☕ Happy Wednesday! Today's Smart Brevity™ count: 1,183 words ... 4½ minutes.
Bill Taylor arrives at the Capitol yesterday. Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images
President Trump is getting hit with a relentless, daily deluge of leaks — and revelations — from former aides, current officials and Democrats.
As Democrats' impeachment inquiry hit the one-month mark yesterday, Bill Taylor, the top U.S. diplomat in Ukraine, provided some of the most explosive testimony yet about Trump tying aid to a probe of the Biden family:
Lawmakers who emerged after nearly 10 hours of the private deposition were stunned at Taylor's account, which some Democrats said established a "direct line" to the quid pro quo at the center of the impeachment probe, AP reports.
Another big dump on Trump will come Nov. 19, with the publication of "A Warning," a book by the anonymous senior Trump administration official who penned a mysterious and damaging N.Y. Times op-ed last year.
Last evening, White House press secretary Stephanie Grisham said in a statement: "President Trump has done nothing wrong — this is a coordinated smear campaign from far-left lawmakers and radical unelected bureaucrats."
Go deeper: Read Taylor's 16-page opening statement.
Almost two in three finance officers in large cities are predicting a recession as soon as 2020, according to a new report from the National League of Cities, as weakening major economic indicators and shrinking revenue sources put pressure on municipal budgets, writes Axios' Kim Hart.
🏙️ Sign up for Axios Cities, a weekly newsletter about the technological, political and economic forces transforming cities across the world.
"SoftBank Group Corp. said it agreed to take a majority stake in WeWork after securing a deal that could hand co-founder Adam Neumann a nearly $1.7 billion windfall and sever most of his ties with the troubled office-space startup," report the Wall Street Journal's Maureen Farrell and Eliot Brown (subscription).
Go deeper, via Axios' Dan Primack: How SoftBank plans to save WeWork
This combo photo shows placards in Lebanon during the biggest demonstrations in 15 years — a week-long revolt against rampant corruption that has hollowed out the country's infrastructure and basic services.
A major outside Democratic group is outspending President Trump on Facebook ads in the crucial battleground states of Florida, Pennsylvania, Michigan and Wisconsin, Axios' Alexi McCammond reports.
The big picture: Trump is still using online advertising more aggressively than Democrats, outspending all of his 2020 rivals combined.
Photos: David Hume Kennerly/Getty Images; Mandel Ngan/AFP/Getty Images
House Intelligence Chairman Adam Schiff is the closest thing to a Ken Starr that exists for the Trump impeachment inquiry — at least for now — lawmakers and committee staff tell Axios' Alayna Treene.
Much like Starr, the independent counsel who investigated President Clinton, Schiff is there at the crux of key interviews behind closed doors and efforts to gather evidence that may further the impeachment inquiry.
Harvard's Laurence Tribe, a constitutional law professor and vocal Trump critic, told Axios that Bill Barr helped cement Schiff in this role.
The WHO's decision earlier this year to classify "gaming disorder" as an addictive behavior touched off a wide-ranging debate on how we classify addiction in modern society, writes the New York Times Magazine's Ferris Jabr.
Why it matters: "In the case of video-game addiction, the most vulnerable population seems to be young men."
"An analysis of new census data ... shows the number of children in the United States without any kind of insurance rose by more than 400,000 between 2016 and 2018 after decades of progress," the N.Y. Times reports.
Suzanne Clark, president of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, announced Project GO (Growth, Opportunity & Innovation) in a speech yesterday that continues the trend of business leaders acknowledging shortcomings in capitalism:
Clark pointed to "growing diversity on corporate boards —not through quotas or arbitrary mandates — but through disclosure and dialogue."
Two centuries after its invention, the stethoscope — the very symbol of the medical profession — is being threatened by more modern hand-held devices, AP's Lindsey Tanner writes.
Dr. Eric Topol, a world-renowned cardiologist, considers the stethoscope obsolete — nothing more than a pair of "rubber tubes."
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