Trump says cyberattacks had “no effect” on election outcome after briefing

Four top intelligence officials briefed the president-elect Friday on a classified report on Russian hacking and interference in the election

 

Top intelligence officials briefed President-elect Donald Trump Friday on Russia’s hacking efforts to interfere with the U.S. election.

Following the briefing at Trump Tower in New York, Mr. Trump released a statement on what he called a “constructive meeting and conversation” saying that the cyberattacks had “no effect on the outcome of the election.”

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German Vice Chancellor Sigmar Gabriel calls for ban on Islamist mosques

Social Democrats leader and German Vice Chancellor Sigmar Gabriel has called for tougher measures against Islamist trends in Germany. His demands come just weeks after the “Islamic State”-claimed terror attack in Berlin.

German Vice Chancellor Sigmar Gabriel

In an interview with German weekly Der Spiegel, German Vice Chancellor Sigmar Gabriel said that “Salafist mosques must be banned, communities dissolved, and the preachers should be expelled as soon as possible.”

“Those who encourage violence do not enjoy the protection of religious freedom,” the leader of the Social Democrats (SPD) added, stressing that he had “zero tolerance” in combating Islamism.

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Terror attack on Istanbul nightclub leaves 35 dead

Terror attack on Istanbul nightclub leaves 35 dead

An assailant dressed in a Santa Claus costume opened fire at a nightclub in Istanbul during New Year’s celebrations, killing at least 35 people and wounding several others, Istanbul governor Vasip Şahin said early Sunday.

A police officer was among the killed in the attack targeting the popular Reina nightclub in Istanbul’s Ortaköy district. More than one assailant may have been involved in the attack, sources said. Over 500 people were inside the club at the time.

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What’s their angle? Breaking down the Putin, Trump and Obama spy games

A tweet from the Russian government responding to US sanctions is shown.

President Barack Obama and his first secretary of state, Hillary Clinton, entered the White House in 2009 with visions of a “Russian reset.” But Obama will leave office next month in the midst of a shadowy Cold War-era fever dream, as Washington and Moscow are, once again, beset by accusations of diplomatic chicanery and outright espionage.

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Obama announces sanctions for Russian election hacking

The Obama administration announced today that it will impose sanctions on Russian intelligence services and officials in response to the hacks of American political institutions during the election season.

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Trump announces plans to dissolve his family’s foundation

President-elect Donald Trump announced Saturday afternoon that he plans to dissolve his family’s foundation in the wake of questions regarding possible conflicts of interest once he takes office.

Mr. Trump issued the decision in a press release, which said the Donald J. Trump Foundation has contributed millions of dollars to groups that support veterans, law enforcement officers and children.

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Russian ambassador to Turkey dies after gun attack in Ankara – Foreign Ministry

A body lies on the ground as a man with a pistol gestures at the scene of a shooting in Ankara, Turkey, on December 19.

The Russian ambassador to Turkey has died after being shot by a gunman in Ankara, where he was attending a photo exhibition, the Russian Foreign Ministry has confirmed.

“This is a tragic day in the history of Russian diplomacy. Today, Russian Ambassador to Turkey Andrey Karlov died after being shot at during a public event in Ankara,” Russian Foreign Ministry spokesperson Maria Zakharova said on Monday evening.

The assault on the Russian ambassador is an “act of terrorism,” she added.

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President Obama signs nationwide ticket-bot ban into law

The bill aims to ensure equal access to popular events for the general public.

New York already passed legislation banning the use of ticket buying bots, but President Obama has just made the ban a nationwide law. Today, the president signed the “Better Online Ticket Sales (BOTS) Act of 2016” which makes it illegal to use software to purchase tickets to popular events. Of course, the end goal of doing so is to resell them at a higher price. As you might expect, the law aims to give the general public a fair shot at concerts, sporting events and more that sell out quickly.

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Cuba’s Fidel Castro, former president, dies aged 90

Fidel Castro, Cuba’s former president and leader of the Communist revolution, has died aged 90, state TV has announced.

It provided no further details.

Fidel Castro ruled Cuba as a one-party state for almost half a century before handing over the powers to his brother Raul in 2008.

His supporters praised him as a man who had given Cuba back to the people. But his opponents accused him of brutally suppressing opposition.

 

Illinois explosion kills 1, injures several

CANTON, Ill. — Authorities say one person was killed and several people injured in a natural gas explosion in the central Illinois community of Canton.

Officials say the explosion Wednesday evening occurred near the downtown square and damaged several buildings. Authorities say the cause of the explosion hasn’t been determined.

Canton, with a population of about 14,000, is about 30 miles southwest of Peoria.

Authorities say 11 victims were taken to Graham Hospital in Canton. Fulton County Coroner Steve Hines said one of the victims – an employee of Ameren Illinois, a gas and electric company – later died at the hospital. One victim was taken to OSF Saint Francis Medical Center in Peoria with non-life threatening injuries.

The Fulton County Emergency Services and Disaster Agency reported that the multiple buildings had been damaged and that large amounts of debris were scattered around the Canton square.

Onlookers reported that Canton’s historic Opera House had been leveled by the blast.

“We have structural engineers in the area checking area buildings. This is a very slow and methodical process. They are working hard and as fast as possible,” the agency said in a statement shortly after 9:30 p.m.

The agency has advised residents to avoid the area around the square. Displaced residents were being directed to a Salvation Army facility.