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9 dead after truck rams Christmas market...Kasich appeals for unity...Obama pardons 78

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BERLIN (AP) — German police say at least nine people are dead after a truck ran into a crowded Christmas market in the center of Berlin. Many others were hurt. Police say the driver was arrested near the scene. The truck rammed into the market outside the capital's popular Christmas market at the Kaiser Wilhelm Memorial Church. AP Television footage showed a large truck with its windshield smashed out on the sidewalk alongside the market, with a swarm of ambulances nearby. A large Christmas tree was toppled over nearby in the street. A witness who says the truck missed him by about ten feet says, "It was definitely deliberate."

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — As electors around the country cast their votes today based on their state vote counts last month, even one of Donald Trump's fiercest Republican rivals says it's time to get behind the president-elect. Ohio Gov. John Kasich (KAY'-sihk) spoke as Ohio's electors voted to back Trump at a statehouse meeting. He said, "We want unity, we want love." Trump appeared to be cruising toward 270 votes even as thousands of protesters converged on state capitols around the country, urging Republican electors to abandon their party's winning candidate.

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Pentagon says conversations continue with China to gain the return of an unmanned underwater drone that was seized by the Chinese Navy last week. A spokesman says U.S. and Chinese officials, including military leaders, are working out the logistical details of the exchange. He says the drone was seized illegally and the U.S. is working to get it returned as quickly as possible. It was being operated by civilian contractors collecting unclassified scientific data in international waters in the South China Sea.

HONOLULU (AP) — The White House says President Barack Obama has pardoned 78 people and shortened the sentence of 153 others convicted of federal crimes. It's the largest number of individual clemencies in a single day by any president. Obama has been granting commutations at rapid-fire pace in his final months in office, but he has focused primarily on shortening sentences rather than pardons. Neil Eggleston, Obama's White House counsel, says the clemency actions exemplify Obama's belief that America is a nation of second chances.

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — A judge who sentenced a former Stanford University swimmer to six months in jail for sexual assault is not going to face any penalty from the state agency that handles judicial discipline. The agency found that Santa Clara County Judge Aaron Persky committed no misconduct in his handling of the sentence. Critics across the country said six months was too lenient a sentence for Brock Turner after he sexually assaulted a young woman on campus. Turner was released after serving three months. He's now a registered sex offender in his native Ohio.

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