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Saturday, Feb 25th

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VP Pence casts historic vote for Devos nomination

Betsy DevosThe Senate on Tuesday confirmed Betsy DeVos as Education secretary, needing an unprecedented tiebreaking vote from Vice President Mike Pence to push through the divisive nomination.

The Senate vote on President Donald Trump's choice ended in a 50-50 tie. Pence used his role to break a stalemate in a Cabinet confirmation vote for the first time ever for a vice president. Republicans hold 52 seats in the chamber, but two moderate GOP senators voted against DeVos amid a flurry of constituent complaints, forcing the move.

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Al Qaeda leader mocks 'the new fool of the White House' after Yemen raid

Qassim al RimiDays after a raid on an al Qaeda compound in Yemen led to the first US military combat death under Donald Trump, the leader of al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula released an audio message taunting the new American President.

In an 11-minute recording, AQAP leader Qassim al-Rimi condemned the January 29 raid, saying, "The new fool of the White House received a painful slap across his face."

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Donald Trump should not be allowed to speak in UK parliament, says Speaker

John BerkowDonald Trump would not be welcome to address parliament during his state visit, the Commons Speaker, John Bercow, has said in an unprecedented intervention that drew applause and cheers from MPs.

Bercow, whose role is non-political, said he could not block a state visit by the US president but would use his role as one of the three “key-holders” of Westminster Hall to prevent the Republican from addressing MPs and peers.

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Israel likely to pass bill retroactively legalizing Jewish settlements

NetanyahuIsrael’s parliament looks likely to approve a controversial bill to retroactively “legalise” illegal Jewish outposts built on privately owned Palestinian land, setting up inevitable confrontation with the international community.

As he prepared to fly back from meeting the UK prime minister in London, the Israeli leader, Benjamin Netanyahu, said on Monday he had informed the White House he was flying back to take part in the vote, indicating he would support its passage.

The legislation is scheduled to be voted on twice on Monday evening in the Knesset – despite threats that the law will be immediately challenged in the courts.

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"The facts around climate change are undeniable. It’s happening."

It's happening now.There's a glacier in Antarctica so immense that, if it melted, would raise sea levels globally by 3.5 metres.

It's melting. Right now.

"The facts around climate change are undeniable. It's happening," Australian glaciologist Ben Galton-Fenzi told The Huffington Post Australia. "The research we do now isn't about trying to convince ourselves it's real, because it's irrefutable. What we're trying to do is understand what the response time of the system is going to be into the future, so we can adapt to it."

The Totten glacier is the biggest in east Antarctica. The glacier itself is around 120 kilometres long, 30 kilometres wide and drains some 538,000 square kilometres of the continent. That's an area bigger than California. The ice is kilometres thick, but it's melting at 70 metres a year in some spots. A study released in December reported warmer water was melting the Totten ice from below.

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Trump Not Briefed on Order That Gave Bannon NatSec Seat

Steve BannonPresident Donald Trump complained that he was not fully briefed before signing an executive order that gave chief political strategist Stephen Bannon a seat on the National Security Council, The New York Times reports.

The executive order, which gave Bannon an unprecedented security role for a non-military adviser, was reportedly one of a series of orders crafted by Bannon and policy director Stephen Miller. Trump reportedly signed the order without fully understanding the power it would grant Bannon, and grew angry when he later learned the order’s full significance.

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Kremlin breaks with Trump on Iran

Dmitry PeskovThe Kremlin on Monday disagreed with President Donald Trump’s description of Iran as “the No. 1 terrorist state.”

“Russia has friendly partner-like relations with Iran,” Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters on a conference call Monday, according to Reuters. “We cooperate on a wide range of issues, value our trade ties, and hope to develop them further.”

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Conway reportedly cited 'Bowling Green massacre' in previous interview

Kellyanne ConwayKellyanne Conway, counselor to President Donald Trump, reportedly cited a made-up terrorist attack in Bowling Green, Kentucky, to justify the administration’s highly controversial travel and refugee ban in more than one interview.

Conway has been widely derided on social media and by critics since last week, when she falsely claimed on MSNBC that an attack called “the Bowling Green massacre” had prompted former President Barack Obama to suspend the U.S.’s Iraqi refugee program for six months. There was no such terrorist attack.

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Kremlin says it wants apology from Fox News over Putin comments

Kremlin wants apology from FOX newsThe Kremlin said on Monday it wanted an apology from Fox News over what it said were "unacceptable" comments one of the channel's presenters made about Russian President Vladimir Putin in an interview with U.S. counterpart Donald Trump.

Fox News host Bill O'Reilly described Putin as "a killer" in the interview with Trump as he tried to press the U.S. president to explain more fully why he respected his Russian counterpart. O'Reilly did not say who he thought Putin had killed.

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