DEMOCRATS POUND TRUMP ACCUSATIONS IN TRIAL… Democrats opened the impeachment trial of President Trump yesterday by accusing the president of devising a corrupt scheme to pressure Ukraine to help him get re-elected and warned that America’s global standing would suffer if the Senate acquits him. House manager leader Adam Schiff called on senators to act as impartial jurors. Schiff accused Trump of using his power to cheat and said if he’s not removed from office, he will “permanently alter the balance of power” between the branches of government. Trump was impeached last month by the House on charges of abuse of power and obstruction of Congress for his dealings with Ukraine. The trial continues today.
TRUMP ADMINISTRATION APPROVES KEYSTONE XL RIGHT-OF-WAY… The Trump administration yesterday approved a right-of-way that allows the Keystone XL oil sands pipeline to be built across U.S. land. Associated Press reported that the right-of-way covers 46 miles of the pipeline’s route across land in Montana that’s controlled by the Bureau of Land Management and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. The controversial $8 billion project faces additional legal challenges. The pipeline would transport up to 830,000 barrels of crude oil daily from western Canada to terminals on the U.S. Gulf Coast.
D.C. ATTORNEY GENERAL SUES TRUMP INAUGURAL COMMITTEE… The Washington, D.C. attorney general’s office is suing President Trump’s inaugural committee and other companies for spending non-profit funds at a Trump-owned hotel to celebrate his inauguration three years ago. Attorney General Karl Racine said the committee sought to “enrich the Trump family” by spending the non-profit funds at the Trump International Hotel in Washington. The Trump inaugural committee raised $107 million for the event when Trump took office in January 2017, more than doubling the previous record for any other incoming president.
CIA INTERROGATOR SAYS GITMO TORTURE WENT TOO FAR… An architect of the CIA’s torture program for the accused 9/11 suspects testified yesterday in a Guantánamo Bay courtroom that he now believes that those torture techniques went too far and verged on breaking the law. Psychologist and interrogator James Mitchell was testifying in a pretrial hearing for the criminal case against five accused suspects in the 9/11 attacks. Mitchell said one prisoner, Abu Zubaydah, was waterboarded more than 80 times at a CIA site overseas.
SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA PLANE CRASH KILLS 4… Four people were killed yesterday when a small plane crashed in Southern California. Authorities say the plane crashed near Corona Municipal Airport, about 20 miles east of Anaheim. The crash caused a brushfire, which burned a quarter-acre of land before being contained.
R. KELLY ACCUSED OF JAIL OFFENSES… Prosecutors are accusing R. Kelly of using a Chicago jail staffer’s phone to make at least one unsupervised call to someone on the outside. Prosecutors in New York argue that the singer has potentially made moves to intimidate witnesses. Prosecutors also alleged that an attorney smuggled in a letter for the singer in November, marking the file as a “legal” document to avoid inspection. R. Kelly is facing multiple federal charges in Chicago and New York, as well as state charges in Minnesota and Illinois. The cases are all related to alleged sex crimes.
JUICE WRLD DIED OF ACCIDENTAL OVERDOSE… A Chicago medical examiner ruled yesterday that rapper Juice WRLD died from an accidental overdose of oxycodone and codeine. The rapper, whose real name was Jarad A. Higgins, was just 21 years old when he died on December 8. Higgins, a Chicago native, died after suffering what was described as a “medical emergency” at Midway International Airport.
TORONTO 107 – Philadelphia 95… The Raptors made it five straight wins with their defeat of the 76ers. Fred VanVleet led a balanced scoring attack with 22 points. Pascal Siakam had 18 points and 15 rebounds.
DETROIT 127 – Sacramento 106… Christian Wood came off the bench to lead seven players in double figures with 23 points as the Pistons dealt the Kings their sixth straight loss. Derrick Rose and Reggie Jackson added 22 points apiece.
Oklahoma City 120 – ORLANDO 114… The Thunder got 31 points from Dennis Schroder in fighting off the Magic. Shai Gilgeous-Alexander finished with 18 points and 12 boards.
L.A. Lakers 100 – NEW YORK 92… The Lakers came up big in the second half and held off the Knicks. Anthony Davis led the way with 28 points. LeBron James added 21 points.
BOSTON 119 – Memphis 95… The Celtics shook off a slow start to roll past the Grizzlies. Jayson Tatum scored a game-high 23 points. Five other players scored in double figures for Boston.
MIAMI 134 – Washington 129 (OT)… The Heat recovered to outlast the Wizards after blowing a 21-point lead. Tyler Herro delivered 25 points off the bench. Jimmy Butler had 24 points and 10 assists. Goran Dragic tossed in 22 points.
ATLANTA 102 – L.A. Clippers 95… The Hawks came from 21 points down to upend the Clippers despite playing without the injured Trae Young. John Collins game-highs with 33 points and 16 rebounds.
CHICAGO 117 – Minnesota 110… Zach LaVine scored 25 points and Lauri Markkanen added 21 as the Bulls handled the Timberwolves. Karl-Anthony Towns’ 40 points weren’t enough for Minnesota.
HOUSTON 121 – Denver 105… The Rockets downed the Nuggets to snap their four-game skid. Russell Westbrook totaled 28 points and 16 boards. James Harden tossed in 27 points.
Indiana 112 – PHOENIX 87… T.J. Warren led all scorers with 25 points as the Pacers routed the Suns. Domantas Sabonis had 24 points and 13 boards.
San Antonio 121 – NEW ORLEANS 117… The Spurs turned way a late rally to get past the Pelicans. LaMarcus Aldridge dropped in 32 points. DeMar DeRozan tallied 20 points.
Utah 129 – GOLDEN STATE 96… The Jazz built a big lead early and never looked back in their dismantling of the Warriors. Donovan Mitchell scored 23 points, Rudy Gobert powered his way to 22 points and 15 rebounds.
TONIGHT’S NBA SCHEDULE…
Washington is at Cleveland…
Brooklyn hosts the L.A. Lakers…
Dallas is at Portland
COLUMBUS 4 – Winnipeg 3… Oliver Bjorkstrand’s second goal of the game broke a third-quarter tie and pushed the Blue Jackets past the Jets. Pierre-Luc Dubois assisted on three goals.
MINNESOTA 4 – Detroit 2… The Wild scored three unanswered goals in the third period to double up on the Red Wings. Mats Zuccarello had a goal and an assist. Matt Dumba set up two goals.
TONIGHT’S NHL SCHEDULE…
No games scheduled.
TOP 25 COLLEGE MEN’S BASKETBALL SCORES…
#6 LOUISVILLE, 68, Georgia Tech 64…
#7 DAYTON 86, St. Bonaventure 60…
#10 SETON HALL 73, Providence 64…
#16 AUBURN 80, South Carolina 67…
#19 IOWA 85, #24 Rutgers 80…
TULSA 80, #20 Memphis 40…
NFL NEWS… New York Giants quarterback Eli Manning has announced that he is retiring after 16 seasons and two Super Bowl victories. The 39-year-old Manning broke almost every passing record in team history. He is one of just five players in NFL history with at least two Super Bowl MVPs… Authorities in Hollywood, Florida, have obtained an arrest warrant for NFL veteran Antonio Brown. Prosecutors filed a felony charge of burglary and battery after a moving truck driver alleged that he was assaulted by both Brown and his trainer on Tuesday afternoon.
WORD OF THE DAY… QUANDARY… (KWAN–dree)… noun… 1) A state of perplexity or doubt.
The last minute decision to host the entire family for Thanksgiving left them in a QUANDARY as to where to seat everyone.
BOND, COMMON BOND… What do these 3 things have in common: WILL ROBINSON–ROBOT–DR. SMITH?… (Characters from Lost in Space)
WHAT THE HECK AM I TALKING ABOUT… PATCHWORK–COVER–BLANKET–BED–SEW?… (Quilt)
USELESS TRIVIA… What one-hit wonder sang the song “Brandy”?… (Looking Glass)
PHOBIA DU JOUR… Aerophobia… Fear of drafts or airborne noxious substances.