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Here are 5 of the strongest moments from Adam Schiff’s opening statement of Trump’s impeachment trial

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House Intelligence Committee Chair Adam Schiff, the leader of the impeachment managers, delivered a thorough and compelling opening statement on Wednesday to make the case in the Senate against President Donald Trump.

For more than two hours, Schiff recounted the facts that the inquiry in the House uncovered and argued that Trump abused his power in trying to pressure Ukraine to launch investigations of his domestic political enemies. He emphasized the significance of this effort and, in particular, the national security implications of Trump’s effort to withhold congressionally approve military aid to Ukraine. And he linked the Trump’s corrupt scheme with Ukraine to the president’s broader effort to benefit from foreign election interference, including Russia’s in 2016.

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To bolster his case, Schiff made frequent and effective use of video clips from both the House hearings and of administration officials themselves, such as Trump and White House Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney, speaking in other contexts.

Here are five of the most compelling moments from Schiff’s statement:

1. Schiff explained why Trump’s defense of asking for an investigation of former Vice President Joe Biden is unbelievable.  

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2. Schiff threw Mulvaney’s own words at a press briefing — admitting that there was a quid pro quo for an investigation with Ukraine — back at the administration.

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3. He highlighted a section of the Trump’s July 25 call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky that is often forgotten but shows that the foreign leader understood the White House’s ask was a part of a quid pro quo.

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4. He appealed to Republicans about broader principles about presidential conduct, rather than just focusing on what Trump has done. And he argued that the White House’s position puts the president above the law.

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5. Schiff tied Trump’s effort to get Ukraine’s election help to the moment suspicions about the president’s foreign ties first began: his solicitation of Russia’s help in 2016. 

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Georgia GOP governor orders several beaches to reopen days after acknowledging he’s woefully uneducated on coronavirus spread

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The Atlanta Journal Constitution reported today that Kemp is reopening Tybee Island and other beaches along the Georgia coast.

Local officials in several of Georgia’s coastal communities reacted with fury on Saturday after Gov. Brian Kemp’s shelter-in-place order simultaneously reopened several of the state’s most popular beaches.

The stupidity and lack of regard of human life on display in Republican-run states is beyond criminal and inhumane. In fact, there are no words to describe this. Because the longer these so-called “leaders” make decisions that are in the best interests of, I don’t know who, the longer it will take to come out of this pandemic that is claiming so many thousands of lives.

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Health care insurers expected to jack up premiums as much as 40 percent to recoup coronavirus losses

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Private health insurers are expected to raise premiums by as much as 40% to recoup the costs of coronavirus testing and treatment, according to a new analysis from Covered California, the state's health care marketplace.

This article first appeared in Salon.

Though it remains unclear how much the coronavirus crisis will ultimately cost in health care expenditures, insurers will be submitting their 2021 rates to state regulators next month. Analyzing a wide range of models, Covered California expects that this year's care associated with the virus will cost between $34 billion and $251 billion, or between 2% of premiums and 21% of premiums. The analysis estimates that insurers would price the costs at double the rate into their 2021 premiums, projecting increases that range from as little as 4% to more than 40% for the 170 million workers and individuals who have private plans.

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2020 Election

Trump appears to have fraudulently manipulated financial markets yet again

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Welcome to another edition of What Fresh Hell?, Raw Story’s roundup of news items that might have become controversies under another regime, but got buried – or were at least under-appreciated – due to the daily firehose of political pratfalls, unhinged tweet storms and other sundry embarrassments coming out of the current White House.

It was a busy week for the regime, as Trump and his team work tirelessly to manage the political fallout from the COVID-19 pandemic, but it seems like he made time for some fraud.

In March, global oil prices crashed as a result of a dispute between Russia and the Saudis, dragging down stock markets and making it unprofitable to extract shale oil, which accounts for almost two-thirds of crude oil production in the U.S.

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