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Saturday, Dec 10th

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John Glenn, first US astronaut to orbit Earth, dies aged 95

John GlennFormer astronaut and US senator John Glenn has died in Ohio aged 95.  Glenn became a national hero in 1962 when he became the first American to orbit the Earth.

Hank Wilson of the John Glenn School of Public Affairs says Glenn died Thursday afternoon at the James cancer hospital in Columbus. Ohio governor John Kasich also confirmed the news on Twitter.

Glenn was the third US astronaut in space and the first of them to get into orbit. He circled the Earth three times. The Soviet Union had put a man into orbit a year earlier in 1961.

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German firms including BMW pull advertising from Breitbart

Ads pulled from Breitbart siteMajor German companies including BMW have stopped advertising on Breitbart, the rightwing US news and opinion site that campaigned for Donald Trump and plans to launch in Europe before key elections next year.

The boycott, prompted by a social media campaign titled KeinGeldFürRechts or No Money for the Right, follows a similar decision by Kellogg’s in the US, to which Breitbart responded by urging readers to stop buying the cereal firm’s products.

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Federal Judge Halts Jill Stein’s Michigan Recount

Jill SteinU.S. District Judge Mark Goldsmith on Wednesday night halted a Michigan election recount launched by Green Party nominee Jill Stein that had been underway since Monday.

Stein’s campaign condemned the judgment and promised to challenge the Michigan Court of Appeals decision Goldsmith effectively upheld with his ruling.

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Hardee’s, Carl’s Jr. CEO Tapped as Labor Secretary

Trump pick for Dept. of Labor headPresident-elect Donald Trump will reportedly tap Andy Puzder, chief executive of the company that owns the Hardee's and Carl's Jr. franchises, to be the next secretary of labor.

Puzder, a proponent of free-market economics, was one of Trump's staunchest advocates in the business community during the election.

Trump has not officially announced Puzder's nomination, but the Wall Street Journal and Bloomberg have reported based on anonymous sources that it will be announced as early as Thursday. The fast-food magnate has long rumored to be the top candidate for the Cabinet post.

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Iraqi troops retreat after Mosul hospital battle

Iraq troops retreat after hopital battle in MosulIraqi troops who seized a hospital deep inside Mosul believed to be used as an Islamic State military base have retreated after a fierce counter-attack, giving up some of their biggest gains in a hard-fought seven-week campaign to recapture the city.

The soldiers seized Salam hospital, less than a mile (1.5 km) from the Tigris river running through central Mosul, on Tuesday but pulled back the next day after they were hit by six suicide car bombs and "heavy enemy fire", according to a statement by the U.S.-led coalition supporting Iraqi forces.

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Trump could privatize nation's air traffic controllers

air traffic controllerThe chances that the federal government could hand off the U.S. air traffic control system to private management are increasing, say advocates who report they are getting supportive feedback from President-elect Donald Trump and his team.

U.S. Rep. Bill Shuster, who chairs the House of Representatives Transportation Committee, has met with Trump and incoming Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao to make his case for moving the nation's 14,500 air traffic controllers and their mission out of government control and into a non-profit organization.

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Woman described as Canada's Rosa Parks to appear on banknote

Viola DesmondA black woman often described as Canada's Rosa Parks for her 1946 decision to sit in a whites-only section of a Nova Scotia movie theater will be the first woman to be celebrated on the face of a Canadian banknote.

Finance Minister Bill Morneau said Thursday that Viola Desmond will grace the front of the $10 bill when the next series goes into circulation in 2018.

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Magnitude-6.5 earthquake reported off Northern California

Earthquake off No. CaliforniaA 6.5 magnitude earthquake struck Thursday morning off the Northern California Coast that was felt in the Bay Area, officials said.

The quake hit on the San Andreas fault about 7 a.m. in the Pacific Ocean, about 100 miles off coast of Ferndale in Humboldt County, according to the U.S. Geological Survey. It was initially reported as a 6.8 magnitude quake, and later downgraded to a 6.5 rattler.

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WWE co-founder Linda McMahon is Trump’s pick to head Small Business Administration

Linda McMahonPresident-elect Donald Trump named former professional-wrestling executive Linda McMahon as his pick for the cabinet-level post of head of the Small Business Administration.

McMahon had met privately with Trump last week at Trump Tower. Her nomination reflects the incoming president’s penchant for reaching outside traditional political, government and business circles in staffing his administration.

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