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Iran strikes and Trump’s response. Impeachment surprise: John Bolton says he’ll testify. Puerto Rico recovers from earthquakes. Prince Harry and Meghan Markle take a step back. The roundtable is here.
Farnaz Fassihi, writes about Iran for The New York Times. Former correspondent with the Wall Street Journal based in the Middle East. (@farnazfassihi)
Weijia Jiang, White House correspondent, CBS News. (@weijia)
Jack Beatty, On Point news analyst. (@JackBeattyNPR)
From The Reading List
The New York Times: "In Iran, Rejoicing Over Retaliation, then Relief at No U.S. Counterstrike" — "Iran had carefully orchestrated its retaliatory response for maximum symbolism and emotional impact: The attack began around 1:20 a.m. Wednesday, correlated to the time that Maj. Gen. Qassim Suleimani was killed by an American drone strike last week.
"The country launched more than 20 missiles, the barrage targeting two large military bases that house thousands of Iraqi and American servicemen and women.
"Iranians rejoiced at the retaliation, saying it showed defiance and courage.
"'It’s a proud day to be Iranian,' said Amir, 42, of Tehran, in a telephone interview. He, like others, asked to be identified by first name only out of concern of being quoted in a foreign newspaper. 'Time for everyone to respect our power.'
"Omid Balaghati, a writer based in Tehran, posted on Twitter: 'Strong politicians need to have strong military men next to them, and this is the story today.' "
Politico: "Senate Democrats break with Pelosi over impeachment trial" — "Democrats are finally acknowledging that their efforts to extract concessions from Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell on President Donald Trump’s impeachment trial are coming to an end.
"Though Speaker Nancy Pelosi is still withholding the House’s impeachment articles from the Senate, Democrats’ hopes of swaying the GOP leader have dimmed after McConnell secured the votes in his caucus to move forward without an agreement on witnesses and documents.
"And Senate Democrats say it’s time to begin the trial and end the delay.
"'The longer it goes on the less urgent it becomes,' said Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.). 'So if it’s serious and urgent, send them over. If it isn’t, don’t send it over.'
"Several other Senate Democrats also showed their impatience with the Democratic leaders’ strategy. Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) said Wednesday morning that Democrats 'should move on' and send the articles to the Senate, and Sen. Jon Tester of Montana said he’s 'ready' for the trial to start."
Washington Post: "Hit by devastating earthquakes, Puerto Rico still waiting on billions for hurricane relief" — "As Puerto Rico weathers devastating earthquakes, the island is still waiting on more than $18 billion in federal funding that was designated after hurricanes that struck more than two years ago.
"The holdup has continued past a congressionally mandated deadline last fall for more than $8 billion of the aid to be officially announced. As aftershocks continue to shake the U.S. territory after a 6.4-magnitude earthquake Tuesday morning, Democrats are questioning whether the federal government will give Puerto Rico what it needs to recover this time.
"'I think it puts a considerable burden on the administration to show good faith,' said Rep. David E. Price (D-N.C.), pointing to President Trump’s history of criticizing Puerto Rico and moving to slow the disbursement of money. 'And in this case, good faith involves not just responding to this latest disaster, but cleaning up from the previous one as well.' "
BBC: "Prince Harry and Meghan to step back as senior royals" — "The Duke and Duchess of Sussex have announced they will step back as 'senior' royals and work to become financially independent.
"In a statement, Prince Harry and Meghan also said they plan to split their time between the UK and North America.
"The BBC understands no other royal - including the Queen or Prince William - was consulted before the statement and Buckingham Palace is 'disappointed.'
"Senior royals are understood to be 'hurt' by the announcement.
"Last October, Prince Harry and Meghan publicly revealed their struggles under the media spotlight."
This program aired on January 10, 2020.
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