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Senate confirms Janet Yellen as Federal Reserve chair

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The US Senate’s approval on Monday of Janet Yellen to lead the US Federal Reserve puts a woman at the head of the world’s most powerful central bank for the first time.

Few doubt her qualifications to take on the job of shepherding the US economy back to sustained growth, after the deep damage done by the Great Recession of 2008 and 2009.

The veteran economist has done long service both as an academic and at the Fed, serving as vice chair and a close ally to the outgoing chairman, Ben Bernanke, for the past four years.

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She was as much a part of the Fed’s program to further boost growth to reduce joblessness as was Bernanke, and has been a key driver of the recent push to make its intentions more clear to the public.

When nominating her in October, President Barack Obama called her “exceptionally qualified” for what he said was one of the most important jobs in the world.

“She is a proven leader, and she’s tough. Not just because she is from Brooklyn,” Obama joked, in reference to a New York borough notorious for producing no-nonsense characters.

He cited her record of having “sounded the alarm early” about the housing and financial bubble that led to the 2008-2009 recession.

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“It’s more important than ever that we have strong regulators like Janet Yellen… who isn’t afraid to act when they find abuses that put Americans at risk,” Democratic Senator Sherrod Brown said.

At 67, she has also built a strong reputation as an academic economist, teaching at the University of California at Berkeley.

Her family is a mini-economic think tank. Husband George Akerlof is a winner of the Nobel Prize in economics, and is currently Senior Resident Scholar at the International Monetary Fund.

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Their son Robert Akerlof is an assistant professor of economics at the University of Warwick. They are known for taking economic texts to the beach on vacation.

“The truth is,” Yellen once told an interviewer in her distinctive Brooklyn accent, “if you spent an evening at our house you would probably hear economics discussed over the dinner table.

“You would eat a diet that is richer in discussions of economics and policy issues than many people would find appetizing.”

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She and her husband have a long-term interest in the impact of joblessness on the economy, and through that Yellen has helped keep Fed policy focused on bringing down the unemployment rate.

In her Senate confirmation hearing in November, she made it clear she would not break from Bernanke’s policies. which both officials say are designed to get the US economy into higher gear.

“We have made good progress, but we have farther to go to regain the ground lost in the crisis and the recession,” she told the committee.

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“I consider it imperative to do what we can to promote a very strong recovery,”

[Image via Agence France-Presse]


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Kanye ripped for latest Trump defense: Always someone willing to write a check to ‘a black person defending white supremacy’

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Kanye West hugging Trump

A panel discussion on recent concerts put on by Kanye West in Salt Lake City and Howard University turned to his new recent comments he made defending his support for Donald Trump -- with one panelist saying the rapper is getting paid on the side for siding with the president.

Speaking with host Kendis Gibson, guests Danielle Moodie-Mills and Clay Cane were harshly critical of West trying to drum up black support for the president as well as his recent comments on slavery.

"What is going on here?" Gibson began. "So you saw the pictures of Kanye West in the middle of Salt Lake City. He drew about 10,000 people here at Howard University, it was a smaller crowd because they didn't get the e-mail about it until 6:00 a.m. on homecoming weekend. Largely, a lot of people who are going to these shows are black folks. These are some of the scenes in Salt Lake City, so people are wondering: is he sort of like Trump's secret weapon, a secret outreach to the black community? "

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WATCH: White House protesters chant ‘impeach Trump’ loud enough for aides to hear

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Protesters gathered in front of the White House on Sunday to call on President Donald Trump to be removed from office.

Videos circulated online showed protesters chanting "impeach Trump" close enough to the White House for staff to hear the demonstration.

In other videos, protesters were blowing loud whistles.

Meanwhile, demonstrators also greeted Trump as he visited his New Jersey golf course. Pro-impeachment protesters were also reportedly out on the streets in Boston and New York City.

Watch some of the video clips below.

Outside the White House right now:

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Here are 3 moves a desperate Trump will likely attempt in order to cling to power

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In a column for the Daily Beast, political observer Micheal Tomasky speculated -- and not without good reason -- that a frantic Donald Trump will do anything to remain in office and thereby avoid being slammed with criminal indictments once he departs the Oval Office for good..

As the columnist explained, impeachment seems inevitable and the president will likely take desperate measures and that he has already given hints about three paths he may take -- if not all of them.

Tomasky wrote, "It’s foolish to say that Trump thinks ahead about anything. The late journalist Wayne Barrett said many true things about Trump, but the truest ever was when he observed that Trump says whatever will get him through the next 10 minutes," before adding, "People around him of course are more strategic and are thinking ahead. And they’re all saying and doing and writing things right now that will, if the opportunity presents itself, pave the way for Trump to burn the Constitution."

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