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Two famous ancient structures in the city of Palmyra have been destroyed by ISIS forces, Syria's antiquities chief says.

The Tetrapylon and the facade of the city's Roman theater have both been almost completely demolished, the official says, according to NPR's Alison Meuse.

"Activist Khaled al-Homsi, who is from Palmyra, shared satellite imagery to Twitter, which appears to confirm the scale of the damage," Alison reports. "The face of the Roman theater is a pile of rubble and only four of the Tetrapylon's 16 columns appear to be standing."

President-elect Donald Trump plans to hit the ground running. He could sign his first executive orders within hours of taking the oath of office.

"I've asked my transition team to develop a list of executive actions we can take on Day 1 to restore our laws and bring back our jobs," Trump said in a videotaped message in November. "It's about time."

Vice President-elect Mike Pence echoed that message in a meeting with reporters on Thursday.

"Our job is to be ready on Day 1," Pence said. "We are all ready to go to work."

The incoming president has promised to:

"The Oath." It sounds like the name of a book, and indeed, there have been many volumes with that name. But none more relevant this week than The Oath specified in the Constitution for the president of the United States when he takes office.

The 35 words in Article II, Section I, of the Constitution read as follows:

"I do solemnly swear that I will faithfully execute the office of President of the United States and will to the best of my ability, preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States."

Shortly before Donald Trump takes the oath of office on Friday, Mike Pence will put his hand on Ronald Reagan's Bible and be sworn in as vice president. It's a job that has varied in influence from administration to administration. So how will Pence cut his path?

President-elect Donald Trump takes office on Friday having largely failed to address concerns about the many conflicts of interest posed by his business interests.

Although Trump has settled a few of the outstanding legal and regulatory disputes hanging over him, he remains in the unusual position of presiding over countless policy decisions that will affect his own businesses.

Barack Obama took to the podium in the press briefing room on Wednesday, the second-to-last day of the first black presidency, and after eight years of that becoming increasingly normal, the moment made it all start to seem strange again. So this whole black leader-of-the-free-world thing really happened, huh?

Just over 10 weeks after the idea was first proposed in a Facebook post, tens of thousands of protesters are heading to the nation's capital for the Women's March on Washington on Saturday.

Similar marches are planned in more than 600 other cities and towns around the world. But the largest is expected to take place in Washington, D.C., less than 24 hours into the presidency of Donald Trump.

Standing on the steps of the U.S. Supreme Court on Wednesday afternoon, Simon Tam, the bassist and frontman of the Asian-American rock group The Slants, was fired up. He'd just watched as most of the eight justices questioned whether the government should back his right to use his band's name, which is a racial slur.

"If the government really truly cared about fighting racist messages they would have canceled the registrations for numerous white supremacist groups before they even approached our case," he told a crowd of reporters.

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Among the guests at Friday's inauguration will be one of Donald Trump's political kindred spirits, a fellow populist who railed against immigration and helped drive an electoral upset that stunned the world.

British politician Nigel Farage was a crucial force behind last June's Brexit referendum. Trump became so fond of him, the president-elect suggested the British government appoint Farage to be the U.K.'s ambassador to Washington — advice Prime Minister Theresa May ignored.

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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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Federal, state and local officials in Washington, D.C. are preparing for large crowds and many protests at Donald Trump's inauguration Friday, and other inaugural events and demonstrations this week.

Patrick Madden (@Patrick_Madden) of Here & Now contributor WAMU reports on the event’s many security challenges, and what officials are doing to prepare.

The day after Donald Trump is sworn in as president, tens of thousands of protesters are expected to attend the Women’s March on Washington on Saturday. Here & Now‘s Robin Young speaks with Vanessa Wruble, who has been involved in organizing the march as its head of campaign operations. Wruble is also co-founder and co-president of OkayAfrica.

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.

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.

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.

When he takes the oath of office on Friday, President Trump will inherit a far different country than President Obama did eight years ago. It's a nation that is far more solid in some ways (economics) and shakier in others (terrorist attacks). We have gathered together dozens of statistics to show how the nation that Trump inherits (and the rest of the world) has changed over time.

Will Donald Trump's new job as president create ethical conflicts with his long-running role as a business owner?

Trump sees no problem. "I have a no-conflict situation, because I'm president," Trump said at a recent press conference. He was correctly referring to the federal conflicts-of-interest law that covers Cabinet secretaries, but not presidents.

This post has been updated with additional information on the court ruling.

A teenager who sued the Indian government to gain access to a new drug against multidrug-resistant tuberculosis was granted her petition in a ruling handed down by the New Delhi High Court on January 18, according to the family lawyer. The decision was widely reported in the Indian press.

Updated 5 p.m. ET

West African troops have crossed the border with Gambia in an effort to uphold the result of the country's presidential election by force.

The winner of the Dec. 1 vote, Adama Barrow, was officially sworn in as president at the country's embassy in neighboring Senegal earlier this afternoon. But Gambia's longtime leader, Yahya Jammeh, has refused to quit power despite mounting regional and international pressure.

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