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Climate change should not be ‘partisan issue,’ Kerry says

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Work to avert the problems caused by climate change should not be a partisan issue, outgoing Secretary of State John Kerry told students at an elite U.S. engineering school on Monday, in one of his final speeches as the nation’s top diplomat.

Kerry noted U.S. officials from military and intelligence leaders to the mayors of coastal cities agree the problem of rising sea levels and erratic rainfall is one that they want to take action on, and he urged the incoming administration of Republican President-elect Donald Trump to tackle head on.

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Trump, a New York real estate developer who has never held elected office, has described climate change as a hoax and vowed to pull the United States out of the deal negotiated in Paris in 2015 to cut global greenhouse gas emissions. But in an interview with the New York Times in November, Trump said he was keeping an open mind on whether to pull out of the accord.

“I’m not going to speculate about the policies that our President-elect and his Secretary of State will choose to pursue, but I will tell you this … some issues look a lot different when you’re actually in office compared to when you’re on the campaign trail,” Kerry said at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Cambridge.

“The truth is that climate change shouldn’t be a partisan issue. It’s an issue that all of us should care about, regardless of political affiliation.”

The U.S. Senate this week is due to begin the process of confirming Trump’s political appointments, including proposed Environmental Protection Agency chief Scott Pruitt, the attorney general of Oklahoma, who has repeatedly challenged the agency’s authority in the courts.

Many Republicans in Congress argue environmental regulations slow business growth and job creation, both expected to be top priorities for the Trump administration.

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Kerry referenced a U.S. intelligence report published on Monday that listed climate change among the factors that could raise the risk of conflict between nations.

Obama on Monday echoed the message in an article published in Science magazine.

Kerry called on researchers and students at MIT to keep up their work on improving energy efficiency and inventing new energy sources, regardless of government policies.

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“It’s going to be innovators, researchers, entrepreneurs, and business leaders … who will continue to create the technological advances that forever revolutionize the way we power our world,” Kerry said. “Every person in this room – indeed, every person on the planet – has an interest in making sure that transition happens as quickly as possible.”

(Reporting by Scott Malone; Editing by Alistair Bell)

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MSNBC analyst shreds GOP claim impeachment is an effort to change the 2016 election

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Republicans have claimed that the reason Democrats have sought impeachment, either from the Russia scandal to the Ukraine scandal, is that they want to unmake the 2016 election. Speaking to MSNBC Sunday, NYU Law Prof. Melissa Murray ripped the claim to shreds.

First, impeachment would only remove President Donald Trump is the Republican Senate voted to do so. If the president were removed, the new president wouldn't be Hillary Clinton; it would be Mike Pence, getting Democrats no victories other than upholding the rule of law.

"As these proceedings go away, there is building support for impeachment; it will require a supermajority of the Senate in order to convict and remove the president, which will require some Republican Senators to peel off and depart from the path," Murray said. "But I think the really important thing that Bob has mentioned here is this idea ta the Republicans are taunting that impeachment is a backend effort to basically subvert the will of the people. I think the testimony that was presented yesterday makes clear that that claim is specious."

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Rudy Giuliani’s devotion has escorted Trump straight to impeachment

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"Step by step, [Rudy Giuliani] has escorted President Trump to the brink of impeachment," The New York Times said in a piece following the president's top lawyer and his impact on the scandals facing the 45th president.

Two associates of Giuliani's have already been indicted, Giuliani is under criminal investigation from federal prosecutors, and he was never graced with a top position in the Trump government.

"The separate troubles he has gotten his client and himself into are products of the uniquely powerful position he has fashioned, a hybrid of unpaid personal counsel to the president and for-profit peddler of access and advice," The Times said Sunday.

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Trump team ‘is as incompetent, shambolic, paranoid, and given to conspiracy theories as it appears’: MSNBC panel

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In a Sunday evening panel discussion, MSNBC commentators explained that the White House appears to be just as chaotic and marred by chaos as the rumors say.

Many in the White House learned that the president's lawyer, Rudy Giuliani, was working overseas in Ukraine. Giuliani claimed that he's been producing a film that he couldn't get Fox News to run, as it will appear on the fringe network OAN.

"What Rudy Giuliani is doing is using Kremlin-manufactured propaganda as a defensive shield for the president," said CNBC's John Harwood. "Fiona Hill was unambiguous in her testimony to the intelligence committee. What Rudy Giuliani has been doing with these two indicted men who are linked to a Russian oligarch who is tied to Russian organized crime, is trying to manufacture a story that Ukraine, rather than Russia or in addition to Russia or differently from Russia, meddle in the campaign. That is false."

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