US briefing: Sondland to testify, Ilhan Omar and Facebook lobbyists

Wednesdays top tale: White House dreads impeachment appearance from Trumps EU ambassador. Plus, the doulas dealing with Americas black infant mortality crisis

Good morning, I’m Tim Walker with today’s essential stories.

Key witness remember concern over Trump’s Ukraine call

Donald Trump’s ambassador to the EU, Gordon Sondland, faces a public interrogation at the impeachment inquiry on Wednesday, with the hearing expected to focus on a phone call he took from the president in a Ukrainian restaurant in July, when the two allegedly discussed Trump’s desire for investigations of his political competitor, Joe Biden. The White House is reportedly fearful of what might emerge from Sondland’s session, after a day of damning testimony from officials including Lt Col Alexander Vindman.

‘Three amigos ‘. Sondland was one of the so-called ” three amigos” used by Trump to bypass normal diplomatic channels to Ukraine, together with the energy secretary, Rick Perry, and the envoy Kurt Volker, whose witnes backfired on Republicans on Tuesday when he appeared to implicate the president.

Ilhan Omar:’ Who are we as a nation if we respond to menaces of political retribution with retribution ourselves ?’ Photograph: Pablo Martinez Monsivais/ POOL/ EPA

Community service. Carlineo’s crime is punishable by up to 10 years in prison, but Omar indicated community integration and social services would be a better solution.

The Oseberg offshore gas platform in the North Sea near Norway. Photograph: Bloomberg/ Bloomberg via Getty Images

North Sea answer? A report backed by the oil industry indicates the North Sea’s elderly oilfields could provide an unlikely climate solution, with empty undersea caves being used to store carbon emissions.

Facebook lobbyists have previously worked for several top Democrats including Steny Hoyer, Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer. Photograph: Jonathan Ernst/ Reuters

Pelosi and co. Four of the lobbyists used to work in the office of the House speaker, Nancy Pelosi, while others have worked for the House Democratic Caucus chair, Hakeem Jeffries, the House majority leader, Steny Hoyer, and the Senate minority leader, Chuck Schumer.

Trump has insisted his unscheduled visit to Walter Reed National Military Medical Center over the weekend was for nothing more than” a very routine physical”, amid speculation that the president may have suffered a heart attack.

has insisted his unscheduled visit to Walter Reed National Military Medical Center over the weekend was for nothing more than” a very routine physical”, amid speculation that the president may have suffered a heart attack

China has condemned a bill passed by the US Senate, aimed at protecting human rights in Hong Kong amid the crackdown on pro-democracy protesters by the city’s authorities, saying it” seriously transgressed international law “.

The former vice-president to ousted Bolivian leader Evo Morales has told the Guardian the pair induced mistakes during their 14 years in power, but that Morales, the country’s first indigenous leader, had been toppled by a rightwing, racist takeover.

has told the Guardian the pair attained mistakes during their 14 years in power, but that Morales, the country’s first indigenous leader, had been toppled by a rightwing, racist coup

A pregnant, 29 -year-old French woman has been killed by a pack of deer hunting hounds while out walking her own dog in woods outside the cities of Villers-Cotterets, near Paris.

Protesters clash with police at Hong Kong Polytechnic University earlier this week. Photograph: Kevin On Man Lee/ Penta Press/ REX/ Shutterstock Sign up for the US morning briefing

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