NEW YORK - - New York City will deploy sand-filled trucks and thousands of police officers as part of a beefed-up plan to protect revelers at this year's New Year's Eve celebrations in Times Square, mindful of two deadly truck attacks in Europe this year. As many as 2 million people are expected to gather on Saturday, Dec. 31, to welcome the new year and authorities said on Thursday, Dec. 29, they were aware of no credible threat to the annual festivities at the famed Manhattan crossroads.
Wall Street ended slightly lower on Thursday, Dec. 29, held down by bank shares in quiet holiday trading as traders looked to position for the new year. U.S. equities have stalled in recent days after rallying in the wake of Donald Trump's Nov. 8 election as U.S. president. Investors are betting on benefits from Trump's plans to cut taxes and regulations and introduce fresh economic stimulus.
A federal judge on Thursday, Dec. 29, ordered a psychiatric examination for Dylann Roof, days before he is to represent himself as jurors hear evidence about whether he should be executed for the June 2015 massacre at a Charleston, South Carolina, church. U.S. District Judge Richard Gergel said in an order he was requesting the evaluation and would hold a second competency hearing "in an abundance of caution" after Roof's standby lawyers filed a motion about his mental fitness to stand trial.
WASHINGTON—President-elect Donald Trump's goal of overhauling the U.S. tax code in 2017 will depend partly on the work of an obscure congressional committee tasked with estimating how much future economic growth will result from tax cuts.
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The United States on Thursday expelled 35 Russian diplomats and closed two Russian compounds in New York and Maryland in response to a campaign of harassment by Russia against American diplomats in Moscow, a senior U.S. official said on Thursday. The U.S. official, speaking on condition of anonymity, told Reuters the Russian diplomats would be given 72 hours to leave the United States. Access to the two compounds will be denied to all Russian officials as of noon on Friday, the official added.
BOULDER, Colo. -- The death of Rashaan Salaam, a winner of college football's Heisman Trophy whose body was found in a city park this month in Boulder, was ruled a suicide by a county coroner on Thursday. Salaam, 42, died from a gunshot wound to the head, the Boulder County Coroner's Office said in a statement following an autopsy. A passerby found Salaam's body on Dec. 5, Boulder police said. Salaam, who had played for the Chicago Bears and the Cleveland Browns, lived in Superior, just southeast of Boulder.
DETROIT—Honda Motor Co. said on Thursday, Dec. 29, it will recall nearly 650,000 Odyssey minivans in the United States covering 2011 to 2016 model years because second-row seats may not lock in the event of a crash. No injuries or crashes have been reported related to this issue, Honda's U.S. division said. Two separate recalls will be conducted, Honda and U.S. safety regulators said. The largest involves 634,000 Odyssey minivans for model year 2011 to 2016, and a smaller one affects about 7,600 of the 2016 model year Odyssey minivans.
WASHINGTON—A drop in U.S. exports last month pushed the country's trade deficit in goods higher while the number of Americans filing for unemployment benefits fell last week in a positive sign for the labor market. The two reports released on Thursday, Dec. 29, suggested that when Donald Trump becomes president next month, the labor market will likely be at roughly full strength and international trade could be weighing on the economy.
MOSCOW/ANKARA - Russian President Vladimir Putin announced a ceasefire between Syrian opposition groups and the Syrian government starting at midnight on Thursday. The Kremlin statement came after Moscow, Iran and Turkey said they were ready to broker a peace deal in the nearly six-year-old Syrian war. The Syrian army announced a nationwide halt to fighting but said Islamic State and ex-Nusra Front militants and all groups linked to them would be excluded from the deal. It did not say which unnamed groups would be excluded.
(Reuters) - - Hollywood legend Debbie Reynolds, who sang and danced her way into the hearts of millions of moviegoers around the world in musicals like "Singin' in the Rain," died on Wednesday at age 84, Variety reported citing her son.