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It wouldn’t be Thanksgiving season without some serious travel complications, and it looks like two big storms are ready to snarl holiday travel in the Midwest and Western US.
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1. Impeachment investigation
If the House of Representatives wants to impeach President Trump, it won’t get the White House’s help. The White House sent a blistering letter to House leaders saying the Trump administration won’t cooperate in the impeachment inquiry, calling the whole thing an illegitimate and unconstitutional effort to overturn the results of the 2016 election. Earlier in the day, the State Department had blocked Gordon Sondland, US ambassador to the European Union, from testifying before Congress about the Ukraine controversy. Sondland is now being subpoenaed.
Twenty-two years ago today Hong Kong was handed over to China by the British. Protesters marked the anniversary by trying to smash their way into Hong Kong’s government headquarters. Young, masked protesters used metal bars and trolleys as battering rams to try to break the doors of headquarters as riot police watched from the inside. Hong Kong has been in political crisis for weeks after mass demonstrations started over a controversial extradition bill. The city’s chief executive has pulled the bill, but the protests have continued. Click here to keep up with the latest on today’s unrest.
Turkey said its military will cross the border into northern Syria “shortly.” That comes from a tweet sent out early this morning from Turkey’s communications director. After President Trump this week agreed to move US troops out of that part of northern Syria, Turkey basically has a green light to attack Kurdish forces, which Turkey considers a threat. Critics on both the political left and right say Trump’s decision to abandon the Kurds, who were instrumental in the fight against ISIS, is a betrayal.
Utility giant Pacific Gas & Electric started shutting off the power early this morning in parts of Northern California in an effort to prevent starting a wildfire. Almost 500,000 customers are in the dark right now. Another 300,000 will lose power later in the day. The electricity could be off for days. Forecasters warn that many parts of Northern California are under extreme fire weather danger, with windy and dry conditions forecast for the region. PG&E equipment started the deadly 2018 Camp Fire, a state investigation found, after a power line touched nearby trees. So, the extreme measure of shutting off the power is being used to try to prevent future blazes.
Violent protests have raged for days in the Ecuadorian capital of Quito. It’s so bad that the country’s President says he’s moving the government out of town. President Lenin Moreno announced earlier in the week that government business will be conducted in the southern city of Guayaquil. People have been protesting his plan to end state fuel subsidies. It’s unleashed the wrath of labor and transport unions, which have called for a nationwide strike. More than 50 members of the country’s military were held hostage by protesters before they were rescued.
STDs are on the rise in the US. Cases of gonorrhea, chlamydia and syphilis have all risen for the fifth consecutive year, a new report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says. Possible factors driving this rise include a surge in people getting tested and cases being diagnosed and reported. There’s also a decline in people using condoms. The number of antibiotic-resistant gonorrhea cases is also growing. Alaska has the highest number of chlamydia cases, while Mississippi has the highest rates of gonorrhea. Nevada has the highest rates of primary and secondary syphilis.
THIS JUST IN …
The Nobel Prize in Chemistry was awarded to a trio of scientists for their work on the development of lithium ion batteries. One of the winners, American John B. Goodenough, is the oldest person to ever be awarded the prize.
Room with a view
Goodyear has listed its famous blimp on Airbnb – but only for three nights.
The Village people
A tour of the world’s 50 best bars of 2019 would take you to 26 cities across 21 countries. But the top pick might take you back in time.
Big Apple bummer
Alec Baldwin may be a native New Yorker, but even he got pulled in by this classic NYC scam.
Judging the NBC singing contest and performing her Las Vegas show were just too much. So, Gwen Stefani is leaving “The Voice” behind – for now.
Victoria’s Secret is cancelling its fashion show
“The easiest thing to do in the face of uncertainty is to put investment projects on hold. And that’s what we’re seeing in the United States and all around the world.”
The average price of regular gas, per gallon, in California. That’s the highest level in more than five years.
Floating lights, magical nights
It took five days to set up these 24,000 dominoes. They’ll come down in less than three minutes. (Click to view.)