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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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ABC News(NEW YORK) — Less than a day after getting an intelligence report on Russia’s alleged interference in the presidential election, Donald Trump asserted that the U.S. will benefit from a better relationship with Russia and that the hacking is an issue only because Democrats are ‘totally embarrassed’ by their election loss.

The president-elect posted a series of tweets on Russia this morning.

Having a good relationship with Russia is a good thing, not a bad thing. Only “stupid” people, or fools, would think that it is bad! We…..

— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 7, 2017

have enough problems around the world without yet another one. When I am President, Russia will respect us far more than they do now and….

— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 7, 2017

both countries will, perhaps, work together to solve some of the many great and pressing problems and issues of the WORLD!

— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 7, 2017

Trump also said the hacking was possible only because of “gross negligence” by the Democratic National Committee, and that the cyberattack “is discussed” only because of Democrats’ embarrassment over their loss.

Gross negligence by the Democratic National Committee allowed hacking to take place.The Republican National Committee had strong defense!

— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 7, 2017

Only reason the hacking of the poorly defended DNC is discussed is that the loss by the Dems was so big that they are totally embarrassed!

— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 7, 2017

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ABC News(WASHINGTON) — After the release of the intelligence community’s declassified report about Russian interference in the U.S. presidential election, President Obama told ABC’s George Stephanopoulos that the Russians “intended to meddle.”

“I think that what is true is that the Russians intended to meddle and they meddled,” President Obama told George Stephanopoulos in an exclusive interview that will air on This Week Sunday.

The President also warned against letting partisan divides undermine U.S. intelligence.

“I’ll be honest with you, George, one of the things I am concerned about is the degree to which we’ve seen a lot of commentary lately where there are Republicans or pundits or cable commentators who seem to have more confidence in Vladimir Putin than fellow Americans because those fellow Americans are Democrats. That cannot be,” Obama said.

Trump has repeatedly cast doubt on U.S. intelligence on Russian hacking and today, even after being briefed on the matter, insisted any cyberattack had “absolutely no effect on the outcome of the election.”

Obama had this additional note for the president-elect.

“We have to remind ourselves we’re on the same team. Vladimir Putin’s not on our team,” Obama said.

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iStock/Thinkstock(FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla.) — Friday’s shooting at the Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport has many asking whether it’s legal to travel with a firearm after it was reported that the suspected gunman checked his weapon in his baggage.

Carnage broke out at the Florida airport on Friday when a gunman opened fire at a baggage claim area, killing five people, according to the Broward County Sheriff’s Office. Senior officials confirm that the suspected shooter, identified by authorities as Esteban Santiago, flew into the airport Friday from Anchorage via Minneapolis. The gun was checked in Santiago’s luggage, a source familiar with the investigation told ABC News.

What many may not be aware of is that flying with a firearm is allowed — as long as proper procedure is followed. The traveler must also make sure to comply with any local, state or international laws concerning possession, according to the Transportation Security Administration.

There are steps one must take to properly store his or her firearm in his or her checked luggage. First, the firearm must be unloaded and stored in a locked, hard-sided container that cannot be easily accessed. Only the passenger should retain the key or combination to the lock.

The traveler then needs to declare the firearm or ammunition to the airline at the ticket counter. Firearm parts, ammunition and replica firearms may only be transported in checked luggage.

Flying with firearms is not new and people do it legally and safely every day. However, many travelers appear to misunderstand the rules when it comes to stowing firearms in carry-ons. Attempting to go through security and board an aircraft with a firearm, loaded or unloaded, is illegal and you will be arrested.

And yet, it happens every day. During the first eight months of 2016, the TSA has discovered more than 2,150 firearms in passengers’ carry-ons nationwide during routine screening of personal property at security checkpoints.

“Every day at airports across the country, TSA officers detect firearms — many of them loaded
— during the security checkpoint screening process,” said Cliff Van Leuven, TSA federal security director for Minnesota. “Passengers are allowed to travel with firearms, but it is important that certain procedures are followed to ensure it is done legally.”

You can learn about how to safely and legally stow your firearm when you fly at this link.

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iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — The major indexes closed higher Friday on a solid jobs report, but the Dow was still below a 20,000-point record.

The Dow jumped 64.51 (+0.32 percent) to finish at 19,963.80.

The Nasdaq gained 33.12 (+0.60 percent) to close at 5,521.06, while the S&P 500 finished at 2,276.98, up 7.98 (+0.35 percent) from its open.

Crude oil prices were slightly lower Friday, but over $53 a barrel.

Jobs Report: The U.S. added 156,000 jobs last month, marking 75 consecutive months of positive job gains for the longest winning streak on record. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, unemployment notched up 4.7 percent, slightly higher than November’s nine-year low of 4.6 percent.

Winners and Losers: Shares in Ruby Tuesday, Inc. sunk about 25 percent after reporting in the fiscal second quarter a $214 million drop in sales.

Goldman Sachs upgraded Fiat Chrysler Automobiles from buy to conviction buy, driving the stock up 6 percent.

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ABC News(WASHINGTON) — Disputing the feasibility of one of President-elect Donald Trump’s best-known campaign promises, outgoing U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said on Friday he doesn’t think Mexico will pay for a border wall.

“They’re not going to voluntarily pony up and pay for something they disagree with,” Kerry told ABC News’ Martha Raddatz in an interview at the Department of State.

Trump said repeatedly during his campaign that he wanted to build a wall between the U.S. and Mexico and that Mexico would pay for it. Mexico’s President Enrique Pena Nieto has said the country will not pay.

Trump’s incoming press secretary Sean Spicer said on ABC News’ Good Morning America Friday that the Trump is working with Republicans in Congress to appropriate funding to build the wall and that the administration will find a way, “whether it’s through higher tariffs or a direct check,” to get Mexico to reimburse the U.S. for the costs.

Trump tweeted Friday morning that the media is dishonest for failing to report that Mexico will pay for wall at a later date.

Kerry also commented on Trump’s discussion of policy on Twitter, telling Raddatz Friday that he doesn’t think the social media platform is an appropriate forum to conduct U.S. foreign policy.

“I don’t make announcements of foreign policy by tweet, Twitter. I don’t think that, you know, 140 characters allows you to adequately deal with the complexity of many of the choices that we make,” Kerry said.

Kerry said he didn’t want to engage in a back-and-forth with Trump’s team on the issue, but hopes that they decide to “move to a different way of communicating.”

Trump tweets almost daily on topics from reality television to tensions between China and Taiwan.

After Trump won the election, he rattled diplomats and broke with U.S. policy by accepting a phone call from the president of Taiwan, which led to a formal protest by the Chinese government. China claims that Taiwan is part of its country, and the U.S. has tread carefully by recognizing China’s policy while also maintaining separate relations with Taiwan.

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NASA/John Sonntag(NEW YORK) — A massive chunk of ice about the size of Delaware could soon break off the Larsen C ice shelf in northern Antarctica.

A rift near the edge of the shelf “suddenly grew” late last year — and now, only a small ice bridge about 12 miles long is keeping a nearly 2,000-square-mile chunk of ice from breaking off, according to an announcement on Thursday from Project MIDAS, a U.K.-based Antarctic research project.

When the Delaware-sized chunk of ice breaks away, the Larsen C ice shelf will lose more than 10 percent of its area, Project MIDAS said.

This “event will fundamentally change the landscape of the Antarctic Peninsula,” it added.

The breakaway could happen “any month now,” according to Project MIDAS researcher Martin O’Leary.

He told ABC News Friday that scientists are most concerned the breakage could cause the entire 20,000-square-mile ice shelf to destabilize and collapse.

“This is a massive feature that’s thousands of years old and the size of a small country,” O’Leary said. “One could say that no one lives there and no one cares, but I think it’s alarming that, essentially, this piece of land and unique environment could just not be here anymore pretty soon.”

O’Leary said that “quite a few ice shelves have collapsed in the last few decades,” and climate warming and surface melt had driven many of those collapses.

However, he said that the crack threatening the Larsen C ice shelf edge “likely wasn’t caused by climate change.”

“Exactly how and when the rift began, we’re not exactly sure, but we do know it started forming decades ago,” he said. “When there’s a small crack, it usually gets filled with snow and debris, which causes pressure to build and the crack to get bigger.”

O’Leary added: “We definitely have seen, though, that Larsen C is experiencing changes from the changing and warming climate. We’re seeing more surface melting and temperatures rising — but whether this has affected the ice shelf’s overall stability is not known yet.”

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iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas on Friday called on President-elect Donald Trump not to go forward with his plan to move the U.S. embassy in Israel to Jerusalem.

“If he did this, then he would be putting the peace process in a critical situation that he will not get out of, not only in the Middle East but also all over the world,” Abbas said in Bethlehem in the West Bank. “We call on you not to implement your statement on the ground or in your agenda because we consider it as an aggressive statement.”

Jordan’s government also issued a warning to Trump over his plans.

The United States, like most other countries with diplomatic representation in Israel, has its embassy in Tel Aviv rather than Jerusalem, which Israel claims as its capital and where its national government is headquartered.

Jews, Muslims and Christians all consider Jerusalem’s holy sites among the most important to their respective religions, and Palestinians have called for the eastern part of the city to be the capital of a future Palestinian state. Like any issues around final borders and security arrangements between a Palestinian state and Israel, the status of Jerusalem has remain unresolved in the eyes of the international community.

Trump said during his presidential campaign that he would move the embassy to Jerusalem. He has since announced his intention to nominate attorney David Friedman, who also supports moving the embassy, as U.S. ambassador to Israel.

Abbas said moving the embassy would deny Palestinians’ hope that they would one day see East Jerusalem become the capital of a Palestinian state. He also invited Trump “to visit Bethlehem and to visit Palestine next year.”

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iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — Sandy Hafer of California is suing Nestlé SA for allegedly underfilling boxes of its Raisinets candy, according to the Wall Street Journal.

The lawsuit, which was filed Tuesday in a California federal court, claims boxes of Raisinets sold in movie theaters mislead customers into thinking they are buying a full box, when in fact only 60 percent of the box is filled.

Hafer claims that candy consumers are misled by Nestlé’s “deceptive packaging” when buying the candy. Had she and others known the boxes weren’t filled to capacity they wouldn’t have bought the candy or expected to have paid less. Ms. Hafer’s suit seeks class-action status.

A Nestlé spokeswoman said the claims are unfounded: “All Nestlé products and labels comply with FDA regulations and provide consumers the information they need to make informed purchasing decisions.”

“Slack fill” is the empty space in a container, and federal law says a container filled in such a manner is misleading if the empty space doesn’t have a functional purpose, like protecting the package’s contents.

The lawsuit alleges the 40 percent of empty space in Raisinets is “non-functional.”

Hafer’s lawsuit seeks at least $5 million in damages plus interest.

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