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The east face of the United States Capitol Building is seen in this general view. Monday, March 11, 2019, in Washington D.C.

Mark Tenally

Newsletter: New Bombshell In Impeachment Inquiry

Good afternoon! It’s Tuesday, and you can currently hear my voice on the radio promoting this newsletter. Here’s what else you need to know. (PS: You can have this delivered to your inbox by subscribing here.)


1. Key impeachment witness updates testimony, describes Ukraine quid pro quo

Gordon Sondland, the U.S. ambassador to the European Union, again spoke with House investigators and offered substantial new details, saying he told Ukrainian officials that U.S. military aid was tied to investigations pushed by President Donald Trump.

His comments, which became public today after House impeachment investigators released four pages of his sworn testimony, confirms his involvement in Trump’s efforts to pressure Ukraine to investigate his political rivals.

Meanwhile, the impeachment inquiry wants a deposition of acting White House chief of staff Mick Mulvaney on Friday. [Washington Post]

And while Republican lawmakers have publicly criticized Democrats for holding closed-door meetings with witnesses, newly released transcripts show Republicans inside the meetings have complained about information becoming public. [Washington Post]

2. Lightfoot criticized for not reopening 6 mental health clinics

Advocates and Chicago residents are demanding that Mayor Lori Lightfoot reopen clinics that were shuttered under former Mayor Rahm Emanuel.

During her campaign for mayor, Lightfoot vowed to reopen the clinics, but her proposed budget keeps them closed. The mayor’s plan instead includes $9.3 million to beef up capacity at the city’s remaining mental health clinics.

Lightfoot told the Chicago Sun-Times that she wants to reopen the clinics but the cash-strapped city can’t afford it. [Sun-Times]

3. CPS reveals makeup days for teachers strike

Parents might want to double-check their plans around Thanksgiving and winter break, because Chicago Public Schools today revealed a proposal to make up five of the 11 school days missed during the teachers strike.

Under the plan, kids will be back in classes on Wednesday, Nov. 27; Thursday, Jan. 2; Friday, Jan. 3; Wednesday, June 17; and Thursday, June 18.

The plan now goes before the Chicago Board of Education, which could vote on the amended calendar on Nov. 20. The Chicago Teachers Union wanted to make up all 11 days, but the union and Mayor Lightfoot compromised last week to make up just five days. [Chicago Tribune]

4. Today’s elections could provide clues for 2020

Voters in Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, New Jersey and Virginia are casting ballots today in a slew of state-level races. While the elections come about a year before the presidential election, they could offer insights into how voters are feeling about President Trump, the impeachment inquiry and other heated issues, like gun rights. Here’s a rundown of things to look for in tonight’s election results. [NPR]

Meanwhile, a new poll shows Trump is trailing in national matchups against some Democratic presidential candidates. The president clocks in around 40% in hypothetical races against former Vice President Joe Biden (56%), Sen. Bernie Sanders (55 %) and Sen. Elizabeth Warren (55%), according to the poll from The Washington Post and ABC News. [Washington Post]

5. At least 9 members of Mormon family killed in ambush in Mexico

Three women and six children were killed during an attack that Mexican authorities believe was perpetrated by local drug gangs. The victims were part of a community that has dual U.S-Mexico citizenship, and they were traveling in a small convoy of vehicles in an area where gangs are fighting for control.

Among those gangs is a group linked to the Sinaloa Cartel, which was once led by El Chapo. Last month, security forces tried arresting one of El Chapo’s sons but ended up releasing him when about 400 cartel gunmen mounted an assault. [NPR]

Here’s what else is happening

Profits at Trump’s Chicago hotel fell 89% from 2015 to 2018. [Washington Post]

Residents in Chicago’s Chinatown are worried a proposed megadevelopment will push them, and local business, out. [WBEZ]

Cook County Democratic Party leaders are asking indicted Ald. Ed Burke and former state Rep. Luis Arroyo to resign as ward committeemen. [Chicago Sun-Times]

The boot mugs are back for this year’s Christkindlmarket. [Chicago Tribune]

Oh, and one more thing …

HBO debuted one of its big fall shows last night: His Dark Materials, which is based off the critically acclaimed fantasy books by Philip Pullman.

The show takes place in a fictional world where everyone has a so-called daemon, a talking animal companion that is part of your soul. And shout out to Rundown reader Amy, who tweeted this hilarious observation: “Really hope this series will answer my most fundamental question about daemons which is how do people with say, giraffe souls, ride public trans?”

Want to get in on the discussion about His Dark Materials? Well you’re in luck because WBEZ’s Nerdette is recapping the episodes with Peter Sagal, the host of Wait Wait … Don’t Tell Me! Right after each episode airs, record your thoughts on your smartphone and send it to NerdetteRecaps@gmail.com, and they might play it.

You can find this week’s recap here. [Apple]

Tell me something good ...

Speaking of the fall TV season, what show are you currently watching?

Mike writes:

“I’m not normally a binger, but after watching the first episode of Jack Ryan (Season 2 on Amazon), can’t wait to get through the next 7. The first series was excellent, a thinking viewer’s spy story with anything but simplistic themes. John Krasinski is far and away the best of all the Jack Ryans, except maybe Harrison Ford.”

What are you currently watching? Feel free to email at therundown@wbez.org or tweet to @whuntah.

Have a nice night! I’ll see you tomorrow. 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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