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Sanctions, cyber hacking analysis...Cease-fire holding so far...Vegas blackout

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WASHINGTON (AP) — On the same day the U.S. slapped sanctions on Russian intelligence agencies and officials and expelled 35 officials, it also released a detailed report on Russia's efforts to interfere in the U.S. presidential election by hacking American political sites and email accounts. The analysis, by the Department of Homeland Security and the FBI, says Russian intelligence services were involved in "an ongoing campaign of cyber-enabled operations directed at the U.S. government and its citizens."

WASHINGTON (AP) — Reacting to sanctions imposed on Russia for hacking, President-elect Donald Trump says it is "time for our country to move on to bigger and better things." Trump did say he'll meet with U.S. intelligence officials next week to be updated. Meanwhile, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell called the sanctions "a good initial step" but late in coming. McConnell also said "The Russians are not our friends." Senate colleagues John McCain and Lindsey Graham called the sanctions "a small price to pay" and said they'll lead efforts in Congress for stronger sanctions.

BEIRUT (AP) — There's no word of a collapse of the cease-fire in Syria between main opposition groups and government troops. The measure was put together with the aid of Russia and Syria. A human rights observer says there has been "comprehensive calm" so far. It went into effect midnight local time. If it holds, there could be peace talks next month In Kazakhstan.

BELLINGHAM, Wash. (AP) — Washington Gov. Jay Inslee has granted a reprieve to a man who was sentenced to death for the rape and murder of a 14-year-old girl. Clark Elmore will instead spend his life in prison. Inslee announced a moratorium on executions in 2014. Elmore pleaded guilty to the crime. Gov. Inslee's reasons for opposing the death penalty include a "lack of clear deterrent value, high frequency of sentence reversal on appeal, and rising cost." The victim's family expressed a preference for the life sentence.

LAS VEGAS (AP) — A spokesman says it's hoped that power can be restored on Friday to the Masquerade Tower of the Rio casino in Las Vegas. The outage was caused by a plugged sink that overflowed and shorted out a fuse in the main power system. The tower's 900 rooms had to be evacuated. The situation comes at a time when Sin City rooms are usually packed.

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