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Headlines: December 12, 2016

Trump Set to Select ExxonMobil CEO Rex Tillerson as Secretary of State

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President-elect Donald Trump: "He’s much more than a business executive. I mean, he’s a world-class player. He’s in charge of, I guess, the largest company in the world. He’s in charge of an oil company that’s pretty much double the size of his next nearest competitor. It’s been a company that’s been unbelievably managed. And, to me, a great advantage is he knows many of the players, and he knows them well. He does massive deals in Russia. He does massive deals for the company—not for himself, for the company."

Tillerson is known to have close ties to Russian President Vladimir Putin, who awarded him the country’s Order of Friendship decoration in 2013. Both Senate Democrats and Republicans have expressed concern over the potential nomination. This is Arizona Republican Sen. John McCain, speaking on CBS’s "Face the Nation."

Sen. John McCain: "It’s matter of concern to me that he has such a close personal relationship with Vladimir Putin, and obviously they’ve done enormous deals together, that that would color his approach to Vladimir Putin and the Russian threat."

Obama Orders Probe After CIA Claims Russia Meddled in Election

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Sen. Chuck Schumer: "For years, foreign adversaries have directed cyber-attacks at America’s physical, economic and military infrastructure, while stealing our intellectual property. Now, our democratic institutions have been targeted. Recent reports of Russian interference in our election should alarm every American."

Donald Trump rejected allegations that Russia aided his Electoral College victory as "ridiculous." In a statement, the Trump transition team said, "These are the same people that said Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction."

Donald Trump Plans to Continue Skipping Daily Intelligence Briefings

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Chris Wallace: "I just want to ask you about your skepticism about the intelligence community. You are getting the presidential daily brief —"

President-elect Donald Trump: "Yes."

Chris Wallace: "— only once a week."

President-elect Donald Trump: "Well, I get it when I need it."

Chris Wallace: "But is that—is there some skepticism?"

President-elect Donald Trump: "No, no, I get it when I—first of all, these are very good people that are giving me the briefings. And I say, if something should change from this point, immediately call me. I’m available on one minute’s notice. I don’t have to be told—you know, I’m like a smart person. I don’t have to be told the same thing and the same words every single day for the next eight years."

Trump to Act Quickly on Pipelines; Studying Paris Climate Deal

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Trump Transition Team Questions Energy Department Workers on Climate

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Syria: Aleppo Rebels Nearly Defeated by Syrian and Russian Forces

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Syria: ISIS Recaptures Ancient City of Palmyra

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Turkey: Twin Bombs Kill 38; President Erdogan Vows Vengeance

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President Recep Tayyip Erdogan: "What we must focus on is this terror burden. Our people should have no doubt we will continue our battle against terror until the end. If they plan to intimidate us with these attacks, we have not degraded ourselves to leave the arena to these cowards."

A report by Amnesty International last week estimated a half-million people have been forced from their homes in southeastern Turkey amid a brutal government crackdown in majority-Kurdish regions.

Egypt: Bomb Targets Minority Coptic Christians, Killing 25

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Somalia: Al-Shabab Claims Responsibility for Suicide Bomb Attack

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Meanwhile, in Somalia, a suicide truck bomb exploded at Somalia’s biggest port on Sunday, killing at least 29 people. Militants from the group al-Shabab have claimed responsibility.

French Government Seeks to Extend State of Emergency

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Prime Minister Bernard Cazeneuve: "Each of us should bear in mind the reality of the context that we’re living in: a particularly high level of terrorist threat."

France’s emergency rule curtails freedom of assembly and includes measures that permit police raids without a warrant. Human Rights Watch has said the emergency powers undermine human rights and the rule of law.

Condemned Alabama Prisoner Struggles During Lethal Injection

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Denver Police to Stop Seizing Winter Survival Gear from Homeless

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Senate Approves Bill to Replace Lead-Tainted Water Pipes in Flint, MI

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Philadelphia Activists Demand Life-Saving Drugs for Mumia Abu-Jamal

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Rev. C.D. Witherspoon: "We understand that when they took him off of death row, what the strategy was was for him to die sick, behind bars. But we’re not going to allow for our brother to die behind bars, because when we were in incarceration, he fought for our liberation. And so, brothers and sisters, we’re going to fight for him to be liberated. We’re going to be fighting for him to receive dignity and respect. What kind of nation would have our brother be imprisoned and not to receive the proper medication that he deserves? I call that barbaric."

Colombian President Accepts Nobel Prize, Calls for "Rethink" of Drug War

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President Juan Manuel Santos: "It makes no sense to imprison the peasant who grows marijuana, when nowadays, for example, its cultivation and use are legal in eight states of the United States. The manner in which this war against drugs is being waged is equally or perhaps even more harmful than all the wars the world is fighting today, combined. It’s time to change our strategy."

Patti Smith Accepts Nobel Prize for Literature on Behalf of Bob Dylan

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Patti Smith: "It’s a hard, it’s a hard, it’s a hard, it’s a hard, it’s a hard rain’s a-gonna fall."

 

 


Courtesy of Democracy Now (www.democracynow.org).  The original content is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License