Top News Stories for Today – November 23, 2016
Nikki Haley, Ben Carson offered in Trump administration
South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley has been tapped by President-elect Donald Trump to be his administration’s ambassador to the United Nations, and former neurosurgeon Ben Carson has been formally offered secretary of the Department of Housing and Urban Development. Haley, a rising star in the Republican Party, backed Sen. Marco Rubio early in the GOP primaries, and criticized some of Trump’s proposals. Carson ran against Trump in the primary, but later became a close ally, although he has since denied wanting a position in the Trump administration.
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. The Week, The Washington Post, Time, Wikipedia
Trump softens stance on Clinton and climate change
President-elect Donald Trump backed away from several of his most controversial campaign vows in a Tuesday meeting with New York Times editors and reporters. Trump said he would not push for fresh investigations against Hillary Clinton over her emails or her family’s charitable foundation.
He also promised to keep an “open mind” about whether to withdraw from the Paris climate accord, saying there was “some connectivity” between human activity and rising global temperatures, even though he once dismissed climate change as a hoax advanced by China. Trump also said he wanted to get along better with the Times, which he has blasted for negative coverage during the campaign. The New York Times
Obama earns highest approval rating in 7 years
President Barack Obama has his highest approval rating — 57 percent — since September 2009, a new CNN/ORC national poll finds. The survey, which was conducted after the election between Nov. 17 and 20, also found Obama with his highest favorability rating in seven years, at almost 60 percent.
His party has not fared as well, though: Fifty-four percent of the public views the Democratic Party negatively, with the Republican Party viewed 5 points better than it was prior to the election. Politico
Colombian government to sign new peace deal with FARC rebels
The Colombian government said Tuesday that it had reached a new peace deal with the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, or FARC, Marxist rebel group. The agreement is scheduled to be signed Thursday.
Voters unexpectedly rejected the original draft in an Oct. 2 referendum, and the revised draft appeared to include only minor modifications, such as providing more details on how the rebels would be punished for crimes committed during the 52-year civil war. President Juan Manuel Santos, who recently won the Nobel peace prize for his efforts to end the fighting, acknowledged that opposition politicians were likely to be dissatisfied, but said the revised deal offered a “unique opportunity to close this painful chapter in our history.” BBC News
Drone strike kills senior Al-Qaida leader in Syria
The Pentagon says a US drone strike in northwestern Syria last week killed a senior al-Qaida leader with ties to terrorist groups operating across wide swaths of southwest Asia. A Pentagon spokesman said Tuesday the strike targeted Egyptian national Abu Afghan al-Masri on November 18, near the town of Sarmada, 50 kilometers west of Aleppo.
“He has been on our radar for some time,” said spokesman Peter Cook, who also said al-Masri had direct links to extremists responsible for attacking US and coalition forces in Afghanistan. He further described al-Masri as later joining a Syrian affiliate and said he also plotted attacks on the West. VOA
- A convenient lie
- A stunning prediction of climate science — and basic physics — may now be coming true
- Actually, things are getting better
- Global climate deal in summary