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Catching Our Eye:
Another firsthand witness. The New York Times’ Maggie Haberman and Michael S. Schmidt are reporting, “Trump Tied Ukraine Aid to Inquiries He Sought, Bolton Book Says.”
“President Trump told his national security adviser in August that he wanted to continue freezing $391 million in security assistance to Ukraine until officials there helped with investigations into Democrats including the Bidens, according to an unpublished manuscript by the former adviser, John R. Bolton.
“The president’s statement as described by Mr. Bolton could undercut a key element of his impeachment defense: that the holdup in aid was separate from Mr. Trump’s requests that Ukraine announce investigations into his perceived enemies, including former Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. and his son Hunter Biden, who had worked for a Ukrainian energy firm while his father was in office.
“Mr. Bolton’s explosive account of the matter at the center of Mr. Trump’s impeachment trial, the third in American history, was included in drafts of a manuscript he has circulated in recent weeks to close associates.”
Pollution. The Columbus Dispatch’s Beth Burger is reporting, “Experts: Trump rule change will remove industry red tape but pollute more Ohio stream miles.”
“A new Trump administration revision to a federal water law will take effect in April and will relieve industries from seeking permits when it comes to isolated wetlands and ephemeral streams.
“While that may help businesses move projects forward with less hassle, researchers say it will be devastating for water quality. In Ohio, a majority of stream miles will be affected.”
Human trafficking. The Bowling Green Sentinel-Tribune’s Roger LaPointe is reporting, “Poverty is the pimp: Wood County agency holds forum on human trafficking.”
“A forum on human trafficking was held at Wood County Job and Family Services Friday, featuring a dozen organizations from Wood and Lucas counties with keynote speaker Ohio Sen. Teresa Fedor, D-Toledo.
‘Poverty is the pimp. Poverty drives and fuels trafficking. When we look at poverty we also have to look at the drug culture. When you want to control the victims, you drug them,’ Fedor said. ‘Commercial, sexual and labor trafficking are the human rights issue of our generation.’
“Fedor has been working on human trafficking issues in Columbus for 15 years… Fedor said runaway and homeless youth are at the greatest risk, and the U.S. legal system doesn’t look for them. Research she has found shows that runaways are “harvested” by traffickers within 24 hours.”