Trump fills homeland security, environment, China ambassador jobs

U.S. President-elect Donald Trump speaks at a USA Thank You Tour event at Crown Coliseum in Fayetteville, North CarolinaBy Richard Cowan WASHINGTON (Reuters) - President-elect Donald Trump on Wednesday picked a fossil fuel industry defender as his top environmental official, another retired general as homeland security chief and Iowa's governor as U.S. ambassador to China in choices at odds with some of his recent pronouncements. Trump, continuing to build his Cabinet as he prepares to take office on Jan. 20, said Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt, 48, would be nominated to head the Environmental Protection Agency. Pruitt sued the EPA in a bid to undo a key regulation under outgoing President Barack Obama that would curb greenhouse gas emissions blamed for climate change, mainly from coal-fired power plants.



U.S. judge reverses order requiring vote recount in Michigan

Green Party presidential nominee Jill Stein waves to supporters as she leaves a news conference outside Trump Tower in Manhattan, New YorkA federal judge in Michigan on Wednesday revoked his order requiring a recount of the state's presidential vote sought by Jill Stein, siding with a state appeals court that found the Green Party candidate had no grounds to mount the challenge. U.S. District Judge Mark Goldsmith's ruling has the effect of halting the recount in Michigan, at least for now, following conflicting rulings a day earlier by federal and state appeals courts. The Michigan Court of Appeals on Tuesday ordered the recount stopped, while the U.S. 6th Circuit Court of Appeals upheld Goldsmith's earlier decision and said the process should proceed.



U.S. transgender people harassed in public restrooms: landmark survey

A gender neutral bathroom is seen at the University of California, IrvineAlmost 60 percent of transgender Americans have avoided using public restrooms for fear of confrontation, saying they have been harassed and assaulted, according to the largest survey taken of transgender people in the United States. The survey of 27,715 respondents reached an estimated 2 percent of the adult transgender population in 2015, seeking to fill a gap in data about a severely understudied group whose experiences and challenges from medicine to law to economics and family relations are poorly understood. The findings by the National Center for Transgender Equality on public restrooms counter the message of mainly conservative politicians and religious leaders that transgender people are the antagonists preying on others.



Defense focuses on penalty, not guilt in church shooting

FILE - In this June18, 2016 file photo, Dylann Storm Roof is escorted from the Sheby Police Department in Shelby, N.C. The trial for Roof, a white man accused of killing nine black people at the church, started Wednesday, Dec. 7, 2016, at the federal courthouse in Charleston, S.C. (AP Photo/Chuck Burton, File)CHARLESTON, S.C. (AP) — The attorneys defending Dylann Roof in the Charleston church shooting trial are largely conceding his guilt in the shooting deaths of nine black parishioners at Emanuel AME Church. Their attention is on keeping their client out of the death chamber.



Jurors deliberating in fatal 2-by-4 beating trial

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) — Jurors are deliberating in the trial of a man accused of beating a Rhode Island junk car dealer to death with a two-by-four over a deal gone wrong.


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