January 12, 2016

Residents of the New York village of Whitesboro voted Monday to keep their town seal, which depicts a white man strangling a Native American, The New York Daily News reports. The seal dates back to the late 1800s and shows the town's founder, Hugh White, "subduing" a Native American man. The seal first came under scrutiny last summer following nationwide controversy over the confederate flag. Proposed replacements for Whitesboro's seal included a depiction of White and the Native American shaking hands.

While the ballot was not legally binding, 157 of the 212 votes cast supported keeping the seal; notably, in the most recent census, 99.5 percent of Whitesboro residents identified themselves as white.

"Political correctness, who cares? This is our village, who cares what the world thinks? I want to see this settled today, once and for all," Whitesboro resident Scott Hastings told WKTV News. Speaking to the same station, voter Herb Lamach said, "We know the Indian and the white man wrestling together. We know they both appreciated it and enjoyed it. It was a good thing. So all of this other talk is just that, talk." The mayor of Whitesboro, Patrick O'Connor, has also reportedly called the emblem "a very accurate depiction of friendly wrestling matches that took place back in those days."

Others don't exactly see it that way. "The first thought that anyone has of this image is, 'There's some white guy killing an Indian, strangling an Indian,' director of the Redhawk Native American Arts Council Cliff Matias said in July. "It's utterly ridiculous that a town would have pride in a symbol like that in this day and age." Jeva Lange

9:05 p.m. ET
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CIA Director John Brennan is warning Americans that a deadly attack like the one Tuesday at an airport in Istanbul could soon happen in the United States.

No group has claimed responsibility yet for the attack, which left 42 people dead, but it has the hallmarks of an Islamic State operation. "I am worried from the standpoint of an intelligence professional who looks at the capabilities of Daesh…and their determination to kill as many people as possible and to carry out attacks abroad," he told Yahoo! News, using an acronym for ISIS. "I'd be surprised if Daesh is not trying to carry out that kind of attack in the United States." While the terrorists in San Bernardino and Orlando were inspired by ISIS, the group did not direct them to attack inside the U.S., and Brennan credits effective homeland security from preventing attacks plotted by ISIS.

Brennan said one reason why it looks like ISIS was behind the Istanbul attack is the fact the group often uses suicide vests during operations. "It's not that difficult to actually construct and fabricate a suicide vest…so if you have a determined enemy and individuals who are not concerned about escape, that they are going into it with a sense that they are going to die, that really does complicate your strategy in terms of preventing attacks," he said. Read more about why Brennan believes ISIS is targeting Turkey and how setbacks on the battlefield are driving militants to more attacks at Yahoo! News. Catherine Garcia

7:36 p.m. ET
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Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell says Donald Trump's campaign has dramatically improved — mostly because the presumptive Republican nominee listened to his advice.

One change McConnell suggested was for Trump to stop making his usual freewheeling speeches, and instead come prepared to events with a script on a teleprompter. Trump has "made a lot of progress toward passing what I would consider sort of the credibility threshold that you need to pass in order to be considered for the most important political job in the country," McConnell told The Associated Press.

He also shared that he's not afraid that Trump's candidacy will usher in a new Democratic majority in the Senate, and thinks the GOP has a "great shot" at holding its place. Next week, McConnell will meet with Trump when he heads to Capitol Hill to visit House Republicans. Catherine Garcia

6:50 p.m. ET
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The Egyptian government announced Wednesday that the data recorder from EgyptAir 804 confirms smoke was detected in a bathroom and the avionics bay before the plane crashed into the Mediterranean Sea last month.

The Egyptian Aircraft Accident Investigation Committee said some of the wreckage recovered from the front of the plane showed signs of high temperature damage and soot, ABC News reports, and the preliminary data shows the flight data recorder cut off at an altitude of 37,000 feet. Experts say the findings point to the plane experiencing an electrical fire.

The Airbus A320 crashed May 19 on its way from Paris to Cairo, killing all 66 people on board. Catherine Garcia

5:11 p.m. ET
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The professional hockey landscape was altered in just a few minutes Wednesday, as three blockbuster moves rocked the NHL. The Edmonton Oilers traded former No. 1 overall pick Taylor Hall to the New Jersey Devils in exchange for defenseman Adam Larsson in a move intended to shore up their right-shot defense, as the Oilers had only one right-shot defender under contract next year. Meanwhile, the Devils will acquire an elite offensive player in Hall, who tallied 65 points, including 26 goals, in 82 games this past season.

Not to be outdone, the Montreal Canadiens traded star P.K. Subban to the Nashville Predators in exchange for Preds' captain Shea Weber in a swap of top-tier defensemen. Subban, who is four years younger than Weber, won the Norris Trophy — awarded to the league's top defenseman — back in 2013 and was described by Predator general manager David Poile as an "an elite offensive defenseman." Weber has finished in the top four in voting for the Norris Trophy five times in his career and looks to add veteran leadership to the Canadiens.

Presented with such major moves within a span of about half an hour, the hockey world reacted as calmly as one would expect:

To top things off, down in Florida, coveted free agent Steven Stamkos — widely considered the prize of the 2016 offseason — re-signed with his current team, the Tampa Bay Lightning. He was due to become an unrestricted free agent on July 1.

See, guys? Sometimes things happen in hockey. Kimberly Alters

4:53 p.m. ET
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In the face of mounting criticism over its lack of diversity, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences just rolled out its longest and most diverse list of invitations to date. Of the 683 prospective new members, 46 percent are female and 41 percent are people of color. Among those invited are Idris Elba, John Boyega, and Alicia Vikander.

The Academy doesn't have the best track record when it comes to representation: Despite a viral protest campaign calling out its lily-white membership in 2015 using the hashtag #OscarsSoWhite, the organization failed to significantly improve upon its remarkably heterogeneous makeup last year. At the beginning of 2016, an estimated 92 percent of voting members were white, while about three-quarters were male. Academy President Cheryl Boone Isaacs addressed the issue back in February, promising the organization would "continue to take action and not just speak."

Selma director Ava DuVernay has called this most recent effort "a good start." Here's hoping next year's nominees reflect the change. Roxie Pell

4:39 p.m. ET

In the first North American Leaders' Summit hosted in Canada in over a decade, President Obama, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, and Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto underscored the importance of North American unity in their pledges to better fight climate change and emphasize free trade. "The politics of trade is difficult," Obama said, seemingly alluding to both Donald Trump's anti-globalization rhetoric of late and the recent Brexit vote. However, he continued, countries must not "shut ourselves off from the world." Regarding climate change, the leaders announced a goal to produce half of North America's power from renewable sources by 2025.

Changes to the North American Free Trade Agreement rule of origin were also unveiled, which will further free up trade by loosening criteria for a variety of products, including "pharmaceuticals, cosmetics, rubber, metals, industrial and electrical machinery, precision instruments, and natural gas," Bloomberg reports. Becca Stanek

3:13 p.m. ET

For the first time in seven years, the Republicans beat the Democrats in the Congressional Baseball Game, which was held last week at Nationals Park. It was a hard-won victory, but, uh, not a pretty one:

Warning: Don't watch if you get secondhand embarrassment. Jeva Lange

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