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February 20, 2016
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Italian author Umberto Eco died at his Milan home Friday, his American publisher confirmed to The Associated Press. He was 84.

Eco was best known for The Name of the Rose, a bestselling historical novel made into a 1986 movie starring Sean Connery. The philosophical novelist also wrote children's books and literary criticism.

"It's only publishers and some journalists who believe that people want simple things," Eco told The Guardian in 2011. "People are tired of simple things. They want to be challenged." Julie Kliegman

9:35 a.m. ET
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If you need a startling statistic to put into perspective the growing gap between the world's rich and the world's poor, consider this: The world's richest eight people hold as much wealth as the world's poorest half. That's the take-home message from a new report from anti-poverty organization Oxfam, which found that the money amassed by these few super-wealthy individuals equals that of the world's 3.6 billion poorest individuals.

The eight richest people, all men, are listed below, in order of net worth:

Bill Gates, Microsoft founder, $75 billion

Amancio Ortega Gaona, Spanish founder of the fashion company Inditex, $67 billion

Warren Buffett, chairman of Berkshire Hathaway, $60.8 billion

Carlos Slim Helú, Mexican telecommunications magnate, $50 billion

Jeff Bezos, the Amazon founder, $45.2 billion

Mark Zuckerberg, founder and CEO of Facebook, $44.6 billion

Lawrence Ellison, founder of Oracle, $43.6 billion

Michael R. Bloomberg, former mayor of New York and founder of Bloomberg L.P., $40 billion

World and business leaders are meeting this week in Davos, Switzerland, and Oxfam released the report in an attempt to urge these leaders to do more about the growing income gap. "It is obscene for so much wealth to be held in the hands of so few when 1 in 10 people survive on less than $2 a day," said Winnie Byanyima, executive director of Oxfam International. "Inequality is trapping hundreds of millions in poverty; it is fracturing our societies and undermining democracy."

In 2015, a similar report found 62 people held as much wealth as the bottom half.

Editor's note: This article original mischaracterized the nature of the findings in the Oxfam report and has since been corrected. We regret the error. Jessica Hullinger

8:52 a.m. ET
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President-election Donald Trump will meet with Martin Luther King III on Monday, incoming White House press secretary Sean Spicer said. King is a human rights and civil rights activist, and the oldest living child of the civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr., whose birthday is honored during Monday's federal holiday. Spicer says Trump will discuss with King his father's legacy.

Trump took some heat over the weekend when he attacked Rep. John Lewis (D-Ga.) on Twitter, saying he was "all talk, talk, talk — no action or results" after Lewis refused to recognize Trump's presidential win as legitimate. Lewis is a civil rights leader who marched at Selma with Martin Luther King Jr. Jessica Hullinger

8:12 a.m. ET
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A South Korean special prosecutor's office on Monday said it was seeking a warrant for the arrest of Samsung Group chief Jay Y. Lee in connection with the influence peddling scandal that led to the impeachment of President Park Geun-hye. The prosecutor's office accused Lee of paying bribes totaling $36.4 million to Choi Soon-sil, the close friend of Park who is at the center of the case. Lee faced 22 straight hours of questioning last week. Harold Maass

8:00 a.m. ET
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President-elect Donald Trump may offer to lift existing sanctions on Russia in exchange for a deal to reduce nuclear arms, The Times of London reports. In an interview with the paper released Monday, Trump said he thinks nuclear weapons "should be way down and reduced substantially," and wants to "see if we can make some good deals with Russia."

This marks a change in tone from December, when Trump tweeted that "the United States must greatly strengthen and expand its nuclear capability." The United States has more than 1,300 nuclear warheads, and Russia has nearly 1,800, Reuters reports.

The Obama administration in recent weeks expanded sanctions and expelled 35 diplomats who were suspected spies, in retaliation for Russia's alleged hacking of Democrats in the 2016 presidential election. Trump said he hopes to have a better relationship with Russian President Vladimir Putin than President Obama has had.

In the same interview, Trump slammed NATO as "obsolete" and said Britain's controversial exit from the European Union will wind up "being a great thing." Jessica Hullinger

6:14 a.m. ET
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China reiterated on Sunday that the existing American policy regarding Taiwan is non-negotiable, despite President-elect Donald Trump's continued suggestions to the contrary. In an interview with The Wall Street Journal published Friday, Trump said "everything is under negotiation including 'One China,'" the U.S. policy which recognizes Taiwan as part of China, not an independent nation. Trump has previously suggested that the decades-old policy could be used to pressure China into making better trade deals with the U.S.

On Sunday, Ministry spokesman Lu Kang insisted that the "one China" policy is "non-negotiable," and on Monday, China's state-run media echoed that message, with force. In an editorial, The Global Times said Trump "speaks like a rookie," while a China Daily editorial warned that soon, "Beijing will have no choice but to take off the gloves."

Reince Priebus, Trump's incoming chief of staff, said on ABC's This Week, "there are no plans to change the one-China policy," but said the policy could be on the table "if China doesn't also come to the table and work with us on trade, work with us on the South China Sea and what's happening there." Back in December, Trump angered Beijing when he accepted a congratulatory call from the Taiwanese president. In response, he said he doesn't want China "dictating" to him. "Why should some other nation be able to say I can't take a call?" he asked. Jessica Hullinger

5:36 a.m. ET
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President-elect Donald Trump says his plan for replacing the Affordable Care Act is nearly complete. In an interview with The Washington Post, Trump did not reveal the specifics of his replacement package, but promised, "lower numbers, much lower deductibles," and said "we're going to have insurance for everybody." He also said he plans to crack down on pharmaceutical companies, forcing them to negotiate on drug prices in Medicare and Medicaid.

Last week during a press conference, Trump said he wanted to see ObamaCare repealed and replaced at the same time. President Obama's signature health care reform law has brought health insurance to more than 20 million Americans, but Trump says it is "a complete and total disaster," and its repeal has remained a top priority for the incoming administration. When, exactly, the details of Trump's new replacement plan will be unveiled wasn't clear. Trump said he is waiting for Rep. Tom Price (R-Ga.) to be confirmed as secretary of health and human services. A confirmation hearing for Price has not yet been scheduled. As for gaining support from Democrats for his replacement plan, Trump said it won't be a problem. "I won't tell you how, but we will get approval," he said. Jessica Hullinger

January 15, 2017

Incoming White House Chief of Staff Reince Priebus on Sunday said rumors of changes to presidential press conferences have been blown out of proportion. Esquire first reported Saturday that the "media's sense of dislocation may soon become literal" as "a plan to evict the press corps from the White House is under serious consideration by the incoming Trump administration."

Speaking on ABC's This Week, Priebus said that is not the case. "The press room that people see on TV is very, very tiny," he said, and only "49 people fit in that press room. The one thing that we discussed was whether or not we want to move the initial press conferences in the [Executive Office Building] — which, by the way, is the White House, so no one's moving out of the White House, that is the White House — where you can fit four times the amount of people in the press conference, allow more press, more coverage from all over the country to have those conferences." (The Executive Office Building is actually next door to the White House, directly across the street from the West Wing.)

That's all the Trump team is considering, Priebus concluded, so "some of this, I think, is getting what out of whack, and I think people should be encouraged that there are so many people in the press that want to participate." Watch his remarks in context below. Bonnie Kristian

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