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Monday's Mini-Report, 12.18.17

Today's edition of quick hits.

Today's edition of quick hits:

* Train derailment: "Several people were killed Monday when the opening of a highly touted new rail link outside Tacoma, Washington ended with the inaugural train derailing and careening off a bridge into a highway below."

* U.N.: "The United States on Monday blocked a Security Council resolution demanding that the Trump administration rescind its Dec. 6 decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israel's capital and to eventually move the American Embassy there. Although the United States used its veto power as a permanent member of the Security Council to block the resolution, the council's vote, 14 to 1, punctuated the American isolation over a central issue in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict."

* Trump-Russia: "President Trump on Sunday sought to douse speculation that he may fire special counsel Robert S. Mueller III amid an intensifying campaign by Trump allies to attack the wide-ranging Russia investigation as improper and politically motivated."

* Their second chat in four days: "Russian President Vladimir Putin called U.S. President Donald Trump on Sunday morning to thank him for providing a tip that allegedly thwarted a terrorist bomb plot in St. Petersburg, officials said."

* Alex Kozinski: "A prominent U.S. appeals court judge announced his retirement Monday days after women alleged he subjected them to inappropriate sexual conduct or comments. Judge Alex Kozinski of the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals said in a statement that a battle over the accusations would not be good for the judiciary. He said he'll step down, effective immediately."

* Virginia: "Charlottesville's police chief, who oversaw the department's widely criticized response to a violent white nationalist rally this summer, abruptly retired Monday, the city said. In a brief statement, the city did not give a reason for Chief Al Thomas' departure."

* Adding repatriation to the list of things he doesn't fully understand: "President Donald Trump speaks often of a pile of money sitting overseas that will come rushing back into the U.S. once his tax plan is in place. That's something of a mirage."

* Good to know: "The Pentagon, at the direction of Congress, a decade ago quietly set up a multimillion-dollar program to investigate what are popularly known as unidentified flying objects -- UFOs."

Anything to add? Consider this an open thread.