Daily Edition Top 10 (Week of December 26, 2016)

Gabriella Schwarz / December 31, 2016

Russian President Vladimir Putin speaks as journalists show their posters with questions to him during his annual news conference in Moscow, Russia, Friday, Dec. 23, 2016. AP Photo/Pavel Golovkin

Tensions flared this week between the U.S. and Russia and the U.S. and Israel.

President Barack Obama ordered 35 suspected Russian spies to leave the U.S. and imposed sanctions on Russian intelligence agencies over their intrusion into the presidential election. Russian President Vladimir Putin responded by saying his country would not take further action until the inauguration of President-elect Donald Trump.

Secretary of State John Kerry used an address at the State Department to defend the decision by the U.S. not to veto the UN resolution against Israeli settlements. He also laid out his view of a two-state solution for the Middle East that he said would bring peace to the region. The speech was met with quick criticism from Israeli leader Benjamin Netanyahu, who said Kerry’s speech was “obsessively focused” on settlements.

The year also ended with high profile deaths, including singer George Michael, actress Carrie Fisher and her mother, Debbie Reynolds, one day later.
Read more about these stories and the other biggest news of the week, as it appeared in this week’s Daily Edition.

1. U.S. evicts Russians for spying, imposes sanctions after election hacks—Reuters, Jeff Mason and Lesley Wroughton

Top line: “President Barack Obama ordered the expulsion of 35 Russian suspected spies and imposed sanctions on two Russian intelligence agencies over their involvement in hacking U.S. political groups in the 2016 presidential election…Allegations by U.S. intelligence agencies that Russian President Vladimir Putin personally directed efforts to intervene in the U.S. election process by hacking mostly Democrats have made relations even worse.”

Topic to follow: Russia

2. Putin: Russia won’t expel US diplomats—CNN, Laura Smith-Spark and Matthew Chance

Top line: “Russian President Vladimir Putin said Friday that Moscow will not expel American diplomats in response to US sanctions against Russia.

Putin said he would not pursue “irresponsible ‘kitchen’ diplomacy” and would instead attempt to rebuild relations with Washington after the inauguration of US President-elect Donald Trump.”

Topic to follow: Vladimir Putin

3. Kerry defends US decision not to veto UN resolution against Israeli settlements—The Guardian, Sabrina Siddiqui and Peter Beaumont

Top line: “The US secretary of state, John Kerry, has offered a blistering defence of the US decision to allow a UN resolution condemning Israeli settlements, saying if Washington had vetoed it, Israel would have been given a licence for ‘unfettered settlement construction’ and the end of the peace process.

Framing a two-state solution as ‘the only way to achieve a just and lasting peace between Israelis and Palestinians’, Kerry took aim at the Israeli prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, for building a coalition that was ‘the most rightwing in Israeli history, with an agenda driven by the most extreme elements’.

Kerry’s speech was the latest chapter in a high-octane diplomatic drama marked by a war of words between the Obama administration and Israel, since the vote on Friday that called Israeli settlements in the West Bank and east Jerusalem a ‘flagrant violation’ of international law.”

Topic to follow: John Kerry

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry delivers a speech on Middle East peace at The U.S. Department of State on December 28, 2016 in Washington, DC. Photo by Zach Gibson/Getty Images

4. Israel-Palestinians: Netanyahu condemns John Kerry speech—BBC

Top line: “Israeli leader Benjamin Netanyahu has condemned as biased a speech by outgoing US Secretary of State John Kerry on Israeli-Palestinian issues…Mr Netanyahu said he was disappointed with the speech, which he said was ‘unbalanced’ and ‘obsessively focused’ on settlements.”

Topic to follow: Israel

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu delivers a speech in his Jerusalem office. REUTERS/Baz Ratner

5. Obama’s exit interview: I could’ve won again—CNN, Kevin Liptak

Top line: “Arguing that Americans still subscribe to his vision of progressive change, President Barack Obama asserted in an interview recently he could have succeeded in this year’s election if he was eligible to run.

‘I am confident in this vision because I’m confident that if I had run again and articulated it, I think I could’ve mobilized a majority of the American people to rally behind it,’ Obama told his former senior adviser David Axelrod in an interview for the ‘The Axe Files’ podcast, produced by the University of Chicago Institute of Politics and CNN.”

Topic to follow: Barack Obama

6. Cease-fire brokered by Russia and Turkey begins across Syria—The Washington Post, Louisa Loveluck and Andrew Roth

Top line: “A cease-fire announced by the Syrian government went into ­effect across the country early Friday as part of a broader deal that includes a return to peace talks to end more than five years of war…

The Assad government, backed by Russia and Iran, is now in its strongest position since the start of the war, while rebel groups are mostly boxed into the northwestern province of Idlib and hold no strategically significant urban areas.”

Topic to follow: Syria

7. Carrie Fisher, Child of Hollywood and ‘Star Wars’ Royalty, Dies at 60—The New York Times, Dave Itzkoff

Top line: “Carrie Fisher, the actress, author and screenwriter who brought a rare combination of nerve, grit and hopefulness to her most indelible role, as Princess Leia in the ‘Star Wars’ movie franchise, died on Tuesday morning. She was 60…

After her ‘Star Wars’ success, Ms. Fisher, the daughter of the pop singer Eddie Fisher and the actress Debbie Reynolds, went on to use her perch among Hollywood royalty to offer wry commentary in her books on the paradoxes and absurdities of the entertainment industry.”

Topic to follow: Carrie Fisher

8. Debbie Reynolds dies at 84, a day after her daughter Carrie Fisher’s death—Los Angeles Times, Joel Rubin and Richard Winton

Top line: “Hollywood legend Debbie Reynolds died Wednesday, a day after her daughter, actress and author Carrie Fisher, succumbed after a heart episode on a flight from London to Los Angeles…

Reynolds was one of Hollywood’s top actresses and singers in the 1950s and 1960s, and a celebrity whose sometimes rocky personal life was chronicled by the media. She continued to act regularly into the 1990s.”

Topic to follow: Debbie Reynolds

9. Tributes Pour In After Singer George Michael Dies at 53, Reportedly of Heart Failure—NBC News, Hasani Gittens and Elizabeth Chuck

Top line: “Pop superstar George Michael, who achieved global fame with hits such as ‘Faith’ and ‘Freedom ’90,’ has died at age 53, reportedly of heart failure.

The music legend, who in his heyday was a world-famous sex symbol, was found dead in his home in Oxfordshire, in southeast England, according to his publicist and police.”

Topic to follow: George Michael

10. Obama, Japan’s Abe Decry ‘Horrors of War’ at Pearl Harbor—Associated Press, Josh Lederman and Caleb Jones

Top line: “The leaders of Japan and the United States sought to remind the world that even the most bitter enemies can become allies, during a historic pilgrimage to the hallowed waters of Pearl Harbor…Seventy-five years after Japan’s surprise attack, Abe and President Barack Obama peered down Tuesday at the rusting wreckage of the USS Arizona, clearly visible in the tranquil, teal water. In a show of respect for the war dead, Obama and Abe dropped purple petals into the water and stood in silence.

Topic to follow: Japan

Check out The Daily Edition throughout the week for your news updates.

~GabyS is getting ready for the New Year with the 2017: The Year Ahead Flipboard Magazine