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."
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.
SC CHURCH SHOOTING
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.
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