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Non Profit Pays Off Fallen Police Officer Family's Mortgage

The family of a fallen Texas police officer is getting a generous Christmas present. Mission Police Corporal Jose Espericueta's family's home mortgage has been paid off. The non profit Stephen Siller Tunnel To Towers Foundation announced the gift yesterday. Corporal Espericueta was killed in the line of duty earlier this year. The foundation's work is in honor of the memory of 9/11 fallen FDNY firefighter Stephen Siller and the sacrifices of all first responders and law enforcement officers killed in the line of duty.


Saudis Sentence 5 To Death Over Journalist's Death

Five people are now facing the death penalty in connection with the brutal murder of Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi. Saudi Arabia's public prosecutor announced the sentences this Monday adding also that three others have been sent to prison in the case. The Saudi-born Khashoggi was living in the United States when he traveled last year to the Saudi consulate in Turkey to take care of some paperwork. Inside the consulate, authorities have said he was confronted by a team sent from the kingdom, who killed him and got rid of the remains. At least two prominent former high-ranking Saudi officials were investigated following the murder but no charges have yet been announced against them.


North Korean Leader Meets With Military Chiefs

North Korea leader Kim Jong-un is conferring with his country's top military chiefs as a U.S. deadline approaches. News agency KCNA reports today that Kim wants the military to ramp up defense readiness as he considers his options. The end of year approaches with still no denuclearization agreement with the U.S. Kim gave the U.S. until December 31st to end what he calls a policy of "hostility" and instead reinvigorate the stalled talks to come up with a denuclearization agreement for the entire Korean Peninsula.

The leaders of China, Japan and South Korea are meeting this week as tensions grow between the U.S. and North Korea. Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and South Korean President Moon Jae-in will be meeting with Chinese President Xi Jingping in separate meetings on Monday. North Korea is expected to dominate the economic meeting.


Democrats, President Trump React To House Impeachment Vote

Democrats and Republicans are reacting to the House of Representatives' vote along party lines Wednesday night to impeach President Trump. The House passed two articles of impeachment, one on abuse of power and the other on obstruction of Congress in reference to the investigation of the Ukraine scandal. The Democratic presidential hopefuls are tweeting about the impeachment of President Trump.

Former VP Joe Biden called it a "solemn moment" but argued that Trump "betrayed our nation." Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders says it is a "necessary day for American democracy." Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren believes the House has "taken an important step to hold" Trump accountable.

The White House press secretary says Democrats didn't provide the evidence needed to show Trump broke his oath of office. For his part President Trump calls his impeachment "a political suicide march" for the Democrats. The President was holding a campaign rally Wednesday night in Michigan at the exact time the House voted to impeach him on two charges. He never mentioned the votes directly, only reiterating Democrats have tried to impeach him from day one and they've cheapened the process.

Trump is now the third president in U.S. history to be impeached by the House. The spotlight moves to the Senate, which will be responsible for holding a trial to determine whether Trump is removed from office. Removal from office is a highly unlikely scenario in the Republican-led Senate. A Senate trial would likely happen next month.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi may not immediately send the articles of impeachment against President Trump to the Senate. Pelosi says she could hold off on sending over the articles until Senate Republicans say they'll hold a fair trial. Pelosi criticized Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell for saying he wouldn't be an impartial juror in the Senate trial. Some Democrats have urged Pelosi to hold the articles to get leverage in the Senate trial.


Georgia Boots Thousands Of Inactive Voters From Rolls

Georgia is removing over 300-thousand voters from its voting rolls. The purge represents about four-percent of all registered voters in the state.

The removal is part of a new state law that says voters who have been inactive for three years must be removed from the rolls. The people who were kicked off failed to respond to letters asking to confirm their information. Voting rights activists have slammed the move.

In his ruling on Monday, U.S. District Judge Steve Jones said his decision is "based largely on defense counsel’s statement that any voter registration that is canceled can be restored within 24 to 48 hours."


Obama: Women "Indisputably Better" Leaders Than Men

Former President Barack Obama claims women are "indisputably" better leaders than men. The BBC reported Monday that while speaking at the Singapore Expo Obama told a crowd he's confident there would be "significant improvement across the board" if countries were led by women. Obama said he's confident that for two years, if every nation on Earth were run by women, there would be significant improvement "on just about everything...living standards and outcomes."


Boeing To Suspend Production Of 737 MAX

Boeing is suspending production of its troubled 737 MAX airliner. The plane has not been allowed in the air worldwide since March following two deadly crashes. Boeing's board held a meeting in Chicago over the weekend to discuss the future of the plane. Last week, the head of the FAA said it was unlikely the regulator would allow the plane to return to service until sometime in 2020. CNBC reports that Boeing will not lay off or furlough the 12-thousand workers at the Washington State factory where the planes are produced.


Big Week Underway For House Of Representatives

It's a busy week on Capitol Hill. The House is expected to tackle three momentous tasks this week: impeachment, government funding, and international trade. On Tuesday, the House is expected to vote on an agreement that will avoid a government shutdown and keep the government funded for the rest of the fiscal year.

That vote comes on the same day when the House will draw up rules for the floor debate of two articles of impeachment against President Trump. A vote on those articles is expected Wednesday. If approved, it will be only the third time a President has been impeached in U.S. history.

Then, on Thursday the House will likely vote on the U.S.-Mexico-Canada trade agreement or USMCA. The landmark deal will replace NAFTA.


NJ Dem Speaks With Trump About Party Switch

A Democratic congressman who plans to vote against impeachment has reportedly spoken with President Trump about changing parties. A senior Republican source told CNN that New Jersey Congressman Jeff Van Drew is expected to switch parties and has met with Trump. New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy blasted Van Drew on Saturday, and said Van Drew is "willing to enable Donald Trump just to try and salvage his own election."

Van Drew is one of two Democrats who voted against the House resolution backing the impeachment inquiry.


Impeachment Vote Expected Next Week

The full House of Representatives is expected to vote on whether to impeach President Trump next week. The House Judiciary Committee on Friday approved two articles of impeachment, one for abuse of power and the other for obstruction of Congress.

House Rules Committee Chairman Jim McGovern, a Massachusetts Democrat, tells USA Today he expects the vote to happen on Wednesday or Thursday. He says the Rules Committee will meet on Tuesday to hammer out the guidelines for the floor debate.

In the likely case that the majority Democrat House votes in favor of impeachment, it would then move on the Senate for a hearing. It would take a two-thirds majority vote there for the President to be convicted and removed from office, but that probably would not happen because Republicans control the Senate and they've already vowed to work with the President on the hearing.

President Trump calls the impeachment move a sham, a hoax, a witch hunt and an embarrassment. He argued that he has done nothing wrong and accused Democrats of "trivializing impeachment." Trump said the American people are disgusted.


LSU's Burrow Wins Heisman Trophy

The quarterback for the number one team in the nation is college football's Heisman Trophy winner. LSU's Joe Burrow beat out Ohio State quarterback Justin Fields and defensive end Chase Young along with Oklahoma quarterback Jalen Hurts for the honor. Burrow threw for more than 4,700 yards this season to go along with 48 touchdowns to just six interceptions.


Defense Bill Passed By House Includes Funding For Space Force

The House is signing on a huge defense spending bill that includes money to create the Space Force President Trump wants. The House overwhelmingly passed the 738-billion dollar National Defense Authorization Act on Wednesday. The compromise bill also includes 12 weeks of paid parental leave for federal workers, and increases pay for the troops by more than three-percent. The bill now goes to the Senate, where approval is expected.


House Judiciary Committee Considers Articles Of Impeachment

The House Judiciary Committee will start considering the articles of impeachment against President Trump. A hearing takes place Wednesday evening and could continue Thursday morning. House Democrats accuse and have charged the President with abuse of power and obstruction of Congress connected to his alleged pressuring of the Ukraine government to investigate the President's political rivals.

At a rally in Pennsylvania Tuesday night, President Trump said he's only facing abuse of power and obstruction of Congress charges because House Democrats want to win in 2020.


Pelosi Announces Deal On New North American Trade Deal

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi says there is a deal on a new North American trade deal. Speaking at the Capitol, Pelosi said it's much better than what was originally presented to Congress by the Trump administration. The so-called USMCA trade deal is one of President Trump's top priorities.

It would replace NAFTA, which was negotiated during the Clinton administration. Massachusetts Democrat Richard Neal said the trade deal with Canada and Mexico is a "triumph for workers." Neal chairs the House Ways and Means Committee.

The deal was negotiated by the White House and House Democrats. Senate Republican leaders would also have to sign off on the accord, followed by approval by the full House and Senate.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture is cheering the agreement on the USMCA trade deal. Secretary Sonny Perdue says the deal is a major win for "American workers and the economy." He noted that it "improves virtually every component" of the previous North American Free Trade Agreement.

Mexico and Canada have already been on board with the NAFTA replacement deal.


FBI Director Reacts To Inspector General Report

The Director of the FBI says he accepts the Justice Department inspector general's report on the origins of the investigation into Russian election interference. In an interview with ABC News, FBI Director Christopher Wray said it's important that the IG review found there was a sound basis for the investigation. However, he also pointed out that some actions detailed in the report are unacceptable. Wray says he'll enact 40 corrective measures to address the report's findings.


DOJ IG Report Expected Today

The Justice Department Inspector General is expected to release his report on the origins of the FBI's investigation of Russian interference in the 2016 election. Michael Horowitz's long-awaited report reviewing the origins of the investigation into Russian election interference may conclude there was enough evidence to begin the investigation although with possible irregularities with the FBI's handling of Foreign Intelligence Surveillance warrants.


America Marks The Day That Lives in Infamy

Americans remember the surprise Japanese attacks on Pearl Harbor that happened 78-years ago on December 7th. A day after the unprovoked attack, President Franklin D. Roosevelt addressed a joint session of Congress and declared December 7th as "a day which will live in infamy."

Until the raid, the United States hesitated to join World War Two, which started in 1939 after Germany invaded Poland. Both the House and Senate quickly approved a resolution declaring war on Japan. Three days later, Germany and Italy declared war on the United States and the U.S. responded in kind.

The nation then began a rapid transition into a war time economy, building up arms for the massive military campaigns to come in the Pacific, Europe and North Africa.


House Democrats Deciding Whether To Draft Articles of Impeachment

Democrats in the House of Representatives are meeting to prepare for the final week of their months-long impeachment inquiry into the Donald Trump presidency. Lawmakers on the House Judiciary Committee are working through the weekend to draft articles of impeachment that could recommend a full house vote as early as Thursday.

A 55-page report was released Saturday morning outlining what was seen as the constitutional basis on which the charges could be built. In the report, Democratic chairman Jerry Nadler said the impeachment was the only way to hold the Republican president accountable. "President Trump abused his power, betrayed our national security, and corrupted our elections, all for personal gain," Nadler said in a statement.


Trump's Border Wall Goes Up In Texas

Work is underway in Texas on President Trump's border wall. Construction crews are working on an eight-mile stretch of border wall near McAllen, Texas, at the cost of about 167-million dollars. A Border Patrol sector chief told CBS News that it's just the beginning, and that about 80 to 90 miles of border wall will be constructed at the southern border over the next year to year-and-a-half. He adds, though, it won't all be connected.


Google Founders To Step Away From Prominent Roles At Alphabet

The men who founded Google are pulling back from their roles at Google's parent company, Alphabet. CEO Larry Page and president Sergey Brin said in a letter Tuesday they are stepping down because Alphabet and Google no longer need two CEOs and a president. Google CEO Sundar Pichai will take over as Alphabet's CEO. Page and Brin say they will remain active in the company as board members.


Trump Represents U.S. At NATO Summit

President Trump is in London for this week's NATO summit.
Trump is representing the U.S. as he and European leaders celebrate the 70th anniversary of NATO. Trump is scheduled to meet with the leaders of Britain, France, Germany and other nations.


House Intelligence Committee To Review Impeachment Report Monday

The House Intelligence Committee will begin to review its impeachment report today. The committee has been probing allegations President Trump used the power of his office to force Ukraine to launch investigations that would benefit him politically. After reviewing the report, the committee will likely vote to either approve or reject it on Tuesday. It's expected to pass along a partisan vote. It would then head to the Judiciary Committee, where the first impeachment hearing is set for Wednesday.


Trump Heading To London For NATO Summit

President Trump travels to London today, ahead of the NATO summit Tuesday and Wednesday. Trump is scheduled to meet one-on-one with a number of European leaders, including French President Emmanuel Macron and German Chancellor Angela Merkel.

Trump does not have a meeting scheduled with British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, but a spokesman for the prime minister said they "look forward to meeting one another." Britons will vote in parliamentary elections next week and Johnson has publicly said Trump should not comment on the elections while he's in London.


Rosa Parks Statue To Be Unveiled Sunday

A statue of Rosa Parks will be unveiled today in Montgomery, Alabama. A new statue of the civil rights pioneer will be placed about 30 feet from where Parks is believed to have boarded a bus in 1955. Today is the anniversary of the day Parks refused to give up her seat on the public bus to a white man. The protest sparked the Montgomery bus boycott and is one of the key moments in the civil rights movement.


Londoners' Nerves On Edge After Knife Attack, Sonic Boom

ISIS is claiming responsibility for Friday's deadly stabbing attack in London. Authorities say 28-year-old Usman Khan went on a rampage near the London bridge, at the same place where a deadly attack happened two years ago.

A man and a woman were killed in Friday's attack, and three other people were injured. Khan was reportedly wearing a fake explosive vest, and was shot and killed by police. Authorities say Khan was released from prison last year after being convicted of terrorism offenses.

ISIS now claims Khan was one of its fighters whose actions were in response to its calls to target countries that have been fighting against ISIS.

Early Sunday, a sonic boom put Londoners more on edge. Many London residents took to Twitter to find out what the loud noise was. Some residents say the loud sound shook their homes.

Police later revealed that the blast was a sonic boom caused by Royal Air Force planes.


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