Good morning, NBC News readers.
The Democrats presented their opening arguments in the Senate impeachment trial, three Chinese cities are now on lockdown as coronavirus fears grow, and Eli Manning bows out.
Here's what we're watching this Thursday morning.
Democrats paint Trump as election cheat on Day Two of Senate trial
Opening arguments began in President Donald Trump's Senate impeachment trial on Wednesday, with Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Calif., telling senators they need to remove Trump from office because he's shown he's ready and willing to cheat in the 2020 election.
"The president's misconduct cannot be decided at the ballot box because we cannot be assured the vote will be fairly won," Schiff told the Senate.
He called Trump's efforts to get a foreign government to announce an investigation into his political rival "a gross abuse of power" that requires the Senate to act.
- Recap: Here are seven key things that happened during Day Two of the trial proceedings.
- Analysis: The Democratic case so far adds up, but the math that matters — the number of votes for an acquittal — remains on the GOP's side, writes NBC News' Jonathan Allen.
- On the 2020 presidential campaign trail, former Vice President Joe Biden said that he is opposed to testifying in the trial because he doesn’t want to participate in "some kind of political theater."
- A protester interrupted the trial, yelling "Schumer is the devil."
- But there were glimmers of bipartisan civility: After the trial adjourned for the day, Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., was spotted shaking hands with Schiff.
- More to come: Day 3 of the Senate impeachment trial will get underway at 1 p.m. ET today. Watch full coverage on NBC News, MSNBC and follow our live blog for updates and analysis.
Three Chinese cities on lockdown, travel disrupted amid coronavirus outbreak
Millions of Chinese had to cancel travel plans and hunker down in their homes to avoid exposure to a new, mysterious coronavirus Thursday as three cities in central China went on lockdown to curb the spread of the deadly virus that has already claimed 17 lives.
Health officials in China said that as of Wednesday more than 570 cases of the coronavirus have been confirmed across China.
Officials at the World Health Organization (WHO) are expected to hold a press conference on Thursday to announce whether the outbreak can be classed as a global emergency.
New cases have also been popping up outside the country’s borders, including two new cases in neighboring Hong Kong and one in the U.S.
Many Chinese were stocking up on face masks and avoiding crowded places like cinemas and shopping centers.
“I couldn't find any mask on the market for sale. I dare not go outside," said college student Du Sijia, 21, from Xiamen on China’s southeast coast.
U.N. experts call for probe into hacking of Jeff Bezos' phone, possibly by Saudi Crown prince
Two U.N. experts have called for an investigation into an accusation that Amazon founder Jeff Bezos, the world's richest man, had his phoned hacked after receiving a WhatsApp message from Saudi Arabia's crown prince, Mohammed bin Salman.
In a statement published Wednesday morning, David Kaye, the U.N. special rapporteur on freedom of opinion and expression, and Agnes Callamard, the U.N.'s special rapporteur on extrajudicial executions, wrote that there is a "reasonable belief" that the accusation has merit.
"The information we have received suggests the possible involvement of the Crown Prince in surveillance of Mr. Bezos, in an effort to influence, if not silence, The Washington Post's reporting on Saudi Arabia," the pair said in a joint statement, calling for further investigation.
Want to receive the Morning Rundown in your inbox? Sign up here.
- Three Americans were killed when their plane crashed while fighting Australia's wildfires.
- World leaders gathered in Israel for a Holocaust commemoration marking 75 years since the liberation of Auschwitz.
- A huge dust storm bigger than the United Kingdom has swept across South Australia, turning skies orange.
- Harvey Weinstein's trial began with a prosecutor describing the former film mogul as a serial sexual abuser in a graphic opening statement.
- New York Giants quarterback Eli Manning is retiring after a 16-season career and two Super Bowl titles.
THINK about it
Trump impeachment defense lawyers Ken Starr and Alan Dershowitz share a disturbing problem, Frank Figliuzzi and Karen Schwartz write in an opinion piece.
Crunched for time? Here's an exercise routine for days when you only have 10 minutes to workout.
Looking to bring some green inside? Here are the 15 easiest indoor houseplants (that won't die on you).
Quote of the day
"The days of Noah's Ark in the air are hopefully coming to an end."
— Sara Nelson, president of the Flight Attendants-CWA, on the DOT's proposed ban on emotional support animals on planes.
One fun thing
Annmarie Small came to America from Jamaica with her young son 18 years ago, dreaming of a better life.
When she was hired as a teacher at the Cornerstone Learning Community in Tallahassee, Florida, she found not just a good job, but a community that inspired her to become an American citizen.
"If I am to be teaching my students about democracy, I think I need to lead by example," she said.
When she took the oath of citizenship last week, her 4th grade students, past and present were all there to cheer her on.
Thanks for reading the Morning Rundown.
If you have any comments — likes, dislikes — drop me an email at: email@example.com
If you'd like to receive this newsletter in your inbox Monday to Friday, please sign up here.