December 23, 2018
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Secretary of Defense Mattis Resigns in Rebuke of Trump Foreign Policy

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Much of the Washington establishment expressed shock over Mattis’s resignation. This is Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer.

Sen. Chuck Schumer: “Secretary Mattis was one of the few symbols, the few items of strength and stability, in this administration. Everything that indicates stability, everything that indicates strength, everything that indicates knowledge is leaving this administration—General Kelly, General Mattis, so many others.”

Rep. Nancy Pelosi: “McMaster.”

Sen. Chuck Schumer: “McMaster, exactly. There is chaos now in this administration.”

President Trump first said that Mattis was retiring. But when the letter came out that Mattis wrote, it was clear he was resigning over Trump’s foreign policy.

Trump & Senate at Impasse over Border Wall Funding as Shutdown Looms

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President Donald Trump: “I am asking Congress to defend the border of our nation for a tiny fraction—tiny fraction—of the cost. Essential to border security is a powerful physical barrier. Walls work, whether we like it or not. They work better than anything. In Israel, 99.9 percent successful. Think of it. I spoke to Benjamin Netanyahu, prime minister, two days ago. We were talking about it. He said it’s 99.9. I mean, he came up; I didn’t ask. He said 99.9 percent successful.”

If no deal is reached, the government will go into partial shutdown at midnight tonight. Some of the agencies that will be most affected by a possible shutdown include those dealing with homeland security, law enforcement, national parks, transportation and housing. Hundreds of thousands of government workers will not be paid if that shutdown happens. President Trump now says if the shutdown occurs, it’s the Democrats’ fault. Last week he said he was proud to own the government shutdown if the wall isn’t funded.

Acting AG Whitaker Rejected Advice of DOJ to Recuse Himself from Mueller Probe

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This follows the news that William Barr, President Trump’s nominee to be the next attorney general, sent an “unsolicited memo” to the Justice Department in June criticizing Mueller’s probe. Barr stated in the memo that Trump did not obstruct justice when he asked former FBI Director James Comey to drop his investigation into former national security adviser Michael Flynn. Trump went on to fire James Comey.

U.S. Plans to Send Asylum Seekers Back to Mexico While Awaiting Claims Processing

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Rep. Hank Johnson: “Do you view those to you call 'illegal aliens' to be human or subhuman?”

Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen: “Illegal aliens are human, sir.”

Treasury Dept. Lifts Sanctions on Russian Oligarch’s Business Empire

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DOJ Charges 2 Chinese Nationals over Massive Hacking Campaign

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Yemeni Mother Reunites with Dying Son After Travel Ban Waiver

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Banan Al-Akhras: “Let’s be clear: Issuance of her visa this week was not an act of kindness on their part. The embassy and Department of State had a legal obligation to adjudicate Shaima’s waiver request within a reasonable amount of time, and they failed on that obligation. The result of that failure is that a dying 2-year-old boy has suffered for the last two months without his mother by his side.”

Egypt: Court Acquits 40 NGO Workers over 2013 Illegal Funding Charges

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Pope Francis: Catholic Church Will “Never Again” Cover Up Sexual Abuse

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The Catholic Church has been rocked by the ongoing sexual abuse crisis over the past year, which reached all the way to Pope Francis’s inner circle, with two cardinals last week being removed as his close advisers and a third stepping down. Top members of the clergy were expelled or resigned in countries around the world. In May, every bishop in Chile offered their resignation as the scandal exploded there. Here in the U.S., a Pennsylvania grand jury investigation revealed systematic, widespread sexual abuse in the church. The Justice Department has opened investigations into several dioceses.

U.K.: Flights Resume at Gatwick After Drone Sightings

In Britain, Gatwick Airport has started to resume flights, after drone sightings on Wednesday and Thursday shut down service for over a day, causing passenger chaos as flights were canceled, postponed or rerouted. Authorities say they still do not know who is behind the unmanned aerial devices.

Washington, D.C., Passes Ambitious Clean Energy Bill

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France: Environmental Groups Plan Lawsuit over Gov’t Climate Change Inaction

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And in France, four environmental groups are planning possible legal action against the government for failing to effectively respond to climate change. This is the director of Greenpeace France.

Jean-François Julliard: “We are issuing a legal complaint against the French government, because we think that the French government doesn’t do enough to tackle climate change. So this is why we are trying to sue the French government, to ensure that they can ramp up their ambition in terms of fighting climate change, which is not the situation right now.

That was Jean-François Julliard. Over 1.2 million people had signed an online petition as of Friday morning in support of the legal action. The government of French President Emmanuel Macron has come under fire before for its response to the climate crisis. In August, French Environment Minister Nicolas Hulot resigned live on a radio show due to the country’s failure to adequately address climate change and other environmental threats, he said.

Courtesy of Democracy Now

The original content is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License.

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