Trump's attorney general pick rejects racism charges

Donald Trump's choice for attorney general branded accusations of racism against him "damnably false" on Tuesday, as the US Senate launched confirmation hearings for key nominees to the Republican president-elect's cabinet. Senator Jeff Sessions of Alabama was the first of a parade of nominees set to go before his Republican and Democratic Senate peers this week, as Trump seeks to get some of his top people into place before taking office on January 20. Sessions, whose nomination has drawn fierce pushback from Democrats, swiftly moved to tamp down a swell of criticism of his civil rights record, which has overshadowed his bid to become the nation's top law enforcement official.