U.S. Politics

10 things you need to know today: November 16, 2016



1. Shakeup slows Trump transition work
A staff shakeup left President-elect Donald Trump’s transition effort partially stalled on Tuesday, due largely to firings and infighting. Lead national security adviser Mike Rogers resigned. The former Michigan congressman and House Intelligence Committee chair said he was “pleased to hand off our work” to the new transition team led by Vice President-elect Mike Pence, who took over on Friday when Trump removed New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie as transition team chief. The White House said abrupt changes had temporarily frozen Obama administration briefings for Trump’s team.

Source: The New York Times

2. Obama warns of rising nationalism around the world
President Obama warned at the start of his last overseas trip as president on Tuesday that Americans and people everywhere “are going to have to guard against a rise in a crude sort of nationalism, or ethnic identity, or tribalism” popping up around the world. In an hour-long joint news conference with Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras, Obama did not criticize President-elect Donald Trump — whom critics have accused of emboldening white nationalists with hardline comments on immigration and Muslims — but he said Americans know that it’s dangerous “when we start dividing ourselves along the lines of race or religion or ethnicity” because “we are preventing blacks or Latinos or Asians or gays or women from fully participating in the project of building American life.”

Source: The Washington Post

3. Republicans renominate Paul Ryan to serve as House speaker
Republicans unanimously nominated House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) to stay in the job on Tuesday. Ryan publicly clashed with Donald Trump during the campaign, but now he will be the incoming president’s key partner in the effort to pass his legislative agenda. “Welcome to the dawn of a new unified Republican government,” Ryan said Tuesday. Internal tensions had threatened Ryan’s position before the election. He still must win a floor vote before the entire House in January, and his position still could be threatened if about two dozen Republicans decide to oppose him.

Source: The Washington Post

4. Ben Carson opts against serving in Trump cabinet
Former 2016 Republican presidential candidate Ben Carson will not accept a cabinet job in President-elect Donald Trump’s administration, his business manager, Armstrong Williams, said Tuesday. Carson, a retired neurosurgeon, has served as an advisor to Trump but has noted that he has no experience running a government agency. “Dr. Carson doesn’t feel like that’s the best way for him to serve the president-elect,” Williams said. “His life has not prepared him to be a cabinet secretary.”

Source: Reuters

5. 2 West Virginia officials ousted over racist reference to Michelle Obama
Two officials in Clay County, West Virginia, lost their jobs on Tuesdayover a racist Facebook post about first lady Michelle Obama. The director of the Clay County Development Corporation, Pamela Taylor, wrote on Facebook in response to President-elect Donald Trump’s victory in last week’s election: “It will be refreshing to have a classy, beautiful, dignified First Lady in the White House. I’m tired of seeing an ape in heels.” Clay Mayor Beverly Whaling commented on the post: “Just made my day Pam.” Whaling resigned, and Taylor left her job, too, although it was not immediately clear whether she quit or was fired.

Source: CNN

6. Breitbart to sue unnamed media company
Breitbart News plans to sue a “major media company” for calling it a white nationalist website, the far-right website said Tuesday. Breitbarthas been vaulted into the spotlight since its former executive chairman Stephen Bannon was named first as Donald Trump’s campaign CEO, then as the president-elect’s senior White House counselor and strategist. Breitbart did not name the company to be targeted in its lawsuit, but said it “cannot allow such vicious racial lies to go unchallenged,” calling any attempt to link it to racism “baseless.” Under Bannon, Breitbart News published numerous stories critics called offensive, including one in which the writer, David Horowitz, referred to conservative commentator Bill Kristol as a “renegade Jew.”

Source: The Hill

7. Wildfires scorch more than 80,000 acres across the South
Dry weather is fueling dozens of large wildfires that have burned more than 80,000 acres across the South, prompting several states to issue air quality warnings as smoke drifted over vast areas. More than 44,000 acres have burned in the North Carolina mountains, where the Party Rock Fire around Lake Lure burned 3,700 acres and remained just 15 percent contained more than a week after it started. “It’s a totally fluid situation,” said Justin Upchurch, the assistant fire chief in Rabun County, Ga. “We can plan for something today and conditions change, or the fire moves a different direction than we plan on.”

Source: The New York Times, The Charlotte Observer

8. Officials warn terrorists could attempt holiday season attack
U.S. officials issued a warning on Tuesday that “violent extremists” might try to stage terrorist attacks in the U.S. during the holiday season. “Though we know of no intelligence that is both specific and credible at this time of a plot by terrorist organizations to attack the homeland, the reality is terrorist-inspired individuals have conducted, or attempted to conduct, attacks in the United States,” the Department of Homeland Security said in a bulletin. The warning came as New York City police step up security precautions ahead of the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day parade following a call in an Islamic State magazine for attacks on outdoor events such as the parade.

Source: ABC News

9. Megyn Kelly’s memoir at top of 3 Amazon bestseller categories
Fox News host Megyn Kelly’s memoir Settle for More was released Tuesday, making its debut at the top of three Amazon bestseller categories — Political Science, Commentary and Opinion, and Journalists. The book also ranked No. 14 overall. Details have been leaked from Kelly’s book in the weeks leading up to its release, particularly surrounding her accounts of covering Donald Trump throughout the election and dealing with unwanted advances from former Fox News chief Roger Ailes early in her career.

Source: Amazon, USA Today

10. ‘Post-truth’ picked as Oxford Dictionary word of the year
The Oxford Dictionary chose “post-truth” as its 2016 international word of the year. The annual awards go to words that “reflect the passing year in language,” and sometimes different words get picked for the U.K. and the U.S. This year, however, post-truth — meaning “relating to or denoting circumstances in which objective facts are less influential in shaping public opinion than appeals to emotion and personal belief” — was picked by both the U.S. and U.K. dictionary teams because it saw a 2,000 percent spike in usage “in the context of the EU referendum in the United Kingdom and the presidential election in the United States,” Oxford said.

Source: The Guardian

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