Category: A - Newsbreaks
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Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and President Obama laid wreaths, tossed flower pedals into the water and spoke about how adversaries become allies in the first-ever joint visit to Pearl Harbor by American and Japanese heads of state. PM Abe offered condolences for the victims' of the Japanese attack 75 years ago that drew the US into World War Two, but no apologies. Both leaders focused on moments of reconciliation that have strengthened the friendship between the US and Japan.

The Obama administration is reportedly set to announce measures, including sanctions, aimed at Russia for its alleged interference in the US elections. The Washington Post is reporting the announcement could come as early as this week.  President Obama has ordered a full intelligence review of cyberattacks aimed at the election process. American intelligence agencies believe that state-backed Russian hackers worked to undermine the US elections possibly in an effort to hurt Hillary Clinton's chance or boost Donald Trump's.

Turkey and Russia have reportedly reached an agreement on a cease-fire plan across Syria. The two countries will work to ensure that it comes into effect at midnight Wednesday night, Turkey's state-run news agency reported Wednesday.

Actress Carrie Fisher died Tuesday in a Los Angeles hospital, age 60. The actress, most famous for her role as Princess Leia, was rushed to the hospital Friday after going into cardiac arrest on a plane headed for L-A. 

Tributes continue pouring in for pop icon George Michael, who died on Christmas Day at age 53.

President-elect Donald Trump remains at Mar-a-Lago in Florida on vacation. His transition team announced Tuesday that Bush administration veteran Thomas Bossert will serve as a White House advisor on security and counterterrorism issues. Trump's not taking a vacation from Twitter, taking jabs at President Obama and the UN, and defending his charities. 

--Secretary of State John Kerry will discuss the Obama administration’s vision of a final Israeli-Palestinian peace agreement in a speech Wednesday.
--The State Department is defending the Obama Administration's decision to abstain from a UN Security Council vote condemning Israeli settlements in the West Bank, but the move has riled up Republicans. President-elect Donald Trump has made no secret of his disdain for the United Nations, annd is now writing on Twitter that the UN has become "just a club for people to get together, talk and have a good time." Arkansas Senator Tom Cotton is saying US should reconsider its membership in the UN. He said Congress could withhold all US funds from the UN until its resolution over Israeli settlements is rescinded.

A storm system that moved through the Pacific Northwest yesterday and overnight is now pushing east and will combine with a southern system to bring rain and snow to the Northeast Thursday. This will be a rain event for DC, Philly, NYC and Boston and even for coastal Maine. The heavy snow will be in the mountains of Vermont, NH and Maine.

A federal appeals court ruled the State Department and the National Archives could have done more to make sure all of Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's emails from her private server were recovered and preserved. Both agencies took steps to recover emails but Judicial Watch and Cause of Action Institute sued to force them to get the Attorney General involved. The federal appeals court said those lawsuits "were not moot." The court said the State Department "has not explained why shaking the tree harder" might not "shake loose a few more emails."

United Airlines has agreed to settle a Labor Department lawsuit that said the baggage operation at Newark Airport was deficient. Years of bending over posts to reach conveyor belts or manually loading and unloading gate-checked bags led to more than 600 musculoskeletal injuries among workers there. The airline has two years to make improvements meant to reduce injuries.