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ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

Even Rick Perry changes his mind.

At his confirmation hearing as President-elect Donald Trump's pick for Secretary of Energy, the former Texas governor said he no longer wants to do away with the department he once said should be eliminated.

Or, at least, that was something he tried to say.

In 2011, during one of his presidential campaign debates, Perry could only remember the names of two of the three agencies he wanted get rid of. The third agency is the very one he was chosen by Trump to head.

Many Americans are still deeply divided about the next president. That includes some married couples, like Marty and Jessica Halprin of Woodbridge, Conn. He supported Trump, she supported Clinton.

In November, they talked about their tense night watching the election results.

These days, Jessica says things have gotten less tense in their house. She says she's even noticed some cracks in Marty's support for Trump.

Isidro Baldenegro Lopez, a Mexican indigenous activist and subsistence farmer who led the fight to protect ancient forests from illegal logging in the northern Mexican state of Chihuahua, was slain on Sunday.

Baldenegro Lopez, a leader among the Tarahumara people, for years had led non-violent sit-ins and blockades in protest of logging in the Sierra Madre mountain region.

No matter what you think about what Donald Trump says, there's no doubt that there's something very unusual about how he says it.

After Trump takes the oath of office on Friday, he is expected to deliver a set piece speech, recited from text, not by impulse.

But what distinguished him as a campaigner wasn't his talent with the teleprompter. It was a manner of speaking unlike anything we heard from his rivals or predecessors.

President-elect Donald Trump told a group gathered at an inauguration luncheon Thursday that he is naming New York Jets owner Woody Johnson to be ambassador to the Court of St. James's, the ambassador to the U.K., a transition official confirmed.

Trump's remarks came after the press was ushered out of the luncheon.

Johnson was the Trump campaign's finance chairman. Appointing an NFL team owner is not without precedent. President Obama named Dan Rooney, the owner of the Pittsburgh Steelers and a campaign booster, as ambassador to Ireland in 2009.

xXx, in case you've forgotten, is the other action series that Vin Diesel started with director Rob Cohen (Stealth, Alex Cross) in the cultural desert of the early aughts, promptly abandoned, and then limped back to (after producers churned out one or more Diesel-less installments).

All Things Considered co-host Ari Shapiro is on a road trip leading up to the inauguration of Donald Trump on Jan. 20. He is driving through North Carolina and Virginia, on the way to Washington, D.C. These are two swing states that went in opposite directions in November, each by a close margin: North Carolina for Trump; Virginia, for Hillary Clinton. As the country faces dramatic changes, we're asking people what they want from that change — and what concerns them.

When the Watergate scandal blew up in the 1970s, one of the things to emerge from its shadow was the Office of Government Ethics. And OGE usually works quietly behind the scenes to make sure that people who run the country have no financial ties that could influence their work.

At its helm is a man named Walter Shaub Jr., a longtime ethics lawyer, who has been at OGE for a decade. And when you ask people about him, Shaub is described as careful, even-keeled, even kind of boring — a government lawyer.

On the day before taking office, President-elect Donald Trump arrived in Washington, D.C., to kick off inaugural festivities.

His first stop: a leadership luncheon at his new five-star hotel, the 263-room Trump International Hotel, blocks from the White House.

The hotel has been the center of a debate over conflicts between Trump's business interests and the presidency.

Incoming White House spokesman Sean Spicer told reporters Thursday Trump's use of the hotel for a reception shouldn't come as a "shocker" to anyone, and he even gave his boss's hotel a plug.

The incoming Trump administration will keep more than 50 Obama administration appointees in key government jobs for now, transition spokesman Sean Spicer announced on Thursday. The holdovers include Deputy Defense Secretary Robert Work, DEA Administrator Chuck Rosenberg, and the director of the National Counterterrorism Center, Nicholas Rasmussen.

The global money service company Western Union has admitted it helped people commit wire fraud, among other criminal violations, and agreed to pay $586 million.

The settlement is the result of an investigation that found Western Union was "willfully failing to maintain an effective anti-money laundering program," the Justice Department said in a statement.

Georgia Republican Tom Price, who is President-elect Trump's choice to run the Department of Health and Human Services, is suddenly drowning in questions over the investments he has made while serving in the House of Representatives.

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