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Official White House Photo by Pete Souza(WASHINGTON) — President Obama signed the $1.1 trillion spending bill, known as the “Cromnibus,” into law on Tuesday night.

The bill, passed by both the House and Senate last week, would fund the government through September 2015, with the exception of the Department of Homeland Security. DHS is funded through late February.

Senators on both sides of the aisle saw problems with the bill, but the majority passed it in order to keep the government funded and avoid a shutdown situation similar to 2013.

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Official White House Photo by Pete Souza(WASHINGTON) — President Obama signed the $1.1 trillion spending bill, known as the “Cromnibus,” into law on Tuesday night.

The bill, passed by both the House and Senate last week, would fund the government through September 2015, with the exception of the Department of Homeland Security. DHS is funded through late February.

Senators on both sides of the aisle saw problems with the bill, but the majority passed it in order to keep the government funded and avoid a shutdown situation similar to 2013.

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Credit: Architect of the Capitol(WASHINGTON) — The Senate passed a bill on Tuesday that offers 55 temporary tax breaks for businesses and individuals, which had expired last year.

The so-called tax extenders bill enacts those tax breaks retroactively to January 1, 2014, and extends through the end of December. A larger debate about those tax breaks will likely be in store in 2015.

The Senate has been active Tuesday, confirming a pair of appointments in addition to approving the tax extenders bill. With Republicans set to take control of Congress in January, Democrats in the Senate hope to confirm 18 more nominees and pass the Terrorism Risk Insurance Act before the end of the year.

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Photo by Johannes Kroemer/Getty Images(NEW YORK) — Dov Charney, the founder of American Apparel who had previously been suspended for alleged misconduct before being hired as a consultant, has been terminated, the company said Tuesday.

American Apparel’s Board of Directors announced that Charney was terminated “for cause” and that veteran fashion executive Paula Schneider will take the role of chief executive officer. She will be the first female CEO in the company’s history.

Scott Brubaker, who has been serving as the company’s interim CEO, will continue in that role until Schneider joins the company and takes on that title on Jan. 5, 2015.

Charney was suspended on June 18, 2014, for “alleged misconduct and violations of company policy.” Charney agreed to an internal investigation of the allegations against him, and that investigation allowed a special committee to deem it inappropriate for Charney to be reinstated as CEO. His relationship with the company as a consultant was also terminated.

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Photo by Johannes Kroemer/Getty Images(NEW YORK) — Dov Charney, the founder of American Apparel who had previously been suspended for alleged misconduct before being hired as a consultant, has been terminated, the company said Tuesday.

American Apparel’s Board of Directors announced that Charney was terminated “for cause” and that veteran fashion executive Paula Schneider will take the role of chief executive officer. She will be the first female CEO in the company’s history.

Scott Brubaker, who has been serving as the company’s interim CEO, will continue in that role until Schneider joins the company and takes on that title on Jan. 5, 2015.

Charney was suspended on June 18, 2014, for “alleged misconduct and violations of company policy.” Charney agreed to an internal investigation of the allegations against him, and that investigation allowed a special committee to deem it inappropriate for Charney to be reinstated as CEO. His relationship with the company as a consultant was also terminated.

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Ivan Cholakov/iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — A man who was stranded for six days — five days on the water and then one on an uninhabited island in the Bahamas — has been rescued by the Coast Guard.

Larry Sutterfield, 39, was found on the island in an area between Florida and Cuba on Monday night.

The Coast Guard said Tuesday that during a routine maritime patrol, officers had noticed smoke coming from the uninhabited island. They then saw Sutterfield, naked and waving his arms.

“They dropped food and water and a VHF radio to him to find out what kind of stress [he was] in,” said US Coast Guard Petty Officer Jean Paul Rios.

According to the Coast Guard, Sutterfield was going on a camping trip from the Florida Keys when the motor on his inflatable raft conked out and left him drifting at sea.

The Coast Guard said he’d told them he’d been on the island called Cay Sal Bank for a little more than 24 hours. Rios said Sutterfield had drifted about 75 to 80 miles.

Sutterfield was taken to a Florida hospital, where he was reportedly said to be suffering from a bad sunburn but in “fair condition.”

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PAUL J. RICHARDS/AFP/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) — The Pentagon confirmed on Tuesday that the number of U.S. troops in Afghanistan is down to 10,600, bringing the drawdown nearly to its target goal.

The initial target for the drawdown was to have U.S. troops number 9,800 for 2015, when the combat mission in Afghanistan ends. However, some NATO countries failed to provide the number of troops they had committed to, so the U.S. said it would provide “up to” 1,000 more troops.

Pentagon spokesperson Rear Adm. John Kirby explained on Tuesday that International Security Assistance Force Commander Gen. John Campbell “will just not draw down to 9,800 at the outset. He’ll draw down to whatever number above that that he needs inside that extra 1,000. And it may not be a full 1,000. It may not be 10,800. But he has the authorities he now has to keep in-country that number which he believes he needs in order to buy space and time for our allies to come forward with their sourcing solution.”

Kirby reaffirmed on Tuesday that those U.S. forces will have the authority to go after Taliban targets “if they pose a direct threat.”

The U.S. troops, starting in January, will be in Afghanistan as part of a training mission. The number of troops is expected to be halved by the end of 2015.

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ABC News(MOSCOW) — Apple has temporarily closed its online store in Russia, citing “extreme fluctuations in the value of the [ruble]” for the decision.

The Russian currency fell abruptly Tuesday, part of a year-long decline, despite action taken by the Russian central bank to attempt to stem the tide. On Dec. 16, 2013, 32.90 rubles was worth about one dollar, according to S&P Capital IQ. On Tuesday, that figure was closer to 72 rubles per dollar.

Apple released a statement Tuesday, saying that “due to extreme fluctuations in the value of the [ruble], our online store in Russia is currently unavailable while we review pricing.” Apple did apologize for the inconvenience.

Russia’s central bank raised its benchmark interest rate to try to slow the ruble’s slide, but to no avail.

Analysts attribute the ruble’s freefall to a number of factors, including a decline in oil prices, which is one of Russia’s top commodities.

Briefly, anyone trying to access Apple’s online store for Russia received an error message, which said that the company was “updating the Apple Store for you and will be back soon.” Later on Tuesday, the website was restored, while the purchase page brought up the same error message.

Apple’s Russian website is “updating” … price hike coming after ruble’s fall? pic.twitter.com/h2hNJw3fgR

— Kirit Radia (@KiritRadia) December 16, 2014

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iStock/Thinkstock(WASHINGTON) — Commuters in Washington, D.C., were inconvenienced on Tuesday morning when a water main break caused Metrorail service to be suspended.

DC Water turned the water off at the source, while Metro workers worked to pump water off of the tracks. The commuter rail system’s Silver, Orange and Blue lines was impacted by the water main break.

Within about two hours of the service suspension, the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority was working to restore service on all three lines.

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iStock/Thinkstock(WASHINGTON) — The Justice Department on Tuesday backed down on a legal fight against one of the country’s top national security reporters that has been ongoing for years.

James Risen was most recently subpoenaed to testify in the trial of a former CIA official charged with leaking classified information. At the direction of Attorney General Eric Holder, the department backed off of a legal battle in which it pressed Risen, a New York Times reporter, to reveal his confidential sources or face jail time.

Holder promised earlier this year that as long as he is in charge of the Justice Department “no reporter is going to go to jail for doing their job.”

Prosecutors will still push Risen to testify at the Sterling trial to confirm that he will not breach a confidentiality agreement with his source or sources for certain information in his book, State of War, that information from his book and two articles he wrote was provided by an unnamed source and that information attributed to an identified source was made by an identified source, and that Risen and Sterling had a prior non-confidential reporter-source relationship.

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