December 21, 2017

The United Nations General Assembly voted 128-9 on Thursday to declare America's recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel "null and void," with 35 countries abstaining. The vote represents overwhelming international disapproval of the Trump administration's controversial decision.

The U.S. was forced to use a rare veto during a U.N. Security Council 14-1 vote earlier this month on the same issue.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who has been an outspoken critic of Washington's decision, said Thursday: "I am calling on the whole world: Never sell your democratic will in return for petty dollars." But the United States' ambassador to the U.N., Nikki Haley, warned before the General Assembly vote Thursday that America would be "taking names" of countries that voted to condemn the administration's decision.

"When we make a decision, at the will of the American people, about where to locate OUR embassy, we don't expect those we've helped to target us," she declared. Jeva Lange

2:09 a.m. ET

Austin Police chief Brian Manley said Wednesday evening that the presumptive serial bomber who died in a police standoff early Wednesday morning left a video recording on his phone, which was recovered from his car after the suspect, Mark Conditt, detonated an explosive device. "I would classify this as a confession," Manley said, and in it Conditt, 23, describes in some detail the seven complete explosive devices that went off in and around Austin, starting March 2 and and ending with his apparent suicide blast. The explosions killed two other people — Anthony House, 39, and Draylen Mason, 17 — and wounded at least four others.

Conditt made the recording between 9 and 11 p.m. Tuesday night, as police were closing in on him, and while he talked about what he did, Manley said, he did not provide a motive. "We are never going to be able to put a ration behind these acts, but what I can tell you having listened to that recording: He does not at all mention anything about terrorism nor does he mention anything about hate, but instead, it is the outcry of a very challenged young man, talking about challenges in his personal life that led him to this point."

Police and federal law enforcement tracked Conditt down using several methods, including supply purchases at a Home Depot, but his decision to ship two explosives-laded packages from a FedEx store on Sunday gave investigators surveillance footage of him, in disguise, and his car and license plate. On Wednesday, police found unfinished homemade explosives and supplies at his house in the Austin suburb of Pflugerville. You can learn more in the CNN report below. Peter Weber

1:31 a.m. ET

They thought their child-rearing days were long over, but then along came Georgette.

Arnie Skoog, 89, and his wife Ginger Skoog, 84, live in Great Falls, Montana. A few weeks ago, their son Jay Skoog stopped by their house, carrying a lamb that had been rejected by its mother and was less than a week old. Left in the snow, her tail and ears were frozen and she was in bad shape, but once she entered the Skoog home, "she was soon on her feet and eating everything in the house," Ginger told the Great Falls Tribune.

Georgette — named after Curious George — loves Arnie, and sits on his lap while he watches television and bleats whenever he leaves the room. She's also "naughty," Ginger said. "If you say, 'Don't do that,' she'll grab a piece of it and run." Georgette has been caught chewing on cords and dragging toilet paper rolls through the house, but pretty soon, she's going to move onto the next chapter of her life: When the weather warms up, she will go back to Jay Skoog's farm, where she will live in a barn. Catherine Garcia

1:10 a.m. ET

Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, "the Notorious RBG," is "a feminist icon" and at 85, "the oldest justice on the Supreme Court," Stephen Colbert said on Wednesday's Late Show. "But she has made it very clear that she has no interest in retiring. Which is good — please, just hang in there for 3-7 more years." She is ensuring her longevity by keeping in shape with a really hard workout, "which is surprising," Colbert said. "If I had a lifetime appointment to a job that let me wear a robe, I would definitely let myself go." He's not on the court, luckily, but Colbert said he still "jumped at the chance when Justice Ginsburg invited me down to Washington, D.C., to join her workout."

In the gym, Colbert got Ginsburg to weigh in on whether a hot dog is a sandwich, describe how she is similar (and not) to the Notorious B.I.G., shoot down his musical selection, and deny "juicing," and he preened a bit, but he came away cramped, winded, and reassured. "I had reached my decision in the case of RBG v. Kicking Ass," he said. "Not only can the justice last another five years on the bench, I believe she could have killed Tupac." Watch below. Peter Weber

1:07 a.m. ET
Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images

After a man accidentally dropped a lottery ticket worth $1 million at a gas station in Salina, Kansas, an employee ensured that the winning ticket made it back to the right hands.

The ticket was actually purchased in Lincoln, Kansas, but while stopped at the Salina gas station, the winner's brother held the ticket in his hand, then dropped it. After spotting it when the brothers were gone, employees picked up the ticket and scanned it, discovering it was worth $1 million. It wasn't signed, and any one of the employees could have claimed it as their own, but they waited to see if the men would return, and when they came back a few hours later, the ticket was turned over to the rightful owner.

The winner asked to stay anonymous, and the Kansas Lottery has not revealed the name of the Salina gas station where the ticket was lost. "It's just nice to know there are still good Samaritans around," Lincoln resident Shelly Thomas told KWCH. "Not just pure greed." Catherine Garcia

12:30 a.m. ET
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George Nader, a political adviser to the crown prince leading the United Arab Emirates and a cooperating witness in Special Counsel Robert Mueller's investigation, has spent the past year working with the Republican National Committee's deputy finance chairman to steer President Trump's Middle East policy and oust Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, The New York Times reports, citing interviews and newly disclosed documents.

Nader and Elliot Broidy, a longtime GOP fundraiser, used their influence and contacts in Trump's White House to "cultivate" Trump on behalf of the UAE and Saudi Crown Prince (and self-proclaimed Jared Kushner puppet-master) Mohammed bin Salman, and against Iran and Qatar, the Times says, adding: "Tillerson was fired last week, and the president has adopted tough approaches toward both Iran and Qatar." The two men — Nader, 58, and Broidy, 60 — met during Trump's inaugural festivities and "became fast friends," and Nader didn't come to the friendship empty-handed, the Times explains:

Nader tempted ... Broidy with the prospect of more than $1 billion in contracts for his private security company, Circinus, and he helped deliver deals worth more than $200 million with the United Arab Emirates. He also flattered Mr. Broidy about "how well you handle Chairman," a reference to Mr. Trump, and repeated to his well-connected friend that he told the effective rulers of both Saudi Arabia and the UAE about "the Pivotal Indispensable Magical Role you are playing to help them." [The New York Times]

In return, Broidy told Nader he personally pushed Trump in October to fire Tillerson, seen by the Saudis and Emiratis as insufficiently hardline on Iran and Qatar, and urged Trump to meet with the UAE crown prince in a "quiet" place outside the White House — a request blocked by National Security Adviser H.R. McMaster, Broidy reported. Nader was met by Mueller's agents in February en route to meet Trump at Mar-a-Lago, an invitation wrangled by Broidy. You can read more about the tangled web at The New York Times. Peter Weber

12:25 a.m. ET
Tim Boyle/Getty Images

Toys 'R' Us is closing all of its stores in the United States, and a defunct retailer is hoping to rise up from its ashes.

KB Toys ceased operations in 2009, but Strategic Marks purchased the brand in 2016 from Bain Capital — the same company that took Toys 'R' Us private in 2006, saddling it with debt. Strategic Marks President Ellia Kassoff told CNN Money the plan is to open 1,000 pop-up locations on Black Friday, and where the pop-ups do well, they'll make permanent KB Toys stores.

Kassoff said he's been in touch with Hasbro, Mattel, and dozens of other smaller toy suppliers, and the "assumption is that there's about half a billion dollars worth of toys that have been produced for Toys 'R' Us with no place to go. That's a big, big void that we're hoping to fill up." Catherine Garcia

March 21, 2018
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Finishing a race everyone had already forgotten about even though it was just last week news, Republican Rick Saccone called Democrat Conor Lamb on Wednesday to admit defeat in the special House election for Pennsylvania's 18th congressional district.

Lamb won by a few hundred votes and claimed victory in the early hours of March 14. There was some rumbling from Republicans that Saccone would call for a recount or take the matter to court, but Lamb tweeted Wednesday evening that Saccone "congratulated me and graciously conceded last Tuesday's election. I congratulate Mr. Saccone for a close, hard-fought race and wish him the best. Ready to be sworn in and get to work for the people of #PA18." Saccone, a member of the Pennsylvania House, said he plans on running again, this time in the newly drawn 14th congressional district. Catherine Garcia

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