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After a harshly worded New Year's Day tweet by President Trump accusing Pakistan of "deceit" and of harboring terrorists, State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert confirmed Thursday that the U.S. will suspend most security assistance to Islamabad.

The cutoff is not permanent, Nauert said, and only affects military assistance. Civilian assistance is not affected.

Updated at 4:45 p.m. ET

Attorney General Jeff Sessions is scrapping Obama-era guidelines that essentially removed marijuana from the list of federal drug enforcement priorities as more states legalized it.

In guidance issued Thursday, Sessions rescinded those policies and instead will permit individual U.S. attorneys to decide how aggressively to go after marijuana in their jurisdictions.

Sessions, a former Alabama senator, has long viewed pot as a public menace and a source of street crime.

Ryan Caron King / WNPR

Bridgeport Mayor Joe Ganim, who served nearly seven years in prison for corruption, filed paperwork Wednesday to launch his campaign for governor.

Updated at 2:15 a.m. ET Thursday

Steve Bannon, President Trump's former chief strategist, once called a now-famous meeting among Donald Trump Jr., campaign chairman Paul Manafort, Trump son-in-law Jared Kushner and a group of Russians "treasonous," according to accounts of an upcoming book.

Chion Wolf / WNPR

The race for governor of Connecticut just got a lot more interesting. Joe Ganim, former inmate, current mayor of Bridgeport, unable to qualify for state financing, has announced that he’s in the race -- and establishment Democrats are worried about him getting into a primary.

Updated at 1:55 a.m. ET

President Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un are once again publicly comparing the size of their respective nuclear arsenals, with the president tweeting that the U.S. "nuclear button" is "much bigger & more powerful" than the one controlled by Pyongyang.

Updated at 6:18 p.m. ET

The longest-serving Republican senator in American history is finally ready to call it quits.

Utah GOP Sen. Orrin Hatch announced on Tuesday that he will not run for re-election in 2018 and will leave the Senate at the end of his current term, after 42 years in his seat.

Dave Newman / Creative Commons

President Trump is changing the office of the presidency.

He spent his first year in office defying political conventions and norms followed by the forty-four presidents before him. Some would say that he is squandering the moral integrity of the presidency. Will these changes outlast his tenure? How durable is the office of the presidency?

If 2016 was the bravura opener and 2017 the tension-building second act, 2018 could deliver an action-packed conclusion to the Russia imbroglio.

Or this story might still be getting started.

Even without knowing every surprise the saga might bring in the new year, there are already enough waypoints on the calendar to confirm that 2018 will ratchet up the volume yet again.

Here are four big storylines to watch.

Former international soccer star George Weah has won Liberia's presidential runoff, the country's election commission announced Thursday.

Weah won 61.5 percent of the vote, with more than 98 percent of ballots counted. He defeated the current vice president, Joseph Boakai.

Updated on Dec. 28 at 10:37 a.m. ET

When President Trump was elected, conservatives weren't sure what they were going to get.

Some were worried that he wouldn't reliably adhere to their agenda. Others were turned off by his character, the tweets, the accusations of sexual misconduct. But there were those who pulled the lever for Trump anyway, figuring he would deliver more conservative policies than a President Hillary Clinton.

And deliver he has.

Chion Wolf / WNPR

When it comes to negotiating a way to fix the projected state budget deficit of $208 million, Governor Dannel Malloy had to go first. That statutory obligation was activated because the shortfall reached more than one percent of the general fund.

Updated at 11:02 p.m. ET

When President Trump signed the $1.5 trillion tax cut bill on Friday at the White House, he made a bold claim — that his "legislative approvals" were off the charts. "No. 1 in the history of our country," he said, citing 88 as the number of bills he had signed into law.

The actual number of laws Trump signed this year is 96. His claim of historic achievement isn't accurate, either.

But that didn't stop him from repeating the erroneous claim Wednesday during a visit with firefighters in West Palm Beach, Fla.

The U.S. Department of the Treasury has announced new sanctions on two individuals within the North Korean government, both of whom are reportedly prominent figures within Kim Jong Un's ballistic weapons development program.

Ri Pyong Chol and Kim Jong Sik are now both blacklisted — which means any assets they have in the U.S. will be frozen, although as NPR's David Welna notes, "It's not clear whether either of them, in fact, has any U.S. assets." Additionally, Americans will generally be prohibited from doing business with them.

North Korea on Sunday called the latest U.N. sanctions against the country "an act of war" that violates its sovereignty.

The U.N. Security Council unanimously decided to adopt a resolution tightening sanctions — further cutting oil supplies and cracking down on what the U.S. sees as a North Korean slave labor market. The resolution issued last week was a rebuke to North Korea that prompted Pyongyang to declare that it would further upgrade its nuclear force.

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