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WEATHER

*Soak up the sun today the high is 52

LOCAL

The St. Louis County Council is in a budget battle with County Executive Steve Stenger.  Council members will introduce bills that cut about $35 million from his proposed budget.  They will cut money for county parks, police, and the health department.

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NATIONAL

TIME: Person of the Year Revealed

TIME magazine has chosen a group of people it's calling "The Guardians" as the 2018 Person of the Year. 

The magazine's editor-in-chief Edward Felsenthal made the announcement this morning on the Today show and revealed the magazine's cover which features a group of four individuals and one group who have taken risks in pursuit of the truth. These include murdered journalist and Saudi dissident Jamal Khashoggi; The Capital Gazette in Annapolis, Maryland which was the scene of a mass shooting in June which left five journalists dead; Filipina journalist Maria Ressa whose work has exposed the rise of terrorism in Southeast Asia; and Reuters journalists Wa Lone and Kyaw Soe Oo who are imprisoned in Myanmar for investigating a mass execution carried out by the Myanmar Army.

Donald Trump, who was named the 2016 Person of the Year, was this year's first runner-up. Special counsel Robert Mueller came in third.


Alleged Russian Spy Reaches Plea Deal With Feds - 

An accused Russian spy is reportedly agreeing to plead guilty to conspiracy.

Maria Butina is poised to enter a plea deal with the Justice Department and her lawyers are reportedly asking for a maximum sentence of six months. She’ll likely be deported after the time she does serve. Part of the deal that's expected to be filed in court says she and an unnamed "U.S. Person 1," which sources say is Republican operative Paul Erickson, conspired with a Russian official.

Erickson and Butina were reportedly in a romantic relationship for years as she parlayed her her interest in gun rights into entry in GOP circles. Butina, who's accused of trying to infiltrate Republican organizations to advance Russian agendas, remains in solitary confinement in a Virginia jail.

The accused spy has agreed to cooperated with prosecutors, including testifying before a grand jury.

Source: NPR


Administration’s Counterterrorism Plan Is Released -

 The White House is releasing President Trump's new counterterrorism strategy.

The plan has three key components. It aims to keep chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear weaponry out of the hands of terrorists. It also seeks to prevent terrorists from conducting WMD attacks and deterring hostile states and individuals from assisting them by strengthening our defenses.

A White House statement quotes the President as saying: "We must deny the terrorists safe haven, transit, funding and any form of support for their vile and sinister ideology." 

Source: White House


Lifestyle

Delta Is Cracking Down On “Support Animals” - Don’t plan on flying Delta with your emotional support pet anytime soon.

Delta Airlines is banning emotional support animals on flights longer than eight hours. And the airline is banning puppies and kittens on all flights. Delta announced Monday it won't allow animals younger than four months as support animals on any flights, beginning one week from today, December 18th.

What caused Delta to change its policy? How about an 84-percent increase in reported incidents involving service and support animals over the past two years? Those incidents include animals relieving themselves on flights, biting passengers and crew, and one widely reported attack by a 70-pound dog.

Look for more airlines to put a damper on the exploited rules too.

Source: Bloomberg


Study: You Shouldn’t Drink Coffee Right After You Wake Up - 

Coffee drinkers, prepare yourself; we’ve been drinking java at the worst time for our bodies!

While coffee wakes you up first thing in the morning, it may be putting a damper on your internal alert system. You may have heard of the hormone cortisol. It gets released when you are stressed as part of your “fight or flight” response. One of cortisol’s effects is to increase your alertness.

Well one of three peak times of the day for cortisol’s release is when you wake up. That means when you add caffeine not only is the caffeine effect reduced, but your internal rhythms are thrown into tamping down your alertness.

The optimal time to drink that cup of Joe is one hour after waking. We know… but it’s better than developing a tolerance to coffee, right? By the way, the other two peak times cortisol is released are between noon and one p.m. and 5:50 to 6:30 p.m. 

Source: Fox News


EXTRA

*42 percent of Americans still prefer in-person communication over any other form. 21 percent of survey respondents said they’d rather text than have face-to-face communication 


SPORTS

*The Blues take on the Florida Panthers at 7pm tonight

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