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CNN host: Donald Trump has gone ‘hard right’ and ‘hard white’ with his administration picks

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CNN host John Berman pointed out that Donald Trump has not only gone “hard right” in picking members of his administration, but the future president is also going “hard white” by ignoring a need for diversity.

During a Monday CNN panel discussion, Princeton University Professor Julian Zelizer asserted that Trump was meeting with Democratic Hawaii Rep. Tulsi Gabbard only as a “symbolic” gesture.

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“It’s an effort to show that you’re in favor of bipartisanship in an era of party polarization,” Zelizer said. “President-elect Trump had initially said he’s not going to do this, but as we see with Donald Trump, part of this is about the show, part of this is a bout the appearance.”

“So after going very hard right with his first three appointments — and many other possible appointments, we should remember, they’re not moderate, they’re very hard right on most issues,” the professor continued. “This could be symbolically appealing.”

Berman agreed with Zelizer’s “hard right” characterization of Trump’s cabinet, adding, “He’s also gone hard white.”

“He’s got five picks so far, all white, all male,” Berman explained. “If diversity is something that this administration values, they haven’t shown it just yet.”

In fact, all of Trump’s first five appointments are white men: Reince Priebus as chief of staff, Stephen Bannon as chief strategist, Jeff Sessions as attorney general, Michael Flynn as nation security adviser and Mike Pompeo as head of the Central Intelligence Agency. That’s in addition to Vice president-elect Mike Pence, who is also a white male.

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Watch the video below from CNN, broadcast Nov. 21, 2016.

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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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