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Monday, Dec 05th

Last update05:20:13 AM GMT

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Federal civil rights trial under way in Rikers beating death

Rikerss IslandA federal civil rights trial is underway in New York City for a former Rikers Island guard accused of fatally beating an ailing inmate while the man was restrained and lying on the floor.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Jeannette Vargas told jurors Friday that defendant Brian Coll abused his power by "savagely" kicking inmate Ronald Spear to death in December 2012.

Defense lawyer Joshua Dratel (DRAY'-tehl) says Spear aggressively resisted guards' attempts to restrain him. He says Coll is not responsible for Spear's death.

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Trump picks retired General ‘Mad Dog’ Mattis for secretary of defense

Trump picks Mad Dog Mattis for Sec. of DefenseDonald Trump intends to nominate Gen. James Mattis, one of the most respected military men of his generation, to run the sprawling Department of Defense, it was reported Thursday.

Citing people familiar with the decision, the Washington Post said the announcement from the president-elect is expected next week.

But since a law prevents those on active duty within the last seven years from serving in a civilian post, Congress will not only have to confirm Mattis but also pass a law making an exception.

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The House Science Committee is spreading ‘fake news, bad science, and basically, crap’

House Science Committee liesIn the era of fake news, it is downright cringe-worthy when an ostensibly reliable source — a House of Representatives committee, for example — tweets out misleading information. In the era of rapidly increasing climate change, it’s also dangerous.

That’s what happened on Thursday, when the official, verified House Science Committee account spread an article based on bad science through their Twitter feed. Not only does the article peddle misinformation in order to deny the reality of climate change, but it was published by Breitbart news — which is notorious for its links to white nationalism, misogyny, and antisemitism. The site also has a long history of insistent climate change denial.

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4th tornado confirmed in storms that moved through metro Atlanta

Tornados in AtlantaThe National Weather Service says four tornadoes touched down on Wednesday, leaving a trail of damage in metro Atlanta and north Georgia.

Severe Weather Team 2 Meteorologist Brad Nitz said a confirmed EF-1 tornado southwest of Atlanta was 3/4 mile long and about 100 yards long. The twister had 100 mph winds.

An EF-0 tornado was confirmed in Alpharetta near Windward Parkway and the Big Creek area. The tornado had winds of 80 mph.  A third tornado, an EF-1, was confirmed in Buckhead. The fourth confirmed tornado was in Commerce.

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Trump's Carrier Victory Is the Economy's Loss

Trump carrier dealDonald Trump has scored a political victory by persuading Carrier Corp., a maker of air-conditioning and heating equipment, to keep about 1,000 jobs in the U.S. For that he deserves congratulations -- and a warning not to do this kind of thing again.

There is a long (if not always honorable) tradition of mayors, governors and even presidents pleading with or browbeating corporate executives for one reason or another. But using the power of the presidency to micromanage companies is an awful idea. The free market works in part because it relies on millions of individual enterprises to decide how best to employ their resources. The government's role is to protect their right to do so, and to intervene only in those cases where the market fails -- when misaligned incentives lead to environmental damage, for example, or financial instability.

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Unmanned Russian spacecraft crashes to Earth in Siberia

Unmanned Russian spacecraft crashes to earthAn unmanned Russian cargo spaceship has broken up in the atmosphere and crashed over Siberia en route to the International Space Station, according to Russia’s space agency.

Roscosmos said on Thursday that the Progress MS-04 cargo craft broke up at an altitude of 118 miles (190km) above the remote Russian Tuva region in Siberia, which borders Mongolia. Most of the debris burned up as it entered the atmosphere before crashing over what the space agency said was an uninhabited area.

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Hillary’s Popular Vote Lead Passes 2.5 Million

Hillary popular voteHillary Clinton’s lead in total votes over President-elect Donald Trump has reached 2,526,184 as ballots continue to be tallied.

As Clinton’s popular lead surpasses 2.5 million votes, it grows larger than the lead with which 10 presidents have won the general election, the New York Times reports. That means Clinton is up by 1.9 percentage points overall in the popular vote — approaching the lead that polls predicted in the final days before the election, the Times notes.

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Sanders says Carrier deal sets a dangerous precedent

Sanders says Carrier deal sets dangerous precedentIn an op-ed in The Washington Post Thursday, the Vermont senator bashed Trump for what he said is sending a signal to American corporations that they can threaten to leave the United States in exchange for government incentives.

“Trump has endangered the jobs of workers who were previously safe in the United States,” Sanders wrote. “Why? Because he has signaled to every corporation in America that they can threaten to offshore jobs in exchange for business-friendly tax benefits and incentives.”

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Fed may face unnerving shake-up under Trump administration

Fed shakeup under TrumpChange at the Federal Reserve could come quickly with President-elect Donald Trump's team pledging to promptly fill high-level central bank jobs and roll out a tax and fiscal plan that could rewrite policymakers' core economic assumptions.

Fed officials already say their plan to gradually increase interest rates may need to be accelerated to accommodate the new administration's economic proposals, which could push inflation higher.

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