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The VICE Morning Bulletin

Obama vows retaliation for Russian election hacking, the Syrian government suspends the evacuation of Aleppo, Trump's new Israeli ambassador wants to move the embassy to Jerusalem, and more.

by VICE Staff
Dec 16 2016, 3:15pm

Barack Obama on Tuesday. Photo by Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Everything you need to know about the world this morning, curated by VICE.

US NEWS

Obama Vows Retaliation for Russian Election Hacking
In an interview with NPR, President Obama said the US will "take action" against Russia for interfering in the presidential election. "Some of it may be explicit and publicized; some of it may not be," said Obama. "Mr. Putin is well aware of my feelings about this, because I spoke to him directly about it." US intelligence officials concluded Russia was behind the DNC hacks months ago, and Obama has ordered a full report to be completed before he leaves office on January 20.—NPR News

Trump's Choice for Ambassador to Israel Wants to Move Embassy
President-Elect Donald Trump has picked David Friedman to be the next US ambassador to Israel. Friedman, a bankruptcy attorney with ties to right-wing Israeli factions, has pledged to move the US embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, describing it as "Israel's eternal capital." Previously, the US State Department has avoided making the move because both Israelis and Palestinians see Jerusalem as their capital, and the move would anger Palestinians.—The New York Times

FBI Investigate Election Commission After Login Data Breach
The FBI is investigating a breach at the US Election Assistance Commission, the agency responsible for making sure voting machines meet standards, after a security firm discovered login details being sold online. The security firm said the hacker who had obtained the login info of 100 commission staffers speaks Russian. The hack is believed to have taken place after the election, and the security firm said its unlikely the hacker works for any government.—Reuters

Feds Extend Deadline After Rush for Health Insurance
Officials have extended the deadline for those looking to sign up for insurance through Healthcare.gov, the website established as part of Obamacare, by four days, moving it to midnight on December 19. Healthcare.gov CEO Kevin Counihan said almost a million people were waiting to enroll, but he pledged to provide coverage for "everyone seeking it."—USA Today

INTERNATIONAL NEWS

Evacuation of Aleppo Suspended by Syrian Government
Bashar al Assad's government has suspended the evacuation of rebel fighters and civilians from eastern Aleppo, blaming rebels for failing to uphold the terms of a ceasefire deal. At least 50,000 people are still waiting to leave eastern Aleppo, according to the UN, though the Russian government, Assad's close ally, says that the evacuation is complete. More than 6,000 people have managed to get out since the evacuation began on Thursday morning.—BBC News

Japan and Russia End Negotiations over Disputed Islands
Russia and Japan have agreed to develop closer economic ties even as they can't agree on the status of the four southern Kuril islands at the center of a territorial dispute between the nations. Talks between President Vladimir Putin and Prime Minister Shinzo Abe will end today without any formal ending to the stalemate over the islands.—AP

South Korean President Claims Impeachment Not Legal
Lawyers for South Korean president Park Geun-hye have claimed an impeachment motion passed one week ago by parliament is invalid. One of Park's lawyers said she would probably not appear before the Constitutional Court, the body that has 180 days to decide whether the impeachment motion should be upheld. In the meantime, her powers have been suspended.—Reuters

DRC President Orders Blocking of Social Networks
The government of the Democratic Republic of Congo has demanded internet providers block Facebook, Twitter, and WhatsApp before President Joseph Kabila's final term comes to an end Sunday night—an effort to prevent protests being organized. The opposition has accused Kabila of clinging to power since no new election has been scheduled, even though his term is due to end Tuesday.—Al Jazeera

EVERYTHING ELSE

Facebook to Work with Outside Editors to Flag Fake News
Facebook has promised to crack down on fake news by using third-party fact-checking editors. Working with five media organizations, including Snopes and Factcheck.org, Facebook will label fake news as "disputed" and demote stories in the news feed.—VICE

Method Man Writes Christmas-Themed Marvel Comic
Method Man has written a new Marvel comic book for the festive season: Ghost Rider X-Mas Special. The Christmas edition features Ghost Rider battling Krampus, described by Marvel as an "anti-Santa" villain named after a character from Germanic folklore.—Rolling Stone

Mexican Plant Named After Jimi Hendrix
Researchers have named a rare plant discovered in Mexico "Dudleya Hendrixii," or "Hendrix's liveforever." Mark Dodero, a former graduate student at San Diego State University, discovered it while listening to Hendrix's "Voodoo Child."—AP

Dolly Parton Raised $9 Million for Wildfire Victims
The My People Fund, Dolly Parton's effort to gather money for those displaced by the recent Tennessee wildfires, has now raised $9 million. Taylor Swift donated $200,000 at a Parton's telethon on Tuesday night.—Noisey

Canada Bans All Use of Asbestos
Canada has banned asbestos, barring the manufacture, use, import, and export of the harmful industrial material. The Canadian government has also committed to updating its public list of government buildings containing the material.—Motherboard

New Study Points to Cycle of Abuse in Gun Crime
University of New Haven research on the "cycle of abuse" indicates the majority of people who commit gun crimes have been shot before. Some 57 percent of those studied had been shooting victims before they were suspected of a gun crime by police.—VICE

Photo by Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg via Getty Images