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As Oil Prices Drop And Money Dries Up, Is The U.S. Shale Boom Going Bust?

The shale oil boom that catapulted the U.S. into the world's largest oil producer may be going bust. As oil prices drop amid weakening demand, bankruptcies and layoffs are up and drilling is down, signs of a crisis that's quietly roiling the industry.

Some of the most successful companies in the oil business are household names — think Exxon Mobil or Chevron. But the boom in shale drilling has been driven by smaller, independent operators. These companies have pushed the limits of drilling technology and taken big risks on unproven oil fields.


AP

Get Caught Up: Key Takeaways From Tuesday's Impeachment Hearing

As House Ukraine hearings opened their second week Tuesday, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said there won't be enough votes to remove President Trump in the Senate if Democrats trigger an impeachment trial.

The Kentucky Republican told reporters he would convene a Senate trial as required by the Constitution if he receives articles of impeachment from the House — but he reiterated that he believes Trump would prevail.

"It's inconceivable to me that there would be 67 to remove the president from office," McConnell said.


NPR

Democratic Debate: What You Need To Know About Wednesday's Face-Off

Amid a slew of public impeachment hearings, Democratic presidential candidates are gathering in Atlanta to debate once again. This round also comes less than three months before the first primaries and caucuses.

Ten candidates made the cut, down from a record of 12 in October's debate.


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WATCH LIVE: Sondland: Ukraine Aid Link Reflected Trump's 'Desires And Requirements'

Updated at 9:19 a.m. ET

Gordon Sondland, the U.S. ambassador to the European Union, tied President Trump directly to the U.S. push for conditioning military aid to Ukraine and a meeting with the Ukrainian president with "a public statement from President Zelensky committing to investigations of Burisma and the 2016 election."


AP

Homeless Advocates Worry Official's Firing Means Change In Trump Strategy

Tensions are growing between homeless advocates and the Trump administration, which is in the process of crafting a new strategy to deal with rising homelessness in California and other states.

Advocacy groups are concerned that the plan will rely on more vigorous law enforcement and private market incentives rather than on efforts to house homeless individuals and provide supportive services — a policy known as Housing First that has been embraced across the country over the last decade.


AFP via Getty Images

What The Site Of The Democratic Debate Says About Georgia, Role Of Black Voters

Atlanta's Tyler Perry Studios has been home to Wakanda, the White House and The Walking Dead, but on Wednesday night it will host its most topical production yet: the next Democratic presidential primary debate, hosted by MSNBC and The Washington Post.


NPR

America's 'Shame': Medicaid Funding Slashed In U.S. Territories

Right now, there are dozens of patients — U.S. citizens — in New Zealand hospitals who are fighting the clock. They have only a few weeks to recover and get home to the tiny island of American Samoa, a U.S. territory in the South Pacific.


AP

California Governor Cracks Down On Fracking, Requires Audits And Scientific Review

California Gov. Gavin Newsom imposed new regulations Tuesday on hydraulic fracturing, known as fracking, and curbed steam-injected oil drilling in his state, extractive methods long opposed by environmentalists.

Under the new initiatives:


AP

Gordon Sondland Returns To Impeachment Inquiry As A Key Witness With An Updated Story

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.


The Baltimore Museum of Art

Baltimore Museum Of Art Will Only Buy Works By Women Next Year

Step into one of the nation's top art museums, and most of the works you'll see were made by men.

The Baltimore Museum of Art has decided to make a bold step to correct that imbalance: next year, the museum will only purchase works made by female-identifying artists.


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