Category: A - Newsbreaks
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-- President-elect Donald Trump will officially announce his Secretary of State pick Tuesday morning.  Exxon Mobil CEO Rex Tillerson is expected to get the nod after it was learned Mitt Romney was no longer in the running Monday night.
--Trump also tweeted he'll hand off his businesses to his two eldest sons and a handful of executives, effective before January 20th.   He had promised to hold a news conference this coming Thursday to explain how he would remove himself from potential conflicts of interest with his business empire.  Transition officials tell us that's been postponed until January. They say the president elect has been too busy filing out his cabinet. Trump still has not held a formal news conference since the election.
--Donald Trump celebrates the recount in Wisconsin, noting he "picked up 131 votes."
"The Dems and Green Party can now rest. Scam! "

The Russians are not our friends," says Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, who confirms that the Senate intelligence panel will be conducting an inquiry into Russia's hacking of political emails.  
--House Intelligence Committee chair Devin Nunes is now calling on the director of national intelligence James Clapper to clear up the “divergent messages” regarding Russia and the election.
--There's also a small group of Electoral College members asking for more information about those hackings led by Democratic House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi's daughter, Christine Pelosi, a California elector.
--President Obama also brought up the potential Russian hackings during an appearance on The Daily Show Monday night.

The major winter storm that brought snow and treacherous travel from the Midwest to the Northeast this weekend has moved out.  Now, the most brutal cold blast of the season moves in Wednesday-Friday.  Wind chills will be below zero for millions from Minneapolis to Chicago to NYC to Boston.  The snowstorm dropped a daily record amount in Detroit – 10.6 inches.  The ABC News Weather Team says Thursday morning is the coldest for the Midwest with places like Minneapolis, Chicago, and Green Bay feeling 20+ degrees below zero.  Friday morning is the coldest for the Northeast where it will feel below zero from Philly to NYC to Boston.

In Syria, east Aleppo is on the brink of falling.  The Syrian government has taken control of at least 97 percent of east Aleppo after intense bombardments overnight and today, according to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, a U.K.-based monitoring group. Seizing the remaining territories would grant President Bashar al-Assad a strategic victory, returning all urban centers in the country to his control.

Lufthansa Flight # 441 from Houston to Frankfurt was diverted to JFK Monday night after a "threat" received by phone. The plane was in a remote area of JFK International Airport. Passengers deplaned as the plane was searched.

For a third time in two weeks, two police officers have been shot in Georgia.   Investigators say Monday night's shooting incident began when two Lavonia Officers initiated a traffic stop. During the stop, the occupant fired upon the officers, striking both.  The officers received non-life threatening injuries and were both transported to an area hospital for treatment. 
The suspect fled on foot and remains at large.

Most analysts expect the Federal Reserve will announce a hike in interest rates after its two-day meeting that beings Tuesday. It would be the first rise in rates this year.

Jurors have seen the rudimentary website Dylann Roof created to store images of himself and a manifesto of his beliefs on white supremacy and nationalism.   FBI Special Agent Tracy Sicks told jurors he was called in three days after the shooting at Emanuel AME Church to save all the information on a website because it is linked to the Roof investigation.  Roof's manifesto espouses his white supremacy beliefs that were also reiterated in his interview with the FBI and in the handwritten journal found in his car. It had been last accessed the afternoon of the shooting at Emanuel.   Jurors also heard in Roof’s confession that he had considered other targets, where African-Americans congregated.  

First responders at the scene of Oakland's deadly Ghost Ship warehouse fire paid tribute to the 36 lives lost to the smoke and flames.  Federal investigators have now left the scene of the deadly fire and hope to learn more about a possible cause.

French police say they are hunting for four men suspected of stealing gold dust worth nearly $1.6 million dollars from an armored truck Monday before setting cars ablaze near a major highway and fleeing.  The suspects, operating in multiple cars, surrounded the armored truck and forced it off the highway between Paris and Lyon.

Closing arguments began Monday afternoon in the murder-for-hire retrial of a Boynton Beach, Florida  woman accused of hiring an undercover police officer to kill her husband.  Dalia Dippolito is accused of paying an undercover police officer, who was posing as a hit man, to kill her husband in 2009.

The surge of Central American children and families seeking asylum at the U-S/Mexico border is only growing, according to the Customs and Border Protection commissioner who toured a temporary holding facility in South Texas last week. The new, 40-thousand-square-foot white canopy tent is designed to process as many as 500 people a day and to do so more quickly.