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Reporter for The Wall Street Journal released after 3 days of detention in Turkey by authorities - AP

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India demonetization 2016

India's Prime Minister Narendra Modi says nation's demonetization push is 'historic purification ritual' to cleanse the system of tax evasion and corruption - AP

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Syrian Civil War

Russian President Vladimir Putin, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani spoke about Syria on telephone, Kremlin says - Reuters

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Venezuelan protests 2014-16

Venezuela's government frees former presidential candidate, several student activists arrested during anti-government protests in 2014 - AP

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United States

President-elect Trump tweets 'Happy New Year to all, including to my many enemies and those who have fought me and lost so badly they just don't know what to do. Love!'

End of alert
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South Korean President Park Geun-hye influence scandal

South Koreans hold anti-president rallies on New Year's Eve - Yonhap

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Burlington, VT, US

Vermont Gov. Peter Shumlin on attempted Russian hacking of Burlington electric grid: 'Vermonters and all Americans should be both alarmed and outraged that one of the world's leading thugs, Vladimir Putin, has been attempting to hack our electric grid, which we rely upon to support our quality-of-life' - NBC News

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Sasikala Natarajan

#BREAKING Sasikala Natarajan officially takes charge as AIADMK General Secretary - @timesofindia


Hong Kong

University of Hong Kong student found guilty of possessing explosives at protest outside Legislative Council complex last year over controversial national security legislation - SCMP

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Delhi, Delhi, India

#BREAKING Anil Baijal, former Union home secretary, takes oath as Lieutenant Governor of Delhi - @timesofindia



Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen says hopes recent changes in relations with China do not reflect Beijing's policy; says does not help cross-strait relations - Reuters

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Burlington Electric Department

Burlington, Vt., electric utility, on report on Russian hacking, says it detected malware from hackers in single laptop 'not connected to our organization's grid systems'

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Report: Russian hackers penetrated US electricity grid through a utility in Vermont; did not actively use code to disrupt, intentions unclear, US officials tell Washington Post

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German Chancellor Angela Merkel to use New Year message to tell nation it's stronger than terrorism and government will do everything to ensure 'security in freedom' - AP

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Trump appointments and nominations

Report: President-elect Trump is considering George Conway for US solicitor general; he's a corporate lawyer and husband of senior adviser Kellyanne Conway, sources tell Bloomberg

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United Kingdom

Ray Davies of 'The Kinks' and veteran comic Ken Dodd awarded knighthoods for services to the arts, entertainment and charity - Press Association

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Rio de Janeiro police officer reportedly confessed to killing Greek ambassador to Brazil; ambassador's wife also in police custody - Reuters

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Buffalo, NY, US

Buffalo, NY, school board calls a special meeting after 24-hour deadline passes for Carl Paladino to resign over comments about Obamas - WKBW

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2016 US elections

Editor's note: President-elect Donald Trump's tweet praising Russian President Vladimir Putin's decision to not respond to new U.S. sanctions comes a day after he said it was time for the U.S. to "move on to bigger and better things." On Thursday, the Obama administration announced measures against Russia in response to cyberattacks during the presidential election. Putin responded by condemning the sanctions but said Russia will not retaliate. U.S. federal intelligence agencies have reported Russia was behind the wave of cyberattacks that shook up the presidential election, Politico notes, but some members of Trump's team have said the media and the Democratic Party's discussions of the attacks are efforts to delegitimize his incoming administration. Trump has said he would meet with intelligence officials next week "in order to be updated on the facts of this situation." - Stephanie

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2016 US elections

North Carolina judge temporarily blocks GOP-backed law that strips power from Gov.-elect Roy Cooper - WCNC

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