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Trump Dismisses Dispute Over Whether Possible Soleimani Attack Was Imminent

VOA News By Ken Bredemeier WASHINGTON - President Donald Trump on Monday dismissed as irrelevant questions about how imminent a threat Iranian Quds Force commander Qassem Soleimani posed to American interests in the Middle East when Trump ordered a drone strike that killed him. Trump offered no evidence supporting his claim that Soleimani was about to blow up four embassies, after key officials declined Sunday to say they had seen such a specific threat. On Twitter, Trump said the mainstream news media and "their Democrat Partners are working hard to determine whether or not the future attack by terrorist Soleimani was…
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Why Affluent Americans Chose ‘Lifestyle’ Renting Over Buying in the 2010s

VOA News By Dora Mekouar Share on FacebookShare on TwitterShare via EmailPrint this page After living in a Washington, , suburb for 20 years, Patrick Harrington had had enough. Fed up with the 25-mile commute to work, the Virginia man, along with his wife, Francine, sold their home and moved into a rental located about a 15-minute walk from Patrick’s work. "I went from an hour-and-a-half drive every morning to a 15-minute walk," Patrick says. "We’ve definitely undergone a lifestyle change. No doubt about it." The Harringtons exemplify a key housing trend of the 2010s, a decade that saw renting emerge…
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Uber, Postmates Sue to Challenge California’s New Labor Law

By Associated Press SACRAMENTO, CALIF. - Ride-share company Uber and on-demand meal delivery service Postmates sued Monday to block a broad new California law aimed at giving wage and benefit protections to people who work as independent contractors. The lawsuit filed in court in Los Angeles argues that the law set to take effect Wednesday violates federal and state constitutional guarantees of equal protection and due process. Uber said it will try to link the lawsuit to another legal challenge filed in mid-December by associations representing freelance writers and photographers. The California Trucking Association filed the first challenge to the law…
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US-China ‘Phase One’ Trade Deal to be Signed January 15

By AFP WASHINGTON - A partial new trade agreement will be signed in the middle of next month, President Donald Trump said Tuesday, announcing that he will also then travel to China for continued talks. "I will be signing our very large and comprehensive Phase One Trade Deal with China on January 15," Trump tweeted moments before Wall Street was due to open. "The ceremony will take place at the White House. High level representatives of China will be present." Trump said he would then travel to Beijing to continue negotiations "at a later date." Word of the deal, and the…
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World Welcomes 2020

By VOA News People across the world are gathering for traditional celebrations to welcome the year 2020. Revelers in New Zealand and other Pacific islands were among the first to celebrate the new year with fireworks displays. Events elsewhere in the world are being overshadowed by other concerns, including in Australia where the fireworks show in Sydney is going forward as other communities in the country cancel theirs due to fears of making a wildfire crisis worse. In Hong Kong, the usual fireworks show was canceled due to what officials said were security concerns in the city that has seen…
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Iraqi Protesters Attack US Embassy Compound in Baghdad

By VOA News Hundreds of Iraqi protesters stormed the perimeter of the embassy compound in Baghdad's fortified Green Zone, setting fire to one of its gates with some reportedly entering the building. Most of those involved in the attack appear to belong to pro-Iranian Shi'ite parties, which are upset about a airstrike on a pro-Iranian Kataeb Hezbollah militia base in the Iraqi border town of al-Qaim, which killed at least 25 ;The mob of angry attackers used crowbars and street signs to smash the steel doors of the Embassy, after breaching the perimeter of the compound and setting fire to…
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US Congress Approves Russia-Europe Gas Pipeline Sanctions

By Agence France-Presse WASHINGTON - The Senate voted Tuesday to slap sanctions on companies working on Russia's Nord Stream pipeline, sending a bill to President Donald Trump that is sure to antagonize European nations counting on the project's natural gas. The measure, inserted into a huge annual defense spending bill, passed 86 to eight after easily clearing the House of Representatives last week. It aims to halt further construction of the $ billion pipeline being built under the Baltic Sea and is set to double shipments of Russian natural gas to Germany. The German-Russian Chamber of Commerce said last week the…
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Supreme Court Lets Stand Ruling Protecting Homeless

by VOA News The Supreme Court on Monday refused to hear a case that would allow cities to make it a crime to sleep on the streets. The court let stand a ruling by a ruling by the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, in San Francisco, which struck down a couple of local laws in Boise, Idaho that made it a crime for homeless people to sleep on the streets when no alternative shelter is available. The Ninth Circuit includes various western states that have a problem of astronomical real estate prices resulting in growing homelessness.…
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11 US Deaths Blamed on Winter Storm

by VOA News Local governments across the Midwest and Northeast urged drivers to stay off the roads as a second major storm brought snow, ice and a wintry mix to areas from Kansas to New Hampshire. The death toll rose to 11 from weather-related crashes, including two killed Monday in Indiana. Fatalities were also reported in Missouri, Nebraska and Kansas. The National Weather Service is warning more than 53 million people to expect hazardous conditions.   Milder warnings were posted for areas just west of Washington, Baltimore and Philadelphia and west of New York City and Boston, where a wintry…
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House Committee to Set Process for Impeachment Vote

The House Rules Committee is set to meet Tuesday to put forth the process the full House will follow when it considers articles of impeachment against President Donald Trump. The procedural step will set the stage for what is widely expected to be a vote nearly down party lines Wednesday with the majority Democrats approving Trump's impeachment over the objections of lawmakers in his Republican Party. As the process moved closer to the House vote, Trump sparred Monday with House Democrats who accused him of "multiple federal crimes" in the abuse of the presidency. "The Impeachment Hoax is the greatest con…
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