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Monday, Jan 23rd

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Takata agrees to guilty plea, will pay $1B for hiding defect

Takata pays 1B dollar fineTakata Corp. has agreed to plead guilty to a single criminal charge and will pay $1 billion in fines and restitution for a years-long scheme to conceal a deadly defect in its automotive air bag inflators.

The U.S. Attorney's Office in Detroit announced the deal Friday, hours after it unsealed a six-count grand jury indictment against three former Takata executives who are accused of executing the scheme by falsifying and altering test reports that showed the inflators could rupture.

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Dems 'outraged' with Comey after House briefing

ComeyA number of House Democrats left Friday's confidential briefing on Russian hacking fuming over the actions of FBI Director James Comey and convinced he's unfit to lead the agency.

"I was nonjudgmental until the last 15 minutes. I no longer have that confidence in him," Rep. Tim Walz (D-Minn.), ranking member of the Veterans Affairs Committee, said as he left the meeting in the Capitol.

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Report says Chicago police violated civil rights for years

Chicago police reportChicago police have violated the constitutional rights of residents for years, permitting racial bias against blacks, using excessive force and shooting people who did not pose immediate threats, the Justice Department announced Friday after a yearlong investigation.

Officers endangered civilians, caused avoidable injuries and deaths and eroded community trust that is "the cornerstone of public safety," said Vanita Gupta, head of the Justice Department's civil rights division.

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For the first time, Lady Liberty depicted as African American on a coin

Lady Liberty depicted as African AmericanThe U.S. Mint is celebrating its 225th anniversary by minting a commemorative coin which depicts Lady Liberty as an African American.

The 24-karat gold coin's heads side shows Lady Liberty in profile and wearing a crown of stars. The years 1792, when the Mint was founded, and 2017 also are printed, along with the phrase, "In God We Trust."

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What could be the 'worst ice storm in 10 years' begins in central U.S.

ice storm begins in midwestWhat could be the worst ice storm in 10 years has begun in the central U.S., one that forecasters say will unload freezing rain on a 1,000-mile swath from the central Plains to the mid-Atlantic over the weekend.

The storm is expected to cause downed trees, power outages and make driving dangerous or impossible as roads turn into sheets of ice.

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Poll: Trump’s transition is historically unpopular

Trump transition unpopularPresident-elect Donald Trump’s transition is historically unpopular, according to a new poll released by Gallup.

More Americans disapprove of Trump’s transition than approve, a stark break from past presidents. 44 percent approve of the transition while 51 percent disapprove, Gallup found. By comparison, around the same time in Barack Obama’s 2009 transition, 83 percent of Americans approved of the effort while only 12 percent disapproved.

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Michael Flynn, Donald Trump’s national security adviser, contacted Russia when Obama announced sanctions: report

Michael Flynn and RussiaAn anonymous official is claiming that retired Lt. Gen. Michael T. Flynn, who will soon serve as national security adviser to President-elect Donald Trump, contacted Russia on the day that President Obama announced sanctions against the country for its alleged hacking of the 2016 presidential election.

Flynn allegedly phoned Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak on several occasions on Dec. 29, after President Obama announced the expulsion of 35 Russian officials as well as other sanctions, according to The Washington Post. It’s unclear what Flynn said during the call, but it may have played a role in Russian dictator Vladimir Putin deciding not to retaliate in order to wait and see how Trump will handle the situation — a decision that Trump praised on Twitter as “very smart.”

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Funeral begins for paralyzed detective who forgave shooter

Funeral for Steven McDonaldEscorted by police motorcycles and amid the wail of bagpipes, the hearse carrying the body of Detective Steven McDonald arrived Friday at St. Patrick's Cathedral for the funeral of the officer known for forgiving a teenage gunman who left him paralyzed.

Mayor Bill de Blasio and Police Commissioner James O'Neill joined scores of police officers watched as the hearse pulled up in front of the Manhattan church. They stood in silence as pallbearers took McDonald's casket inside.

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Syria warns Israel after rockets hit air base

Syria warns Israel after rocket attacksThe Syrian army has warned Israel of "repercussions" after rockets struck a major military airbase outside Damascus.

Explosions were heard in the capital early on Friday and residents in the city's southwest suburbs saw a large plume of smoke rising from the area.

Footage on social media showed flames leaping from parts of the Mazzeh military airport compound.

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