7 things to know now: Russian report; Obama's farewell; Trump, Kennedy meet

President Barack Obama talks to his supporters after giving his presidential farewell address at McCormick Place in Chicago, Tuesday, Jan. 10, 2017. (AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh)
Caption
President Barack Obama talks to his supporters after giving his presidential farewell address at McCormick Place in Chicago, Tuesday, Jan. 10, 2017. (AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh)

Here's a roundup of news trending across the nation and world today.

What to know now:

1. Russian report: According to U.S. officials, President-elect Donald Trump was made aware last week of an unsubstantiated report that says Russia has compromising personal and financial information about him. Trump's briefing by U.S. intelligence officials, first reported by CNN, is said to have included a 35-page report that detailed an assessment of what intelligence officials believe was Russia's attempts to manipulate the U.S. presidential election in addition to an addendum that contained the information about Trump. The information that Russia has material they could use to blackmail Trump allegedly came from a former British spy, and was part of an opposition research report prepared for a Republican who opposed Trump. According to reports, it was later funded by Democrats. The document remains unconfirmed and is said to contain some "errors."

2. Sessions testimony: Trump nominee for attorney general, Sen. Jeff Sessions, will be back on Capitol Hill Wednesday for a second day of confirmation hearings. Sessions answered questions from fellow senators for hours on Tuesday. In one pointed exchange, Sen. Patrick Leahy, (D-Vt.), asked Sessions about the "Access Hollywood" tape of Donald Trump talking about what he could do to women since he was a celebrity. He asked Session if what Trump described was sexual assault. "Is grabbing a woman by her genitals without consent sexual assault," Leahy asked. Sessions answered it was.

3. Trump, Kennedy meet: Donald Trump met with Robert F. Kennedy, Jr., Tuesday at Trump Tower in Manhattan. The Trump transition team said in a statement that "the President-elect enjoyed his discussion with Robert Kennedy Jr. on a range of issues and appreciates his thoughts and ideas," adding that the president-elect "is exploring the possibility of forming a commission on Autism." When interviewed in the lobby of the building, Kennedy told reporters that he would be the head of a commission "to make sure we have scientific integrity in the vaccine process for efficacy and safety effects."

4. Roof sentenced to death: Dylann Roof, who was convicted last month of killing nine people at a church in South Carolina, was sentenced to death on Tuesday. Roof acted as his own attorney during the sentencing phase of his trial. He told the 12 jurors that "There is nothing wrong with me psychologically," and that he felt he had to commit the shootings.

5. The farewell address: President Barack Obama went back to where he got his start in politics to deliver his farewell address. During the nearly one hour speech, he urged a crowd of thousands in Chicago Tuesday night to stay engaged in the political process. While he did not mention Donald Trump by name, he did take the opportunity to warn that opinions should be based in facts. "…without a willingness to admit new information, and concede that your opponent is making a fair point, and that science and reason matter, we'll keep talking past each other, making common ground and compromise impossible." He also thanked first lady Michelle Obama, his daughters, Vice President Joe Biden and his supporters.

And one more

The New York Times is reporting that a former Fox News employee has received a settlement over sexually harassment claim against Bill O'Reilly. Juliet Huddy says O'Reilly made advances toward her and tried to have a sexual relationship with her. She claims that when she rebuffed him he tried to derail her career. According to The Times, Huddy received a high six figure settlement. Fox News responded that, "Juliet Huddy's letter of intent to sue contained substantial falsehoods which Bill O'Reilly vehemently denied."

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