Editors, USA TODAY
Published 3: 48 a.m. ET Oct. 17, 2019 | Updated 8: 22 a.m. ET Oct. 17, 2019
US Ambassador Gordon Sondland is in the House Democrats’ hot seat
U.S. Ambassador to the European Union Gordon Sondland will testify on Thursday before congressional committees conducting an impeachment inquiry into President Donald Trump. Congressional investigators believe Sondland has messages on his personal devices that could shed light on Trump’s pressuring of the Ukrainian government to open an investigation into former Vice President Joe Biden and his son Hunter Biden. Sondland, a major Trump donor turned diplomat, was subpoenaed by House Democrats last Tuesday after the State Department blocked his previous testimony.
- Here’s what you need to know about Gordon Sondland and his role in the Ukraine pressure campaign
Trump and impeachment: Can President Trump block witnesses and subpoenas, and what can Congress do about it? Lawyer and author David Stewart explains.
Hannah Gaber, USA TODAY
Chicago braces for possible teachers strike
Chicago’s teachers were poised to go on strike Thursday, the latest in a wave of teacher protests nationwide since early last year. The Chicago Teachers Union has been unable to reach an agreement on issues such as class sizes, teacher pay and support staff as they negotiate a new contract with Chicago Public Schools and Mayor Lori Lightfoot. Adding to the intensity: Workers from the school service employees union are planning to walk out the same day, leaving the schools and the city’s recreational facilities without many of the adults who could care for kids while teachers picket. The strike would affect about 35,000 public workers and cancel classes for 400,000 students and their families.
- A day in the life: We followed 15 of America’s teachers on a single day
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Turkey’s leader rebuffs US call for Syria cease-fire, says he’ll meet Pence
Amid fast-moving diplomacy around the White House’s attempt to get Turkey to cease-fire in Syria, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said he will meet Vice President Mike Pence and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo when they arrive in Turkey on Thursday. The scheduled meeting comes after a released letter revealed how President Donald Trump urged Erdogan not to be a “tough guy” before Ankara launched a deadly incursion in northern Syria. Turkey’s leader has said he will not negotiate with Kurdish forces that his government is trying to push out of the area. The House of Representatives overwhelmingly backed a resolution condemning Trump’s decision to withdraw U.S. troops from Syria, a rare bipartisan rebuke at a time when Trump is trying to shore up GOP support.
- Trump says longtime allies the Kurds are ‘not angels,’says Turkey’s invasion of Syria ‘not our problem’
- Russia takes over key U.S. outposts in Syria,filling vacuum left by American withdrawal
- Crisis in Syria: Democratic leaders walk out of meeting with Trump on Syria, claim president had ‘meltdown’
Autoworker union leaders to weigh new GM deal, end to strike
Local autoworker union leaders will vote Thursday on whether to approve a deal for a new contract with General Motors that could end a month-long strike. The United Auto Workers walked off the job Sept. 16, launching the union’s first nationwide strike in 12 years. Details of the deal reached Wednesday were not released, but issues included pay and benefits for temporary workers, job security and health care. If approved by union leaders Thursday, the strike will end. At that point, UAW workers will cast votes to ratify the deal, a process expected to take a week or two.
‘Bomb cyclone’ will blast the Northeast
A powerful coastal storm will continue to unleash soaking rain and howling winds through Thursday from the mid-Atlantic to New England. Wind gusts of up to 60 mph may cause some tree damage and power outages, the National Weather Service said, and up to 3 inches of rain could cause flash flooding in some areas. Flight cancellations could be widespread in New England on Thursday and Friday, CNN reported. The storm will strengthen fast enough to be classified as a “bomb cyclone” — one in which barometric pressure falls at least 24 millibars, or 0.71 inches, in 24 hours.
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