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Trump: Putin 'very smart' ... Competency hearing for Roof ... Skakel conviction reinstated

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MOSCOW (AP) — Russian President Vladimir Putin says he won't immediately retaliate for the Obama administration's attempt to punish his country. Instead, he says he will wait for a new approach by Donald Trump. The president-elect called Putin "very smart." Putin says no U.S. diplomats will be ousted in response to President Barack Obama's decision to impose sanctions and expel Russian diplomats over what U.S. intelligence says was Russian meddling in the American election.

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) — A federal judge quickly denied a request to delay a competency hearing for the white man facing a possible death sentence in the killing of nine black parishioners at a Charleston church. The judge ordered a psychiatric evaluation of Dylann Roof to take place this weekend and a hearing for Monday. In response, attorneys acting as Roof's standby counsel asked for a delay. The judge said no.

HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) — A divided Connecticut Supreme Court has reinstated Kennedy cousin Michael Skakel's conviction for the 1975 murder of Martha Moxley. The court rejected, 4-3, a lower court ruling that his trial lawyer didn't adequately represent him. Skakel was convicted in 2002 of killing Moxley when they were teenage neighbors. He was sentenced to 20 years to life in prison. He was freed in 2013 after a judge granted him a new trial.

CLEVELAND (AP) — The search continues for a plane carrying six people that vanished after takeoff from Cleveland's lakeshore airport. Meanwhile, four people are confirmed dead after a small plane crashed in northwest Washington state. Searchers today found the single-engine Cessna and four bodies in a heavily wooded ravine.

NEW YORK (AP) — Stocks have closed out a solid year following a flat 2015. Indexes ended the last week of 2016 on a soft note, slipping in quiet trading today ahead of the New Year's Day weekend. The Dow lost 57 points, or 0.3 percent, to 19,762. The S&P fell 10 points, or 0.5 percent, to 2,238. The Nasdaq declined 48 points, or 0.9 percent, to 5,383.

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