WORLD: Venice isn’t doing all that well. Lately, the city’s been facing its worst flooding in more than 50 years, with high tide reportedly peaking at 73.6 inches. One person has died. Now, it looks like the city’s declaring a state of emergency over what they’re calling an “unprecedented” situation. Speaking of which, the US is freezing. Literally. All across the nation, Americans are experiencing record-breaking cold, with temps at 18 in Memphis, 25 in New York City, and 11 in Columbus. Temps are expected to start upping again tomorrow. The weather outside is frightful. Meanwhile, a new FBI report says hate-crime violence has hit a 16-year high - with physical assault making up 61% of the 7,120 reported incidents. Not good.
USA: The impeachment inquiry’s going public. Hint: today marks the first televised testimonies in the probe, with US diplomat Bill Taylor and State Dept official George Kent publicly testifying. Things are expected to get intense, especially since the hearing’s expected to go on through mid-afternoon. Suspense, thick. In other news, ICYMI, the gov runs out of money in just over a week. Now, all eyes are on Congress to see whether lawmakers can figure out a budget plan. And meanwhile, the US military reportedly has surveillance footage of Turkish-backed fighters committing a possible war crime in Syria. This comes as the US gov is looking into several potential war crime incidents carried out by Turkish-backed forces in the country.
POLITICS: All eyes are on Bolivia. Quick refresher: everyone was a big fan of Bolivian Prez Evo Morales...until he (unconstitutionally) ran for a fourth term in October’s election. He won by thiiiis much - but the Organization of American States pointed fingers at Morales for “clear manipulation.” Cue protests, leading Morales to flee to Mexico. Now, it looks like a Bolivian senator - Jeanine Áñez - is declaring herself as interim prez after taking control of the Senate. Tension, high. Speaking of which, the Hong Kong protests keep escalating. Up until recently, the protests have taken place on weekends - but now, they’re continuing into the week, causing schools to be shut down. Now, police are warning that the city’s on the “brink of breakdown.”