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Four witnesses testified before the House Intelligence Committee on Tuesday in the impeachment inquiry into President Trump: Jennifer Williams, an aide to Vice President Pence; Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman, a National Security Council adviser; Kurt Volker, the former U.S. special envoy to Ukraine; and Tim Morrison, a former National Security Council adviser. Click the audio link to listen to a special broadcast of NPR hosts and reporters offering analysis on the significant moments of the day.

When Gordon Sondland arrived at the Capitol last month to provide what would be pivotal testimony in the Trump impeachment inquiry, a reporter asked the U.S. ambassador to the European Union, "Are you here to salvage your reputation?"

"I don't have a reputation to salvage," Sondland shot back.

Until recently, Sondland, 62, had a pretty low profile outside his hometown of Portland, Ore., where he and his wife, Katy Durant, are big Republican donors and contributors to numerous arts and civic organizations.

Gordon Sondland, the U.S. ambassador to the European Union, who has emerged as the impeachment inquiry's most pivotal witness, is set to make a much-anticipated appearance before House investigators on Wednesday.

Sondland will face lawmakers who have many questions about conversations he had with President Trump about U.S. aid to Ukraine — and why his story changed since he first appeared before them in a closed-door session last month.

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As public impeachment hearings continue, let's look ahead to tomorrow's witness. It's the U.S. ambassador to the European Union, Gordon Sondland. President Trump gave Sondland an unusual role in Ukraine policy. As part of it, Sondland urged Ukrainian officials to launch investigations so that military aid could flow. Like Trump himself, Sondland is a real estate developer who gravitated towards politics. As NPR's Jim Zarroli reports, he wasn't always a fan of the president.

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Another marathon day on Capitol Hill today.

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Copyright 2019 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

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OK. Let's hear now from Americans, in their own words, about the impeachment inquiry into President Trump. Sergio Martinez-Beltran of member station WPLN has been asking people in Tennessee for their thoughts.

AILSA CHANG, HOST:

As public impeachment hearings continue, let's look ahead to tomorrow's witness. It's the U.S. ambassador to the European Union, Gordon Sondland. President Trump gave Sondland an unusual role in Ukraine policy. As part of it, Sondland urged Ukrainian officials to launch investigations so that military aid could flow. Like Trump himself, Sondland is a real estate developer who gravitated towards politics. As NPR's Jim Zarroli reports, he wasn't always a fan of the president.

AILSA CHANG, HOST:

As public impeachment hearings continue, let's look ahead to tomorrow's witness. It's the U.S. ambassador to the European Union, Gordon Sondland. President Trump gave Sondland an unusual role in Ukraine policy. As part of it, Sondland urged Ukrainian officials to launch investigations so that military aid could flow. Like Trump himself, Sondland is a real estate developer who gravitated towards politics. As NPR's Jim Zarroli reports, he wasn't always a fan of the president.

AILSA CHANG, HOST:

As public impeachment hearings continue, let's look ahead to tomorrow's witness. It's the U.S. ambassador to the European Union, Gordon Sondland. President Trump gave Sondland an unusual role in Ukraine policy. As part of it, Sondland urged Ukrainian officials to launch investigations so that military aid could flow. Like Trump himself, Sondland is a real estate developer who gravitated towards politics. As NPR's Jim Zarroli reports, he wasn't always a fan of the president.

For decades, Bruce Bagley has been regarded as a leading expert on organized crime in Latin America, particularly on money laundering. Now, the University of Miami professor is in trouble for the way he may have applied that knowledge.

Bagley was arrested Monday on charges of laundering $3 million on behalf of corrupt foreign nationals who collected the illicit funds through bribes and by embezzling from a public works project in Venezuela.

Sexual violence against children happens everywhere: in wealthy enclaves, in slums, in suburbs, in rural villages.

Invariably, it happens in secret: in the privacy of family homes, in dark corners of schools and churches, and in murky shadows at neighborhood, community, sporting and scouting events.

Dutch authorities say that a group of 25 stowaways were found in a refrigerated container onboard a cargo ship bound for the U.K. on Tuesday.

The ship, which according to local media is the Britannia Seaways, has returned to port in Vlaardingen. Local authorities said in a statement that the people are receiving medical assistance.

The use and importation of electronic cigarettes will soon be outlawed in the Philippines, according to President Rodrigo Duterte. He criticized vaping devices at a press conference Tuesday, four days after Filipino health regulators saw their first case of vape-associated lung injury.

A Conversation With Susan Rice

10 hours ago

Former national security adviser and U.N. ambassador Susan Rice isn’t done talking about President Trump. And it seems President Trump isn’t done talking about her.

A days-long tense standoff between protesters and police is grinding on at Hong Kong Polytechnic University. The numbers of protesters barricaded inside the school has dwindled to about 100, and their food supplies are rapidly depleting after police surrounded the campus on Sunday.

The nationwide opioid lawsuits are far from over.

After last month’s settlement with drug makers and distributors, lawyers for Cuyahoga and Summit counties are focusing on the next set of defendants: pharmacies.

At the start of this month, attorneys for the two counties asked the court permission to add new claims against pharmacies to their lawsuits. The claims accuse pharmacy chains of failing to look out for suspicious opioid prescriptions.

Two days after a shooting that killed four men and wounded six at a backyard party in Fresno, Calif., police are seeking at least two gunmen — and the city's large Hmong community is looking for answers.

Police say the two men said nothing as they entered the yard where people were watching football and started firing shots from semiautomatic handguns. "Witnesses only indicated that they saw the muzzle flash from the weapons," said Fresno Police Chief Andy Hall.

Tamir Rice Inspires Artists 5 Years After Death

12 hours ago

Five years ago, 12-year-old Tamir Rice was shot and killed in a public park by a Cleveland police officer. The incident quickly became a rallying point for a growing national conversation about violence against black people at the hands of the police, and Rice continues to be a source of inspiration for artists. 

In an escalating dispute over how much allies should pay the U.S. to station troops on their soil, U.S. negotiators walked out on talks with South Korea in Seoul on Tuesday, as the two sides staked out vastly differing positions and accused the other side of being unreasonable.

It was a moment of genuine bipartisanship at the House Ways and Means Committee in October, as Democratic and Republican sponsors alike praised a bill called the "Restoring Access to Medication Act of 2019."

The bill, approved by the panel on a voice vote, would allow consumers to use their tax-free flexible spending accounts or health savings accounts to pay for over-the-counter medications and women's menstrual products.

Updated at 3:50 p.m. ET

Four witnesses are testifying in front of the House Intelligence Committee on Tuesday, starting the second week of public hearings in the ongoing impeachment inquiry investigation.

The morning session features Jennifer Williams, a career State Department staffer detailed to work with Vice President Pence's staff, as well as Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman, the Ukraine specialist on the National Security Council. Former U.S. envoy to Ukraine Kurt Volker and former Russia director for the NSC Tim Morrison are testifying in the afternoon.

Updated at 5:18p.m. ET

Two correctional officers who were assigned to guard Jeffrey Epstein on the night he died in his cell have been indicted for allegedly ignoring more than 75 mandatory checks on the wealthy financier then fabricating records to cover it up.

Federal authorities charged Michael Thomas and Tova Noel with multiple counts of falsifying records and conspiracy. The two worked as guards at the Metropolitan Correctional Center, a federal facility in Manhattan that is mostly used for defendants awaiting trial.

Imagine, just for a minute, living inside a war zone. Going to work every day, caring for your family, trying to be normal in a situation that is anything but normal. That was the experience of filmmaker Waad al-Kateab and her husband, Hamza, a doctor, who made the decision to stay in the besieged city of Aleppo, Syria.

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