These are the headlines you Need 2 Know for Wednesday, December 18, 2019:
  • IMPEACHMENT VOTE TODAY: WHAT TO EXPECT: The House of Representatives plans to vote today on articles of impeachment against President Trump. The Democrats have the votes to pass impeachment, but the final process is likely to be neither quick nor smooth. This morning, there will be procedural votes first, and Republicans will have a chance to register their opposition. The votes on the two impeachment articles are expected later in the afternoon, probably after 6:30 p.m. ET. Watch live
  • IMPEACHMENT VOTE TODAY: POTUS RESPONDS: On the eve of the impeachment vote, President Trump sent a furious six-page letter to Speak Nancy Pelosi accusing her of an “attempted coup.” The president compared the impeachment process to the Salem witch trials and wrote: “You have cheapened the importance of the very ugly word, impeachment!” Read live
  • SMOKING AGE TO 21: The House passed a spending bill that will avert a government shutdown. As part of the spending package, the federal minimum age for buying tobacco products will be increased from 18 to 21. The Senate is expected to pass the bill this week and President Trump has said he will sign it into law. CNBC
  • HOT DOWN UNDER: Australia just had its hottest day on record, with the average national temperature hitting 106F. That’s the average — some areas saw temps as high as 120F. This has been Australia’s driest spring ever, with much of the country in the midst of its worst drought in decades. There are 100 active brushfires, the majority of which are not contained. It’s expected to get even hotter by the end of the week. Axios
  • LEFTOVERS: PAIN IN THE… A toilet startup in the UK has designed a toilet that sits at a slight 13 degree downward slope — just enough to make it uncomfortable to sit for more than a few minutes, but not uncomfortable enough to cause health issues. The StandardToilet’s inventor says he got the idea when he noticed how long people were spending on the toilet while at work. He’s already gotten interest. Wired
  • DELIVERY WARS: Amazon has temporarily banned third-party merchants from using FedEx Ground for Prime shipments, citing a decline in service at FedEx during the busiest time of the year. Earlier this year, Amazon stopped using FedEx entirely in the U.S., but still allowed third parties who sell on Amazon to ship via FedEx. Third-party sellers account for more than half the merchandise sold on Amazon. WSJ
Cheddar's Hena Doba and Jill Wagner get into the latest.
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