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A decorated U.S. Army officer who was on the line when President Donald Trump pressured Ukraine’s president to investigate Joseph Biden told Congress that the request seemed like a demand (not to mention inappropriate and improper). “I knew that I had to report this to the White House counsel,” Lieutenant Colonel Alexander Vindman testified Tuesday during a public impeachment hearing. Republicans spent the day struggling to undermine Vindman’s credibility while spinning a theory of 2016 election interference that Vindman testified has been a favorite of Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Here are today’s top stories

U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission Chairman Jay Clayton pointed to a mailbag full of encouragement, supposedly from ordinary Americans, when he handed corporate executives a big victory over shareholders seeking to make boards responsive to environmental and social concerns. There’s just one problem: The letters appeared to have been orchestrated by corporate interests.

Hong Kong hospitals were overwhelmed after police clashed with democracy protesters on a university campus. 

Amazon is spending more than ever on lobbying, but the e-commerce giant has spent the last few weeks suffering through humbling defeats.

Dr. Mathew Maurer worked closely with Pfizer to develop a breakthrough heart drug. He’s also one of the leading critics of the astronomical cost being charged for it: $225,000 a year

Israel’s ultra-orthodox community has long been isolated from secular society. As the nation seeks to further integrate its most religious members, many of them are going to work for the Mossad.

The largest coal plant in the western U.S. has closed

What’s Joe Weisenthal thinking about? The Bloomberg news director is keeping a close eye on the ratio of stocks to gold. It’s arguably the ultimate measure of optimism: Do you believe in humans or do you believe in yellow metal? Now we seem to be at a peculiar juncture, Joe says. There’s a perception that growth is improving somewhat, so that might make you inclined to bet on humans. But at the same time, with protests breaking out around the world, people may be inclined to hold onto the metal.

What you’ll need to know tomorrow

What you’ll want to read tonight in Businessweek

If anyone could make contact lenses cool, it would be Warby Parker. The company is often credited with creating the direct-to-consumer craze. Investors have pumped enormous sums into millennial-friendly businesses with clean-looking websites marketed as “the Warby Parker of X.” The most successful clones have been sneaker, mattress, razor blade and makeup companies. There’s even a version for dog toys. Is direct to cornea the future of the company? 

Your Evening Briefing

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