10 things you need to know today: January 16, 2017
Trump promises "insurance for everybody," Loretta Lynch marks MLK Day saying civil rights work "is not finished," and more
Trump promises 'insurance for everybody' in ObamaCare replacement
President-elect Donald Trump is working on a proposed replacement for ObamaCare aiming to offer "insurance for everybody," he told The Washington Post in a weekend interview. Trump's plan would come as the Republican-led Congress moves forward with an effort to repeal President Obama's signature health care reform law with no consensus on how to replace it. Any replacement plan considered an expansion of the government's involvement in health care would be likely to face opposition from conservatives. Democrats have vowed to fight any attempt to water down provisions in the Affordable Care Act. Trump also said he would drive down health care costs by forcing drug companies to negotiate on prices in Medicare and Medicaid.
Attorney general says civil rights work not finished in event honoring MLK
Loretta Lynch commemorated Martin Luther King Day a day early on Sunday, saying that despite progress on civil rights "our work is not finished." In her final speech as attorney general, Lynch said, "I know that while our accomplishments make us proud, they must not make us complacent." Lynch, the first African-American woman to serve as attorney general, made the remarks at Birmingham's 16th Street Baptist Church, where four black girls were killed in a 1963 Ku Klux Klan bombing. The church is in Birmingham's Civil Rights District, which President Obama named as a national monument last week.
Democrats rally to defend ObamaCare
Democrats and labor organizers led dozens of rallies across the U.S. on Sunday in a bid to muster opposition to Republican efforts to repeal ObamaCare. The protesters also vowed to fight any attempt to change Medicare or Medicaid. "Nobody's gonna shut us up! Nobody's gonna turn us around!" Sen. Tim Kaine (D-Va.), the 2016 Democratic vice-presidential nominee, said in a Richmond rally. "We're standing in the breach and battling for tens of millions of Americans!" Sen. Bernie Sanders and Democratic congressional leaders were behind the events, which Sanders said were intended to "show Republicans that the majority of people are against repealing the Affordable Care Act."
Priebus calls on Obama to 'step up' and defend Trump's legitimacy
Incoming White House chief of staff Reince Priebus on Sunday called on President Obama to "step up" and urged Democrats to accept President-elect Donald Trump's victory. Priebus said it was "incredibly disappointing" to that Rep. John Lewis (D-Ga.) had said that Trump was not a "legitimate president." Priebus called the claim "insanity." Lewis, a prominent lawmaker and civil rights activist who marched with the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr., and more than a dozen other Democratic lawmakers have said they will not attend Trump's inauguration on Friday. Democrats bristled at Priebus' suggestion that Obama should stand up for Trump, noting that Trump had played a key role in promoting the birther movement claim that Obama was not born in the U.S. and was therefore ineligible to be president.
Trump says he would lift Russian sanctions for nuclear arms reduction deal
President-elect Donald Trump said in an interview published Sunday that he plans to offer to lift some Russia sanctions in exchange for a nuclear arms reduction deal. "They have sanctions on Russia — let's see if we can make some good deals with Russia," Trump told The Times of London. 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 a bid to sway the 2016 presidential election in Trump's favor. Trump said he hoped to have a better relationship with Russian President Vladimir Putin than President Obama has had.
BMW is latest automaker to face Trump's border tax threat
President-elect Donald Trump continued his campaign of threats against automakers building and expanding plants in Mexico, this time targeting Germany's BMW. In excerpts of an interview released by German newspaper Bild on Sunday, Trump warned that he would impose a 35 percent border tax on cars exported to the U.S. from a plant BMW plans to build in Mexico. A BMW spokeswoman said the plant in San Luis Potosi would build BMW 3 Series vehicles for the world market starting in 2019. Trump said it would be "much better" for the company to build the plant in the U.S. The BMW spokeswoman said BMW is "very much at home in the U.S.," where it employs nearly 70,000 people directly and indirectly.
26 die in latest Brazil prison riot
Brazilian authorities said Sunday that the death toll from a prison riot had risen to 26 inmates. The riot broke out Saturday evening and continued until riot police regained control of the facility, State Penitentiary of Alcaçuz near the city of Natal, around 7 a.m. Sunday, local time. The deaths pushed the number of prison killings in the country so far this year to more than 120. As in another recent riots, some of those killed were decapitated.
Diplomats call for renewing commitment to two-state Middle East peace solution
Envoys from some 70 countries issued a statement Sunday calling on Israel and the Palestinians to recommit to the goal of negotiating a peace settlement that includes two states. The diplomats, who gathered in Paris, reportedly intended to send a message to Europe, the Arab states, and the incoming administration of President-elect Donald Trump that the global consensus is that there should be a renewed push for a two-state solution. The participants in the meeting, who included Secretary of State John Kerry, also warned Israel to stop building settlements in Palestinian territory. Israel said Kerry reassured Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who called the meeting "futile," that there would be no concrete consequences coming out of the conference.
China says 'One China' policy not negotiable
China responded to President-elect Donald Trump's suggestion the U.S. might drop its "One China" policy by saying that the existing American policy regarding Taiwan is non-negotiable. Trump told The Wall Street Journal that "everything is under negotiation including 'One China.'" Beijing views Taiwan as a breakaway province rather than an independent nation. The official U.S. policy recognizes that, but the U.S. also has promised to defend Taiwan if it is ever attacked by the mainland. Trump has previously suggested that the decades-old policy could be used to pressure China into making better trade deals.
South Korean prosecutor calls for Samsung chief's arrest
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.