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🦅 U.S. NEWS
Whistleblower offers Republicans testimony as Trump calls for name to be revealed
Responding to a torrent of complaints from Republicans that the impeachment inquiry against President Trump is secretive and one-sided, a lawyer for the anonymous whistleblower who raised alarms about the presidents’ dealings with Ukraine said Sunday his client is willing to answer written questions submitted by House Republicans Fox News writes. Why it matters: Trump has tried to discredit the whistleblower, linking the individual to his Democratic predecessor, President Barack Obama, as well as former CIA director John Brennan and former national security adviser Susan Rice — Obama’s top aides, per Politico. Big picture: This new offer would be a direct channel of communication with the Republicans who have complained that the process is unfair and overly restrictive on their ability to question witnesses, CNN notes.
Americans on the Sidelines: Lots of Job Hunting, but No Job, Despite Low Unemployment
Despite a stunningly low official unemployment rate, which was 3.6 percent in October, people across the U.S. are struggling to find work, the New York Times writes. A broader measure capturing underemployed people and those no longer looking stands at 6.9%. Moreover, a recent survey by Gallup found that a majority of Americans do not consider themselves to be in a “good job.” Why it matters: Appealing to “Americans on the sidelines” and those who had not benefited from the “so-called recovery” was a key element of Donald Trump’s presidential campaign in 2016. Now, Democratic presidential contenders like Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders are arguing that American workers have barely shared in the economy’s gains. Now that we are less than a year away from election day, 364 days to be exact, expect to hear candidates making appeals to this disenfranchised subset of society.
Au Revoir: The US may begin pulling out of the Paris climate deal
It’s been more than two years since President Trump announced he’d pull the US out of the agreement among 200 nations to keep global warming well below 2 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels. His administration can start the formal, yearlong withdrawal process today with the United Nations. Foreign Policy writes that leaving the Paris Agreement was a bad deal for the United States because it provides serious cover for major emitters like China and India. On the other hand, The Heritage Foundation says Trump was right to pull out of the agreement by focusing on the cost to taxpayers and maintaining American energy competitiveness.
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🌎 WORLD NEWS
Hong Kong is Still Boiling after Attacker stabs several and bites one man’s ear
A knife-wielding man slashed several people and bit off part of the ear of a pro-democracy politician in Hong Kong on Sunday, as riot police stormed several malls to thwart protesters who have been demanding government reforms for nearly five months. Quoted: “Hong Kong seems to be trapped in a weekly cycle of unrest and repression, conflict between protesters and authorities, with no clear endgame on either side,” said Antony Dapiran, a lawyer. “The protesters are not giving up as the government had hoped, while the government is taking no action at all to resolve the crisis.” – AP
India’s smog has gotten so bad that it’s diverting flights and sending people to the hospital
Air pollution in New Delhi and surrounding towns reached the worst levels so far this year on Sunday, with authorities in the world’s most polluted capital city having already declared a public health emergency and ordered the closure of schools. By the numbers: The air quality index went above 900 yesterday — 400 units above what qualifies as “severe-plus” while the city’s chief minister called it “unbearable” on Twitter. Why it matters: A survey of the city found that 40% of people were interested in leaving the city because of pollution. – Business Insider
40 years on, Iranians recall 1979 U.S. Embassy hostage crisis
Today Iranian conservatives celebrate the 40th anniversary of the Iran hostage crisis. Background: anger toward America had already been growing throughout 1979 as Iran’s revolutionary government took hold, but it boiled over in October when the US took in the ailing shah for medical treatment. After several protests, the Islamist students raided the embassy on Nov. 4 and took 98 hostages. What initially began as a sit-in devolved into 444 days of captivity for 52 Americans seized in the embassy, and created a deep well of popular resentment that has ebbed over four decades. – The Columbian
Saudi Aramco Launches Long-Awaited IPO
Saudi state oil giant Aramco officially launched its initial public offering on Sunday, setting in motion what is expected to be the world’s largest ever share sale, even as questions remain over the company’s value. After nearly four years of delays, the company hopes to first sell shares on the kingdom’s domestic exchange in December, or even before, and then attempt an international IPO. Why it matters: this IPO is central to Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman’s (MBS) wider social and economic initiatives. He wants to use the proceeds to invest in other industries to diversify the Saudi economy. MBS is pushing for a valuation of 2 trillion, but some banks say it may only fetch $1.5 trillion. Elsewhere, McDonald’s CEO Steve Easterbrook has left his position after the fast-food giant’s Board of Directors found he “demonstrated poor judgement” in a consensual relationship with an employee, the company announced Sunday. – WSJ / Bloomberg / NY Post
Kenyan Runners Dominate in N.Y.C. Marathon
Kenyan dominance in long-distance running was on full display on the streets of New York City on Sunday. The newcomer Joyciline Jepkosgei’s time of 2 hours 22 minutes 38 seconds in the New York City Marathon was the second-fastest performance on the course for women, and the fastest debut here. Geoffrey Kamworor, 26, took the men’s race in 2:08:13, winning in New York for the second time in three years. Mary Keitany and Albert Korir, also of Kenya, were the runners-up. On the west coast, the Breeders’ Cup ended with the death of the 37th horse at Santa Anita. The deaths have placed a microscope on the safety of Santa Anita Park’s track and the dangers of horse racing in general. – NYT / Fox News
U.S. opens national security investigation into TikTok
According to Reuters, the U.S. government has launched a national security review of the China-owned video app TikTok, popular with millions of U.S. teens and young adults. More specifically, the government is looking into TikTok owner ByteDance’s $1 billion 2017 acquisition of a predecessor app, Musical.ly. Tale of the tape: U.S. lawmakers are concerned the Chinese company may be censoring politically sensitive content, and are raising questions about how it stores personal data. Why it matters from Politico: “America’s youth are falling in love with the most effective medium ever introduced to extend Chinese media practices into the United States.” – Reuters / CBS / Politico
📅 ON THIS DAY IN HISTORY
2008: Barack Obama elected as America’s first black president
On November 4, 2008, Senator Barack Obama of Illinois defeats Senator John McCain of Arizona to become the 44th U.S. president, and the first African American elected to the White House.