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Arts and lifestyle coverage from around the globe and Illinois.

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A WAG Drama Unfolds In Britain

Oct 9, 2019

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FIFA fined the Hong Kong Football Association Wednesday after fans protested the Chinese national anthem at a World Cup qualifying game against Iran. The Hong Kong and China national teams are separate, but FIFA plays the Chinese anthem because Hong Kong is considered an administrative region of China.

The Call

Oct 9, 2019
Braden Moran

Susan Fee gets a surprise when she calls her daughter. A series of missed calls gets scientist Moran Cerf in hot water. Nancy Mahl gets a call from her mom on 9/11. Cheech Marin finds his calling after dodging the draft.

The U.S. women's gymnastics team won their fifth consecutive world championship in Germany Tuesday. Team USA's gold medal was Simone Biles' 21st World Gymnastics Championships medal in her career, the most in women's gymnastics history.

Biles, 22, anchored the U.S. team, scoring the highest individual points in vault, balance beam and floor exercise. Fifteen of her world medals are gold — also a record.

"The fire you like so much in me / Is the mark of someone adamantly free," Liz Phair declared in her 1993 song "Strange Loop."

The song, which appeared on her debut studio album, Exile in Guyville, was a fitting introduction to the Chicago-raised singer-songwriter ⁠— Phair was serving notice that she was unwilling to be anyone other than herself, and if people didn't approve of her sexually frank and defiantly profane lyrics, or her lo-fi sensibility, they were more than welcome to listen to something else.

A public official in Arizona has been arrested in connection with charges that he ran a multimillion-dollar scheme in which he smuggled pregnant women from the Marshall Islands to profit from their newborn babies. Authorities say Maricopa County Assessor Paul Petersen's fraudulent adoption enterprise left a trail of forged documents and violated U.S. and international laws.

The Nobel Prize in chemistry goes to John Goodenough, M. Stanley Whittingham and Akira Yoshino for the development of lithium-ion batteries. Their work, over several decades, resulted in a portable power source that created a technology revolution.

Here & Now’s Jeremy Hobson talks with Amanda Morris, associate professor of energy chemistry at Virginia Tech.

Can Congress Enforce Subpoenas?

Oct 9, 2019

The impeachment inquiry is entering a new, even more contentious phase. In a letter to House Democrats on Tuesday, White House Counsel Pat Cipollone wrote that President Trump “cannot participate in your partisan unconstitutional inquiry.”

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi responded that any efforts to “hide the truth” will be further evidence of obstruction of justice.

Updated at 4:48 p.m. ET

Editor's note: This story contains explicit accusations that some readers may find upsetting.

A former junior colleague of Matt Lauer's has accused him of raping her in his hotel room during the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia. In her first public comments about the incident — told to journalist Ronan Farrow for his forthcoming book, Catch and Kill — Brooke Nevils said the former Today show host forced anal sex on her without her consent in his hotel room.

Mayors from some of the world’s biggest cities on Wednesday threw their support behind a Global Green New Deal to “build a more equitable future by cutting carbon emissions.”

Leaders from the C40 Cities group of mayors — which represents more than 90 cities around the world — made the commitment at a summit in Copenhagen, Denmark, to discuss what their urban areas can do to combat climate change. The gathering comes a month after world leaders met at the United Nations Climate Summit in New York. 

It’s no secret that wildfires are getting worse. They’re threatening lives, homes, and ecosystems, including already precarious watersheds. It’s all becoming a vicious cycle, especially in some western states.

Turkish forces have launched a military operation in northern Syria after Trump’s decision to withdraw U.S. troops from the region.

Here & Now‘s Peter O’Dowd speaks to Liz Sly (@LizSly), Washington Post Beirut bureau chief, about the implications of a Turkish takeover.

The impeachment inquiry into President Trump’s July 25 phone call could hinge on whether or not his request to have Ukraine investigate Joe Biden amounts to a campaign finance violation.

In California, hundreds of thousands of people are expected to face power outages across the state. The utility Pacific Gas and Electric Company has already begun shutting off electricity because of concerns of high winds and the potential for wildfires.

The outages could last for days. Here & Now‘s Peter O’Dowd speaks with KQED’s Brian Watt (@RadioBWatt) in San Francisco.

The world of psychedelic research is expanding.

Johns Hopkins University has launched a center for psychedelic research with $17 million in donations solely from private donors, the first of its kind in the U.S.

The establishment of the Center for Psychedelic and Consciousness Research at Johns Hopkins Medicine signals “a new era of research in therapeutics and the mind,” according to the center’s director, Roland Griffiths.

The impeachment controversy escalated as the White House sent a letter to the House, claiming that their inquiry into the Ukraine phone call was unconstitutional.

They’ve blocked administration officials from testifying, which puts other planned depositions into limbo.

While the stand-off means that House investigators won’t have access to evidence they had planned on, it may also accelerate impeachment proceedings.

The White House has signaled that it will no longer cooperate with the impeachment inquiry against President Trump.

Here & Now‘s Peter O’Dowd speaks with Republican Congressman Mark Green (@RepMarkGreen) of Tennessee about Republicans’ reasoning.

Editor's note: This book review cites a passage containing a homophobic slur.

One could say that Saeed Jones' new memoir, How We Fight for Our Lives, is a classic coming-of-age story. A boy grows up in Texas; he's black, gay and isolated; he's raised by a single mom; he struggles with identity, goes off to college and, eventually, achieves a wobbly sense of self-affirmation.

Updated 6:34 p.m. ET

Pacific Gas & Electric began cutting off power to nearly 800,000 customers across large swaths of Northern and Central California on Wednesday morning, in a planned outage that it says is necessary to avoid the risk of fire.

PG&E gave residents in 34 counties advance warnings about the power cut, which it says would "proactively" reduce the dangerous effects of a potential "widespread, severe wind event" forecast for Wednesday.

Editor's note: To protect the anonymity of the children in this story, we are not using their names.

Children are often called the hidden casualties of the opioid epidemic. They carry a lot of secrets and shame.

Updated at 3:58 p.m. ET

Two people were shot and killed in the eastern German city of Halle on Wednesday. Police and witnesses say shots were fired in multiple locations, including outside a synagogue and near a Jewish cemetery.

The attack came as Jews observed Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement. Germany's Interior Minister, Horst Seehofer, said that based on current information authorities must assume it was an anti-Semitic attack.

Millions of PG&E Customers Lose Power

Oct 9, 2019

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Updated at 2:20 p.m. ET

Turkish forces began crossing the Syrian border on Wednesday, launching an operation in Kurdish-dominated areas of the country's north, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan announced.

The Turkish offensive jeopardizes Kurdish-led forces who have been a key U.S. ally in the bloody fight against ISIS. Turkey says those same forces are linked to militant groups who stage attacks in a separatist movement against the Turkish government.

Public health officials say the number of people who have died or have gotten ill after using e-cigarettes or other vaping products is rising, and they're still trying to figure out why. It's led to plenty of warnings about e-cigarettes and put a spotlight on illegal vaping operations.

Bristol, Wis., is just north of the Wisconsin-Illinois state line. In early September, law enforcement officials conducted a raid at a condo unit located in a winding subdivision of new homes and houses still under construction.

Doing business in China comes with major strings attached. This week it became evident that a few provocative words can cause those strings to tighten.

Billy Goat Wreaks Havoc In An Ohio Home

Oct 9, 2019

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With abortion-rights activists playing defense from statehouses to the Supreme Court, Planned Parenthood is unveiling a new campaign push focused on the 2020 elections.

The organization is announcing its largest electoral effort yet — with plans to spend at least $45 million backing candidates in local, state and national races who support abortion rights.

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