House Democrats are using Lindsey Graham’s own words to rebut the president’s defense

House Democrats, on the second day of their opening arguments at the Senate impeachment trial, used a familiar face to make their case against President Donald Trump. In a 1999 video clip played on the Senate floor, Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC), a close ally of the president, can be seen directly contradicting a core plank of Trump’s current defense.

So far, Trump’s counsel has argued that his actions do not constitute a crime or a violation of the law, and as such, do not meet the threshold that’s needed for impeachment. This reasoning is flawed for a variety of reasons, …

Republicans complain about the impeachment trial’s lack of new evidence while blocking new evidence

As Democratic impeachment managers made the case against President Donald Trump on Wednesday and Thursday, Republican senators rolled out a rationale for their future vote to acquit: that the trial is a waste of time because Democrats aren’t presenting new evidence.

“So far what [head impeachment manager Adam Schiff] has said we’ve heard before,” said Mike Braun (IN) on Wednesday. “I didn’t hear anything new today. We’ll see,” added Pat Toomey (PA). Rick Scott (FL), alluding to the lack of new evidence, repeatedly characterized the trial as “boring” during TV interviews.

But on Tuesday night, every Republican senator …

The Doomsday Clock is now at “100 seconds to midnight.” Here’s what that means.

The Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists was founded in 1945 by researchers who worked on the atomic bomb. It publishes research on “manmade existential threats such as nuclear war, climate change, and disruptive technologies.”

And lately, it’s been a little bit, well, doomsaying. Its famous extinction clock has hovered for the last few years at “two minutes to midnight” — as pessimistic a future as it predicted in 1953 during the volatile early Cold War.

On Thursday, the group moved the clock again, announcing that we are “100 seconds to midnight.” The change from minutes to …

Top US Iran envoy: We will kill Soleimani’s successor if another American is murdered

The Trump administration’s top envoy for Iran just put assassination back on the table when he said the US will take out the successor to slain Iranian military leader Qassem Soleimani — if the successor continues along the path of killing Americans.

That forceful message, delivered by Brian Hook during an interview with the Asharq al-Awsat newspaper in Davos, Switzerland, on Thursday, serves as a stark warning to Tehran — and could conceivably increase tensions with the US.

If new Quds Force Commander Esmail Ghaani “follows a similar path of killing Americans, he will meet the same fate,” Hook said. …

Marijuana legalization is about to have a huge year

It looks like 2020 could be a very big year for marijuana legalization.

The year began with a bang when Illinois started recreational marijuana sales, after the state became the 10th in the country and the second in the Midwest to legalize marijuana.

It’s a big deal because Illinois is a big state — the sixth most populous overall and the second most populous to legalize pot — but also because of how Illinois legalized: It’s the first state to allow recreational sales through the legislature, meaning state lawmakers and the governor signed off on it. That typically …

The Jeff Bezos hack could happen to anyone

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A new investigation suggests that the hacking of Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos’s phone stems from a WhatsApp account linked to Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman and one seemingly innocuous video file. The alleged hack shows that security online is never guaranteed, even on this very popular Facebook-owned encrypted messaging app. And that’s something to keep in mind even if you aren’t a billionaire.

How Jeff Bezos allegedly got hacked, explained

First reported by the Guardian and the Financial Times, the investigation found that an iPhone X belonging to Bezos was hacked after it received a video file …

The controversy over the new immigration novel American Dirt, explained

The new novel American Dirt by Jeanine Cummins, officially released on Tuesday, was anointed the biggest book of the season well before it ever came out.

It sold to Flatiron Books at auction for a reported seven-figure advance. Flatiron announced a first print run of 500,000 copies. (For most authors, a print run of 20,000 is pretty good.) It received glowing blurbs from luminaries like Stephen King, John Grisham, and Sandra Cisneros. Early trade reviews were rapturous. The New York Times had it reviewed twice — once in the daily paper, once in the weekly Book Review …