Former President Evo Morales announced Sunday that ex-Economy Minister Luis Arce Catacora will be his party's presidential candidate in Bolivia's May 3 elections.
Speaking from self-exile in Argentina, Morales said the vice presidential candidate for his Movement To Socialism party would be David Choquehuanca, a former foreign secretary and like Morales a member of Bolivia's Aymara indigenous group.
Morales, who governed Bolivia for nearly 14 years, resigned the presidency in November when the police and army withdrew support after several weeks of demonstrations that erupted over allegations of fraud in the Oct. 20 presidential election that Morales claimed to have won. The Organization of American States said its audit found serious irregularities in the vote count.
An interim government took over after Morales left the country and annulled the October election, scheduled new national elections for May.
Many people had expected Choquehuanca to be named the party's presidential candidate. Party members had nominated him for that slot, with Cocalero leader Andrónico Rodríguez as the vice presidential candidates.
Speaking at a hotel in Buenos Aires, Morales said Arce was the best choice to lead the party's ticket because of his economic expertise. Arce played a key role in economic decisions during Morales' three terms as president.
Morales added that having Rodríguez on the ticket would not guarantee unity in the party, which has been divided since Morales' Nov. 10 resignation.
"With this we must all be united for the good of Bolivia," he said.
But there were quick signs of dissent within the party over the passing over of Choquehuanca.
Sen. Omar Aguilar, a member of the party, said the decision was difficult to accept and predicted it would create problems with peasant leaders who had backed Morales' long-time foreign minister.
"He has not respected our decision," Aguilar said. "This is a betrayal of the unity pact that we had agreed upon."
Prince Harry said Sunday that he felt "great sadness" but found "no other option" to cutting almost all of his and his wife Meghan's royal ties in the hopes of achieving a more peaceful life.
The comments were Harry's first public remarks since his split from the royal family was announced earlier this month. Video of his speech was posted to Harry and Meghan's official Instagram account.
Harry said he did not make the decision lightly and praised his grandmother, Queen Elizabeth II, and the rest of his family for supporting him and his wife in recent months. He called the decision "a leap of faith" and said he hopes the move will allow him and his family to achieve a "more peaceful life."
During his speech at a charity event, Harry framed the decision as being at least in part because of press scrutiny, saying the "the media is a powerful force."
He said that he and Meghan intend to continue a life of service and that his love and support for the United Kingdom is unwavering, but added that he needed to shed the royal ties he grew up with.
"We're not walking away, and we are certainly not walking away from you," Harry said. "Our hope was to continue serving the queen, the commonwealth and my military associations but without public funding. Unfortunately, that wasn't possible."
Harry and Meghan plan to spend most of their time in Canada. Beginning this spring they will stop using their "royal highness" titles and will lose all access to public funds once they stop carrying out official functions.
Harry made the remarks at a dinner to support Sentebale, his Africa-based charity supporting youngsters with HIV. He opened his speech noting that many in the audience had watched him grow up and said he wanted them "to hear the truth from me, as much as I can share, not as a prince, or a duke, but as Harry."
Harry framed the decision to leave as his own, made on behalf of Meghan and their young son, Archie. He said that Meghan shares his values and remains "the same woman I fell in love with."
He spoke of both during his remarks, telling the audience that Archie had seen snow for the first time a few days ago and "thought it was bloody brilliant."
He then turned to his relationship with the queen and other members of his family.
"I will always have the utmost respect for my grandmother — my commander in chief — and I'm incredibly grateful to her and the rest of my family for the support they have shown Meghan and I over the last few months," he said.
President Donald Trump thanked farmers Sunday for supporting him through a trade war with China as he promoted a new North American trade agreement and a separate one with China that he said will massively benefit farmers.
"We did it," Trump said, recalling his campaign promises to improve America's trading relationships with other countries.
At one point during his address to the American Farm Bureau Federation's convention, Trump said he has strong support among farmers following his signing last week of a preliminary trade deal with China.
When Trump spoke to the American Farm Bureau Federation's last year, he urged farmers to continue supporting him even as they suffered financially in the fallout from his trade war with China and a partial shutdown of the federal government.
His follow-up speech Sunday at this year's convention in Austin, Texas, gave him a chance to make the case to farmers that he kept promises he made as a candidate to improve trade with China and separately with Canada and Mexico.
He thanked farmers for staying "in the fight."
"You were always with me," Trump said. "You never even thought of giving up and we got it done."
The Republican president wants another term in office and is seeking to shore up support among his base, including farmers.
Trump announced he is taking steps to protect the water rights of farmers and ranchers by directing the Army Corps of Engineers to immediately withdraw a new water supply rule and allow states to manage water resources based on their own needs and what the agricultural community wants.
"Water is the lifeblood of agriculture and we will always protect your water supply," Trump said.
Trump signed a preliminary trade deal with China at the White House last Wednesday that commits Beijing to boosting its imports of U.S. manufacturing, energy and farm goods by $200 billion this year and next. That includes larger purchases of soybeans and other farm goods expected to reach $40 billion a year, the U.S. has said, though critics wonder if China can meet the targets.
In Austin, Trump described the trade agreement with China as "groundbreaking" and said, "We're going to sell the greatest product you've ever seen."
Also last week, the Senate voted overwhelmingly in favor of the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement, a successor to the 1994 North American Free Trade Agreement. The administration designed the new agreement to return some factory production to the United States, mostly automobiles.
Trump said in Austin that U.S. farmers will also benefit under USMCA, which he said will "massively boost exports" for farmers, ranchers, growers from "North to South" and "from sea to shining sea."
NAFTA had triggered a surge in trade among the three countries, but Trump and other critics blamed it for U.S. job losses brought about when American factories moved production south of the border to take advantage of low-wage labor in Mexico.
The House passed the U.S.-Mexico-Canada deal in December. Trump said he would sign it after he returns from a trip to Europe this week.
In his remarks to farmers, Trump claimed his administration is doing things no other administration has ever done.
"And what do I get out of it? I get impeached," he said. "That's what I get. By these radical-left lunatics, I get impeached. But that's OK. The farmers are sticking with Trump."
The president's trial in the Senate gets underway in earnest on Tuesday.
President Donald Trump's lawyers on Sunday previewed their impeachment defense with the questionable assertion that the charges against him are invalid, adopting a position rejected by Democrats as "nonsense" as both sides sharpened their arguments for trial.
"Criminal-like conduct is required," said Alan Dershowitz, a constitutional lawyer on Trump's defense team. Dershowitz said he will be making the same argument to the Senate and if it prevails, there will be "no need" to pursue the witness testimony or documents that Democrats are demanding.
The argument is part of a multi-pronged strategy the president's team is developing ahead of its impeachment trial brief, which is due Monday. Trump asserts that his Ukraine pressure was "perfect" and that he is the victim of a witch hunt.
But the "no crime, no impeachment" approach has been roundly dismissed by scholars and Democrats, who were fresh off a trial brief that called Trump's behavior the "worst nightmare" of the country's founders. In their view, the standard of "high crimes and misdemeanors" is vague and open-ended in the Constitution and meant to encompass abuses of power that aren't necessarily illegal.
The White House is pushing an "absurdist position," said Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Calif., the lead Democratic prosecutor of the impeachment case. "That's the argument I suppose you have to make if the facts are so dead set against you." Rep. Jerrold Nadler, D-N.Y., another impeachment prosecutor, called it "arrant nonsense" and said evidence of Trump's misconduct is overwhelming.
The back-and-forth came as all concerned agitated for the Senate to get on with the third impeachment trial in the nation's history. Behind the scenes Sunday, the seven House managers were meeting on strategy with staff and shoring up which prosecutor will handle which parts of the case. They were expected to do a walk-through of the Senate chamber on Monday around lunchtime, according to multiple Democrats working on impeachment who spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss plans.
The White House, meanwhile, was working on its response to the House's brief outlining the charges.
No senators were more eager to get going than the four Democratic presidential candidates facing the prospect of being marooned in the Senate ahead of kickoff nominating votes in Iowa and New Hampshire.
"I'd rather be here," said Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders on New Hampshire Public Radio while campaigning Sunday in Concord.
During the trial, Sanders and other senators are required to sit mutely for perhaps six grueling hours of proceedings daily — except Sundays, per Senate rules — in pursuit of the "impartial justice" they pledged to pursue. But there was scant evidence that anyone's mind was really open about whether Trump's pressure on Ukraine to help him politically amounted to impeachable conduct or removal from office.
Mystery, however, abounded over the trial's ground rules. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., shed no light on how the proceedings will follow — and differ from — the precedent of President Bill Clinton's impeachment trial in 1999.
"The president deserves a fair trial. The American people deserve a fair trial. So let's have that fair trial," said Democratic Rep. Jason Crow of Colorado, one of the seven impeachment prosecutors.
But what's fair is as vigorously disputed as the basic question of whether Trump's pressure on Ukraine to help him politically merits a Senate conviction and removal from office. The stakes are enormous, with historic influence on the fate of Trump's presidency, the 2020 presidential and congressional elections and the future of any presidential impeachments.
Whatever happens in the Senate, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., has said, Trump will "be impeached forever." Members of Trump's team countered that if they win a vindication for Trump, it means "there will be an acquittal forever as well," Trump attorney Robert Ray said Sunday. "That is the task ahead."
For all of the suspense over the trial's structure and nature, some clues on what's to come sharpened on Sunday.
The president's lawyers bore down on the suggestion that House impeachment is invalid unless the accused violated U.S. law. Dershowitz's argument, backed up by Ray, refers to an 1868 speech by Benjamin Curtis, who after serving as a Supreme Court justice acted as the chief lawyer for Andrew Johnson at his Senate impeachment trial.
"There can be no crime, there can be no misdemeanor, without a law, written or unwritten, express or implied," Curtis told the Senate. "There must be some law; otherwise there is no crime. My interpretation of it is that the language 'high crimes and misdemeanors' means 'offenses against the laws of the United States.'"
Johnson was ultimately acquitted by the Senate.
"The core of the impeachment parameters allege that crimes have been committed, treason, bribery, and things like that, in other words, other high crimes and misdemeanors," Ray said Sunday.
Republicans have long signaled the strategy, which has, in turn, been disputed by other scholars.
"Rubbish," said Frank Bowman, a University of Missouri law professor and author of his own book about the history of impeachment for the Trump era.
"It's comically bad. Dershowitz either knows better or should," said Bowman, who said he had been Dershowitz's student as a law professor at Harvard. "It's a common argument, and it's always wrong."
Even as he made the case for Trump's acquittal, Dershowitz on Sunday distanced himself from the rest of Trump's defense team and said he would merely speak about the Constitution at the trial. He refused to endorse the strategy pursued by other members of that team or defend Trump's conduct and said he didn't sign onto the White House left brief filed Saturday, which called impeachment a "brazen" attempt to overturn the 2016 election.
"I'm a liberal Democrat ... I'm here as a constitutional lawyer," Dershowitz said. "I'm here to lend my expertise on that issue and that issue alone."
Democrats, meanwhile, are pushing for witnesses and documents that weren't part of the House proceedings. A few Republicans said they want to know more before deciding. It's relevant because new information from Lev Parnas, an indicted associate of Trump lawyer Rudy Giuliani, is being incorporated in the House case. At the same time, Senate Democrats want to call John Bolton, the former national security adviser, among other potential eyewitnesses, after the White House blocked officials from appearing in the House.
With Republicans controlling the Senate 53-47, they can set the trial rules — or any four Republicans could join with Democrats to change course.
As for being forced back to the Senate in the heat of the nomination fight, Sanders pointed out in New Hampshire that he is "not the only senator who's going to be stuck in the impeachment." Also off the campaign trail will be Sens. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts, Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota and Michael Bennet of Colorado.
"I can't tell you how long I'm going to be in Washington. Is it a week? Is it two weeks? Is it three weeks?" Sanders said on NPR. "So it creates a difficult political situation."
The House on Dec. 18 voted mostly along party lines to impeach, or indict, Trump. The president rejects both charges as the products of a "witch hunt" and a "hoax," and has cast himself as a victim of Democrats who opposed him from the beginning of his administration.
Crow spoke on CNN's "State of the Union" and Dershowitz was on CNN and ABC's "This Week." Ray was on Fox News Channel's "Sunday Morning Futures." Schiff appeared on ABC and Nadler appeared on CBS's "Face the Nation."
Queen Elizabeth II was all smiles as she made her way to church Sunday after a momentous announcement that Prince Harry and wife Meghan would cut almost all of their ties to the royal family in favor of a more private life.
She was greeted by royal supporters as she entered the church near her Sandringham House estate with her son Prince Andrew.
Elizabeth, 93, has been managing a family crisis caused by Harry and Meghan's determination to spend most of their time in Canada and to completely alter their relationship with the rest of the royals.
In a statement released Saturday evening, she put the best possible face on events by saying: "I want to thank them for all their dedicated work across this country, the Commonwealth and beyond, and am particularly proud of how Meghan has so quickly become one of the family."
Harry and Meghan will stop using their "royal highness" titles and will lose all access to public funds when they stop carrying out official functions. The news has been greeted with dismay in the Sandringham area, where the queen and her family are familiar figures.
Later Sunday, Harry said in his first public speech since the announcement that he and his wife were stepping away from royal duties with "great sadness," but that there was "no other option."
He called the decision a "leap of faith" and said he hoped it would bring him and his family a "more peaceful life," adding that he and Meghan intend to continue a life of service. He made the remarks at a dinner to support Sentebale, his Africa-based charity supporting youngsters with HIV, at the Ivy Chelsea Garden in London, and posted a video of the speech to his and Meghan's official Instagram account.
His father Prince Charles and brother Prince William have so far been silent.
Royal watcher Rosie Viles, who waited for a glimpse of the queen, said she wasn't shocked by the decision but was upset.
"It's very sad that he feels that he's got to stand away from royal duties but he's obviously made that decision and I think part of that might have been to do with his mum, Princess Diana," she said, referring to the Diana's death in 1997 when she being hounded by the press. "I'm sad but it's his decision at the end of the day and obviously the queen has sorted it all out."