• Trump taps Iowa Gov. Branstad for China ambassador
  • Michelle Obama: I went to bed before Trump won
  • Senate sends medical research bill to Obama for signature
  • The US economy in GIFs from Steve Mnuchin’s movies
  • Trump picks Ret. Gen. John Kelly to lead DHS

Trump taps Iowa Gov. Branstad for China ambassador

(CNN)Iowa Governor Terry Branstad has been picked for the post of US ambassador to China by President-elected Donald Trump. Trump spokesperson Jason Miller confirmed that Branstad had accepted the offer on the transition’s daily call with reporters. Miller also said that Branstad will join Trump at his Des Moines rally Thursday, one of the stops on Trump’s “thank you” tour of rallies in swing states.

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Michelle Obama: I went to bed before Trump won

Washington (CNN)She was one of Donald Trump’s fiercest critics on the campaign trail, but First Lady Michelle Obama wasn’t up for watching the Republican declare victory on election night. She told People Magazine she called it a night early instead. “I went to bed. I don’t like to watch the political discourse; I never have,” the First Lady said in a joint interview with her husband, President Barack Obama.

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Senate sends medical research bill to Obama for signature

(CNN)Senators voted overwhelmingly Wednesday to approve a $6.3 billion bill to boost spending for medical research on cancer and other diseases as well as address the mental health crisis and opioid epidemic in the country. The 94-5 vote on the 21st Century Cures Act, which was named in honor of Vice President Joe Biden’s son Beau Biden, who died last year of brain cancer, came in the waning days of…

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The US economy in GIFs from Steve Mnuchin’s movies

(CNN)President-elect Donald Trump announced Steve Mnuchin as his pick for Treasury secretary Tuesday. Mnuchin is not only a former hedge fund manager and banker — he’s also credited as the producer on more than 30 movies. So what kind of economy would Mnuchin be inheriting as the head of the Treasury? What are his plans for the US economy? We thought it’d be most appropriate to explain it in GIFs…

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Trump picks Ret. Gen. John Kelly to lead DHS

(CNN)President-elect Donald Trump has chosen Ret. Gen. John Kelly to head the Department of Homeland Security, a senior transition official tells CNN. The former head of US Southern Command, Kelly was previously responsible for managing security threats posed by criminal drug networks based in south and central America — an issue that Trump highlighted in his campaign, and to which Kelly would bring unique experience.

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Pence denies Flynn Jr.’s role on transition after ‘pizza gate’ tweets

(CNN)Vice President-elect Mike Pence on Tuesday denied that the son of incoming national security adviser Michael Flynn — who is embroiled in a fake news controversy — had any involvement with the transition, despite the fact that he held an official government transition email address. “You are saying [Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn’s] son is not involved at all in the transition?” host Joe Scarborough asked Pence during an interview on…

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PM ‘will publish plan for Brexit before Article 50’ – BBC News

Kuenssberg: Has May backed down? ‘Time is short’ for Brexit deal What are the Brexit options? Brexit: All you need to know Text and video updates on UK’s Brexit Supreme Court case Mr Starmer tabled the motion, which said Mrs May should commit to publishing the plan for leaving the EU before Article 50 is invoked because it was “Parliament’s responsibility to properly scrutinise the government while respecting the decision…

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Supreme Court ruling makes insider trading cases easier to prosecute

(CNN)The Supreme Court made it easier to prosecute some insider trading cases Tuesday, upholding the conviction of a man who traded information based on a tip. It had been two decades since the court weighed in on insider trading, and lawyers for Bassam Salman argued he could not be prosecuted because the man who provided the original tip had not benefited financially when he provided the information.

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Ben Carson is back — and so are his controversies

Washington (CNN)Ben Carson is back — and so are the controversies and contradictions that have dominated his time in politics. President-elect Donald Trump this week tapped Carson to run the Department of Housing and Urban Development — the latest twist in an odd, on-again, off-again relationship between the two former Republican primary rivals. It will be the first-ever government job for Carson and put him in charge of a massive…

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France prime minister Manuel Valls announces presidential bid

(CNN)French Prime Minister Manuel Valls announced Monday that he would seek the presidency in next year’s election. Valls will run against others for the Socialist Party’s candidacy, and if successful, he will likely face Francois Fillon of the Republican Party and Marine Le Pen of the far-right Front National in the first round of the presidential election next spring. The announcement Monday came during a news conference in Evry, where…

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They stood with Standing Rock. This is why.

Near Cannon Ball, North Dakota (CNN)For months, the land just above the Standing Rock Sioux Reservation has been ground zero for opposition to the Dakota Access Pipeline. This camp is where thousands of people, indigenous and otherwise, have gathered, bound by a unified purpose. On Sunday, the US Army Corps of Engineers, which approved the pipeline, said it would look into rerouting it. This was a win for the “water…

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Federal appeals court puts Obamacare lawsuit on hold until after Trump’s inauguration

(CNN)A federal appeals court ordered Monday that a lawsuit filed against the Affordable Care Act by lawyers for the House of Representatives be put on temporary hold until after the inauguration of President-elect Donald Trump. The order issued by the US District Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit reflects the change of administration, and it delays the briefing schedule in the case until Trump is in office.

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Supreme Court tackles racial gerrymander cases

Washington (CNN)The Supreme Court on Monday tackled two racial gerrymander cases in a fresh attempt to determine how race can be taken into consideration when states draw district lines. The justices heard arguments for more than two hours concerning maps in North Carolina and Virginia. In a sign of the complexity of the cases, the justices did something they don’t usually do: They allowed the arguing attorneys to go on…

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North Carolina Gov. Pat McCrory concedes race

(CNN)Republican North Carolina Gov. Pat McCrory conceded his bid for reelection to Democrat Attorney General Roy Cooper on Monday, pledging to help with transition efforts after nearly a month of demanding a recount. McCrory, in a video message, said it was time to “celebrate our democratic process and respect what I see to be the ultimate outcome of the closest North Carolina governor’s race in modern history.” McCrory and North…

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Clinton campaign manager Robby Mook: Obama did not have to ask Clinton to concede

(CNN)Hillary Clinton’s campaign manager Robby Mook disputed a report that said President Barack Obama had to encourage the former secretary of state to concede to Donald Trump on Election Night, saying she had already made up her mind before talking to the President. “She made that decision on her own before she spoke to the President,” Mook told CNN’s Jake Tapper during a special edition of CNN’s “State of the…

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Mook: Clinton’s ‘deplorables’ comment ‘definitely could have alienated’ voters

(CNN)Hillary Clinton campaign manager Robby Mook acknowledged the former secretary of state calling half of Donald Trump’s supporters “deplorables” alienated voters, saying that’s why the Democratic presidential nominee publicly expressed regret over the remarks so quickly thereafter. To see Jake Tapper’s full discussion with Kellyanne Conway and Robby Mook, watch CNN’s “State of the Union” this Sunday at 9 a.m. ET. “Hillary apologized right away after that and said that…

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10 minutes that could change US-China history

(CNN)The 10-minute conversation between US President-elect Donald Trump and Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen was a major break in the accepted protocol — something that evidently does not much bother Mr. Trump. It is, of course, too soon to guess whether it was a fluke or a portent of a sea change in American policy. When the Communists won power on the mainland in 1949 their defeated Nationalist foes retreated to…

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Trump, stop whining about SNL and focus on presidency

(CNN)Here we go again: another “Saturday Night Live” sketch and another tweet from Donald Trump complaining about how that iconic comedy show is unfairly mocking him. Trump is quickly becoming the “whiner in chief,” at least when it comes to comedians poking fun at him. You would think a person who will be sworn in as the 45th President of the United States next month would be too busy to…

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Republicans angling for posh ambassadorships, RNC chair

Washington (CNN)Donald Trump faces challenges in filling key global diplomatic posts. Might the President-elect add a Democrat or two to his Cabinet? And there’s a debate swirling over who should lead the Republican National Committee. These stories and more are all part of this week’s “Inside Politics” forecast, where we give you a glimpse of tomorrow’s headlines today. The Heitkamp dilemma Two Democratic senators from states carried by Trump —…

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