Welcome to October and the start of baseball’s postseason, which kicks off tonight with the NL Wild Card game.
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About a week’s worth of news came out of Washington in just a single day. Let’s try to get our arms around it all:
• Secretary of State Mike Pompeo was on the July 25 phone call between President Trump and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky. The call spurred, in part, a whistleblower complaint about the President.
• Trump urged Australia’s Prime Minister to help Attorney General William Barr in his review of the origins of the Russia investigation.
• The intelligence community inspector general pushed back hard on claims pushed by Trump allies that the whistleblower didn’t have firsthand knowledge of the behavior outlined in the complaint.
• House Democrats subpoenaed Rudy Giuliani, President Trump’s personal lawyer, for documents related to the Ukraine controversy.
• Americans are pretty evenly split right now about impeaching Trump and removing him from office, a new CNN poll shows. Support for impeachment has risen among independents and Republicans.
• US Rep. Chris Collins of New York resigned from Congress, as he’s expected to plead guilty today in a federal insider trading case. Collins was the first sitting congressman to back Trump’s bid for the White House.
2. Boris Johnson
It’s been a rough couple of weeks for UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson. His attempt at pushing through his Brexit strategy has hit big-time roadblocks. Now, he’s embroiled in a scandal over his alleged links to a US businesswoman while he was mayor of London. The businesswoman, tech entrepreneur Jennifer Arcuri, received tens of thousands of pounds in public funding when Johnson was mayor. So, Johnson could be subjected to an official investigation. Johnson said he’s done nothing wrong. He’s also dealing with allegations — which he denies — that he groped a female journalist during a lunch two decades ago.
3. Wrong apartment murder trial
Can you use lethal force to defend your home — even if you’re not in your home? That odd question will be part of the discussion as jurors continue deliberations in the murder trial of Amber Guyger, the ex-Dallas cop who said she mistakenly entered the wrong apartment and killed a man in his apartment. The judge in the case said jurors can consider the so-called castle doctrine, which is the legal notion that your home is your castle, and you have the right to use lethal force to defend your home and not retreat. Guyger’s defense attorneys are latching on to this because she thought she was in her own home when she killed Botham Jean. Prosecutors say it doesn’t make sense for the doctrine to be used by an intruder against someone in his own home.
4. Retail closings
The economy, for the most part, is rocking and rolling along — but not in retail. US retailers have already announced more than 8,200 store closings this year, and one estimate puts the number of closings by the end of the year at 12,000. That would shatter the previous record of 6,700 closings in 2017. Clothing retailer Forever 21 was the latest to announce mass closings. It will close as many as 178 stores as it files for bankruptcy. The problem, of course, is that customers have shifted their buying habits, purchasing products on the internet instead of the mall or shopping center.
5. Student athletes
College athletes in California will soon be able to get paid. The Fair Pay to Play Act, signed yesterday by Democratic Gov. Gavin Newsom, allows athletes to profit from their name, image and likeness. But the law won’t go into effect until 2023, and lots of legal challenges to it are expected. The state law is at odds with NCAA policies, so member schools in California would have to choose between following the law (and in the process defying the NCAA) or leaving the organization. The NCAA could also change its rules, which could result in student athletes across the country getting compensation for their efforts.
THIS JUST IN …
Tale of two cities
As Beijing marks 70 years of Communist rule in China with a massive parade and a show of force and unity, protesters and police are mixing it up again on the streets of Hong Kong. One person was shot in the chest by police.
Hailed as “one of the great sopranos of the past half-century,” Jessye Norman was among opera’s most powerful voices. The four-time Grammy winner has died at age 74.
Spend $11,800 on an Airbnb rental that doesn’t exist? That’s what happened to a British couple trying to rent a place on the Spanish island of Ibiza.
A Florida funeral home is holding a service today for a vet who died with no close family around. But thanks to social media, a big crowd should be on hand to say goodbye.
75 and sunny?
The end of September seems like it would be a great time to get married in Spokane, Washington. But then it started snowing.
“It will be revolutionary. It will start a whole new line of thinking. I don’t think we’re prepared for the results. We’re not.”
NASA chief scientist Jim Green, telling the Telegraph that the public probably won’t be able to handle it if the next mission to Mars finds evidence of life
The number of cases of Legionnaires’ disease, including one death and 55 hospitalizations, now confirmed in an outbreak linked to a North Carolina state fair
Burning paper iPhones in this life to get ready for the afterlife? It’s all part of a Chinese tradition that goes back almost 2,500 years. (Click to view.)