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This week in impeachment
- Former Ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch defied Department of State orders and testified before Congress Friday, stating that her removal from her post in Ukraine was a coordinated effort based on “unfounded and false claims by people with clearly questionable motives.” [Politico / Andrew Desiderio, Kyle Cheney, and Nahal Toosi]
- What else happened this week in the Ukraine scandal? Well, Rudy Giuliani, Trump’s personal lawyer, is now under investigation, and two of his Ukrainian associates were arrested on campaign finance charges late Wednesday. [NYT / Kenneth P. Vogel]
- One of the two men owns a club called Mafia Rave, and the other a business named Fraud Guarantee. This is not the most crucial detail in the impeachment investigation (well, at least as far as we know), but aren’t you glad we told you? [Intelligencer / Jonathan Chait]
- The other big storyline was Trump’s refusal to cooperate: On Tuesday, Trump’s White House sent a letter to Democratic leadership in the House, lambasting the inquiry and notifying Congress that the Trump administration would refuse to assist in the investigation. [AP News / Zeke Miller and Jill Colvin]
- Does this throw us into a constitutional crisis? Maybe. [Vox / Sean Illing]
- Meanwhile, impeachment is becoming a more popular idea: It’s very close to being favored by the majority of Americans — and some polls already show a majority. [FiveThirtyEight / Nathaniel Rakich]
The Nobel Peace Prize goes to ...
- Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed, who won for his role in restarting peace talks with Eritrea. [NYT / Matina Stevis-Gridneff]
- Eritrea declared independence from Ethiopia in 1991, but a border dispute led to a 20-year conflict with occasional periods of deadly violence that killed more than 80,000. [Vox / Jen Kirby]
- In September, the border reopened for the first time in 20 years, leading to tearful family reunions. People in the two countries began calling strangers across the border, just because they could. [NYT / Megan Specia]
- The Nobel committee chose Ahmed for his “efforts to achieve peace and international cooperation,” as well as “dismissing military and civilian leaders who were suspected of corruption, and significantly increasing the influence of women in Ethiopian political and community life.” [Teen Vogue / Jameelah Nasheed]
- However, Ahmed’s negotiated peace is far from perfect. Parts of the border have shut down while the two countries reach a formal agreement, and the economy in the area is struggling. Eritrea’s ruler has also not made political reforms to open up the oppressive country. [BBC]
- Silicon Valley got preferential treatment during the PG&E electricity shutdown. Here’s why. [Wired / Paris Martineau]
- Washington’s WNBA team wins the championship in a tough Game 5. [NYT / Howard Megdal]
- The 2020 Summer Olympics are under threat from climate change. [Slate / Eric Margolis]
- TikTok got sucked into the corporate social media trap and is starting to run advertisements as content. [Vox / Rebecca Jennings]
- Parents of ISIS victims stress the importance of continuing the fight against ISIS by not letting prisoners go free. [Washington Post / Diane Foley, Art Sotloff, and Shirley Sotloff]
“There is blood on anyone’s hands, starting with him and President Trump’s [in Turkey’s attack on Syrian Kurds] because there are people being slaughtered after standing with our troops in the Middle East for an extremely long time.” [The View host Meghan McCain on Sen. Rand Paul’s support of Trump’s troop moves in Syria, prior to Paul’s appearance on the show]
Watch this: How American CEOS got so rich
Accumulated wealth is a political hot topic, but it’s not always clear how the wealthy make their money. [YouTube / Liz Scheltens]
Letterkenny, streaming on Hulu, is a love letter to small-town life and weird, wonderful slang
Trump says he’s ending the US role in Middle East wars. He’s sending 1,800 troops to Saudi Arabia.
Hot, dry, and windy conditions in California have sparked big fires
Thich Nhat Hanh’s final mindfulness lesson: how to die peacefully
Trump claims Congress can’t investigate his finances. He just lost big in court.