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South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley has reportedly accepted President-elect Donald Trump’s offer to be ambassador to the United Nations, making her the first woman to be picked for his Cabinet. The first five appointments were white men. Haley, the daughter of Indian immigrants, has almost no foreign policy experience, except for making eight trips overseas to discuss economic development opportunities. During the presidential race, she supported Florida Senator Marco Rubio, but later said she voted for Trump. If confirmed by the Senate, she would be replaced by South Carolina Lieutenant Governor Henry McMaster, a major ally of Trump.
This comes as Trump has reportedly asked retired neurosurgeon and 2016 Republican presidential candidate Dr. Ben Carson to consider taking the position of secretary of housing and urban development. Carson has no government experience and no experience with housing or urban policy.
Trump held an on-the-record meeting with reporters and editors at The New York Times office Tuesday, after briefly canceling the meeting earlier that morning. In the interview, Trump said he would not seek to prosecute Democratic presidential candidate and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, despite spending months threatening to “jail her” and inciting crowds to chant “lock her up, lock her up” during his campaign. At the Times building, Trump also defended his chief strategist, Stephen Bannon, claiming he did not think Bannon was racist, but instead thought he was a “decent guy.” Nevada Senator Harry Reid has called Bannon a “champion of white supremacists,” and the Southern Poverty Law Center has called Breitbart Media, which Bannon headed, a “white ethno-nationalist propaganda mill.” Trump also attempted to distance himself from white supremacists, who have celebrated his victory, including during a white supremacist conference over the weekend in which participants used the Nazi salute and quoted Nazi propaganda in the original German.
A member of Donald Trump’s transition team, Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach, has accidentally revealed his proposed “strategic plan” for the Department of Homeland Security, which includes an ideological “extreme vetting” test for immigrants seeking to enter the United States, and reinstating a registry for immigrants from majority-Muslim countries. Kobach was photographed carrying documents outlining this “strategic plan” into a meeting with Donald Trump on Sunday. Following 9/11, Kobach himself helped design the registry for immigrants from majority-Muslim countries, known as the National Security Entry-Exit Registration System, or NSEERS. Under the program, more than 10,000 Muslims were deported and more than 80,000 were spied on. The Department of Homeland Security abandoned the program in 2011 after deeming it ineffective. Nearly 200 organizations are now calling on the Obama administration to rescind the legal framework for the registry before Obama leaves office, so Trump’s administration cannot reinstate the program.
New York City is spending more than $1 million a day to protect Donald Trump and his family at Trump Tower, where the New York Police Department has set up barricades and patrols, amid frequent protests. City officials say these costs will continue even after Trump’s inauguration, as his wife, Melania Trump, and their son Barron are expected to continue living in Trump Tower.
In Wisconsin, a court has ruled the state Legislature engaged in unconstitutional gerrymandering to favor the Republican Party when it redrew the State Assembly districts in 2011. The case is likely to go to the Supreme Court.
Baggage handlers at Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport have announced plans to go on strike next Tuesday, changing their original plan of striking on Thanksgiving. The move avoids a strike at one of the world’s busiest airports on one of the year’s busiest travel days. The Service Employees International Union is backing the workers, who want to raise their wages to $15 an hour. This comes as Germany’s main airline, Lufthansa, canceled nearly 900 flights today after pilots went on strike to demand a pay raise.
Meanwhile, tens of thousands of fast-food workers, home care and childcare workers in 340 cities will join the Chicago airport workers on Tuesday for what they’re calling a National Day of Disruption. The protest marks the fourth anniversary of the movement to raise wages known as the #FightFor15.
Hundreds more across the U.S. are planning protests on Friday, the day after Thanksgiving, which is considered a major shopping day in the United States. In Chicago, activists are planning a Black Friday boycott along Michigan Avenue to demand police accountability. Water protectors fighting the Dakota Access pipeline in North Dakota have also declared a global day of action on Friday, calling for protests at banks financing the $3.8 billion pipeline and at the offices of sheriff’s departments who have sent deputies to police the ongoing resistance, which is led by the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe in North Dakota.
In news on Iraq, the United Nations says as many as 68,000 civilians have been displaced from Mosul amid the ongoing fight by Iraqi security forces, backed by the U.S. special operations soldiers and U.S. airstrikes, to retake Mosul from ISIS. The U.N. says half of those displaced so far are children, and warns that hundreds of thousands more may be displaced in the coming weeks. This is Abu al-Abed.
Abu al-Abed: “We fled from the Aden neighborhood. We fled on foot, and the army then transported us by truck and brought us here, thank God. The situation is good. Clashes are still going on, but the army will prevail, God willing.”
In Yemen, at least 19 people have died in fighting on the outskirts of Taiz as a 48-hour ceasefire expired. The ceasefire never completely halted U.S.-backed, Saudi-led airstrikes, nor offensives by the Houthi rebels.
Britain’s High Court began hearing a lawsuit Tuesday filed by more than 40,000 Nigerians demanding oil giant Shell clean up spills that have contaminated water with cancer-causing chemicals, including benzene. The lawsuit was launched by the Ogale and Bille people, who allege Shell has poisoned their water during decades of drilling in the Niger River Delta.
In Peru, authorities have declared a state of emergency in seven districts in the north amid raging wildfires. Scientists say the fires are fueled by less rainfall due to climate change. The fires are threatening indigenous land and crops in the Peruvian Amazon. This is the Peruvian prime minister.
Prime Minister Fernando Zavala: “In the first place, because of the magnitude of the fire’s reach, the government has declared a state of emergency in the zones affected by the greatest intensity and risk. This will permit the national government to continue mobilizing people, resources and diverse equipment in order to confront these fires and attend to the population that has been affected.”
Pakistan says Indian Army shelling in Kashmir has killed at least nine civilians and injured nine more, after an artillery shell hit a bus Wednesday. The Pakistani officials say the Indian Army also attacked the ambulance that arrived on site. Fighting between Pakistan and India in the disputed Kashmir region has been escalating for months.
And in Ohio, a prosecutor says he’ll retry white former University of Cincinnati police officer Ray Tensing for murdering 43-year-old Samuel DuBose. Officer Tensing shot DuBose in the head after pulling him over for having a missing front license plate in 2015. Tensing was wearing a T-shirt emblazoned with a Confederate battle flag under his uniform when he fatally shot DuBose. A judge declared a mistrial in his case earlier this month after the jury was unable to reach a verdict.