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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The government body that oversees the security of voting systems was itself hacked

The U.S. Election Assistance Commission, which is responsible for testing and certifying voting systems, among other things, was hacked around the time of the election, security outfit Recorded Future reports. The EAC confirmed a “potential intrusion” in a statement issued to TechCrunch.

This isn’t a smoking gun for a stolen election or anything like that; the EAC doesn’t actually run the elections, nor does it handle voter information. But it is a shameful display all the same, especially considering how loudly and frequently the hacking threat has been bruited by officials this year.

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Oracle CEO Safra Catz joins Trump transition team

Oracle’s chief executive Safra Catz will join President-elect Donald Trump’s transition team, an Oracle spokesperson told TechCrunch.

Catz was one of several top tech executives that attended a meeting with Trump, his children and his advisors yesterday at Trump Tower in New York. Catz was the most outspokenly optimistic attendee prior to the meeting, saying, “I plan to tell the President-elect that we are with him and are here to help in any way we can.”

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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.

 

Can president-elect Trump follow through on ISIS?

With U.S. forces fighting and advising in Syria and Iraq, CBS News compares his campaign rhetoric with the campaign against ISIS

 

In two months, President-elect Donald Trump will be commanding troops in combat for the first time.

With U.S. forces fighting and advising in Syria and Iraq, CBS News is comparing the Trump campaign rhetoric with the campaign against ISIS.

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Marine Le Pen, Beppe Grillo, Geert Wilders, Frauke Petry: has their big moment arrived?

With elections due across Europe and a referendum in Italy, the establishment fears political tremors

Marine Le Pen poster

Dogged by the migration crisis and the traumatic business of Brexit – to name just two current, existential challenges to their project – those who run the European Union felt they had enough on their plates before Donald Trump seized the White House.

News of his triumph broke on Europe, as had that of the British vote to leave the European Union on 23 June, in defiance of opinion pollsters and the assumptions of political elites that maintained that the world’s most advanced democracy could never deliver such a blow to the established order. Then it did.

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