U.S. Politics

10 things you need to know today: December 1, 2016



1. Trump starts ‘thank you’ tour through states he won
President-elect Donald Trump, most of his cabinet picks in place, kicks off his “Trump USA Thank You Tour 2016” on Thursday with a massive rally at the U.S. Bank Arena in Cincinnati. Earlier in the day, Trump and Vice President-elect Mike Pence, the governor of Indiana, will hold an event in Indianapolis with Carrier Corp, the heating and air-conditioning company that agreed this week to keep at least 800 jobs in Indiana that it had planned to move to Mexico. No details have yet been released on the price of keeping those jobs in Indiana, and hundreds of workers at the plant could still lose their jobs. Trump’s victory tour will focus on states where he beat his Democratic rival, Hillary Clinton, in the election.

Source: Politico, The Salt Lake Tribune

2. Colombian Congress approves new peace deal with FARC rebels
Colombia’s Congress ratified a revised peace deal with the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, known by its Spanish acronym FARC, on Wednesday night, marking a major step toward ending five decades of civil war. Voters in October narrowly rejected the first version of the accord, which opponents said was too lenient on the rebels. The new deal exposes more rebels to criminal prosecution, but critics accused President Juan Manuel Santos of ramming the agreement through and sidestepping the will of the people by seeking lawmakers’ approval instead of holding another referendum.

Source: USA Today, The New York Times

3. Pelosi reelected as House Democratic leader
Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) won another term as House Democratic leader on Wednesday, surviving a challenge from Rep. Tim Ryan (D-Ohio) in a closed-door vote. Ryan received 63 votes, while Pelosi got almost exactly the two-thirds she predicted, with 134 votes. Although the vote was far from close, it amounted to the largest defection against Pelosi since she took over the party’s House leadership in 2002. Still, the victory demonstrated that Pelosi’s influence within the party remained solid despite the Republicans’ win in the November elections, in which they retained control of the House and Senate and put Donald Trump in the White House.

Source: The Hill, The Associated Press

4. Death toll reaches 7 in eastern Tennessee wildfires
The death toll from wildfires eastern Tennessee rose to seven on Wednesday, with at least 53 other people treated for injuries at hospitals. The fires have engulfed two tourist towns — Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge — near Great Smoky Mountains National Park. More than 700 homes and businesses have been destroyed, nearly half of them in Gatlinburg. Park Superintendent Cassius Cash said the fire that swept through the park and nearby areas was “likely to be human-caused.” The fires, which had burned 16,000 acres by late Wednesday, spread so quickly that many of the thousands forced to evacuate left with only the clothes on their backs. One woman at a shelter said it was like “hell opened up.” Rainfall finally arrived in the drought-stricken area, helping firefighters douse the blaze, but brought new threats — mudslides, floods, and tornadoes.

Source: The Washington Post, Los Angeles Times

5. OPEC agrees to first output cut since 2008
OPEC agreed to its first production cut since 2008 on Wednesday, sending oil prices surging by more than 9 percent. The deal came after Saudi Arabia, the world’s largest producer, agreed to what Saudi Energy Minister Khalid al-Falih described as “a big hit,” shouldering the largest of the 1.2 million barrels a day in cuts. Iran had been resisting cuts, insisting it should be allowed to regain market share it lost under recently lifted Western sanctions. Under a compromise, Iran will be allowed to boost production slightly from its October level. Traders said the oil rally might quickly fizzle, as the cuts won’t be enough to end a global glut.

Source: Reuters

6. Veterans head to North Dakota to protect pipeline protesters
Two thousand U.S. military veterans plan to form a human shield around protesters against the Dakota Access oil pipeline project on the edge of the Standing Rock Sioux reservation in North Dakota, protest organizers said Wednesday. The veterans are expected to arrive in time for next week’s deadline the federal government has set for the protesters to leave their camp near the construction site. The state this week backed away from a threat to cut off supplies to the camp. Protesters vow to stay and continue rallying for a change in the route of the $3.8 billion pipeline project, which they say threatens the reservation’s water supply and sacred Native American sites.

Source: Reuters, The New York Times

7. Officer who fatally shot Keith Lamont Scott won’t be charged
A Charlotte, North Carolina, prosecutor said Wednesday that Brentley Vinson, the police officer who fatally shot Keith Lamont Scott in September, will not face charges. Vinson is black, as was Scott. Police said Scott had a handgun when he was shot in a confrontation outside his apartment building, but the killing sparked demonstrations calling for police to release dashboard and body camera footage. Mecklenburg County District Attorney R. Andrew Murray said in a news conference that Vinson’s use of deadly force was justified because he feared for his own life and the safety of his fellow officers.

Source: The Charlotte Observer

8. Ohio State attack suspect possibly inspired by al Qaeda, ISIS
The student who injured 11 people at Ohio State University this week might have been inspired by al Qaeda propagandist Anwar al-Awlaki, who was killed in a 2011 drone strike in Yemen, and the Islamic State, investigators said Wednesday. The suspect, Abdul Razak Ali Artan, was shot and killed by a campus police officer shortly after witnesses say he plowed his car into pedestrians, then got out and slashed people with a butcher knife. Angela Byers, the F.B.I. special agent in charge of the agency’s Cincinnati office, said investigators have found no evidence anyone else was involved directly in the attack, although ISIS claims Artan was a “soldier” of the extremist group. Awlaki and ISIS both have called on Muslims to launch independent attacks on the U.S.

Source: The New York Times

9. Crew said plane ran out of fuel before Colombia crash
Minutes before a plane crashed in Colombia on Monday, killing 71 people, the pilot reportedly informed air traffic controllers that he had “run out of fuel,” The Associated Press reported Wednesday. Bolivian flight attendant Ximena Sanchez, one of six people who survived the crash, told a rescuer the same story. “We ran out of fuel. The airplane turned off.”.The pilot also said in a leaked recording that he was requesting permission to land because the plane had suffered a “total electric failure.” The aircraft crashed about eight miles from the Medellín airport. Investigators still have not said what they believe caused the plane, which was carrying a Brazilian soccer team and journalists, to crash.

Source: The Associated Press, USA Today

10. Big Mac inventor Jim Delligatti dies at 98
Jim Delligatti, inventor of the McDonald’s Big Mac, has died at his home in a Pittsburgh suburb. He was 98. Delligatti first served the now-iconic sandwich — two beef patties, special sauce, lettuce, cheese, pickles, and onions on a three-layer sesame-seed bun — at his Uniontown, Pennsylvania, McDonald’s outlet in 1967. The chain started serving it nationwide the following year. Delligatti said he was just improvising his own version of double-decker sandwiches served elsewhere. “I would never have dreamed that my creation would turn into a piece of Americana,” he once said, according to McDonald’s.

Source: CNN

4 thoughts on “10 things you need to know today: December 1, 2016

  1. Re: #4. Death toll reaches 7 in eastern Tennessee wildfires
    So far, the fire-fighting forces have prevented Dollywood from becoming Firewood…


  2. Re: #6. Veterans head to North Dakota to protect pipeline protesters
    I believe it is time for “the authorities” to realize that the American people do not want a “dirty oil” pipeline running thhrough the heart of America — including life-giving natural resources (such as water) and burial grounds and other sacred land. Has this country NO Loyalties to its agreements and treaties?


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