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Hedge fund founder Scaramucci to join Trump’s White House as liaison

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Anthony Scaramucci, a hedge fund founder who was a fundraiser in Donald Trump’s election campaign, will join the president-elect’s White House staff as an advisor and public liaison to government agencies and businesses, he said on Friday.

Scaramucci, founder of Skybridge Capital hedge fund and a former employee at Goldman Sachs, is a member of Trump’s transition team.

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He will work as a liaison in the White House for state and local governments and for both American and foreign businesses, Scaramucci told reporters in New York.

“One of my other personal goals though is to get all of the American people to see President Trump the way I see him,” he added. Trump, a Republican, takes office on Jan. 20.

Scaramucci played down media reports from Thursday that he would hold a position analogous to that currently held by Valerie Jarrett, who oversees the White House’s Offices of Public Engagement and Intergovernmental Affairs and is seen as one of President Barack Obama’s most powerful advisers.

“That’s probably an overstatement,” Scaramucci said when asked about the comparison. “Valerie and I know each other quite well and I will be speaking to her later in the day. I don’t want to overstate the position.”

Scaramucci did not discuss what would happen to Skybridge, which had $12 billion in assets under management or advisement as of Nov. 30, 2016, down from $12.9 billion as of Dec. 31, 2015, according to firm’s website. The firm was put up for auction as Scaramucci began considering a potential position in the White House, Reuters reported last month.

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(Reporting by Jonathan Allen; Additional reporting by Lawrence Delevingne; Editing by Frances Kerry)

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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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