The Trump Administration’s national security staff is alarmingly mostly vacant as he takes office today. “The delays and dysfunction threaten to cripple the incoming administration from the outset and raise the risk the White House will present confused or contradictory policies to the outside world. Without his team in place, the new president will likely be unprepared should an early-term crisis erupt abroad, or an adversary test the new administration’s mettle, said former officials who served in both Republican and Democratic administrations…The positions still to be filled include senior management and policy posts that oversee diplomacy, military budgets, nuclear weapons, counterterrorism, and media relations, said Obama administration officials, congressional staffers and people familiar with the transition. The Trump team has not yet named senior deputies for the State or Homeland Security departments. Meanwhile, dozens of important posts at the Defense Department remain vacant in part because of a growing feud between Trump’s advisors and James Mattis, the retired general picked to serve as the next defense secretary. As for the White House, the Trump team has yet to name a national security advisor for Vice President-elect Mike Pence and other key posts, officials told FP.” (FPhttp://atfp.co/2jymSbE)

 

New Gambian President Sworn in….in Senegal…“Gambian President Adama Barrow has taken the oath of office in neighbouring Senegal, while the country’s defeated longtime ruler refuses to step down from power, deepening a political crisis. Barrow was inaugurated on Thursday in a hastily-arranged ceremony at Gambia’s embassy in the Senegalese capital, Dakar. “This is a day no Gambian will ever forget in a lifetime,” Barrow said in a speech immediately after being sworn in. The small embassy room held about 40 people, including Senegal’s prime minister and the head of Gambia’s electoral commission. Also at the event were officials from West Africa’s regional bloc, ECOWAS, which is threatening a military intervention to force outgoing president Yahya Jammeh, who lost an election last month, to step down.” (Al Jazeera http://bit.ly/2iXiEtc)
Stat of the Day…According to a new UN report Nearly 58 percent of Latin Americans or close to 360 million people, is either overweight or obese. (Reuters http://reut.rs/2k7I3lv)

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