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Cramm for 10/23/19
 
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THE HIGHLIGHTS

William Taylor is feeling newsworthy. 

 

THE BACKGROUND. 

Lately, all anyone’s been able to talk about is the impeachment inquiry into Prez Trump. The inquiry kicked off a couple weeks ago after it came out that Trump chatted with Ukraine’s prez (Volodymr Zelensky) in a July phone call...and asked him to pretty please investigate the Bidens for potential dirt. And right before the call, froze nearly $400 million in aid to Ukraine. Scene, set. 

 

THE HAPPENINGS. 

Say hello to William Taylor. He’s the top US diplomat in Ukraine who testified before lawmakers yesterday in the impeachment inquiry. It was just the teensiest bit explosive. As in Taylor said ‘who doesn’t love a good quid pro quo?’ and told lawmakers that there was an explicit quid pro quo directed by Prez Trump. Quid pro quo: the idea that if we do something for you, you’ll do something for us. In this case, Trump apparently told aides to withhold aid from Ukraine until the country officially pledged to investigate the Bidens. Yes, really. 

 

THE REACTION. 

Huge. House Dems called the testimony the most “damaging” yet - while some want Gordon Sondland (who already testified and said there was no quid pro quo) to come back for round two. Meanwhile, the Prez is under fire from lawmakers on both sides of the aisle for comparing the impeachment inquiry to a “lynching.”

 

SO,,,?

This testimony is expected to shake up the impeachment inquiry. TBD, TBD, TBD. 


THE ACTION

WORLD: Everyone’s talking about Brexit. Quick refresher: back in 2016, the UK shocked everyone and voted to ditch the EU. But in the years since, they’ve had a bit of trouble actually accomplishing that. Enter: Prime Minister Boris Johnson - who recently worked out a Brexit deal with the EU. Problem, since Parliament supports this deal - but didn’t nod its head to speeding things up and getting the deal passed earlier. Meaning the UK might not have a deal in place by the time the deadline for Brexit - which is October 31st - rolls around. Now, it looks like lawmakers have another deadline delay in mind - while Johnson’s considering calling new general elections. In other news, Turkey and Russia have their eyes on northern Syria

 

USA: All eyes are on the college admissions scandal. Reminder: months ago, it came out that dozens of parents - including Felicity Huffman and Lori Loughlin - paid lots of money to do things like bribe administrators, cheat on the SAT and ACT, and edit photos to help their kids get into a particular college. All of which are illegal, BTW. Yesterday, prosecutors intro’d new charges against Loughlin, her husband, and nine other parents - apparently in an attempt to pressure them to plead guilty. Stay tuned. Meanwhile, ExxonMobil’s going to court. The biz is accused of misleading investors about the potential impact of climate change regulations on its operations. And speaking of which, Mark Zuckerberg’s heading to Capitol Hill. Because, Libra. 

 

POLITICS: Recently, it was revealed that more than a million American kids have lost health insurance in the last two years. The why: new gov changes - plus growing fears of deportation in immigrant communities. No word yet on this from lawmakers. In other news, the Trump team’s switching things up. Yesterday, the gov made moves to weaken protections for a threatened California fish. Meaning lots of water could now be diverted from the San Francisco Bay Delta to irrigate farmland - which is expected to mess with the region’s “fragile” ecosystem. Not yet clear how big of an impact this will have. 


WHAT TO KNOW

$112,000:” the cost of Tiffany’s new advent calendar. Affordable.


SAY WHAT?

“He grew a 910-pound pumpkin and then used it as a boat” - an actual headline. No, this isn’t Cinderella fan-fiction. 

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