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U.S. Capitol

The U.S. Capitol is seen as the House is set to begin public impeachment inquiry hearings as lawmakers debate whether to remove President Donald Trump from office, in Washington, Tuesday, Nov. 12, 2019. At left is the Peace Monument.

J. Scott Applewhite

Newsletter: Live From D.C., It’s The Impeachment Inquiry

Good afternoon! It’s Tuesday, and my dog, Princess Leia, doesn’t let anything stand in her way when it comes to comfort. Here’s what you need to know today. (PS: You can have this delivered to your inbox by subscribing here.)

1. What you need to know ahead of tomorrow’s public hearing in the impeachment inquiry

WBEZ will air live coverage of tomorrow’s public hearing beginning at 9 a.m. CST.

The first witness expected to appear before the cameras is William Taylor, the top diplomat in Ukraine. Taylor had previously testified during a closed-door session, telling House investigators that U.S. military aid to Ukraine had been tied to public commitment by Ukraine to investigate President Donald Trump’s political rivals.

You can find more information about this week’s public hearing here. [NPR]

Here’s a guide to key witnesses, documents and concepts in the impeachment inquiry. [NPR]

Meanwhile, here’s a look at how schools are using the impeachment inquiry as a teaching moment. [NPR]

2. U.S. Supreme Court considers the fate of DREAMers

The nation’s high court today heard arguments over whether the Trump administration can end a program that offers legal protections to young immigrants who entered the country illegally. The Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, known as DACA, affects about 700,000 people commonly referred to as DREAMers.

According to The New York Times, the court’s conservative majority appeared to side with the Trump administration. [New York Times]

Meanwhile, the Supreme Court allowed a lawsuit from parents of Sandy Hook victims against gunmaker Remington to proceed. The families argue Remington is liable for the 2012 school massacre because the shooter used the AR-15-style rifle that Remington makes and promotes. [NPR]

3. Lightfoot seeks help in Springfield

Mayor Lori Lightfoot was at the Illinois Capitol today and personally pitching her legislative priorities to state lawmakers. Among them are two crucial measures for helping shore up the city’s abysmal finances.

One is tweaking a state law paving the way for a Chicago casino. Lightfoot wants state lawmakers to adjust taxes that would be imposed on a city casino after a study said the existing tax structure was “onerous” for developers.

Lightfoot’s second legislative priority is to get a tax hike for real estate sales valued at more than $10 million. It’s not clear if lawmakers will go along with Lightfoot’s plan. Republicans oppose the idea, and progressive lawmakers want Lightfoot to set aside more money for homeless services.

If Lightfoot fails to get either bill in the bank, it could revive talks of a much dreaded property tax hike in Chicago. [Chicago Sun-Times]

4. Hong Kong pushed to the “brink of collapse,” police say

The warning from authorities in Hong Kong comes as an escalation in violence has rattled the semiautonomous region. Police and pro-democracy protesters clashed throughout the city today, with cops firing tear gas and rubber bullets at students who built barricades at the Chinese University of Hong Kong.

Yesterday, an officer shot an activist in the torso, and a pro-Beijing supporter was set on fire. Both remain hospitalized. [BBC]

5. Disney+ suffers tech problems on Day 1

The house of mouse’s new TV streaming service had technical errors just a few hours into its launch today. Users said they could not download the Disney+ app, if they could even find it in Apple’s app store.

A Disney+ spokesperson said the company was working to fix the problems, adding that consumer demand “has exceeded our highest expectations.”

Disney+ boasts an extensive catalog of movies and TV shows as it tries to compete against streaming services like Netflix, Hulu and Amazon Prime. Today’s glitches appear to have delayed the launch of Disney+ in Puerto Rico. [CNBC]

Here’s what else is happening

  • Illinois Sen. Tammy Duckworth celebrated Veterans Day with dozens of deported U.S. military veterans in Mexico. [WBEZ]

  • Illegal marijuana growing operations in the nation’s public forests are poisoning wildlife and water systems. [NPR]

  • Chicago saw record-breaking cold temperatures today, but it’ll get warmer soon. [Chicago Tribune]

  • It’s Tuesday, and that means there’s a new episode of Nerdette Recaps His Dark Materials With Peter Sagal. [Apple]

Oh, and one more thing …

A contestant on Jeopardy! sacrificed his chance at correctly answering the Final Jeopardy clue by paying tribute to host Alex Trebek, who is battling stage 4 pancreatic cancer.

In a video that you can find in the link (grab some tissues), contestant Dhruv Gaur wrote down, “We love you Alex!” instead of an answer to the clue, causing Trebek to choke up. Gaur tweeted that he and other Jeopardy! players are raising money for pancreatic cancer research. [AV Club]

Tell me something good ...

It’s another cold day in the Chicago area, so I’d like to know: What are your getaway plans this winter?

Fiona Ian writes:

“My friends and I are traveling to Kenya in two weeks! We’re exploring the great outdoors of Nairobi followed by attending a wedding at Diani Beach in Ukunda. We’re so excited to celebrate Thanksgiving abroad; we’ve been waiting for this trip for half a year now! Can’t wait to get away from the cold/snow of Chicago for a week!”

What are your winter getaway plans? Feel free to email at 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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