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Saturday, Jan 21st

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Education Dept. nominee DeVos hearing delayed

DevosThe confirmation hearing for Betsy DeVos, President-elect Donald Trump’s Education secretary pick, has been pushed back by almost a week, leadership of the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions said on Monday night.

Senate HELP's hearing for DeVos will now take place on Jan. 17 at 5 p.m., not on Wednesday, Jan. 11, as originally planned, Sen. Lamar Alexander, the committee’s chair, and Sen. Patty Murray, the panel's top Democrat, announced. The two lawmakers said in a statement that the schedule change was made “at the request of the Senate leadership to accommodate the Senate schedule.”

TVNL Comment:  We're eager to see the ethics paper work on this anti-public eucation multi-billionaire, as well as the evidence of her totally failed for-profit charter schools.

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Mexico again says there is 'no way' it will pay for Trump wall

Mexicos Foreign MinisterMexico's new Foreign Minister Luis Videgaray said on Tuesday there is no way his country will pay for the wall that U.S. President-elect Donald Trump has pledged to build on the United States' southern border to keep out illegal immigrants.

"There's no way that could happen," Videgaray said on Mexican television a few days after his appointment.

"There are no circumstances...not even the best possible trade deal, investments, support which would justify taking a step that would violate the dignity of Mexicans to such an extent."

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Sessions defends his record on civil rights at U.S. Senate hearing

SessionsRepublican Senator Jeff Sessions faced interruptions from protesters and questions from Senate colleagues over his record on race and civil rights as the first confirmation hearing for the president-elect's Cabinet nominees got under way on Tuesday.

Sessions, nominated to be attorney general, said allegations that he harbored sympathies towards the Ku Klux Klan, a violent white supremacist organization, are false.

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Boris Johnson says UK told Trump Russia was behind hacking

Boris Johnson: UK told Trump about Russian hacksForeign Secretary Boris Johnson says Britain told U.S. President-elect Donald Trump and his team that Russia "is up to all sorts of very dirty tricks, such as cyber-warfare" and was behind hacking during the presidential election.

Trump has expressed skepticism about links between Russia and the hacking.

Johnson says "it's pretty clear" that hacking of Democrats' emails "came from the Russians."
However, he said, "it would be folly for us further to demonize Russia or push Russia into a corner."

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Northern California, Nevada brace for more storms

Western stormsNorthern California and Nevada braced for another powerful storm after getting lashed by downpours that flooded roads, homes and vineyards and toppled a storied giant sequoia.

Parts of Northern California were soaked by more than a foot of rain over a 72-hour period that ended early Monday, forcing hundreds of people to evacuate and leaving thousands without power. The heavy rains forced rivers out of their banks and toppled trees, among them the famed "Pioneer Cabin" in Calaveras Big Trees State Park that had a drive-thru tunnel carved into its base more than a century ago.

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Dozens killed in double suicide attack in Kabul

Dozens dead in Afghan bombingDozens of people have been killed and scores wounded in twin suicide blasts near Afghanistan's parliament in the capital, Kabul, according to officials, in an attack claimed by the Afghan Taliban.

Security officials said a suicide bomber blew himself up on Tuesday in the Darul Aman area of the city and was followed immediately by a car bomber in an apparently coordinated operation.

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Indian Point nuclear plant in New York will close after dozens of 'safety events'

Indian Point plant to closeThe Indian Point nuclear power plant in New York, which last year leaked radioactive material into groundwater near New York City, will close by April 2021, Governor Andrew Cuomo said on Monday.

“For 15 years, I have been deeply concerned by the continuing safety violations at Indian Point, especially given its location in the largest and most densely populated metropolitan region in the country,” Cuomo said. “I am proud to have secured this agreement with Entergy [the plant’s operator] to responsibly close the facility 14 years ahead of schedule, to protect the safety of all New Yorkers.”

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German Government Closely Watching Reports Of Russian Fake News Campaign

MerkelGerman government officials on Monday said they were carefully examining an unprecedented proliferation of fake news items amid intelligence agency reports of Russian efforts to influence the country’s parliamentary election in September.

The BfV domestic intelligence agency also confirmed that a December cyber attack against the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) used the same tools seen in a 2015 hack of the German parliament that was attributed to the APT28 Russian hacking group.

Russia denies being involved in any cyber warfare targeting Western governments and institutions.

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Jared Kushner Named Senior Adviser to Trump

Jared KushnerPresident-elect Donald Trump's son-in-law Jared Kushner, who emerged as a key figure in the Republican's successful 2016 campaign, will be named senior adviser to the president, the campaign announced Monday.

"Jared has been a tremendous asset and trusted advisor throughout the campaign and transition and I am proud to have him in a key leadership role in my administration," Trump said in a statement announcing the appointment.

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