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2:15 PM ET, October 17, 2019


 Top Items: 
Andrew Desiderio / Politico:
Gordon Sondland breaks with Trump in impeachment testimony  —  Gordon Sondland, the U.S. ambassador to the European Union, broke sharply from President Donald Trump on Thursday, telling House impeachment investigators that he opposed the president's request to run Ukraine policy through his personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani.
Wall Street Journal:
Rick Perry Called Rudy Giuliani at Trump's Direction on Ukraine Concerns  —  President's lawyer said Ukraine had worked to hurt Trump in 2016 election, energy secretary says in interview  —  WASHINGTON—Energy Secretary Rick Perry said he sought out Rudy Giuliani this spring …
Aaron Blake / Washington Post:
This central claim in Gordon Sondland's testimony just doesn't add up  —  Sondland isn't the first to say he didn't know what Rudy Giuliani was up to.  But that's extremely difficult to swallow — for this reason.  —  President Trump's ambassador to the European Union, Gordon Sondland …
Josh Lederman / NBC News:
Sondland asked Ukrainian officials during private White House talk about gas firm linked to Hunter Biden  —  Sondland's meeting with Ukrainian officials just steps from the White House Situation Room came minutes after a larger meeting that included John Bolton.
Rebecca Ballhaus / Wall Street Journal:
Sondland Criticizes Trump Over Efforts to Pressure Ukraine  —  U.S. ambassador to the European Union says he was ‘disappointed’ by president's directive to work with Giuliani  —  WASHINGTON—Gordon Sondland, the U.S. ambassador to the European Union, criticized President Trump over his efforts …
Discussion: Talking Points Memo
New York Times:   Ambassador to E.U. to Testify That Trump Delegated Ukraine Policy to Giuliani
Jonathan Chait / New York Magazine:
Gordon Sondland's Ukraine Alibi: I Was the Dumbest Diplomat Ever
Discussion: Vox, Fox News, CNN and LewRockwell
The Daily Beast:
Ambassador Sondland Throws Trump Under the Bus
Discussion: The Hill
NBC News:
More Trump admin officials to be deposed next week
Discussion: The Hill
John Wagner / Washington Post:   Live updates: Democrats prepare to block GOP-backed resolution to censure Schiff as another key witness testifies
New York Times:
The Trump Impeachment Inquiry: Latest News
Discussion: Althouse
New York Times:
Elijah E. Cummings, Powerful Democrat Who Investigated Trump, Dies at 68  —  A son of sharecroppers, he fought tirelessly for his hometown of Baltimore and became a key figure in the impeachment investigation of President Trump.  —  Representative Elijah E. Cummings, a son of sharecroppers …
Jeff Barker / Baltimore Sun:
U.S. Rep. Elijah Cummings, longtime advocate for Baltimore and civil rights and key figure in Trump impeachment inquiry, dies at 68  —  U.S. Rep. Elijah Cummings of Baltimore, a committee chairman known for his devotion to Baltimore and civil rights and for blunt and passionate speechmaking …
Jenna Portnoy / Washington Post:
Rep. Elijah Cummings, Democratic leader and regular Trump target, dies at 68
Lillian Reed / Baltimore Sun:
What will happen to Elijah Cummings' seat in Congress after his death? Here's what the law says.
Discussion: Roll Call
Gillian Brockell / Washington Post:
A white mob attacked Elijah Cummings for integrating a swimming pool. He was 11.
Discussion: Shareblue Media, Politico and Breitbart
Greg Ng / WBAL:
Rep. Elijah Cummings has died
Discussion: UPI and The Root
Turkish president Erdogan 'threw Trump's Syria letter in bin'  —  Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan put US President Donald Trump's letter “in the bin”, the BBC has been told.  —  In the letter dated 9 October, and sent after US troops were pulled out of Syria, Mr Trump told Mr Erdogan: “Don't be a tough guy.
Marianne LeVine / Politico:
Senate Republicans reject effort to condemn Trump's Syria withdrawal  —  Senate Republicans on Thursday rejected an effort to condemn the Trump administration's decision to pull troops out of Syria, despite the House's overwhelming vote in support of the measure this week.
Discussion: NBC News, The Hill and Politico
Jonathan Bernstein / Bloomberg:   Does Trump Realize the Trouble He's In?
Philip Bump / Washington Post:
What are the problems Trump told Erdogan he has ‘worked hard to solve’?
Washington Post:
Trump has awarded next year's G-7 summit of world leaders to his Miami-area resort, the White House said  —  President Trump has awarded the 2020 G-7 Summit of world leaders to his own private company, scheduling the summit for June at his Trump Doral golf resort outside Miami, the White House announced on Thursday.
Katie Rogers / New York Times:
Trump Will Host 2020 G7 Summit at His Doral Resort  —  The decision to host the economic summit at the Trump National Doral Miami Golf Club is sure to alarm ethics watchdogs and critics of the administration.  —  WASHINGTON — President Trump will host next year's Group of 7 meeting next June …
Discussion: CREW, Raw Story and Mediaite
White House says G7 summit will be at Trump's Doral resort in Miami
Discussion: Politico, Political Wire and The Hill
Pew Research Center:
In U.S., Decline of Christianity Continues at Rapid Pace  —  An update on America's changing religious landscape  —  The religious landscape of the United States continues to change at a rapid clip.  In Pew Research Center telephone surveys conducted in 2018 and 2019 …
William D. Cohan / Vanity Fair:
“There Is Definite Hanky-Panky Going On”: The Fantastically Profitable Mystery of the Trump Chaos Trades  —  The president's talk can move markets—and it's made some futures traders billions.  Did they know what he was going to say before he said it?  —  In the last 10 minutes of trading …
Eli Yokley / Morning Consult:
Things Aren't Getting Better for 2020's Most Vulnerable Senate Republicans  —  Five vulnerable Republicans see declines in net approval  —  Sen. Joni Ernst (R-Iowa) delivers remarks during a weekly Capitol Hill news conference on June 25.  The latest Morning Consult Senator Approval Rankings found …
Discussion: Iowa Starting Line
Blood fills Iowa family's basement  —  (WHO/NBC News) What sounds like a scene from a horror film is reality for the Lestina family of Bagley, Iowa.  —  Nick Lestina and his family of seven were getting ready to put their house on the market until their basement was flooded with animal blood.
Darren Samuelsohn / Politico:
Giuliani Ukraine associate had checkered past even before indictment  —  On Oct. 25, 2008, the owner of a property in Florida in which Lev Parnas had been living told Parnas to leave.  When the men began to argue and the owner told Parnas he would call the police, Parnas told the man …
Judd at Popular Information / Popular Information:
The Republican political operatives who call the shots at Facebook  —  This is the online version of the Popular Information newsletter.  You can get independent accountability journalism in your inbox every week.  Sign up here:  —  Subscribe  —  In recent months, Facebook …
Discussion: Engadget
Lauren O'Neil / blogTO:
Toronto Raptors fans to give away thousands of pro-Hong Kong shirts on opening night  —  The saga of Hong Kong vs. China vs. the NBA continues in Toronto next week with the distribution of more than 7,000 fan-made “The North Stand with Hong Kong” t-shirts on opening night of the Toronto Raptors 2019-2020 season.
Discussion: Power Line
Doug Palmer / Politico:
China threatens ‘strong countermeasures’ if Trump signs bill supporting Hong Kong rights
Discussion: and Breitbart
Inside TurboTax's 20-Year Fight to Stop Americans From Filing Their Taxes for Free  —  ProPublica is a nonprofit newsroom that investigates abuses of power.  Sign up for ProPublica's Big Story newsletter to receive stories like this one in your inbox as soon as they are published.
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 More Items: 
NBC News:
Giuliani's work for Iranian group with bloody past could lead to more legal woes
Scott Rosenberg / Axios:
Mark Zuckerberg doubles down on free speech
Discussion: Politico
Steven Mufson / Washington Post:
Facing unbearable heat, Qatar has begun to air-condition the outdoors
Anna North / Vox:
Trump's “Nervous Nancy” tweet shows his problem with powerful women
Discussion: Washington Post, Politico and NBC News
Anthony Izaguirre / Associated Press:
APNewsBreak: Billionaire governor's family farms get subsidy
Discussion: Axios
Eleni Courea / Politico:
Brexit deal faces familiar obstacle — Northern Ireland unionists
MIT Technology Review:
Can you make AI fairer than a judge? Play our courtroom algorithm game
The Daily Beast:
Did Rudy Pal Igor Fruman Steal Another Man's Identity to Make a $100K Campaign Donation?
Discussion: Associated Press and Politico
 Earlier Items: 
Will Sommer / The Daily Beast:
Rudy Giuliani's Twitter Feed Is a Boomer Conspiracy-Theory Sh*tshow
Noah Rothman / Commentary:
Against the Anti-Market Consensus  —  Right and left are converging …
John O. McGinnis / Law & Liberty:
Reviving the Contract Clause: An Acid Test for Originalism
Chelsea Yi / Marketing Resource Group:
MRG Michigan Poll®: Peters and James Show Close Race in US Senate Bid
Discussion: The Hill and Political Wire
Jack Herrera /
The Government Is Testing Mass Surveillance on the Border Before Turning It on Americans
Dan Zak / Washington Post:
Day 1,000 of the Trump presidency: ‘I think now we have to pray...’
Discussion: Axios, NBC News, CNN and Political Wire