Good morning and Happy Columbus Day. Have you ever gone on an epic journey? Hopefully the conclusion was as heartwarming as the lost canine who was finally found 1,000 miles from her owner – 12 years after she disappeared.
I’ve failed over and over and over again in my life and that is why I succeed.
– Michael Jordan
On September 24, Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi announced a formal impeachment investigation centering on a July 25 phone call between President Donald Trump and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky. A member of the intelligence community filed a whistleblower complaint on August 12 alleging that President Trump was solicited Ukrainian interference in the 2020 election during that phone call. Since then, lawyersrepresenting the intelligence officer involved have said there is at least one other whistleblower.
What happened last week? Last Tuesday, the State Department directed U.S. Ambassador to the European Union Gordon Sondland to skip a scheduled deposition in front of House investigators. In response, the House issued a subpoena, after which Sondland agreed to cooperate in defiance of the State Department’s order. The White House responded to separate subpoenas from impeachment investigators with an eight-page letter refusing to cooperate with the inquiry. On Friday, former ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch testified behind closed doors.
What comes next? Both the House and the Senate are back in session as of today. Several depositions are scheduled this week, including Sondland and former Russia adviser Fiona Hill.
So… what are people saying?
With impeachment looming, Trump turns to smoke and mirrors
Questions about the rating system we use? Learn more
Share Today’s Dose of Discussion
U.S.-China Trade Talks
The Chinese Vice Premier Liu He arrived in Washington last week for the latest round of top-level trade talks. On Friday, the two countries announced they’d come to an agreement on the first phase of a potential deal, and the U.S. said it was calling off the tariff hikes scheduled for October 15.
The U.S. authorized the deployment of additional troops and equipment to Saudi Arabia on Friday. According to the Department of Defense, this deployment brings the total number of troops added or extended within the past month up to 3,000.
The U.S. announced yesterday that it would be pulling back more troops in northern Syria as Turkey continues to advance against the Kurdish forces in the region. Kurdish officials said yesterday that almost 800 supporters of the Islamic State had escaped from a camp adjacent to the fighting, and that Syrian troops would deploy to the border to support the Kurds.
Visa, Mastercard, Stripe, and eBay said Friday they will be withdrawing from the Libra Association, the coalition of companies led by Facebook to launch a global digital currency. This follows PayPal’s departure last week and comes as the project faces increasing global regulatory scrutiny – the remaining association members will meet today to elect a board and create a charter.
As the UAW strike enters its fifth week, the union is raising the weekly pay for the ~48,000 hourly workers on strike from $250 to $275. GM presented a new offer to resolve the strike on Friday and the UAW responded with a counterproposal.
WeWork will shut down its early education school WeGrow following the conclusion of the 2019-20 school year. The company has also put three subsidiaries up for sale – event organizing platform Meetup, office management company Managed by Q, and marketing company Conductor – as part of the effort to focus on its core business following last month’s IPO withdrawal (more We Co. news – the WSJ reports SoftBank is attempting to take control of the company through a financing package).
The board of Boeing removed CEO Dennis Muilenburg from his dual role as chairman Friday. This comes as the aerospace and defense company continues to deal with backlash surrounding its 737 MAX plane and its role in fatal plane crashes in Indonesia and Ethiopia.
Eight years ago, Danish architect Bjarke Ingels presented a big idea – instead of hiding unsightly power plants outside the city, why not build them into something fun? His plan was to create a power plant that would double as a snowless ski hill – with specially engineered grass coating that would mimic the friction of a powdery slope.
More importantly, Bjarke’s power plant would run not on traditional energy sources, but by transforming waste into electricity and heating for the city’s homes. The architect said he hoped that the power plant would be a green example for other cities around the world to follow.
And now, in the center of Copenhagen, Bjarke’s dream has become a reality. Last week, skiers carved their way down the one-third-mile course for the first time, praising the coating for how well it compares to snow – and grateful for the opportunity to ski without even leaving Denmark’s flat landscape.
Farmers in Idaho were scrambling this weekend after meteorologists predicted an early hard freeze for Wednesday. Working around the clock, farmers were doing everything they could to get all the potatoes harvested before it was too late.
But when it became clear that one farmer wasn’t going to finish in time, the whole community chipped in. Jason Larson, a worker on a farm nearby, said his farm sent 25 workers to help as soon as his own crop was in, and they estimated that there were around 50 workers in total lending a hand to their fellow neighbor.
Laboring together, the convoy of tractors pulled in the neighbor’s crop in just nine hours, saving several hundred thousand dollars’ worth of potatoes. “What people do is they help their neighbor,” Larson told CNN. “There really wasn’t a second thought about it.”
Born to Run… a record setting weekend has concluded in the world of marathon racing. Eliud Kipchoge became the first human to break the 2 hour barrier in Vienna on Saturday, while Brigid Kosgei set a new female world record at the Chicago Marathon on Sunday.
Here Comes The Sun… new published research from Norway and Switzerland proposes creating islands of floating solar panels that can convert CO2 present in seawater into methanol for fuel.
A long shot… amidst the rollout of the world’s first malaria vaccine, the Ghanaian government is in talks with San Francisco-based logistics company Zipline Inc. to use their delivery drones to access remote areas in need of the medicine (WSJ).