Here's to a Safe & Happy New Year

There will be a wake this afternoon for one of the two policeman in New York City murdered by a man claiming to be inspired by the Eric Garner and Ferguson cases. There is a wake today for Rafael Ramos, and Vice President Biden will attend his funeral tomorrow.

President Obama and the First Lady spoke with U.S. troops in Hawaii yesterday. The President reiterated the news that the U.S. combat mission in Afghanistan is ending next week, and the war there had made America safer, "Because of the extraordinary service of the men and women in the American armed forces, Afghanistan has a chance to rebuild its own country. We are safer. It's not going to be a source of terrorist attacks again."

People around the world are remembering the more than 230,000 people killed in the 2004 earthquake and tsunami that hit 10 years ago today. The 9.1 quake set off a tsunami in the Indian Ocean that smashed into coastlines in Indonesia, Thailand, Sri Lanka, India and parts of Africa.

The New York Times has some investigative reporting out on the VA Scandal... Doug McKelway reports for us.

The Sony movie "The Interview" opened at 300 small theaters yesterday with brisk sales. The movie which had been pulled after threats from North Korea also available online. Meantime, there was a hack of Sony's Playstation games. Retribution? Adam Housley wraps the story.

A nuclear plant accident in South Korea left three dead. The reactor is under construction, and foul-play is not suspected.

100,000 are displaced from terrible flooding in Malaysia.

High level talks between Ukraine and pro-Russian separatists in Belarus have broken down. They were supposed to be discussing cease-fire violations. Meantime, the Russian economy continues to reel with the collapse of oil prices and Western sanctions. The Ruble is falling again today - the Russia currency has lost half its value against U.S.

The Dow set to open at a record high of 18,030 this morning. Futures are higher. The U.S. economy is the one bright spot in the world right now.

It's Boxing Day - another holiday for several parts of the world.. a traditional day of gift-giving.

In the Netherlands and other Scandinavian countries.. it's a second day of Christmas.

Speaking of the Netherlands.. I'm headed there on vacation next week, so no blog updates till I'm back on January 5th!

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

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Clint Henderson

Clint Henderson is the Executive Producer for “Happening Now” and an avid traveler. Follow his adventures on Twitter, ClintPHenderson, and Instagram, clintpage1.