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Michelle Howard becomes first female vice admiral in U.S. Navy history

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WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Michelle Howard on Tuesday became the first woman to reach the rank of four-star admiral in the U.S. Navy, part of a trailblazing path in the armed forces.

Howard, 54, was sworn in at a ceremony overseen by Navy Secretary Ray Mabus, the Pentagon said in a statement. With her promotion, she became the 38th vice chief of naval operations.

“Her accomplishment is a direct example of a Navy that now, more than ever, reflects the nation it serves – a nation where success is not born of race, gender or religion, but of skill and ability,” Mabus said.

Howard graduated from high school in Aurora, Colorado, and was one of the first women to attend the U.S. Naval Academy. She holds a master’s degree from the Army’s Command and General Staff College.

Howard took command of the USS Rushmore, a dock landing ship, in 1999. She was the first African-American woman to command a ship in the U.S. Navy, and is the first female vice chief of naval operations.

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In 2009, she commanded a multinational anti-piracy task force in the Indian Ocean. Howard was the Maritime Task Force commander for Baltic operations in 2010 as part of the 6th Fleet.

(Reporting by Ian Simpson; Editing by Eric Beech)

Watch Howard’s promotion ceremony, as posted online by the Navy on Tuesday, below.

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‘Washington is no longer functional’: Brian Williams admits he’s sad to report that ‘our government is broken’

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MSNBC anchor Brian Williams on Tuesday reported that America's federal government is broken.

"This was day 908 of the Trump Administration and while there is no joy in it, one way of summing up today is this: Our government’s broken, our politics are broken, Washington is no longer functional, and the cracks in our society are deepening," Williams reported.

"Much of this day was taken up by the discussion of racist statements by the president. Then tonight came the news that had so many people thinking back to when we were different, the death just tonight of retired Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens at the age of 99," he said.

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Seth Meyers plays hilarious fictional Democratic debate — featuring all 20 candidates on stage at the same time

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The host of NBC's "Late Night with Seth Meyers" thought his network did a good job hosting the first round of Democratic debates among 2020 hopefuls, but his "one complaint" was that there weren't enough candidates on stage.

The rules established by the Democratic National Committee required NBC to host two nights of debates, with ten candidates on the stage each night.

Meyers wanted all twenty, so he presented Late Night's version of the debates, where Meyers would pretend to moderate the debate and then splice out-of-context video of the candidates to make it appear as if they were answering his question.

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Don Lemon flabbergasted by brazen lying by Republican Kris Kobach: ‘He lied to your face’

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CNN anchors Don Lemon and Chris Cuomo had a heart-to-heart conversation about racism in America during the handoff between their shows on Tuesday.

"What’s going on with you? I saw you in the makeup room. Your energy is off. You seem down. Is this getting to you, what happened today? With what the president tweeted and how people are reacting?" Lemon asked his colleague.

"Is it getting to me? It hits close to home, to be honest. My grandparents were afraid of people like Trump. Ironically, they grew up very close to one another," Cuomo answered, recounting his family's story of seeking acceptance in America. "It hits close to home."

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