Inside Daily Brief - December 13th, 2019

Inside Daily Brief (Dec 13th, 2019)

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1. The House Judiciary Committee is set to vote today on whether to send two articles of impeachment against President Trump to the House floor. Chairman Jerry Nadler abruptly ended Thursday's marathon debate when it appeared things were winding down to a vote, angering Republicans, who said the move was made to make sure more people saw the televised vote today. Democrats blamed Republicans for offering amendments and debate that dragged out the meeting until nearly midnight. The articles charge Trump with abuse of power and obstruction of Congress. The committee picks things back up at 10 a.m. Eastern time. – CNN

2. The U.S. and China have reached a trade deal in principle, both nations announced Thursday. The "phase one" deal includes reducing tariffs on $375 billion in Chinese goods by half and stopping tariffs on $160 billion in goods that would have taken effect Sunday. Had President Trump not acted, tariffs would have affected the prices of devices such as video game consoles and computer monitors, toys, clothing and other products that are usually popular holiday gifts. – REUTERS

3. Prime Minister Boris Johnson's Conservative Party won big in Thursday's U.K. election, capturing at least 364 seats, a comfortable majority in the 650-seat House of Commons. Johnson told supporters he plans to pursue Brexit, which is slated for the end of January. After the historic win, Queen Elizabeth II formally invited Johnson to form a new government on Friday. Jeremy Corbyn's Labour Party won 203 seats, 59 fewer than in the 2017 election. The Scottish National Party won 48 of Scotland's 59 seats, netting 13 from the last election. The Liberal Democrats won 11 seats Thursday, down one seat from 2017. Corbyn announced he would step down as party leader after Labour's poor performance Thursday. A win for Conservatives could fast track the U.K. leaving the European Union, but the next test for the country could be a more powerful Scottish independence movement. – NYTIMES

4. The U.S. House of Representatives passed a sweeping bill Thursday that would allow the federal government to negotiate lower prescription drug prices. The measure passed mostly along party lines, at 230-192. Passing the legislation gives Democrats an issue they can tell constituents they championed and answer when critics say they're only focusing on impeaching President Trump. As a candidate, Trump had supported the government negotiating lower drug prices but reversed his position after months of talks between Speaker Nancy Pelosi and the White House. Instead, Trump now supports a more moderate bill in the Senate that does not address negotiating prices. – THE HILL

5. Seven candidates have qualified for the Dec. 19 Democratic presidential debate. Former Vice President Joe Biden; U.S. Sens. Bernie Sanders of Vermont, Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts and Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota; South Bend, Indiana, Mayor Pete Buttigieg; hedge fund manager Tom Steyer; and tech entrepreneur Andrew Yang will share a stage at Gersten Pavilion at Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles. Candidates had until Thursday to show at least 4 percent support in four national or early-voting state polls or at least 6 percent in two early-state polls from organizations approved by the Democratic National Committee. Candidates also had to have at least 200,000 unique donors, including at least 800 in 20 states or territories. New Jersey Sen. Cory Booker, former HUD secretary Julian Castro and former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg were among the candidates who failed to meet the qualifying threshold for the debate. – FIVE THIRTY EIGHT

6. The Pentagon's inspector general is investigating a $400 million border wall contract awarded to a firm that lobbied President Trump for the project via Fox News appearances. The inspector general informed House Homeland Security Chairman Bennie Thompson that North Dakota-based Fisher Sand and Gravel Co. would be audited. Tommy Fisher, the head of the business, said there would be "nothing to find." Two administration officials told the Associated Press that Trump himself pushed for Fisher to win the bid. – PBS

7. Boston Marathon bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev could get a new trial if a federal appellate court agrees his conviction was secured by a biased trial jury. A three-judge panel asked federal prosecutors why they didn't thoroughly question potential jurors about their understanding of the case to identify bias from the "enormous publicity" of the bombings. Federal prosecutor William Glaser said potential jurors were asked to disclose news sources and how much they consumed about the bombings. "You just need to make sure that the government doesn't cause the court to pick the wrong (jurors). But it's sounding like you did," U.S. Court of Appeals Judge William J. Kayatta Jr. said. Tsarnaev's attorneys have argued that while he was responsible for the bombings, he was not as culpable for the crimes as his older brother and accomplice, Tamerlan Tsarnaev, who was killed during the manhunt. Three people were killed and hundreds more were seriously wounded in the 2015 bombing.  – USA TODAY

8. Andy Dunn, founder of the online men's apparel retailer Bonobos, is leaving Walmart in 2020, he announced in a LinkedIn post Thursday. Walmart acquired Bonobos in 2017, and he joined the retail giant to improve its e-commerce operations. Dunn did not announce his next steps. A Walmart spokesperson called Dunn's work with the company "invaluable."  – CNBC

9. Monica Ruiz, the actress in the viral Peloton commercial, said Thursday she thought the reaction was because of her facial expression. In the ad, Ruiz's character receives a Peloton exercise bike as a gift and chronicles her "fitness journey." In the commercial, her character looks worried to some viewers and says at one point, "I didn't realize how much this would change me." "Honestly, I think it was just my face," Ruiz said during an appearance on the "TODAY" show. "My eyebrows look, like, worried, I guess. People were like, ''She looks scared.'" In the fallout, Peloton lost $942 million in market value in just one day. The company said in a statement that the commercial was "misinterpreted." – NBC NEWS

10. The New York Mets and free agent Rick Porcello have agreed to a one-year deal worth $10 million. Porcello, a former Boston Red Sox right-hander, reportedly turned down multiyear offers in the process. Porcello has a 149-118 record and 4.36 ERA in his 11 seasons with the Red Sox and Detroit Tigers. – ESPN

Written and curated by Johnathan Silver in Austin, Texas. Johnathan is a freelance writer and small-business owner. He has written for the Victoria Advocate, Latino Leaders Magazine, The Texas Tribune, Austin American-Statesman and CultureMap. Follow his tweets about breaking news and other topics in Texas: @JohnathanSilver


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