President Obama Thursday ordered 35 Russian intelligence operatives and their families to leave the country within 72 hours- part of the US response to Russia’s hacking during the election. The administration is sanctioning nine Russian agencies and individuals, including Russian intelligence agencies GRU and FSB, four of the GRU’s officers, and three companies who provided material support to the GRU. Two Russian compounds, one in Maryland and one in New York, have been ordered shut down. In a paper statement, the President said this is not all there is to the US response.
--In a written statement, President-elect Donald Trump said he will meet with intelligence community leaders next week to be updated on the situation. House Speaker Paul Ryan called the move “overdue.”
--The Russian foreign minister is recommending that 31 US diplomats at the US Embassy in Moscow and 4 working at the US Consulate in St. Petersburg be expelled. Kremlin press secretary Dmitry Peskov said on Friday that he doubts a phone call between Russian President Vladimir Putin and U.S. President Barack Obama is possible anytime soon. "I do not think there should be any haste," Peskov told the press
The President-elect’s spokesman promised a news conference in January and suggested White House briefings may not be as regular as in the past. We’re told he spent Thursday meeting with senior staff on national security and working on his inaugural address with campaign speech writer Stephen Miller.
NEW YEAR'S EVE SECURITY
Thousands of police officers will join the hundreds of thousands celebrating Times Square, in an area blocked off by a fleet of sanitation and other trucks, all there to prevent a Nice- or Berlin-style attack. On Friday, the folks behind the celebration will test the ball to see if it will drop at One Times Square.
The Northeast storm that hit on Thursday dumped the heaviest snow in upstate New York, western Massachusetts and all of northern New England. Aside from the heavy snow, strong wind gusts to 50mph could also cause damage and blowing snow with low visibility with treacherous travel expected in New England. The ABC News Weather Team says snow will stop falling in Massachusetts and New Hampshire by midnight Friday and then stop in Maine on Friday morning.
OH MISSING PLANE
The U.S. Coast Guard is currently searching for a missing plane that took off from Burke Lakefront Airport Thursday night. According to the U.S. Coast Guard, they received a report around midnight from air traffic control at Burke Lakefront Airport after they lost connection with the plane. The Cessna 525 went missing 2 miles north of downtown Cleveland with six people, three adults and three children, believed to be on board according to an airport official.
COLORADO CHAIR LIFT ACCIDENT
A mother died Thursday morning when she and her two children toppled from a Colorado ski lift, the first fatal accident since 2002. Emergency crews say they were on scene immediately after the fall at Granby Ranch, rushing the 40-year-old mother and her 9- and 12-year-old children to a local hospital. One of the children has since been flown to Children's Hospital in Denver, but both are in stable condition. Medical professionals pronounced the mother dead, but have not yet identified the woman
A cease-fire brokered by Russia and Turkey went into effect in war-ravaged Syria at midnight Thursday, a potential breakthrough in the six years of fighting that have left more than a quarter-million people dead and triggered a refugee crisis across Europe. If it holds, the truce between the Syrian government and the country's mainstream rebel forces will be followed by peace talks next month in Kazakhstan, Russian President Vladimir Putin said in announcing the agreement. He described it, however, as "quite fragile" and requiring "special attention and patience."
FISHER & REYNOLDS
The family of Carrie Fisher and Debbie Reynolds may be planning a public memorial to the two deceased Hollywood stars. Mourners have already flooded Reynolds star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame with flowers.
Honda is recalling some 634,000 of its best selling Odyssey minivan. It's due to a defect that may cause the second row seating to shift during an accident. Models years in the recall range from 2011-2016.
DELIVERY TRUCKS ROBBED
Are delivery truck drivers being targeted? A rash of robberies involving FedEx and UPS drivers have been reported nationwide. In Chicago six drivers or trucks have been robbed this holiday season. In two cases this week a gunman approached the driver taking packages.
On December 30, 2006, the U.S. authorities gave Saddam Hussein to the Iraqi people to carry out his death sentence. He was then hanged. His death marked the end of an epilogue which started in 2003 with the symbolic fall of the dictator’s statue on Bagdad’s Firdos Square.
Ronda Rousey return's to the ring - or Octagon - for the first time since her stunning November 2015 defeat. The former UFC women's champion will challenge the current champion Amanda Nunes of Brazil Friday night in Las Vegas.
Former Charles Manson follower and killer Patricia Krenwinkel - the longest-serving female inmate in California - appeared again Thursday before a parole board some 47 years after she helped kill pregnant actress Sharon Tate and six other people. The 69 year-old has been denied parole 13 times since her conviction in the 1969 killings.