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Thursday, Dec 08th

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Trump picks Betsy DeVos for education secretary post

Betty DeVosPresident-elect Donald Trump on Wednesday said he intends to appoint West Michigan GOP mega donor and philanthropist Betsy DeVos to be his education secretary, putting an ardent supporter of school choice in charge of the nation’s education policy.

DeVos, 58, is seen as a national leader in the school choice movement, which she has called an attempt to “empower” parents to find good schools for their children, whether they be traditional public schools in other neighborhoods, charter schools, virtual schools or private institutions.

TVNL Comment:  There goes public education as we know it.

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Eritrean refugees in Israel sent to Uganda and Rwanda

Eritrean refugees - The sky was still an inky black when the flight from Cairo touched down at Entebbe Airport near Kampala, the capital of Uganda, one morning in mid-January, the fluorescent glow spilling from the small terminal providing the only source of light.

It had been 15 hours since Musgun Gebar left Tel Aviv, and the journey staggered him in its brevity. Four years earlier, when he had travelled the other way - from Eritrea in East Africa to Israel - he had done so on foot, a punishing journey across the Sahara and the Sinai that took more than a month.

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Pope Grants Priests the Right to Forgive Abortion

Pope FrancisIn a highly unusual gesture, Pope Francis on Monday extended indefinitely the right of Catholic priests to forgive a woman the sin of abortion, a provision he had instated in September 2015 ahead of the Vatican’s Year of Mercy that no longer required soliciting forgiveness from a bishop.

Francis closed the Holy Doors of St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome this weekend, ending the Holy Jubilee Year and all of the perks and benefits that go with it. With his decree Monday, priests can now continue to forgive abortion during a confession by a Catholic woman if she is deemed duly repentant for her sins.

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Obama set to green-light disputed Dakota Access pipeline

Obama to approve Dakota pipelineThe Obama administration is expected to approve the disputed easement for the Dakota Access pipeline as soon as Monday, according to two sources familiar with the timing — dealing a major blow to climate activists even before Donald Trump takes office.

The decision would let the pipeline be built across the Missouri River near the Standing Rock Sioux's reservation in North Dakota, where protesters have been camped out for months in one of the largest ongoing environmental standoffs of recent years.

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Singer Leonard Cohen dies at 82

Leonard Cohen dies at 82Leonard Cohen, the baritone-voiced Canadian singer-songwriter who seamlessly blended spirituality and sexuality in hits like ‘‘Hallelujah,’’ ‘'Suzanne’’ and ‘‘Bird on a Wire,’’ has died at age 82.

Cohen’s label confirmed a statement on his Facebook page Thursday that he has passed away, and a memorial will take place in Los Angeles at a later date. No further details on his death were given.

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Judge denies bid to bar evidence at Trump University trial

Trump U trialA federal judge on Thursday tentatively denied a request to ban statements made by and about President-elect Donald Trump during his campaign from being used at the San Diego trial of a lawsuit involving him and his now-defunct Trump University.

U.S. District Judge Gonzalo Curiel, the Indiana-born jurist who was accused of bias by Trump over his Mexican heritage, issued his decision in the class-action suit hours before attorneys for Trump and those suing him were expected to appear in court to discuss what evidence will be allowed and other issues involving the trial set to begin Nov. 28.

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An 'Obama era' crashes as Donald Trump takes White House

Obama era crashesDonald Trump's stunning victory Tuesday was nothing less than a repudiation of the Obama presidency.

"Elections have consequences," as President Obama himself said after his 2008 win. And for Obama, it's hard to imagine a more consequential outcome Tuesday night.

With Republicans maintaining control of the House and Senate, President-elect Trump would be in a position to repeal large parts of Obama's legislative agenda, repeal his executive orders with a stroke of a pen, and install conservative Supreme Court justices.

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