The White House legal team on Saturday slammed House Democrats' impeachment effort against President Donald Trump as "brazen and unlawful" in its first formal response.
"This is a brazen and unlawful attempt to overturn the results of the 2016 election and interfere with the 2020 election," Trump's lawyers argued in a response filed to the Senate.
"The Articles of Impeachment are constitutionally invalid on their face," the six-page response read.
Also on Saturday, House Democrats unveiled a 111-page outline of their legal case heading into the Trump impeachment trial in the Republican-majority Senate, underlying the central assertion that the president abused his office, obstructed Congress and should be removed.
"The evidence overwhelmingly establishes that he is guilty of both. The only remaining question is whether the members of the Senate will accept and carry out the responsibility placed on them by the Framers of our Constitution and their constitutional Oaths," the brief compiled by seven House managers read.
The trial is set to begin on Tuesday with U.S. Chief Justice John Roberts presiding.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has given the House until Saturday and the White House counsel until Monday to deliver trial briefs outlining their arguments, allowing a House deadline for rebuttal the following day.
The U.S. State Department said Saturday that it had imposed sanctions on a brigadier general of Iran's Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC).
The department said in a statement that it had blacklisted Brigadier General Hassan Shahvarpour, a commander in Khuzestan province, accusing him of commanding units blamed for killing protestors in Iran in November 2019.
Following the designation, the blacklisted individual, as well as his immediate family members, is ineligible for entry into the United States.
The latest move by the U.S. State Department came amid high tensions between Washington and Tehran following the U.S. killing of a top Iranian military commander and Iran's missiles attack on U.S. military bases in Iraq.
First batch of Cuban governors and deputy governors since 1959 were elected on Saturday in order to "economically and socially contribute" to national development, according to the Cuban constitution.
"All the proposals by Cuban President Miguel Diaz-Canel were endorsed by municipal delegates across the country," Alina Balseiro, head of the Cuban National Electoral Council told reporters at a news conference.
Earlier on Friday, Diaz-Canel called for special attention to the creation of new government structures, as part of the effort to enhance people's power.
The position of governor has been added to the new constitution approved in February, 2019, some six decades after it was removed from the governmental system of the island country following the victory of the Cuban Revolution.
"Governors are fundamental to strengthening local power as they are accountable for 15 provinces' executive and managerial performances," said Lissete Perez, senior professor with the School of Law at the University of Havana.
A new structure of People's Power National Assembly at the local level will increase government control, supervision and citizen participation in the decision-making process, she said.
The Cuban constitution says provincial governments are "meant to economically and socially contribute to the territory's development and facilitate coordination between state structures and municipalities."
Teresa Lara, economic analyst at the Enterprise for Knowledge Management and Technology, said these changes would involve not only decentralization of government, but also that of economic activity.
She said that new authorities will have the opportunity to better bolster urban and rural development amid increasing U.S. blockade against the island under the current U.S. administration.
"It is a move on the right track for governors are called on to have more control over resources and state budget than presidents of former Provincial Assemblies of People's Power," she added.
Governors and deputy governors will serve for a five-year term after inauguration ceremonies to take place on Feb. 8 prior to constituting provincial councils.
Brazil's National Culture Secretary Roberto Alvim was fired on Friday after making a speech echoing Adolf Hitler's Propaganda Minister Joseph Goebbels.
In a video aired on Thursday, Alvim talked about Brazil's "nationalist art" in terms very similar to Goebbels' speech on the same subject in 1933.
Alvim said Brazilian art would be "heroic", "national", "committed" and "imperative", or else it "will be nothing" -- all the expressions were used by Goebbels when talking to theater directors during the Nazi regime.
In addition to the similarity in words, Alvim also used the opera "Lohengrin" as the background soundtrack, a work by German composer Richard Wagner who was promoted in the Nazi era as one of Hitler's favorite composers.
Alvim said he did not know Goebbels' speech and attributed the similarity to a "rhetorical coincidence."
After the speech sparked outrage in Brazil, the office of President Jair Bolsonaro announced Alvim's dismissal in a statement on Friday, saying "an unfortunate statement, even though he apologized, made the secretary's tenure unsustainable."
Bolsonaro reiterated his rejection to "totalitarian and genocidal ideologies" and his support to the Jewish community in Brazil.
Uzbekistan's Ministry of Investment and Foreign Trade signed project implementation agreements in strategic energy sector with Mubadala, Abu Dhabi's investment and development fund, and its subsidiary Masdar, the ministry's press service said Saturday.
The project agreement signed between Uzbek Ministry of Investment and Foreign Trade and United Arab Emirates' Masdar company envisages building of a 400 MW wind farm in Navoi region, southwestern part of Uzbekistan, to be commissioned in two years, according to the statement.
Under the agreement, Masdar will design, finance, build and operate a wind farm, Uzbek ministry said adding that the project would cost 600 million U.S dollars.
Under another agreement signed with Mubadala Investment Company, Uzbekistan plans to implement a project on the privatization of existing power units and construction of the new units on the basis of Talimarjan Thermal Power Plant in Kashkadarya region.
The ministry said that the privatization process with the purchase of the shares of the power plant facility is planned by the Emirates' company in the third quarter of 2020.
Uzbekistan has already signed an investment agreement with Masdar on the construction of a photovoltaic power station with a total capacity of 100 MW in Navoi region in 2019.