U.S. Politics

10 things you need to know today: November 17, 2016

Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

THE WEEK

1. Trump berates Times over reports of chaotic transition
President-elect Donald Trump lashed out Wednesday at The New York Times for reporting that infighting had left his transition team in disarray. “[T]he failing @nytimes story is so totally wrong on transition. It is going so smoothly,” he tweeted Wednesday morning. Reports surfaced earlier this week that several transition team members had been expelled due to internal tensions. Vice President-elect Mike Pence, who replaced New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie on Friday as head of the transition team, initially stalled the process by withholding his signature from legal paperwork required for Trump’s team to collaborate with President Obama’s aides; Pence signed the documents late Tuesday.

Source: The New York Times, Politico

2. Hillary Clinton urges continued fight for shared values
Hillary Clinton called for renewing the fight for “the values we share” on Wednesday in her first public remarks since losing last week’s election to President-elect Donald Trump, telling supporters to “never, ever give up.” “I know over the past week a lot of people have asked themselves whether America is the country we thought it was,” she said at a Children Defense Fund event honoring scholarship winners. “The divisions laid bare by this election run deep, but please listen to me when I say this. America is worth it, our children are worth it.” Despite the “deep disappointment” of her loss, she noted that she has worked with Republicans on legislation to help children. “Even if it may not seem like it right now,” she said, “there is common ground to build upon.”

Source: Reuters, The Washington Post

3. Senate Democrats include Sanders and Warren on leadership team
Democratic senators on Wednesday elected Chuck Schumer of New York to replace the retiring Harry Reid as minority leader in the new Congress. Schumer picked Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) to serve in a junior leadership role in an effort to give more power to the party’s progressive wing, which fueled Sanders’ strong but unsuccessful bid for the Democratic presidential nomination. Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) and Sen. Tammy Baldwin (D-Wis.), also progressives, were given key posts in the party conference. Republicans chose to keep Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) as majority leader.

Source: Reuters

4. Obama tells allies ‘democracy is bigger than any one person’
President Obama, speaking Wednesday during his final overseas trip as president, emphasized the importance and inviolability of the peaceful transfer of power in American democracy. “As you may have noticed, the next American president and I could not be more different,” Obama said in Athens before heading for Germany. “We have very different points of view, but American democracy is bigger than any one person.” Obama arrived in Berlin on Wednesday and met with German Chancellor Angela Merkel, a close ally during his eight years in office. While President-elect Donald Trump has attacked globalization, Obama and Merkel said in a joint guest piece in German magazine Wirtschaftswoche that, “There will be no return to a world before globalization.”

Source: Politico, Reuters

5. Officer faces manslaughter charge for fatal shooting of Philando Castile
Minnesota police officer Jeronimo Yanez has been charged with manslaughter for killing Philando Castile, a black motorist fatally shot in his car during a July 6 traffic stop, Ramsey County Attorney John Choi announced Wednesday. Castile, 32, calmly told Yanez he had a legal firearm on him, and that he was not pulling it out. Yanez screamed, “Don’t pull it out!” and fired seven shots. Castile’s last words were, “I wasn’t reaching for it.” His girlfriend streamed a video online showing Castile bleeding, touching off renewed protests over police use of force against black men. Choi said he concluded the use of deadly force was not justified.

Source: Star Tribune

6. Biden confident ‘everything will be in good hands’ under Trump
Vice President Joe Biden and Vice President-elect Mike Pence met for lunch Wednesday at the Naval Observatory, the official residence of the vice president. Biden, asked whether President-elect Donald Trump’s administration would be prepared on the day it takes office, replied that “no administration is ready for Day 1,” but that he was “confident on Day 1 everything will be in good hands.” Pence said after the meeting, his second with Biden since last week’s election, that he and his wife, Karen, were grateful for the hospitality of the vice president and his wife, Dr. Jill Biden.

Source: ABC News

7. Facebook users engaged more with fake pre-election stories than real news
The most viral fake news stories outperformed top stories from such sources as The New York Times and The Washington Post in the three months before last week’s presidential election, according to a BuzzFeedNews analysis. The 20 top-performing posts from hoax sites and “hyperpartisan blogs” generated 8,711,000 shares, reactions, and comments on Facebook during the period, compared to 7,367,000 shares, reactions, and comments for the 20 best performers from 19 major news websites. Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg has said he is working to get fake news off the social network but that it was “extremely unlikely” the posts influenced the vote.

Source: BuzzFeed

8. Colson Whitehead wins National Book Award for The Underground Railroad
Colson Whitehead won the National Book Award for fiction on Wednesday for his novel The Underground Railroad. The bestseller, which was selected for Oprah Winfrey’s book club, is a hallucinatory tale that explores the horrors of slavery and racism as it follows a young slave named Cora who escapes a Georgia plantation and travels north via a literal underground subway. Whitehead said in his acceptance speech that art offers comfort in uncertain times. “We’re happy in here; outside is the blasted hellhole wasteland of Trumpland,” he said. “Be kind to everybody, make art, and fight the power.”

Source: The New York Times

9. Scherzer and Porcello win Cy Young awards
Washington Nationals pitcher Max Scherzer won the National League Cy Young Award on Wednesday, far ahead of the Chicago Cubs’ Jon Lester and Kyle Hendricks in balloting conducted by the Baseball Writers Association of America. Scherzer is the sixth pitcher in baseball history to win the award in both leagues. He was the American League winner with Detroit in 2013. This year’s AL voting was tight, with Boston Red Sox right-hander Rick Porcello (22-4, 3.15 ERA) edging out former Detroit Tigers teammate and Cleveland Indians pitcher Corey Kluber to win his first Cy Young Award.

Source: Los Angeles Times, USA Today

10. Bob Dylan won’t collect his Nobel Prize in person
Bob Dylan can’t collect his 2016 Nobel Prize for literature at the Dec. 10 prize ceremony in Stockholm, the Swedish Academy said Wednesday. Dylan, 75, said in a letter that he wished he could attend, but has prior commitments, and Nobel officials said he told them he felt “incredibly honored by the Nobel prize.” The Swedish Academy said it respected Dylan’s decision, although it is unusual for Nobel laureates not to pick up the award in person, and looked forward to having him appear to deliver a lecture related to his work, as winners are required to do within six months of the ceremony.

Source: Chicago Tribune, The Guardian

 

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