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The Capitol is seen in Washington, early Wednesday, Dec. 11, 2019. Voting on two articles of impeachment against President Trump is expected in a matter of days by the Judiciary Committee and by Christmas in the full House.

J. Scott Applewhite

Newsletter: Impeachment Charges Move Forward

Good afternoon! It’s Wednesday, and I would totally watch this. Here’s what else you need to know today. (PS: You can have this delivered to your inbox by subscribing here.)

1. House panel prepares to debate articles of impeachment

The House Judiciary Committee tonight will begin weighing the two articles of impeachment against President Donald Trump: abuse of power and obstruction of Congress.

WBEZ will air live coverage of tonight’s meeting beginning at 6 p.m. CST. We’ll also have live coverage of tomorrow’s committee meeting starting at 8 a.m. CST.

Democrats have the majority on the committee and are expected to advance the articles of impeachment to the full House for a vote, which could take place as early as next week. Trump is the fourth president in U.S. history to face articles of impeachment. [NPR]

Meanwhile, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., said a Senate impeachment trial would not begin until early next year if the House approves the charges. [Politico]

2. Chicago Police Department suspends controversial merit promotions

Merit promotions were created to diversify supervisory ranks at the department, but insiders and the U.S. Department of Justice have slammed the promotions for elevating officers based on political connections.

Interim Chicago Police Superintendent Charlie Beck announced he will discontinue merit promotions under his watch and recommend the practice be disbanded altogether. Merit promotions began in the 1990s and allowed supervisors to nominate officers for promotions outside of the traditional exam-based system. [WBEZ]

Despite the fact that merit promotions were created to address racial disparities, a WBEZ investigation found black and Latino officers are still far less likely to be promoted than white officers. [WBEZ]

3. Weinstein reaches tentative $25M settlement with accusers

The tentative agreement would also not require disgraced Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein to admit any wrongdoing, reports The New York Times. More than 30 actresses and former Weinstein employees have accused him of sexual harassment and rape.

The $25-million settlement would be paid by insurance companies for Weinstein’s bankrupt film studio, meaning Weinstein will not pay anything himself. It also means Weinstein’s accusers will have to make their claims along with other creditors during bankruptcy proceedings. [New York Times]

4. Where pot shops could open in downtown Chicago

Two marijuana companies have applied to open recreational pot shops downtown, reports the Chicago Sun-Times.

One is Cresco Labs, a River North-based company that wants to put a marijuana dispensary at 436 N. Clark St. That location was the former home of the iconic Baton Show Lounge, a drag venue that’s now located in Uptown.

The other pot firm is Greenhouse Group, which wants to lock down a retail space at 612 N. Wells St. [Chicago Sun-Times]

Meanwhile, Cook County officials began expunging pot convictions. [Sun-Times]

And here’s a “pocket guide” to recreational marijuana, which becomes legal in Illinois on Jan. 1. [WBEZ]

5. Greta Thunberg is Time’s “Person of the Year”

The 16-year-old climate change activist is the youngest person to earn the title in Time’s 92-year history, reports NPR. The Swedish teenager said she was “a bit surprised.”

Thunberg famously called out world leaders for failing to halt global warming that will carry more dire consequences for future generations. Her calls to action have been mocked by powerful leaders like President Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin. [NPR]

Here’s what else is happening

  • With Brexit up in the air, U.K. voters will head to the polls tomorrow. Here’s a guide to help you get caught up on what’s going on. [NPR]

  • Secret recordings show overt racial discrimination at J.P. Morgan. [New York Times]

  • Two teens with ties to Chicago are dead after a volcano erupted on a New Zealand island. [Chicago Tribune]

  • The Chicago Park District is down a salt truck. [Chicago Sun-Times]

Oh, and one more thing …

I shared a lot of “best of 2019” lists last week, but now it’s time to look at the worst of 2019.

The A.V. Club has a list of the worst movies of the year, including Joker, The Lion King and Tyler Perry’s A Madea Family Funeral. [A.V. Club]

The Hollywood Reporter goes further with its list of the worst movies of the decade, including films like the Fifty Shades trilogy and pretty much everything Adam Sandler starred in. [Hollywood Reporter]

And USA Today looks at the worst things to happen in television, from the series finale of Game of Thrones to the “disappointment of Apple TV Plus.” [USA Today]

Tell me something good ...

WBEZ’s Making Beyoncé is among the podcasts that The New York Times says are “worthy of your time.” So I’d like to know what podcasts you’re listening to.

Jennifer Thornton writes:

“I am listening to Dolly Parton’s America, of course! She is such a thoughtful and genuine person who uses her celebrity to remind people that we aren’t really all that different. Jad Abumrod has uniquely unfiltered access to her - it’s so candid and fascinating!”

What podcasts are you listening to? 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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