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iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — There has been an increased security presence at airports across the country this weekend after a shooting at Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport left five people dead and another six people injured.

The suspected gunman, Esteban Santiago, a 26-year-old former National Guard soldier, flew from Anchorage, Alaska, connecting through Minneapolis and on to Fort Lauderdale on Friday morning with a gun legally checked in his luggage. He allegedly told the FBI that he took that gun and loaded it in a bathroom of Terminal 2 at the Fort Lauderdale airport and then opened fire in the baggage claim area.

At New York City airports, Port Authority Police deployed officers with heavy tactical weapons, positioned armored vehicles outside terminals, stepped up K-9 patrols and increased random bag checks.

In Los Angeles, police went into “high visibility mode” with officers patrolling terminals with long guns.

Boston Logan maintained a rigorous security plan, including tactical units, commercial vehicle inspections and roadway blockades.

Airports as varied in size as Philadelphia, Minneapolis, Tampa and San Diego have increased visible security on what’s called the “soft side” of the airport — those public areas before Transportation Security Administration checkpoints like check-in counters and baggage claim areas.

In the wake of terror attacks last year in those public parts of airports in Brussels and Istanbul and a shooting at a TSA checkpoint at LAX in 2013, some security experts have suggested that a consistent presence of specially trained, armed officers stationed in those areas could help.

“It could serve not only as a deterrent but also speed up response times should a situation arise such as the one that occurred in Fort Lauderdale,” John Cohen, a former counterterrorism coordinator at the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and ABC News contributor said.

The TSA’s responsibility for airport security begins and ends at the TSA checkpoint. Areas before the checkpoint are left to local authorities to patrol and secure.

“Local airport authorities should make it a priority to have uniformed law enforcement officers patrolling these nonsecured areas,” Cohen said. “These officers should be trained to recognize the behaviors of an individual who may be planning or preparing to carry out an attack and should also be trained to respond to a mass casualty attacker or active shooter.”

Airports nationwide declined to say how long passengers could expect to see these enhanced security measures remain in place, citing security concerns.

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iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — A man suspected of shooting a U.S. consulate officer outside the consulate in Guadalajara, Mexico, has been captured, Mexican officials said.

The man was captured by the special forces of the state of Jalisco, and handed over to federal prosecutors, according to a tweet from the state of Jalisco.

The officer, identified by Mexican prosecutors as Christopher Ashcraft, was shot in his car on Friday as he was leaving the consulate. He was listed in stable condition.

Surveillance video of the attack shows the shooter following the official in a parking garage. A second video shows the attacker waiting until the victim arrives at the exit to the garage, then fires a round through the car’s windshield and immediately runs away.

A Mexican official has called the shooting a “direct attack,” but authorities have said they do not know the motive. The state department says the safety of employees overseas is a top priority and it is working closely with Mexico on the case.

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iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — Travel can be costly and therefore may feel out of reach to some. Farecompare CEO Rick Seaney sat down with ABC News to share some of his best tips on how to travel for less.

Here’s what he had to say:

If the holidays tapped you out but you’re itching to go somewhere, see something or be someone, good news: Travel will not necessarily break the bank.

Follow these basic guidelines and your credit card will thank you.

1. Fly the cheap dates

I recently put together a list of cheapest dates to fly in 2017 but the ones to concentrate on now fall within the very cheap Winter Deal Zone:

– Do fly: Jan. 7 to March 5
– Do not fly: Feb. 11 to 24

February’s blackout dates can be attributed to Valentine’s Day (Feb. 14) and Presidents’ Day (Feb. 20), but there’s also spring break to keep in mind. This popular getaway period varies by region but there are a lot of tools out there that’ll help you nail down the precise dates, including When Is My Spring Break?.

2. Fly the cheap days

Good itineraries for U.S. travelers might include flying weekday-to-weekday, or taking off on Tuesday and coming home Saturday, which leaves plenty of time for an action-packed getaway.

– Cheapest day to fly, domestic: Generally speaking, fly when most people don’t want to fly, which is Tuesday, Wednesday and Saturday.
– Cheapest days to fly, international: Usually weekdays are cheaper than weekends but compare fare on various dates to be certain.

3. Fly to cheap cities, cheap countries

Cheaper U.S. destinations: Boston, Dallas, Denver and South Florida are generally cheap, thanks to lots of low-cost carrier competition, but remember, in the Winter Deals Zone, many cities are cheaper and places you thought were out of reach can suddenly be doable. Some examples that were found Jan. 5 using my Getaway Map tool for roundtrip flights in February:

– New York to Dallas: $107
– New York to Oakland: $189

Note: Cheapest days to fly in February can vary though weekdays are generally cheaper than weekends for domestic and international flights. For U.S. travel, watch for higher prices in some markets beginning mid-month thanks to increased demand for Valentine’s Day and Presidents’ Day travel (and in some cases the start of Spring Break).

Cheaper Europe destinations: Ireland is still a cheap place to go but there are many great deals to London and Paris as well as other hot cities. Examples of roundtrip fares in February found Jan. 5:

– Boston to Paris: $440
– Los Angeles to London: $409
– New York to Barcelona: $377
– New York to London: $384
– New York to Paris: $439

Those fares look unreal, don’t they? They were real enough when I found them on Thursday but airlines are constantly tinkering with prices, so if you find a great deal, grab it quickly.

4. Always do a comparison

Always compare airfares on a fare comparison search site like mine, FareCompare, but there are many others. Reason: No single airline always has the best deal. If you don’t compare fares, you may miss out on a very special deal.

5. Always use carry-on bags

Carry-on bags are great because most U.S. airlines do not charge a fee for them, but that’s not the best reason for using them: Carry-on bags don’t get lost. They travel with you in the overhead bin (or at least they do unless you buy an oversize carry-on and pack it beyond the weight limit).

I’ve even used carry-ons in Europe and you can too. Just toss out non-essentials, don’t include any ‘maybe’ outfits, use the Sit & Zip packing method and leave all your valuables at home.

Rick Seaney is the CEO of FareCompare, a website that curates the best deals on flights from around the world. Any opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author.

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Max Mumby/Indigo/Getty Images(LONDON) — Queen Elizabeth II made her first public appearance in a few weeks this morning after suffering from a bad cold, arriving for the morning church service at St. Mary Magdalene Church near her Sandringham estate in Norfolk.

Wearing a royal blue coat, she arrived by car with Prince Philip and was greeted by applause from loyal well-wishers who stood by hoping to catch a glimpse of their beloved monarch.

Prince Philip and The Queen were forced to delay their departure by a day after a heavy cold sidelined the couple just before Christmas. They took the Royal Helicopter a day later rather than boarding the Royal train, which they usually take.

They were joined this morning by Prince William and Princess Kate who is celebrating her 35th birthday Monday.

The Cambridges were joined by Kate’s parents. Their country home Anmer Hall is located on the Queen’s Sandringham estate.

The public had hoped to see Queen Elizabeth on New Year’s Day but concerns grew when she was a no-show.

“The Queen does not yet feel ready to attend church as she is still recuperating from a heavy cold,” Buckingham Palace said in a statement last Sunday.

Princess Anne later confirmed to well-wishers that her mother was feeling “better.”

The Queen was on the mend and “up and about” attending to her government boxes, but despite bestowing an honor on a staff member she still hadn’t been seen in public.

The public will breathe a sigh of relief she is doing well and looks healthy at church this morning.

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iStock/Thinkstock(JERUSALEM) — Four people were killed and 15 wounded in West Jerusalem after a truck ran over a group of Israeli soldiers, according to Israeli police and the national ambulance service.

The truck, which the police say was driven by a resident of East Jerusalem, went off course and hit soldiers who had just gotten off a bus, police spokeswoman Luba Samri said.

Police say the suspected attacker was shot.

סרטון הגעת הפצועים לבי”ח שע”צ pic.twitter.com/T9JQG5eQE6

— מגן דוד אדום (@mda_israel) January 8, 2017

The Israeli police are calling the incident a terror attack.

עדכון לאירוע בירושלים: צוותי מד”א קבעו את מותם של 4 צעירים בשנות ה-20, 3 נשים וגבר ומפנים לבי”ח 15 פצועים. עדכון בהמשך. pic.twitter.com/rhfqqsufSj

— מגן דוד אדום (@mda_israel) January 8, 2017

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iStock/Thinkstock(LONDON) — The British Red Cross has called overcrowding in the U.K.’s A&E (accident and emergency) rooms a “humanitarian crisis.”

The charity said the British government needed to allocate funds for health and social care in order to “adequately address the pressures faced by A&E departments.”

Mike Adamson, British Red Cross chief, said the charity was called in to assist the National Health Service (NHS) to free up beds. Volunteers were sent to “improve the flow of patients” as hospitals have struggled to release patients because of inadequate care available at home.

“The British Red Cross is on the front line, responding to the humanitarian crisis in our hospital and ambulance services across the country,” Adamson said.

The NHS rejected the charity’s claims of a crisis in England’s hospitals, but according to BBC, an NHS England specialist director admitted demand at hospitals was at its highest level ever. Prof. Keith Willett, national director for acute episodes of care at NHS England, told BBC any money from the government “should be directed at social care in the community.”

“That will help the NHS more than anything else at the moment,” he said to BBC.

Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn said it was “unprecedented” for the NHS to be criticized by the Red Cross.

“We have healthcare as a human right in this country and that’s what the NHS is for,” he told BBC. “The NHS needs the money, now, in order to care for everybody.”

Corbyn called on British Prime Minister Theresa May to explain to members of parliament “how she plans to fix her failure on the NHS,” according to BBC.

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Emilie Richardson(CANNON BALL, N.D.) — Henry Red Cloud knelt down on the snow-packed ground at the Standing Rock Reservation in Cannon Ball, North Dakota.

He didn’t seem to mind the frigid cold as he used his bare hands to secure an outlet to a solar air heater, one of 11 he installed one December day at the Oceti Sakowin Camp to help protesters there stay warm as temperatures dipped below zero.

“They’re outside all day,” Red Cloud, 57, later told ABC News in an interview. “And we still have 120 days of winter left here in the Northern Plains.”

Thousands of Native Americans, environmental activists and their allies have camped out near the Standing Rock Reservation for months in protest against the Dakota Access Pipeline. The Standing Rock Sioux Tribe in July sued to block the four-state crude oil pipeline project, claiming it was never meaningfully consulted before construction began.

The protesters, who call themselves “water protectors,” argue that the nearly completed pipeline will threaten the reservation’s water supply and traverse culturally sacred sites. They also cite an 1851 treaty that they say specifies that the land in question was designated for Native American tribes.

Kelcy Warren, CEO of Energy Transfer Partners, the Texas-based firm that’s building the pipeline, has said that “concerns about the pipeline’s impact on local water supply are unfounded” and “multiple archaeological studies conducted with state historic preservation offices found no sacred items along the route.”

The push to block the 1,170-mile pipeline has ignited tension between the “water protectors” and local authorities, and it has become one of the largest Native American demonstrations in decades. Many of the protesters left the camp after the Army Corps of Engineers, which reports to the Department of Defense, announced Dec. 4 that it will not approve an easement needed to permit the controversial pipeline to cross under Lake Oahe.

Although a major victory for the protesters, the decision may not have permanently defeated work on the controversial pipeline as the Obama administration enters its final days in the White House. President-elect Donald Trump has said he supports finishing the Dakota Access Pipeline, which crosses North Dakota, South Dakota, Iowa and Illinois.

Many protesters have left since the Army’s announcement, but hundreds still remain and have erected teepees, tents and other kinds of shelters to keep warm this winter atop the frozen, snow-covered ground.

ABC News, on Dec. 21, photographed Red Cloud’s fifth return visit to the camp where he continued installing various systems providing heat, light and electricity from renewable energy sources, including solar and wind. The founder and owner of Lakota Solar Enterprises, a Native American-owned and operated renewable energy firm in South Dakota, also trained hundreds of protesters on how to install the systems themselves so they can live sustainably and embrace green technology.

“We need to utilize the sun and start coexisting with the earth and the sun and the wind,” he said. “We can do it. Our ancestors did it.”

Red Cloud, a member of the Oglala Lakota Tribe on the Pine Ridge Reservation in South Dakota, said he took an interest in renewable energy in hopes of helping Native American communities like his own that are suffering from high unemployment, poverty and the effects of climate change.

About 97 percent of the population on the Pine Ridge Reservation live below the poverty line, and about 90 percent are unemployed. Thousands of homes there lack electricity, adequate heating, clean water and sewage systems, according to data from the American Indian Humanitarian Foundation.

Red Cloud’s energy firm employs tribal members to manufacture and install solar air heating systems for Native American families across the Great Plains. He also co-manages the Red Cloud Renewable Energy Center, which provides hands-on green job training in renewable energy technology and sustainable building practices to tribes throughout the United States.

“It’s creating an economic opportunity for individuals here,” Red Cloud told ABC News. “And we’re bringing awareness and helping tribes reach energy independence, because we have the resources. We have tremendous sun and a lot of wind.”

In 2014, Red Cloud was one of 10 people honored by Obama as “Champions of Change” for driving policy changes at the local level to expand energy choices for Americans, grow jobs and add new clean energy to the grid.

“I found myself in D.C. at the White House having lunch there with the president,” Red Cloud laughed.

On the vast Pine Ridge Reservation, which spans over 2 million acres, Red Cloud and his partners are also building sustainable homes using natural materials, planting thousands of trees to combat deforestation and are cultivating organic farms with alternative energy sources.

Now, the father of 17 and direct descendant of Lakota war chief Red Cloud is bringing these green concepts to the Standing Rock Reservation to empower the tribes fighting the pipeline.

“We’re going to make history together and start to move ourselves away from fossil fuels. It can’t happen overnight,” he told ABC News. “We need to move forward together.”

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iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — A U.S. consular officer was shot outside the consulate in Guadalajara, Mexico, and the FBI is offering $20,000 for information leading to identification of the suspect, according to U.S. officials.

The consulate posted video and images of the incident on its Facebook page.

One video shows a man dressed in a blue T-shirt and pants standing by the entrance to the consulate parking garage, then pulling a gun when a car approaches the exit, firing the weapon and then running away.

The State Department has not named the person who was shot, but the Mexico Attorney General’s office identified him as Christopher Ashcraft. Local police said he was in stable condition.

A State Department official said they are working with Mexican law enforcement on the case.

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iStock/Thinkstock(WASHINGTON) — A swing set brought to the White House in 2009 as a surprise for first daughters Malia and Sasha Obama has been removed as the Obama administration nears an end.

The swing set, erected on the South Lawn, was “donated to a local organization serving those in need,” White House principal deputy press secretary Eric Schultz said Thursday.

The White House did not name the organization to which the swing set was donated. Schultz said more information on the donation would be available “in the coming days.”

Malia Obama was 10 and Sasha Obama was 7 when they came home from school on March 4, 2009, to find the surprise gift from their parents erected just a short distance from the Oval Office. The family had lived in the White House for just a few months at the time, following Barack Obama’s November 2008 election victory.

“It was a big hit,” White House usher Steve Rochon said told ABC News at the time. “The kids screamed. They came down with Dad and Mom.”

The playground equipment, paid for by the Obamas, included three swings, a slide, a green canvas-covered loft, a tire swing, a small climbing wall and a ship’s wheel.

The Obamas also had a small picnic table installed to the side of the swing set, with small plates engraved with the names of all 44 presidents.

The picnic table became a news item the month after it was installed when President Obama was spotted sitting deep in conversation at the table with then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.

The Obamas will leave the White House on Jan. 20, the day of President-elect Donald Trump’s inauguration. Trump and his wife, Melania Trump, have a 10-year-old son, Barron. Trump also has eight grandchildren.

Malia Obama, now 18, is a high school graduate currently taking a gap year before attending Harvard University this fall. Sasha, 15, will remain in Washington, D.C., with her parents to complete high school.

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ABC News(NEW YORK) — A declassified report on Russian hacking activity pertaining to the recent U.S. presidential election details how intelligence officials believe Moscow and its supporters attempted to put their stamp on the political process.

The report, which comes after an investigation ordered by President Obama, specifies that there is no indication that Russian actors directly interfered with vote counts but does indicate that there were a number of other ways that they got involved in the contest between Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton.

In March 2016, two months before Donald Trump became the presumptive Republican nominee, the report says that “Russian Government-linked actors began openly supporting President-elect Trump’s candidacy in media aimed at English-speaking audiences.”

Trump has repeatedly called into question U.S. intelligence assessments about Russian interference in the election, specifically hacking, despite several statements from those agencies indicating they believed that to be the case.

He even went so far as to suggest that intelligence agencies were delaying a briefing with him until today because they were building their case.

The “Intelligence” briefing on so-called “Russian hacking” was delayed until Friday, perhaps more time needed to build a case. Very strange!

— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 4, 2017

After being briefed, Trump maintained that “there was absolutely no effect on the outcome of the election including the fact that there was no tampering whatsoever with voting machines,” according to a statement.

The report details an elaborate effort by the Russian government, at the direction of its president Vladimir Putin, to discredit and denigrate Hillary Clinton while trying to cast Donald Trump in a favorable light including cyberattacks as well as propaganda.

The report specifically names Dmitriy Kiselev — who it calls “Putin’s chief propagandist” — saying that he used his weekly newsmagazine program “to cast President-elect Trump as an outsider victimized by a corrupt political establishment and faulty democratic election process.”

A number of videos published on the website of RT, which the report calls “the Kremlin’s principal international propaganda outlet,” had headlines specifically targeting Clinton, with one connecting Clinton to ISIS money and another purporting that the Clintons were the biggest recipients of Clinton Foundation money: n, “How 100% of the Clintons’ ‘Charity’ Went to…Themselves.”

Several of those stories received more than 9 million views on social media platforms, the report states, and one single story had more than 2.2 million views.

The report states that the news coverage that RT dedicated to Hillary Clinton was “consistently negative and focused on her leaked emails and accused her of corruption, poor physical and mental health, and ties to Islamic extremism.”

The head of RT, Margarita Simonyan, tweeted “they’re joking, right?” in Russian Friday, mocking the intelligence report.

Another specific tool that intelligence officials believe was used by the Russians were internet “trolls” who “amplified stories on scandals about Secretary Clinton and the role of Wikileaks in the election campaign.”

The trolls were deemed “professionals” in the report, and were “previously devoted to supporting Russian actions in Ukraine.”

The work of those trolls appear to be among some of the earliest actions that were taken by Russian forces in support of Trump, as the report states that the trolls “started to advocate for President-elect Trump as early as December 2015.”

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