Top News Stories for Today – November 30, 2016
UN on new N. Korea sanctions
The United Nations Security Council is set to vote Wednesday on new sanctions against North Korea aimed at cutting off funding for its nuclear and ballistic missile programs. The new sanctions would include capping North Korea’s coal exports, which a US. official said would amount to cutting the country’s single largest source of external revenue by 60 percent, or as much as $700 million per year.
There would also be a ban on exports of copper, nickel, silver and zinc that bring North Korea more than $100 million a year. Some 11 North Korean officials and 10 entities involved in the nuclear and ballistic missile programs would be added to the list of those designated for travel bans and asset freezes. The measure also targets imported luxury goods favored by North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and other officials, banning carpets and tapestries worth more than $500 and fine china and porcelain tableware valued at more than $100.
Previous Security Council resolutions have demanded North Korea abandon its nuclear weapons program and not conduct any nuclear tests or launches of ballistic missiles. But North Korea has repeatedly defied the world body during the past decade, including with its latest nuclear test in September. VOA
CIA chief warns Trump on Iran nuclear deal
The director of the CIA has warned US President-elect Donald Trump that ending the Iran nuclear deal would be “disastrous” and “the height of folly”. In a BBC interview, John Brennan also advised the new president to be wary of Russia’s promises, blaming Moscow for much of the suffering in Syria.
In his campaign, Mr Trump threatened to scrap the Iran deal and also hinted at working more closely with Russia. Mr Brennan will step down in January after four years leading the CIA.
In the first interview by a CIA director with the British media, John Brennan outlined a number of areas where he said the new administration needed to act with “prudence and discipline” – these included the language used regarding terrorism, relations with Russia, the Iran nuclear deal and the way in which the CIA’s own covert capabilities were employed. BBC
Trump vows to leave his business ‘in total’
In a series of tweets Wednesday morning, President-elect Donald Trump announced that “legal documents are being crafted” to take him “completely out of business operations” in his sprawling, multi-billion-dollar empire.
Trump said he will hold a press conference with his children on Dec. 15 to address his decision to leave his “great business in total” to focus on the “far more important task” of being president. He noted he was not “mandated” by law to do this, but that he wanted to eliminate any perceived conflicts of interest. Already, Trump has raised eyebrows for his Washington, D.C., hotel on government-leased property, and reports of his post-election push against a British wind farm that would mar the view from his Scottish golf course. The Week, Bloomberg, The Atlantic
Trump adds Mnuchin, Ross, Chao to Cabinet
President-elect Donald Trump will nominate investor and former Goldman Sachs executive Steven Mnuchin to be his administration’s treasury secretary. Mnuchin has no government experience but served as the finance chairman of Trump’s campaign.
He also helped Trump develop his proposal to overhaul the tax code. Trump also picked businessman Wilbur Ross as commerce secretary, and Elaine Chao, who served as labor secretary under former President George W. Bush, as his transportation secretary. If confirmed, Chao, who is married to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), will supervise one of Trump’s first major priorities — the investment of $1 trillion in roads, bridges, and other transportation infrastructure. The Week, The Associated Press, The Wall Street Journal
Trump dines with Romney
Mitt Romney praised President-elect Donald Trump after the two and Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus had dinner Tuesday night as Trump intensifies his search for a secretary of state. Romney, who denounced Trump as a fraud during the campaign, said he has “increasing hope that President-elect Trump is the very man who can lead us.”
The former Massachusetts governor and 2012 Republican presidential nominee is considered one of Trump’s top prospects for the job as his administration’s top diplomat. Some Trump aides have opposed Romney and are pushing former New York mayor Rudy Giuliani, a Trump loyalist. Retired Gen. David Petraeus is another top prospect. Other possibilities include retired Marine Corps Gen. John Kelly and Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Bob Corker. The Week, ABC News, CBS News
Carrier reaches deal with Trump
Carrier Corp. said Tuesday it had reached an agreement with President-elect Donald Trump to keep “close to 1,000 jobs” in Indianapolisinstead of moving all of the jobs in the city to Mexico. Trump tweeted that it was a “great deal for workers!” Carrier officials, Trump, and Mike Pence, the vice president-elect and governor of Indiana, are expected to announce the agreement officially in an event on Thursday.
The company has 1,400 workers at its Indianapolis plant, meaning layoffs are still possible. “If they’re saying they’re going to retain 1,000 jobs, that would mean 400 are going away,” said Chuck Jones, president of United Steelworkers Local 1999, which represents Carrier workers. The Indianapolis Star, The Associated Press
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