President-elect Donald Trump negotiated a deal with United Technologies in which the corporation agreed to keep 730 manufacturing jobs at its Indiana-based refrigeration subsidiary, Carrier, in exchange for $7 million in state tax breaks, and Carrier announced that it would outsource 600 other manufacturing jobs to Mexico. “It is not good news for everyone,” Carrier wrote in a letter to employees. Trump continued to select his Cabinet, picking Representative Tom Price (R., Ga.), a leading critic of the Affordable Care Act, for secretary of health and human services; Elaine Chao, daughter of a shipping magnate, for secretary of transportation; Wilbur Ross, a banker known as the “king of bankruptcy,” for secretary of commerce; and Steven Mnuchin, a former Goldman Sachs partner who financed the film “Rules Don’t Apply,” for secretary of the treasury. Trump announced that his business council, which includes the CEOs of Walmart, JPMorgan Chase, Boeing, and General Motors, will be chaired by Stephen Schwarzman, the head of the private-equity firm Blackstone Group, who has compared the Obama Administration’s tax policy to the Nazi invasion of Poland, and who has been a proponent of the carried-interest loophole, which Trump has vowed to close. “THE UNITED STATES,” Trump tweeted, “IS OPEN FOR BUSINESS.”
Trump took a phone call from Taiwanese president Tsai Ing-wen, breaking for the first time in nearly four decades the diplomatic convention of considering Taiwan and mainland China a single nation. In a separate call, Trump told Kazakh president Nursultan Nazarbayev—who condones the use of torture, jails peaceful protesters, and has been accused by Human Rights Watch of “heavily” restricting the freedoms of assembly, speech, and religion—that his country’s “success” was a “miracle.” Trump also reportedly told Philippines president Rodrigo Duterte that his war on drugs, in which police have killed more than two thousand Filipinos since Duterte took power in June, was conducted “the right way.” It was reported that House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi called Trump to discuss issues relating to women and families, and Trump handed the phone to his daughter. Trump tweeted that “millions of people” had illegally cast ballots in last month’s presidential election, and the Washington Post identified four cases of voter fraud across the country. The Presidential Inaugural Committee advertised two tickets to an “intimate policy discussion” with Cabinet members for between $100,000 and $249,000, and, for more than a million dollars, eight tickets to a “candlelight” dinner with an appearance by the president-elect. Trump met over dinner with Mitt Romney, who is under consideration for secretary of state, at Jean Georges in Manhattan, where they ate sautéed frogs’ legs, diver scallops with caramelized cauliflower and caper-raisin emulsion, a prime sirloin with citrus glazed carrots, and a chocolate cake. “What I’ve seen through these discussions I’ve had with President-elect Trump,” said Romney, who during the election was a member of the Never Trump movement, “gives me increasing hope that President-elect Trump is the very man who can lead us.” In Long Island, Trump attended a “villains and heroes”-themed costume party dressed as himself.
The Mall of America hired its first black Santa, a real estate company valued Mr. and Mrs. Claus’s North Pole home at $656,957, and it was reported that the price of the gifts from “Twelve Days of Christmas” went up by more than $200 in 2016, to $34,363.49. An alumnus sued Oxford University, claiming that his career as an international commercial lawyer had been hampered because he had not received a higher grade in a course he took 16 years ago on Indian imperial history; a nursing student won almost $27,000 from lawyers who sued her for giving their firm a bad Yelp review; and a man was fined for giving out free hugs on a Montreal subway platform.  Prince Harry announced a “Household Hospitality Scholarship” for residents of the British Commonwealth realms in the Caribbean who want to cook and clean for the British royal family, and a fake U.S. embassy in Ghana was shut down after ten years of issuing visas. A San Francisco airport hired a pig named LiLou that travelers can pet to relieve stress, and the wife of a spokesman of Vladimir Putin performed a Holocaust-themed skating routine as part of a celebrity ice-dancing show on Russian television. A woman called the police after a man refused to stop whistling Semisonic’s “Closing Time” outside her driveway, and a Canadian police department threatened to force those caught driving drunk to listen to Nickelback. “Get your hands off my glass,” the band has sung. “Last call my ass.”
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