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Donald Trump's advisers spent weeks planning an unprecedented call between the President-elect and the president of Taiwan as part of a new strategy toward Taiwan, the Washington Post reported Sunday.

Per the Post:

The historic communication — the first between leaders of the United States and Taiwan since 1979 — was the product of months of quiet preparations and deliberations among Trump’s advisers about a new strategy for engagement with Taiwan that began even before he became the Republican presidential nominee, according to people involved in or briefed on the talks.

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Donald Trump on Monday morning announced that he will nominate former Republican presidential candidate and retired neurosurgeon Ben Carson to be the secretary of housing and urban development.

"I am thrilled to nominate Dr. Ben Carson as our next Secretary of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. Ben Carson has a brilliant mind and is passionate about strengthening communities and families within those communities," Trump said in a statement. "We have talked at length about my urban renewal agenda and our message of economic revival, very much including our inner cities. Ben shares my optimism about the future of our country and is part of ensuring that this is a Presidency representing all Americans. He is a tough competitor and never gives up."

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WASHINGTON (AP) A man who said he was investigating a conspiracy theory about Hillary Clinton running a child sex ring out of a pizza place fired an assault rifle inside the Washington, D.C., restaurant on Sunday injuring no one, police and news reports said.

Metropolitan Police Department spokeswoman Aquita Brown said police received a call Sunday afternoon about a male with a weapon on Connecticut Avenue, in an affluent neighborhood of the nation's capital.

Edgar Maddison Welch, 28 of Salisbury, North Carolina, walked into the front door of Comet Ping Pong and pointed a firearm in the direction of a restaurant employee, the Washington Post (http://wapo.st/2gERkPC) reported.

The employee was able to flee and notify police. Welch then fired the gun into the floor.
Police responded and arrested Welch without incident. They recovered an "assault rifle," Brown said. Welch was charged with assault with a dangerous weapon.

Two firearms were recovered inside the restaurant and an additional weapon was recovered from the suspect's vehicle, police said in a statement on Sunday evening.

The Comet Ping Pong is in a neighborhood of well-tended private homes and apartment buildings on leafy streets that lead to a mix of shops, restaurants and the Politics and Prose book store. The restaurant gained notoriety during the presidential campaign after fake news stories stated that Hillary Clinton and her campaign chief ran a child sex ring out of the restaurant, The New York Times and other news organizations have reported.

Welch told police he'd come to the restaurant to "self-investigate" the fictitious online conspiracy theory that spread online during Clinton's run for the White House, the police statement said.

The Comet, its owner, staff and nearby businesses were caught up in an onslaught of conspiracy theories and fake news during the often contentious presidential campaign and were the victims social media attacks and death threats, the Post reported.

James Alefantis, owner of Comet Ping Pong, released a statement late Sunday night that denied what he called the "malicious and utterly false accusations" and said the company hoped to resume normal operations within a few days.

"I hope that those involved in fanning these flames will take a moment to contemplate what happened here today, and stop promoting these falsehoods right away," Alefantis said in the statement.

CANNON BALL, N.D. (AP) — The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers said Sunday that it won't grant an easement for the Dakota Access oil pipeline in southern North Dakota, handing a victory to the Standing Rock Sioux tribe and its supporters, who argued the project would threaten a water source and cultural sites.

North Dakota's leaders criticized the decision, with Gov. Jack Dalrymple calling it a "serious mistake" that "prolongs the dangerous situation" of having several hundred protesters who are camped out on federal land during cold, wintry weather. U.S. Rep. Kevin Cramer said it's a "very chilling signal" for the future of infrastructure in the United States.

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[The following was originally presented as a speech before the Congrés de Periodistes de Catalunya in mid-November. Learn more about Dan Gillmor here.]

I was honored to keynote the Congrés de Periodistes de Catalunya in Barcelona last week, and this is an edited version of what I said:

I’m glad to be here with you today in Barcelona. This is one of my favorites cities and regions, for many reasons that go far beyond the great people and food and remarkable things to see. There’s a spirit of political and economic innovation here that inspires me – and many others around the world.

It is a special honor to be at this Congress of Catalonian journalists. Journalists are among the people who inspire me the most – most of all when they’re doing their work with persistence and integrity.

I was planning to show you some slides. I was planning to talk about how far we’ve come in digital journalism, and how far we have to go to make it the thriving ecosystem our societies – and our journalists – need it to be.

But something happened this week.

America’s election has – and for once this is not an exaggeration – changed everything.

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WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl, the former prisoner of war who's accused of endangering comrades by walking off his post in Afghanistan, is asking President Barack Obama to pardon him before leaving office.

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