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“My heart is heavy because it aches for the times when we actually lived up to our reputation as the world’s greatest deliberative body. It longs for the days in which Democrats and Republicans would meet on middle ground…”

Senator Orrin Hatch (R-UT), in his farewell address on the Senate floor. After 42 years of service, he warns the institution is in "crisis" largely due, he says, to a loss of humor and common decency among members.
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“Somewhere along the way Mr. Cohen appears to have lost his moral compass.”

U.S. District Judge William H. Pauley III as Pres. Trump's former attorney Michael Cohen was sentenced to 3 years in prison. Cohen, addressing the judge, said his "blind loyalty" made him "cover up his dirty deeds." Cohen pleaded guilty to multiple crimes including lying to Congress & making payments for "influencing the election" in 2016. He reports to prison in March.
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“We now need to get on with the job.”

UK Prime Minister Theresa May after surviving a confidence vote. She won, but not comfortably - 200 lawmakers backed her while 117 voted against. Before the vote, she promised she would not run again. Her leadership may not be challenged again for another year. On Thursday, May travels to meet with EU leaders in hopes of renegotiating a deal for leaving the European Union by March 29.
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“I got the job done by being truthful, but also by letting him be unpredictable. And not showing our cards.”

Nikki Haley, U.S. Ambassador to the UN, in her first interview since announcing she will leave the post at the end of the year. She has not announced her future plans. President Trump has nominated State Dept. spokesman Heather Nauert to replace her.
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“This is unsustainable over time.”

California Public Utilities Commission report proposing a texting surcharge to support a growing budget that includes phone services for the poor. The text tax, which is proposed to be retroactive for 5 years, would amass $220M from California consumers. However, in a meeting Wednesday, the FCC affirmed that a federal regulatory ruling may prevent such a tax. Tax supporters argue the ruling is not a fatal blow.
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“I will take the mantle. I will be the one to shut it down. … And I’m going to shut it down for border security.”

President Trump in a meeting Tuesday at the White House with Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) & Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY) on a looming partial gov't shutdown due largely to the disagreement over funding for a U.S.-Mexico border wall. Pres. Trump wants $5B to fund border wall additions, but Democrats have only agreed to $1.3B on border security.
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“We want to do the same thing we did last year, this year. That’s our proposal. If it was good then, it’s good now and it won’t shut down the government.”

Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY) as Dems offer to postpone the gov't funding dispute by extending Homeland Security funding at current levels until Sept 30 2019 (includes $1.3B for border security). In 2019, Democrats will have the majority in the House of Rep., which has the responsibility of allocating taxpayer money.
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“He came out from the porch of a building armed with a pistol in his hand, his arm outstretched. He headed towards a gentleman walking in front of me and he immediately fired a bullet at his head.”

A woman named Audrey describing a suspected terrorist attack near a famous Christmas Market in Strasbourg, France. At least two people died; at least a dozen injured. The suspect, known to authorities, is at large.
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“…we always think it’s in our duty to explore possibilities to give users access to information.”

Google CEO Sundar Pichai in his first testimony before Congress, refusing to rule out launching a censored search engine in China. During 3.5 hours before the House Judiciary Cmte, Pichai revealed Google has been working on the controversial project for "a while" with as many as 100 employees assigned. Critics say it would serve as a tool for surveillance and censorship for the Chinese gov't.
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“It’s bittersweet, as these things always are.”

Kathie Lee Gifford, co-host of 10AM hour of the Today Show, announcing her departure next April after 11 years to focus on her music & movie work. Gifford co-hosted "Live! with Regis and Kathie Lee" for 15 years. Jenna Bush Hager is widely seen as her show replacement on "Today" to co-host with Hoda Kotb.
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“What can you do about it but laugh?”

Maria Peterson, Utah Dept of Corrections deputy director, after mistakenly sending a holiday party potluck invitation originally intended for 80 to all 22,000 state employees. The IT department was able to correct the email goof, dubbed "ReplyAll-pocalypse" after 12 minutes, but not before confused responses flooded in. Peterson says the potluck is still on, but she may order a few extra meat & cheese trays in case others show.
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“Some units have completed their mission…”

Col. Rob Manning, Dept of Defense, on the 2,200 troops set to leave the U.S.-Mexico border - a portion of the approx. 5,200 sent in response to the flux of asylum seekers. Several thousand active duty troops will remain through Jan. 31st. On Tuesday, top democrats will meet with Pres. Trump, who wants $5B for a border wall to avoid a gov’t shutdown before Christmas; Democrats reportedly want to keep funding for border security at current levels: $1.3B
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“There will be no enduring and successful Brexit without some compromise on both sides of the debate.”

UK Prime Minister Theresa May as she postponed a Tuesday Parliamentary vote on Britain's exit from the EU due to lack of support. She pledged to reach a new deal with the EU, but the EU warns after two years of debate it will not renegotiate. European & U.S. (albiet briefly) stock markets fell dramatically due to the uncertainty.
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“I assume my share of the situation … I know some of you have been hurt by my words.”

French President Emmanuel Macron issuing an apology for not responding to the initial outrage of its citizens who have protested in the streets throughout the country for four straight weeks. The 13-minute, pre-recorded speech, his first public comments since protests began, announced tax cuts & a wage increase for the middle class in a mea culpa from a president many protesters say is to blame for favoring the rich.
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“This is a key question that has confounded us.”

CDC’s Dr. Nancy Messonnier on why a virus is suddenly causing paralysis, primarily in children. A record 158 children in 36 states are suffering from acute flaccid myelitis (AFM) this year, according to the CDC. That's the highest recorded level. While still investigating AFM's cause, the CDC is also trying to learn why globally it is primarily affecting America.
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“Welcome to the neighborhood.”

Betty Liu, New York Stock Exchange Exec Vice Chair, as the "Fearless Girl" statue will now be a permanent fixture outside of the Wall Street institution. The 4-foot tall, bronze statue was only supposed to be on display for a wk, but ended up spending two years staring down the "Charging Bull" just a few blocks away. It was moved to the NYSE due traffic & complaints from the "Charging Bull" creator who argued the girl's placement changed the context of his work.
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“A winter storm’s not a Christmas carol snow. It’s serious.”

North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper as 12-20 inches of snow pummeled the state this weekend - more than many areas typically see in an entire year. The heavy, wet snow caused trees and power lines to snap with over 200,000 without power.
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“People don’t want to stop because we want the President to go.”

Ilda, protester, as 71 people were injured in the 4th week of protests over the cost of living in France. French President Emmanuel Macron, who has been the target of protesters' anger, is expected to address the nation Monday.
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“When I say if this deal does not pass we would truly be in uncharted waters, I hope people understand this is what I genuinely believe and fear could happen.”

UK Prime Minister Theresa May ahead of Tuesday's vote in Parliament on a deal to leave the European Union. She warns of "grave uncertainty" if no Brexit or leaving without a deal at all. Britain is set to leave the EU March 29.
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“It’s possible that we would be interested. If they were going to sell a plant or not use it that we would take it over.”

Tesla CEO Elon Musk on Tesla's plans to expand, possibly into some of the five plants General Motors announced it will close as part of restructuring plan, which will lay off 14,000 workers to focus on electric vehicles, like Tesla. However, Tesla's financial viability is often a matter of great debate.
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“Imagine the loyalty of hanging in in the worst of circumstances and being here waiting.”

Andrea Gaylord speaking about her dog who survived California's most deadly and destructive fire, protecting the ruins of the home for nearly a month until his owner returned. Gaylord was forced to flee immediately on Nov. 8 when the fire broke out, but an animal rescuer made sure her male Anatolian shepherd mix was given water and food regularly.
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“We cannot take the risk when we know the threat.”

France's Culture Minister Franck Riester on plans to close the Eiffel Tower and Louvre Museum Saturday due to planned protests. The riots, now entering their 4th week, have grown increasingly violent. Protestors have also sprayed graffiti on famous French landmarks. The French gov't has cancelled plans for a fuel tax increase, but protestors vow to continue, fighting what they say is a high cost of living in France & a gov't that favors the rich.
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“What this week and a half shows is an extraordinary sensitivity to headlines, more so than usual.”

Delores Rubin, Deutsche Bank Wealth Management senior equities trader, as stocks fell nearly 800 points before bouncing back Thursday. Concerns of a US-China trade stalemate weighed on investors, but stocks rebounded on news the Federal Reserve may not raise interest rates as quickly as planned. The Nov. Jobs report will be key Friday.
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“We still want Russia to cut as much as possible… I’m not confident, but I hope to reach a deal.”

Saudi Arabian Oil Minister Khalid Al-Falih as OPEC fails to reach a consensus on how much oil the 15-nation group will produce for the next 6 months. Saudi Arabia wants to cut production by 1M barrels per day to stop oil's price slide but the group is waiting for Russia, a non-OPEC member, to commit. Oil prices dropped by the most in 2 weeks on the news. OPEC will meet again Friday.
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“All of a sudden we started skidding, and then he started braking even more aggressively and then he was like, ‘brake!'”

Yvonne Dorr, Southwest Airlines passenger on a flight from Oakland to Burbank, after the 737 skidded off the runway to a sharp stop, just short of a CA freeway during a rainstorm. Cement blocks & sand-like ground material prevented the plane from overshooting even further. No one was injured.
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“I just about fainted. I’ve never touched that much money and I don’t think I ever will again.”

Kevin Booth (32), a homeless man in Seattle, who found $17,000 in a bag outside of a food bank and turned it in. The food bank turned the money over to police who held it for the required 90 days, but no one claimed it so they returned it to the food bank, which gave a portion of it back to Booth to thank him for his honesty.
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“To us, his was the brightest of the thousand points of light.”

President George W. Bush eulogizing his father by repeating one of his famous lines. In accepting the Republican nomination for President in 1988, Pres. H.W. Bush described America, as a "nation of communities...a brilliant diversity spread like stars, like a thousand points of light in a broad and peaceful sky." Pres. H.W. Bush will be laid to rest Thursday in Texas.
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“I believe that the operational military situation is largely stalemated.”

Marine Lt. Gen. Kenneth McKenzie testifying to the Senate Armed Services Committee about Afghanistan, as he seeks confirmation to head U.S. forces in the Middle East. General McKenzie says if America left now, Afghan security forces could not defend the country against the Taliban but expressed some optimism re: peace talks with the group that just claimed responsibility for killing 4 U.S. soldiers.
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“Our American partners apparently believe that the situation has changed to such an extent that the U.S. should have such weapons. What answer will they have from our side? It’s simple: we’ll do it too.”

Russian President Vladimir President addressing U.S. threats to withdraw from a Cold War arms treaty that prohibits the construction of certain nuclear missiles. The U.S. believes Russia is violating the treaty and unless Russia shows compliance, will sever the pact. Russia denies violating the deal.
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“She came out on the good, on this end, and the other guy — the bad guy — didn’t… I think she’ll be inspiration to a lot of other ladies.”

South Carolina Pickens County Sheriff Rick Clark speaking about a local woman who shot and killed an escaped prison inmate who broke down her door in the middle of the night and approached her bedroom. The woman, a legal gun owner, shot the intruder once in the head and killed him.
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“It was a day and night difference. She got up on the bed and did a back flip. That is the first time we saw her acting like she was before.”

Curtis Stark, owner of Olivia, a Boston terrier, burned badly in California's deadliest wildfire. In an innovative new treatment, vets are using the skin of tilapia (a white fish) to help heal burns on cats & dogs injured by the fire. Initial reports suggest new skin, that would take weeks to rejuvenate, is taking days.
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“It was in his blood to be a soldier. He wanted to be a true American and fight for his country.”

Linda Collins on the death of her nephew Sgt. Jason Mitchell McClary (24). The Army soldier died Sunday at a military hospital in Germany as a result of injuries from a roadside bomb attack last week in Afghanistan. The Taliban claimed responsibility for the attack - the deadliest on U.S. forces in Afghanistan this year.
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“We have to avoid a shutdown. If we haven’t learned our lessons in the past, I don’t think we’ll ever learn them.”

Sen. Orin Hatch (R-UT) as Congress seeks a 2-week extension to avoid a gov't shutdown as business in D.C. comes to a standstill following the death of Pres. George H.W. Bush. Lawmakers will extend temporary funding for several agencies through Dec. 21st. Pres. Trump has required $5B in border wall funding as part of negotiations.
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“We are not saying we are going to get out of the oil business but it is controlled by an organization managed by a country.”

Qatar's Minister of State for Energy Affairs Saad Sherida al-Kaabi, in a jab at Saudi Arabia, on why it's choosing to leave OPEC. The nation is one of OPEC's smallest oil producers, but one of the world's biggest liquified natural gas producers, and says it will instead focus on that. Qatar's last OPEC meeting will be this Thursday.
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“…it appears that the number of persons under investigation for AFM has peaked and will continue to decline.”

CDC after confirming 134 cases of a polio-like illness Acute Flaccid Myelitis (AFM) in 33 states. While 18 new cases have been confirmed in the past week, most were from September & October. 90% of the patients are children. The CDC does not yet know what causes it.
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“She is the true original. She not only marched to the beat of her own drum — honey, she is a one-woman band!”

Whoopi Goldberg, paying tribute to Cher, at the Kennedy Center Honors Sunday evening. The 41st annual awards show began with a standing ovation tribute for President George H.W. Bush & then honored singers Cher, Reba McEntire, jazz great Wayne Shorter, composer Philip Glass, & a special award for the co-creators of "Hamilton."
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“This is probably the best case scenario that markets were hoping for…”

Rakuten Securities Australia as the U.S. & China agree to postpone new tariffs and continue talks for 90 days. Meeting on the sidelines of the G20 Saturday, Presidents Trump & Xi's trade truce was broadly seen as "positive," but there is caution. If no deal is reached in 90 days, U.S. warns it will raise tariffs from 10% to 25%.
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“Nothing felt safe. Nowhere felt safe.”

Emily Grove of Anchorage, Alaska taking cover in her bathtub after back-to-back earthquakes measuring 7.0 and 5.7 rocked the area Friday, briefly triggering tsunami warnings. While Alaska has experienced powerful earthquakes over 7.0, it is rare for one to strike this close to a densely populated area.
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“People work and pay a lot of taxes and we are fed up.”

Rabah Mendez, protesting as part of the worst riots in a decade in Paris. Activists dubbed the "yellow jackets" have torched cars, looted shops, and even sprayed the famed Arc de Triomphe with graffiti. Over 400 people were arrested in protests Saturday, as riots against tax hikes and the high cost of living stretch into a third week.
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“That’s a lie. And it’s not always enough to lean in, because that s*** doesn’t work all the time.”

Former First Lady Michelle Obama speaking to a sold-out NYC crowd for her new memoir "Becoming" about why sometimes women can't "have it all." Obama went on to say the Facebook's COO Sheryl Sandberg's feminist mantra "lean in," which says women should be assertive to overcome workplace inequities, doesn't always work. "Becoming" is the best-selling book of 2018.
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“We just presumed it was gone. In the end, we had no choice but to walk away…”

John Drennan after losing the engagement ring he used hours earlier to propose to his girlfriend of 10 years Daniella Anthony. The ring slid off and ended up falling 8 feet down a utility grate in Times Square. Police tried to help, but it was too dark. By Sunday morning, NYPD's emergency services unit had success and tracked down the UK couple to return the ring.
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“I want to make sure you can wear my kicks proudly.”

NBA Warriors' Steph Curry responding to a handwritten letter from 9-year-old Riley Morrison. She wanted to wear Under Armour's "Curry 5" shoes and wanted to know why they didn't sell them for girls. The two-time MVP responded with a handwritten letter promising to "correct it now," sending her a pair, and assuring her she'll be one of the first to get the next edition basketball shoe.
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“The moon represents a proving ground, it’s the way we can reduce risk, we can prove technology, we can prove human physiology… and we replicate them at Mars.”

Jim Bridenstine, NASA Administrator, on its plans for space station to orbit the moon allowing humans to go back and forth to its surface in practice for landing on Mars. NASA hasn't been to the moon since 1972, but says it will have continuous presence within 10 years.
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“Given the due diligence that was done … I am very hopeful that we won’t see any kind of increase.”

Sheriff Kory Honea, the man in charge of searching for the missing in Northern California's Camp Fire, after completing a review of 18,000 burned structures in the search for victims. Three weeks after it began, the death toll stands at 88, but it is still not clear why 200 remain missing. Heavy rains are now impacting the area causing flooding.
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“I’m open to making a deal. But, frankly, I like the deal we have right now.”

President Trump ahead of a critical meeting on trade with China's President Xi Jinping. The two are meeting on the sidelines of the G-20 and are expected to have dinner Saturday night in Buenos Aires. The meeting will signal whether the world's two largest economies can resolve their differences and perhaps lower the combined hundreds of billions in tariffs currently imposed.
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“…I believe very much in Christmas. That’s how I express myself — through my lights.”

Thomas Apruzzi of Old Bridge, NJ. His family's annual Christmas light display has taken place for at least 15 years & attracts throngs of onlookers. The town says the holiday display costs taxpayers at least $45K for resources to ensure traffic and pedestrian safety. Town officials want Apruzzi to foot the cost; Apruzzi believe his lights reflect his freedom of expression and he won’t pay.
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“He just amazed me. He’s my hero. My son is my hero.”

Dawna Duez, mother of Staff Sgt. Dylan Elchin (25) who was killed by a roadside bomb in Afghanistan on Tuesday with two others; Army Capt. Andrew Patrick Ross (29) & Army Sgt. 1st Class Eric Michael Emond (39). Ross, served in the Army for 7 years and is survived by his wife. Emond, served in the Army and Marine Corp for more than two decades. He was on his 7th overseas deployment and leaves behind his wife and 3 children.
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“I must note we are seldom free to work with unblemished partners.”

Defense Sec. Jim Mattis in a prepared statement before briefing senators in a classified setting, alongside Sec. of State Mike Pompeo. The topic of the hearing: Yemen & U.S. relations with Saudi Arabia, given the recent controversy over the murder of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi. Senators voted to allow a vote next week on withdrawing U.S. support for Yemen's civil war; a direct affront to the Saudis.
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“There is no preset policy. We will be paying very close attention to what incoming economic and financial data are telling us.”

Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell during a moderated a discussion, signaling a rapid rate rise by the Fed may not be in the cards. The stock market rallied on this news, as the comments soothed investor fears over higher interest rates negatively impacting the economy (making it more expensive for people and companies to borrow money in some cases.)
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“I don’t want anyone to think this is fun and games. Ukraine is under threat of full-scale war with Russia.”

Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko on a naval confrontation with Russia in the Baltic Sea. President Putin alleges three Ukrainian ships provoked it and now says Poroshenko is using it to his advantage ahead of 2019 elections. Due to the clash, President Trump has threatened to cancel his meeting with Putin on the sidelines of the G-20.
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“I’m thinking about how the hell to get out from under that question fast.”

Former Secretary of State John Kerry reacting to a direct question about whether he'd make an announcement to run for president. He went on to say, "I haven’t been running around to the most obvious states, laying any groundwork or doing anything. Am I going to think about it? Yeah, I’m going to think about it.”
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“Roald would, I know, be thrilled.”

Felicity Crosland, widow of famous children's writer, Roald Dahl, reacting to the news his children stories like "Matilda" will be adapted in animated series by Netflix.
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“Despite the headwinds facing the housing market going into 2019, we expect U.S. house prices to generally achieve a soft landing.”

Goldman Sachs on why, even in the face of "higher mortgage rates, unfavorable recent tax policy changes," it sees a slowdown - not a crisis in the housing market next year. Less home construction will limit inventory to avoid a collapse, but it warns the boom days following the Great Recession are over.
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“So far, I’m not even a little bit happy with my selection of Jay. Not even a little bit.”

Pres. Trump on his disapproval of Federal Reserve's plan to gradual increase interest rates & its Chairman Jerome Powell. On Wednesday, Powell will deliver a closely-watched speech ahead of an expected interest rate hike in December - making it slightly more expensive to borrow. Pres. Trump has repeatedly warned rising interest rates will hurt the economy.
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“…appear to have used cellular telephones… to facilitate unauthorized… and impermissible contact.”

U.S. prosecutors alleging lawyers for "El Chapo" Guzman helped coordinate an unauthorized phone conversation between the drug lord and his wife Emma Coronel. The motion asks for sanctions against the defense team for violating strict security rules that forbids hug between the couple. Defense team says the claim is "pure speculation."
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“The reason we won is because Mississippians know me and they know my heart, and thank you for stepping up Mississippi.”

Republican Cindy Hyde-Smith on her historic and controversial election to the U.S. Senate in Mississippi. Her win brings the Republican majority in the Senate to 53-47. Hyde-Smith will be the first woman elected to Congress from Mississippi. Next year, a record-breaking 24 women will serve in the U.S. Senate.
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“Sir, I can’t thank you enough. What you’ve done for me is virtually unheard of. Never in my life have I or my family witnessed such generosity.”

Hunter Shamatt (20) after a fellow traveler returned his lost wallet after finding it on a flight. The package, sent to his home in South Dakota, contained a note, the wallet - *plus* an extra $40 in cash for an even $100, encouraging him to "celebrate getting your wallet back."
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“Flawless.”

Rob Manning, NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory chief engineer, on three-legged spacecraft InSight's autonomous landing on Mars after a perilous 6-minute decent. In a first of its kind 2-year mission, the probe will dig into Mars' core to learn more about how rocky planets like it in our solar system differ so greatly from Earth. The last time NASA touched down on Mars was 2012.
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“It is introduced with the sole purpose of boosting Ukraine’s defense in the light of a growing aggression from Russia.”

Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko after Parliament supported his plan to declare 30-day martial law after Russia fired-on and held three Ukrainian ships & 23 crew members in a disputed area of the Black Sea. Martial law, a first for the nation even during war times, effects 10 of 27 regions. Russia says Ukraine entered its waters illegally.
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“Last year was bad; this year is horrible.”

Chris Winkler, on having to shut down two of his four Christmas Tree selling locations in Kendall, Florida, due to a nationwide Christmas Tree shortage, which experts blame on the 2008 financial crisis. Trees take about 10 years to grow and the crisis meant growers planted fewer trees to save money. Fear not! The shortage doesn't mean you'll have to buy an artifical tree, but it could mean higher prices and less selection.
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“When this started out a couple years ago we were pretty skeptical about it…”

Colleen Finn Ridenhour, Habitat for Humanity SVP, on Giving Tuesday, a day of fundraising for our nation's charities. Giving Tuesday, now in its 7th year, was started by New York City's 92nd Street Y & the United Nations Foundation. Last year, it raised more than $300M in one day with an average gift of $120.
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“There’s no guarantee that this it’s going to stay SUV, SUV, SUV, SUV. …it could be problematic for them.”

Mike Ramsey, Gartner transportation analyst, on General Motors decision to end production of smaller passenger cars like the Chevrolet Cruze, laying off 14K+ employees and closing plants in Michigan, Ohio, Maryland & Canada. GM says the move will save the company an est. $6B by 2020; The United Auto Workers union says it will fight the decision.
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