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The White House “transcript” of the Trump-Zelensky call is released; a mountain glacier in Italy is on the verge of collapse.
A quid pro quo?
- As President Trump promised on Twitter yesterday, the White House released a transcript — well, sort of — of the president’s call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky in July. [Washington Post / Devlin Barrett, Matt Zapotosky, Carol D. Leonnig, and Josh Dawsey]
- The five-page document was assembled by “notetakers” from the National Security Council and contains a disclaimer that it is not a word-for-word version of the conversation. [AP / Darlene Superville]
- It shows that Zelensky asked Trump for an increase in military aid. Trump responded that he wanted Zelensky to do him a “favor”: investigate a theory about the Ukrainians and a Democratic email server, and investigate the Biden family’s dealings with a Ukrainian prosecutor. [Vox / Zack Beauchamp]
- Zelensky claimed that he did not feel pressured to look into Biden during the call in a joint press conference with Trump this afternoon at the UN General Assembly. [US News / Paul D. Shinkman]
- But Democrats see evidence in the transcripts of Trump abusing his executive privilege to solicit foreign aid in winning the 2020 presidential election. [LA Times / Chris Megerian]
- Trump’s plan to quiet voices calling for articles of impeachment with the release of this transcript may have backfired — instead providing a strong piece of evidence against him. [Vox / Zack Beauchamp]
Climate threat on Europe’s highest mountain
- A huge Mont Blanc glacier on the French-Italian border is on the verge of collapse, prompting authorities to close roads and evacuate towns near the mountain. [Reuters / Elisa Anzolin and Francesca Piscioneri]
- The glacier, formed with some 250,000 cubic meters of ice — or 100 times the size of an Olympic-size swimming pool — is shifting at a record rate of 50-60 centimeters (16-23 inches) a day. [Telegraph / Nick Squires]
- Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte, in an address to the United Nations General Assembly in New York on Tuesday, warned of the perils of climate change, saying, “It’s an alarm that cannot leave us indifferent. It must shake us all and mobilize us.” [CNN / Gianluca Mezzofiore]
- The Mont Blanc news comes amid some of the biggest climate protests taking place around the world, and mere days after the conclusion of the UN Climate Action Summit. Here are those events in photos. [Vox / Brian Resnick and Danielle Scruggs]
- Alpine glaciers are melting and polar ice sheets are increasingly retreating as a result of global warming. National Geographic has dubbed this trend “the big thaw.” [National Geographic / Daniel Glick]
- Phoebe Waller-Bridge, fresh off her Emmy wins for the comedy hit Fleabag, signed a $20 million deal a year with Amazon to create and produce more television content. [Variety / Will Thorne]
- “Alexa, find me a job.” McDonald’s announced Wednesday it’s launching a new initiative called “Apply Thru,” allowing owners of Alexa and Google Assistant devices to find job postings and begin filling out their applications for the fast food chain. [The Verge / Nick Statt]
- Twenty-six creators, thinkers, and scholars were named the new MacArthur fellows, earning a $625,000 stipend in recognition of their creativity and academic or professional potential. Meet them here. [NPR / Colin Dwyer]
- A submarine — dubbed a “narco sub” — carrying 12,000 pounds of cocaine worth more than $165 million was captured by the US Coast Guard, authorities said. Four suspected drug smugglers who were on board were also apprehended. [CBS News / Sophie Lewis]
“Your fridge will beep for more cheese.” [British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, in an address to the United Nations General Assembly on Tuesday, failed to mention Brexit but offered a spirited speech on future tech / AP]
Watch this: How to impeach a president
What we can learn from Reconstruction, Watergate, and the Clinton saga. [YouTube / Liz Scheltens, Carlos Waters, and Nicholas Garbaty]
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Author: Stavros Agorakis