Newsletter: Day 6 In The Trump Impeachment Trial

Then-national security adviser John Bolton listens to President Donald Trump speaking in the White House in August 2019.
Then-national security adviser John Bolton listens to President Donald Trump at the White House in August 2019. Alex Brandon / AP
Then-national security adviser John Bolton listens to President Donald Trump speaking in the White House in August 2019.
Then-national security adviser John Bolton listens to President Donald Trump at the White House in August 2019. Alex Brandon / AP

Newsletter: Day 6 In The Trump Impeachment Trial

Good afternoon, it’s Monday! And if you love this kind of cloudy weather then this is shaping up to be your kind of week! Here’s what you need to know today. (PS: You can have this delivered to your inbox by subscribing here.)

1. More calls for witnesses in Trump impeachment trial

The legal team for President Donald Trump resumed its defense of the president today amid renewed calls by Democrats to hear testimony from former national security advisor John Bolton.

Reports emerged yesterday about a draft of Bolton’s forthcoming book, in which he writes that President Trump told him he wanted to withhold military aid from Ukraine until that country helped him with investigations into political rival Joe Biden and his son, Hunter.

Republican Sens. Mitt Romney and Susan Collins indicated that the news strengthened the case for witness testimony, while several other GOP senators said nothing had changed, according to the Associated Press. [AP]

WBEZ is airing live coverage of the ongoing impeachment trial. You can listen at 91.5 FM or stream it online.

2. Ex-state senator charged amid wide-ranging corruption probe

Federal prosecutors charged former Illinois state Sen. Martin Sandoval today with bribery and tax evasion in connection with his support of the red-light-camera industry, marking the first charges to arise from a series of high-profile federal raids.

The charges against Sandoval suggest the long-time state senator and Democrat from Chicago’s Southwest Side — who resigned last November — may be cooperating with federal investigators. [WBEZ]

3. The coronavirus outbreak has killed 81 people in China

And the acute respiratory infection has sickened almost 3,000 people, five of whom are in the United States.

The BBC reports that there is no specific cure or vaccine for the coronavirus and that most of the deaths have involved elderly people or those with pre-existing respiratory problems. [BBC]

Stocks fell today amid concerns that the outbreak could hurt the global economy. [New York Times]

4. Prostitution enforcement in Chicago focuses on people selling sex, not buyers or traffickers

In 2017, Chicago police made only three arrests for pimping compared to 667 arrests for selling sex.

That’s according to a new 18-month study from the Chicago Alliance Against Sexual Exploitation that found Chicago police focus their enforcement efforts almost exclusively on those selling sex.

“Rather than focusing on folks who are perpetuating the cycle and perpetuating the system, namely buyers and folks who are pimping or trafficking, they’re picking up women who are sellers … folks who are probably the most marginalized and the most vulnerable,” said the study’s main author. [WBEZ]

5. Kobe Bryant’s death shocks the sports world and beyond

Retired NBA star Kobe Bryant and his 13-year-old daughter Gianna were among nine people killed Sunday morning in a helicopter crash outside Los Angeles, leading to a deluge of tributes and retrospectives about the 41-year-old basketball legend.

“Words can’t describe the pain I’m feeling,” said Michael Jordan in a statement. [LA Times]

“Don’t shy away from the complicated part of Kobe Bryant’s legacy,” wrote USA Today columnist Nancy Armour. [USA Today]

And Rick Morrissey of the Chicago Sun-Times described the strange pain of losing someone you didn’t know. [Sun-Times]

Here’s what else is happening

  • The Supreme Court ruled today that the Trump administration can deny green cards to immigrants who might make use of public benefits like Medicaid, food stamps and housing vouchers. [New York Times]

  • A mortar attack on the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad landed a rare direct hit on Sunday, damaging buildings and injuring at least one person. [NPR]

  • Survivors of police torture say the city of Chicago has not upheld promises made in a sweeping 2015 reparations package. [WBEZ]

  • Today marks the 75th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz, the Nazi concentration camp where some 1.1 million people were killed. [NPR]

Oh, and one more thing …

Are Chicagoans Midwesterners?

That’s the latest question to land on the desk at Curious City, and apparently there’s plenty of disagreement on the topic, even among Chicagoans.

“We learned that people don’t always think of ‘Midwestern’ as a geographic identity, but rather an economic, political and cultural one,” writes Curious City’s Jesse Dukes. Check out this video that looks at Chicago’s relationship to the rest of the Midwest. [WBEZ]

Tell me something good …

Crime-solving detective Nancy Drew turns 90 later this year, and that’s got us thinking about our favorite literary character from childhood. Who’s yours?

Personally, there’s a serious soft spot in my heart for Too-loose the Chocolate Moose. Born into a family of “normal” moose, Too-loose is made of pure chocolate. He has trouble finding a career in moose society until he inadvertently invents chocolate mousse, to the delight of moose everywhere. He’s basically Rudolph the red-nosed reindeer but for dessert innovations.

Tell us about your favorite literary character from childhood and your answer may appear here this week.