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Pence opposed Obamacare repeal at ‘heated’ White House meeting — here’s why Trump pushed it anyway: report

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Mike Pence appears at Washington Post event (screen grab)

President Donald Trump reportedly decided to go ahead with his push to repeal the Affordable Care Act in spite of criticisms from his vice president, attorney general and White House counsel.

The New York Times reported that Trump’s plan to repeal Obamacare is backed by acting White House chief of staff Mick Mulvaney and Joe Grogan, the man Mulvaney chose to lead the Domestic Policy Council.

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According to the Times‘ Maggie Haberman and Robert Pear, White House counsel Pat Cipillone, Attorney General William Barr and Vice President Mike Pence all had “concerns” about the president’s current plan to repeal the Obama administration’s signature healthcare law.

During a “heated” Oval Office meeting on Monday, the Times reported, the pro- and anti-repeal factions fought over the president’s plan to take the issue to the courts after Congress failed to get rid of the law earlier in the Trump administration.

Pence, the report noted, “was concerned about the political ramifications of moving ahead without a strategy or a plan to handle the suddenly uninsured if the suit succeeds.”

After the testy meeting, a smaller one was held in which Cipillone and Mulvaney’s tensions were apparent.

Eventually, the acting chief of staff and his policy appointee won it out, reminding Trump that he campaigned on ACA repeal and that “his base would love it.”

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On Wednesday, Axios reported that House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) implored Trump not to push Obamacare repeal through the courts and the former communications director for the Republican National Committee also warned that such a move would backfire for the president.

“Having worked (wholly unsuccessfully!) on Obamacare replacement in 2014, I’ve seen up close how Republicans can’t agree on much of anything re healthcare,” ex-RNC comms director Doug Heye tweeted. “To move anything, Trump Admin will have to go all in, long-term. Doesn’t seem terribly likely.”

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The Arab uprisings were weakened by online fakes

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The Arab uprisings a decade ago were supercharged by online calls to join the protests -- but the internet was soon flooded with misinformation, weakening the region's cyber-activists.

When Tunisian dictator Zine El Abidine Ben Ali fled the country in January 2011, rumours and uncertainty created "panic and hysteria", said ex-activist and entrepreneur Houeida Anouar.

"January 14 was a horrible night, so traumatic," she said. "We heard gunfire, and a neighbour shouted 'hide yourselves, they're raping women'."

As pro-regime media pumped out misinformation, the flood of bogus news also spread to the internet, a space activists had long seen as a refuge from censorship and propaganda.

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Dr. Fauci warns of post-Thanksgiving COVID-19 surge in US

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The United States is the worst-affected country, with 266,074 Covid-19 deaths, and President Donald Trump's administration has issued conflicting messages on mask-wearing, travel and the danger posed by the virus.

"There almost certainly is going to be an uptick because of what has happened with the travel," Fauci told CNN's "State of the Union."

Travel surrounding Thursday's Thanksgiving holiday made this the busiest week in US airports since the pandemic began.

"We may see a surge upon a surge" in two or three weeks, Fauci added. "We don't want to frighten people, but that's the reality."

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Sidney Powell’s new election lawsuit cites election experts she won’t even name: legal expert

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President Donald Trump's former election lawyer, Sidney Powell, has filed her lawsuit in Georgia suing Gov. Brian Kemp (R-GA) for what she says is a fraudulent election.

But lawyer Mike Dunford explained that it doesn't exactly work that way. Reading through Powell's court document "Emergency Motion for Declaratory, Emergency, and Permanent Injunctive Relief and Memorandum in Support Thereof."

"If you want emergency relief it is very helpful to be as clear and concise as humanly possible," he explained. "Pointing the court back to your 100+ page complaint with its 29 exhibits isn't how that is best done. To put it very mildly."

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