Will the Trump impeachment trial end or are witnesses coming?
Friday is shaping up to be judgment day for President Donald Trump. The GOP-controlled Senate could wrap up the impeachment trial for Trump and acquit him, or decide to prolong the proceedings — possibly for weeks — by calling witnesses to testify depending on potential swing votes. That would postpone a final vote on whether to remove him from office. Democrats, who control 47 of the chamber’s 100 seats, have been trying to convince at least four Republican senators to join them in demanding witnesses appear to discuss the president’s conduct regarding Ukraine.
Kobe tributes will make emotional night in Lakers’ first game since his death
The Los Angeles Lakers return to the hardwood at Staples Center Friday night to face the Portland Trail Blazers in their first game since Kobe Bryant’s unexpected passing. The Lakers have struggled with processing the death of a future Hall of Famer who led them to five NBA championships and became the franchise’s all-time leading scorer. On Thursday, Lakers controlling owner Jeanie Buss and general manager Rob Pelinka both paid homage to Bryant and recounted the inspiration they drew from the basketball icon. Bryant, along with his 13-year-old daughter, Gianna, were among nine people who died in Sunday’s helicopter crash in Southern California.
Brexit time: UK to formally bid farewell to EU
The United Kingdom formally leaves the European Union on Friday, the culmination of the 2016 Brexit referendum that divided the nation and led to years of political conflict. The change will occur at the stroke of 11 p.m. U.K. time Friday (midnight in Brussels, where the EU is based). What actually happens then? Not much. U.K. citizens will no longer legally be EU citizens, but many of the same laws and rules on goods, services and travel will stay the same through Dec. 31 while officials negotiate new terms. London will mark the big moment with a New Year’s Eve-style countdown and light show, but no chimes from Big Ben: The famous clock tower has been under repair for years.
High-profile witness to be called for Harvey Weinstein case
The Harvey Weinstein sex crimes trial is set to feature one of its most high-profile witnesses Friday morning. Former actress Jessica Mann will testify against the embattled movie mogul, who allegedly sexually assaulted her in 2013. Mann moved to Los Angeles when she was 25 to become an actress and met Weinstein at an industry party; she alleges that while visiting New York for the first time in 2013 to meet about a potential role, Weinstein forced himself into her hotel room and raped her. This week, multiple secondary witnesses have also been called in to testify, including two women who accused Weinstein of sexually assaulting them in the early 2000s, although neither can press charges due to the statute of limitations. Weinstein has pleaded not guilty and denies all allegations of nonconsensual sex.
Taylor Swift: New film shows the real ‘Miss Americana’
The new Taylor Swift documentary “Miss Americana” made a splash when it premiered last week at the Sundance Film Festival. On Friday, fans of the 30-year-old pop superstar get to see what the fuss was about as the film starts streaming on Netflix. The film shows Swift’s goofy side, such as mocking her too-tight metallic dress for an awards show (“I look like a Pop-Tart wrapper”), but also shows her wrestling to reconcile the “good girl” she’s always wanted to be with the mature, complex woman she’s become. USA TODAY’s Brian Truitt recaps five “Miss Americana” moments that will make you a Taylor Swift fan.