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5 things to know for January 23: Impeachment, coronavirus, Australia, Auschwitz

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1. Impeachment

Opening arguments are underway in the Senate impeachment trial. House Intelligence Chairman Adam Schiff and the six other impeachment managers took turns laying out their case, including using a highlight reel featuring the President’s own words. They said they feel President Trump’s impeachable offenses extended past the one July 2019 phone call with Ukraine around which the whole impeachment case has revolved. Schiff also invoked Alexander Hamilton in his argument, saying Trump acted in a way Hamilton and the other Founding Fathers would have feared. Impeachment managers will present more opening arguments today and tomorrow. Meanwhile, the ban on talking and phone use during the trial has made some senators restless, and several have taken frequent breaks to walk, stretch and generally get out of the confines of the Senate chamber. Can you blame them?

2. Coronavirus 

At least 17 people have died as a result of the rapidly spreading Wuhan coronavirus. The city of Wuhan is now under partial lockdown to contain the virus, which means as many as 11 million people are living in uncertainty (officials say the city has plenty of food, water and supplies to get through the lockdown). A few Olympic qualifying events have also been moved from the area as a precaution. Passengers traveling from Wuhan to the US will soon only be able to land in five US airports, which have been prepped with additional health screening tools. Chinese authorities and scientists now believe the virus originated in two species of venomous snakes sometimes sold in Chinese markets.

3. Australia 

Three American crew members have died after a firefighting water bomber crashed in the Australian state of New South Wales. The aerial firefighting company that owned the craft said the tragedy was a sobering reminder of the dangerous conditions firefighters are facing in their mission to contain Australia’s devastating blazes. The US has announced it will send two more 20-person firefighting crews to fight the bushfires that are still burning out of control. So far, more than 200 American staff members have been deployed. The Canberra airport was forced to close yesterday as fires approached the area. As if the fires weren’t enough, Australia’s southeast has also been battered by strong winds, dust storms and giant hail.

4. Amazon

United Nations experts say they are “gravely concerned” by information that suggests Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman was involved in a hack of Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos. The team says it is aware of a forensics analysis of Bezos’ phone that concluded a WhatsApp account belonging to bin Salman was used to deliver spyware to Bezos’ phone, resulting in a massive amount of information being exported from the device. The experts said the motive may have been “to influence, if not silence, The Washington Post’s reporting on Saudi Arabia” (remember, Bezos owns the newspaper). Saudi Arabia has denied the claims, and the Saudi Embassy in Washington called them “absurd.” So far, the White House hasn’t commented on the issue, which some political experts say highlights the Trump administration’s alliance with Saudi Arabia.

5. Auschwitz 

More than 40 leaders from around the world are gathering in Jerusalem this week to mark the 75th anniversary of the liberation of the Auschwitz concentration camp. The anniversary coincides with the Fifth World Holocaust Forum, entitled, “Remembering the Holocaust, Fighting Antisemitism.” In the wake of high-profile attacks against Jewish communities in the US and the re-emergence of Nazi ideology in some areas in Germany, the issue of anti-Semitism is of growing global concern. Israeli officials say it will be important to have so many world leaders speaking with one voice in one place to denounce these sentiments. Two world leaders, however, will be conspicuously absent from the observation: Poland’s President Andrzej Duda, who declined his invitation after he was told he could not make a speech at the forum’s main event, and President Trump.


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Please respect our privacy at this difficult time.

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GM and Honda reveal self-driving car with no steering wheel or pedals 

The future of driving, or something out of a stress dream?

Another major hotel chain is doing away with travel-size toiletries 

Your days of hoarding little bottles of shampoo are coming to an end.


“Pretty sure Health Canada would agree everything is okay in moderation.”

An Oh Doughnuts shop in Winnipeg, Canada, after Prime Minister Justin Trudeau tweeted a photo of himself carrying out a massive stack of doughnut boxes to take to Cabinet meetings. Trudeau is taking some flak from critics who say the gourmet pastry purchase was too pricey.



The number of states that now outlaw conversion therapy for LGBTQ youth. Utah is the latest state to ban the practice after a new rule issued by GOP Gov. Gary Herbert went into effect.



Walk the line 

Watching this young man train to be a tightrope clown, it’s almost possible to be tricked into thinking tightrope walking is easy … almost. (Click here to view.)

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