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NYC Mayor Bloomberg whacks Trump: ‘I’m a New Yorker — I know a con when I see one’

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Former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg may not be a Democrat, but he’s standing with Hillary Clinton over Donald Trump, and the reasons why are perfect.

“There are times when I disagree with Hillary,” Bloomberg confessed. “But whatever our disagreements may be, I’ve come here to say: We must put them aside for the good of our country. And we must unite around the candidate who can defeat a dangerous demagogue.”

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Bloomberg said that he wants a leader that understands business. “I’ve built a business, and I didn’t start it with a million-dollar check from my father,” he said to cheers. “Because of my success in the private sector, I had the chance to run America’s largest city for 12 years, governing in the wake of its greatest tragedy.”

“Today, as an Independent, an entrepreneur, and a former mayor, I believe we need a president who is a problem-solver, not a bomb-thrower,” he continued. “Someone who can bring members of Congress together, to get big things done. And I know Hillary Clinton can do that, because I saw it firsthand!”

“Throughout his career, Trump has left behind a well-documented record of bankruptcies, thousands of lawsuits, angry shareholders and contractors who feel cheated, and disillusioned customers who feel ripped off. Trump says he wants to run the nation like he’s run his business. God help us.

“I’m a New Yorker, and New Yorkers know a con when we see one! Trump says he’ll punish manufacturers that move to Mexico or China, but the clothes he sells are made overseas in low-wage factories. He says he wants to put Americans back to work, but he games the U.S. visa system so he can hire temporary foreign workers at low wages. He says he wants to deport 11 million undocumented people, but he seems to have no problem in hiring them. What’d I miss here?!

“Truth be told, the richest thing about Donald Trump is his hypocrisy. He wants you to believe that we can solve our biggest problems by deporting Mexicans and shutting out Muslims. He wants you to believe that erecting trade barriers will bring back good jobs. He’s wrong on both counts.

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“We can only solve our biggest problems if we come together and embrace the freedoms that our Founding Fathers established right here in Philadelphia, which permitted our ancestors to create the great American exceptionalism that all of us now enjoy. Donald Trump doesn’t understand that; Hillary Clinton does. And we can only create good jobs if we make smarter investments in infrastructure, and do more to support small businesses — not stiff them. Donald Trump doesn’t understand that; Hillary Clinton does.

“I understand the appeal of a businessman president. But Trump’s business plan is a disaster in the making. He would make it harder for small businesses to compete, do great damage to our economy, threaten the retirement savings of millions of Americans, lead to greater debt and more unemployment, erode our influence in the world, and make our communities less safe.

“The bottom line is: Trump is a risky, reckless, and radical choice. And we can’t afford to make that choice!

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“Now, I know Hillary Clinton is not flawless; no candidate is. But she is the right choice — and the responsible choice — in this election. No matter what you may think about her politics or her record, Hillary Clinton understands that this is not reality television; this is reality. She understands the job of president. It involves finding solutions, not pointing fingers, and offering hope, not stoking fear.

“Over the course of our country’s proud history, we have faced our share of grave challenges, but we have never retreated in fear. Never. Not here in Philadelphia in 1776, not at Gettysburg in 1863, not through two World Wars and a Great Depression, not at Selma or Stonewall, and not after 9/11 — and we must not start now.

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“America is the greatest country on Earth — and when people vote with their feet, they come here. The presidency of the United States is the most powerful office in the world, and so I say to my fellow Independents: Your vote matters now. Your vote will determine the future of your job, your business, and our future together as a country.

“To me, this election is not a choice between a Democrat and a Republican. It’s a choice about who is better to lead our country right now: better for our economy, better for our security, better for our freedom, and better for our future.

“There is no doubt in my mind that Hillary Clinton is the right choice this November. So tonight, as an Independent, I am asking you to join with me — not out of party loyalty, but out of love of country. And together, let’s elect Hillary Clinton as the next President of the greatest country in the world, the United States of America.”

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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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