ASH CARTER USED PERSONAL EMAIL ACCOUNT FOR OFFICIAL BUSINESS "U.S. Defense Secretary Ash Carter used a personal email account for some work-related business earlier this year at the Pentagon, although he has since stopped such use of his personal email, the Pentagon said on Thursday." [Reuters]
YOU CAN BOOK YOUR FLIGHT TO CUBA IN THREE TO SIX MONTHS After the U.S. and Cuba brokered an airline deal to resume direct passenger airline flights. [WaPo]
INSIDE THE FEDERAL RESERVE'S INTEREST RATE RAISE "The Federal Reserve announced Wednesday that it is raising its benchmark interest rate, putting downward pressure on job creation in order to address long-term concerns about inflation and financial stability." [Daniel Marans, HuffPost]
NAVY SEAL 'COVER-UP' A look at the probe into the beating death of an Afghan prisoner. [NYT]
THE OBAMA ADMINISTRATION APPROVED A $1.83 BILLION ARMS SALE TO TAIWAN China is displeased, to put it lightly. [Reuters]
CARLY RAE JEPSEN IS 30 Actually this article is about how she's an underrated pop star, but she's 30?!?! [Buzzfeed]
'MEET THE VASECTOMISTS' "Yet in the United States, nearly three times as many tubal ligations (the much costlier, invasive, and dangerous female equivalent to the vasectomy) are performed than vasectomies. The history of sterilization is a complicated and thorny terrain, marked by a heinous past." [Hopes and Fears]
ON THIS WEEK'S 'THE SECOND HALF' PODCAST Star midfielder Carli Lloyd talks what's at stake with the U.S. women's team's push for equal treatment. [HuffPost]
HOW JIMMY FALLON BECAME THE KING OF LATE NIGHT He's crushed Stephen Colbert -- and everyone else. [The Hollywood Reporter]
THE HUFFPOST REVIEW OF 'STAR WARS' Spoiler warnings abound, so click at your own risk. [HuffPost]
THE TOP CELEBRITY PHOTOS OF 2015 Katy Perry on that tiger was pretty darn cool after all. [HuffPost]
NEW YORK TO OVERHAUL SOLITARY CONFINEMENT "The agreement ... will reduce the number of inmates in isolation, improve living conditions for those in solitary, limit the duration of stays in solitary, and abolish some of the practice's harshest and most dehumanizing features." [HuffPost]
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ON THE BLOG
ARIANNA HUFFINGTON: THE SLEEP REVOLUTION "So here's the big idea I think will shape 2016: sleep. That's right, sleep! How much and how well we sleep in the coming year -- and the years to follow -- will determine, in no small measure, our ability to address and solve the problems we're facing as individuals and as a society." [HuffPost]
BEFORE YOU GO
~ Mapping out ISIS attacks around the world.
~ Stranded in a Greek border camp, with no where to go.
~ The New Yorker's take on the best 11 minutes of sports this year.
~ Young adults may be smoking less cigarettes, but using more of other tobacco products.
~ Google wants to test how well you know your Beethoven.
~ Jim Halpert is ripped beyond all means.
~ You, like us, will love the first photo of "Ghostbusters."
~ Congrats to Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson and his girlfriend Lauren Hashian on the birth of their baby girl.
~ A Secret Santa has paid off thousands of dollars worth of Walmart layaway purchases.
~ Gifts for the stationery lover in your life.
~ A teenager punched the Spanish Prime Minister in the face.
~ New year, new kitchen: here's what to get rid of that's teeming with germs in your favorite cooking space.
Send tips/quips/quotes/stories/photos/events/scoops to Lauren Weber at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow us on Twitter @LaurenWeberHP. And like what you're reading? Sign up here to get The Morning Email delivered to you.