Top News Stories for Today – January 25, 2017
Trump to order border wall construction
On Wednesday, President Trump will order the construction of a wall along the US.-Mexico border, White House officials told The New York Times. Trump will sign an executive order at the Department of Homeland Security ordering that federal funds be shifted in order to build the wall, which during his campaign he vowed would be paid for by Mexico.
The officials also said Trump is mulling a policy that would temporarily keep refugees from Syria and other majority-Muslim nations that are considered “terror prone” from entering the United States, and would cut in half the number of displaced people who can settle in the country, The Times reports. The New York Times, The Week
Trump signs executive action to revive Keystone
Trump on Tuesday signed executive actions that will allow for the advance of TransCanada’s Keystone Pipeline and Energy Transfer Partners’ Dakota Access Pipeline. “If we’re going to be building pipelines in the United States, we’ll build the pipes in the United States,” Trump said during the signing.
Keystone was outright rejected in 2015 under former President Barack Obama, while the Dakota Access Pipeline project stalled late last year in part due to massive protests about drilling under Native American water supplies and through sacred lands. Environmentalists heavily oppose both the Keystone and Dakota Access pipelines. On Monday, White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer said Trump intended to grow jobs with the pipeline projects. Bloomberg Politics, AFP, The Week
Nikki Haley approved as US ambassador to UN
South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley (R) was confirmed Tuesday as the US. ambassador to the United Nations, following a 96-4 vote by the Senate. Haley is expected to resign as governor soon, with Lt. Gov Henry McMaster (R) replacing her for the final two years of her term. For her new job, Haley will move to New York City and get a pay raise to $187,000 a year, up from $106,078 annually as governor.
Haley is the first woman to serve as Governor of South Carolina; at the age of 44, she is the youngest current governor in the United States. She is the second Asian-American of Indian descent to serve as governor in the United States, after Bobby Jindal of Louisiana. As governor, she also serves as chair, ex-officio, of the board of trustees of the University of South Carolina during her term in office.Wikipedia, The State, The Week
La La Land leads Oscar Awards
The Oscar nominations were announced Tuesday morning, with Manchester by the Sea, La La Land, Moonlight, Arrival, Fences, Hacksaw Ridge, Hell or High Water, Hidden Figures, and Lion getting nods for Best Picture. Best Lead Actor nominations included Casey Affleck (Manchester by the Sea), Andrew Garfield (Hacksaw Ridge), Ryan Gosling (La La Land), Viggo Mortensen (Captain Fantastic), and Denzel Washington (Fences).
Best Lead Actress included Isabelle Huppert (Elle), Ruth Negga (Loving), Natalie Portman (Jackie), Emma Stone (La La Land), and Meryl Streep earned her 20th Academy Award nomination for Florence Foster Jenkins. La La Land leads with 14 nominations, matching the record for the most nominations for a single movie, which is also shared by Titanic and All About Eve. The winners will be announced at the awards ceremony on Feb. 26. Oscars, The Week
Civilians at risk in retaking Western Mosul
Humanitarian agencies have expressed fear for the safety of 750,000 Iraqi civilians living in western Mosul as government forces are expected to mount an all-out offensive in the coming weeks to retake the city from Islamic State militants. The Iraqi government reportedly has regained full control of eastern Mosul, 100 days after military operations to oust IS fighters from the city began. The government has now set its sights on recapturing the western part of Mosul, and this has been causing concern among humanitarian workers.
The United Nations reports nearly half of all casualties from Mosul are civilians. It has warned that people caught up in fighting in western Mosul face multiple risks, including being killed in crossfire, by booby traps or while being used as human shields. VOA
Over toasted bread possibly causes cancer
A British regulatory agency is urging consumers to avoid burnt or very well toasted bread and deeply browned potatoes. Instead, the Food Standards Agency (FSA) says people should “Go for the Gold” when it comes to starch-containing foods, cooking them to a golden brown, enough to retain the desirable taste and crunch.
The danger, say regulators, is posed when starchy foods are browned to a crisp or possibly even burned. The concern is a chemical called acrylamide, a possible cancer-causing substance that is produced naturally in food during cooking at high temperatures. Steve Wearne, the Director of Policy at the FSA, says most people are not aware that acrylamide exists or that it poses a potential health hazard.
The study found that the main sources of acrylamide are various cereals and food groups that include starchy foods like potatoes. Studies are underway to better understand how acrylamide forms in some overcooked foods and how consumers may be affected by home cooking practices. VOA
Hacker warns Trump to fix his Twitter security
The same hacker who breached 500 ISIS accounts on Twitter has a message for President Trump: change your security settings ASAP. According to a man who identifies himself online as WauchulaGhost, the president, vice president, and first lady are more vulnerable to hackers because of a basic Twitter security setting they’re not using.
In June, WauchulaGhost made headlines by hacking into pro-ISIS accounts and replacing content with images of porn and gay pride messages. He says he has no interest in hacking the president, but that Trump’s security settings may leave him vulnerable to other hackers. CNNTech reached out multiple times to the White House and to Scavino to alert them to the lack of security on the accounts. As of Tuesday morning, CNN have not received a response. CNN
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