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Wednesday, Jan 18th

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Trump taps Bossert for counterterrorism post

Bossert tapped for counter-terrorism postPresident-elect Donald Trump announced Tuesday that Tom Bossert, a former national security aide to President George W. Bush, will serve as his homeland security adviser in the White House.

Bossert, currently a fellow at the Atlantic Council’s Cyber Statecraft Initiative, “has a handle on the complexity of homeland security, counterterrorism, and cybersecurity challenges,” Trump said in a statement.

Bossert was a deputy homeland security adviser in the last year of the Bush administration, when he helped draft the federal government’s first cybersecurity strategy.

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Japanese prime minister arrives in Hawaii, lays wreath at Pearl Harbor

Japanese PM at Pearl HarborThe prime minister of Japan arrived in Hawaii for a two-day trip to visit memorials and and honor lives lost in the attack on Pearl Harbor 75 years ago, a visit which was said to repay President Barack Obama for his visit to Hiroshima earlier this year.

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe laid a wreath Monday at the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific, and Tuesday is expected to become the first Japanese prime minister to visit the USS Arizona Memorial, the main memorial of the massive attack.

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The Gabby: Navy to commission USS Gabrielle Giffords

USS Gabrielle GiffordssA naval program that has become a target for critics is preparing to commission a new vessel named after a well-known shooting survivor.

The USS Gabrielle Giffords, constructed by Austal USA in Mobile, Alabama, has completed testing in the Gulf of Mexico and is scheduled to be commissioned in mid-2017. The company handed over the $475 million ship to the Navy on Friday.

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NY AG: Trump can't dissolve foundation during investigation

Trump FoundationDonald Trump cannot move ahead with his plan to dismantle his charitable foundation because state prosecutors are probing whether the president-elect personally benefited from its spending, the New York attorney general's office said Tuesday.

"The Trump foundation is still under investigation by this office and cannot legally dissolve until that investigation is complete," said Amy Spitalnick, spokeswoman for state Attorney General Eric Schneiderman.

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Israel's other army expanding illegal settlements

Israel's civilian armyAbuses of power committed by Israel's Civilian Security Coordinators (CSCs), civilian guards of the illegal settlements, continue to contribute to settlement expansion into Palestinian-owned land across the occupied West Bank, according to an Israeli rights group.

In following the behaviour of the CSC guards over a decade, rights group Yesh Din has come across reports of guards doling out death threats and chasing Palestinian farmers from their fields at gunpoint to prevent them from harvesting, among other violations.

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Minimum wage to increase in 21 states next year

Protests for increasing minimum wageMillions of minimum wage workers in 21 states will get a raise in 2017.

The highest state minimum wages in 2017 will be $11 in Massachusetts, which is a $1 increase from this year, and Washington, up from $9.47 in 2016. Other higher wages are in Arizona ($10), California ($10), Connecticut ($10.10), Oregon ($10.25 in July) and Vermont ($10). The other state raising the minimum in July is Maryland, where the minimum wage state-side will be $9.25.

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The Problem With Trump’s Admiration of General Patton

Gen. George PattonThere are scholar presidents, and presidents who don’t read much, and then there is President-elect Donald Trump, who has said he has no time for books at all. But he does enjoy a few historically themed movies—one of which is Patton, George C. Scott’s 1970 embodiment of the World War II general.

Patton is one of the very few role models Trump held up during his campaign; he frequently rued the fact that the military lacked modern-day Pattons, and when he picked retired Marine Gen. James Mattis as his defense secretary, Trump proclaimed Mattis “the closest thing we have to Gen. George Patton.”

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Democrats Plotting ‘Collision Course’ With Trump’s Tax Plan

Richard Neal“There’s going to be opposition if these tax cuts are directed to the people at the top again,” said Representative Richard Neal, the Massachusetts Democrat who represents his party’s first line of defense as the next ranking member of the House’s tax-writing Ways and Means Committee. “We’re going to be pretty united.”

Neal and others say they’ll zero in on upper-income tax breaks pitched by Trump and House leaders in an attempt to make it politically difficult for Republicans to support large parts of the emerging plans. Their initial comments suggest that the 115th Congress, which convenes Jan. 3 with a Republican-led agenda of instituting a broad tax overhaul and repealing Obamacare, will be peppered with debate over income inequality.

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New court aims to redefine youth justice in Chicago

New Chicago courtTwo young men from Chicago’s North Lawndale neighborhood were charged with committing a string of burglaries. The boys, who were in their late teens and charged as adults, allegedly broke into four homes when their owners were away and stole electronics and $16,000 in cash.

The charge was a turning point for both of them. One of the young men pleaded guilty in 2011 and was given a sentence of eight years in prison. He became one of the staggering 70 percent of men in North Lawndale who have criminal records and was only released on parole earlier this year.

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