U.S. Politics

10 things you need to know today: November 29, 2016

Drew Angerer/Getty Images


1. Trump picks Rep. Tom Price as HHS secretary
President-elect Donald Trump has picked Rep. Tom Price (R-Ga.), an orthopedic surgeon and loud critic of the Affordable Care Act, to be secretary of health and human services. In a statement, Trump called Price the “ideal choice” because he is a “tireless problem solver and the go-to expert on healthcare policy.” Price, chair of the House Budget Committee, has helped draft several bills to replace the ACA. While campaigning, Trump said he would repeal and replace ObamaCare, but following a meeting with President Obama after the election, Trump said he would instead keep some of the elements of the law, and amend it rather than scrapping it.

Source: The Washington Post, Talking Points Memo

2. Plane carrying Brazilian soccer team crashes in Colombia, killing at least 75
A chartered plane carrying 81 people, including a Brazilian soccer team, crashed near Medellin, Colombia, killing at least 75 people, Colombian authorities said Tuesday. The team, Chapecoense from southern Brazil, was flying from Bolivia to play in the final of the Copa Sudamericana tournament. The plane’s crew declared an emergency at 10 p.m. due to an electrical failure as it approached Medellin. “What was supposed to be a celebration has turned into a tragedy,” Medellin Mayor Federico Gutierrez said.

Source: The New York Times

3. Wisconsin officials agree to start presidential vote recount
Wisconsin electoral officials agreed on Monday to start a recount of the presidential election, starting Thursday. Green Party candidate Jill Stein, who raised millions to pay for recounts in Wisconsin, Michigan, and Pennsylvania, still sued the Wisconsin Elections Commission because it did not require counties to review the votes by hand. State law requires officials to conduct a recount as long as a candidate agrees to pay the estimated $3.5 million cost. President-elect Donald Trump narrowly beat Democrat Hillary Clinton in the all three key swing states. Experts say it is highly unlikely any discrepancies in the vote would change the result.

Source: USA Today

4. Trump’s search for secretary of state heats up
President-elect Donald Trump is meeting with Mitt Romney on Tuesday as the search for a secretary of state heats up. Trump already met once with Romney, the GOP’s 2012 presidential nominee and a harsh Trump critic during the 2016 campaign. Some Trump allies, including top aide and former campaign manager Kellyanne Conway, have publicly objected to Romney as a cabinet pick. Trump also reportedly is strongly considering former New York mayor Rudy Giuliani and retired Gen. David Petraeus, who met with Trump on Monday. Trump also will talk Tuesday with Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Bob Corker (R-Tenn.), House Homeland Security Committee Chairman Michael McCaul (R-Texas), and Frances Townsend, former Homeland Security adviser under George W. Bush.

Source: Politico, CNN

5. 11 injured in Ohio State attack
A man rammed his vehicle into pedestrians at Ohio State University in Columbus on Monday, then got out and slashed students with a butcher knife. Eleven people were injured, one of them critically. A university police officer fatally shot the suspect, identified by police as Ohio State student Abdul Razak Ali Artan. In an August interview with the Lantern student newspaper, Artan said he felt “kind of scared” arriving on the vast campus, partly because he felt that Muslims had been unfairly portrayed in the media. “This place is huge and I don’t even know where to pray,” he said. “I wanted to pray in the open, but I was kind of scared with everything going on in the media.”

Source: Columbus Dispatch, USA Today

6. Trump threatens to reverse Cuba opening
President-elect Donald Trump on Monday said he would “terminate” the Obama administration’s effort to restore U.S. relations with Cuba if the communist-run Caribbean island does not agree to a “better deal for the Cuban people, the Cuban/American people and the U.S. as a whole.” The comments, which Trump made via Twitter, came three days after the death of Fidel Castro, who took power in a revolution and ruled for half a century before handing power to his brother, Raul, in 2006. President Obama and Raul Castro announced two years ago that the two countries were working toward normalizing relations frozen during the Cold War.

Source: The New York Times

7. Dylann Roof will represent himself in church massacre trial
A federal judge on Monday granted a motion allowing Dylann Roof, the white man accused of murdering nine black Charleston churchgoers, to act as his own lawyer in his trial. Jury selection resumed after the judge announced the ruling. The trial had been delayed for a psychiatric evaluation that concluded that Roof, a self-described white supremacist, was fit to stand trial. He also faces hate crime charges, and could face the death penalty. U.S. District Judge Richard Gergel had told Roof that he could benefit from the legal expertise of his lawyers.

Source: USA Today

8. Tennessee wildfire forces evacuation of Dollywood and other tourist spots
Authorities in eastern Tennessee on Monday issued mandatory evacuation orders for cabins at Dollywood, and several tourist towns, due to wildfires in and around Great Smoky Mountains National Park. A representative for Dolly Parton’s Dollywood said late Monday that no fire had been reported inside the park but there was fire on a ridge nearby. Police in Gatlinburg went door to door in some neighborhoods urging people to evacuate voluntarily before rising winds helped fires spread and forced local fire officials to issue a mandatory evacuation order for parts of Gatlinburg, Pigeon Forge, and other tourist areas. The wildfires have injured one person and burned more than 100 homes.

Source: ABC News, WSBTV.com

9. South Korea’s scandal-plagued president offers to resign
South Korean President Park Geun-hye, facing possible impeachment over an influence-peddling scandal, said Tuesday that she would resign if lawmakers arrange the details. The main opposition Democratic Party rejected the offer as a stalling tactic, and said it would proceed with its plan to introduce an impeachment motion in parliament as early as Friday. Hundreds of thousands of people have been rallying in Seoul every Saturday for weeks, calling for Park to quit. Even some allies have urged her to “honorably” step down.

Source: The Associated Press

10. Cyber Monday sets online sales record
Online sales rose by more than expected on Cyber Monday, jumping by 10.2 percent over a year ago to hit a record $3.39 billion, according to Adobe Digital Insights. Earlier estimates had forecast a slightly lower total, $3.36 billion. Analysts had expected web sales to suffer due to decisions by many stores to start offering Black Friday and Cyber Monday discounts days before Thanksgiving, instead of starting the day after, to kick off holiday shopping early. That strategy helped push Black Friday online sales up by 22 percent to $3.34 billion, which was a record until Cyber Monday came around and narrowly beat it.

Source: Reuters, CNET

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