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Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte and his entire Cabinet have resigned because of a scandal involving investigations into child welfare payments that wrongly labeled thousands of parents as fraudsters. Rutte said Friday that he and his government were taking political responsibility for a tax office policy that plunged many wrongfully accused parents into debt because “the whole system has failed.” The move was seen as largely symbolic; Rutte’s government will remain in office in a caretaker mode until a new coalition is formed after a March 17 election in the Netherlands. His party is expected to win the election, putting him first in line to begin talks to form the next government.

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President Donald Trump’s impeachment now heads toward a historic Senate trial, perhaps as soon as next week. In a remarkable scene, senators will be serving not only as jurors but witnesses and victims of the deadly Capitol siege. The trial could begin as soon as Inauguration Day, when Democrat Joe Biden will take the oath of office. But the date has not been set and some Democrats suggest waiting. Trump faces a single charge of “incitement of insurrection.” In pursuing conviction, House impeachment managers will be making the case that Trump’s incendiary rhetoric before last week's mob attack was not isolated. Rather, they will say, it was part of an escalating campaign to question the integrity of the U.S. election and overturn the results.

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 South Korea’s Supreme Court has upheld a 20-year prison term for former President Park Geun-hye over bribery and other crimes. The ruling concludes a historic corruption case that marked a striking fall from grace for the country’s first female leader and a conservative icon. Park was impeached before being ousted from office in 2017. She'll serve a combined 22 years behind bars following a separate conviction for political meddling. She has called her case an example of political revenge. The court's finalizing of her prison term makes Park eligible for a special presidential pardon, a looming possibility as the deeply-split electorate approaches a presidential election next year.

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Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is not ruling out that he might vote to convict the now twice-impeached President Donald Trump. The Kentucky Republican is blocking a quick Senate trial of Trump. But he's told colleagues he's not made up his mind about how he'll vote whenever that trial begins. McConnell is Washington's most influential Republican. The trial probably won't begin till around Jan. 20. That's around when Democrats will take majority control of the chamber and the day of Democrat Joe Biden's presidential inauguration.

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President Donald Trump has been impeached by the U.S. House over the violent siege of the Capitol. He is the only president to be twice impeached. He faced a single charge “incitement of insurrection” in Wednesday's vote after he encouraged a mob of loyalists to, as he put it, “fight like hell” against election results. The subsequent attack on the U.S. Capitol turned deadly and delayed finalizing Democrat Joe Biden's election victory. Security was exceptionally tight at the Capitol for Wednesday's vote, beefed up by armed National Guard troops, with secure perimeters set up and metal-detector screenings required for lawmakers entering the House chamber. A handful of Republicans supported impeachment along with the Democrats.

California Democratic leaders are being criticized after attempting to link the insurrection at the U.S. Capitol with efforts to recall Democratic Gov. Gavin Newsom. State Democratic Party Chair Rusty Hicks led a group of Democratic officials who described the effort to remove Newsom as a “coup” and claimed, without evidence, that those involved were far-right extremists. Republicans called the event a dangerous act of desperation and fresh evidence that the Democratic governor needs to go. The criticism came Wednesday as the Republican Party of Orange County launched a new round of fundraising appeals for the proposed recall. Even some Democrats were openly critical of their party's strategy.

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The Illinois House has elected its first Black speaker to replace the longest-serving legislative leader in modern U.S. history. Rep. Emanuel “Chris” Welch will take over the gavel from Michael Madigan, who has led the chamber 36 of the last 38 years but was facing a bribery investigation. Madigan issued a statement conceding that “it is time for new leadership in the House” after a morning Democratic caucus cast a majority of its votes for Welch, of the Chicago suburb of Hillside. Welch, an eight-year House veteran from the Chicago suburb of Hillside, garnered 70 votes from the 118-member House. Had Madigan sought retention, Democrats who dominate the chamber might have been forced into a drawn-out leadership battle. 

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Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is not ruling out that he might vote to convict the now twice-impeached President Donald Trump. The Kentucky Republican is blocking a quick Senate trial of Trump. But he's told colleagues he's not made up his mind about how he'll vote whenever that trial begins. McConnell is Washington's most influential Republican. The trial probably won't begin till around Jan. 20. That's around when Democrats will take majority control of the chamber and the day of Democrat Joe Biden's presidential inauguration.