White House refuses to cooperate with the House’s impeachment inquiry
In an eight-page letter made public on Tuesday, the White House counsel announced there is no intention to cooperate with the House’s impeachment inquiry, and arguing that the inquiry into the Ukraine situation is without merit and “violates the Constitution, the rule of law, and every past precedent.”
The letter capped off a day of defiance as House Democrats continue to seek answers from administration officials, over Republican objections. Most recently, the State Department blocked a scheduled deposition by Gordon Sondland – a key figure in the Ukraine controversy – prompting three House committee chairmen to announce they would issue a subpoena for his testimony.
“The White House decided to respond to the situation by putting their implied opinions in writing,” says congressional reporter Karoun Demirjian, “and basically challenging the House to more formally start this impeachment inquiry with a vote on the floor. They don’t think that this is fair until that happens.”
- White House escalates standoff with Congress, says it will not cooperate with impeachment inquiry of Trump
- The White House’s scathing and legally questionable impeachment letter, annotated
China cracks down further on Uighur Muslims
Under President Xi Jinping, the Chinese government has intensified efforts to “Sinicize” the country, or make a more homogeneous, secular China, by targeting ethnic minorities and curtailing religions they consider to be carriers of foreign influence.
For two years on the Xinjiang frontier, China has sent hundreds of thousands from its mostly-Muslim Uighur population to what it calls “reeducation centers,” where they are taught to renounce their religion and culture and embrace state-prescribed identities as secular Chinese.
“It’s kind of brainwashing, in a way,” Beijing bureau chief Anna Fifield says.
Now, the country’s campaign to forcibly assimilate its Uighur population into the Han majority is entering a new phase, as Uighurs living abroad start to hear reports of family members being arrested and jailed on suspicion of financing terrorism after sending money to relatives abroad.
“It’s a completely spurious charge,” Fifield says.
- For China’s embattled Uighurs, a bank transfer abroad can become a ‘terrorism’ ordeal
- China celebrates ‘very happy lives’ in Xinjiang, after detaining 1 million Uighurs
- The cone of silence around China’s Muslim ‘gulags’
An ode to the lithium-ion battery
This year’s Nobel Prize in chemistry was awarded to three scientists who developed rechargeable lithium-ion batteries – the kind that provide energy to mobile phones, pacemakers and electric cars. The batteries also increasingly used to store power from sources that fluctuate, such as solar and wind energy.
“Batteries are one of the most exciting technologies that we have in terms of energy,” science reporter Ben Guarino says. “This award is a good recognition of the work that’s been done, but there’s a lot more exciting things to come.”
Ishaan Tharoor on what the withdrawal of troops from Syria means for the Kurds. Eli Rosenberg reports from the picket line of the United Auto Workers strike. And Caroline Kitchener on the stakes of a Supreme Court case focused on LGBT discrimination.
Tuesday, October 8, 2019
Jeanne Whalen examines how Western businesses are bowing to political pressure from China. Samantha Schmidt on how a vulnerable community of transgender sex workers takes care of its own. And Luisa Beck unpacks the implications of a shooting in Germany.
Thursday, October 10, 2019