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Trump says he would exit global climate accord, slash US oil regulation

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Donald Trump, the presumptive Republican presidential nominee, said on Thursday that he would pull the United States out of the U.N. global climate accord and slash environmental regulations on the energy industry if elected.

The comments deepen the contrast between the New York billionaire and his Democratic rivals for the White House, Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders, who both advocate a sharp turn toward renewable energy technology as a way to combat climate change.

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“We’re going to cancel the Paris climate agreement,” Trump said at the Williston Basin Petroleum Conference in Bismark, the capital of North Dakota, the second largest U.S. oil-producing state. It was Trump’s first speech detailing the energy policies he would advance from the White House.

Trump said he would invite TransCanada to reapply to build the Keystone XL pipeline from Canada to the United States, reversing a decision by the administration of President Barack Obama to block the project over environmental concerns.

“I want it built, but I want a piece of the profits,” Trump said. “That’s how we’re going to make our country rich again.”

“President Obama has done everything he can to get in the way of American energy,” he said. “If crooked Hillary Clinton is in charge, things will get much worse, believe me.”

(Writing by Richard Valdmanis; Editing by Toni Reinhold and Leslie Adler)

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Elections 2016

Vietnamese women strive to clear war-era mines

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Inching across a field littered with Vietnam war-era bombs, Ngoc leads an all-women demining team clearing unexploded ordnance that has killed tens of thousands of people -- including her uncle.

"He died in an explosion. I was haunted by memories of him," Le Thi Bich Ngoc tells AFP as she oversees the controlled detonation of a cluster bomb found in a sealed-off site in central Quang Tri province.

More than 6.1 million hectares of land in Vietnam remain blanketed by unexploded munitions -- mainly dropped by US bombers -- decades after the war ended in 1975.

At least 40,000 Vietnamese have since died in related accidents. Victims are often farmers who accidentally trigger explosions, people salvaging scrap metal, or children who mistake bomblets for toys.

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Elections 2016

Chief Justice John Roberts issues New Year’s Eve warning to stand up for democracy

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In a progressive welcoming move, Chief Justice John Roberts issued his New Year's Eve annual report urging his fellow federal judges to stand up for democracy.

"In our age, when social media can instantly spread rumor and false information on a grand scale, the public's need to understand our government, and the protections it provides, is ever more vital," he wrote. "We should celebrate our strong and independent judiciary, a key source of national unity and stability."

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Trump’s next 100 days will dictate whether he can be re-elected or not — here’s why

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According to CNN pollster-in-residence Harry Enten, Donald Trump's next 100 days -- which could include an impeachment trial in the Senate -- will hold the key to whether he will remain president in 2020.

As Eten explains in a column for CNN, "His [Trump's] approval rating has been consistently low during his first term. Yet his supporters could always point out that approval ratings before an election year have not historically been correlated with reelection success. But by mid-March of an election year, approval ratings, though, become more predictive. Presidents with low approval ratings in mid-March of an election year tend to lose, while those with strong approval ratings tend to win in blowouts and those with middling approval ratings usually win by small margins."

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