According to multiple sources including Reuters and the New York Times, the U.S. has taken action against Russia "for its efforts to influence the 2016 election," writes David Sanger of the Times. Those actions include ejecting 35 Russian agents from the U.S. and placing sanctions on Russia's top two intelligence services.
"Potentially the shortest lived sanctions in history?" wonders Julia Ioffe of Foreign Policy, echoing many others' belief that Trump will remove the sanctions once in office.
"Sanctions won't have any material effect...point is to force Trump to act either way, revealing his alliance," tweets Edmund Lee of Recode.
Whatever the motive, according to Eric Lipton of the New York Times, this is the "strongest American response ever taken to a state-sponsored cyberattack aimed at the United States."
In other news:
The Washington Post's David Farenthold opens up about "my year of covering @realDonaldTrump: how a rally in Iowa and a campaign mgr's falsehood set the stories in motion." Nicole Dungca of the Boston Globe says, "Didn't expect @Fahrenthold's story about Trump Foundation saga to include a glitter gun, but I'm really glad it did."
The day after her daughter Carrie Fisher passed away, actress Debbie Reynolds has died at the age of 84, Variety's Carmel Dagan reports. "It never seems to end, this 2016," tweets Chris Foran of the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel.
Reddit cofounder Alexis Ohanian is engaged to Serena Williams, as announced in a Reddit post today. "OMG 2016 just might be saved," tweets Ozy's April Joyner.
A summary of a Julian Assange interview posted by the Guardian turned out to be "completely false," according to The Intercept's Glenn Greenwald, who writes that the piece "recklessly attributed to Assange comments that he did not make." Greenwald's colleague, Alex Emmons, weighs in: "A false report on an Assange interview went viral because liberal journalists wanted to believe he praised Russia."
The Wall Street Journal's Valerie Bauerlein has a heartbreaking story alleging that "The VA hooked veterans on opioids, then failed them again." Amy Fiscus of the Los Angeles Times sums up one veteran's experience: "This vet was an addict, hit bottom and got the courage to seek help. The VA gave him a coat and sent him on his way."
Greg Sargent of the Washington Post has written a "memo" to the media, offering up the following recommendation: "Stop giving Trump the headlines he wants." That's precisely what happened when, as MTV's Jamil Smith says, "Trump once again claimed credit for jobs he didn’t create. Then a lot of awful headlines gave him that credit."
And finally, at Motherboard, Sarah Jeong asks the burning question that's on every fangirl's and boy's minds: "What’s the deal with the disk formats of the Star Wars universe?" The Inverse's Neel Patel calls Jeong's piece "an incredible deep dive." PR guy and sometime Guardian contributor Ed Zitron wails, "The fun police are here." And Jeong herself simply says, "I'm really good at overthinking things."