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Mondays top story: Democrats protest as Senate Republicans promise Trumps swift acquittal. Plus, the Guardians most popular stories of 2019

Good morning, Im Tim Walker with todays essential stories.

Full House impeachment vote expected on Wednesday

Democrats spent the weekend venting their frustration as the GOP closes ranks over Donald Trumps impeachment, with Adam Schiff chairman of the House intelligence committee asking aloud why Republicans were placing this president above their oath of office. Trumps allies are waging a fact-free counter-offensive as the House prepares for its impeachment vote on Wednesday, expected to pass by simple majority. But Senate Republicans have already said the presidents trial will end with a swift acquittal.

  • Switching parties. Jeff Van Drew, a Democratic congressman from New Jersey who opposes impeachment, reportedly saw several of his staffers quit in protest this weekend over his decision to switch parties and join the Republicans.

  • James Comey. Trump has suggested years in jail for James Comey, after the former FBI director took responsibility for real sloppiness in the bureaus handling of the surveillance of a Trump campaign adviser.

Greta Thunberg in Twitter pic spat with German rail firm

Thunbergs picture showed her sitting on the floor of an overcrowded train. Photograph: @GretaThunberg/AP

Greta Thunberg has been drawn into an online back-and-forth with German rail firm Deutsche Bahn after the environmental campaigner tweeted an image of herself sitting on the floor of an overcrowded train, surrounded by her bags, as she returned home to Sweden following the COP25 UN climate conference in Madrid. The train company then chided her for not mentioning how friendly and competently she had been looked after at her seat in first class.

  • No problem. Thunberg responded that she had only been able to take a seat four hours into her journey, but that she was in fact pleased to see the trains overcrowded, because it means the demand for train travel is high!

Weinstein: my pioneering promotion of women is forgotten

Weinstein leaves court in New York last week. Photograph: Bryan R Smith/AFP via Getty Images

Harvey Weinstein has complained that his pioneering work as a champion of women filmmakers has been eviscerated and forgotten amid the dozens of sexual assault accusations being made against the disgraced movie producer. In an interview with the New York Post before his forthcoming rape trial, Weinstein claimed: I made more movies directed by women and about women than any film-maker, and Im talking about 30 years ago. Im not talking about now when its vogue. I did it first. I pioneered it.

Goldman Sachs to cease financing Arctic oil exploration

An oil drilling rig near Deadhorse, Alaska. Photograph: Jim Lo Scalzo/EPA-EFE

The US investment bank Goldman Sachs has said it will no longer finance fresh oil drilling or exploration in the Arctic, and will cease to invest in new thermal coal mines anywhere in the world. Goldmans statement, in which the bank also acknowledged the scientific consensus on the climate crisis, has been welcomed by environmentalists, who urged other financial institutions to make similar pledges that could render the coal industry unbankable.

Cheat sheet

  • Six people have died in north-east India during violent protests over a controversial new law allowing the government to grant citizenship to millions of recent migrants from three neighbouring countries but only to those who are not Muslim.

  • An investigation into whether anyone was at fault for the deaths of at least 16 people in last weeks volcanic eruption on New Zealands White Island could take up to a year, the countrys prime minister, Jacinda Ardern, has said.

  • The US special envoy for North Korea, Stephen Biegun, has dismissed Pyongyangs end-of-year-deadline for concessions in the two countries nuclear talks, calling it hostile and negative and so unnecessary.

  • Boeing is considering whether to temporarily halt production of its grounded 737 Max aircraft after the Federal Aviation Administration said it would not approve the planes return to service before 2020.


Taylor Swift as Bombalurina in the new movie adaptation of Cats. Photograph: Universal Pictures/AP

Poetry, stage and screen: the nine lives of Cats

When TS Eliot published Old Possums Book of Practical Cats in 1939, it outsold his masterpiece The Waste Land. Andrew Lloyd Webbers unlikely stage adaptation, Cats, ran for more than two decades. Steve Rose asks whether a new movie version will silence its doubters, while Kathryn Hughes recalls its past lives.

Your favourite Guardian stories of 2019 and 2020

What do insect populations, Isis wives and Keanu Reeves have in common? They all feature among the most popular Guardian stories in America over the past 12 months a list that includes surprisingly scant mention of the US president. Now, we are asking you which stories and subjects you think we should be covering in 2020.

Democrats cry foul as Bloomberg splashes the cash

Michael Bloomberg has pledged $10m to support vulnerable Democrats in Congress. But some remain angry about the billionaires plan to circumvent the political process as Bernie Sanders put it and pay his own way through the presidential primary. Joan E Greve reports.

Survival Condo: the post-apocalyptic underground future?

Hidden among the cornfields of northern Kansas, in an underground former nuclear missile silo, is a luxury condo complex complete with a swimming pool, climbing wall, shooting range and movie theatre, where the developer says 75 people could survive for up to five years in times of extreme crisis. Bradley L Garrett takes the tour.


In his new film Richard Jewell, about the security guard wrongly accused of the 1996 Atlanta Olympics bombing, Clint Eastwood portrays the late reporter Kathy Scruggs as a seductive femme fatale prone to reckless reporting and poor writing skills. In doing so, he has just created another victim.

Imagine the impact this narrative has on women attempting to carry out the basic requirements of their job. As a colleague of mine pointed out, the trope only exacerbates the fact that women reporters have to worry about looking credible just in case someone else might sexualize us.


Kevin De Bruyne was in regal form as Manchester City sliced and diced Arsenal 3-0 at the Emirates, while Jose Mourinho took another step in the right direction, leading Tottenham to a rare away win at Wolves. Those are two of 10 talking points from this weekends action in the Premier League.

The Green Bay Packers defeated the Chicago Bears 21-13 on Sunday in the 200th edition of the NFLs oldest rivalry. The Patriots have claimed they were making a documentary after a team videographer was caught apparently filming the Bengals sideline. And Tampa Bays Jameis Winston perhaps the leagues most baffling player bounced back from an early interception to throw four touchdowns in his teams 38-17 victory over Detroit.

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Read more: https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2019/dec/16/us-briefing-impeachment-harvey-weinstein-and-goldman-sachs