The more coffee you drink, the longer you’ll live

A woman drinks coffee as she uses her laptop (Shutterstock.com)

A woman drinks coffee as she uses her laptop (Shutterstock.com)

RAW STORY

Posted with permission from Medical Daily

Most of us rely on a cup of Joe in the morning to give us an energy boost. With more than half of Americans drinking coffee every day, many wonder if the popular beverage is actually good for them. New research from Stanford University says “yes,” and finds caffeine can fight age-related chronic inflammation, which may boost our longevity.

“That something many people drink — and actually like to drink — might have a direct benefit came as a surprise to us,” said Mark Davis, senior author of the study, and a professor of microbiology and immunology and the director of the Stanford Institute for Immunity, Transplantation and Infection, in a statement.

Read: Drinking Coffee May Halt Multiple Sclerosis

Davis and his colleagues have shown a correlation between caffeine consumption and longevity.

They found an inflammatory mechanism present in certain older adults, but not in others. When it was highly activated, people had high blood pressure, and stiff arteries. Lab experiments confirmed caffeine blocks this inflammatory process, meaning the drug has a protective effect against advanced aging in older adults.

“It’s also well-known that caffeine intake is associated with longevity,” said David Furman, lead author of the study, and a consulting associate professor at the Stanford Institute for Immunity, Transplantation and Infection. “Many studies have shown this association. We’ve found a possible reason for why this may be so.”

The study, published in Nature Medicine, observed healthy participants ages 20 to 30, and another group older than 60 annually via surveys, blood draws, and reviews of their medical history. The researchers compared blood drawn from older versus young participants to see which genes tended to be more highly activated in older people. This allowed them to zero in on two clusters of genes whose activity was associated with the production of a potent circulating inflammatory protein called IL-1-beta. It was noted the genes within each cluster worked in coordination with one another.

Within the older adults, researchers separated them into two groups: those with high activation in one of both gene clusters; and those with low activation. Nine out of 12 adults in the “high” group had high blood pressure, compared to only one of 11 people in the “low” group. Those in the high group were more likely to have stiff arteries. The high group had higher levels of IL-1-beta, and higher levels of nucleic-acid metabolites, which are molecules that serve as building blocks for our genes, and circulate in the blood, triggering an inflammatory response.

The low activation group drank more caffeinated beverages, which led the researchers to delve deeper into its protective effect against inflammation. The researchers incubated immune system cells with the nucleic-acid metabolites that were dominant in blood from the high group, and found the metabolites boosted activity in one of the inflammatory gene clusters. This led the immune cells to release more IL-1-beta. When this was injected into mice, the substances triggered widespread inflammation, and high blood pressure. IL-1-beta tends to be elevated in people with cardiovascular disease.

Read: Drinking Coffee Lowers Liver Cancer Risk In People Who Drink 3 Alcoholic Beverages A Day

It’s not clear why some people have high activation of inflammatory gene clusters, while others don’t. The researchers suspect it’s partly genetic. For example, those in the low group were eight times as likely as those in the high group to report having one relative who had lived to age 90 or older.

A similar 2015 study found drinking coffee may lower inflammation, and even reduce diabetes risk, which lessens the risk of heart disease. Researchers noted habitual coffee drinkers — more than 1.5 cups per day — were about half as likely to develop diabetes compared to non-coffee drinkers, even after accounting for smoking, high blood pressure, family history of diabetes and intake of other caffeinated beverages. Higher coffee consumption was associated with lower amyloid levels, an inflammatory marker in the blood.

These studies highlight the effect of coffee consumption on various inflammatory markers. So, a cup of coffee (or a few) a day, may keep inflammation at bay.

Source: Furman D, Chang J, Lartigue L et al. Expression of specific inflammasome gene modules stratifies older individuals into two extreme clinical and immunological states. Nature Medicine. 2017.

Lizette Borreli

See Also:

6 Science-Backed Benefits Of Coffee

How The World’s Most Popular Drug Can Affect Your Health

Trump blasts polls showing him to be least popular incoming president in modern history

09_donald_trump_33_gty_1160.jpg

“The same people who did the phony election polls, and were so wrong, are now doing approval rating polls. They are rigged just like before,” Donald Trump tweeted. | Getty

POLITICO

Polls showing Donald Trump with a historically low approval rating for an incoming president-elect are not to be trusted, Trump himself wrote on Twitter Tuesday morning.

After all, he wrote, they’re the same polls that suggested for months he would lose last year’s presidential election.

“The same people who did the phony election polls, and were so wrong, are now doing approval rating polls. They are rigged just like before,” Trump wrote on Twitter Tuesday morning.

The post comes on the same morning that two polls, one from CNN and another conducted jointly by ABC News and The Washington Post, showed Trump to be the least popular incoming president in modern history. Trump’s approval rating in the CNN poll released Tuesday sat at just 40 percent, 44 points below the 84 percent that President Barack Obama took office with in 2009.

Just 40 percent of those surveyed by The Washington Post and ABC News said they held a favorable opinion of Trump, by far the lowest of any incoming president dating back at least to President Jimmy Carter’s 1977 inauguration. President Obama entered the White House in 2009 with a 79 percent favorable rating.

Rep. Sean Duffy (R-Wis.), a vice chairman of the Trump transition team’s executive committee, said Tuesday that the president-elect’s regular friction with the press has taken a toll on his poll numbers, but that his popularity is likely to rebound.

“What’s actually happening here is the public fight that Mr. Trump is having with CNN and other media groups is taking some skin off his poll numbers and it’s gone down,” Duffy said on CNN’s “New Day.”

Teachers union chief says Betsy DeVos as Trump’s education pick “is a trainwreck waiting to happen”

Teachers union chief says Betsy DeVos as Trump's education pick

Image Credit: Alex Wong/gettyimages

POLICY.MIC

To hear Lily Eskelsen Garcia — president of the National Education Association — tell it, the American education system stands at a crossroads. President-elect Donald Trump has proposed a vision that would ruin public schools, Garcia said, instead of investing in the schools where the National Education Association’s 3 million members work.

Shortly before Betsy DeVos began her testimony in front of the U.S. Senate at her confirmation hearing, Garcia said in an interview that Trump’s nominee to lead the Department of Education is unqualified and has the wrong vision for the nation’s schools.

“I don’t think you will find one human being who could actually point to something who could say, ‘Because she did this, it really improved those traditional, neighborhood public schools,” Garcia said. “What you’re seeing here is a trainwreck waiting to happen.”

Garcia blasted DeVos’ decades-long devotion to “school choice,” the belief that giving parents and children alternatives to public education will produce better educational results. DeVos applied this method in Michigan, where she spent part of her multibillion-dollar fortune to influence state education policy.

GRAND RAPIDS, MI – DECEMBER 9: (L to R) President-elect Donald Trump looks on as Betsy DeVos, his nominee for Secretary of Education, speaks at the DeltaPlex Arena, December 9, 2016 in Grand Rapids, Michigan. President-elect Donald Trump is continuing his victory tour across the country | (Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images)

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Trump Wants To Flood White House Press Briefings With Sycophants And Propagandists

MEDIA MATTERS

Donald Trump has a message for the White House press corps: The press briefing room the journalists have used since the 1970s belongs to him, and if he wants to take it away, he can.

On Saturday, Esquire reported that the incoming Trump administration has discussed evicting the press from the briefing room and holding the daily briefings with the press secretary in a space outside of the White House. “They are the opposition party,” a senior official told the magazine. “I want ’em out of the building. We are taking back the press room.”

But something is happening here that is more insidious than Trump and his administration lashing out at perceived enemies. According to CNN’s Brian Stelter, the administration is interested in potentially “stacking press conferences with conservative columnists and staffers from pro-Trump outlets.”

“The current briefing room only has 49 seats,” Trump press secretary Sean Spicer told Stelter, “so we have looked at rooms within the White House to conduct briefings that have additional capacity to accommodate members of media including talk radio, bloggers and others.”

I’m generally skeptical of the current structure of White House press briefings; while it’s important for a top White House aide to be answerable to the public on a daily basis, the fact that the briefings are televised live seems to encourage everyone involved to grandstand and limits the amount of actual news created by the practice. As former press secretaries have noted, this practice created a “theater of the absurd,” with journalists and staff alike subject to perverse incentives that prioritize optics over substance.

But retaining the daily, televised briefings while opening them up to a panoply of Trump sycophants will make them much, much worse, taking time away from real journalists and giving it to pro-Trump propagandists.

Urging the incoming Trump administration to adopt a similar plan in November, Newt Gingrich hinted at the effort’s real purpose: undermining the traditional press. “They should rethink from the ground up the whole concept of the White House press corps, come up with a totally new grass-roots model, and not allow the traditional media to dominate and define White House press coverage,” he told Sean Hannity

In other words, in order to limit the number of potentially fraught questions from professional journalists, the Trump administration will open the doors to hacks and charlatans.

Jeffrey Lord, one of CNN’s resident Trump supporters, previewed how this could work last night. He told Anderson Cooper, “I think a lot of members of the press are perceived as thinking, ‘This is ours.’ What happens, for instance, if Sean Spicer comes out one day and says not only is [Trump] going to Twitter, but we’re giving the first six seats in here to Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity, Laura Ingraham, et cetera, et cetera. And then we’re giving the rest, the next five, to various bloggers, et cetera, et cetera, et cetera.”

VIDEO

The White House press corps has and should remain welcoming to journalists of all political stripes. But White House press briefings will change dramatically if a vastly increased pool allows Spicer the opportunity to avoid damaging news revelations by directing questions to loyal outlets like Breitbart.com, Infowars, Right Side Broadcasting Network, One America News Network, Ingraham’s LifeZette, or the National Enquirer.

We saw how this could work in practice at Trump’s press conference last week. Trump had rarely publicly interacted with the press since his election, so there were a wide variety of pressing issues worthy of reporters’ attention. But the president-elect was able to soak up some of the precious question time by pivoting to softball questions from Breitbart and OANN.

Trump’s press conference behavior mirrored his general practice of using his platform to lift up outlets devoted to his success; for instance, over the past week, he has used his Twitter feed to promote LifeZette and OANNand to attack NBC News and CNN.

Overseas precedents demonstrate how this method, taken to the extreme, can be used to discredit the media and damage their ability to provide oversight. Alexey Kovalev, a Russian journalist who has covered Vladimir Putin’s annual press conferences, noted in the wake of Trump’s press conference last week that the Russian dictator has been able to defang the media by alternating questions between “people from publications that exist for no other reason than heaping fawning praise on him and attacking his enemies” and “token critic[s].”

As Gingrich’s November comments suggest, the floated plan to alter White House press briefings is based in a general denial of the media’s historical responsibility to inform the American public. We should expect Trump’s administration to do everything it can to do to hinder journalists’ efforts and reduce their credibility. He and his team treat the press as an enemy to be defeated and destroyed.

“You don’t have to think of The New York Times or CNN or any of these people as news organizations,” Gingrich explained last week. “They’re mostly propaganda organizations. And they’re going to be after Trump every single day of his presidency.”

Sean Hannity took this line of argument to its logical extreme in the wake of the election, stating that until the traditional press admit that they were “colluding” with the Clinton campaign (this is laughable), “they should not have the privilege, they should not have the responsibility of covering the president on behalf of you, the American people.”

Trump’s potential plans for the White House press briefings should be seen as a part of that strategy of delegitimizing journalists. It is a tangible step he can take to damage the press corps. The White House Correspondents Association has spoken out against the proposed move, but the group can’t stop the move if the administration really wants to go through with it.

The potential bright side is that journalists may respond to the Trump administration’s declaration of open war against the press by finding new ways to critically cover the new president without being so reliant on the access they have traditionally received from the White House. If they don’t take that opportunity, though, they’ll be following the rules of a game that no longer exists.

MATT GERTZ

CBO Predicts 18 Million Uninsured, Higher Premiums In First Year After Obamacare Repeal And Delay

Chip somoDevilla via Getty Images

THE HUFFINGTON POST

And that’s just the short-term effects.

The Congressional Budget Office just issued a report on the likely effects of a Republican effort to repeal Obamacare immediately but keep some elements of the coverage expansion in place for two years.

The numbers are staggering and suggest the GOP will find it difficult to keep its promise of an “orderly transition,” unless they deviate significantly from a prototype repeal bill they passed last year.

Within the first year, the CBO predicts, 18 million people would lose insurance. In addition, premiums for people buying coverage on their own would increase, on average, by 20 to 25 percent relative to what they would be if the Affordable Care Act remained in place.

And that’s just the short-term effects that a “repeal-and-delay” strategy would have. Once Obamacare’s tax credits and Medicaid expansion expired fully, the CBO says, millions more could lose insurance and premiums would rise yet again.

Ultimately, the CBO concludes, 32 million more people would be uninsured and premiums would be twice as high ― again, relative to what they would be if Obamacare stayed on the books.

It’s a worst-case scenario that assumes Republicans can’t stabilize insurance markets during the transition. The CBO’s estimate also doesn’t consider the possibility that Republicans would replace President Barack Obama’s health care law with something else.

Republican leaders reacted to the report by emphasizing that possibility.

“This projection is meaningless, as it takes into account no measures to replace the law nor actions that the incoming administration will take to revitalize the individual market that has been decimated by Obamacare,” AshLee Strong, spokesperson for House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.), said on Tuesday.

Replacing Obamacare wouldn’t be so easy to do, however. The GOP has not settled on an alternative to Obamacare even though it’s been promising one for nearly seven years, and it remains deeply divided over fundamental questions about the government’s role in health care.

At the very least, any scheme that could get through the Republican Congress is likely to cover far fewer people or provide far less financial protection for people with insurance, given the GOP’s desire to cut federal spending on health care dramatically.

Projecting the effects of changes in health care law is hardly a science, and like all CBO reports, this one carries a significant degree of uncertainty. It also includes several key assumptions.

The prediction of quick, massive insurance losses assumes that repeal immediately eliminates the penalty for not carrying insurance ― that is, the dreaded individual mandate ― while leaving in place nearly every other element of the coverage expansion. In other words, insurers would still be subject to requirements that they sell to anybody, regardless of pre-existing conditions, and offer only policies that cover a broad swath of benefits.

These conditions would lead to severe “adverse selection” problems, as the people who expected to be healthy would be more inclined not to buy insurance ― or, at least, wait until they got sick first. Insurers would also exit markets, in large numbers as opposed to the sporadic exits so far, as they figured the market was in decline. Those that remained, the CBO believes, would raise their premiums.

In addition, the CBO expects, fewer people would sign up for employer coverage and fewer would enroll in Medicaid without the mandate in place.

Another key assumption the CBO made is that, after the transition period, the funding for tax credits and subsidies would go away, but those same regulations would remain.

In other words, insurers would still be subject to the rules on pre-existing conditions and benefits ― only now people would be even less likely to buy coverage when they were healthy, because in addition to no mandate there’d be no financial assistance for insurance premiums. And the regulations themselves would be keeping premiums high, since they require insurers to pay for expensive medical services that people with serious health problems need.

The CBO didn’t draw these assumptions out of thin air. It based them on a bill that Republicans passed, and President Obama vetoed, last year. That bill would have repealed the individual mandate immediately. Many Republicans have indicated they want to do the same thing now, because they find the requirement so burdensome and offensive.

As for leaving the insurance regulations in place, that’s a function of parliamentary procedure. Republicans have only 52 seats in the Senate ― not enough to overcome a Democratic filibuster. The only way to repeal Obamacare is to do so through the special budget “reconciliation” procedure, which is impossible to filibuster but, by rule, can only involve measures related to the budget.

While the rules are subject to interpretation by the Senate’s parliamentarian, it’s likely that Republicans would be able to use the process to eliminate only Obamacare’s funding and spending, and not its regulations.

The CBO’s estimates closely mirror a report that the nonpartisan Urban Institute published last month. “What [the CBO] is finding is very consistent with what our modeling showed,” said Linda Blumberg, an Urban Institute senior fellow and co-author of that report.

This article originally stated that, as a result of repeal-and-delay, the COB estimates that premiums would eventually increase by 50 percent. But that’s only in the first year. By 2026, the CBO predicts, premiums would double.

10 things you need to know today: January 17, 2017

How Foo Yeen/Getty Images

THE WEEK

1. Search ends for missing Malaysia Airlines plane
The search for Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 has been called off after an unsuccessful $135 million hunt for the missing plane, the governments of Malaysia, Australia, and China said Tuesday. The Boeing 777 disappeared on March 8, 2014, with 239 people on board after veering off course on a flight from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing. Satellite data indicated that it flew south for six hours before plunging into the southern Indian Ocean, but an exhaustive search of a 46,000 square mile area failed to locate the aircraft, although several pieces of debris washed ashore on Reunion Island, Mauritius, and Africa’s eastern seaboard.

Source: Bloomberg, The Washington Post

2. Pulse nightclub gunman’s wife arrested
The FBI on Monday arrested Noor Salman, the wife of Orlando nightclub gunman Omar Mateen. Salman was charged with obstructing justice in connection with the massacre, which left 49 people dead. Salman also reportedly faces a charge of aiding and abetting Mateen. The nature of the accusations suggest that authorities believe she knew about Mateen’s plan to attack the Pulse nightclub. Her lawyer denies she had advance knowledge about Mateen’s plans. During the siege, he pledged allegiance to the Islamic State during phone calls to a local television station and 911 dispatchers.

Source: USA Today, NBC News

3. European leaders rattled by Trump skepticism about E.U., NATO
European leaders reacted with shock on Monday to an interview in which President-elect Donald Trump told the Times of London that the European Union was heading for a breakup and NATO was obsolete. Leaders from France, Germany, and other countries said that they were bracing for an unprecedented weakening of the transatlantic alliance, with the possibility that they would have to unite and stand on their own without the U.S. German Chancellor Angela Merkel said she would work with Trump whenever possible, but, “We Europeans have our destiny in our own hands.”

Source: The Washington Post, CNN

4. Trump heads into inauguration with historically low favorable rating
President-elect Donald Trump’s favorable rating remains historically low just days before his inauguration, according to a Gallup poll released on Monday. The poll put Trump’s favorable rating at 40 percent, roughly half of Obama’s 78 percent rating leading up to his 2009 inauguration. He also is the only one among the most recent four presidents to enter office with an unfavorable score higher than his favorable score. Fifty-five percent of respondents have an unfavorable view of Trump, compared to just 18 percent of Obama in 2009. Trump’s favorable rating has, however, edged up from where it was during the campaign, around 38 percent.

Source: Gallup

5. Monica Crowley declines Trump administration role after plagiarism accusation
Conservative commentator Monica Crowley on Monday backed out of taking a senior communications job in President-elect Donald Trump’s administration after a CNN investigation uncovered several plagiarized passages in her 2012 book. “After much reflection I have decided to remain in New York to pursue other opportunities and will not be taking a position in the incoming administration,” she told The Washington Times, which was first to report the news. “I greatly appreciate being asked to be part of President-elect Trump’s team and I will continue to enthusiastically support him and his agenda for American renewal.”

Source: The Washington Times, CNN

6. Turkey arrests suspect in Istanbul nightclub massacre
Turkish police have captured the man they believe carried out the New Year’s attack that left 39 people dead at an Istanbul nightclub. Prime Minister Binali Yildirim said the man, Abdulkadir Masharipov, was being questioned by police. Istanbul’s governor, Vasip Şahin, said the suspect had confessed, and “it is clear” that he staged the attack on behalf of the Islamic State, which has claimed responsibility. He added that Masharipov is believed to have trained as a militant in Afghanistan, and entered Turkey illegally a year ago.

Source: The Associated Press, Hurriyet Daily News

7. Kyrgyz authorities say ‘crew error’ probably caused cargo plane crash
A Turkish cargo plane crashed into the village of Dacha-Suu on the outskirts of the Kyrgyz capital, Bishkek, on Monday, killing 37 people and destroying at least 15 houses. Kyrgyz Deputy Prime Minister Muhammetkaly Abulgaziev told state-run news that “crew error” appeared to have been the cause of the disaster, according to a preliminary investigation. Poor visibility due to a thick mist might have been a contributing factor.

Source: CNN

8. Theresa May calls for hard Brexit in long-awaited speech
British Prime Minister Theresa May called for a clean break with the European Union in a long-awaited Tuesday speech, saying that the U.K. will leave the European single market but still “seek the greatest possible access to it through a new comprehensive, bold, and ambitious free trade agreement.” May indicated that controlling Britain’s borders is the government’s priority, even if it means losing trading advantages. She said an “independent, self-governing” Britain would seek “a new and equal partnership” with the countries in the E.U.

Source: The New York Times, Reuters

9. Two eyewear giants plan $49 billion merger
Essilor of France said on Monday that it planned to merge with Luxottica Group of Italy in a deal worth $49 billion. The combined company, EssilorLuxottica, would bring together the industry’s two largest companies to form the largest eyewear maker in the world. Essilor makes lenses, and Luxottica makes eyeglasses and sunglasses under numerous brand names, including Ray-Ban and Oakley. The new company will have more than 140,000 employees. It will bring together a host of brands and stores, including Foster Grant, Oliver Peoples, Persol, LensCrafters, Pearle Vision, and Sunglass Hut.

Source: The New York Times

10. Gene Cernan, last man on the moon, dies at 82
Former NASA astronaut Gene Cernan, the last man to walk on the moon, died Monday, NASA announced via Twitter. He was 82. Cernan was the commander of Apollo 17. In December 1972, he became the 11th person to set foot on the moon. His lunar module pilot, Jack Schmitt, followed him, becoming the 12th. Cernan, as commander, got back into the lunar module last, making him the last person to walk on the lunar surface. Cernan also was the second American to complete a space walk, a feat he accomplished on the 1966 Gemini IX mission.

Source: Fox News

10 things you need to know today: January 16, 2017

Sara D. Davis/Getty Images

THE WEEK

1. Trump promises ‘insurance for everybody’ in ObamaCare replacement
President-elect Donald Trump is working on a proposed replacement for ObamaCare aiming to offer “insurance for everybody,” he told The Washington Post in a weekend interview. Trump’s plan would come as the Republican-led Congress moves forward with an effort to repeal President Obama’s signature health care reform law with no consensus on how to replace it. Any replacement plan considered an expansion of the government’s involvement in health care would be likely to face opposition from conservatives. Democrats have vowed to fight any attempt to water down provisions in the Affordable Care Act. Trump also said he would drive down health care costs by forcing drug companies to negotiate on prices in Medicare and Medicaid.

Source: The Washington Post

2. Attorney general says civil rights work not finished in event honoring MLK
Loretta Lynch commemorated Martin Luther King Day a day early on Sunday, saying that despite progress on civil rights “our work is not finished.” In her final speech as attorney general, Lynch said, “I know that while our accomplishments make us proud, they must not make us complacent.” Lynch, the first African-American woman to serve as attorney general, made the remarks at Birmingham’s 16th Street Baptist Church, where four black girls were killed in a 1963 Ku Klux Klan bombing. The church is in Birmingham’s Civil Rights District, which President Obama named as a national monument last week.

Source: Al.com

3. Democrats rally to defend ObamaCare
Democrats and labor organizers led dozens of rallies across the U.S. on Sunday in a bid to muster opposition to Republican efforts to repeal ObamaCare. The protesters also vowed to fight any attempt to change Medicare or Medicaid. “Nobody’s gonna shut us up! Nobody’s gonna turn us around!” Sen. Tim Kaine (D-Va.), the 2016 Democratic vice-presidential nominee, said in a Richmond rally. “We’re standing in the breach and battling for tens of millions of Americans!” Sen. Bernie Sanders and Democratic congressional leaders were behind the events, which Sanders said were intended to “show Republicans that the majority of people are against repealing the Affordable Care Act.”

Source: Chicago Tribune

4. Priebus calls on Obama to ‘step up’ and defend Trump’s legitimacy
Incoming White House chief of staff Reince Priebus on Sunday called on President Obama to “step up” and urged Democrats to accept President-elect Donald Trump’s victory. Priebus said it was “incredibly disappointing” to that Rep. John Lewis (D-Ga.) had said that Trump was not a “legitimate president.” Priebus called the claim “insanity.” Lewis, a prominent lawmaker and civil rights activist who marched with the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr., and more than a dozen other Democratic lawmakers have said they will not attend Trump’s inauguration on Friday. Democrats bristled at Priebus’ suggestion that Obama should stand up for Trump, noting that Trump had played a key role in promoting the birther movement claim that Obama was not born in the U.S. and was therefore ineligible to be president.

Source: The Washington Post

5. Trump says he would lift Russian sanctions for nuclear arms reduction deal
President-elect Donald Trump said in an interview published Sundaythat he plans to offer to lift some Russia sanctions in exchange for a nuclear arms reduction deal. “They have sanctions on Russia — let’s see if we can make some good deals with Russia,” Trump told The Times of London. The Obama administration in recent weeks expanded sanctions and expelled 35 diplomats who were suspected spies in retaliation for Russia’s alleged hacking of Democrats in a bid to sway the 2016 presidential election in Trump’s favor. Trump said he hoped to have a better relationship with Russian President Vladimir Putin than President Obama has had.

Source: CBS News, The Times

6. BMW is latest automaker to face Trump’s border tax threat
President-elect Donald Trump continued his campaign of threats against automakers building and expanding plants in Mexico, this time targeting Germany’s BMW. In excerpts of an interview released by German newspaper Bild on Sunday, Trump warned that he would impose a 35 percent border tax on cars exported to the U.S. from a plant BMW plans to build in Mexico. A BMW spokeswoman said the plant in San Luis Potosi would build BMW 3 Series vehicles for the world market starting in 2019. Trump said it would be “much better” for the company to build the plant in the U.S. The BMW spokeswoman said BMW is “very much at home in the U.S.,” where it employs nearly 70,000 people directly and indirectly.

Source: Reuters

7. 26 die in latest Brazil prison riot
Brazilian authorities said Sunday that the death toll from a prison riot had risen to 26 inmates. The riot broke out Saturday evening and continued until riot police regained control of the facility, State Penitentiary of Alcaçuz near the city of Natal, around 7 a.m. Sunday, local time. The deaths pushed the number of prison killings in the country so far this year to more than 120. As in another recent riots, some of those killed were decapitated.

Source: The New York Times

8. Diplomats call for renewing commitment to two-state Middle East peace solution
Envoys from some 70 countries issued a statement Sunday calling on Israel and the Palestinians to recommit to the goal of negotiating a peace settlement that includes two states. The diplomats, who gathered in Paris, reportedly intended to send a message to Europe, the Arab states, and the incoming administration of President-elect Donald Trump that the global consensus is that there should be a renewed push for a two-state solution. The participants in the meeting, who included Secretary of State John Kerry, also warned Israel to stop building settlements in Palestinian territory. Israel said Kerry reassured Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who called the meeting “futile,” that there would be no concrete consequences coming out of the conference.

Source: The Washington Post, Reuters

9. China says ‘One China’ policy not negotiable
China responded to President-elect Donald Trump’s suggestion the U.S. might drop its “One China” policy by saying that the existing American policy regarding Taiwan is non-negotiable. Trump told The Wall Street Journal that “everything is under negotiation including ‘One China.'” Beijing views Taiwan as a breakaway province rather than an independent nation. The official U.S. policy recognizes that, but the U.S. also has promised to defend Taiwan if it is ever attacked by the mainland. Trump has previously suggested that the decades-old policy could be used to pressure China into making better trade deals.

Source: The Associated Press

10. South Korean prosecutor calls for Samsung chief’s arrest
A South Korean special prosecutor’s office on Monday said it was seeking a warrant for the arrest of Samsung Group chief Jay Y. Lee in connection with the influence peddling scandal that led to the impeachment of President Park Geun-hye. The prosecutor’s office accused Lee of paying bribes totaling $36.4 million to Choi Soon-sil, the close friend of Park who is at the center of the case. Lee faced 22 straight hours of questioning last week.

Source: The New York Times, The Korea Herald

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You know that trip to the Smithsonian Museum of African American History and Culture that President-elect Donald Trump’s transition team announced he would be taking in observance of Martin Luther King Day? Yeah, that’s not happening now.

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Bernie Sanders Strikes A Blow For Democracy And Won’t Call Trump A Legitimate President

During an interview on ABC’s This Week, Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) raised serious concerns about Trump’s legitimacy, and when asked didn’t call the president-elect a legitimate president.

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Trump Tells Three Lies In Two Tweets In Desperate Bid To Legitimize His Presidency

The president-elect spun an alternate universe tale of the US where “so many” Obama Democrats voted for him, Democrats are mad because the Obama coalition supports him, and Trump took credit for bringing jobs back that he had nothing to do with.

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Saving the Affordable Care Act Is Our Moral Responsibility

Illness is indiscriminate and every person must be afforded the care they need when they need it.

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Pro-Trump nationalist warns that things might get physical on Inauguration Day

Pro-Trump nationalist warns that things might get physical on Inauguration Day

Image Credit: Fox News

Sounds like freedom of speech is being tossed aside in favor of bullying tactics… in order to quiet descent.  

It’s not an uncommon phenomena in Eastern European countries…The Soviet Union has a stronghold in most of that region.   However, this country is a Democracy and Fox News, Donald Trump and the Biker posing the threat of violence toward peaceful protesters wreaks of Trump’s doing via several channels…no doubt.  (ks)

POLICY.MIC

When hundreds of thousands of protestors arrive in Washington D.C. to protest President-elect Donald Trump‘s inauguration this month, they won’t just be held back by police and the National Guard. They’ll have to face down a nationalist bike gang.

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