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‘There is nobody more important than the US Congress’: Maxine Waters responds to Mnuchin trying cut her hearing short

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On Tuesday, Rep. Maxine Waters (D-CA) responded to Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin’s attempt to cut his Financial Services Committee hearing short.

While interviewing with CNN’s Anderson Cooper, Waters explained that the meeting was more important than the excuses Mnuchin was using in an effort to leave.

“Can you explain what led up to that exchange? Had it been contentious up to that point?” Cooper asked.

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“Prior to the secretary coming over to our committee, we negotiated that he would come. He had not at any time told us that he had to leave at 5:15. And so we learned just the day before that he was deciding that he couldn’t stay any longer,” Waters said.

“He told you the day before?” Cooper asked.

“Yes. The day before that he was not going to stay. We indicated early on that we wanted him to stay. We have a huge committee. We have a large committee,” Waters said.

Adding, “If he does not stay, too many members of our committee do not get to participate. And so we let him know that, and we said that if he left, he was going to have to come back at least two times in May, which he did not agree to at the time. And so we pressed upon him the importance of staying with the committee. When he decided that he could not stay, I offered to him, then fine, if you cannot stay, you may leave at any time.”

Mnuchin said that he had an important meeting to go to and that’s why he wanted to leave early. Waters told him that he could leave at any time.

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“I don’t think there’s anything or anybody more important than the Congress of the United States of America, trying to find out exactly what the secretary is doing,” Waters said.

“He has been contradictory in how he talked about whether or not he was going to follow the law and release those tax returns as the law mandates. So we need to do our oversight. We need to be able to represent the people of this country in understanding how this government works and doing the kind of work that will ensure that their government is acting according to the law,” she said.

Watch below via CNN.

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Fast response: How Tokyo Olympics will cope if earthquake strikes

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It's 9:15 am on Sunday July 26 and excitement is building at the Tokyo Aquatics centre as the first swimming medals are up for grabs. Nearby at the Ariake Gymnastics Centre, US superstar Simone Biles is warming up for her first appearance at the 2020 Olympics.

Without warning a 7.3-magnitude earthquake rips through Tokyo Bay, the ground shakes violently causing citywide damage, widespread panic and multiple casualties.

Fortunately, this is just an imagined scenario at a disaster drill carried out just before Christmas, as Tokyo 2020 organisers prepare for the worst, while hoping they will never have to do it for real.

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Ousted Grammy CEO files explosive discrimination complaint

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The ousted chief of the organization behind the Grammys filed a complaint on Tuesday accusing the Recording Academy of putting her on leave after she raised concerns about sexual harassment, voting irregularites and other misconduct.

Deborah Dugan says in her 44-page complaint before the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission in Los Angeles that the Academy retaliated against her after she detailed the misconduct in December.

In her most explosive charge against the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences, Dugan says that she was asked to hire her predecessor, Neil Portnow, as a consultant despite allegations that he had raped a foreign female recording artist, "which was, upon information and belief, the real reason his contract was not renewed."

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China warns virus could mutate and spread as death toll rises

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A new virus that has killed nine people, infected hundreds and already reached the United States could mutate and spread, China warned Wednesday, as authorities scrambled to contain the disease during the Lunar New Year travel season.

The coronavirus has caused alarm for its similarity to SARS (Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome), which killed nearly 650 people across mainland China and Hong Kong in 2002-2003.

In Wuhan, the epicentre of the outbreak, authorities cancelled large public events and urged visitors to stay away, telling residents not to leave the central Chinese city of 11 million people.

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