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How Trump’s impeachment inquiry impacts Biden; DA’s Office is probing possibly tainted murder convictions | Morning Newsletter

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Former Vice President Joe Biden arrives at the Polk County Steak Fry, a huge gathering of Democrats in Des Moines, Iowa Sept. 21, 2019.
Former Vice President Joe Biden arrives at the Polk County Steak Fry, a huge gathering of Democrats in Des Moines, Iowa Sept. 21, 2019.Read moreTOM GRALISH / Staff Photographer

    The Morning Newsletter

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Yesterday, I warned you that it was going to be hot today. Just in case you haven’t stepped outside yet, I can confirm that it is, indeed, 🌡️extremely warm🌡️. And as the heat turns up on President Trump’s impeachment inquiry, Joe Biden and other presidential candidates are caught trying to ramp up their campaigns while the nation’s attention focuses on the proceedings in Washington, D.C. Biden’s campaign could be tested after Trump’s call with the Ukrainian president concerning the former vice president and his son indirectly linked them to the impeachment inquiry.

— Josh Rosenblat (@joshrosenblat,

Former VP Joe Biden has been flung into the national impeachment story, but he and his campaign are determined not to make this a repeat of the 2016 Hillary Clinton email scandal. President Trump and his personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani allege that Biden tried to stop a Ukrainian investigation of the company where his son, Hunter, was a paid board member. There’s no evidence to back up that allegation, which was refuted by the top Ukrainian prosecutor who said earlier this year that his team found no wrongdoing.

The nation’s focus has shifted to the impeachment inquiry concerning a phone conversation between Trump and Ukraine’s new president, in which Trump asked him to investigate the Bidens again — a move that could be illegal. At the same time, Biden and other presidential candidates are trying to ramp up their campaigns with just four months until the Iowa caucuses.

The DA’s Office is investigating whether two now-retired city detectives got suspects to confess to murders they didn’t commit. Prosecutors disclosed yesterday that they were looking into the potential use of threats, hollow promises, or physical or psychological abuse during the confessions.

The probe concerns at least two murder cases in the 1990s, one of which has been overturned. The prosecutors are also trying to determine if either detective lied while testifying during trials.

After the devastating fire and explosion that ultimately forced the Philadelphia Energy Solutions refinery to close this summer, the company paid out millions in bonuses to executives. Now, after the company has laid off most of its 1,100 workers and as it goes through its bankruptcy process, it wants to give out another round of executive bonuses.

But this time, it wants to keep those payouts secret. The holding company has asked a U.S. bankruptcy judge to keep the details of the awards confidential to reduce the “negative impact on employee morale.”

What you need to know today

  1. Last week, an Inquirer investigation revealed attendance issues at a Philadelphia high school. Now, City Council members are asking the district’s superintendent to release data that would reveal an accurate picture of attendance across the city.

  2. A man is dead, with his oldest brother charged with the murder. But he wasn’t the shooter. The actual shooter was given immunity. And the man who hid the shooter’s gun was also given immunity, but is now in custody, charged with a different murder.

  3. Comcast’s lawsuit in the Supreme Court could weaken protections for minorities in the workplace and damage civil-rights laws, according to briefs filed by more than two dozen civil rights groups.

  4. New Jersey has reported the first death associated with vaping in the state.

  5. A former Montgomery County sheriff became the linchpin of a global fentanyl trafficking conspiracy that U.S. authorities have connected to at least five deaths.

  6. A bill that aims to make the slow and complicated process of selling vacant land easier to navigate was approved yesterday by a City Council committee.

Through Your Eyes | #OurPhilly

Who knew an alley could look so intriguing? Thanks for the shot, @9illusions!

Tag your Instagram posts or tweets with #OurPhilly and we’ll pick our favorite each day to feature in this newsletter and give you a shout out!

That’s Interesting

  1. Pennsylvania may join California with a bill that would allow college athletes to profit off their names, likenesses, images, and endorsement deals. It would go against NCAA rules that have prohibited anything of the sort.

  2. Two Philadelphia universities won grants totaling $22 million to study dementias including Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s.

  3. A Flyers star’s 86-year-old grandmother will get to attend one of his NHL games for the first time. The reason? The Flyers open the season in Jake Voracek’s homeland of the Czech Republic later this week.

  4. Health anxiety may increase as you get older, particularly once you hit 50. But it doesn’t have to take over your life.

  5. A demolished mural in West Philly will get a second chance. And in doing so, it’ll bring back the image of the area’s 84-year-old block captain.

  6. 🤢 Mouse droppings, flour bags gnawed on by rodents, roaches, and more closed eateries in Philly this month.


“When you’re part of a community that has been targeted and victimized by police officers for centuries, when justice has been elusive if not downright invisible, when your expectation for equal treatment has been worn down to a nub, words can’t express what it feels like when justice arrives.” — Solomon Jones writes for The Inquirer about the ex-cop in Dallas who was found guilty of murder for killing a black man named Botham Jean last year.

  1. The youngest victims of domestic violence are innocent children, columnist Jenice Armstrong writes. And they’re often overlooked.

  2. Climate activist Greta Thunberg is outsmarting all of us adults, writes Matthew Prickett, a teacher at Rowan University.

What we’re reading

  1. The Eagles fan who went viral for his Philly tattoos has raised thousands of dollars to help fight a rare form of pediatric cancer, reports Philadelphia magazine.

  2. A Philadelphia writer penned an essay for The New York Times about rowing in the Schuylkill.

  3. What would it take to shut down the internet? Gizmodo got a bunch of cybersecurity experts together to talk about how it could be done (without advocating for employing any of these strategies, of course).

Your Daily Dose of | 🍫 + 🍺

Two of Pennsylvania’s oldest companies are teaming up for a new delicacy. Yuengling and Hershey’s announced yesterday that they collaborated on a chocolate porter that’ll be available on tap in mid-October in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Delaware, and a number of other states. The only question left is what to pair it with.