The House Intelligence Committee’s first public hearing in President Donald Trump’s impeachment inquiry got underway Wednesday morning as two career U.S. diplomats sat down before lawmakers to answer questions about U.S. relations with Ukraine.
The two State Department witnesses — William Taylor, the charge d’affaires in Ukraine, and George Kent, the deputy assistant secretary in the Bureau of European and Eurasian Affairs — will tell House investigators what they know about Trump’s actions toward Ukraine, including the July phone call with President Volodymyr Zelenskiy that ignited the impeachment inquiry.
A live stream will be available on this page starting at 10 a.m. ET. Follow our live blog below for updates. The blog will refresh every two minutes.
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Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and President Donald Trump will meet as relations between the two NATO allies are at their lowest point in decades, with Turkey rebuffing the U.S. and turning toward Russia on security issues and Ankara facing a Washington backlash over attacks on Kurdish civilians during its incursion into Syria last month.
Erdogan and Trump have a difficult agenda Wednesday that includes Turkey's decision to buy a Russian air defense system and its attack on U.S.-allied Kurdish forces in northern Syria. Their scheduled afternoon news conference, however, will give Trump a stage to counter the first public hearings in the House impeachment inquiry.
Trump says Turkey has been a critical U.S. ally for decades, cites the strong economic upside to the relationship and maintains that the two countries have enough in common to overcome their differences. Some in Congress say Erdogan should never have been invited to the White House in the first place.
House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff, D-Calif., makes his opening statement in the first public Impeachment hearing.
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Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg was absent on Wednesday for courtroom argument in two cases.
Chief Justice John Roberts announced that Ginsburg was "indisposed due to illness," a statement similar to the one he made on the first day of the term, Oct. 7, when Justice Clarence Thomas was absent with what a court official said was the flu.
The same court official said Wednesday that Justice Ginsburg was "home with a stomach bug."
The health of Ginsburg, 86, has been a subject of intense interest since she underwent surgery last winter for lung cancer and treatment over the summer for a cancerous tumor on her pancreas.
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Swedish teen climate activist Greta Thunberg left North America on a return trip across the Atlantic on Wednesday, hitching a renewable-energy ride with an Australian family aboard their 48-foot (15-meter) catamaran.
More than two years after “one of the most horrific days in Bucks County history,” the man accused of helping his cousin kill three people on a sprawling farm will likely take the stand in his own defense, lawyers said in a Pennsylvania court Wednesday.
Sean Kratz, 22, is charged with three counts of homicide, plus conspiracy, robbery, abuse of a corpse, and possession of a weapon. He is expected to testify on his own behalf later this week, according to his attorneys.
Kratz’s cousin and alleged conspirator, Cosmo DiNardo, is also expected to take the stand, lawyers said.
Comedian and media mogul Byron Allen wants TV viewers to watch the channels his company produces — from one that runs “Judge Judy”-like shows all day to those dedicated to comedy, cars, food and pets. But while many distributors carry Allen’s channels, two cable giants have refused.
Allen says the reason is that he’s black, and so he’s sued for racial discrimination. An appeals court has let his lawsuits go forward, but now the Supreme Court will weigh in and could deliver a setback.
The justices will hear arguments today in a $20 billion lawsuit that Allen filed against Comcast, with the outcome also affecting a $10 billion case he has filed against Charter Communications.
The public impeachment inquiry hearings that started Wednesday pit a Democratic attorney who built his reputation as a federal mob and securities fraud prosecutor against a GOP House Oversight investigator who helped steer some of the most notable probes of the Obama administration.
The two attorneys with shiny resumes are hardly household names. Now, Daniel Goldman and Steve Castor find themselves front and center at the televised hearings that mark a critical new phase in the probe into whether President Donald Trump abused the power of his presidency by pressing Ukraine's leader to investigate a Trump political rival.
Goldman, the investigations chief for Intelligence Committee Chairman Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Calif., and Castor, the GOP chief investigative counsel, asked the bulk of the questions of witnesses during weeks of closed-door depositions with current and former administration officials and diplomats.
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The worst flooding in Venice in more than 50 years prompted calls Wednesday to better protect the historic city from rising sea levels as officials calculated hundreds of millions of euros in damages.
Water levels reached 187 centimeters (74 inches) Tuesday, the second-highest level ever recorded in the city and 7 centimeters (2 ½ inches) less than the historic 1966 flood. Another wave of exceptionally high water followed Wednesday.
“Venice is on its knees,’’ Mayor Luigi Brugnaro said on Twitter. “St. Mark’s Basilica has sustained serious damage, like the entire city and its islands.”
A top House lawmaker announced Tuesday that Congress will pass a governmentwide temporary spending bill to keep the government running through Dec. 20, forestalling a government shutdown as the House turns its focus to impeachment hearings.
Appropriations Committee Chairwoman Nita Lowey, D-N.Y., made the announcement after meeting with Senate counterpart Richard Shelby, R-Ala., in hopes of kick-starting long-delayed efforts to find agreement on $1.4 trillion worth of agency spending bills.
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Swedish teen climate activist Greta Thunberg will leave North America and begin her return trip across the Atlantic on Wednesday aboard a 48-foot (15-meter) catamaran sailboat whose passengers include an 11-month-old baby.
The boat leaves little to no carbon footprint, boasting solar panels and a hydro-generators for power. It also has a toilet, unlike the boat on which she sailed from the United Kingdom to New York in August . That one only had a bucket.
Bolivians have new uncertainty to grapple with now that opposition Sen. Jeanine Añez declared herself interim president of the crisis-torn Andean country just hours after Evo Morales flew off to self-exile in Mexico.
Questions remained about who might rally around Añez, while Morales' supporters angrily accused her of trying to seize power in her declaration Tuesday, raising the prospect of more troubles following weeks of clashes over the disputed Oct. 20 presidential election.
Some people took to the streets cheering and waving national flags Tuesday night after Añez claimed the post of Senate leader, the position next in line for the presidency. Furious supporters of Morales responded by trying to force their way to the Congress building in La Paz yelling, "She must quit!"
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Sharply at odds with liberal justices, the Supreme Court's conservative majority seemed ready Tuesday to allow the Trump administration to abolish protections that permit 660,000 immigrants to work in the U.S., free from the threat of deportation.
That outcome would "destroy lives," declared Justice Sonia Sotomayor, one the court's liberals who repeatedly suggested the administration has not adequately justified its decision to end the seven-year-old Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program. Nor has it taken sufficient account of the personal, economic and social disruption that might result, they said.
But there did not appear to be any support among the five conservatives for blocking the administration. The nine-member court's decision is expected by June, at the height of the 2020 presidential campaign.