U.S. Politics

10 things you need to know today: November 30, 2016

Drew Angerer/Getty Images

THE WEEK

1. Trump vows to leave business ‘in total’
In a series of tweets Wednesday morning, President-elect Donald Trump announced that “legal documents are being crafted” to take him “completely out of business operations” in his sprawling, multi-billion-dollar empire. Trump said he will hold a press conference with his children on Dec. 15 to address his decision to leave his “great business in total” to focus on the “far more important task” of being president. He noted he was not “mandated” by law to do this, but that he wanted to eliminate any perceived conflicts of interest. Already, Trump has raised eyebrows for his Washington, D.C., hotel on government-leased property, and reports of his post-election push against a British wind farm that would mar the view from his Scottish golf course.

Source: Bloomberg, NBC News

2. Trump adds Mnuchin, Ross, Chao to Cabinet
President-elect Donald Trump plans to nominate investor and former Goldman Sachs executive Steven Mnuchin to be his administration’s treasury secretary. Mnuchin has no government experience but served as the finance chairman of Trump’s campaign. He also helped Trump develop his proposal to overhaul the tax code. Trump also picked businessman Wilbur Ross as commerce secretary, and Elaine Chao, who served as labor secretary under former President George W. Bush, as his transportation secretary. If confirmed, Chao, who is married to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), will supervise one of Trump’s first major priorities — the investment of $1 trillion in roads, bridges, and other transportation infrastructure.

Source: The Washington Post, The New York Times

3. Tennessee wildfire kills 3 in resort area
A wildfire continued to rage in east Tennessee tourist towns near the Great Smoky Mountains National Park on Tuesday, its toll rising to three people killed and at least 150 homes and businesses destroyed. More than 14,000 people were forced to evacuate the towns of Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge, where visitors were rushed out of the popular Dollywood theme park. The fire, deemed “unprecedented” by local authorities, started on Chimney Tops mountain, one of the Smokies’ most popular hiking spots. Dry conditions and high wind helped it spread out of control. “This is a fire for the history books,” Gatlinburg Fire Chief Greg Miller said.

Source: The Washington Post

4. Romney praises Trump after latest talk in secretary of state hunt
Mitt Romney praised President-elect Donald Trump after the two and Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus had dinner Tuesday night as Trump intensifies his search for a secretary of state. Romney, who denounced Trump as a fraud during the campaign, said he has “increasing hope that President-elect Trump is the very man who can lead us.” The former Massachusetts governor and 2012 Republican presidential nominee is considered one of Trump’s top prospects for the job as his administration’s top diplomat. Some Trump aides have opposed Romney and are pushing former New York mayor Rudy Giuliani, a Trump loyalist. Retired Gen. David Petraeus is another top prospect. Other possibilities include retired Marine Corps Gen. John Kelly and Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Bob Corker.

Source: Reuters, CBS News

5. ISIS claims Ohio State attacker was one of its ‘soldiers’
The Islamic State said Tuesday that the man who injured 11 people at Ohio State University was a “soldier” of the extremist group. A campus police officer fatally shot the suspect, Somali-born Ohio State student Abdul Razak Ali Artan, shortly after he hit pedestrians with a car, then got out and slashed several people with a large knife. Artan allegedly had expressed anger on Facebook about U.S. interference in Muslim countries. “If you want us Muslims to stop carrying lone wolf attacks, then make peace” with ISIS, he said in one post, a law enforcement official said.

Source: The Washington Post, The Associated Press

6. Trump suggests new push to make flag burning illegal
President-elect Donald Trump tweeted Tuesday that “no one should be allowed to burn the American flag,” suggesting that the act should be punishable by “perhaps a loss of citizenship or year in jail.” The Supreme Court, however, has ruled that flag burning is constitutionally protected as free speech. Some protesters upset over Trump’s victory in this month’s election have burned U.S. flags in demonstrations around the country. Hillary Clinton, Trump’s Democratic opponent, previously co-sponsored an unsuccessful 2005 bill aiming to reinstate a ban on flag burning intended to provoke violence. Top Republicans disagreed with Trump. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) said that people who burn the flag “pose little harm to our country. But tinkering with our First Amendment might.”

Source: Politico

7. Obama sends aide to Castro funeral
Cubans waited in lines for hours on Tuesday to pay tribute to Fidel Castro, the revolutionary leader who ruled the communist Caribbean island for half a century and died Friday at age 90. The presidents of Mexico, Ecuador, Bolivia, Venezuela, Panama, South Africa, Zimbabwe, and several Caribbean nations flew to Havana to pay their respects to the controversial Castro, revered in much of the developing world for his defiance of the U.S. and programs for the poor, but despised in the Miami exile community and elsewhere for his regime’s human rights abuses. President Obama did not send a formal delegation, but the top U.S. diplomat in Cuba, and National Security Adviser Ben Rhodes, who negotiated with Cuba on restoring diplomatic relations, attended.

Source: The Associated Press, The New York Times

8. North Dakota says it won’t block pipeline protesters’ supplies
A North Dakota sheriff’s office threatened to block food and other supplies destined for the main camp of anti-Dakota Access pipeline protesters, but state officials quickly denied they had any such plans. Gov. Jack Dalrymple issued an “emergency evacuation” order for the camp on Monday, but a spokesman said he was “more interested in public safety than setting up a road block and turning people away.” Activists have been trying for months to keep the oil pipeline from being built on the edge of the Standing Rock Sioux reservation, due to concerns the project will pollute water sources and destroy sacred sites.

Source: Reuters

9. Carrier reaches deal with Trump to keep 1,000 jobs in Indiana
Carrier Corp. said Tuesday it had reached an agreement with President-elect Donald Trump to keep “close to 1,000 jobs” in Indianapolisinstead of moving all of the jobs in the city to Mexico. Trump tweeted that it was a “great deal for workers!” Carrier officials, Trump, and Mike Pence, the vice president-elect and governor of Indiana, are expected to announce the agreement officially in an event on Thursday. The company has 1,400 workers at its Indianapolis plant, meaning layoffs are still possible. “If they’re saying they’re going to retain 1,000 jobs, that would mean 400 are going away,” said Chuck Jones, president of United Steelworkers Local 1999, which represents Carrier workers.

Source: Indianapolis Star, The Associated Press

10. Hillary Clinton presents Katy Perry UNICEF charity award
Hillary Clinton presented pop star Katy Perry with an award from UNICEF at Tuesday’s Snowflake Ball in a rare public appearance for Clinton since her loss to Donald Trump in this month’s presidential election. Perry received the Audrey Hepburn Humanitarian Award for her charitable work for UNICEF. Perry was a big Clinton supporter and even campaigned for the Democratic nominee. She broke into tears when Clinton surprised her by participating in the event. Clinton received a standing ovation, and said Perry’s lyrics “remind us when you get knocked down to get back up.”

Source: The Hollywood Reporter, The Associated Press

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