Top News Stories for Today – November 17, 2016
Abe hopes to build trust with Trump
Since winning election last week, Trump has spoken by phone with a number of world leaders, including Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sissi, German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Russian President Vladimir Putin. But the talks with Abe will be the first in-person meeting for Trump as he prepares to take office in January. Before departing Japan, Abe said he wanted to use the meeting to discuss his vision for the future with Trump. VOA
Trump lashes out over reports of chaotic transition
President-elect Donald Trump bristled on Tuesday and Wednesday over claims of disarray, personnel issues, and in-fighting during his White House transition. “Very organized process taking place,” he tweeted Tuesday night. “[T]he failing @nytimes story is so totally wrong on transition. It is going so smoothly,” he tweeted Wednesday morning.
Reports surfaced earlier this week that several transition team members had been expelled from the group due to internal tensions. Additionally, Vice President-elect Mike Pence, who replaced New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie as the head of the transition team, initially stalled the process by leaving unsigned the legal paperwork required to enable Trump’s team to begin collaborating with President Obama’s aides; Pence finally signed the documents late Tuesday. The New York Times, Politico, The Week
Clinton urges continued ‘fight for our values’
Hillary Clinton spoke at the annual gala of the Children’s Defense Fund on Wednesday night, and she began by acknowledging that “coming here tonight wasn’t the easiest thing for me.” The event, hosted in Washington by the first organization Clinton worked for after law school in the 1970s, marked her first public talk since conceding the presidential race a week earlier.
“There have been a few times this past week when all I wanted to do is just to curl up with a good book or our dogs and never leave the house again,” Clinton said. “I know that over the past week a lot of people have asked themselves whether America is the country we thought it was. The divisions laid bare by this election run deep. But please listen to me when I say this: America is worth it. Our children are worth it. Believe in our country, fight for our values, and never, ever give up.” The Week, The Washington Post, The Associated Press
Trump advocate cites internment camps as Muslim registry precedent
Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach, an anti-immigration hardliner and part of President-elect Donald Trump’s transition team, would like Trump to consider instituting a registry and tracking system for visitors to the US from some Muslim countries. Carl Higbie, a former Navy SEAL and spokesman for a pro-Trump super PAC, argued Wednesday that such a system would be both legal and a good idea.
“I know the ACLU is gonna challenge it, but I think it’ll pass,” he told Fox News host Megyn Kelly. “We did it during World War II with Japanese….” Kelly jumped in. “You’re not proposing we go back to the days of internment camps, I hope?” she said. “You know better than to suggest that. I mean, that’s the kind of stuff that gets people scared, Carl.” Higbie said he’s “just saying there is precedent for it, and I’m not saying I agree with it,” and Kelly cut in again: “You can’t be citing Japanese internment camps as precedent for anything the president-elect is going to do.” Higbie said “the president needs to protect America first,” and if that includes a registry, that was fine with him. The Week, New York, Reuters
Obama to award 21 Presidential Medals of Freedom
The medal is considered the nation’s top civilian award. The honorees include Saturday Night Live creator Lorne Michaels; musicians Diana Ross and Bruce Springsteen; actors Robert De Niro, Robert Redford, and Tom Hanks; basketball stars Michael Jordan and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar; talk show host Ellen DeGeneres; and philanthropists Bill and Melinda Gates. In a statement, Obama said: “These 21 individuals have helped push America forward, inspiring millions of people around the world along the way.” The honorees will receive their awards in a ceremony Nov. 22 at the White House. The White House, The Hill
Bob Dylan won’t attend Nobel gala
The Swedish Academy ruffled some literati feathers by choosing Bob Dylan as the first songwriter to win the Nobel Prize in Literature, and Dylan isn’t exactly rewarding them with enthusiastic gratitude. After a month of mostly ignoring the honor, Dylan now won’t show up on Dec. 10 to accept his Nobel Prize.
“Yesterday evening the Swedish Academy received a personal letter from Bob Dylan, in which he explained that due to pre-existing commitments, he is unable to travel to Stockholm in December and therefore will not attend the Nobel Prize Ceremony,” the academy said. “He underscored, once again, that he feels very honored indeed, wishing that he could receive the prize in person.” Dylan’s official website doesn’t show any tour dates in December. The Swedish Academy said the decision to skip the ceremony is “unusual, to be sure, but not exceptional.” Swedish Academy, The New York Times
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