RESPONDING TO RUSSIA
United States officials announced a response to Russian cyber hacking Thursday. Intelligence officials have concluded that Russia hacked American political organizations with the purpose of influencing the 2016 election. The Obama Administration has ejected 35 Russian intelligence operatives from the United States. Sanctions have also been imposed on Russia's two leading intelligence services.
The New York Police Department has changed its uniform policy. Now, Sikh officers can wear turbans and will be allowed to grow beards. "We want to make the NYPD as diverse as possible," NYPD Commissioner James O'Neill said. The NYPD patrol guide prohibits any kind of head covering, but Sikh officers will not be allowed to wear a turban once the religious exemption is signed off by top department officials. There are about 160 Sikh officers in the NYPD.
SOCIAL MEDIA IN THE HOUSE
Republicans in the House of Representatives have proposed new rules to prevent members from live streaming or sharing photos from the House floor. The rules would fine members $500 for sharing photos or live streaming. The fine would increase to $2,500 for subsequent offenses. These fines would be deducted from the member's salary. This new policy is backed by House Speaker Paul Ryan. These new rules are seen as a response to last year's "sit-in" organized by Democrats to force a vote on gun control legislation.
NEW NATIONAL MONUMENTS
President Obama has created two new national monuments in Nevada and Utah. These monuments will protect 1.65 million acres of land in the west. The Bears Ears National Monument in Utah is made up of lands that are considered sacred to several Native American tribes. President-elect Donald Trump has threatened to undo Obama's conservation efforts once he is sworn into office.