That's a no from Trump

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Ashley Shaffer, USA TODAY
·5 min read
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Democrats want to see former President Trump back at the Capitol. Some people get COVID-19 vaccines before it's their turn. And there's a disease killing chimps that's giving me the creeps.

It's Ashley. Let's talk news.

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Is Trump heading back to the Capitol?

House Democrats presenting the impeachment case against Donald Trump on Thursday requested that the former president testify under oath for the Senate trial. Rep. Jamie Raskin, D-Md., wrote that Trump's response to the article of impeachment "denied many factual allegations," and Democrats requested he testify as early as next Monday and no later than next Thursday. Trump's not feeling it. Trump rejected the call to testify, and his team called the move a "public relations stunt.” Democrats in the House impeached him in January for allegedly inciting the riot Jan. 6 at the Capitol that left five people dead. The Senate is set to begin its trial next week.

House Democrats accuse Donald Trump of endangering U.S. security.
House Democrats accuse Donald Trump of endangering U.S. security.

No cuts, please: Not everyone is waiting their turn for a vaccine

Bribing doctors. Circulating vaccination appointment codes. Chartering planes and impersonating essential workers. More than a month since the U.S. began administering the vaccines, many people who were not supposed to be first in line have gotten the jab. How’d they cut? Anecdotal reports suggest some people leveraged widespread vulnerabilities in the distribution process to acquire the vaccines, Grace Hauck reports. Polk County, Florida's "2020 Paramedic of the Year" was charged with stealing vaccines meant for first responders. In Beverly Hills, a doctor said he'd been offered more than $10,000 by people, including members of the entertainment industry, who wanted to get vaccinated. If Dolly Parton can wait for a vaccine, so can we.

A senior receives a COVID-19 vaccine from a health care worker after arriving on a bus to a vaccination site at Anquan Boldin Stadium in Pahokee, Fla., on Feb. 3.
A senior receives a COVID-19 vaccine from a health care worker after arriving on a bus to a vaccination site at Anquan Boldin Stadium in Pahokee, Fla., on Feb. 3.

What everyone’s talking about

Chimps first, then humans? Scientists are worried about a chimpanzee-killing disease

In news I don’t really want to report but must, Wisconsin researchers linked a chimpanzee-killing disease to a newly discovered species of bacterium. They are worried it will jump to humans. The new – and always fatal – disease that has been killing chimpanzees at a sanctuary in Sierra Leone for years was reported for the first time by an international team of scientists led by researchers at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Although the chimpanzee illness has yet to be found in a human being, we share 99% of DNA with the species. "There are very few pathogens that infect chimpanzees without infecting humans and very few pathogens that infect humans without infecting chimpanzees," said Tony Goldberg, one of the authors of the paper and a University of Wisconsin-Madison professor of epidemiology.

Tony Goldberg, a researcher at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, does lab work in the field in Sierra Leone.
Tony Goldberg, a researcher at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, does lab work in the field in Sierra Leone.

Trump's backers failed to take down Liz Cheney, but the GOP's 'civil war' is nowhere near over

Trump and his allies lost the first battle for post-election control of the Republican Party Wednesday night. House Republicans voted Wednesday to keep Rep. Liz Cheney, R-Wyo., in her leadership position despite her impeachment vote against Trump in January, David Jackson reports. The secret ballot vote was overwhelmingly in Cheney's favor, 145-61. Nevertheless, Trump's backers vowed to defeat Cheney and other Republicans who voted for his impeachment in their political races. While voting on the demotion of Cheney, Republicans did not even consider punishment for far-right Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene, R-Ga., a pro-Trump conspiracy theorist whose social media posts have expressed support for violence against political opponents. The House, where Democrats hold the majority, will vote Thursday on whether to remove Greene from her committee assignments.

Real quick

Are we trapped in another housing bubble?

Have you noticed home prices are climbing? They’re rising practically everywhere, and some experts are worried it's another housing bubble, Michael Braga reports. Driven by historically low interest rates that make borrowing cheap, home buying has become vastly competitive – even while many struggle with rent or mortgages. Interest rates are held artificially low by the Federal Reserve, which makes borrowing cheap and encourages investors to buy riskier assets such as real estate = driving prices of those assets ever higher. Until the Federal Reserve halts its bond-buying and interest rates rise again, real estate prices will continue to climb, says Robert Goldman, a real estate agent with Michael Saunders in Sarasota, Florida.

A break from the news

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This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Trump, COVID-19 vaccine, chimpanzee-killing disease: Thursday's news