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Cramm for 11/20/19
 
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THE HIGHLIGHTS

The Trump team is its own new enemy. 

 

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. 

Yesterday, four more witnesses testified in public hearings. First up, meet Jennifer Williams (an aide to VP Mike Pence) and Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman (the National Security Council’s Ukraine expert) - both of whom listened in on that July 25 call. In their testimonies, they said they immediately knew that the call was “inappropriate” - plus that Prez Trump and his team pushed “false narratives” about Ukraine. Vindman also outlined a July 10 meeting where Gordon Sondland (who’s set to testify today) demanded a direct quid pro quo. 

 

THE HAPPENINGS PT 2. 

Next up, say hello to US Special Envoy to Ukraine Kurt Volker and Tim Morrison (a former Trump adviser on Russia and Europe). Morrison said he never asked his Ukranian counterparts to take a magnifying glass to the Bidens because it wasn’t a “policy objective” - while Volker said investigating the Bidens is “unacceptable.” Hint: both of these men are the GOP’s witnesses. Big deal, since neither of their testimonies were all that great for Prez Trump. 

 

SO…?

In response to the hearings, the Trump team raised q’s about the credibility of these witnesses - their own employees. TBD, TBD, TBD. 


THE ACTION

USA: Tonight is the next Dem debate. Expect to hear from Pete Buttigieg (the new frontrunner in Iowa), Joe Biden, Elizabeth Warren, Bernie Sanders, Kamala Harris, Amy Klobouchar, Tulsi Gabbard, Andrew Yang, Cory Booker, and Tom Steyer. This comes as the Iowa caucus is just 75 days away. Suspense, thick. In other news, law enforcement officials are investigating after a white supremacist manifesto was sent to the phones of students at Syracuse University. It’s not the first such incident the university’s had lately. Meanwhile, New York’s heading to court. Recently, the state sued Juul (as in the vape biz) and said it markets its products towards teens. 

 

WORLD: ISIS is making a comeback. We’ll remind you: over the past couple years, ISIS hasn’t been doing all that well. Enter: Syria. Recently, Prez Trump pulled troops out of the country - essentially giving Turkey the thumbs-up to attack the Kurds. For context, the US and the Kurds had been teaming up to fight ISIS for years. Now, a new Pentagon report says Turkey’s invasion of Syria is leading to an ISIS resurgence and giving the terrorist group an opening to rebuild. Stay tuned. Meanwhile, the UK general election kicked off yesterday. See: Prime Minister Boris Johnson faced off against Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn in the first televised debate of the campaign. 

 

PROTESTS: There’s no end in sight in the Bolivian protests. Quick refresher: following reports of “clear manipulation” and “irregularities” in the country’s last election, the election’s winner - Prez Evo Morales - fled to Mexico. Cue protests - both against and in support of Morales. Now, a month later, the death toll is continuing to rise in these protests, with 3 people killed yesterday - marking the 21st, 22nd, and 23rd deaths. Unclear what Bolivia’s next step is. And speaking of which, over a thousand people have been detained at a university in Hong Kong after protesters spent days holed up there. 


WHAT TO KNOW

Tom Hanks:” who’s apparently related to Mister Rogers. Won’t You Be My Relative?


SAY WHAT?

“It was so long ago. No one is going to know the difference” - a studio executive, arguing that Julia Roberts could play…Harriet Tubman. Think they’re way underestimating the power of eyesight. 

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