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Friday, Dec 09th

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Trump's education pick says reform can 'advance God's Kingdom'

Betsy DevosThe billionaire philanthropist whom Donald Trump has tapped to lead the Education Department once compared her work in education reform to a Biblical battleground where she wants to "advance God's Kingdom"

Trump’s pick, Betsy DeVos, a national leader of the school choice movement, has pursued that work in large part by spending millions to promote the use of taxpayer dollars on private and religious schools.

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Trump Breaks Protocol, Calls Taiwan

Trump calls TaiwanPresident-elect Donald Trump spoke with the president of Taiwan by phone on Friday, in a move likely to infuriate Beijing and hinder US-China relations.

"President-elect Trump spoke with President Tsai Ing-wen of Taiwan, who offered her congratulations," according to a readout of the call released by Trump's transition team.

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Hawaii's forecast: Icy and dangerous conditions. No, really.

winter in HawaiiForget the swimsuits for Hawaii and pack raincoats and winter parkas.

The National Weather Service issued a winter-storm warning until 6 p.m. Saturday local time, with heavy, flooding rainfall across the chain of Pacific islands and up to 30 inches of snow on the peaks of the Big Island.

Drifting snow, freezing fog and gusting wind are forecast for the summits of Mauna Kea and Mauna Loa volcanoes above 11,000 feet. Visibility could be less than a quarter-mile, making driving and hiking dangerous.

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VA may have infected 600 veterans with HIV and Hepatitis

Vets infected at VANearly 600 veterans could have been infected with HIV, Hepatitis B or Hepatitis C at a Veterans Affairs facility in Tomah, Wis. because a dentist didn’t properly clean his instruments.

The Tomah VA is investigating the dentist, who has not been fired but was removed from patient care. According to acting Medical Center Director Victoria Brahm, the dentist was using his own equipment for routine dental exams, then cleaning it and using it again. This violates VA rules, which require use of disposable equipment to ensure sterility.

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Michigan attorney general petitions court to stop presidential recount

SchuetteMichigan Attorney General Bill Schuette asked the state's Supreme Court to halt a recount of ballots cast in the presidential election Friday.

The action comes as Green Party presidential candidate Jill Stein seeks ballot recounts in three states, including Michigan, and lawyers for President-elect Donald Trump filed an objection to the recount request, calling the demand "lawless and "insulting."

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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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