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What we’re reading: Senate votes to proceed with Trump’s impeachment trial, investigation into crash that killed NBA star concludes

In this Jan. 26, 2021 image from video, Sen. Patrick Leahy, D-Vt., the president pro tempore of the Senate, who is presiding over the impeachment trial of former President Donald Trump, swears in members of the Senate for the impeachment trial at the U.S. Capitol in Washington. (Senate Television via AP)

Senate to proceed with impeachment trial

House Democrats can formally begin their arguments in the Trump impeachment trial today at noon, according to The New York Times.

The trial was approved to proceed after a 56-44 vote, compromised of all 50 Democrats and six Republicans, that rejected claims of unconstitutionality made by the defense. 

Former President Donald J. Trump’s defense team claimed that it would be unconstitutional to pursue prosecuting a president after they have left office. 

Trump is being held responsible for inciting an insurrection when he encouraged his supporters to storm the Capitol on Jan. 6. The storming of the Capitol caused an interruption in the counting of Electoral College votes. 

Despite the vote to move forward with impeachment, the 44 Republicans who supported the defense of the former president are confident that he will have the required 34 votes on the final verdict to avoid conviction.

In order to convict Trump, a minimum of 11 Republican senators who deemed the trial unconstitutional must be persuaded by the House managers.

Classrooms in Maryland’s largest school district plan to reopen in March

After a full year of virtual education, Maryland’s largest school district will begin reopening classrooms in March. 

The Montgomery County Public School system consists of over 160,000 students and was unanimously approved to reopen by the school board, accommodating students in different ways. 

Once the schools reopen, in-person classes will range for students from four days a week to four days every other week. 

Schools in more impoverished locations will allow for more in-person time, along with younger students, according to The Washington Post

Investigators blame pilot in helicopter crash that killed Kobe Bryant, daughter and 7 others

In this Jan. 27, 2020, file photo, provided by the National Transportation Safety Board, NTSB investigators Adam Huray, right, and Carol Hogan examine wreckage as part of the NTSB’s investigation of a helicopter crash near Calabasas, Calif. Federal safety officials are expected to vote Tuesday, Feb. 9, 2021, on what likely caused the helicopter carrying Kobe Bryant, his 13-year-old daughter and seven others to crash into a Southern California hillside last year, killing all aboard. (James Anderson/National Transportation Safety Board via AP, File)

Following a year-long investigation, the National Transportation Safety Board said that the helicopter crash that killed Kobe Bryant was most likely caused by the pilot’s decision to violate flight rules by flying into clouds, according to The New York Times

This error led Ara Zobayan, the pilot, to become disoriented and caused him to lose control of the helicopter. 

All passengers on the helicopter died, including the former NBA star, his daughter Gianna, two of her basketball team members, and three others. 

Moving forward, the National Safety Board recommended that the flight company, Island Express, install flight data monitoring devices and have experts conduct simulations that would help train pilots about spatial disorientation. 

Country artist’s sales rise after racial slur controversy

Morgan Wallen arrives at the CMT Music Awards in Nashville, Tenn. on June 5, 2019. Wallen has apologized after a video surfaced showed him shouting a racial slur. The video, which was first published by TMZ on Tuesday night, showed him outside a home in Nashville, Tennessee yelling profanities. (AP Photo/Sanford Myers, File)

A video surfaced last week capturing the country music star Morgan Wallen using a racial slur. 

Many media outlets and radio stations dropped his music from their playlists, including iHeart Radio and Country Music Television. 

“Such behavior will not be tolerated,” Wallen’s label said. 

Despite this, the singer’s new album, “Dangerous: The Double Album” finds itself at the top of the Billboard 200 chart for the fourth week in a row. 

His sales rose 1,220% in one day last Wednesday and continue to be on the rise, according to CNN.

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