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Fox hosts rage after Merkel named ‘more powerful than Ivanka Trump’

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Donald Trump’s favourite Fox News show has hit out at a listing of the world’s most powerful women for placing German chancellor Angela Merkel in first place while the president’s daughter Ivanka was ranked 42nd.

The Forbes listing of the world’s most powerful women placed Germany’s fourth-term leader and continental Europe’s guiding force at the top of the listing after 14 years in power of one of the world’s leading economies.

She was accompanied by Christine Lagarde – the first woman to serve as finance minister for a G8 country and the first woman to lead the International Monetary Fund – who came in second on the list a month after she was named the first woman to serve as president of the European Central Bank.

However Fox and Friends hosts, along with pundit and radio presenter guest Tammy Bruce, said it would be better to have “women who are actually recognised as doing good things for people” in the top flight of the ranking – instead of Ms Merkel who “famously has been praised for standing up to Donald Trump”.

“Forbes even in their listing said it wasn’t in how much money you have or how much power you have – it’s what you do with that power,” said Ms Bruce.

She added: “So not surprisingly its Angela Merkel, a woman named Christine Lagarde who is head of the European bank, and Nancy Pelosi is number three.

She went on to falsely claim crime in Germany was “up double digits” – despite an overall decline in reported crime in the country since the 1990s according to police figures – while adding Europe and Germany were “sliding into a recession”.

Asked if the president’s wife Melania Trump had appeared on the listing, Ms Bruce added: “Melania was not on the list at all. They could not avoid Ivanka but her accomplishments for this country and for the world when it comes to the quality of women’s lives is extraordinary.”

They went on to cite areas including family leave – following a house of representatives bill to offer federal workers 12 weeks of paid parental leave for the first time in US history – and equal pay, an issue she has remained quiet on since giving her blessing to a rolling back of Obama era policy that would have made companies declare their gender pay gap.

German parental leave policies, improved under Ms Merkel, can see women take a number of years off to raise their child while under the age of three.

Ms Bruce went on to describe the G8 nation as “a country that is now just kind of now just limping along,” adding: “When we’re going to recognise women in leadership, let it be women who have been genuinely successful and who really support other women, and who are not just supporting an agenda, that is philosophically based, and is a failure”.



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Democratic lawmaker from New Jersey reportedly plans to become Republican

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Democratic Rep. Jeff Van Drew, a freshman member of the House from New Jersey who was planning to break with his party and vote against impeaching President Donald Trump, will become a Republican, a party official said Saturday.

Van Drew has told top House Republicans about his decision, according to a Republican official familiar with the conversations. The lawmaker also discussed switching parties in a meeting with Trump at the White House on Friday, an administration official said Saturday.

Van Drew’s decision underscores the pressures facing moderate Democrats from Trump-leaning districts as next week’s impeachment vote approaches. Van Drew won his southern New Jersey district by eight percentage points last year, but Trump carried it by five points in 2016 and Van Drew was considered one of the more vulnerable House Democrats going into next November’s congressional elections.

There are 31 House Democrats who represent districts Trump carried in the 2016 election, and many of them have been nervous about the political repercussions they would face by voting to impeach Trump. The House Republican campaign committee has already run ads targeting many of them, but most are expected to support Trump’s impeachment.

A senior Democratic aide said Van Drew had not notified House Democratic leaders about his decision. All the aides spoke on condition of anonymity to describe private conversations.

The senior Democratic aide provided what was described as a poll conducted earlier this month by Van Drew’s campaign showing that by more than a 2-1 margin, people in his district would prefer a different candidate than Van Drew in the Democratic primary and general election.

Rumours surfaced last week that Van Drew might switch parties, and he repeatedly denied them to reporters. But he reaffirmed his plan to oppose impeachment, barring new evidence.

“It doesn’t mean that I agree with everything the president may have said or done. It means that I don’t believe that these are impeachable offences,” he said in an interview Thursday.

Van Drew and a spokesperson did not answer their cellphones or return text messages on Saturday.

Democrat-controlled House set to impeach Trump

Even with his defection, there remains no doubt that the Democratic-controlled House will vote to impeach Trump on a near party-line vote.

Democrats will still control the chamber by 232-198, plus an independent and four vacancies. Until now, Van Drew and Rep. Collin Peterson of Minnesota were the only Democrats expected to vote against impeachment, with perhaps a small handful of others joining them. House Republicans seem on track to oppose impeachment unanimously.

Van Drew was a longtime state senator. His congressional district had been under Republican control for nearly two decades before he was elected.

The House is set to approve two articles of impeachment against Trump this coming week. Democrats, who hold the majority, expect support from all but a few of their members. No Republicans are expected to join them.

The Republican-controlled Senate is then all but certain to acquit Trump after a trial in January.

Van Drew has argued that the process is likely just to further divide the country and it would be better to let voters decide Trump’s fate in next year’s election.

In the first article of impeachment, Trump is accused of abusing his presidential power by asking Ukraine to investigate his 2020 rival Joe Biden while holding military aid as leverage. In the second article, he’s accused of obstructing Congress by blocking the House’s efforts to investigate his actions.



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Shots fired in fight at crowded Atlanta mall spark panic; 1 injured

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Gunfire erupted inside a busy mall near Atlanta on Saturday afternoon, wounding one person and sending scores of holiday shoppers fleeing, authorities said.

Shots were fired at about 1:18 p.m. around the food court of the Cumberland Mall in Cobb County, about 14 miles north of downtown Atlanta, officials said.

“It was a fight that escalated and got out of control” before one person was shot, Cobb County Fire Department spokeswoman Denell Boyd told NBC News.

The shooter fled the scene, and the victim’s condition wasn’t immediately clear.

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Cobb County police tweeted at 1:50 p.m. there was “no active shooter.”

*We are continuing to gather information but this is not an active shooter event,” police said. “It appears this was an isolated incident.”

Aside from the wounded shopper, no one else was injured, according to a mall spokeswoman.

“An altercation between three individuals escalated this afternoon in our food court,” said Lindsay Kahn, a rep for mall owners Brookfield Properties.

“While we are disheartened by this isolated incident, we are grateful there were no further injuries and that our security and partners at the Cobb County Police Department were on site to contain the situation. This was a frightening experience for our tenants and guests and we are assisting the police with their developing investigation.”

Multiple police agencies from the Atlanta area responded to the scene, as shoppers streamed out of the mall.

One Instagram user posted video of the chaotic scene, as shoppers “started running like crazy.”

“We just came to get some Chinese food,” the shopper wrote, “then all hell broke lose.”





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