An apparent terror attack under way right now in Sydney. An armed terrorists taking hostages at a popular Sydney café forcing female hostages to hoist an ISIS flag in the café window. Five hostages have escaped so far.. as the siege continued.. now underway for at least 15 hours. Police are reportedly in contact with the hostage taker, and haven't confirmed it's a terror attack. The U.S. has evacuated the consulate and warned Americans in Australia to remain vigilante. Greg Palkot reporting from London.

In Belgium, four armed men entered an apartment in Ghent. Police have sealed off the area.

In Saudi Arabia, a member of the Saudi security forces has been killed in an operation to free three laborers taken hostage by a gunman in Riyadh.

Former Vice President Dick Cheney says enhanced terror interrogation after 9/11 worked. He was on Meet the Press yesterday, and told Chuck Todd that it wasn't torture, and it worked.

Hillary Clinton and Jeb Bush have public appearances today.. as they increasingly look like potential presidential candidates.

Mike Emanuel reporting on the last work of the Senate.. including the passage of the 1.1 trillion dollar spending bill.. which includes a big giveaway to the big banks.

California is funding an earthquake early warning system. Congress gave the Golden State $5 million for the program in what Senator Diane Feinstein calls a down payment on the statewide system. The early warning system worked during this year's Napa earthquake.. back in August.

Keep an eye on the markets today.. The Dow lost nearly 4% of its value last week. There's growing concerns about the health of the global economy.. as oil prices continue their precipitous fall (down more than 45%).

Airlines like American Airlines and Delta are spending billions of dollars on upgrades of their cabins and terminals, but should they be spending some of that money on reducing ticket prices especially as the cost of jet fuel plummets? Senator Chuck Schumer says yes. We'll get into it.

A shark attack off the coast of Australia killed an 18-year-old man who was spear fishing off the shore of the town of Port Douglas. In September a 50-year-old swimmer was killed at Byron Bay about 1000 miles to the south.

The word of the year according to Merriam-Webster's is "culture." Oxford chose "vape." Dictionary.com picked "exposure."

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Clint Henderson