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Trump admits to talking to Ukraine about the dealings of Joe Biden’s son; the world’s oldest travel company leaves thousands stranded.
Whistles from the Oval Office
- President Trump admitted to discussing the family of former Vice President Joe Biden during a July phone call with Ukraine’s president, an incident believed to be at the center of a whistleblower’s complaint about alleged abuse of power within the White House. [Vox / Anya van Wagtendonk]
- The complaint reportedly involved Trump attempting eight times to pressure Ukranian President Volodymyr Zelensky to launch an investigation into Biden’s son, Hunter, and his business activities in the eastern European nation. Intelligence community Inspector General Michael Atkinson determined the complaint to be credible — meaning there is corroboration beyond the one source — and labeled it a matter of “urgent concern.” [Washington Post / Aaron Blake]
- Trump’s alleged pressure campaign has prompted scrutiny of US and Ukraine ties. Some say the delayed release of $250 million in foreign aid to Ukraine was mobilized by mounting White House efforts to instigate a probe into the Bidens. A separate investigation into the matter is being conducted in Washington. [WSJ / Alan Cullison, Rebecca Ballhaus, and Dustin Volz]
- Republicans have stood by Trump as new details emerge, calling for an actual inquiry into Biden and his 2016 request to Ukraine to dismiss a prosecutor who had investigated a gas company linked to his son. Democrats, on the other hand, are once again pushing for Trump’s impeachment. [Vox / Anya van Wagtendonk]
- There’s no evidence Joe Biden acted in his son’s interest in the 2016 request or in dealing with Ukraine as vice president. Biden criticized Trump for seeming to cross the line himself, and urged him to release a transcript of his call with Zelensky. [The Hill / Jesse Byrnes]
- Biden continues to lead the polls in the run-up to the 2020 primaries, and is largely considered to be one of few Democratic candidates who can match up against the sitting president in next fall’s elections. [RealClearPolitics]
- Whatever the resolution of the event, it’s an early predictor of how dirty the US elections will get. [Guardian / Richard Wolffe]
150,000 travelers stranded abroad
- The financial collapse of Thomas Cook — the oldest travel company in the world — in the early hours of Monday has left hundreds of thousands of travelers stranded in their holiday destinations, further affecting the daily operations of booking websites, credit card companies and other travel firms. [Reuters / Kate Holton]
- British Prime Minister Boris Johnson had said the UK government would not intervene to save Thomas Cook through a bailout package, though he pledged Monday to help travelers return home in the nation’s biggest ever peacetime repatriation operation. Most vacation packages sold by British companies have government protections. [NYT / Michael Wolgelenter]
- The firm, which has operated since 1841, has further put some 21,000 jobs at risk. [FT / Philip Georgiadis, Myles McCormick, and Adam Samson]
- Thomas Cook CEO Peter Fankhauser issued a statement saying that the collapse is a matter of profound regret. He cited insurmountable challenges in the final weeks of negotiations with creditors. [CNN / Bianca Britton, Jessie Yeung, and Sherisse Pham]
- Chanel Miller, the woman who was sexually assaulted while unconscious by Stanford swimmer Brock Turner, speaks out for the first time on NBC’s 60 Minutes. [NBC News / Yuliya Talmazan]
- The Television Academy bid farewell to some record-breaking drama and comedy series on Sunday night, with awards show favorites like Game of Thrones and Veep having their last run at the Emmys. See who won big at the ceremony. [Vox / Emily Todd VanDerWerff and Alissa Wilkinson]
- A runway model protested Gucci’s use of straightjackets and other outfits alluding to mental health patients during the fashion house’s show at Milan Fashion Week, calling the decision “vulgar, unimaginative and offensive.” [CNN / Amy Woodyatt]
- Cats may not be as aloof as you think. A new study suggests felines form attachment styles to their caregivers similar to human babies and dogs. [Vice / Jordan Pearson]
“I want people to realize you’re never too broken to be fixed.” [Queer Eye’s Jonathan Van Ness opens up about past sexual abuse and his HIV status in a New York Times profile]
Watch this: Glad You Asked
Ever wonder what “the cloud,” a.k.a. the internet, actually looks like? Or why memes look the way they do? The first season of Glad You Asked premieres October 8. [Youtube]
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Author: Stavros Agorakis