- 1. Obama expected to announce executive action on guns
- 2. Munich train stations closed over New Year's terror tip
- 3. Rochester man charged with plotting ISIS New Year's attack
- 4. Iconic Times Square New Year's Eve celebration a success under unprecedented security
- 5. Mother of 'affluenza teen' charged with felony
- 6. Fire engulfs 63-story Dubai skyscraper
- 7. Top aides quit Carson presidential campaign
- 8. Iranian president criticizes U.S. for exploring new sanctions
- 9. Midwest rivers start receding, shifting flood threat downstream
- 10. Alabama and Clemson move on to College Football Playoff championship game
1. Obama expected to announce executive action on guns
President Obama is expected to announce as early as next week executive actions aiming to make it harder for "a dangerous few" to get guns. Obama said in his weekly radio address, released a day early on Friday, that he would meet with Attorney General Loretta Lynch on Monday to discuss the moves, which are expected to include expanded background checks, and licensing requirements for small-scale firearm sellers. The powerful National Rifle Association opposes such restrictions.
2. Munich train stations closed over New Year's terror tip
German authorities shut down and evacuated Munich's main train stations on New Year's Eve after receiving a "very concrete" tip that Islamic State suicide bombers were planning a suicide bomb attack at a train station at midnight. Police tweeted Friday that "stations are open, but the situation is still serious." Tensions have been high in Europe since the Nov. 13 terror attacks that killed 130 people in Paris. Brussels, Belgium, canceled its New Year's Eve fireworks over security concerns.
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3. Rochester man charged with plotting ISIS New Year's attack
A Rochester, New York, man, Emanuel Lutchman, has been charged with attempting to aid terrorists by plotting a New Year's Eve assault on a Rochester restaurant and bar. The 25-year-old purported Islamic State sympathizer allegedly intended to attack using knives and a machete. "This New Year's Eve prosecution underscores the threat of [ISIS] even in upstate New York, but demonstrates our determination to immediately stop any who would cause harm in its name," said William Hochul Jr., the U.S. attorney for the Western District of New York.
4. Iconic Times Square New Year's Eve celebration a success under unprecedented security
More than a million people celebrated the start of 2016 in New York's Times Square early Friday. The signature elements of America's biggest New Year's Eve celebration — including fireworks and the descent of a lighted crystal ball from a skyscraper — went off without a hitch under unprecedented security due to terror threats around the world. The city deployed 6,000 uniformed and undercover police officers, 500 more than last year, including the heavily armed Critical Response Command.
5. Mother of 'affluenza teen' charged with felony
Tonya Couch, the mother of “affluenza” teen Ethan Couch, was formally charged with hindering authorities from catching her fugitive son — a felony — and her bond was set at $1 million. She could face two to 10 years in prison. Tonya and Ethan Couch allegedly fled to the Mexican Pacific resort town of Puerto Vallarta as Ethan Couch faced possible jail time for violating probation he received for a 2013 fatal drunken driving crash. His lawyers argued in the case that his family's wealth left him unable to tell right from wrong.
6. Fire engulfs 63-story Dubai skyscraper
A fire broke out in a Dubai high-rise tower Thursday evening, just ahead of a planned fireworks show at the nearby Burj Khalifa, the world's tallest building. It was unclear what caused the fire at the 63-story Address Building. The government said it did not appear to be arson. The Dubai police chief also said that all residents and guests were evacuated safely from the building.
7. Top aides quit Carson presidential campaign
Republican presidential candidate Ben Carson's campaign manager and communications director resigned on Thursday, along with roughly 20 staff members. The exodus came as Carson, a retired neurosurgeon, faces campaign infighting and tumbling poll numbers. During a brief surge, Carson consistently placed second in polls behind frontrunner Donald Trump, but he has fallen to fourth in most national surveys a month ahead of the Iowa caucuses, the first contest in the primaries.
8. Iranian president criticizes U.S. for exploring new sanctions
Iranian President Hassan Rouhani on Thursday denounced the U.S. for considering new sanctions over Iranian missile tests, which Washington believes violated a U.N. ban. Rouhani said he had ordered his Defense Military to build more missiles. The statement came a day after reports that the Obama administration had sent Congress a draft of possible new sanctions, the latest sign of rising tensions following an international deal to curb Iran's controversial nuclear program.
9. Midwest rivers start receding, shifting flood threat downstream
Weather forecasters are warning of possible flooding in Southern states as overflowing, rain-swollen rivers recede in Missouri and Illinois on Friday, and runoff from rare winter storms flows downstream. At least 28 people have died since parts of the Midwest received 12 inches of rain last weekend. Several towns were evacuated as Mississippi River water levels reached near-record heights. The storms were part of a massive weather system that caused floods as far away as Britain.
10. Alabama and Clemson move on to College Football Playoff championship game
The No. 2 Alabama Crimson Tide demolished the No. 3 Michigan State Spartans 38-0 on Thursday in the Cotton Bowl to earn a spot in the second College Football Playoff championship game. The Tide will play No. 1 Clemson, which beat No. 4 Oklahoma 37-17 earlier Thursday in the Orange Bowl, in the Jan. 11 title game in Glendale, Arizona. Alabama will be playing for its fourth national title in seven years.
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