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Istanbul nightclub attack

White House condemns 'horrific' Istanbul attack, 'savagery' of gunmen - AFP

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Istanbul nightclub attack

White House: President Obama directed staff to offer 'appropriate assistance' to Turkey after Istanbul nightclub attack - Reuters

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LGBT rights

Texas judge grants injunction halting Obama administration transgender health protections - AP

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Syrian Civil War

U.S. deputy ambassador Michele Sison says the Obama administration strongly supports a nationwide cease-fire in Syria, regrets details of agreement brokered by Russia and Turkey have not yet been made public - AP

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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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politics

White House releases annual year-in-photos featuring US President Obama - Medium

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2016 US elections

Editor's note: The sanctions President Obama ordered Thursday are against two Russian intelligence services as well as the head of GRU intelligence agency, Lt. Gen. Korobov, and three of his deputies, AP reports. Two Russian nationals, Alexei Belan and Yevgeny Bogachev, are also sanctioned and wanted by the FBI for cyber crimes. The Obama administration also announced it is shutting down compounds that have been used by Russian personnel and expelled 35 diplomats. The sweeping actions come just three weeks before the Trump administration takes office and are in retaliation for alleged hacking attacks meant to interfere with the U.S. presidential election, NBC News notes. Deputy U.S. State Department spokesman Mark Toner added that the actions against Russia are also in response "to a pattern of harassment of our diplomats overseas." Russia has denied any involvement in the cyberattacks and President Putin called the decision for sanctions "groundless." - Stephanie

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2016 US elections

White House: President Obama phoned President-elect Trump today, conversation focused on a 'smooth and effective transition' - CNBC

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Barack Obama

JUST IN: White House releases statement on phone call that President Obama & President-elect Trump had today. https://t.co/LD90CRMOue - @CNBC

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Donald Trump

Incoming White House press secretary Sean Spicer: President-elect Trump will continue to tweet as president - WPRI

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2016 US elections

Report: Obama administration close to announcing measures to punish Russia for election interference, officials tell Washington Post

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Trump appointments and nominations

More: Jason Miller, in declining White House communications director job in Trump administration, says he and wife are expecting 2nd child in January and 'I need to put them in front of my career' - Politico

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Trump appointments and nominations

Jason Miller, Trump's pick for White House communications director, declines to join new administration - Politico

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Israeli-Palestinian conflict

Netanyahu says Obama administration guilty of 'underhanded' move against Israel following UN vote on settlements - @IsraelHatzolah

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Israeli-Palestinian conflict

White House: US Secretary of State Kerry to deliver 'comprehensive' speech on Israel-Palestinian conflict in coming days - The Hill

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Israeli-Palestinian conflict

Editor's note: The U.S. delegation's abstention from a Mideast resolution to the U.N. Security Council condemning Israeli settlements in occupied Palestinian territories comes one day after Egypt withdrew the proposal, in a move diplomats said was prompted by calls from Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to President-elect Donald Trump's transition team -- who in turn contacted players to urge a delay until after the inauguration. Netanyahu had reportedly learned the U.S. planned to allow its passage by declining a veto, which would have marked a departure from previous policy of supporting Israel when the U.N. is enlisted as an agent to resolve the decades-long conflict. The Obama administration, however, has long supported the position of the Middle East Quartet, comprised of the U.S., Russia, the U.N. and EU, that the settlements into lands occupied by Palestinians since 1967 are a serious threat to a two-state solution. - Tricia

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Israeli-Palestinian conflict

Incoming Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer urges Obama administration to veto pending UN Security Council resolution on Israeli settlements - Reuters

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Israeli-Palestinian conflict

White House official says reports that the Obama administration will allow a UN Security Council resolution on Israeli settlements to pass are 'premature' - Jerusalem Post

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Trump appointments and nominations

President-elect Trump names Hope Hicks as White House Strategic Communications Director - Fox News

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Trump appointments and nominations

President-elect Trump: RNC's Sean Spicer will be his White House press secretary - CNBC

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