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Senate votes to call witnesses in Trump impeachment trial

The Senate voted 55-45 on Saturday in favor of calling witnesses in former President Trump's second impeachment trial after three days of presentations from House Democrats and Trump's defense team. Five Republicans voted with Democrats to call witnesses.

The state of play: The vote opens up new possibilities for Democrats to strengthen their case, which alleges that Trump incited on insurrection on Jan 6. Witnesses were not called in Trump's first impeachment trial, but Republicans held the Senate majority at that time.

  • Trump himself is among Democrats' most desired witnesses — but the former president already stated that he would not comply willingly.
  • The Senate could vote to subpoena Trump but it is unclear if such a move would have enough support.

Between the lines: Some Democrats originally signaled that they would vote against witnesses. House managers throughout the week aired video and audio recordings of Trump's Jan. 6 rally and the subsequent Capitol attack, which some lawmakers said was sufficient evidence.

  • Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y) on Thursday told reporters that she believes that evidence suffices, stating, "We've heard from many witnesses based on their interviews and their video presentations, so, I feel like we've heard from enough witnesses."
  • Sen. Angus King (I-Maine) stated, "I think the case has been made. I don’t know what witnesses would add," per USA Today.

What's next: After witnesses, managers and Trump's defense team will move into closing arguments. They will be allotted four hours, evenly divided between both sides.

  • A full vote on whether to convict or acquit Trump will follow.

N.Y. Times faces culture clashes as business booms

New York Times columnist David Brooks' resignation from a paid gig at a think tank on Saturday is the latest in a flurry of scandals that America's biggest and most successful newspaper company has endured in the past year.

Driving the news: Brooks resigned from the Aspen Institute following a BuzzFeed News investigation that uncovered conflicts of interest between Brooks' reporting and money he accepted from corporate donors for a project called "Weave" that he worked on at the nonprofit.

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Top Chinese diplomat warns Biden against meddling in country's affairs

Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi in a speech on Sunday warned the U.S. against getting involved in China's "internal affairs," saying that "both sides need to abide by the principle of non-interference," CNBC reports.

Why it matters: Biden has promised a hardline approach with China. Tensions between the U.S. and China had heightened for years under the Trump administration.

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America is learning to rebalance its news diet post-Trump

Nearly halfway through President Biden's first 100 days, data shows that Americans are learning to wean themselves off of news — and especially politics.

Why it matters: The departure of former President Trump's once-ubiquitous presence in the news cycle has reoriented the country's attention.

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Why migrants are fleeing their homes for the U.S.

Natural disasters in Central America, economic devastation, gang wars, political oppression, and a new administration are all driving the sharp rise in U.S.-Mexico border crossings — a budding crisis for President Biden.

Why it matters: Migration flows are complex and quickly politicized. Biden's policies are likely sending signals that are encouraging the surge — but that's only a small reason it's happening.

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Cities' pandemic struggle to balance homelessness and public safety

Addressing homelessness has taken on new urgency in cities across the country over the past year, as officials grapple with a growing unhoused population and the need to preserve public safety during the coronavirus pandemic.

Why it matters: It’s led to tension when cities move in to clear encampments — often for health and safety reasons — causing some to rethink the role of law enforcement when interacting with people experiencing homelessness.

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Biden to sign voting rights executive order to mark "Bloody Sunday" anniversary

President Biden will sign an executive order today, on the 56th anniversary of "Bloody Sunday," meant to promote voting rights, according to an administration official.

Why it matters: The executive order comes as Democrats face an uphill battle to pass a sweeping election bill meant, in part, to combat a growing number of proposals introduced by Republicans at the state level that would restrict voter access.

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New York Gov. Cuomo faces fresh misconduct allegations from former aides

The office of New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) was on Saturday facing fresh accusations of misconduct against his staff, including further allegations of inappropriate behavior against two more women. His office denies the claims.

Driving the news: The Washington Post reported Cuomo allegedly embraced an aide when he led the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and that two male aides who worked for him in the governor's office accused him of routinely berating them "with explicit language."

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