin, could usher in a new era of uncertainty — especially if Mr Merz wins. An old rival of Ms Merkel, he is more sceptical about closer European integration than others in his party and speaks of the need for Germany to do more to “safeguard its interests” in the EU, and “learn the language of power”.
- Euractiv / The three men vying to succeed Merkel
The Guardian – Phoebe Weston / Top scientists warn of ‘ghastly future of mass extinction’ and climate disruption
- The planet is facing a “ghastly future of mass extinction, declining health and climate-disruption upheavals” that threaten human survival because of ignorance and inaction, according to an international group of scientists, who warn people still haven’t grasped the urgency of the biodiversity and climate crises.
- The 17 experts, including Prof Paul Ehrlich from Stanford University, author of The Population Bomb, and scientists from Mexico, Australia and the US, say the planet is in a much worse state than most people – even scientists – understood.
- “The scale of the threats to the biosphere and all its lifeforms – including humanity – is in fact so great that it is difficult to grasp for even well-informed experts,” they write in a report in Frontiers in Conservation Science which references more than 150 studies detailing the world’s major environmental challenges.
- The report warns that climate-induced mass migrations, more pandemics and conflicts over resources will be inevitable unless urgent action is taken. Dealing with the enormity of the problem requires far-reaching changes to global capitalism, education and equality, the paper says.
- The Economist / Removing space junk
- Project Syndicate – Joseph E. Stiglitz / Whither America?