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Newsletter: Is Ukraine Bowing To Pressure From Trump?

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President Donald Trump talks to reporters on the South Lawn of the White House, Friday, Oct. 4, 2019, in Washington.

Evan Vucci

Hey, it’s Friday! And I still can’t stop watching this. My boyfriend is very annoyed and clearly not swayed by the Karaoke Queen’s enchantment. Anyway, here’s what you actually need to know today. (PS: You can have this delivered to your inbox by subscribing here.)

1. Ukraine’s top prosecutor will review investigation linked to Bidens

Ukraine’s prosecutor general said today he will review a criminal case involving the owner of a natural gas company that employed Hunter Biden, the son of former Vice President Joe Biden.

The prosecutor said at a news conference that his decision was not motivated by “foreign or domestic politicians,” though his action raises questions about the impact of President Donald Trump’s public and private pressure to have the Bidens investigated. [New York Times]

The news from Ukraine comes after text messages from top State Department officials were released last night by House committees investigating Trump. The messages showed that senior U.S. diplomats debated whether the White House was engaging in a quid pro quo with Ukraine. [NPR]

House leaders today asked Vice President Mike Pence for documents about “any role you may have played” in Trump’s dealings with Ukraine. [New York Times]

Trump today demanded that the full House vote on the impeachment inquiry, saying he doesn’t need to comply with congressional requests until it does. [NPR]

And Utah Sen. Mitt Romney and Nebraska Sen. Ben Sasse appear to be the only Republicans going public with concerns about Trump’s comments yesterday, when he publicly called on China to investigate the Bidens. [AP]

2. Supreme Court will hear Louisiana abortion case

The court will examine a Louisiana law requiring doctors who perform abortions to have admitting privileges at nearby hospitals. If allowed, the law could leave the state with just one abortion clinic.

The Louisiana law mirrors a Texas law that the Supreme Court struck down in 2016. But that was before President Donald Trump appointed two justices to the bench who have shifted the court further to the right. [NPR]

3. U.S. jobs report offers hope

U.S. employers added 136,000 jobs last month, and the unemployment rate dropped to 3.5% from 3.7%.

While some analysts expected a job gain in the ballpark of 147,000, the numbers released today show U.S. hiring remains steady despite worries of a global economic slowdown. [New York Times]

Here’s a look at where the jobs were last month. [CNBC]

4. Iran tried hacking 2020 presidential candidates

That’s according to Microsoft, which said today the hacking campaign targeted email addresses for U.S. presidential campaigns, government officials and journalists. Microsoft declined to say who specifically was affected.

The company believes the Iranian government is tied to the attacks, which come as questions about security threats and foreign influence loom over the 2020 elections. [AP]

5. New Yorkers did a number on Chicago’s taxi industry

If you’re looking for a long yet fascinating read this weekend, check out this investigation from The New York Times. The newspaper looked into Chicago’s 2006 auction to sell taxi medallions.

What it found was that almost all of the winning bidders lived in New York. Over the next decade, New York taxi leaders steadily took control over Chicago’s medallion market, squeezed it for huge profits and helped “leave the industry in tatters and the lives of immigrant drivers on the edge of ruin.” [New York Times]

Here’s what else is happening

  • The special prosecutor investigating the handling of the Jussie Smollett case will remain despite a contribution to Cook County State’s Attorney Kim Foxx’s campaign. [Chicago Tribune]

  • An FBI raid last week targeted McCook Mayor Jeff Tobolski, who is also a Democratic Cook County Board commissioner. [WBEZ]

  • Chicago aldermen who ride an electric scooter would lose their jobs under a proposed (and strange) ordinance. [WBEZ]

  • Looking for something to listen to this weekend? A new episode is out from Motive, a true-crime podcast from WBEZ and the Chicago Sun-Times. [Apple]

Oh, and one more thing …

[Clears throat to speak in “movie trailer dude” voice]

When Jan. 1 COMES, will you know where to BUY POT?

[Goes back to normal “gay Bert” voice]

As you already know, recreational marijuana will be legal in Illinois beginning Jan. 1. But where will it be sold? WBEZ tallied up regulations proposed by Mayor Lori Lightfoot to give you a broad look at where dispensaries might be located in Chicago. [WBEZ]

Tell me something good ...

It’s October, and that means it’s time to start thinking about Halloween costumes. What are you thinking of dressing up as this year?

Michele Danza writes:

“I’m too old for costumes, but my granddaughter dresses as food every year. A plate of spaghetti one year; a box of doughnuts the next. This year, she’s dressing up as a slice of watermelon. My daughter-in-law is very creative--she makes all of these costumes.”

Thank you so much to everyone who shared their costume ideas for Halloween!

Thanks for reading and have a nice night! I’ll see you on Monday. And if you like what you just read, you can subscribe to the newsletter here and have it delivered to your inbox.

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