Top News Stories For Today – Dec 13, 2017
Doug Jones wins Alabama Senate election
Democrat Doug Jones will be the next senator representing Alabama. With 100 percent of precincts reporting, he defeated Republican Roy Moore by 21,000 votes in a contentious election that took a turn last month when several women came forward and accused Moore of sexual misconduct when they were teenagers and he was in his early 30s.
Jones said his entire race was based on “dignity and respect,” while Moore refused to concede, telling supporters “when the vote is this close, it’s not over.” In Alabama, there is an automatic recount when the vote is within 0.5 percent, but Jones is ahead by nearly 2 percent. Politico, The Week
Tillerson: US is ready to talk to N Korea
During a speech in Washington on Tuesday, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said he’s ready to start talking directly with North Korea, without any preconditions. “Let’s just meet,” he said in front of the Atlantic Council. “We can talk about the weather if you want. We can talk about whether it’s going to be a square table or a round table.
Then we can begin to lay out a map, a road map, of what we might be willing to work toward.” Previously, the US has said it would only start discussions with Pyongyang if they talked about North Korea giving up its nuclear weapons. Tillerson also said that for any talks to move forward, there would need to be a “period of quiet” without any missile or nuclear tests. Reuters, The Week
Istanbul hosts summit against Jerusalem recognition
Twenty-two leaders in the Islamic world were gathering in Istanbul Wednesday in response to US President Donald Trump’s decision to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. The meeting comes as unrest in the Middle East continues, along with growing criticism over the Jerusalem move.
The gathering is under the auspices of the 57-nation Organization of the Islamic Conference, OIC. Turkey currently leads the OIC and the emergency summit was called by Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. VOA
Trump wants to end family sponsorship visas
After a Bangladeshi national detonated an explosive device Monday morning near in New York, calls for an immigration overhaul grew louder — led by Trump. “The lottery system and chain migration — we are going to end them fast. Congress must get involved immediately, and they are involved immediately, and I can tell you we have tremendous support, they will be ended,” Trump said Tuesday. Chain migration refers to people sponsoring family members to come to the US
Asian Americans Advancing Justice issued a statement calling it “shameful” to use “moments of tragedy to accuse all immigrants and push for unrelated policies that would severely harm immigrant communities while doing nothing for improving national security.” They said the majority of Asian immigrants entered the US through the family-based immigration system. VOA
US Fed expected to hike interest rates
Federal Reserve policy makers wrap up their two-day meeting on Wednesday, and they are widely expected to bump up interest rates by a quarter percent for the third time this year. The meeting is Janet Yellen’s last as chair. Her successor, Fed Governor Jerome Powell, said during his recent confirmation hearing that he had “no sense of an overheating economy,” suggesting openness to speeding up rate increases as long as the economy continues to strengthen and inflation remains in an acceptable zone.
When the Fed releases its statement at 2 p.m., analysts will be looking for indications of how the Fed expects the GOP’s proposed corporate and individual tax cuts to affect the economy and the central bank’s plans for more interest rate reductions in 2018. Reuters
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