5 things you need to know now
5 things you need to know now
  • Ukraine aid was contingent on Biden investigation, diplomat testifies

  • Trump likens impeachment inquiry to 'a lynching'

  • Russia, Turkey agree to remove Kurds from northern Syria, create 'safe zone'

  • U.K. Parliament rejects Johnson's fast-track Brexit

  • Jimmy Carter hospitalized after 2nd fall this month

Bill Taylor, the top U.S. diplomat in Ukraine, said during congressional testimony Tuesday that he was told aid to Ukraine was "contingent" upon it investigating the Bidens and the 2016 election, lawmakers who were at the testimony say. Taylor testified that Gordon Sondland, U.S. ambassador to the European Union, told him aid to Ukraine may have been delayed due to Trump's desire for these investigations, although Taylor described not being able to receive a "straight answer." The testimony was "damning," several lawmakers said. Rep. Ted Lieu (D-Calif.) called the testimony "incredibly damaging" and freshman Rep. Andy Levin (D-Mich.) said "this is my most disturbing day in Congress so far." On the other side of the aisle, Rep. Mark Meadows (R-N.C.) said there was "nothing new here."

Source: The Washington Post, The New York Times

President Trump on Tuesday lashed out at the House of Representatives' impeachment inquiry, referring to it as a "lynching." Trump tweeted that Democrats are looking to impeach him "without due process or fairness or any legal rights" amid their investigation into whether he abused his power to push for Ukraine to conduct investigations that might help him in the 2020 election. He added, "All Republicans must remember what they are witnessing here - a lynching." Trump faced immediate criticism for the use of this word, with the Congressional Black Caucus' Rep. Bobby Rush (D-Ill.) writing, "Do you know how many people who look like me have been lynched, since the inception of this country, by people who look like you."

Source: Donald Trump, Bobby Rush

Russia and Turkey agreed to extend their ceasefire in northern Syria in order to "remove" Kurdish fighters from the area after a six-hour-long summit on Tuesday. Turkey views the Kurds, who are American allies, as a terrorist threat, and began attacking them within hours of President Trump announcing the U.S.'s withdrawal from the area. Trump later bragged that he'd brokered a five-day ceasefire between Turkey and the fighters. Turkey said it would extend that ceasefire for another six days so the Kurds could leave northern Syria, after which Russia and Turkey would jointly patrol the region. The area will then become a "buffer zone" between Turkey and Syria, which is allied with Russia.

Source: The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post

The U.K. Parliament voted Tuesday to accept Prime Minister Boris Johnson's Brexit deal but reject his quick timetable. Parliament first granted Johnson the win before saying it wouldn't fully adhere to the deal in the next three days, making it unlikely Britain will pull out of the EU by the Oct. 31 deadline. Johnson was already forced by law Saturday to ask the EU for an extension on the U.K.'s membership until January 2020. He said Tuesday he'll "pause" progress on his Brexit legislation until he hears back from the EU, but criticized Parliament for plunging the country into "further uncertainty." Emily Thornberry of the opposition Labour Party meanwhile called the Oct. 31 deadline an "artificial timetable."

Source: BBC, The Washington Post

Former President Jimmy Carter is back in the hospital after suffering another fall at his Georgia home. The 95-year-old fractured his pelvis in a fall Monday evening. He's now resting and "in good spirits" as he recovers from a "minor" fracture, the Carter Center says. Carter fell at his home two weeks ago and had to get stitches above his eye, but still showed up to build homes at a Habitat for Humanity event the next day. Carter also fell in May and ended with a broken hip, which resulted in hip surgery.

Source: The Associated Press, NPR
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