Vox Sentences: Impeachment TV

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Impeachment inquiry holds its first public hearing; rising water in Venice turns deadly.

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The first public hearing

  • Acting Ambassador to Ukraine William Taylor and Deputy Assistant Secretary of State George Kent testified in the first public hearing of the impeachment inquiry before Congress Wednesday. [Washington Post / John Wagner, Felicia Sonmez and Colby Itkowitz]
  • Kent and Taylor testified about Trump’s attempts to force Ukraine to investigate Joe Biden in exchange for military aid and a possible White House visit. [Politico / Nahal Toosi, Caitlin Oprysko, and Quint Forgey]
  • The biggest news in Taylor’s testimony: He overheard Trump asking Ambassador to the European Union Gordon Sondland about progress on “the investigations” a day after Trump’s call with the Ukrainian president. [AP News / Lisa Mascaro and Mary Clare Jalonick]
  • One reason the hearings were effective was a change in their format: Each party got 45 minutes to ask questions, allowing them more time to ask follow-ups and build a coherent narrative. [Vox / Andrew Prokop]
  • Rep. Devin Nunes (R-CA) denounced the hearings as a “low-rent Ukrainian sequel” to the Mueller investigation. [CNN / Chris Cillizza]
  • Here’s one third-grader’s quest to understand the impeachment hearings. [New York Times]
  • If you need a refresher on how we got here, here’s the ultimate guide to the impeachment saga. [Vox / Andrew Prokop and Matt Yglesias]

Floods turn deadly in Venice

  • One man is confirmed dead as a result of Venice’s biggest floods in the last 50 years. [CNN / Julia Hollingsworth]
  • Venice’s mayor declared a state of emergency after the water level reached about six feet and two inches. [New York Times / Elisabetta Povoledo]
  • Over 85 percent of the city is submerged in water and floods only two inches short of the highest recorded floods, in 1966. [NPR / Bill Chappell]
  • ”Now the government must listen,” tweeted Mayor Luigi Brugnaro. “These are the effects of climate change. … The costs will be high.” [BBC]
  • The combination of high winds and a full moon tide are partly to blame for the record water levels, with another round of high tides expected Thursday. [Vice News / Alex Lubben]


  • Continued protests in Iraq are met with crackdowns that are beginning to succeed in creating a powerful atmosphere of fear. [Independent / Louisa Loveluck]
  • Google is looking to launch a banking project called Cache that allows users to open checking accounts by next year. [Wall Street Journal / Peter Rudegeair and Liz Hoffman]
  • Disney’s streaming services launched despite technical issues, problems they are promising to fix. [TechCrunch / Sarah Perez]
  • Do pimple patches actually work? We buy them like they do. [Vox / Cheryl Wischhover]
  • The Washington Post’s James Hohmann and Mariana Alfaro analyze Trump’s treatment of Turkey, looking back to his self-admitted “little conflict of interest.” [Washington Post / James Hohmann and Mariana Alfaro]


“For me, it was just so sad that a foreign embassy in the United States had bullied an American mosque. … The NBA gives me a big platform, and so that’s why I’m trying to be a voice for all those innocent people who don’t have one.” [Boston Celtics center of Turkish origin Enes Kanter on how his vocal criticism of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan impacted his attempt to host a free basketball camp]

Listen to this: Bill and Kent’s congressional adventure

The first public hearing in the impeachment inquiry was held today. Vox’s Andrew Prokop explains the significance of the testimonies given by acting Ambassador William Taylor and George Kent, deputy assistant secretary at the State Department. [Spotify]

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