Daily briefing

10 things you need to know today: December 2, 2016

Trump picks James Mattis as defense secretary, the Trump "thank-you" tour begins with rally, and more


Trump picks ex-Marine Gen. James Mattis as defense secretary

President-elect Donald Trump said Thursday that he had chosen retired Marine Gen. James Mattis to be his secretary of defense. Mattis, known as "Mad Dog," has a reputation for strong, aggressive thinking, and shares Trump's hardline stance against potential enemies abroad, especially Iran. Mattis, 66, only left the military four years ago, so before he can be confirmed in the job, Congress will need to pass legislation to bypass a law requiring defense secretaries to have been out of uniform for at least seven years. Trump's transition team and Mattis declined to comment. An official announcement could come as soon as next week.


Trump kicks off 'thank-you' tour with campaign-like rally in Ohio

In the first rally of what is being billed as a "thank-you" tour, President-elect Donald Trump returned to campaign mode in Cincinnati on Thursday, calling the media "very dishonest" and mocking those who predicted he would lose. Supporters chanted familiar campaign slogans about Trump's Democratic rival Hillary Clinton, shouting, "Lock her up!" They also urged him to follow through on his promised immigration crackdown, saying, "Build the wall!" Trump repeated his nationalistic message, vowing to put "America first" and "find common ground" to unite the country. He also said he would depend on high-energy rallies to build support for his legislative agenda in Washington.


Tennessee wildfire death toll rises to 11

The death toll from eastern Tennessee's wildfires rose to 11 on Thursday, as emergency crews shifted from a rescue operation to recovery. Wildfires in and near Smoky Mountain National Park have scorched about 17,000 acres, including roughly half of the tourist town of Gatlinburg. About 700 homes and businesses have been damaged or destroyed, about 300 in Gatlinburg and 400 in nearby Pigeon Force. Some of the dead were found in burned rental cabins and motels. About 70 people were missing as of late Thursday. Officials say the fire was "likely to be human-caused."


Trump and Carrier detail deal to keep 1,000 jobs in U.S.

President-elect Donald Trump visited a Carrier air-conditioner factory in Indiana on Thursday for the announcement of a deal to keep 1,000 jobs at the plant instead of moving them to Mexico. Another 600 jobs from the plant still will move to Mexico, and the company also plans to move about 700 jobs from another Indiana plant south of the border. The agreement that Trump struck with Carrier and its parent, United Technology, includes $7 million in incentives from Indiana in exchange for a $16 million investment in the plant over two years. Critics said Trump opened the door for other companies to request perks for keeping jobs in the U.S. Trump said his effort was "very presidential," and he warned of consequences for companies that move jobs overseas.


Wisconsin kicks off presidential election recount

Wisconsin started its presidential election recount on Thursday, soon to be followed by Pennsylvania and Michigan. President-elect Donald Trump won all three states, sealing victory in the Electoral College, after pre-election polls indicated they would go to his Democratic rival, Hillary Clinton. Wisconsin's recount will be the first candidate-requested review of presidential ballots in 16 years, but it was Green Party candidate Jill Stein, not Clinton, who demanded it and offered to foot part of the bill. Trump won by less than a percentage point — about 22,000 votes — in Wisconsin, but almost nobody expects the recounts to give Clinton victory over Trump.


Francoise Hollande says he won't run for another term as France's president

French President Francois Hollande, whose popularity is dropping, said Thursday that he would not run for reelection next year. The unprecedented move contributed to the country's political turmoil. With France facing high unemployment, far-right populists are gaining strength as anti-immigrant sentiment rises. Some praised Hollande for giving his allies on the left a chance to find a stronger candidate. "As a Socialist, because that is my life's commitment, I cannot accept, I cannot come to terms with the dispersion of the left, with its splitting up," Hollande said. "Because that would remove all hope of winning in the face of conservatism and, worse yet, of extremism."


U.N. apologizes for slow cholera response in Haiti

United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon apologized Thursday for the world body's failure to do enough to fight Haiti's 2010 cholera outbreak, but he avoided mentioning evidence that the deadly disease had been brought to the Caribbean nation by U.N. peacekeepers from Nepal. "We simply did not do enough with regard to the cholera outbreak and its spread in Haiti," he said. "We are profoundly sorry for our role." Ban made the remarks as he announced the U.N.'s new push to help communities affected by cholera, which has killed more than 9,000 Haitians.


Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz to step down in 2017

Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz said Thursday that he would step down next year. Schultz built the company into the world's biggest coffeehouse chain, with 25,000 outlets in 75 countries. The company also sells its coffee through other retailers. On his watch, Starbucks also joined debates on hot-button issues from gun violence to gay rights to race relations. Schultz will be replaced by Starbucks president and longtime board member Kevin Johnson, a close friend. "This is a big day for me," Schultz said. "I love the company as much as I love my family."


Bolivia suspends airline after deadly Colombia crash

Bolivia's Civilian Aviation Authority on Thursday suspended LaMia airlines, the Bolivian-based company that operated the charter jet that crashed near Medellin, Colombia, on Monday, killing 71 people. Many of the victims were players or coaches for a Brazilian professional soccer team, Chapecoense, which was on its way to play in the biggest match of its history. Relatives of victims expressed anger after hearing reports that the pilot had told air traffic controllers that the plane had run out of fuel.


Ex-USC, New York Jets player Joe McKnight fatally shot

Former NFL player Joe McKnight was fatally shot in Louisiana on Thursday in what police are describing as a "possible road rage incident." McKnight, 28, was shot several times at an intersection in Terrytown, Louisiana, about five miles southeast of New Orleans. Police took a suspect, Ronald Gasser, 54, into custody. McNight, a running back known for his versatility and speed, was a standout at the University of Southern California, and played for the New York Jets from 2010 to 2012.


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