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National
Read: Democrats release transcript of Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman's testimony in impeachment probe
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Read: Democrats release transcript of Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman's testimony in impeachment probe

Read: Democrats release transcript of Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman's testimony in impeachment probe
Photo Credit: AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite
Former National Security Council Director for European Affairs Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman returns to the Capitol to review transcripts of his testimony in the impeachment inquiry of President Donald Trump, in Washington, Thursday, Nov. 7, 2019.

Read: Democrats release transcript of Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman's testimony in impeachment probe

Democrats released a transcript Friday of a closed-door interview lawmakers had last month with Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman, an Army officer assigned to the National Security Council.

>> Read more trending news 

Vindman, who served as National Security Council Director for European Affairs, appeared Oct. 29 for a closed-door interview with the House Intelligence, Oversight and Reform and Foreign Affairs committees. The committees are spearheading an impeachment inquiry of President Donald Trump.

Vindman said he alerted superiors on two occasions to concerns he had over Trump pressuring Ukraine to investigate Democrats, including after he listened to the July call in which Trump personally appealed to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky to investigate political rival Joe Biden and the outlier theory of a Ukrainian role in the 2016 U.S. presidential election.

Vindman testified that U.S. Ambassador to the European Union Gordon Sondland told Ukrainians they would need to investigate the Bidens if they hoped to have a coveted meeting with Trump.

Democrats launched the impeachment inquiry after learning of a whistleblower complaint filed in August by an official concerned over Trump's attempts to get Ukrainian officials to investigate Biden.

Trump has denied any wrongdoing.

Read the full transcript released Friday:

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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The Latest News Headlines

  • More than 5.6 million people worldwide -- including more than 1.6 million in the United States – have been infected with the new coronavirus, and the number of deaths from the outbreak continues to rise. While efforts to contain the COVID-19 outbreak continue, states have begun to shift their focus toward reopening their economies. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is tracking cases in the U.S. here. Live updates for Wednesday, May 27, continue below:  Global deaths near 351K, total cases soar past 5.6M Update 7:47 a.m. EDT May 27: The global death toll attributed to the novel coronavirus reached 350,876 early Wednesday, according to a Johns Hopkins University tally. In the four months since the virus was first identified in Wuhan, China, it has infected at least 5,614,458 people worldwide. Meanwhile, 13 nations now have total infection counts higher than China’s 84,103.  The 10 nations with the highest number of infections recorded to date are as follows: • The United States has reported 1,681,418 cases, resulting in 98,929 deaths. • Brazil has recorded 391,222 cases, resulting in 24,512 deaths. • Russia has confirmed 370,680 cases, resulting in 3,968 deaths. • The United Kingdom has reported 266,599 cases, resulting in 37,130 deaths. • Spain has confirmed 236,259 cases, resulting in 27,117 deaths. • Italy has reported 230,555 cases, resulting in 32,955 deaths. • France has confirmed 182,847 cases, resulting in 28,533 deaths. • Germany has reported 181,293 cases, resulting in 8,386 deaths. • Turkey has recorded 158,762 cases, resulting in 4,397 deaths • India has recorded 151,876 cases, resulting in 4,346 deaths. Google plans to reopen some offices in July as coronavirus fears linger Update 7:29 a.m. EDT May 27: Specifics were sparse, but Google CEO Sundar Pichai told employees Tuesday that the company plans to reopen “more buildings in more cities” starting July 6, CNN reported. Employees at the unspecified locations will return, but only about 10% building occupancy will be allowed in the beginning, ramping up to 30% capacity by September, the network reported. “We’ll have rigorous health and safety measures in place to ensure social distancing and sanitization guidelines are followed, so the office will look and feel different than when you left” Pichai wrote in a blog post, adding, “Our goal is to be fair in the way we allocate time in the office, while limiting the number of people who come in, consistent with safety protocols.' New CDC guidance reveals COVID-19 antibody tests fail about half the time Update 7:02 a.m. EDT May 27: Antibody tests intended to detect if subjects have been infected previously with the novel coronavirus might provide accurate results only half the time, according to the latest U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidance. According to the new intelligence, “Antibodies in some persons can be detected within the first week of illness onset,” but the results are not consistently accurate enough to base important policy decisions on their outcomes. “(Antibody) test results should not be used to make decisions about grouping persons residing in or being admitted to congregate settings, such as schools, dormitories, or correctional facilities ... (Antibody) test results should not be used to make decisions about returning persons to the workplace,” the CDC warned. Lawmakers urge suspension of Trump’s July 4 military parade amid pandemic Update 6:09 a.m. EDT May 27: Calling the scheduled event a “vanity project,” members of Congress representing the capital region petitioned the defense and interior departments Tuesday to suspend plans for U.S. President Donald Trump’s second annual July 4 military parade, The Washington Post reported. Muriel E. Bowser, mayor of the District of Columbia, is preparing to reopen portions of the nation’s capital, while both Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam and Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan have already relaxed some social distancing policies, yet stay-at-home orders remain in place in all three areas. “Given the current COVID-19 crisis, we believe such an event would needlessly risk the health and safety of thousands of Americans,' they wrote in the letter to the department chiefs. “Further, this event would come at the cost of millions of taxpayer dollars while we are facing an unprecedented economic downturn due to the pandemic.” Read the lawmakers’ complete letter to the defense and interior departments. “The American people have shown tremendous courage and spirit in the fight against this global pandemic just as our forefathers did in the fight to secure our independence, and both deserve celebration on America’s birthday this year,” White House spokesman Judd Deere wrote in an email to the Post. Worldwide coronavirus deaths top 350K Update 4:46 a.m. EDT May 27: The global death toll attributed to the novel coronavirus reached 350,752 early Wednesday, according to a Johns Hopkins University tally. The United States – with nearly 1.7 million cases, resulting in 98,929 deaths to date – remains the nation with the highest number of infections and virus-related deaths. Brazil now reports the second-highest number of cases worldwide with 391,222, while the United Kingdom’s 37,130 virus-related deaths rank as second highest globally. Trump gives NC governor 1 week to decide if RNC stays in Charlotte amid coronavirus concerns Update 3:27 a.m. EDT May 27: North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper on Tuesday dismissed President Donald Trump’s tweets threatening to move the Republican National Convention from Charlotte. “I’m not surprised by anything I see on Twitter,” Cooper said. “It’s OK for political conventions to be political, but pandemic response cannot be.” According to WSOC-TV, the governor said state health officials will continue to work with convention organizers to draft guidelines that will ensure the event can be conducted safely during the coronavirus pandemic. In a series of tweets Monday morning, the president threatened to pull the event out of North Carolina if Cooper doesn’t immediately sign off on allowing a full-capacity gathering in August, despite the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Coronavirus has infected more than 62K US health care workers, CDC reports Update 2:10 a.m. EDT May 27: An estimated 62,344 health care professionals in the United States have contracted the novel coronavirus to date, resulting in at least 291 deaths, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention confirmed. The latest figures represent a nearly seven-fold increase in less than six weeks. According to CNN, the CDC last highlighted the number of cases among health care workers April 15, revealing a total of 9,282 cases at that time. US coronavirus cases approach 1.7M, deaths near 99K Published 12:40 a.m. EDT May 27: The number of novel coronavirus cases in the United States surged toward 1.7 million early Wednesday across all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, Guam and the U.S. Virgin Islands. According to a Johns Hopkins University tally, there are at least 1,681,212 confirmed U.S. cases of the virus, which have resulted in at least 98,916 deaths.  The hardest-hit states remain New York with 363,836 cases and 29,302 deaths and New Jersey with 155,764 cases and 11,194 deaths. Massachusetts, with 93,693 cases, has the third-highest number of deaths with 6,473, while Illinois has the third-highest number of cases with 113,195. Only 16 states and territories have confirmed fewer than 6,000 cases each. Five other states have now confirmed at least 52,000 novel coronavirus cases each, including: • California: 99,684 cases, resulting in 3,823 deaths • Pennsylvania: 72,778 cases, resulting in 5,163 deaths • Texas: 57,230 cases, resulting in 1,546 deaths • Michigan: 55,104 cases, resulting in 5,266 deaths • Florida: 52,255 cases, resulting in 2,259 deaths Meanwhile, Maryland, Georgia and Connecticut each has confirmed at least 41,000 cases; Virginia, Louisiana, Ohio and Indiana each has confirmed at least 32,000 cases; Colorado, North Carolina, Minnesota, Tennessee and Washington each has confirmed at least 20,000 cases, followed by Iowa with 17,703 and Arizona with 16,864; Wisconsin and Alabama each has confirmed at least 15,000 cases, followed by Rhode Island with 14,210 and Mississippi with 13,731; Nebraska and Missouri each has confirmed at least 12,000 cases, followed by South Carolina with 10,416; Kansas and Delaware each has confirmed at least 9,000 cases; Kentucky, Utah, the District of Columbia and Nevada each has confirmed at least 8,000 cases, followed by New Mexico with 7,130; Arkansas and Oklahoma each has confirmed at least 6,000 cases. Click here to see CNN’s state-by-state breakdown.
  • Authorities in Oklahoma found a child's body in the Verdigris River in Wagoner County late Tuesday. According to KOKI-TV, Muskogee County authorities said people along the river reported seeing the body. Emergency teams from Wagoner and Muskogee counties searched the river and found the body overnight. Tulsa police are going to Muskogee on Wednesday morning to see whether the body, which has not been identified, is connected to the recent disappearance of two toddlers near Mingo Valley Creek. Crews have been searching for Miracle Lashay Crook, 3, and Tony Demone Crook, 2, who were last seen by their mother, Donisha Willis, on Friday, police said. Willis was later arrested and charged with child endangerment. Read more here. – Visit Fox23.com for the latest on this developing story.
  • A driver is dead after crashing into a utility pole during a high-speed police chase on Jacksonville's westside Tuesday night.   The Jacksonville Sheriff's Office says just before 6:30 pm, officers noticed a vehicle driving recklessly through a parking lot near Lem Turner Road and I-95, almost hitting a pedestrian.  JSO attempted to conduct a traffic stop on the vehicle, but the driver failed to stop and fled south on I-95 and continued onto I-10 westbound in the emergency lane.  The driver then lost control of the vehicle, went off the road and hit a utility pole near Chaffee Road. The driver, who has not been identified, died at the scene. 
  • A Texas father is facing a first-degree murder charge after authorities said he fatally shot a man accused of abusing his daughter, Sabine County Sheriff Tom Maddox said. According to KTRE, deputies arrested Lon L. Hall, 63, of Hemphill, on Saturday in the death of his daughter’s boyfriend, 30-year-old Roshaun McQueen. Hall has since been released from the Sabine County Jail on his own recognizance, the Hemphill Daily News and More reported. Authorities said the shooting occurred shortly before 9 a.m. Saturday at a Hemphill home, KTRE reported. McQueen was dead when deputies arrived at the scene, where authorities found Hall and three other women, according to the Daily News. Hall told authorities that he had come to the home after learning that McQueen had choked Hall's daughter, who was McQueen's girlfriend, during a dispute about marijuana, KTRE reported. The woman told her sister about the attack, who alerted Hall and Hall's wife, deputies said. Hall and the two other women then went to the home, where McQueen 'came to the front door with a gun in an aggravated manner,' according to the news station. Hall then fired at McQueen, hitting him in the chest, deputies said. Read more here or here.
  • Jacksonville small business owners have another opportunity for help with rent and mortgage payments. The Jacksonville City Council passed a bill creating a $9 million relief grant program.  Grants of $2,000 would be available to 4,500 small local businesses. In order to qualify the business would need to have fewer than 100 employees and be able to demonstrate a loss of 25% of more in revenue as a result of the COVID-19 outbreak.  Another resolution approved by City Council would help families struggling to afford basic needs. $5 million in CARES Act funds would be available to local families. A report from the United Way of Northeast Florida found one out of every 3 people couldn’t meet their bills before the pandemic; COVID-19 has only amplified that problem. 

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