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Obama ends 'wet foot, dry foot' policy for Cuban immigrants

Obama ends wet foot dry food policy for CubansPresident Barack Obama is ending a longstanding immigration policy that allows any Cuban who makes it to US soil to stay and become a legal resident, a senior administration official said Thursday.

The repeal of the “wet foot, dry foot” policy is effective immediately, according the official. The decision follows months of negotiations focused in part on getting Cuba to agree to take back people who had arrived in the US.


Obama awards Biden Presidential Medal of Freedom

Joe BidenPresident Obama awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom to an emotional Vice President Biden during a surprise event Thursday at the White House.

Biden turned around and burst into tears as Obama made the announcement in front of White House staff in the State Dining Room.

The president said he was bestowing the nation’s highest civilian honor on his vice president “for your faith in your fellow Americans, for your love of country and for you lifetime of service that will endure through the generations.”


EPA Accuses Fiat Chrysler of Excess Diesel Emissions

Fiat ChryslerThe U.S. Environmental Protection Agency on Thursday accused Fiat Chrysler Automobiles NV of illegally using hidden software that allowed significant excess diesel emissions, the result of a probe that stemmed from regulators' investigation of rival Volkswagen AG.

The EPA action affects 104,000 U.S. trucks and SUVs sold since 2014, about one-sixth the number of vehicles than in the Volkswagen case. The maximum fine is about $4.6 billion.


Monica Crowley’s Dissertation Plagiarizes Henry Kissinger

Monica Crowley plagiarized Kissinger in her PhD dissertationConservative commentator Monica Crowley, who is slated to serve in a top national security communications role in Donald Trump's presidential administration, plagiarized thousands of words of her 2000 dissertation for her Columbia University Ph.D., a CNN KFile review has found.

On Monday, Politico reported that it found more than a dozen examples of plagiarism in Crowley's Ph.D. dissertation. CNN's KFile has found nearly 40 lengthy instances of Crowley lifting paragraphs from numerous sources, including several scholarly texts, the Associated Press, and former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger.


Justice, FBI to be investigated over Clinton probes

James ComeyThe Justice Department inspector general on Thursday announced that it will launch an investigation into the FBI’s conduct leading up to the 2016 election.

The probe, which comes in response to requests from numerous chairmen and ranking members of congressional oversight committees, will look into allegations that Director James B. Comey broke bureau policy with his various public disclosures regarding the investigation into Hillary Clinton’s private email server.



Rights group slams Egypt's record in 2016

Human Rights WatchEgypt has banned public criticism of the government, Human Rights Watch said Thursday, with hundreds of people disappearing at the hands of security forces and detainees routinely tortured.

In its "World Report 2017," the New York-based advocacy group said President Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi's government has also taken "unprecedented" steps to criminalize human rights work and cripple independent civil society groups.


Mattis breaks with Trump on Iran, Russia

Mattis breaks with TrumpBreaking with President-elect Donald Trump, James Mattis said Thursday in his confirmation hearing to be defense secretary that he supports a permanent U.S. military presence in the Baltics to deter Russia -- and reiterated he believes the U.S. must stick to the Iran nuclear deal even if it is flawed.

The retired Marine Corps general initially tried to dodge the question on Eastern Europe, saying he’d wait until Trump’s national security team was in place. But when panel Chairman John McCain pressed, Mattis said he agreed: “I do, sir."


Study: U.S. water affordability crisis on the horizon

US water affordablility a dangerWater is relatively cheap when it comes to food and housing, which is why it is sometimes ignored in discussions about public assistance for necessities.

But the cost of water is rising, and researchers at Michigan State University suggest water could become unaffordable to 36 percent of U.S. households in the next five years.

"In cities across the United States, water affordability is becoming an increasingly critical issue," Elizabeth Mack, an assistant geography professor, said in a news release.



Shai Masot, a senior political officer at the Israeli embassy in the UK, forced to resign

Isreli diplolmat forced to resignAn Israeli political officer, who was at the centre of an Al Jazeera investigation, has been forced to resign from Israel's UK embassy, a senior official in the Israeli foreign ministry told Al Jazeera.

Shai Masot, a senior political officer working at the Israeli embassy, resigned from his post earlier this week, the spokesman said on Thursday.

The investigation, The Lobby, reveals plots by the Israeli diplomat and a British civil servant to destroy the careers of senior politicians.



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