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DemocracyNow!

Under Pressure in Impeachment Trial, Trump Steps Up Attacks on Reproductive Rights
Author: mail@democracynow.org (Democracy Now!)

Donald Trump on Friday became the first sitting president in U.S. history to attend the so-called March for Life, the annual anti-abortion rally held in Washington, D.C., that draws thousands of participants. President Trump — who once described himself as “pro-choice in every respect” — accused Democrats of infanticide and falsely stated that Virginia Governor Ralph Northam supports an abortion bill that would “execute a baby after birth.” The March for Life began in 1974 in response to the landmark 1973 Supreme Court ruling in Roe v. Wade, which guaranteed the constitutional right to abortion. Past U.S. presidents who opposed abortion considered the march too extreme and divisive to attend, and instead sent surrogates or recorded video messages. The same day that Trump addressed anti-abortion activists in Washington, his administration threatened to cut off federal funding for some health programs in California unless the state ends its requirement that private health insurers cover abortions. California Governor Gavin Newsom said the state would not change its policy. Trump’s Education Secretary Betsy DeVos also recently compared anti-abortion activism to the fight to end slavery. We speak with Fatima Goss Graves, president and CEO of the National Women’s Law Center.

Kobe Bryant Dead at 41: Remembering Basketball Star's Legacy On and Off the Court
Author: mail@democracynow.org (Democracy Now!)

Basketball superstar Kobe Bryant died Sunday in a helicopter crash near Los Angeles at the age of 41. The crash killed all nine people on board, including Bryant’s 13-year-old daughter Gianna and beloved college baseball coach John Altobelli, his wife Keri and their 13-year-old daughter Alyssa. They were heading to a youth basketball game. Bryant won five NBA championships, two Olympic gold medals and was crowned an All-Star 18 times. He played for the L.A. Lakers for 20 years before retiring in 2016. Gianna Bryant reportedly hoped to one day play for the University of Connecticut women’s basketball team. Tributes continue to pour in on social media from fans, athletes and other public figures. But some are also calling on the media and supporters not to forget a sexual assault allegation from early in his career. We speak with Dave Zirin, sports editor for The Nation and host of the Edge of Sports podcast, and Fatima Goss Graves, president and CEO of the National Women’s Law Center.

Explosive Bolton Book Allegations Spark New Calls for Witnesses to Testify at Impeachment Trial
Author: mail@democracynow.org (Democracy Now!)

Calls are growing for the Senate to call witnesses in President Trump’s impeachment trial, after The New York Times published details about former national security adviser John Bolton’s forthcoming book. In the book, Bolton writes that President Trump personally told him in August that he wanted to maintain a freeze on $391 million in security assistance to Ukraine until Ukraine turned over materials related to former Vice President Joe Biden and supporters of Hillary Clinton in Ukraine. The New York Times broke the story on Sunday, one day after President Trump’s legal team began its defense of the president. During Saturday’s opening arguments, White House deputy counsel Mike Purpura claimed the Democratic case for impeachment is based on assumptions, and Trump’s attorney Pat Cipollone accused the Democrats of attempting to overturn an election. Trump’s lawyers will continue their opening arguments Monday, after the Democratic House impeachment managers wrapped up their three days of opening arguments on Friday. We speak with Dan Friedman, a reporter in the D.C. bureau of Mother Jones who focuses on foreign influence and national security.

Headlines for January 27, 2020
Author: mail@democracynow.org (Democracy Now!)

NYT Politics

On Politics: Our New Morning Tip Sheet
Author: Patrick Healy and Giovanni Russonello
Welcome to our new morning newsletter. Today: Iowa countdown, our Bolton scoop, a big endorsement and more.
In Crucial Pennsylvania, Democrats Worry a Fracking Ban Could Sink Them
Author: Lisa Friedman and Shane Goldmacher
The fracking ban pushed by Senators Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders  epitomizes a Democratic quandary: Appeal to swing voters or energize a liberal movement?
Biden’s Iowa Problem: Our Poll Suggests His Voters Aren’t the Caucusing Type
Author: Nate Cohn
Why there’s a wide split in recent surveys in the state.
Bernie Sanders and His Internet Army
Author: Matt Flegenheimer, Rebecca R. Ruiz and Nellie Bowles
At the start of his 2020 bid, the Vermont senator told his supporters that he condemned bullying. Is it his problem if many don’t seem to listen?

Portland Tribune

With Kobe Bryant's death, University of Oregon sweep comes with big dose of 'reality'
Author: Kerry Eggers
The Lakers star had been a booster of UO's Sabrina Ionescu, who led the Ducks overcome heavy hearts to get rare win at OSU.

CORVALLIS — Heavy hearts can be hard to carry, but Sabrina Ionescu and friends completed the task in marvelous fashion Sunday, Jan. 26, at Gill Coliseum. ...

Columbian Newspaper

Billie Eilish, Finneas win top honors at Grammy Awards
Author: By MESFIN FEKADU AP Music Writer

“When We All Fall sleep, Where Do We Go?” — created in the musicians’ Los Angeles home — helped Eilish win the top four honors, including album, song and record of the year, along with best new artist. The 18-year-old is the young artist to achieve the feat.

Finneas — who co-wrote, produced and engineered the album, walked away as Sunday’s top winner with six. Eilish won five honors.

Together, they also won best pop vocal album, while Finneas’ individual honors included home producer of the year (non-classical) and best engineered album (non-classical).

“This is my first Grammys. I never thought this would happen in my whole life,” Eilish said. “I genuinely wanna say I am so grateful and I only wanna say that I am so grateful.”

Finneas added that they “just make music in a bedroom together and we still do that.”

“This is to all the kids who are making music in the bedroom today — you’re going to get one of these,” Finneas said.

The bedroom where they created magic was brought to life when they hit the stage and performed “When the Party’s Over,” which featured Finneas on keys and Eilish singing in a soft, pitch perfect tone.

Los Angeles, where the show was held, had a central theme at the show Sunday: local icons Kobe Bryant and Nipsey Hussle were honored and celebrated at the show.

The Grammys kicked off with a performance in honor of Bryant, who died hours before the awards began. And later in the show Hussle’s collaborators and friends, including DJ Khaled, John Legend, Meek Mill, Kirk Franklin, Roddy Ricch and YG, gave an all-star tribute to the man who died last year.

Hussle also posthumously won his first pair of Grammys.

Filmmaker Ava DuVernay introduced the performance, which featured band players, background dancers and Legend wearing traditional Ethiopian and Eritrean clothing in honor of Hussle’s African roots. Mill performed a new song called “Letter to Nipsey” while others joined together for “Higher,” which won best rap/sung performance.

“This is for Nipsey Hussle. This is for hip-hop,” said DJ Khaled, who collaborated on the song with Legend and Hussle, whose family stood onstage.

“We all love him. We all miss him. It’s terrible that we had to lose him so early,” Legend said. “We’ve seen some tragedy today and last year … let’s hold each tight.”

During the pre-ceremony, Hussle’s “Racks in the Middle” picked up best rap performance.

The show — which took place at the Staples Center, Bryant’s stomping ground — kicked off with a touching, emotional and a cappella performance of “It’s So Hard to Say Goodbye to Yesterday” by host Alicia Keys and Boyz II Men.

“Here we are together on music’s biggest night celebrating the artists that do it best, but to be honest with you we are all feeling crazy sadness right now,” Keys said as she entered the stage, adding that “Los Angeles, America and the world-wide world lost a hero.”

She said the audience was “heartbroken in the house that Kobe Bryant built.”

“Right now Kobe and his daughter Gianna … are in our spirits, they’re in our hearts, they’re in prayers, they’re in this building,” she added. “Take a moment and hold them inside of you and share our strength and our support with their families.”

Before the show officially honored Bryant, Lizzo performed the songs “Truth Hurts” and “Cuz I Love You,” saying at the top of the show: “Tonight is for Kobe.”

Lizzo won three honors Sunday, including best pop solo performance for “Truth Hurts” and two R&B awards.

“Hold on one second,” she said, catching her breathe. “Thank you to the academy. This is really (expletive) sick.”

Lizzo was among the mix of newcomers and well-known acts who reached their goals of winning their first-ever Grammy Awards on Sunday, which also included Tanya Tucker, J. Cole, Billie Eilish, Lil Nas X, Billy Ray Cyrus, Michelle Obama, Sara Bareilles, Rosalía, 21 Savage and Tyler, the Creator.

“To my mother, you did a great job raising this guy,” Tyler, who won best rap album, said to his mom, who was onstage and crying by side.

More crying took place Sunday.

Demi Lovato, who has mostly taken a break from the public since focusing on her recovery after reportedly overdosing in July 2018, gave a stirring, vocally top-notch performance that earned her a standing ovation. She was so emotional that she had to restart the song as a teardrop ran down her cheek.

Camila Cabello’s performance of “First Man” — a song dedicated to her father — also induced tears. Cabello walked off the stage to her dad’s seat to finish singing him the song in front of him, while he teared up. Audience members were emotional, too, including Gwen Stefani.

Ariana Grande had a lengthy performance — probably to make up for the drama that surrounded her axed performance last year. Run DMC joined forces with Aerosmith to rock the Grammys stage, while Usher, Sheila E. and FKA twigs paid tribute to Prince.

Lil Nas X brought the story of “Old Town Road” to life by performing alongside the artists who helped the song stay at No. 1 for 19 weeks through various remixes, including BTS, Mason Ramsey, Diplo and the track’s main co-star, Billy Ray Cyrus.

Veteran rapper Nas then joined Lil Nas X for a new song, shouting out Bryant at the end: “Kobe, we love you.”

A dark cloud loomed over ceremony since the Recording Academy announced it had put its recently hired CEO, Deborah Dugan, on administrative leave for misconduct. Dugan and her lawyers fired back at the academy, claiming that the awards show is rigged.

But no mention of Dugan was directly made during the three-plus-hour show.

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