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Good evening. Here’s the latest.
1. Democrats and Republicans clashed over the Constitution and President Trump’s conduct as the House Judiciary Committee formally began impeachment proceedings.
It was a largely muted, scholarly hearing. Democrats mainly addressed the three experts on the U.S. Constitution whom they’d invited and who said that Mr. Trump’s efforts to pressure Ukraine for political gain clearly met the historical definition of impeachable offenses. Republicans focused on the scholar they’d invited; he called the Democrats’ case “slipshod.”
2. As the impeachment process proceeded at home, President Trump abruptly left a tense NATO meeting in London.
Mr. Trump abandoned plans for a final news conference, had a moment with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau of Canada, above, and left earlier than planned. He had called the prime minister “two-faced” after a video surfaced in which Mr. Trudeau and other world leaders appeared to mock Mr. Trump.
The 70th anniversary celebrations in London largely illuminated the growing identity crisis for an alliance facing new technologies, new rivals, new weapons and a changing America.
3. The secretary general of the World Meteorological Organization issued a dire warning about climate change: “Things are getting worse.”
His comments came as the United Nations group released its annual report on the state of the global climate. Global warming and its effects are accelerating, with climate-related disasters piling up, season after season. And this past decade will almost certainly go down as the warmest on record, the report said. Above, the Apusiaajik glacier in Greenland in August.
Also from our Climate desk: A project in the Florida Keys to calculate the cost of raising roads shows that some may not justify the vast expense. Residents are angry — or resigned.
4. The Trump administration finalized a rule tightening work requirements for food stamps. It will kick nearly 700,000 people off the program.
The administration argued that assistance was no longer necessary because the economy and job market have improved.
It was the first of three rules approved by the Department of Agriculture that are ultimately expected to cut benefits for three million people. Nearly one million children would lose automatic eligibility for free or reduced-price school meals.
The proposals have received about 305,000 public comments, most of them overwhelmingly negative.
5. Where will Sundar Pichai take Google?
Alphabet’s new chief executive, above, has a plate full of challenges — and possibilities, Kara Swisher writes in Opinion.
And Facebook is looking to go outside its comfort zone.
The social network is exploring the creation of new apps and programs for podcasts, travel, workplace services and newsletter tools. They fall under a new division charged with building the future of Facebook as an indispensable part of people’s digital lives.
6. Another surge of stringent abortion limits is expected in state legislatures next year.
Republican lawmakers are leading the way in Ohio with proposals for a ban on nearly all abortions from the time of conception, with no exceptions for rape or incest, and another that would allow women who have abortions to be prosecuted for murder. Above, anti-abortion activists in Tennessee, another state considering banning the procedure.
The measures are causing a rift among conservatives, with some worrying that the new laws will actually harm their efforts to overturn Roe v. Wade.
7. One of the most prolific jailhouse informants in U.S. history is also a con artist with a long criminal record.
Paul Skalnik, above, testified or supplied information in more than 37 cases in one Florida county alone. Eighteen defendants were under indictment for murder. Four were sentenced to death. Now, another may be executed because of his dubious testimony.
Why have prosecutors relied on him?
It’s a question Pamela Colloff, a senior reporter at ProPublica and Times Magazine staff writer, tries to answer. The two publications obtained thousands of pages of public records that provide a vivid picture of how jailhouse informants are used.
8. “There are things she has said that I’ve definitely had issues with, but it doesn’t invalidate how I feel about her struggle.”
It wasn’t easy for Charlize Theron to play Megyn Kelly in “Bombshell,” the new film about sexual harassment at Fox News. “Up until four weeks into shooting, I was still grappling with who she was as a person,” Theron said.
9. Kelly Slater, 47, and John John Florence, 27, are both hoping to compete in the first Olympic surfing competition next year in Tokyo. But there’s room for only one of them.
Growing up, Florence’s favorite pro surfer was Slater, a seven-time champion of the Pipe Masters event. Now they’re friends and neighbors. Pipeline Masters will determine next month which American surfer will claim the final spot.
In other sports news, the Houston Rockets are up in arms about a dubious call in a loss to the San Antonio Spurs on Tuesday night. James Harden rose for a dunk, only for the ball to spin upward back to the top of the rim, giving the impression of a missed shot.
10. And finally, really, really pretty cookies.
Peppermint cookies with painted red stripes inspired by the artist Ellsworth Kelly; marbled tahini slabs inspired by real marble; a homemade version of Pocky, the machine-made Japanese treat; thumbprints with dulce de leche; blood orange poppy seed window cookies.
We asked the food stylist and cookbook author Susan Spungen to reimagine classic Christmas treats for the modern era. She’s been working on it since July.
“Everything I’ve done prepared me for this,” Ms. Spungen said. (The videos are something else.)
Have a sweet, beautiful night.
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