Gen. Qassem Soleimani killed. Protests at the U.S. embassy in Baghdad. Hate crime charges in New York. Rudy Giuliani to testify? The roundtable is here.
Jack Beatty, On Point news analyst. (@JackBeattyNPR)
From The Reading List
USA Today: "Giuliani says he would be willing to testify in impeachment trial and would 'love to try the case'" -- "Rudy Giuliani, President Donald Trump's personal attorney, said he would be willing to testify in a Senate impeachment trial if asked and would "love to try the case" if given the opportunity.
"'I would testify. I would do demonstrations. I'd give lectures. I'd give summations,' Giuliani said Tuesday night when asked about the possibility during a New Year's Eve celebration at Trump’s Mar-a-Lago resort in Florida.
"'Or, I'd do what I do best: I'd try the case. I'd love to try the case,' he said. 'I don't know if anybody would have the courage to give me the case, but if you give me the case, I will prosecute it as a racketeering case, which I kind of invented anyway.'
"The former prosecutor said it had been 30 years since he tried such a case, 'but let's see if I can still do it.'"
The New York Times: "Pompeo Cancels Ukraine Trip Amid Protests at Embassy in Iraq" — "Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Wednesday canceled a weeklong trip to Ukraine and four other nations to stay in Washington and monitor tensions in Iraq after protesters broke into the United States Embassy compound in Baghdad and wrecked parts of it, the State Department said.
"The department’s spokeswoman, Morgan Ortagus, said in a statement that Mr. Pompeo aimed to 'ensure the safety and security of Americans in the Middle East' by staying in Washington and would travel in the 'near future' to the countries he had been scheduled to visit.
"The Iraqi protesters, who were mostly members of Iranian-backed militias, broke into the embassy compound on Tuesday and set some outbuildings on fire. The attackers trapped diplomats and other embassy employees inside larger buildings, but the ambassador, Matthew Tueller, was outside the country on leave. The protests on Wednesday were calmer, and no demonstrators breached the gates. Protesters dispersed in the afternoon, and there were no reports of injuries."
The Washington Post: "Thousands flee Australia’s coastal towns as raging wildfires close in" — "An Australian navy troop carrier was preparing to evacuate up to 4,000 people trapped in a remote region of Victoria state by advancing wildfires that have consumed an area almost the size of West Virginia.
"The situation in Mallacoota — a beach town popular with families over the holiday season — is so dire that officials spent Thursday afternoon assessing who would be capable of climbing ladders from small boats to a navy ship anchored offshore, designed to carry 300 soldiers and 23 tanks.
"Those unable to climb the ladders and wishing to leave will be flown out by helicopter, although heavy smoke that has reached as far as New Zealand is making flying hazardous.
"Some 17 people have been killed since the fires started in October, eight of them this week. At least another 17 are missing, and more than 1,000 homes and buildings have been destroyed."
This program aired on January 3, 2020.