Today's edition of quick hits:
is a story worth watching closely: "President Barack Obama has ordered U.S. intelligence agencies to deliver to him a dossier of the evidence that the Russian government used cyber attacks and other means to intervene in the 2016 election, possibly with the idea of making more information public, a senior intelligence official tells NBC News."
* Perhaps the best news
I've heard all week: "Former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani has removed his name from consideration for a position in President-elect Donald Trump’s new administration, the Trump transition team said on Friday." Note, he's not just out of contention for Secretary of State; Giuliani is out altogether.
* South Carolina
: "Dylann Roof began his videotaped confession with 11 chilling words: 'I went to that church in Charleston and I did it.' And then for the next two or three hours, the self-declared white supremacist described to the FBI how he gunned down nine black worshippers last year at a historic South Carolina church in a bid to spark a race war."
* Not many vacant cabinet slots
left: "President-elect Donald Trump is expected to tap Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R., Wash.) to lead the Interior Department, according to a person familiar with the matter... [If confirmed,McMorris Rodgers], would lead Mr. Trump's efforts to open up federal lands and waters to fossil-fuel development and reverse environmental policies the Obama administration has pursued over the past eight years."
: "For her nearly four years in office, President Park Geun-hye of South Korea cooperated closely with the United States, particularly when it came to dealing with her volatile neighbor, North Korea. Her impeachment on Friday now throws both her country and American policy in the region into deep uncertainty, as the North's nuclear program advances and the incoming administration of Donald J. Trump deliberates over whether to adjust Washington's stance."
* Technically, there's a chance we'll have a brief government shutdown
tonight, but don't bet on it: "Senate Democrats are fighting a legislative battle they appear unlikely to win, demanding new negotiations on a critical spending bill after Senate Republicans have already closed off talks and the House has gone home for the holidays."
"executed a former Eagle scout on Thursday for a convenience store killing in 1994, the 20th person executed in the United States this year and the second in Alabama." read more