News and Headlines. 12/25/2017

President Donald Trump and first lady Melania Trump speak on the phone with children as they track Santa Claus' movements

Covered today, World News (with a Christmas message from President Trump and the First Lady to America and the world), followed by In The News and wondering about a job in this new era of technology? Check out the article in Tech Watch.

(Warning: graphic content) The most memorable pictures taken by Reuters photographers around the world this year, including Donald Trump’s presidency, the Rohingya refugee crisis, the fight against Islamic State and the total solar eclipse across the United States. Produced by Canice Leung. Watch here.> Images of 2017

World News:

President Trump on Monday tweeted out a short video of himself and first lady Melania Trump wishing people all over the world a merry Christmas.

President Donald J. Trump and First Lady Melania Trump’s 2017 Christmas Message

Haley announces $285M cut in 2018-19 UN operating budget

Calling it “a big step in the right direction,” U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley on Sunday night announced a historic reduction in the U.N. biennial operating budget.

Haley said the plan calls for a $285 million cut for the 2018-19 fiscal year.

“The inefficiency and overspending of the United Nations are well known,” Haley said. “We will no longer let the generosity of the American people be taken advantage of or remain unchecked.”

Guatemala follows in Trump’s footsteps, announces embassy move to Jerusalem

‘God bless you’, Netanyahu tells Guatemalan president over Jerusalem embassy move

JERUSALEM/GUATEMALA CITY (Reuters) – Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu thanked Guatemala with a “God bless you” on Monday for deciding to move its embassy to Jerusalem, while the Palestinians said the Central American country was “on the wrong side of history”

Syrian and Iranian-backed Forces Push Deeper Into Border Area With Israel

Pro-Assad forces, including Hezbollah, are now turning toward the last rebel-held enclave south west of Damascus in a new expansion of Tehran’s influence.

Syrian army forces backed by Iranian-backed militias, including Lebanon’s Hezbollah, pushed deeper into the last rebel-held enclave near a strategic border area with Israel and Lebanon in a new expansion of Tehran’s influence in the war-torn country.

Single Israeli Mother, 25, Critically Wounded by Car Bomb

A 25-year-old woman from a Druze town in northern Israel was critically injured on Saturday when a bomb attached to her car detonated. She is currently sedated and on a respirator at Rambam Medical Center in Haifa. Police say the motive is yet unclear.

Man rams car into party HQ in Berlin, no one else hurt

Police in Berlin say a man crashed a car into the entrance area of the country’s Social Democratic Party at midnight on Christmas Eve.

A police statement Monday says the man described the act as a suicide attempt. A fire broke out in the car but was extinguished by the building’s sprinkler system.

Moscow bus crashes into pedestrian passageway, killing 4

A bus in Russia’s capital careened off a road on Monday and slammed into an underground passageway, killing at least four people and injuring 13 others when it crushed pedestrians in its path, Russian authorities said.

The crash happened on one of the busiest streets in Moscow near the Slavyanksy Boulevard metro station, Reuters reported. The bus went off the road and onto the steps leading into the passageway.

In The News:

Trumps Take Calls from Children on Christmas Eve

President Donald Trump and first lady Melania Trump are taking questions from children who want to know where Santa Claus is.

President Donald Trump and first lady Melania Trump speak on the phone with children as they track Santa Claus' movements

President Donald Trump and first lady Melania Trump speak on the phone with children as they track Santa Claus’ movements with the North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD) Santa Tracker. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)

The president and first lady fielded calls on separate phones in the living room of their Florida estate, where they are spending the holidays. The calls came by way of the Track Santa program operated by the North American Aerospace Defense Command.

Democrat running for Congress indicted in $803G fraud, embezzlement case

A Democrat running for a U.S. House seat in Virginia has been indicted on charges of fraud, embezzlement and theft in connection with events that allegedly occurred in 2012.

Prosecutors said Brown received about $803,000 via her nonprofit organization as a participant in a U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Summer Food Service Program.

They alleged that Brown acquired funds by filing false reimbursement claims with the Virginia Department of Health.

Prosecutors said Brown and others told employees to inflate the figures for the number of meals served to low-income children, and the nonprofit would the pocket the extra reimbursements, the Washington Post reported.

The Senate Waited Until Christmas To Reveal How Many Harassment Settlements Were Paid Out

As the Christmas holiday weekend set it, the Senate Rules and Administration Committee released a report revealing the Senate has spent $1.5 million on workplace harassment settlements since 1998.

The data, provided by the Office of Compliance, a little known administrative body that has quietly settled dozens of complaints against congressional offices, provides little by way of details, beyond an itemized list of violations and the corresponding settlement.

Here’s How Planned Parenthood Celebrated Christmas Eve

Americans across the country celebrated Christmas Eve by attending church, spending time with family, or decorating their trees, but Planned Parenthood celebrated the festive occasion by aborting unborn babies.

The abortion giant makes no exception for the holidays, charging forward with its mission to provide life-ending services to women no matter the day. “Many women experience deep depression on the anniversary of their abortions – no matter what day of the year they have it. But it’s unfathomable that such pain could be forever linked to Christmas,” the president of 40 Days for Life, Shawn Carney, told LifeNews.

2 Virginia deputies shot responding to domestic dispute on Christmas Eve

5 wounded in Vicksburg Christmas Eve Shooting

Texas police accidentally shot and killed a six-year-old boy while firing at female suspect

Deported former Marine allowed to return back to the United States

Fifteeen years ago, Marine Marco Chavez was deported to Mexico following a dog beating conviction but he could not sleep the night before as he was set to cross the border and return to the United States.

When Chavez finally walked into the United States through the Tijuana-San Diego border crossing on, he was speechless and still in disbelief that he had won his battle to regain his permanent U.S. residency.

Tech Watch:

What the future of work will mean for jobs, skills, and wages

In an era marked by rapid advances in automation and artificial intelligence, new research assesses the jobs lost and jobs gained under different scenarios through 2030.

The technology-driven world in which we live is a world filled with promise but also challenges. Cars that drive themselves, machines that read X-rays, and algorithms that respond to customer-service inquiries are all manifestations of powerful new forms of automation. Yet even as these technologies increase productivity and improve our lives, their use will substitute for some work activities humans currently perform—a development that has sparked much public concern.

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