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President Trump is expected to declare his pick to fill the vacancy in the US Supreme evening announcement (about 8pm ET...**See ABC for coverage advisory**). The President is said to have narrowed the possibilities to two: Neil Gorsuch of the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals, and Thomas Hardiman of the 3rd Circuit Court of Appeals. Trump's sister,

--White House spokesman Sean Spicer defends President Trump's sweeping executive order on immigration, saying it's "Putting America's safety and security first and foremost, bar none." But openly defying the White House, the acting Attorney General has directed Justice Department attorneys not to defend the executive order.  Sally Yates, a Democratic appointee, says in a memo that she is not convinced that Trump's order is lawful, or that its defense is consistent with the department's obligation to "always seek justice and stand for what is right."  President Trump tweets "The Democrats are delaying my cabinet picks for purely political reasons. They have nothing going but to obstruct. Now have an Obama A.G."
--The White House also is facing off with career diplomats about the immigration ban.. In a draft "dissent memo" dozens of Foreign Service officers and diplomats stationed around the world expressed concern, and considered sending a formal objection to senior State Department officials. White House press Secretary Sean Spicer says they should "Get with the program, or they can go."
--"Everybody was kept in the loop at the level necessary to make sure that we rolled it out properly."  Republican Sen. Johnny Isakson of Georgia says "DHS and some of the others had not been consulted and there were slip ups."

Authorities announcing charges against the suspected gunman of Sunday night's shooting at a mosque in Quebec:   Six counts of first-degree murder against suspected gunman, Alexandre Bissonnette and they say more charges could be forthcoming.  Authorities have also released the identities of the six people killed in the attack. A neighbor of Bissonnette tells ABC News: "He was always alone. No friends, no parties, always alone. He was only with his twin."
PM Trudeau attended a vigil for the victims Monday night.

Facing a lawsuit from a New Jersey mother, the Boy Scouts of America announces that starting immediately the organization will accept and register youth in the Cub and Boy Scout programs based on their gender identity - and not what's on their birth certificate.  This is a major shift - one which the Boy Scouts had been resisting.

More of the President's cabinet picks face committee confirmation votes, including Jeff Sessions for Attorney General, Nancy DeVos for Education Secretary and Tom Price for HHS Secretary. 

--President Trump defends his sweeping executive order on immigration: "This is not about religion - this is about terror and keeping our country safe," he said in a statement Sunday night. A senior administration official calls the process so far a "massive success story." Green card holders -- legal permanent residents  -- would be exempt from the travel restrictions in the President's executive order on immigration.
--Swarms of protesters descended on airports around the country this weekend. A federal ruling  prevents those detained at airports from being deported right away. Travelers detained at airports have slowly been questioned and released. More legal challenges to the executive order expected.
--Some Republican lawmakers criticize the executive order, Bob Corker calling it "poorly implemented."

Five killed, eight injured in a shooting at a mosque in a Quebec City suburb Sunday night. Authorities are calling it an act of terror.  Police say two suspects, both in their twenties, are in custody.

A White House official says President Donald Trump could announce his pick for the Supreme Court as early as Monday.

Committee votes are expected this week on more cabinet nominations including Steve Mnuchin for Treasury Secretary, and Tom Price for Health Secretary.

One U.S. service member was killed and three others were injured in Yemen during a raid Saturday by Navy SEALs targeting al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula's senior leadership, officials said. The operation, which officials said was launched by the elite counter-terrorism unit SEAL Team Six, was the first carried out with the direct approval of President Donald Trump and resulted in 14 al-Qaeda operatives killed, officials said. Trump in a statement Sunday afternoon only referred to American "service members" in hailing the operation against "radical Islamic" terrorists, which he said was vital to preventing future attacks.

Delta  Airlines acknowledges a "systems outage" that caused departure delays around the country. Some 150 flights were affected Sunday night.  Last Sunday evening United Airlines was hit with a computer crash.

Starbucks says it will hire 10,000 refugees over the next five years.  The coffee chain's move is in response to President Donald Trump's indefinite suspension of Syrian refugees and temporary travel bans that apply to six other Muslim-majority nations.  

A couple of big surprises Sunday night at the Screen Actors Guild Awards. The cast of Hidden Figures picking-up the big prize, best movie cast, was a surprise since their nomination was a surprise - the film hadn’t made a lot of noise as an awards contender until that big SAG nod. Emma Stone’s best actress win for La La Land gives her the edge now as Oscar front-runner. And Denzel Washington won best actor for Fences.  Politics was also a major theme of the SAG Awards show.  Many Actors used the show platform to criticize President Trump's travel ban.

Psychological thriller "Split" topped the weekend box office for a second straight week.  The thriller took in an estimated $26.3 million.  "A Dog's Purpose" opened in second place -- despite bad publicity over alleged animal mistreatment during filming. It fetched an estimated $18.4 million.  Hidden Figures rounded out the top three.


--President Trump welcomes his first foreign leader to the White House Friday, British Prime Minister Theresa May.  Key topics on the agenda likely to be the fight against ISIS, the future of NATO, and trade between the two countries once Britain leaves the EU.  Trump and May hold a news conference after their meeting.
--The Mexico meeting is off. The wall is on.  Next week's meeting between President Donald Trump and Mexico's president has been canceled. The White House insists it was a mutual decision. Enrique Pena Nieto says Mexico will not pay for the planned wall at the border. President Trump's spokesman floated one possible way to pay for it: a 20-percent tax on imports from Mexico and maybe other countries. Some economists say the result would be higher prices for many Americans who can least afford it.  White House chief of staff Reince Priebus says the Trump administration has "a buffet of options" to pay for the wall.
--Russian President Vladimir Putin and President Trump are expected to talk by telephone this Saturday, the Kremlin said, their first conversation since Trump took office. The White House has not confirmed a phone will take place. Putin's spokesman Dmitry Peskov, asked by Russian news agencies if the phone call could take place on Saturday, replied: "Yes," but gave no further details.
--The day after he took the oath of office, President Trump personally pressured the National Parks Service director to come up with visual evidence to prove the media lied about the size of the inauguration crowd. That's according to the Washington Post. A Park Service spokesman confirms to ABC News a call did take place, but would not comment on what was said.

Vice President Pence will speak to the March For Life rally in Washington. His appearance comes a few days before President Trump is expected to name a Supreme Court nominee, who could provide a deciding vote on cases that  restrict access to abortion. The rally begins on the grounds of the National Mall, and the March (to begin about 1pm ET) will end in front of the U.S. Supreme Court.

 In an apparent effort to keep federal funds pouring into the county, Miami-Dade Mayor Carlos Gimenez has ordered jails to comply with immigration guidelines. President Trump tweets: "Right decision. Strong!" 

Friday marks 50 years since three astronauts, Gus Grissom, Ed White and Roger Chaffee, were killed in the Apollo 1 fire.

The bodycam footage from a white Fort Worth police officer's controversial arrest of a black woman who called 911 last month has been released by the woman's legal team. On Dec. 21, Jacqueline Craig and two of her daughters were arrested by Fort Worth Police Officer William Martin after Craig called police to complain about a neighbor who had allegedly choked her son, according to her attorneys. Craig's legal team obtained the bodycam video from journalist Shaun King, Merritt said. King is a writer for the New York Daily News and is also active in the Black Lives Matter movement.

Cook County prosecutors will likely announce indictments Friday against four people charged with kidnapping and attacking a Crystal Lake teen whose ordeal was streamed live on Facebook. Brittany Covington, 18, her sister Tanishia Covington, 24, Tesfaye Cooper, 18, and Jordan Hill, 18, face charges of aggravated kidnapping, unlawful restraint, and aggravated battery with a deadly weapon and a hate crime in the attack on the 18-year-old, who prosecutors say has schizophrenia and attention deficit disorder.

New numbers in Spokane County show the Mumps outbreak has now spread to 90 people. Health officials are urging people to get up to date on their shots as nearly 350 Spokane students are now home instead of in the classroom. During an outbreak, the Spokane Regional Health District can order students and staff who aren't vaccinated to stay home for 25 days. Every parent who signs a vaccine exemption form acknowledges this is what will happen if there's an outbreak. Still, some parents are worried about the amount of school their kids are missing.

In his exclusive interview with ABC News, President Donald Trump confirms to ABC's World News Tonight Anchor David Muir that he is about to sign a sweeping executive action to suspend some immigration to this country. Not a Muslim ban, says Trump, "But it's countries that have tremendous terror."
--President Trump tells David Muir "there are millions of votes, in my opinion" that were cast illegally in the election. The President says there will be an investigation.  Rep. Jason Chaffetz, the chairman of the House Oversight Committee, said he's not going to investigate.
--On his reported plan to ease limits on treatment of detainees, Trump says of torture: "Absolutely I feel it works." Sen. John McCain says "The law is the law. We are not bringing back torture." A senior administration official says there is nothing under active consideration right now at the white house for changing the rules on advanced interrogation techniques.
--President Donald Trump is considering executive action that could target U.S. funding of the United Nations as well as U.S. participation in international treaties, a senior administration official confirmed to ABC News. One of the options under consideration would take aim at the United Nations and other international bodies and would cut off U.S. contributions to any organization that gives full membership to the Palestinian Authority or Palestine Liberation Organization (although U.S. law already prevents such contributions), funds abortion or circumvents sanctions against Iran or North Korea.

Big city mayors push back big time against President Trump's immigration moves.  The President wants to "crack down on sanctuary cities," and cut off federal funding to cities that won't enforce federal immigration laws.  Mayor Rahm Emanuel says Chicago will "stay a sanctuary city." New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio calls the President's executive order "very troubling." Seattle's Mayor Ed Murray says Trump has put the country on the "pathway to a Constitutional crisis."
--Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto spoke out Wednesday night against President Donald Trump's plan to build a border wall, saying he rejects the move. "I regret and reject the decision of the United States to continue building a wall that, that for years, far from uniting us, divides us," Pena Nieto said in a taped message.

President Trump and Vice President Pence speak to Republicans at their winter retreat in Philadelphia Thursday.  Britain's Prime Minister Theresa May addresses the group also. (Trump is to meet with May at the White House Friday).

The Dow opens Thursday over the 20-thousand mark for the first time. A market analyst says it's a signal the economy is getting better, but as the market heads up, so too may interest ratse.

She helped revolutionize the depiction of women on TV. Roles that reflected changing times in the '60s and '70s marked the career of Mary Tyler Moore, who died at age 80 Wednesday. Moore went from housewife in the Dick Van Dyke Show to an independent professional in the Mary Tyler Moore show. Colleagues have been paying tribute, including Ed Asner, Cloris Leachman, Gavin MacLeod, Donald Sutherland and Timothy Hutton.

Former President George H.W. Bush's condition continues to improve since being diagnosed with pneumonia. He  doctors believe he might be able to go home this weekend.

A Franklin, Tennessee knitting shop is asking those who want yarn for any project relating to the "women's movement" to buy yarn elsewhere. In the post, uploaded to The Joy of Knitting's Facebook page Tuesday afternoon, it asks "if you want yarn for any project for the women's movement that you please shop for yarn elsewhere," and said the "vulgarity, vile and evilness of this movement is absolutely despicable." The post was signed by the shop's owner, Elizabeth Poe, and had more than 3,300 shares and nearly 4,000 comments by Wednesday afternoon. Some comments on Poe's post offered support while many did not agree and went as far as to call for a boycott.

Shia LaBeouf was arrested in New York City early Thursday morning and charged with misdemeanor assault after getting into an altercation with another man at an anti-Donald Trump performance art protest he's been livestreaming since Inauguration Day, the NYPD said. Police tell ABC News LaBeouf, 30, engaged in a verbal dispute with the man, a 25-year-old resident of the Bronx early Thursday morning. LaBeouf proceeded to pull the scarf of the other man, scratching his face while doing so.



--President Trump welcomes automobile Industry leaders to the White House Tuesday morning. He will also sign an executive order. In the afternoon, he will have a call with the prime minister of India and meet with CIA Director Mike Pompeo. He will also meet with Senate leaders and have an additional meeting with Senator Mitch McConnell afterward.
--President Trump signed three memoranda on Monday, including one pulling the United State from the Trans Pacific Partnership. Another implemented a federal hiring freeze for every branch except for the military. The third memorandum called for two regulations to be removed for every new one approved.
--The Affordable Care Act was a major topic of President Trump's meeting with lawmakers. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is said to have told Mr. Trump that his infrastructure plan needs to be paid for -- not added to the debt. The President also met with union leaders, saying it's time to put "people back to work".

--The Senate will pick up the pace on the President's cabinet picks. Various committees will meet to decide whether to approve as many as half a dozen nominees including Senator Jeff Sessions (R-AL) for Attorney General, Ben Carson for Housing and Urban Development, and former Texas govenor Rick Perry to head the Department of Energy.  We'll also be watching the official the confirmation hearing for Congressman Tom Price of Georgia for Health and Human Services.
--Monday evening 15 Democrats joined most Republicans in confirming former Congressman Mike Pompeo as CIA Director.  Minutes later Vice President Pence officiated at Pompeo's swearing in. The Senate Foreign Relations committee cleared the way for a full Senate vote on the nomination of Rex Tillerson as Secretary of State.

--A powerful Nor'easter has been lashing parts of the east coast. Torrential rain and gusts over 50 miles an hour have brought flooding and power outages.
--A storm-related death in Florida brings the death toll to 20 from the weekend series of strong storms and tornadoes that tormented Southern states.

The British Supreme Court justices ruled that Prime Minister Theresa May must get parliament approval to trigger Brexit and start the two-year process of negotiating the UK's divorce from the European Union.  The eight-to-three ruling is a blow to Prime Minister Theresa May who has repeatedly said she intends to trigger Article 50 by the end of March following the clear majority in favor of Brexit in the June 2016 referendum.  This is expected to prolong the process but does not stop the UK from leaving the EU.  

Doctors say former President George H.W. Bush is still recovering from pneumonia but is well enough to leave the intensive care unit. In a photo released Monday, the 92-year-old former president is seen in his hospital bed; wife Barbara is standing alongside, holding his hand. Barbara Bush had been discharged after being treated for bronchitis.

A US military spokesman calls it "rubbish" and propaganda, Russia's claim that its warplanes flew a joint mission over Syria with the U.S.-led coalition against ISIS the Islamic State group.

A scary moment for Minnesota Governor Mark Dayton when he fainted Monday night during his State of the State Address. Gov. Dayton could be heard slurring his words at the podium before taking a long sip of water and then collapsing. He was quickly carried away and the session suspended. The governor's son put out a tweet soon after saying his father was doing just fine.

Chicago Police Superintendent Eddie Johnson provided details on weekend raids in some of the city's highest crime areas. Johnson says 120 arrests were made. More than 50 people were shot in the city over the unseasonably warm weekend.

--Violent storms and tornadoes killed 19 people in Georgia and Mississippi over the weekend. The latest round of strong storms caused deaths around Albany, Georgia, and will be dumping a lot of rain up the East Coast as a Nor'easter. Georgia's governor has declared a state of emergency in seven counties.
-- In California, a major storm brought heavy rain, strong winds, mountain snow, and rough surf. Flash flooding, mudslides, and some wind damage will all be possible. The rain comes to an end on Monday and drier weather moves in, but the threat for mudslides will continue over the next few days.

-- In his first full work week as Commander-in-Chief, President Donald Trump's team says to expect a “flurry of activity.”  Monday morning the President hosts a listening session for key business leaders. He then will sign executive orders in the Oval Office. Later he holds a listening session with union workers. In the evening he will meet with Speaker of the House Paul Ryan.  
--Counselor to the President Kellyanne Conway said she "didn't see the point" of the Women's March on Washington on Saturday.  "I mean you have a day after [President Trump] is uplifting and unifying, and you have folks here being on a diatribe where I think they could have requested a dialogue. Nobody called me and said, 'Hey, could we have a dialogue?'" Conway told ABC News' George Stephanopoulos on "This Week" on Sunday. 
--White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer will hold his first briefing with reporters since blasting members of the media Saturday about their reporting of crowd size at President Trump's Inauguration and refusing to take questions. The briefing is scheduled for 1:30PM Monday.

On Monday Senate action is expected on two of President Trump's cabinet nominees. Congressman Mike Pompeo for CIA Director and Rex Tillerson for Secretary of State. Tillerson on Sunday getting the backing of Senator John McCain and Senator Lindsey Graham, despite their concerns about how Tillerson will deal with Russia. Florida Senator Marco Rubio clashed with Tillerson during the confirmation hearing, and has yet to say whether he will support the president's pick.

United Airlines travelers endured a two and a half hour ground stop Sunday night, because of what the airline said was an IT problem.  The domestic ground stop delayed 481 flights.  

A deadly shooting at the Rolling Oaks shopping mall in San Antonio, Texas, Sunday. Police Chief William McManus says one of two robbery suspects shot dead someone trying to intervene. Another bystander shot and wounded one suspect; the other suspect opened fire as he fled, injuring other people.

Samsung says the reason why their Galaxy Note 7 smartphones overheated and burst into fire was due to the design and manufacturing of the batteries.  The South Korean company announced results of their investigation Monday three months after the flagship phone was discontinued.

A spokesman for former President George H.W. Bush says doctors are encouraged by his improving health, adding that the 92 year-old's vital signs are normal and he could be moved out to the ICU at Houston Methodist Hospital in a couple days.  The former president has been battling pneumonia.  His wife Barbara has been treated for bronchitis, but has elected to stay at the hospital to be by her husband's side.  

The New England Patriots will meet the Atlanta Falcons in Super Bowl 51 in two weeks in Houston.  Both teams advanced Sunday by knocking off the Pittsburgh Steelers and Green Bay Packers respectively.

Another attempt at ending the six-year-long Syrian war is set to get underway on Monday.  For the first time in a year, Syrian rebels planned to meet with the regime of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad for talks to resolve the Syrian crisis. Sponsored by Russia, Turkey, and Iran, the meetings will take place in Kazakhstan’s capital. The Trump was invited but will have one observer - the US ambassador to Kazakhstan - because of the, quote, “demands of the transition.”

Moviegoers came for Split - M. Night Shyamaln’s creepy flick starring James McAvoy as a guy with multiple personalities. It took the top spot at the weekend box office hauling in an estimated $40.2 million.  It's the the fourth best January debut of all time.

--Hours from now, Donald Trump takes the oath of office as 45th President of the US. Friday morning, the President elect and family attend a church service; then the incoming and outgoing presidents will ride together down Pennsylvania Avenue to the West Front of the Capitol, where Chief Justice John Roberts will administer the oath of office.
--Trump promised "real change" as he spoke to supporters at the Lincoln Memorial on inauguration eve.  Trump and Vice President elect Mike Pence attended a pre-inauguration dinner and Trump said "this was a victory for all of us."  Incoming White House counselor Kellyanne Conway says Trump has completed Friday's inaugural address, and it will be an "elegant, beautiful, powerful and brief speech."

President-elect Donald Trump has asked roughly 50 senior Obama administration appointees to remain in their posts after his inauguration to ensure continuity in government, his incoming White House press secretary said Thursday.  The officials include the highest-ranking career officials at key national security agencies like the Pentagon and State Department.  Deputy Defense Secretary Robert Work and America's third-ranking diplomat, Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs Thomas Shannon, will serve as acting chiefs of their agencies until successors for the top jobs are confirmed by the Senate, Trump's spokesman Sean Spicer said.

Those protesting the presidency of Donald Trump gathered in cities across the U.S. Thursday, but especially large turnouts were in New York and the nation's capitol.  New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio joined celebrities, community activists and elected officials on the eve of President-elect Trump's inauguration to rally for various issues and rights protections. The demonstration included the Rev. Al Sharpton, Cher and actors Mark Ruffalo, Robert DeNiro, Shailene Woodley, Rosie Perez and Alec Baldwin, as well as advocacy groups.   In Washington, thousands of protesters chanted “We refuse a facist America” and calling both Trump and Vice President-elect Mike Pence “illegitimate.” Demonstrators took over the K Street corridor just blocks away from the White House.

In the morning, the President and the First Lady will welcome President-elect Trump and Mrs. Trump at the North Portico.  The President and the First Lady will host a tea and coffee reception with President-elect Trump and Mrs. Trump in the Blue Room.  Afterward, the President and the First Lady will depart the White House en route the U.S. Capitol with President-elect Trump and Mrs. Trump.  In the afternoon, the President will attend the Inaugural Swearing-In Ceremony for President-elect Trump.  The Vice President, the First Lady, Dr. Biden, Vice President-elect Pence, and Mrs. Pence will also attend. Later in the afternoon, President Obama and Mrs. Obama will depart the U.S. Capitol en route Joint Base Andrews.  While at Joint Base Andrews, President Obama will deliver remarks at a farewell event with staff.  Afterward, President Obama and Mrs. Obama will depart Joint Base Andrews en route Palm Springs, California.

Whisked away in a jet from Mexico to New York, to face trafficking and other charges: the notorious drug kingpin Joaquin Guzman...known as "El Chapo." He's wanted in several US cities, but the drug lord will be prosecuted first in a case out of Brooklyn. The just-retired deputy DEA Administrator Jack Riley, who helped bring a case against El Chapo in Chicago, calls the extradition the best day of his life because he said "I know how how many this guy has led to die. Today people died because of him because of heroin."

At least one person is dead, and a number are injured in Melbourne, Australia after a car driove through crowd. Police aren't yet sure of the circumstances of the crash.

A family spokesman says the former president is resting comfortably and doctors hope to move him from the ICU in a few days. Former First Lady Barbara Bush said to be feeling “1000% better” as she receives treatment for bronchitis. Thursday afternoon, Mr. Bush tweeted congratulations to Jeff Bagwell on his induction to the Baseball Hall of Fame.

As suspected Orlando cop killer Markeith Loyd was captured, police chopper video showed that he was crawling on the ground towards a group of officers, after which he appeared to be kicked in the head by at least one officer. Orlando Police Chief John Mina on Thursday called the camera pulling away "concerning" and said the use of force will be investigated. Prosecutors announced Thursday night the charges against Loyd in relation to Lt. Clayton's murder: First-degree murder, attempted first-degree murder with a firearm, carjacking with a firearm, aggravated assault and wearing a bulletproof vest.  Loyd did not enter a plea during a hearing on Thursday.

Uber Technologies is paying $20 million to settle allegations that it duped people into driving for its ride-hailing service with false promises about how much they would earn and how much they would have to pay to finance a car.

The Raiders have filed their relocation paperwork with the NFL to move from Oakland to Las Vegas, the league announced in a statement Thursday. The move was anticipated. It's not a done deal.  The team will need 24 votes from NFL owners to finalize a move to Nevada.  That vote could come as early as March.

Miguel Ferrer, star of "NCIS: Los Angeles" and "Crossing Jordan," has died of cancer, according to a statement. He was 61.

January 19--  On Friday, Donald J. Trump will be sworn in as the 45th President of the United States. 

NewsTalk WVOP, AM 970 and FM 105.3, will provide live coverage from the U.S. Capitol starting at 11:06 a.m.  Mike Pence is expected to be sworn in at 11:46 a.m. and President-elect Trump at 12 p.m.

Final preparations are underway for the inauguration of Donald Trump as the nation's 45th President. Trump arrived in DC Wednesday night to attend cabinet dinners.  Following tradition,  Trump is expected to spend Thursday night -- inauguration eve -- at Blair House, the presidential guest house across Pennsylvania Avenue from the White House.  The Transition team has told ABC News that the family will begin moving in personal effects on Friday.

--Two senior Trump transition officials tell to ABC News that President-elect Trump is expected to name former Georgia Governor Sonny Perdue as his agriculture secretary. This is the final Cabinet post Trump has left to fill.
--Former Texas governor and presidential candidate Rick Perry faces a Thursday Senate hearing on his nomination as Secretary of the cabinet agency he once wanted to eliminate: the Department of Energy.
--A Thursday confirmation hearing is scheduled for former wrestling company CEO Linda McMahon to lead the Small Business Administration.
--Rep. Mick Mulvaney (R-S.C.), tapped to lead the Office of Management and Budget, has a confirmation hearing.
--The Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee is expected to vote on the nomination of Betsy DeVos as Education Secretary.
--The first Trump cabinet nominee to pass the first stage of approval is Retired Gen. James Mattis. The Senate Armed Services Committee voted 26-1 in favor of Mattis as Defense Secretary. He still must be approved by the full Senate.

At his final presidential news conference Wednesday, President Obama talked about a range of issues, including racial progress, voting rights, and the Middle East. He defended his decision to free Chelsea Manning early on her 35-year prison sentence for espionage. On his last full day in office, Mr. is expected to grant more commutations.

Former President George H.W. Bush remains in the intensive care unit of Houston's Methodist Hospital. A Bush spokesman for the 41st President says he's been hospitalized since Saturday, with "an acute respiratory problem stemming from pneumonia." The spokesman says there is no timetable for his release. Former first lady Barbara Bush was admitted Wednesday to the same hospital with symptoms of fatigue and coughing after not feeling well in recent weeks. The former president is 92. Mrs. Bush is 91.

A vigil was held Wednesday night for Detective Jerry Walker of Little Elm, Texas, killed in the line of duty the night before. Officials in the Dallas suburb say after the 48-year-old was fatally shot night outside a home, the gunman  triggered an hours long standoff before he was found dead inside the house.

Virginia was set to execute 39-year-old Ricky Gray Wednesday night at 9pm. Gray was convicted in the killing of a Richmond couple and their two young daughters in 2006.


Former President George H.W. Bush is said to be responding well to treatments after spending a few days at a Houston hospital for shortness of breath. Former President Bush was admitted to Methodist Hospital on Saturday and doctors hope to have him discharged from the hospital soon.

Two days before Donald Trump is sworn in as the 45th President, President Obama holds the final news conference of his presidency (2:15pm ET).

The latest ABC News/Washington Post poll indicates 51% of Americans think President Obama will go down in history as an above-average President. He's ending his presidency with the highest overall job approval rating since June 2009

President Obama granted commutations of sentence to 209 individuals and pardoned 64 others. That list includes Chelsea Manning who was arrested after leaking classified documents to Wikileaks. In 2013, Manning was sentenced to 35 years in prison, but the transgender former solider will now be released in May.  Republican lawmakers were quick to blast the move; House speaker Paul Ryan tweeting: "This is just outrageous. Chelsea Manning's treachery put American lives at risk and exposed some of our nation's most sensitive secrets."

President-elect Donald Trump and Vice President-elect Mike Pence attended a dinner in DC aimed at introducing foreign diplomats to the incoming administration. Trump said "We have great respect for your countries; we have great respect for our world."

Sparks could fly at the Wednesday (10 am) hearing for Congressman Tom Price (R-GA) on his nomination for Health & Human Services Secretary. Democrats are expected to press Price for details about his investments in health stocks at a time he pushed legislation that could have affected those stock prices.
--At her confirmation hearing as Education Secretary, billionaire Betsy DeVos said she would be a "strong advocate for great public schools." But she would not offer direct assurance that public school funding would not flow to private options.
--He says he doesn't believe climate change is a hoax, but Congressman Ryan Zinke a confirmation hearing for Secretary of the Interior... said "I think where there's debate on it is what that influence is, what can we do about it."

Captured! A suspected cop killer is in custody in Orlando. Markeith Loyd was wanted for gunning down Lt. Debra Clayton outside a Walmart last week. He was wanted in the shooting death of his pregnant ex-girlfriend. Police say Loyd was captured in an abandoned house, wearing body armor and carrying two guns.

Three earthquakes hit central Italy in the space of an hour Wednesday, shaking the same region that suffered a series of deadly quakes last year. There were no immediate reports of casualties but tremors were felt as far away as Rome, where the subway was closed as a precaution and parents were asked to pick up their children from schools. The first tremor, with a preliminary magnitude of 5.3, hit the region north of Amatrice at about 10:25 a.m., according to the U.S. Geological Survey. A second quake with a magnitude of 5.7 hit the same area about 50 minutes later, and 10 minutes later a third was measured at magnitude 5.3.

The first storm is already wreaking havoc in Washington and Oregon. Overnight there were multiple accidents and several interstates were closed due to flipped semis. Flooding was reported in the Seattle suburbs. The ice storm slightly under performed in the city of Portland with minimal damage and power outages. Now Portland is warming up as Pacific mild rain moves in. The rain will be very heavy in Portland and Oregon with flooding possible later today into tonight. This wet Pacific flow moves into California today, bringing heavy rain and wind to Bay Area. Several rounds of heavy rain are also expected in the LA area starting later today into Thursday and then again later this week.

There will be another arraignment Wednesday morning in Oakland, as Noor Salman figures out her financial situation/counsel. Currently, she is being provisionally represented by public defender, John Paul Richmond. On Tuesday, Salman made a court appearance in Oakland on charges that she aided her husband in the attack and obstructed the law enforcement investigation.

American Greg Krentzman, who was injured in the Nice attack 6 months ago, finally made it back home in the  US on Monday, according to a post on his Facebook page. France 3 also reports that Krentzman met with the Frenchman who helped him the night of the attack, last week.


A new ABC News/Washington Post poll shows Donald Trump enters office as the most unpopular of at least the last seven newly elected presidents, with ratings for handling the transition to office that also are vastly below those of his predecessors. Forty percent of Americans approve of the way Trump has handled the transition, half as many as the 80 percent who approved of Barack Obama’s preparations to take office.

President-elect Trump's pick for Education secretary, Betsy DeVos, faces a Senate confirmation hearing Tuesday. The billionaire's hearing had been put on hold six days after Democrats complained she had not made all the needed financial disclosures.
Sources involved with the planning tell ABC News that more than $100 million has been raised in private donations so far by President-elect Trump's Inaugural Committee. This is a record and already more than double the amount raised for the last inaugural. In 2009, Obama raised $55 million and in 2013, $43 million.
--Martin Luther King Jr. Day took on a political tone because of the verbal spat between the President-elect and Congressman John Lewis. After Martin Luther King III met with Donald Trump at Trump Tower, King said, "Things get said on both sides in the heat of emotion."

An ambitious plan to replace Obamacare. President-elect Trump is now promising there will health insurance for everybody whether or not people can pay for it. He's also vowing to not cut Medicare and to help lower drug prices. Congressional Republicans are already working on a piecemeal approach to replacing Obamacare that looks a different from what President-elect Trump is talking about.

White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest give his last White House press conference Tuesday at noon. According to the White House, Earnest joined then-Senator Obama’s presidential campaign in March 2007 as his Iowa Communications Director. He is President Obama's third and final press secretary.

Britain's Prime Minister Tuesday makes a major speech about her country's pathway to leaving the European Union...the result of last year's Brexit vote.

The wife of the Orlando nightclub shooter faces a Tuesday court hearing. Authorities arrested Noor Salman at her mother's home near San Francisco Monday morning, more than 7 months after her husband... Omar Mateen.. gunned down 49 people at a popular gay nightclub. She faces obstruction of justice and aiding and abetting charges.
Sources tell ABC News that Salman told authorities Mateen left their home the night of the shooting with a bag of guns and that she begged him not to go. But lawyers for Salman who claim Mateen physically abused her, say she had no foreknowledge - nor could she predict - what Omar Mateen intended to do that night.

The State Department confirms one American is among the dead following a nightclub shooting early Monday in Mexico. Four other Americans are among the more than one dozen injured. Investigators say the shooting was sparked by a personal dispute, not terrorism.

The Istanbul governor says the man captured last night in an Istanbul suburb is a Uzbek national, trained in Afghanistan and entered Turkey in January 2016. He has reportedly confessed to the New Year’s Eve attack on a popular nightclub in the city that killed 39 people. The governor said the gunman confessed to the killings and that his fingerprints matched those found at the scene.  the man was being questioned by police and expressed hope that the interrogation would unveil the "forces" behind the attack   He wouldn't provide further details on the arrest or the investigation, saying authorities would provide details "in time."

Esteban Santiago, the man accused of killing five people and injuring six others at the Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport shooting on Jan. 6, is set to appear in court again Tuesday for a pre-trial detention hearing.

Officials have called off the search for missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 after an intensive $160-million effort that lasted nearly three years and scoured some 120,000 square miles of ocean. It has been called the most expensive and complex search effort in aviation history. The MH370 Tripartite Joint Communique´, made up of representatives from Australia, Malaysia and China, made the announcement in a statement released Tuesday morning.

The ice storm is over for the Midwest and is taking aim at the Northeast. The highest ice total from the Midwest was 0.75" in Nebraska. We are not expecting a major ice storm in the Northeast Tuesday - but an icy mix of snow and rain is expected. By this evening, we expect ice to move into areas from Hartford, CT to Albany, NY, with snow falling north of Massachusetts. For major cities like NYC and Boston it will be an all rain event, with temps in the 40's.

He was the last man to walk on the moon. Former NASA astronaut Gene Cernan died Monday at 82. An outspoken advocate for space exploration, Cernan also took part in NASA's Gemini program and was the lunar module pilot for Apollo 10.

MLK Day gun violence. Several people shot at a Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Park in Miami during a celebration honoring the civil rights activist Monday. Miami-Dade County Police say an 18-year-old woman, a 20-year-old man, and three children were wounded. Two other girls were grazed by bullets. Two people have been detained for questioning.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration says at least 81 false killer whales have died after nearly 100 were beached in Everglades National Park over the weekend in South Florida.

--Days before his inauguration as 45th President of the United States, Donald Trump spent part of Sunday sending out Tweets blasting the outgoing CIA director, Democrats, and Saturday Night Live.
--CIA Director John Brennan Sunday said Trump needs to stop 'talking and tweeting' for the sake of national security.  Trump suggested in a Tweet that Brennan might have leaked that unverified Russian dossier on Trump:  "Was this the leaker of Fake News?"
--Congressman John Lewis is one of 22 Democrats who say they will be skipping the inauguration. Lewis saying Trump is "not a legitimate president."  Vice President-elect Mike Pence calls Lewis' comments "disappointing."
--A Sunday rehearsal for Friday's inauguration included military members as stand-ins for the first family.

Trump tells the Washington Post his plan to replace the Affordable Care Act is "very much formulated down to the final strokes" and claims  "we are going to have insurance for everybody."  Rallies were held around the country Sunday to protest efforts to repeal Obamacare.

Who would Donald Trump trust more: Putin or Merkel?  He says "I'd start off trusting both, but let's see how long that lasts. May not last long at all." Trump spoke to reporters with the Times of London and Germany's Bild.

--There will be a commemorative service at the Ebenezer Baptist Church in Atlanta honoring what would have been Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s 88th birthday. Monday is a federal holiday.
--President and Mrs. Obama participate in a service project for Martin Luther King Jr. Day.
--Transition officials confirm President-elect Trump will not be going to DC Monday. He had been tentatively scheduled to visit the Smithsonian Museum of African American History and Culture in observance of Martin Luther King Day, but ABC News has learned the visit was removed from his calendar due to "scheduling issues."

In her final speech as Attorney General - Loretta Lynch - spoke in Birmingham, Alabama Sunday night - to commemorate Martin Luther King Jr. -on the eve of the federal holiday named after him. Lynch spoke at the 16th Street Baptist church, where a racially-motivated bombing killed four girls in 1963. It's in the historic civil rights section of Birmingham that President Obama last week declared a national monument.

A third round of icy weather lashing parts of the plains states. Nine weather related deaths this weekend.

--A day after the funeral of an Orlando officer shot dead by a homicide suspect on the run, there was a funeral Sunday for another officer. 35-yr. old deputy Norman Lewis was killed in a car crash during the search for suspect Markeith Lloyd.  On Saturday, more than 5-thousand attended a service for 42-year-old Orlando Police Master Sgt. Debra Clayton, who died Monday morning. She was shot and killed outside a Walmart.
--SWAT teams searched an abandoned building at a local country club Sunday evening as part of the manhunt, but the search came up empty

President Obama welcomes the World Series Champs to the White House.

The NASA drama "Hidden Figures" was tops at the box office for the second straight week, taking in $20.5 million in tickets in North American theaters over the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday weekend.

Governors of Missouri and Oklahoma declare pre-emptive states of emergency ahead of a storm that threatens to encrust their states in ice.  The storm system that brought misery to the Northwest is prompting the National Weather Service to issue an ice storm warning for northwestern Oklahoma beginning Friday morning. Up to an inch of ice could coast highways, trees and power lines. A winter storm watch is in effect for portions of Kansas and Missouri along with parts of Illinois and Texas.

The Justice Department's Inspector General will investigate how the Justice Department and FBI handled the Clinton email investigation leading up to the 2016 election.  Democrats have blamed FBI Director James Comey for his late October announcement of another investigation.

--No confirmation hearings Friday for Donald Trump's cabinet picks, but the House will vote to grant a waiver to his nominee for Defense Secretary. The Senate Thursday approved the exemption for James Mattis to serve before seven years after retiring from military service. Mattis retired as a Marine General four years ago.
--Trump's pick to head the CIA says he's thoroughy convinced Russia had launched a hacking campaign to meddle in the US election. And he vowed to pursue evidence in the latest allegations still being probed by the FBI, even if it includes Trump: "I will pursue the facts wherever they take us."

Secretary of Homeland Security Jeh Johnson announces the repeal of the so-called "wet foot, dry foot" policy on Cuban migrants. Effective immediately Cubans who make it to US soil will no longer automatically be permitted to stay and become a legal resident.  The move about a week before President Obama leaves office is likely the last major change he will make to his overhaul of the U.S. relationship with Cuba.

The Justice Department Friday is expected to release a report detailing the extent of civil rights violations by the Chicago Police department.

Police in Orlando... offering up more cash... the reward up to $100,000 dollars... for information... leading to the arrest of suspect Markeith Loyd - the man officers say shot and killed one of their own (Debra Clayton) when she was on duty near a WalMart Monday.

Vice President Joe Biden... shocked, stunned, tearful.. as President Obama... pinned the Presidential Medal of Freedom *with distinction* around his neck Thursday. This is the only time the president.. has given out the award with the additional level of veneration. Mr Biden said the honor is "well beyond what I deserve."

From two who know... the daughters of George and Laura Bush write a letter of praise and advice to the Sasha and Malia Obama as they prepare to leave their home of eight years.

According to Syria, Israel launched missiles early Friday that hit near a military airport west of Damascus, triggering a fire. The report from Syria's official news agency does not say whether there were any casualties

The EPA is accusing Fiat Chrysler, of using so-called “defeat device” software to bypass emission standards.  The agency accused the carmaker of equipping more than 100-thousand diesel-engine vehicles with the software ... that could have compromised emissions control systems. 


President Barack Obama returned to his adopted hometown of Chicago to deliver a farewell address to the American people Tuesday night. In an email announcing the speech to supporters last week, Obama said the speech would be "a chance to say thank you for this amazing journey … and to offer some thoughts on where we all go from here." But President Obama also used the speech to highlight current threats to US democracy - including racial divides, fake news and the"fear of change; the fear of people who look or speak or pray differently; a contempt for the rule of law that holds leaders accountable; an intolerance of dissent and free thought; a belief that the sword or the gun or the bomb or propaganda machine is the ultimate arbiter of what’s true and what’s right." 

President-elect Donald Trump is scheduled to hold his first news conference since winning the election in New York Wednesday morning (11am). The transition team calls it a “general news conference” – Trump had previously announced, then postponed, a news conference in December to discuss his business holdings and possible conflicts of interest.

Meanwhile, unsubstantiated allegations developed at the request of Democratic Party researchers that Donald Trump was compromised and in league with the Russians was presented to both President Obama and President-elect Trump in intelligence briefings last week. The FBI says it is investigating the allegations, which party operatives had delivered to the FBI and numerous news organizations before and since the election.  The allegations include so-called intelligence that Trump was personally compromised by the Russians and that Trump aides were involved in organizing the Russian hack of the Democratic Party.  None of the allegations has been verified by ABC News, and some of them are provably false.  Trump tweeted "fake news", possibly referring to these allegations.


--It will be day two of confirmation hearings for Senator Jeff Sessions, nominated by President-elect Donald Trump to be the next Attorney General. During his testimony Tuesday, Sessions was interrupted by protesters - 25 people in all, dragged out and arrested. The Senators' Republican colleagues came to his defense, describing Sessions as a person of integrity, a principled leader and a dedicated public servant. Sessions stood by his stance on abortion, but said he would defend the current law of the land - the same stance he took about waterboarding and questions of sexual assault. Three African-American Democratic lawmakers will testify Wednesday against Sessions.
--Hearings for Rex Tillerson’s nomination as Secretary of State and Elaine Chao’s to head the Department of Transportation begin Wednesday before the Senate Foreign Relations and Senate Transportation Committees.

A Charleston jury sentenced church shooter Dylann Roof to death Tuesday. After deliberating for just three hours, the jury delivered the unanimous verdict. Family members of the nine victims killed in the Emanuel AME Church say they are relieved with the verdict. Dylann Roof, acting as his own lawyer, presented no defense.

A manhunt is still underway for a man who allegedly shot a police officer in the parking lot of a Walmart. Hundreds of officers from multiple police agencies are searching for the suspect, 41-year-old Markeith Loyd. Authorities say Master Sgt. Debra Clayton was shot after she approached Loyd outside the store Monday morning. He was wanted for questioning in the shooting death of his pregnant ex-girlfriend last month.


They briefed the President ...the president elect....and the released the report on Russian Hacking. Director of National Intelligence James Clapper on Tuesday squarely blamed the cyber-hacks of the 2016 presidential election on the Russian government. During a hearing of the Senate Committee on Intelligence, Clapper outlined key findings of a classified intelligence report on Russian election hacking that concluded Russian President Vladimir Putin "ordered" a campaign to influence the U.S. presidential election in an attempt by Russia to "undermine public faith in the U.S. democratic process." 


A second storm affecting California will continue to track east on Wednesday but a third storm moves in Wednesday into Thursday with more rain. The ABC News Weather Team says mudslides and flooding will continue to be a problem in California through at least Thursday.  Over the next 48 hours, an additional 3-6” of rain is possible for Central California and another 5-10 feet of snow for the Sierra Nevada. Avalanche warnings and storm conditions prompted several ski resorts in the Sierra Nevada to close Tuesday or halt chair lift operations due to high winds and low visibility.  The Sierra Avalanche Center has issued an avalanche warning through Wednesday morning saying on its website a "high avalanche danger exists for all elevations."   Sugar Bowl ski resort's website said that due to the road closure of I-80, high winds and low visibility it would be closed Tuesday.   Adventure Mountain in Lake Tahoe was closed due to blizzard conditions.


Wednesday marks 15 years since the first Afghan prisoners arrived at the Guantanamo Bay detention camp. There will be a rally in DC by several groups calling for its closure.

A busy week of confirmation hearings begins with the Senate Judiciary Committee, where the nomination of Senator Jeff Sessions as Attorney General will be under review. Several witnesses will testify on his behalf. Later in the afternoo, the Senate Homeland Security committee will hold confirmation hearings for Retired Marine General John Kelly President Elect Donald Trump's pick to lead the Department of Homeland Security. Kelly is a gold star father, his son was killed in an IED blast in Afghanistan in 2010. Top Senate Democrat Chuck Schumer is threatening to stall the nominations until there are full FBI background checks, ethics reviews and financial disclosures for all of the nominees. Meanwhile, members of the House Judiciary Committee are calling on the Department of Justice and the Office of Government Ethics to review concerns of nepotism and conflicts of interest arising from President-elect Donald Trump’s appointment of his son-in-law Jared Kushner as senior adviser to the president. Sen. Mitch McConnell says Democrats need to "grow up" and "get past' the election results.

President Obama will be delivering his "Farewell Adress" Tuesday night at McCormick Place in Chicago. The speech is expected to cover the changes in the country over the last eight years and offer “some thoughts on where we all go from here.” Michelle Obama and the Bidens will attend. Tickets were free, but some tickets have turned up on Craigslist for thousands of dollars, though its unknown is any sold at that price.

More details coming out about the plans 26-year-old Esteban Santiago had, before killing five people at the Fort Lauderdale Airport.
FBI agents are investigating whether Santiago created a jihadist identity for himself several years ago under the name of Aashiq Hammad. ABC News has learned that Santiago may have had inital plans to go to New York, booking a one-way ticket byt then canceling. He made his first court appearance Monday in a red prison jumpsuit and shackles. He was assigned a public defender and found to be destitute. The next hearing is a week from Tuesday when continued detention will be decided.

A manhunt is still underway for a man who allegedly shot a police officer in the parking lot of a Walmart. Hundreds of officers from multiple police agencies are searching for the suspect, 41-year-old Markeith Loyd. Authorities say Master Sgt. Debra Clayton was shot after she approached Loyd outside the store Monday morning. He was wanted for questioning in the shooting death of his pregnant ex-girlfriend last month.

The CEO and other execs from, as well as the parents of three child trafficking victims, will testify to a Senate Homeland Security subcommittee about child sex trafficking on the site. A report prepared for the committee concludes Backpage was aware of the sex trafficking activity conducted there, and deliberately concealed the criminal nature of advertisements for that sort of thing by deleting certain words and phrases before publication. The report is expected to be released Monday afternoon.

DNI James Clapper, CIA Director Brennan, NSA Director Rogers, and FBI Director Comey will testify to the Senate Intelligence Committee on Russia’s intelligence activities.

Closing arguments in the penalty phase are set for this morning. The prosecution rested its case Monday after calling more than 20 witnesses. Dylann Roof, acting as his own lawyer, presented no defense. He faces the death penalty for the Charleston church massacre.

Day two of the North American International Auto Show in Detroit. Ford’s chair will speak at a nearby event, and we could hear more product announcements.

Rivers continue rising in northern California and parts of Nevada, causing flooding and the threat of mudslides..four deaths there. More rain is in the forecast out West.

Either Alabama or Clemson will be crowned College Football National Champions.  The two teams battled it out Monday night in Tampa.


26-year-old Esteban Santiago faces charges at a federal court hearing today,  in the killing of five people at the Fort Lauderdale Airport. There are questions about why a man who told the FBI he was hearing voices about ISIS and thought the government had put a chip in his head, was able to keep his gun even after being hospitalized for a mental examination.
After recovering Santiago’s computer from an Alaska pawn shop, FBI agents are investigating whether Santiago created a jihadist identity for himself several years ago under the name of Aashiq Hammad. Five victims of Friday's shooting are still in the hospital. Surveillance video obtained by TMZ shows the moments Santiago opens fire.

Relentless rain and wind in the West...snow and ice in the East...Twin winter systems making misery for millions. Eight weather-related deaths: The weekend storm that pushed into the East Coast is blamed for four of those deaths - the storm followed by bitter cold and treacherous driving conditions. Rivers continue rising in northern California and parts of Nevada, causing flooding and the threat of mudslides..four deaths there. More rain is in the forecast out West.

Senate hearings galore this week, for confirmation of President-elect Trump's cabinet picks. Eight nominees face lawmakers, starting Tuesday with Trump's choice for Homeland Security chief, John Kelly, and for Attorney General, Jeff Sessions. Democrats complain Republicans are ramming nominees through the confirmation process before ethics checks are complete. The Trump transition team accuses Democrats of politicizing the process. Sen. Mitch McConnell says Democrats need to "grow up" and "get past' the election results.

With less than two weeks left in the Oval Office...President Obama is opening up about his conversations with the President-elect. On ABC's "This Week", the President saying he's enjoyed his talks with Donald Trump, calling him somebody not lacking in confidence.

Actress Meryl Streep - who won a lifetime achievement award  - making headlines in a speech bashing Donald Trump as a bully - though never mentioning him by name. Mr Trump tweeting a response, calling Streep a "Hillary-lover". The Golden Globes ceremony is one of the prime Oscar barometers of the Hollywood awards season - and the movie La La Land won 7 awards - including Best Comedy or Musical -- a record. Other big winners: Moonlight for Top Drama;  Manchester By The Sea’s Casey Affleck - Best Drama Actor, and Elle’s Isabelle Huppert -  Best Drama Actress.

"Rogue One: A Star Wars Story" ... leading the box office for the fourth straight week ... taking in an estimated 21.97 million dollars over the weekend. "Hidden Figures" was a close second.  The animated feature "Sing" was third.

The suspects who allegedly tortured a man suffering from "mental health challenges" in a horrific video filmed in Chicago have been charged with a hate crime after making anti-white comments and forcing the victim to make anti-Trump comments. All four Illinois suspects -- identified by officials as Jordan Hill of Carpentersville, Tesfaye Cooper of Chicago, Brittany Covington of Chicago, all 18, and 24-year-old Tanishia Covington of Chicago -- were charged with aggravated kidnapping, aggravated unlawful restraint and aggravated battery with a deadly weapon. Hill, Cooper and Covington were also charged with residential burglary. Hill was additionally charged with possession of a stolen motor vehicle, according to the prosecutor's office.

Intelligence chiefs testifying in front of the Senate Armed Services Committee today on Capitol Hill pushed back against President-elect Donald Trump's public rebukes of the intelligence community, warning that a disparagement from the top could undermine the effectiveness of the workforce. During the hearing, James Clapper, the director of national intelligence, asserted again he has "high confidence" Russia directed the attacks. Meanwhile, the Trump team is pushing back against claims that the President-elect is seeking to overhaul the intelligence community. Trump spokesman Sean Spicer denied those reports, saying the media want to make him appear to dislike the intelligence community

House Speaker Paul Ryan pledged Thursday that Republicans will complete legislation to repeal and replace Obamacare this year. A replacement plan will be written to allow new programs to be phased in later, Ryan said. His leadership team has yet to introduce any legislation, let alone a bill that has the support of a majority of representatives. Still, he said he was confident a bill could be composed and approved swiftly.

ABC News has confirmed the departure of former CIA Director and Ambassador R. James Woolsey from President-elect Donald Trump's transition team. A spokesman for Woolsey simply saying "Ambassador Woolsey is no longer a Senior Advisor. He wishes the President-Elect and his Administration great success.

The second-ranking House Democrat, Steny Hoyer of Maryland, would support an effort to challenge certification of the votes that will formally put Trump in the White House on Friday, he told ABC News Political Director Rick Klein on the "Powerhouse Politics" podcast.

The daughters, sons, sisters and friends of the Charleston church shooting victims shared their tragic stories of loss and grief today with the jurors who will decide whether or not convicted killer Dylann Roof will be sentenced to death or face life in prison. Jurors cried Thursday during the emotional testimony.

An inmate who was on the run for days after escaping from a federal prison in Rhode Island was captured near Boston Thursday, after he allegedly tried to rob two banks in the area, the Massachusetts--according to State Police. 

Macy's and Sears, two of the country's most iconic department stores, today announced massive cutbacks that will lead to the closure of hundreds of locations and cutting thousands of jobs. Sears announced it is shuttering 150 of its stores, including 108 Kmarts. The company did not release how many workers would be laid off but reported that holiday sales were down 12 percent this year.

The country is bracing for an arctic blast--The first measurable snowfall on New Year's Day since 1950 for Seattle, more rotating into Northern California, and the cold's gonna be one of the coldest since 1979 and it gets all the way into the deep south with wind chills well below zero across much of the midwest.

The engineer driving the train that derailed at a New York City commuter-rail terminal yesterday (Wednesday) morning says he does not "recall" striking the end of the track. Officials with the National Transportation Safety Board say the 50-year-old engineer told investigators the last thing he remembered before the crash was working to slow the train down as it entered Brooklyn's Atlantic Terminal. The speed limit for the particular stretch of track where the collision occurred is five-miles-an-hour - at a news conference Thursday, NTSB Investigator-in-Charge, Ted Turnpin said the train was going double the speed limit when it crashed.

The new guidelines from the National Institutes of Health say babies should eat peanut products, starting when they're as young as four months old, to help prevent life-threatening peanut allergies later. The new evidence goes against long-standing advice on when to feed children peanuts.

At least four people are dead after an attack in the Turkish port city of Izmir on Thursday. Among the dead are two of the believed three attackers who detonated a car bomb near the city's courthouse, the third is on the run. They are believed to be Kurdish separatists, who have carried out a string of attacks across Turkey since a fragile truce broke down. Turkey is facing a growing spate of attacks by both Kurds and ISIS as the government ramps up efforts against them.

The cousin of Lyle and Erik Menendez, brothers who were convicted of the 1989 murders of their parents, says she has no doubt the brothers’ parents sexually abused them. “I know that they would never, ever have done what they did unless they felt that they had no choice -- that it was either them or their parents,” Diane Vander Molen, who is speaking for the first time since she testified at their trial, told ABC News. “I believe that very strongly.”

The classified report requested by President Barack Obama detailing Russia's alleged role in cyberattacks during U.S. presidential elections dating back to 2008 is now complete, and he is expected to receive the first briefing on its findings on Thursday afternoon, U.S. officials tell ABC News. President-elect Donald Trump, who said last week he would receive his briefing on the matter on Tuesday or Wednesday of this week, is scheduled to receive his briefing on Friday. Both briefings will be conducted by the heads of relevant agencies, including the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, the National Security Agency, the FBI and the CIA.

Four people are in custody after Chicago police discovered an apparent torture video originally streamed on Facebook Live. An adult man with "mental health challenges" believed to be the victim in the video was found disoriented and walking around on Chicago's West Side. The victim was held for between 24 and 48 hours, police said. He was eventually unbound and let go, which is when police found him. The offenders are described as two women and two men, all around 18-years-old. There are references in the video to President-elect Donald Trump.

President Obama held a rare meeting on Capitol Hill Wednesday to huddle with congressional democrats on how to save Obamacare. Meanwhile, Vice President-elect Mike Pence met with House republicans to discuss a plan to repeal the president's signature legislation. Democrats accuse Republicans of having no plan, warning "you break it, you buy it." Republicans say they hope to have a bill in place for a vote a month after Donald Trump is sworn into office.

After being convicted of murdering nine African-American parishioners at Emanuel AME Church last year in Charleston, South Carolina, jurors now must decide whether Dylann Roof spends life in prison or gets the death penalty. Opening statements began Wednesday. Roof is representing himself and told the jury that he plans to present no case. He told jurors that he is not mentally ill. Prosecutors called up witnesses and family members of Roof's victims, who gave emotional testimonies.

-- Two top Trump cabinet picks met with Democratic senators Wednesday in Washington. Mr. Trump's nominee for secretary of State, ExxonMobile CEO Rex Tillerson, met with Senator Chris Coons (D-DE). Sen. Coons said he was encouraged by the meeting but didn't say if he was ready to back Tillerson. Democrats have labeled Tillerson as one of their top problem picks due to his close relationship with Russian President Vladimir Putin. Senator Jeff Sessions (R-AL), Mr. Trump's nominee for attorney general, met with Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL). Sen. Durbin said he gave Sen. Sessions the book White Rage, by Carol Anderson, about race in America after the Civil War and the role of the Voting Rights Act, but he refused to say whether Sessions is a racist.

The man who killed 39 people in an attack on an Istanbul nightclub on New Year's Day is probably an ethnic Uighur and Turkish security services now  know where he might be hiding, Deputy Prime Minister Veysi Kaynak said on Thursday.  Kaynak described the man as a "specially trained" member of a cell who carried out the attack alone and said that while the possibility of him fleeing abroad could not be ruled out, security operations inside Turkey were more likely to find him. A dawn raid was carried out on Thursady in an Istanbul suburb.

Up to 56” of snow fell in the Sierra Mountains in the last few days and that same Jetstream is now headed across the entire country, forcasted to produce snow from California to Alabama and up to New York. 33 states are under Winter Weather Alerts. The first storm that brought all the snow to Kansas City overnight will brig accumulating snow for the Mid-Atlantic and southern NY and into southern New England tonight and into Friday morning. The second storm will track further south on Friday afternoon into Saturday, bringing snow and Ice from Birmingham to Atlanta and into Raleigh.
--Several major airlines have issued travel waivers, allowing passengers flying to, from or thru airports in parts of the Southeast, West and Southern Plains to rebook their travel plans free of charge if they have plans to travel in the coming days as winter storms bear down on various regions.

Federal investigators are on the scene of a Long Island Rail Road train derailment that occurred Wednesday morning in downtown Brooklyn. More than 100 passengers were hurt, though officials say the most serious injury is a broken leg. It's unclear what caused the train to strike and run past the bumping block at the end of the track, hitting a wall. Passengers say the train was traveling fast into the station.

Crews are searching for a roto craft that witnesses say went into the water Wednesday evening off the coast of San Pedro, California. Los Angeles Port Police say they received a call about reports from passengers aboard a departing cruise ship that the craft went down near Angel's Gate. No debris had been found as of Wednesday night. It's unclear how many people may be missing. The craft apparently was a two-seater possibly from Torrance.

After the unexpected deaths of Carrie Fisher and Debbie Reynolds, a private memorial has been set for family members and close friends of the iconic mother-daughter duo. The joint memorial will take place in Los Angeles on Thursday, sources close to the family told ABC News. A public event is also in the works.


--House Republicans reversed plans to gut a congressional ethics watchdog on Tuesday after a backlash that included criticism from President-elect Donald Trump over the timing of the move.
-- The House of Representatives approved a rule today prohibiting members of Congress from using phones or other personal electronic devices to record or broadcast material on the chamber floor. The rule, passed with a series of rules to govern the newly sworn-in Congress, was written in response to a sit-in that Democrats held last summer when Republicans recessed without taking up legislation to combat gun violence.
-- President Obama is headed to Capitol Hill Wednesday to meet with Democrats in hopes of saving his signature health care legislation.
--VP-Elect Mike Pence is on Capitol Hill Wednesday to meet with Republican lawmakers.

--Donald Trump continues to remain indignant about claims that Russia is responsible for cyberassaults on the US, taking to Twitter Tuesday night to reiterate his skepticism. The president-elect tweeted, "The 'Intelligence' briefing on so-called 'Russian hacking' was delayed until Friday, perhaps more time needed to build a case. Very strange!" While the basis of Trump's tweet is that the intelligence briefing was slated for Tuesday and bumped to Friday, a source familiar with the matter tells ABC News that the briefing had always been slated for Friday
--Donald Trump also tweeted Tuesday he will hold a "general news conference" January 11th in NYC.
--The auto industry's relationship with President-elect Donald Trump took a dramatic turn Tuesday as Ford Motor Co. decided to shift investment dollars targeted for Mexico to the U.S., while Trump threatened General Motors with a tax on some imported small cars.

--Hillary and Bill Clinton plan to attend the Jan. 20 presidential inauguration for Donald Trump-- but former president George H.W. Bush and former first lady Barbara Bush will not due to their age, their aides say.
-- Omarosa Manigault, a former "Apprentice" contestant, is set to follow Donald Trump to the White House, where she will take on the role of public liaison, according to a transition official.
--Rebecca Ferguson, a finalist on the UK version of X Factor 6 years ago, says she’s been asked to perform at Donald Trump’s inauguration later this month. And she’ll do it--but she wants to pick her song-- the 1939 Billie Holiday classic Strange Fruit.

ExxonMobil announced Tuesday night that its board of directors has reached an agreement with the oil and gas company's former chairman and chief executive officer to comply with conflict of interest requirements, if he is indeed confirmed secretary of state. Tillerson's confirmation hearings are slated to begin next week. According to an ExxonMobil press release, the net effect of the agreement is "a reduction of approximately $7 million in compensation" owed to Tillerson, who retired on December 31 after 40 years of service with the multinational company.

NAACP president Cornell William Brooks was arrested Tuesday night after staging a sit-in protest at the Mobile, Alabama, office of Republican senator Jeff Sessions, who is Donald Trump's Attorney General nominee. Alabama NAACP president Bernard Simelton and other NAACP members were also arrested. In an interview with ABC News Tuesday, Brooks said that they were removed from Senator Sessions' Mobile congressional office after protesting for over six hours. They were arrested and taken to jail, and currently have a court date set for January 30.

For the first time in 11 years a military court finds an IDF soldier on operational duty guilty of manslaughter. After two and a half hours, the judge has said that beyond reasonable doubt, Elor Azaria shot a Palestinian attacker because he thought the the man who had attacked soldiers "deserves to die." The sentencing will happen in a month. The battle for a pardon now begins. The judges today dismissed the evidence presented by the defense point by point, thoroughly and at great length.

A massive manhunt continued today for an inmate who escaped a maximum security prison in northeast Rhode Island over the weekend, according to federal and state officials in Massachusetts and Rhode Island. James Morales, 35, escaped from the Donald W. Wyatt Detention Facility in Center Falls, Rhode Island.

Flooding and mudslides are possible in central California this week, where locally more than half a foot of rain is possible by Saturday. These waves of moisture turn to snow as you head into the Sierras and the Rockies where ABC is forecasting several feet of snow before the week is over. As arctic air combines with several systems coming out of the west, snow could be possible on the east coast starting Friday and through the weekend. This second system could be a large one, and could bring rare heavy snow to northern GA and the Carolinas. This system could then track close enough to the east coast to dump some snow on the coastal Mid-Atlantic and major Northeast cities

--Turkish police have released chilling new details in the New Year's massacre at a nightclub in Istanbul that killed 39 and injured dozens more. The suspected shooter is believed to be from the Central Asian country of Kyrgysztan, Turkish police sources tell ABC News.
--The manhunt is now in its fourth day and there is a worry the suspect has fled Istanbul and could be anywhere in the country or even farther. It is believed he fought with ISIS in Syria and the fear now is he could slip back across the border into ISIS held territory.

Back in April, Janet Jackson put her tour on hold and told her fans she was taking time off to start a family. On Tuesday Jackson gave birth to a baby boy named Eissa Al Mana. The father is Janets husband of nearly four years, businessman Wissam Al Mana. According to a statement from her publicist, quote, Janet had a stress free healthy delivery and is resting comfortably." Jackson is 50 years old and Eissa is her first child.

George Michael's estate could be earning some big bucks after his death - Billboard says sales of his songs and albums are up a whopping 2thousand 6 hundred percent compared to the week before he died. His 2008 Greatest Hits album 25 is the biggest seller - entering the Billboard 200 album chart at number 12. He now has FOUR albums on the chart.

ISIS now claiming responsibility for the deadly nightclub shooting in Istanbul on New Year's. Police in Turkey have been hunting for the gunman who shot his way through the crowded nightclub, killing 39 people.  The State Department says one American, a small business owner from Delaware, is among the nearly 70 injured. Video shows the gunman opening fire with a long barrel gun as he enters the club.

"We will make 2017 a safer year for the city of Chicago"...a vow from the city's top cop. Chicago Police Superintendent Eddie Johnson has outlined what he calls an "unacceptable rise" in gun violence. In 2016 there were 762 murders, 3,550 shooting incidents and 4,331 shooting victims.  Over the holiday weekend, five people were killed and at least 30 others were wounded in shootings across Chicago.  Johnson blames the rise in violence on repeat gun offenders.  The city is adding one thousand new officers in 2017, and employing technology aimed at increasing police response time to shooting scenes.

--The 35 Russian diplomats ordered out by President Obama have now left the country with their families. The expulsions are part of sanctions against Russia for alleged election-season cyber-meddling.
--The ranking Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee says there's bipartisan agreement that Russia engaged in malicious hacking during the election season. "None of us have any question about this. The only one who does apparently is Donald Trump," says Congressman Adam Schiff. Trump's incoming press secretary Sean Spicer says Trump reserves judgement until he's fully briefed by the intelligence community.


 President-elect Trump is back in New York after spending the holidays at his estate in Florida. He's expected to be briefed by US intelligence officials this week on the Russian election hacking. Mr Trump also now saying he knows things about the hacking that he will reveal publicly on Tuesday or Wednesday.

In a statement, President Obama says he plans to say thank you for an "amazing journey" when he delivers his "farewell address" January 10th in Chicago.

A hearing Monday in federal court in South Carolina will focus on whether Dylann Roof is competent to act as his own attorney in the penalty phase of his trial. A federal jury convicted the admitted white supremacist on 33 counts in the killing of nine African American parishioners at a Charleston Church in June 2015. Jurors must now decide whether Roof should get life in prison or death.

NTSB investigators will be in McKinney, Texas where two small planes collided in midair -- killing three people including a retired Air Force officer and his teenage son.

The search continues for a small plane carrying six people that vanished over Lake Erie late Thursday. Some debris and a bag thought to be from the plane washed ashore near Cleveland over the weekend.

Taking their pipeline protest to the NFL. Two demonstrators against the Dakota Access Pipeline used ropes and a climbing harness to unfurl a banner from the ceiling inside US Bank Stadium in Minneapolis, during the Bears-Vikings game. No interruption in play but the seat section below was evacuated as a precaution.

A pit bull named Scarface attacked his family in Tampa after someone tried to put a Christmas sweater on the animal. Three people were injured. Police arrived and made unsuccessful attempts to use a taser on the dog. Animal control officers shot it with a tranquilizer and were able to capture it with a "catch pole." Officials say it's unclear whether the animal will need to be euthanized.

2016 was a record year at the box estimated 11.4 BILLION dollars in ticket sales, according to estimates from comScore.

It was the fail seen 'round the world. Mariah Carey says her lip synch troubles during the New Year's Eve celebration were caused by a faulty ear piece.