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When can we expect the next steps in President Trump’s impeachment? It’s not clear, but it will probably be a long, complex process.
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Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu faces a serious leadership challenge today. His Likud party is holding a primary election that will determine whether he will remain its leader, a position Netanyahu has held for more than a decade. Gideon Saar is looking to unseat Netanyahu, who is facing criminal indictment on charges of bribery, fraud and breach of trust in a trio of criminal investigations. The winner will face off in March against Benny Gantz, the head of the Blue and White party, in what will be Israel’s third national election in a year. Israel has been in a stalemate for months now because none of its political leaders have been able to form a coalition government in its parliament. It’s an unprecedented period for the country, and there’s no guarantee that even the latest round of elections will break the deadlock.
Another deadly typhoon has hit the Philippines, this time on Christmas Day. At least 16 people are dead after Typhoon Phanfone, known locally as Typhoon Ursula, barreled into the country’s central islands, toppling transmission towers, tearing off roofs, damaging homes and disrupting flights during the busy Christmas period. Many people in the region, which is majority Catholic, were preparing for family celebrations as the typhoon hit. The typhoon has affected more than 2,300 people and more than 1,600 were taking refuge in evacuation centers, according to the country’s national disaster management agency. About 58,000 people were evacuated before the typhoon hit. Power and communications in several areas is still cut off, so authorities aren’t sure yet just how much damage has been done.
3. Capitol riot
Republican Sen. Lisa Murkowski of Alaska said she is “disturbed” by coordination between Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and the White House on the upcoming impeachment trial in the Senate. When exactly that trial will begin and what it will look like are up in the air right now. Senate leaders still haven’t agreed on the rules, and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi still hasn’t sent over the articles of impeachment that the Senate will need to begin the proceedings. Democratic leaders are calling for new witnesses and documents for the trial, but McConnell is opposed. Murkowski’s comments are noteworthy because, until now, Senate Republicans haven’t given any public indication that one of them might break from the ranks. Now all eyes will be on Murkowski, a moderate, during the trial after she said she is undecided as to how she’ll vote.
Dozens of people have been killed by a wave of bombardment in Idlib, Syria, according to the White Helmets, a local volunteer search and rescue group. Airstrikes and artillery fire have killed at least 33 people since Friday. The Syrian army, with support from Russian air power, has stepped up its attacks on the northwestern province, the country’s last major bastion of opposition and home to more than 3 million Syrians. The government has said that it is targeting terrorists in Idlib. But if the violence continues, hundreds of thousands of civilians could be forced to flee their homes in the coming weeks, international aid organizations warn.
4. ‘El Chapo’ trial
The State Department is pulling the US ambassador to Zambia after the country’s president objected to the ambassador’s harsh criticism of the government’s record on gay rights and corruption. It’s a rare and extraordinary move, especially because the ambassador was arguing for American values abroad. Earlier this month, US Ambassador Daniel Foote criticized people in the conservative Christian country for comparing homosexuality to bestiality. He also slammed Zambian government officials for “stealing millions of dollars in public funds,” which the government has denied. Zambia said it had asked for the ambassador’s withdrawal, and the State Department said it was “dismayed” by its complaints.
At least 200 homes in Chile have been destroyed after forest fires swept through a residential area in the port city of Valparaiso on Christmas Eve. Hundreds of firefighters struggled to control the fast-moving blaze, which continued into Christmas Day and was made worse by dry weather and strong winds. Images show dozens of houses destroyed by the flames as residents tried to salvage any belongings. Military units and helicopters were deployed to help battle the flames and residents were evacuated to shelters. The regional leader of Valparaiso said the fires were believed to have been started intentionally, while another official said that authorities were investigating.
2019 wasn’t ALL bad
Let us remember the good times.
Fasting for 18 hours a day could help you live longer
It could also make you constantly hangry.
Lindsey Vonn is engaged again
Kanye dropped a new album on Christmas
The Museum of Hangovers is open
A place where you can reflect on the nights you’d rather forget.
“People all over America and abroad have decided they want to let me know now, while I’m alive, about the impact that I’ve been having on their existence. They have come out and they have told me, and my gosh, it makes me feel so good.”
Pope Francis, urging nations to embrace migrants and refugees during his Christmas Day address.
That’s how many people have been infected in a listeria outbreak linked to hard-boiled eggs, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. A recall was recently expanded to include products sold at Walmart and Trader Joe’s.
A teeny, tiny snow plow
For when your miniature train tracks are covered in snow … behold, a Lego train that will barrel right through! (Click to view)