HERE ARE THE TOP STORIES
Donald Trump has appointed his son-in-law as a senior adviser, a move that could test federal anti-nepotism laws.
Jared Kushner’s appointment raises questions about potential conflicts of interest because of the 35-year-old’s business dealings. Trump’s decision may also violate a decades-old federal anti-nepotism statute that bars officials from appointing relatives to positions in the government.
On Capitol Hill
Sen. Jeff Sessions, Trump’s nominee for US attorney general, will testify before the Senate Judiciary Committee today. He’ll likely face tough questions about his civil rights record and relationship with Trump. Here are four things to watch for.
The Senate is expected to start dismantling Obamacare at the end of the week, but it's not clear if Republicans have the votes they need. Several Republican senators have voiced their concern about repealing Obamacare without a replacement lined up.
The president-elect’s threat to crack down on sanctuary cities leaves him in an uncomfortable spot. Cops who viewed Trump as their law-and-order ally could now lose essential funding if the new president carries out his threat to punish cities that protect undocumented immigrants.
Their fear is rooted in a memo sent by the Department of Justice last summer to hundreds of law enforcement agencies, warning that they’d be ineligible for large slices of federal funding if they violated a vaguely written law passed 20 years ago.
Also: Trump’s tweets are freaking out America’s closest allies. He might run Twitter now — but he won’t save it. This may be the worst Trump impersonator ever. And “inflatable Trump roosters” are being sold in China.
WE’RE KEEPING AN EYE ON
Climate change will kill off the polar bears, federal officials warn.
There are about 26,000 polar bears estimated worldwide. Rising global temperatures are the biggest threat to polar bear populations and to the Arctic sea ice on which the mammals depend, the US Fish and Wildlife Service said in a new report on Monday. The only way to save the bears is to hit the brakes on climate change.
The Fish and Wildlife Service listed the polar bear as a “threatened” species under the Endangered Species Act in 2008. The plan for recovery includes steps to mediate their interactions with humans, track and manage oil spills that would affect their habitat, and monitor their numbers.
QUICK THINGS TO KNOW
In California: The artist who rang in the new year by changing the Hollywood sign to read “Hollyweed” has turned himself in to Los Angeles police. And an iconic tree known as the “tunnel tree” toppled due to a storm. It may have been more than 1,000 years old.
Tech: How you get from point A to point B is undergoing a revolution. Here’s what you need to know about the current state and the future of transportation. Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer will leave the company’s board along with co-founder David Filo.
Sports: Clemson turned the tide on Alabama to win their first college football national championship since 1981. And starting in 2026, the FIFA World Cup will grow to include 48 national teams, divided into 16 groups of three.
Entertainment: Here are the nominations for the BAFTA Film Awards 2017.
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