December 17, 2017

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Trump administration bans selected words at health agencies: paper

Trump administration bans selected words at health agencies: paperThe Trump administration has told agencies within the Department of Health and Human Services to avoid using certain words or phrases in official documents being drafted for next year's budget, the Washington Post reported on Saturday. The newspaper said one of the agencies, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, was given a list of seven prohibited words or phrases: "vulnerable," "entitlement," "diversity," "transgender," "fetus," "evidence-based" and "science-based." Officials at a second agency were also told to use "Obamacare" instead of the Affordable Care Act to describe President Barack Obama's 2010 healthcare law and to use "exchanges" instead of "marketplaces" in reference to venues where people can buy federally subsidized health insurance, the Post reported.


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U.S. renewable energy industry relieved as Republicans keep tax credits

U.S. renewable energy industry relieved as Republicans keep tax creditsBy Valerie Volcovici WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The U.S. renewable energy industry expressed relief after a compromise Republican tax bill released late on Friday preserved key tax credits that had been at risk of being removed, but it raised concerns about a provision that may threaten investment in the sector. The final tax bill retains the production and investment tax credits for wind and solar energy that have spurred investment in the fast-growth industries. It also eliminates the alternative minimum tax, which would have reduced the value of those credits.


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Evacuations ordered for California's third-largest wildfire since 1932

Evacuations ordered for California's third-largest wildfire since 1932Evacuation orders were issued Saturday for areas in California's Santa Barbara County as the state battles its third-largest wildfire since 1932, with winds and dry conditions threatening to help the blaze grow. Santa Barbara's Office of Emergency Management announced a series of mandatory evacuation orders as well as voluntary evacuation warnings for parts of the county on its Twitter account. The so-called Thomas fire menacing Santa Barbara has already burned 259,000 acres (105,000 hectares) of land, destroyed over 1,000 structures and cost more than $100 million since it broke out on December 4, the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection (Cal Fire) said.


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Does Pentagon still have a UFO program? The answer is a bit mysterious

Does Pentagon still have a UFO program? The answer is a bit mysteriousThe Pentagon acknowledged on Saturday that its long-secret UFO investigation program ended in 2012, when U.S. defense officials shifted attention and funding to other priorities. The New York Times reported on Saturday that the hush-hush program, tasked with investigating sightings of unidentified flying objects, or UFOs, ran from 2007 to 2012 with $22 million in annual funding secretly tucked away in U.S. Defense Department budgets worth hundreds of billions of dollars.


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Trump allies say Mueller unlawfully obtained thousands of emails

Trump allies say Mueller unlawfully obtained thousands of emailsBy Steve Holland WASHINGTON (Reuters) - An organization established for U.S. President Donald Trump's transition to the White House a year ago said on Saturday that the special counsel investigating allegations of Russian meddling in the 2016 election had obtained tens of thousands of emails unlawfully. Kory Langhofer, counsel to the transition team known as Trump for America, Inc., wrote a letter to congressional committees to say Special Counsel Robert Mueller's team had improperly received the emails from the General Services Administration, a government agency. Career staff members at the agency "unlawfully produced TFA’s private materials, including privileged communications, to the Special Counsel’s Office," according to the letter, a copy of which was seen by Reuters.


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