Hillary’s Holidays Look Grim, Uber Sticks It To The DMV


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International Business Times

The Chinese Defense Ministry said it would return the U.S. Navy underwater drone in what it deemed an “appropriate” manner. The statement was not made in a normal press release, but rather on the ministry’s Weibo social media account. The post came after Trump made his own social media statement, saying that “China steals United States Navy research drone in international waters — rips it out of water and takes it to China in unprecedented act.” Experts are saying that China’s actions are some of the most “brazen” against the United States that have been seen in a long time.

Trump is naming Rep. Mick Mulvaney as his director of the Office of Management and Budget. Mulvaney is known for his fiscal stands, as he participated in the 2011 conflict between Obama and House Republicans, which resulted in strict budget caps. He also has repeatedly pushed for government spending cuts. “We are going to do great things for the American people with Mick Mulvaney leading the Office of Management and Budget. Right now we are nearly $20 trillion in debt, but Mick is a very high-energy leader with deep convictions for how to responsibly manage our nation’s finances and save our country from drowning in red ink,” said Trump. “With Mick at the head of OMB, my administration is going to make smart choices about America’s budget, bring new accountability to our federal government and renew the American taxpayer’s trust in how their money is spent.”

Meanwhile, Hillary Clinton’s holiday party in New York City on Thursday was described as “like a wake with a band. “ The holiday party was held at the Plaza Hotel and campaign donors and advisers were in attendance. It was noted that Clinton is still “getting over” her presidential loss, with not a small amount of blame placed on fake news stories. It seems First Lady Michelle Obama is sharing these sentiments as she said, in an interview this week with Oprah, that the country’s citizens are now “feeling what not having hope feels like.”

The California Department of Motor Vehicles has sent Uber a cease-and-desist letter, demanding them to end self-driving car tests within the state. Uber, however, has said that it will not comply and will continue testing regardless. The testing, Uber says, is no different from other advanced driving systems, such as what Tesla offers, and that there’s no need for them to acquire special allowances or permits. Uber leaders are also saying that the DMV’s regulations do not apply to its project, as it does not fall under the DMV’s definition of a truly autonomous vehicle. The DMV has reported that if Uber does not stop immediately and conform with DMV requirements, they will begin seeking legal action.

New data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says drug overdose deaths have increased by 33 percent, with some areas seeing increases of 200 percent, over the past five years. The states that saw the largest increases were New Hampshire, North Dakota, Massachusetts, Connecticut and Maine, particularly where heroin and prescription painkillers were concerned. “Too many Americans are feeling the devastation of the opioid crisis either from misuse of prescription opioids or use of illicit opioids. Urgent action is needed to help health care providers treat pain safely and treat opioid use disorder effectively, support law enforcement strategies to reduce the availability of illicit opiates, and support states to develop and implement programs that can save lives,” said Tom Frieden, head of the CDC, in a statement. Last year, 52,000 people died from overdoses, much more than those who perished from car accidents (37,757) or gun deaths (36,252).

Government and rebel sources in Aleppo are saying that a new deal will allow evacuations to resume. More than 6,000 people left Aleppo on Thursday, but evacuations were halted Friday. The United Nations Security Council is working to secure protected operations within the city, so that humanitarian aid can help move along evacuations and also assist citizens, while hospitals receive added protection. Currently, thousands of residents are waiting without food or shelter to evacuate. Once evacuations start up again underneath the new deal, both civilians and rebels will be permitted to leave eastern Aleppo, as well as Foah, Madaya, Zabadani and Kefraya.

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