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1. Stocks tank as Fed ponders rate hike
Later today, the Federal Reserve is scheduled to discuss interest rates, and tomorrow the board will decide whether to increase them.
ABC News Chief Business and Economics Correspondent Rebecca Jarvis explains where Monday’s selloff — the Dow Jones Industrial Average dropped 507 points — fits into that economic puzzle.
2. Critics question Trump Organization’s return to Dominican Republic
The Trump Organization abandoned the Dominican Republic after the economy crashed 10 years ago, apparently taking with it any plans for a luxury development.
Now there are signs of a possible return of a Trump-branded project at Cap Cana, including recordings of a sales agent describing a new condominium development.
Critics and the anti-corruption group Global Witness, which shared findings of an undercover investigation on the island resort with ABC News, are saying the plans could represent a departure from the president’s promise to avoid backing new developments overseas.
The project also may require approval from the Dominican government, which already is negotiating with the U.S. government on other matters.
“The ultimate question is how far removed is the president from his personal business,” ABC News’ Kyra Phillips tells us.
The Trump Organization has maintained that there are no new development deals in the works in the Dominican Republic.
3. Woman accuses Sandals of trying to buy her silence
Ashley Pascarella says she was sexually assaulted by a Sandals resort employee in Jamaica on the night before her wedding in 2016.
But, she claims, when she and her husband complained to the hotel, management didn’t call police. Instead, they were offered a refund in exchange for signing a non-disclosure agreement. Pascarella and her husband refused and now are suing the hotel.
ABC News’ Amy Robach spoke with Deputy Chairman of Sandals Resorts International Adam Stewart, who says the company has very strict security protocols in place and disputes the characterization of offering a refund for a “non-disclosure agreement.”
The employee accused of assaulting Pascarella later was fired and pleaded guilty to indecent assault.
4. CEO Les Moonves denied $120 million severance
CBS has denied former CEO Les Moonves a $120 million severance package after an investigation into claims of sexual misconduct found there were “grounds to terminate for cause,” according to the network.
Moonves stepped down in September after multiple allegations, ranging from harassment to sexual assault, surfaced.
“The CBS board yesterday wanted to make a very strong statement that such conduct would not be tolerated,” Meg James, a corporate media reporter for the Los Angeles Times, tells us.
Moonves’ attorney, Andrew J. Levander, described the conclusions by CBS as “baseless” and “without merit” in a statement to ABC News. The former CEO also “vehemently denies any non-consensual sexual relations and cooperated extensively and fully with investigators.”
‘Republicans used to understand that the actions of a president matter, the words of a president matter, the rule of law matters and the truth matters’: James Comey testifies again on Capitol Hill.
‘The deer were trophy bucks taken illegally, mostly at night’: A judge in Missouri orders a convicted poacher to watch “Bambi” at least once a month during his one-year sentence.
‘Exceptionally well-preserved’: Archaeologists in Egypt uncover a 4,400-year-old tomb.
From our partners at FiveThirtyEight:
How The Champions League Draw Changed Each Club’s Odds Of Moving On: Sixteen teams found out their next opponent on the road to the final. How pot-holed of a road did your club draw?
Police search property of missing Colorado mother’s fiance: Mystery surrounds a Colorado community where Kelsey Berreth, 29, went missing on Thanksgiving Day.
Chef Lidia Bastianich celebrates her American story in new cooking show: The cookbook author, restaurateur and James Beard Award winner pays homage to her past on “Lidia Celebrates America — A Heartland Holiday Feast.”
This day in history:
Dec. 18, 1991 — General Motors announces 21 plants will be shuttered, eliminating 24,000 jobs.
The must-see photo:
A woman walks through a snow-covered park in Belgrade, Serbia, Monday, Dec. 17, 2018. Serbia and neighboring countries have been blanketed with snow in the past few days, which has slowed down traffic, disrupted power supplies and blocked access to some remote villages.
For more great photos from around the world click HERE.
Home Depot hires a 6-year-old greeter.
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