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Wednesday, Jan 17th

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Trump inauguration protesters found not guilty

Trump inauguration protesters found not guilityA D.C. Superior Court judge has acquitted a group of Inauguration Day protestors on all charges, according to multiple media reports.

Six activists who were arrested while protesting on Inauguration Day as part of the "J20," or Jan. 20, protests were each facing five felony charges of destruction of property and two misdemeanor counts of engaging in a riot.

Jennifer Armento, Oliver Harris, Brittne Lawson, Michelle Macchio, Christina Simmons and Alexei Wood were protesting President Trump's inauguration.

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4 dead, 88 missing after Philippine ferry sinks

4 dead 88 missing in ferry sinking in Philippines The Philippine Coast Guard said four people died and more than 150 were rescued Thursday after a ferry sank in rough seas off the coast of Manila.

The "Mercraft 3" left port in northern Quezon capsized late Thursday morning, officials said, about 45 miles east of the Philippine capital.

Investigators don't know yet what caused the vessel to sink, but weather could have been a factor. A tropical storm is forecast to hit the area on Friday, but there were no storm warnings at the time the boat sailed, officials said.

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UN votes 128-9 to reject US decision on Jerusalem, 35 abstentions

UN votes 128-9 with 35 abstentions to reject Jerusalem as capital of IsraelA total of 128 UN member states voted in favor of a draft measure that declares US President Trump's Jerusalem decision "null and void." The overwhelming backing for the resolution came despite US threats to cut funding.

An emergency session of the United Nations General Assembly passed a resolution on Thursday condemning US President Donald Trump's decision to name Jerusalem the capital of Israel.

A total of 128 countries voted in favor of the measure, nine voted against it and 35 countries abstained. [21 countries were bullied into staying away from the vote.]

TVNL Comment:  These are the nine countries that voted against the resolution: The US, Israel, Guatemala, Honduras, the Marshall Islands, Micronesia, Nauru, Palau and Togo.  For the last five, get an atlas.  And a magnifying glass.

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Fueled by opioid crisis, U.S. life expectancy declines for second straight year

US life expectancy falls for second year in a row

American life expectancy at birth declined for the second consecutive year in 2016, fueled by a staggering 21 percent rise in the death rate from drug overdoses, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported Thursday.

The United States has not seen two years of declining life expectancy since 1962 and 1963, when influenza caused an inordinate number of deaths. In 1993, there was a one-year drop during the worst of the AIDS epidemic.

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Nikki Haley threatens to “take names” at the UN ahead of Jerusalem vote

Nikki threatens UN members with financial support

In a threat to the United Nations General Assembly, the U.S. ambassador to the international body, Nikki Haley, forewarned that the U.S. "will be taking names" ahead of a vote this week to condemn President Donald Trump's unilateral decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israel's capital, and pressure him to rescind his declaration.

"At the UN we're always asked to do more & give more," Haley tweeted on Tuesday afternoon. "So, when we make a decision, at the will of the American ppl, abt where to locate OUR embassy, we don't expect those we've helped to target us. On Thurs there'll be a vote criticizing our choice. The US will be taking names."

TVNL Comment: Trump thinks he can be a bully wherever he goes, and he just waits for everyone to fold in fear.  Take your threats, Mr. Thug, and take them to the Hell that awaits you.

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Shell, Eni To Be Tried Over $1.3 Billion Nigerian Oil Deal

Shell and Eni to be tried for corruptionRoyal Dutch Shell and Italian oil giant Eni have been ordered to stand trial in Milan on charges of aggravated international corruption for their role in a 2011 $1.1bn deal for Nigerian oil block OPL 245. Mrs Justice Barbara handed down the ruling today. The judge set March 5 as the date for the trial to begin.

Eni’s current CEO Claudio Descalzi, former CEO Paolo Scaroni, Chief Operations and Technology Officer Roberto Casula were also ordered to face trial alongside four Royal Dutch Shell staff members including Malcolm Brinded CBE, former Executive Director for Upstream International and two former MI6 agents employed by Shell.

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House Republicans quietly investigate perceived corruption at DOJ, FBI

House GOP quietly investigate FBI, DOJ

A group of House Republicans has gathered secretly for weeks in the Capitol in an effort to build a case that senior leaders of the Justice Department and FBI improperly — and perhaps criminally — mishandled the contents of a dossier that describes alleged ties between President Donald Trump and Russia, according to four people familiar with their plans.

A subset of the Republican members of the House intelligence committee, led by Chairman Devin Nunes of California, has been quietly working parallel to the committee's high-profile inquiry into Russian meddling in the 2016 presidential election. They haven't informed Democrats about their plans, but they have consulted with the House's general counsel.

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Law Clerks Say Federal Judiciary Isn’t Equipped To Handle Sexual Harassment

Judge Alex Kozinski resigns after accusations of sexual abuse The federal judiciary is ill-equipped to handle allegations of sexual harassment and “significant changes” are necessary to ensure those working for the third branch of the U.S. government are protected, a group of more than 500 current and former federal judicial clerks and employees wrote in a letter to Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts and other key members of the judiciary on Wednesday.

The letter, obtained by HuffPost, was sent two days after Alex Kozinski, one of the nation’s most high-profile federal appeals court judges, announced his retirement following accusations from multiple former female clerks of inappropriate sexual behavior. (He has since apologized.) Kozinski forced the federal judiciary into the national conversation about sexual harassment in the workplace, but his case also highlights why tackling this problem can be particularly difficult for those working for powerful judges.

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Congress votes to open Alaska refuge to oil drilling

Arctic Wildlife Preserve to become drilling field

Congress voted Wednesday to open Alaska’s remote Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR) to oil and natural gas drilling, ending more than four decades of heated debate on the matter.

The House voted 224-201, mostly along party lines, to pass the Republicans’ tax overhaul bill, which has the ANWR drilling provision attached to it.

It followed the Senate’s 51-48 vote along party lines early Wednesday morning to pass the bill. The House had passed it earlier Tuesday as well, before the GOP had to make small changes to comply with rules allowing for a 51-vote passage in the Senate as a budget reconciliation measure.

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