10 things you need to know today: December 7, 2015

Obama says the U.S. will overcome terrorism, Jimmy Carter says he is cancer-free, and more

President Obama addresses the nation.
(Image credit: Saul Loeb-Pool/Getty Images)

1. In rare Oval Office address, Obama reassures Americans the U.S. will beat terrorists

President Obama on Sunday delivered a rare prime-time address from the Oval Office to reassure Americans following a string of high-profile terrorist attacks, saying that the U.S. would "destroy" the Islamic State. "The threat from terrorism is real, but we will overcome it," Obama said in the address, marking just the third time he has made such a speech from the Oval Office. Republican critics said Obama's strategy of using airstrikes against ISIS was inadequate. "Is that all there is?" GOP presidential frontrunner Donald Trump said. "We need a new president — FAST!"

The Washington Post USA Today

2. Jimmy Carter says his last brain scan showed no cancer

Former president Jimmy Carter said Sunday that his latest brain scan showed no signs of cancer. Carter, who announced his illness in August, said in November that doctors had removed cancer from his liver but it had spread to his brain. The 91-year-old Democrat said at the time that he was responding well to treatment, and experts say he might have benefited from early detection of the illness.

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The New York Times

3. Opposition wins Venezuelan elections in a landslide

Venezuela's opposition coalition won a majority in the South American nation's legislature, defeating the ruling socialist party in a landslide, election officials announced early Monday. The opposition won at least 99 seats in the 167-member National Assembly, while the socialists took just 46 and many of the remaining seats were still undetermined. Celebrations erupted in Caracas streets after the announcement of the results, which dramatically shifted power after nearly 17 years of socialist rule that began when the late Hugo Chavez took power in 1999 and continued under President Nicolas Maduro.

NBC News Reuters

4. Authorities believe San Bernardino suspects planned more attacks

Investigators increasingly suspect the couple blamed for the San Bernardino massacre, Syed Rizwan Farook and Tashfeen Malik, planned to carry out multiple attacks. One factor supporting the thesis is the stockpile of weapons found in their home after they were killed in a shootout not far from the holiday party where police say they opened fire with assault rifles on a gathering of Farook's work colleagues. Fourteen people were killed in the attack, which the FBI is investigating as an act of terrorism.


5. London subway knife attack suspect appears in court

The suspect in a knife attack in the London subway over the weekend made his first appearance in court on Monday. Muhaydin Mire, 29, was charged with attempted murder for the attack, which is being investigated as a terror incident. A 56-year-old man was seriously injured in the stabbing. Another person suffered a minor injury. The attacker reportedly shouted, "This is for Syria," before being tasered, and a bystander yelled, "You ain't no Muslim, bruv (brother)."


6. Justice Department expected to open civil rights investigation of Chicago police

The U.S. Justice Department is expected to announce this week that it will open a civil rights investigation of the Chicago Police Department, The Associated Press and the Chicago Tribune reported Sunday. Chicago police are facing an uproar over the release of video showing a white officer fatally shooting black teenager Laquan McDonald. The videos showed the officer, Jason Van Dyke, firing 16 times. He now faces a murder charge.

The Associated Press Chicago Tribune

7. Far-right National Front makes gains in French regional elections

France's far-right National Front won big gains in the first round of voting in regional elections on Sunday. The vote, held in a nation still shaken by the deadly Paris terror attacks last month, put the National Front, led by Marine Le Pen, far ahead of its rivals in two of France's 13 regions. It has smaller leads in four others. The right-leaning Republicans of former president Nicolas Sarkozy were behind the National Front, but ahead of the Socialists of President Francois Hollande.

The New York Times

8. Syria says anti-ISIS coalition hit army camp

The Syrian government on Monday said airstrikes by the U.S.-led coalition targeting ISIS bombed an army camp, killing three soldiers and wounding 13. "This hampers efforts to combat terrorism," the government said in a letter published by state media. If confirmed, it would be the first time the coalition had hit government forces, but AFP reported that it had denied striking the camp.

USA Today

9. Germany reports receiving more refugees than expected

Germany's interior minister, Thomas de Maiziere, said Monday that 965,000 people had requested asylum in the country since January. In August, he had predicted that 800,000 refugees would arrive in 2015, but after the increase he declined to offer a new forecast for the entire year. The numbers might be slightly inflated because some people have registered more than once, or moved on to seek haven in other countries. More than 206,000 arrived in November alone, a monthly record.

The Associated Press AFP

10. Clemson earns No. 1 seed in College Football Playoff

The four teams that will compete in the second College Football Playoff were announced Sunday, and there are no real surprises. In the Orange Bowl, No. 1 Clemson, the only undefeated Football Bowl Subdivision team, will face No. 4 Oklahoma. Also on New Year's Eve, No. 2 Alabama will take on No. 3 Michigan State in the Cotton Bowl. The winners will meet in Arizona for the Jan. 11 championship game. Just as in 2014's inaugural playoff, each team picked this year won its Power 5 conference.


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