Barack Obama beat Donald Trump for the title of the ‘most admired’ man in America


1:07 p.m. ET

Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

Americans named Hillary Clinton the “most admired” woman for the 15th year in a row, according to Gallup’s annual list. President Barack Obama was dubbed the most admired man.

Obama has won every year since 2008, when he beat out George W. Bush before even taking office, reports. Donald Trump came in second to Obama, at 15 percent to the president’s 22 percent. Pope Francis came in third, followed by Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders and Rev. Bill Graham, with former president Bill Clinton and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu tying for sixth place. The Dalai Lama, Bill Gates, and Vice President-elect Mike Pence, in 10th place, rounded out the category.

Hillary Clinton has come in first in the Gallup poll a record 21 times. She was followed this year by Michelle Obama, who had 8 percent of the vote to Clinton’s 12 percent. Other women to make the top 10 were German Chancellor Angela Merkel, Oprah Winfrey, Ellen DeGeneres, Queen Elizabeth, human rights advocate Malala Yousafzai, former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren, and former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin.

  • 3:26 p.m. ET

    Kevin Winter/Getty Images

    In an attempt to keep the Grim Reaper at bay, concerned Betty White fans have donated to a GoFundMe launched to help protect the star in the waning days of 2016.

    This year has been a tough one when it comes to celebrity deaths — Muhammad Ali, Prince, David Bowie, Carrie Fisher, George Michael, Gene Wilder, and Alan Rickman are just a smattering of the famous names to pass away in 2016. White, 94, is the last living Golden Girl and a national treasure, and one man decided that the way things have been going, it’s important to keep her safe until Jan. 1, 2017, when hopefully a gentler, kinder year will begin.

    Of course, there’s a twist — Demetrios Hrysikos said that while he is willing to fly to White’s house, “assuming she doesn’t want a strange Greek standing guard outside her door, all monies will be donated to the Spartanburg Little Theater to help craft new stars of stage and screen to carry [the] mantle of the legends that have left us this year.” After the GoFundMe went viral, Hrysikos announced he came up with the idea after learning of Fisher’s death Tuesday, and he wanted to “put a smile back on some people’s faces and do some good.” Sure, give some of the money to the theater — but use the rest to purchase a protective bubble for Betty.

  • 2:51 p.m. ET

    GALI TIBBON/AFP/Getty Images

    Within the next few days, Netanyahu will be called in for police questioning over two separate cases, Channel 10 says. The report states that a secret inquiry of Netanyahu was started almost nine months ago, and police recently received documents that led them to request Mandelblit open a full criminal investigation into Netanyahu over bribe-taking and aggravated fraud. A Justice Ministry spokeswoman declined to comment.

    Several other possible scandals are swirling around Netanyahu — the state prosecutor’s office is reportedly looking into allegations he accepted about $1.1 million in 2009 from a French tycoon later accused of fraud, and earlier this month, there were calls for an investigation into Netanyahu’s role in a Defense Ministry deal to buy submarines from a Germany company partly owned by the Iranian government that has ties to Netanyahu’s lawyer.

  • 2:26 p.m. ET

    JACK GUEZ/AFP/Getty Images

    Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Wednesday he had to express his “deep disappointment” in U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry’s earlier speech promoting a two-state solution for Israel and Palestine, saying it was “almost as unbalanced as the anti-Israel resolution passed at the U.N. last week.”

    The U.N. Security Council passed a resolution calling Israeli settlements in East Jerusalem and the West Bank a “flagrant violation” of international law, with the U.S. abstaining from the vote. A bitter Netanyahu said Kerry “paid lip service to the unremitting campaign of terrorism that has been waged by the Palestinians against the Jewish state for nearly a century. What he did was spend most of his speech blaming Israel for the lack of peace by passionately condemning a policy of enabling Jews to live in their historic homeland and in their eternal capital, Jerusalem.”

    Netanyahu said Israel has always “extended its hand in peace” to neighbors, and “thousands of Israeli families have paid the ultimate sacrifice to defend our country and advance peace,” adding, Israelis “do not need to be lectured on the importance of peace by foreign leaders.” He said that Palestinian children are not being educated “for peace” like Israeli children, and the Palestinian Authority “teaches them to lionize terrorists and murder Israelis. My vision is that Israelis and Palestinians both have a future of mutual respect, coexistence, but the Palestinian Authority tells them they will never accept and should never accept the existence of a Jewish state.”

    Netanyahu also claimed he has evidence that the United States “organized and advanced” the U.N. Security Council resolution, but he is refusing to share it with anyone but the incoming Trump administration, saying some of the material is “sensitive.” This allegation has already been denied by Kerry.

  • 1:50 p.m. ET

    ROSLAN RAHMAN/AFP/Getty Images

    More than 6,000 people have been killed since Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte started his war on drugs six months ago, and reactions from inside the country are mixed.

    It’s believed that most of the murders were done by vigilantes, and Duterte, who said in November his anti-narcotics push won’t stop “until the last pusher drops dead,” refuses to condemn them. Reuters interviewed several people on the streets of Manila to ask for their thoughts on Duterte’s hardline measures, including one woman, Rosalina Perez, who said her brother was killed by police during a drug investigation. “At first, we liked what [Duterte] was doing,” she said. “But as it went on I started to question what he was doing. Everyone who wants to change are just killed. They are not even given a chance to explain themselves to the authorities.”

    Felicidad Magdayao, the owner of a fast-food restaurant, said his business has “suffered” under Duterte’s leadership. “People are afraid to go out,” he said. “At dawn, we only have a few customers. At least, there are fewer drug addicts and drug pushers.”

    Police officer Ronaldo David told Reuters his caseload has dwindled, and he’s now focused “on educating people and in prevention.” A teacher said the streets are safer now and children are allowed to walk to school alone again, and grave digger Sandro Gabriel Jr. shared that the cemetery where he works has had an influx in burials of people shot and killed in the drug war. “I am not saying Duterte should keep killing people,” he said. “But for us, we will keep working as long as there is work.”

  • 12:57 p.m. ET

    Spencer Platt/Getty Images

    More and more parking-style meters are popping up in cities across the United States, encouraging passerby to drop in their loose change in lieu of giving it to panhandlers.

    The program began in Denver in 2007, and there are now 700 meters in the country, which accept cash and credit cards. The latest meters have been installed in Pasadena, California; Indianapolis; and New Haven, Connecticut, where four have been placed in areas where panhandling has been an issue. While the money is given to programs that help the homeless, Mark Horvath, founder of the homeless advocacy group Invisible People, the meters further stereotypes that the homeless panhandle to support their drug and alcohol use.

    “A huge percentage of people who are panhandling are in housing, but they can’t afford to make ends meet,” he said. “There are so many better solutions than putting up meters, like the permanent support of affordable housing and a living wage.” It’s not illegal to panhandle, he added, and people who need money will still ask for it, meters or not. So far, there is no data or studies to show that the meters are reducing panhandling, but supporters say they still are worth installing as part of a bigger attempt to combat homelessness.

  • 12:02 p.m. ET

    In response to a 25-hour sit-in this summer that Democrats livestreamed on social media, Republican Speaker of the House Paul Ryan has proposed new fines and ethics violations for taking photos or shooting videos on the chamber floor.

    Ryan’s spokeswoman, AshLee Strong, said the plan “will help ensure that order and decorum are preserved in the House,” but experts say this may go against Article 1 of the Constitution, which reads, “each House may … punish its Members for disorderly behavior.” “The Constitution gives the House the authority to discipline members; I have never heard of anything where an officer of the House was given that authority,” Mike Stern, a former lawyer for the House counsel’s office and the Senate Homeland Security Committee’s GOP staff, . The proposed rule is a “plausible Constitutional issue to raise,” he said, and the strongest argument Democrats would have against it is “the House doesn’t have the authority to give these officers the power to punish us; only the power of the House can do that, and [Republicans] have short-circuited our rights by the way they’ve done it.”

    After Ryan refused to allow a vote on gun control this June, Democrats began a sit-in that was livestreamed on their phones; House rules prohibit taking video or photos of the floor. C-SPAN aired the protest until Republicans shut down the chamber and turned off their cameras, but the channel then picked up a cellphone livestream from a lawmaker. The sit-in outraged Republicans, who have spent the past few months working on a plan to either punish the lawmakers who led the protest or write new rules to deter a similar event, Politico reports. Rep. Eric Swalwell (D-Calif.), one of the leaders of the protest, tweeted that Republicans could “bring it on,” and adding they could fine him and other House Democrats “all the way into bankruptcy for #gunviolence sit-in, but we will always speak for victims.”

  • 11:41 a.m. ET

    Secretary of State John Kerry presented the Obama administration’s final vision for Israel and Palestine and “address[ed] some of the misleading critiques” in a speech Wednesday at the State Department in Washington, D.C. In his remarks, Kerry argued for a two-state solution, claiming that this goal was the driving force behind the U.S.’s decision to abstain last week from a controversial U.N. vote that ultimately resolved to condemn Israel’s West Bank settlements.

    “No American administration has done more for Israel’s security than Barack Obama’s,” Kerry said, adding firmly that “if the choice is one state, Israel can either be Jewish or democratic. It cannot be both. And it won’t ever really be at peace.”

    Kerry speaks on Israel: “If the choice is one state, Israel can either be Jewish or democratic. It cannot be both.”

    The New York Times notes that it is unclear what Kerry’s goal is with his speech, other than to lay out his principles, as President-elect Donald Trump insisted Wednesday that “we cannot continue to let Israel be treated with such total disdain and disrespect.” Referring to his inauguration next month, Trump also tweeted, “Stay strong Israel, January 20th is fast approaching!”

  • See More Speed Reads