Welcome to the weekly compilation of the ins and outs, the ups and downs, the comings and goings from the alternate world of reality – politics!
My Word of Wisdom: Politics is like WWE Raw
Governing is like 60 Minutes
Picking a fight.
Is President Elect Donald Trump trying to start a trade war with the second largest economy in the world, China?
Trump tweeted, “Did China ask us if it was OK to devalue their currency (making it hard for our companies to compete), heavily tax our products going into their country (the U.S. doesn’t tax them) or to build a massive military complex in the middle of the South China Sea? I don’t think so!”
By the way, the US does tax Chinese products entering the US of A.
China is playing it cool, but seriously.
Not a casual congratulatory call from Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen after all, according to The Washington Post. The Post says the call had been in the planning for weeks.
A federal judge ordered the State of Michigan to start the recount of the presidential election as requested by the Green Party’s Dr. Jill Stein today.
The bipartisan No Labels organization has set up a number of political action committees (PACs) to raise $50 million to protect moderate lawmakers in Congress from primary challenges in 2018.
New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio has sent a $35 million bill to the US government for security at Trump Tower for protection of the President Elect and his family.
Soon-to-be First Daughter Ivanka Trump Kirschner will meet with former Vice President Al Gore to talk about climate change.
North Carolina Governor Pat McCrory finally conceded he lost in a YouTube video today.
Attorney General Roy Cooper won and will be the next Gov.
Secretary of Housing and Urban Development – Dr. Ben Carson, neurosurgeon, former 2012 presidential candidate
She has no vote, but House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi issued the following statement on the nomination of Carson to be HUD Secretary:
Democrats in the Senate are also concerned with Carson’s lack of experience in the field for which he has been nominated.
Believe it or not: If the press would cover me accurately & honorably, I would have far less reason to “tweet.” Sadly, I don’t know if that will ever happen!
That’s what the President Elect tweeted today.
Forbes is reporting that the incoming Trump Administration may not propose a budget for the 2018 Fiscal Year, contrary to federal law.
The State of California is exploring its options to protect against policies, which the state may disagree, implemented by Trump, once he takes office.
“Throughout the presidential campaign and since, the president-elect has made many troubling statements that run counter to the principles that define California today,” said Kevin de León, the Senate president pro tempore, who is backing the package of laws being introduced to block enforcing immigration rules from the feds. “There is no greater policy area than immigration where the comments run headlong to the values we share as Californians.”
In global politics:
Italy’s Prime Minister Matteo Renzi lost the referendum to change the nation’s constitution on Sunday and now will be leaving office.
In a surprise, center-left candidate Alexander Van der Bellen defeated the far-right Freedom Party’s Norbert Hofer in Austria’s presidential election on Sunday.
Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe will make history visiting Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, the site of the sneak attack by the Japanese Imperial Navy on the US Pacific Fleet on December 7, 1941, which brought the US of A into World War II.
New Zealand Prime Minister John Key resigned for family reasons.
French Prime Minister Manuel Valls has thrown his hat in the ring for President.
Shavkat Mirziyovev won the presidency in Uzbekistan.
China warned the US of A not to disrupt the Iran nuclear deal:
The agreement’s implementation is the “joint responsibility and duty of all parties” and “should not be affected by any changes in the domestic situations of the countries concerned“, Chinese foreign minister Wang Yi told a press conference after meeting his Iranian counterpart Mohammad Javad Zarif.
The United Kingdom’s Brexit plan is now in the hands of the nation’s Supreme Court.
Back to North Carolina this evening for President Elect Donald Trump in the second stop on his “Thank You Tour.”
Thursday the tour will travel to Iowa and wind up in Michigan on Friday.
What was to be a talk between Ivanka Trump Kushner and former Vice President Al Gore turned into a long talk with with the President Elect on Monday.
Whether the talk was on climate change or other issues, both men are staying mum.
Was he joking or being serious?
Vice President Joe Biden said he was leaving the door open to a presidential run in 2020. Biden will be 78 years young by that time.
The White House is concerned Trump talking to the President of Taiwan may inadvertently have an impact on US and Chinese relations.
Democratic progressive groups want the President Elect to fire his incoming National Security Adviser, retired Director of Military Intelligence Lieutenant General Mike Flynn for promoting fake news stories.
Flynn’s son, who once was his chief of staff, is perpetuating a fake news story about a pizzeria in Washington DC being site of a child abuse scandal involving former Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton.
Trump does not want the new Air Force One being built by Boeing at a cost of $3 billion. He called to cancel the order today.
“We want Boeing to make a lot of money, but not that much money,” Trump said to reporters.
The President Elect sold all his stock in Boeing back in June.
Repealing the Affordable Care Act may be a breeze. Replacing it may be a pain in the you-know-where, however.
President Barack Obama defended his counter terrorism policy in his last such speech today at Central Command headquarters in Florida today.
Oil companies are urging the President Elect to follow through for the Dakota Access Pipeline once he takes office. But Trump sold his stake in the company building the pipeline.
Scuttlebutt: Add West Virginia Democratic Senator Joe Manchin to the possible members of the Trump Cabinet as Energy Secretary.
Iowa Governor Terry Branstad is in the mix for Ambassador to China.
Speaking to the Court, Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette said about the Green Party’s Dr. Jill Stein seeking a recount of the presidential vote, “Her insistence on a recount despite only getting 1% of the vote has created chaos for our county clerks and will cost Michigan taxpayers millions of dollars. I am asking the Court of Appeals to rule on the side of Michigan voters and end this frivolous recount.”
Another Texas Elector says he will be “faithless” when the Electoral College casts its vote on December 19. Says Electors should unite around an alternative Republican for President instead of Trump.
House Speaker Paul Ryan is putting committee assignments on hold until January.
Missouri’s Governor Elect Eric Greitens’ wife was robbed at gunpoint. The soon-to-be First Lady of Missouri is shaken, but otherwise OK.
Three voters in central Florida have filed a longshot for a recount in the Sunshine State in hopes of overturning Trump’s win. The three are claiming Clinton won because there was hacking, malfunctioning voting machines and other problems.
That 35% tariff Trump keeps threatening?
Do not believe it will be a flick of the pen. Congress, including Republicans, are not too keen on that idea.
Reportedly 1996 GOP presidential nominee and former Senator Bob Dole arranged that phone call between the President Elect and the Taiwanese President.
Still smarting over Trump’s refusal to release his tax returns, one New York Democratic State Legislator is introducing a bill to force the President Elect to reveal his tax returns if he decides to run for re-election in 2020 or not allow the state’s Electors to cast votes for any candidate who does not produce tax returns within 50 days of the General Election.
Michigan is running into a problem with the recount – the ballot box and poll book numbers do not add up. This means the precinct, under state law, is not recountable and the original results stand. This is happening in several precincts.
In global politics:
French Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve has been appointed Prime Minister.
The scandal surrounding South Korean President Park Geun-hye has pulled in CEOs of nine of the biggest businesses in the country, such as Samsung, LG and Hyundai.
Iran says it will not allow President Elect Trump to rip up the Iran nuclear deal once he takes office in January.
With 89.5% support, Angela Merkel, German Chancellor, retains leadership of her Christian Democratic Union.
President Elect Donald Trump is taking credit for an infusion of $50 billion into the US economy and adding 50,000 jobs in the US of A by SoftBank, a Japanese company, which also owns telecommunications company Sprint.
Apple supplier Foxconn also said it was involved in preliminary talks to expand in the U.S.
The head of the workers union at Carrier in Indianapolis, Indiana says that both the President Elect and Vice President Elect, Governor Mike Pence, straight up lied about the number of jobs saved by keeping the factory in the Cornfield.
This morning, Trump said he would announce his Secretary of State pick next week. He added that former Massachusetts Governor and 2012 GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney is still in the running for the position.
The President Elect officially rolled out his pick for Defense Secretary at a “Thank You Tour” rally in Fayetteville, North Carolina last night. That choice, as we already knew, is retired Marine General James “Mad Dog” Mattis.
Ambassador to China – Iowa Governor Terry Branstad, the longest serving governor in US history, has personal relationship with President of China
Secretary of Homeland Security – Retired Marine General John Kelly, yes another general surrounding Trump, former Commander, Southern Command
Director of the Environmental Protection Agency – Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt, a long-time critic of the EPA, which in his role as AG is currently suing
Director Small Business Administration – Linda McMahon, businesswoman known for ties with professional wrestling and unsuccessful run for Senate
In probably his last speech on national security and terrorism, President Barack Obama warned his successor to stay the course in the fight against the Islamic State, during an address to military members at Central Command in Florida yesterday.
The Prez said that as his term of office is nearing an end, under his policies on terrorism, the US and its allies are “breaking the backs” of the Islamic State.
Obama said “upholding our values” in the fight is key.
“The whole objective of these terrorists is to scare us into changing the nature of who we are and our democracy,” the Prez said.
The conversations between the 44th President and the incoming 45th President are continuing, with Trump.
Trump said this morning that he has asked the man in the Oval Office his advice on possible picks for the coveted Secretary of State position.
The President Elect said he even took Obama’s advice on one of the picks he has already made, without disclosing which one.
The talk of the chattering class today is that there are two Trumps. Funny I wrote about this months ago: Person Versus Persona.
Michigan’s Court of Appeals says that Green Party’s Dr. Jill Stein’s showing in the recent presidential election was so poor, she does not deserve a second look at the vote count.
The federal Appeals Court, however, refused to stop the Michigan recount.
The judge in a suit by Stein in Pennsylvania for a recount has set Friday for a hearing on her request.
Texas Governor Greg Abbott wants to amend the US Constitution to restrict the powers of the federal government over states.
Chicago Mayor and former White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel met with the President Elect today in Trump Tower and delivered a letter signed by 14 mayors concerning Dreamers, those children who were brought to the US of A by their parents in violation of immigration law.
Georgia Republican Senator Lindsey Graham says he will launch an investigation into the hacking alleged to have been done by Russia on the Democratic National Committee and campaign of Hillary Clinton.
Graham also plans to probe what influence Russia may have had in this past presidential election.
The House Republican Freedom Caucus tried to force a vote to impeach Internal Revenue Service Director John Koskinen, but were rebuffed.
Two Colorado Electors have filed suit in federal court to block Trump, saying state law that binds Electors to vote for winner of popular vote is unconstitutional.
Scuttlebutt: Former US Attorney Debra Wong Yang is being considered to head up the Security and Exchange Commission.
Trump plans to visit with victims of the Ohio State terror attack tomorrow.
The Mayor and City Council President were both recalled in a special election in East Cleveland, Ohio.
A Bloomberg National Poll has found the majority of Americans have no issue with Trump keeping his businesses.
While 2/3s of Americans think Trump should choose between being businessman or be President, 69% think he and his family should not be forced to sell off to avoid conflicts of interest.
Trump hushed supporters booing the press corps during his rally in North Carolina last night.
In response to New York City’s $35 million bill for security at Trump Tower, the US House approved $7 million. Mayor Bill de Blasio is not a happy camper.
Minnesota Democratic Congressman Keith Ellison, who is running to head the Democratic National Committee, says if he wins the chair, he will vacate his seat in Congress. Many Democrats say the party needs a full-time chairman.
The US Senate paid respect to outgoing Vice President Joe Biden today.
The House and Senate sent a sweeping new health bill to the President today, which addresses the nation’s opioid epidemic.
In global politics:
Keeping native languages alive and revitalized is the impact of a new legislation proposed by Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau in the Indigenous Languages Act.
New Zealand Prime Minister John Key, who announced his resignation, appears to be headed to take the chair of the International Monetary Fund.
Russia was condemned for bombings in Aleppo, Syria by leaders from Canada, Germany, Great Britain, France, Italy and the US of A.
President Elect Donald Trump displayed his typical counter-puncher behavior yesterday, but it was not flattering.
Trump tweeted disparaging remarks about the local union leader at Carrier in Indianapolis, Indiana for pointing out the number of jobs not moving to Mexico from the Hoosier State was not accurate.
Mr. President Elect, we know your brand.
Move on and leave the little guy alone.
You have much more consequential issues with which to deal than a local union boss bruising your ego.
Apparently, the President Elect has either never listened to or does not understand the message in Kenny Rogers’ Coward of the County.
The union boss’s complaint seems to be that not all jobs were saved. Some 550 workers will still be out of a job.
Pharmaceutical companies saw stocks drop in price on Wednesday after the President Elect tweeted that drug prices were too high. Trump vowed to get costs down for Americans who need the medications.
A federal judge halted the recount in Michigan, dashing Green Party presidential candidate Dr. Jill Stein’s hopes. The judge said he could not argue with the state court’s rationale that Stein was tilting at windmills.
The President Elect visited victims of the Ohio State University terrorist attack and first responders today in Columbus, Ohio.
Trump’s “Thank You Tour” is taking him to Des Moines, Iowa this evening. He will be joined by Iowa Governor Terry Branstad, his pick for Ambassador to China.
Secretary of Labor – Fast food executive Andy Puzder, CEO of CKE Restaurants, Hardee’s and Carl’s Jr., believes machines are the answer to rising wages
Scuttlebutt: Ivanka Trump Kushner will leave the Trump Organization to become an advocate. Her brothers, Don Junior and Eric, will run the day-to-day operations of the global business empire. The President Elect will keep his ownership stake in his massive organization.
A foreign policy adviser to the President Elect, Carter Page, is scheduled to meet with businessmen and politicians in Russia.
With 70% of the Wisconsin recount complete, Trump has added 410 votes to an additional 492 for Hillary Clinton. Milwaukee as yet to be recounted.
The President Elect has managed to turn his unfavorable rating to at least a draw with his favorable rating with half of voters since the election.
The rating was 33% favorable to 63% unfavorable on Election Day. Now it is 50% favorable and 47% unfavorable.
The US House passed on 326-96 vote a spending bill to keep the government open, but Senate Democrats are vowing to shut the government down.
There is no language about helping coal miners or a provision to push “Buy America.”
Conservative Democratic Senator Joe Manchin of West Virginia, who is being considered for a possible role in the Trump Administration, said about no provision for miners, “I want to shut her down. I mean this is ridiculous. We need an extension to the CR (continuing resolution) until people come to their senses. You can’t throw 16,000 people out.”
Oregon Democratic Congressman Peter DeFazio is on board helping the President Elect.
DeFazio today introduced to the House for consideration the DRAIN the SWAMP Act (Deter Revolving-Door Appointments in Our Nation; Stop Washington Appointees From Becoming Manipulative Petitioners).
The National Defense Authorization Act is now on the desk of President Barack Obama with veto-proof margins in both chambers of Congress.
Quote of the Year:
“You can bet that the men and women we honor today — and those who died that fateful morning 75 years ago — never took a knee and never failed to stand whenever they heard our national anthem being played.” – U.S. Pacific Command Commander Admiral Harry Harris, during commemoration ceremony at Pearl Harbor, December 7, 2016
In global politics: Brazil’s Senate President gets to remain in office, but cannot stay in line of succession as the ongoing investigation into corruption continues which has already ousted the Brazilian President.
British lawmakers approved the government’s plan to trigger Article 50 in March, 2017 to begin exit from the European Union as required by the Brexit vote earlier this year.
Bill English is poised to become New Zealand’s new Prime Minister after two other candidates withdrew.
The President of the Aleppo, Syria City Council said the ongoing siege of the city has condemned 150,000 people in eastern Aleppo to death.
Nova Scotia, Canada civil rights leader Viola Desmond will become the first Canadian woman to appear on a banknote.
Ghana has abandoned electronic transmission of election results over concern the system may have been compromised.
Philippines Defense Minister Delfin Lorenzana says his country will not become a springboard for US Navy ships to patrol disputed South China Sea waters.
When Celebrity Apprentice returns in January with host Arnold Schwarzenegger, expect to see the President Elect listed in the credits as executive producer.
Former Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton appeared on Capitol Hill yesterday to pay tribute to retiring Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid.
While there, Clinton decried the “epidemic of malicious fake news and false propaganda” that has flooded social media.
“It’s now clear that so-called fake news can have real-world consequences,” Clinton said.
Secretary of the Interior – Washington Congresswoman Cathy McMorris Rodgers, the only female in the House GOP leadership, a strong advocate of domestic oil drilling
Director National Economic Council – Gary Cohn, Goldman-Sachs President and COO, also to serve as economic policy assistant to the President, would make third pick with ties to the banking firm
Scuttlebutt: The President Elect has pared down to two his choice to lead the Republican National Committee – Ronna Romney McDaniel, Mitt Romney’s niece who’s the favorite of current chair Reince Priebus, and Nick Ayers, an aide to Vice President-elect Mike Pence who has the backing of Trump adviser Steve Bannon and megadonor Rebekah Mercer.
Rudy Giuliani has decided he does not want a position in the incoming Trump White House.
One intelligence briefing per week is all Trump is listening to, according to the talk around Trump Tower. Vice President Elect Mike Pence, on the other hand, is sitting down daily for briefings.
Looks like the Green Party’s Dr. Jill Stein has a refund coming from the State of Michigan after a federal judge upheld a state court ruling to stop the recount.
A court ruling on the Pennsylvania recount request is expected today.
A Wisconsin judge is considering halting that state’s recount.
The Cornfield union boss who has been in a Twitter war with the President Elect offered his hand today to work with Trump on saving even more jobs for Hoosiers facing company plans to move those jobs to Mexico.
No response yet from the President Elect.
One California lawmaker wants to make sure the incoming Trump Administration will not find cooperation with the state in enforcing immigration laws. A lawmaker has introduced a bill to setup “immigration safe zones” in the state.
The bill “will make it clear California public schools, hospitals, and courthouses will not be used by the Trump regime to deport our families, friends, neighbors, classmates and co-workers,” said Assemblyman Marc Levine (Democrat), the bill’s chief sponsor in the lower chamber.
Out-of-pocket cost to win the presidency: $66 million, the amount shelled out by Trump. That’s a third less than the amount he planned to spend.
The President Elect may be much farther along than most of his predecessors in selecting his Cabinet and top posts, but most Americans are not so happy with his transition, per a new poll.
According to Pew Research only 41% approve of his efforts to-date. Also only 40% approve of his picks for his Administration.
Trump flew to Louisiana today to stump for the Republican candidate John Kennedy involved in a run-off election for the US Senate from the Pelican State on Saturday.
This evening, the President Elect is in Grand Rapids, Michigan as part of his “Thank You Tour.”
President Barack Obama today ordered intelligence services to conduct a full investigation and review into the role foreign entities may have played in the recent election. The Prez instructed that the review be on his desk before Trump takes the oath.
“The President has directed the intelligence community to conduct a full review of what happened during the 2016 election process … and to capture lessons learned from that and to report to a range of stakeholders, to include the Congress,” Homeland Security Adviser Lisa Monaco said during an event hosted by the Christian Science Monitor.
Trump’s new slogan?
“Buy American, Hire American“
While calling on an improvement in relations with China during a “Thank You Tour” rally in Iowa last night, the President Elect also slammed the Asian powerhouse.
Americans got to see Trump in the role of Comforter-in-Chief Thursday when he visited victims and first responders in Columbus, Ohio dealing with the knife wielding terrorist last week at Ohio State University.
In global politics:
South Korean President Park Geun-hye has been impeached and out of office until the country’s Constitutional Court decides her fate.
“I’m deeply sorry to the people because the nation has to experience this turmoil because of my negligence and lack of virtue,” Park said.
South Korean Prime Minister Hwang Kyo-ahn will assume duties until Park’s fate is decided.
Unsure of the incoming Trump Administration, Iran is racing to sign oil contracts with Western energy companies.
Ignoring, Trump’s pledge to pull the US out of the Trans-Pacific Partnership, Japan approved the deal earlier today.
Ghana’s main opposition leader, Nana Akufo-Addado appears to be defeating President John Mahama as election results roll in.
Hong Kong Chief Executive Leung Chun-Ying will not seek a second term.
Filipino Senators let President Rodrigo Duterte know that his war on drug dealers must follow the law.
“The war against illegal drugs must be won within the legal system, and the president must lead in reminding the people of this important message,” the Senators said in a report after conducting an inquiry into extrajudicial killings.
Foreign-born same gender spouses will be granted citizenship in Israel like opposite gender spouses, after direction by the country’s Attorney General in response to Israeli Gay Fathers’ Association filing a case before the Israeli Supreme Court.
Did Russia influence the US election and change the outcome?
That is the debate in Washington.
Russia has forever tried to influence elections here and throughout the world. Most Americans are smart enough to know that.
Following President Barack Obama’s ordering of a review of foreign influence in the recent election, a statement came out from the Central Intelligence Agency.
“It is the assessment of the intelligence community that Russia’s goal here was to favor one candidate over the other, to help Trump get elected,” a senior intelligence official said Friday night, referring to a secret CIA assessment shared with congressional leaders in a closed-door briefing last week.
The CIA also believes Moscow hacked the Republican Party, much as it did the Democratic Party, but did not leak the information it obtained from the GOP.
Sean Spicer, spokesperson for both the President Elect and the Republican National Committee flatly denied in an interview with CNN‘s Michael Smerconish on Saturday that the RNC had been hacked.
Trump calls claims by the Central Intelligence Agency that Russia influenced the election in his favor “ridiculous.”
Not all intelligence officials are seeing roses in the relationship between agencies and the President Elect.
“Given [Trump’s] proclivity for revenge combined with his notorious thin skin,” said Paul Pillar, former Deputy Director of the CIA’s Counterterrorism Center, “this threatens to result in a lasting relationship of distrust and ill will between the President and the intelligence community.”
It should be noted there is a consensus, but no official report from the intelligence community or any of its members made public that specifically identifies Russian influence on the election.
Is it more likely than not that Russia did attempt to influence the election?
Expect a bipartisan probe into what role Russia played in the election when the new Congress convenes in January.
Naming Names: American Manufacturing Council Chair – Dow Chemical CEO Andrew Liveris, tasked to find ways to bring industry and manufacturing “back to America“
Scuttlebutt: ExxonMobil CEO Rex Tillerson is said to be in the lead to become Secretary of State. There are concerns over having received the Russian Order of Friendship from Russian President Vladimir Putin. He has no political background. After meeting Saturday with the President Elect, Tillerson said he would be “honored” to be SoS.
Question is if Tillerson can make it past Republican stalwarts, Senators John McCain, Lindsey Graham and Marco Rubio.
The thinking is that #2 at State will be former United Nations Ambassador John Bolton, a diehard hawk and controversial figure in his own right.
Reportedly, the Trump Transition Team sent a questionaire to the Energy Department asking the identity of personnel who have participated in climate change meetings.
North Dakota Democratic Senator Heidi Heitkamp is the leading contender to become Secretary of the Agriculture. This would open the Senate seat to a probable Republican take-over.
Senate Democrats huffed and puffed and threatened to shutdown the government Friday night. In the end, Dems caved and passed the stopgap measure to keep the government functioning for four months.
Senate Democrats, lead by West Virginia Senator Joe Manchin, had been holding out for an extension of health benefits for retired coal miners.
The Prez signed the bill early Saturday morning to keep the government running.
Call it ironic or tragic, the head of the Prince George’s Country Liquor Board was arrested for driving under the influence following a car crash after attending a casino opening.
Trump has, according to the Associated Press, shut down four of his companies that may have been involved in a possible business venture in Saudi Arabia.
The President Elect, who will be listed in credits as an executive producer, tweeted he will not do any work on Celebrity Apprentice when it returns in January.
Senate Judiciary Committee hearings on whether to confirm Attorney General nominee Senator Jeff Sessions will be conducted on January 10-11, says Chairman Senator Chuck Grassley of Iowa.
Republican John Kennedy won the run-off election in Louisiana on Saturday to keep the US Senate seat squarely in GOP control. This gives Republicans a 52-48 majority in the upper chamber of Congress.
South Korean Prime Minister Hwang Kyo-ahn has warned North Korea against “attempting a provocation.” Hwang will serve as South Korea’s acting President, while the impeachment of President Park Huen-gye plays out. Hwang went on to warn of “resolute retaliation if North Korea misjudges the situation” unfolding in the southern half of the peninsula.
Gambian President Yahya Jammeh is rejecting the election that ousted him and is calling for a new round of voting.
Gambian President Elect Adama Barrow called on Jammeh to accept the will of the people.
For what it is worth, the United Nations on Friday voted 122 to 13 demanding an immediate truce in Aleppo, Syria.
Mexico’s Culture Secretary Rafael Tovar y De Teresa has died.
Brazil’s new President Michel Temer, who took office when the former President was impeached for corruption, is now being charged with at least 44 counts of corruption.
Italian Foreign Minister Paolo Gentiloni has been asked to form a new government in the country left without a Prime Minister following last Sunday’s defeat of expanding constitutional duties of the Prime Minister.
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