tv Happening Now FOX News December 27, 2016 8:00am-9:01am PST
>> sound like a parent's nightmare to have that invitation go viral. looks like they have fun. you are back again tomorrow, good to have you. we will be back tomorrow but now "happening now" starts now. >> we begin with new fallout on major political stories from president-elect trump's decision to shut down his charitable foundation to growing outrage in israel over a un security council resolution condemning its settlement. good morning, welcome to "happening now". melissa: great to be here, i am melissa francis in for generally. president-elect trump complaining about criticism of the charitable foundation after he agreed to dissolve it. mister trump questioning the
effectiveness of the united nations saying it is the club where people talk and have a good time. that is amid rising tensions with our key mideast ally over the president's decision to break with half practice and the scene in a security council vote to condemn or raise the dish israeli settlements in the west bank and jerusalem. benjamin netanyahu blasting that move which had our ambassador not using us veto power to block it the top israeli diplomat now claiming president obama masterminded the vote and has clear evidence of the white house's role as prominent republicans accuse president obama of betraying israel. john: we begin with peter ducey live in west palm beach. what did we just learn about how the president-elect will be communicating with americans from the white house? >> reporter: the president-elect will keep signing into twitter even after he is sworn in as president.
sean spicer told a rhode island affiliate that we should expect to see mister trump expressing his thoughts 140 characters at a time even after january 2, '02. he has been targeting president obama and the united nations we for his predecessor mister trump doesn't think mister obama should be claiming hypothetical victory, president obama said he thinks you would have won against me, he should say that but i say no way, isis, etc.. the president-elect exposing frustration about the anti-israel resolution the united states let pass with another tweet. he says the united nations has such great potential but right now it is just a club for people to get together, talk and have a good time. so sad. there is apparently a lot more where that came from on twitter for the next four to eight years. john: and there is another key appointment, who is in the job
there? >> thomas foster is a veteran of the george w. bush white house, security consultant, title of assistant to the president on homeland security and counterterrorism, a big change because the transition team explains the role performed by a deputy national security adviser in the previous administration is being elevated and restored to independent status alongside the national security advisor. a decision that reflects the unwavering commitment president-elect trump has to the safety and security of the nation, its people and territory. the president-elect will be holding the highest level staff meeting. john: a busy day ahead and a nice one for us, thank you. melissa: the us failed to block a theory council resolution condemning israel, relations between president obama and primus to benjamin not in yahoo
were strained and shelley at best. now tensions ratchet up again as the israeli ambassador claims the white house masterminded that vote was more team coverage with john huddy live in jerusalem. what are officials saying about this today? >> i spoke with a senior israeli official not long ago who told me they had personally seen what was described as sensitive material and information proving without a doubt that the obama administration, the us was behind this resolution voted on by the un on friday and that remains the position of benjamin netanyahu, who thinks over the weekend the us pushed it forward and us ambassador ron dermer, who was on special report last night added this.
>> we have that evidence and we were going to present it to the new administration. if they choose to share it with the american people that will be their choice. >> he didn't offer any specific or elaborate. we hope to get some specifics and details later but the fallout is seeing in israel, prime minister benjamin netanyahu recalled is relapse ambassador to the country that voted for the resolution including the us abstaining from that vote and benjamin that yahoo maintains israel will continue with its settlement policies even over the weekend, indicating israel may step up its settlement construction. he also said israel will reset its ties with the united nations. melissa: ben rhodes, president obama's deputy national security adviser on his real's channel 2 last night. give us a little bit of what he
had to say. >> he defended the obama administration, in particular the concern that the obama administration has raised concerns about his real's settlement policies, the effect it could have on peace talks and two state solution and also added this. >> when we see rhetoric that suggested this is the most pro-settlement israeli government in history and we see the facts on the ground deep into the west bank beyond the separation barrier, we feel compelled to speak against those actions. >> so far we haven't heard anything from benjamin that in yahoo today, any type of rebuttal to what mister rhodes said last night but i can tell you this. this is on the minds of many
people here, part of the discussion in coffee shops, restaurants, on the street. i ask people what do you think of this, dismayed and disappointed, they are not surprised given the history between benjamin netanyahu and president obama. >> thank you for that. john: president-elect trump is firing back at criticism over his charitable foundation even as he announced he will shut it down to avoid, quote, even the appearance of any conflict, mister trump tweeting i gave millions of dollars raised or received millions more. and media won't report. the editor in chief of the daily caller. is this a good move, necessary move? >> any president of the united states with this much power really should avoid any scenario
where you can have money coming through a side door in a foundation to potentially influence the president of the united states, a criticism directed at hillary clinton. she ran the state department and her foundation took in many many magnitudes higher than the trump foundation has taken and many allegations we were paying to play within the obama administration, when example hundreds of times clinton foundation donors were given seats at white house state dinners, there are clear intersections between the government and charity. donald trump is looking to get into a similar trap while he is president. >> he is not legally allowed to dissolve the thing. >> that is what they are saying, suggesting he can't legally fully dissolve it but a pragmatic thing is to shutter it, it is closed for business,
all those decisions he can make right away. the legal process of dissolving it is a technicality he may have to wait for but for now he can stop using the foundation and charitable vehicle. >> this will avoid the accusations that hillary clinton, during her white house campaign run that she was making the clinton foundation open to people may have wanted to carry favors with the obama white house. >> and us election law foreigners can't give money to candidates but hillary clinton had this foundation worth hundreds of millions of dollars taking money from foreign governments, foreign people, individuals hoping to buy influence, john podesta emails influenced what is going on so this when she was in one of the most powerful positions in the
country as secretary of state. this is a good opportunity for donald trump to close off a massive side door for purchasing influence and say i won't allow that. john: he mentioned last week that she raised so much and spent so much during the election than he did and he still won the office. a lot of wealthy donors probably expected something in return from a clinton white house, he doesn't have a lot of big-money donors supporting candidates. >> after an election like this you start selling off the ambassadors of the ships to the donors you like. we are not seeing that with donald trump because there are not many wealthy donors to speak of. in a lot of ways it was a grassroots campaign in terms of fund raising, spent anywhere near the amount she spent mostly by diverging away from traditional and of television
advertising and focusing on simple fundraising and micro-targeting and being able to get in front of the people they wanted to get in front of. they were an efficient campaign and very smart with spending a little money to get a lot of gain to win the white house. >> democrats have been critical of the donald trump foundation and the attorney general of the state of new york is investigating how it raised and spent money. that criticism and investigation goes away as the president-elect that decision to close this? >> one of the reasons we know the technicalities, he can't fight this right away is because of under investigation and the fervor with which democrats have been treating donald trump, always looking for lines of attack is going to diminish, democrats clearly and especially in this case are going to be using any handholds they can to suggest he is a con man,
something less then a moral president and by attacking the trump foundation they had a handhold and that will continue, whether it continues to exist in any meaningful sense. >> wall street could break another record as the tao inches closer to the 20,000 mark. live report from the stock exchange on what could be the tipping point. a blizzard closing roads and airports in the country of the midsection. that snow could be heading next. that's me.
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nuedexta.com john: wall street is taking aim at another milestone. investors watching to see if the tao breaks its 20,000 mark today, 19961. nicole pedallides live at the stock exchange with a look at possibilities. look at you all sunny and yellow. >> maybe we would have had some sunshine on the market. we are less than 40 points away but we got points and one trader use the phrase down 20,000, just toying with us. everyone is waiting for us. the chatter on the floor as you come in here this monday morning waiting for down 20,000, first of all the optimism continues, 7
weeks of gains the tao, trump's policies are business friendly, job friendly, better tax rates, they think the optimism is there and also that we will hit 20,000 in the near term. will it be by the end of the year, maybe in the new year, we are going to hit 20,000 and we see bank stocks soaring 20, 30% since the election and it is a headline driven market. you are the leaders of the tao since we hit 19,000, 19,000 november 22nd and now we are almost at 20,000 we here are your best performers with goldman sachs up 14%, that added 200 tao points, j p morgan, here is the last point i want to bring to you and that is the speed we are getting from 19,000 to 20,000. it took two years to get from 18,000 to 19,000 and now it is 23 sessions and we could beat
out 1999 because they hit that milestone in 24 sessions so we will see whether or not we can break a few records here today and that would be down 20,000 on the market that would be huge and the speediness with which we see it which would be 20 sessions from 19,000 to 24,000 to 20,000 so we will see if we can do that and people who follow the nasdaq the nasdaq has 5400 for the very first time today, a big deal. john: big numbers breaking out all over. give us a shout if it hits the 20,000 mark and get you back on tv. melissa: a major winter storm leaving thousands without power in the northern plains, white out conditions closing airports and causing flight delays in many others. now it is dipping east. janice dean tells us which parts of the country could see severe weather. it is that time of year.
>> reporter: absolutely and the storm that brought two feet of snow across the dakotas is weakening and pushing across the east coast with you can see the warm air ahead of this, 56 in new york city, 20 in minneapolis, cold air behind it and a new store morning later this week. look at the 24 hour temperature change from this time yesterday, 19 ° warmer, 32 lauren caribou, maine, cold air on the rain but warm air moving into the northwest. last 24 hours use the showery activity across the southeast, wintery mix for new england, the next storm system on the heels of that pushing across the great lakes we could be dealing with a nor'easter later this week, a little too warm, mainly a coastal rain event, interior sections could get a big block
thursday into friday. watching this carefully, new york, enjoy the warm temperatures, 58 is your daytime high and more seasonal throughout the work week. melissa: talk about new year's, people care about that. >> here it is. i don't like to forecast too far but the temperature not too bad. it has been cold and 38 at midnight. we could see showers rate in the game, i think we will be okay at midnight for kimberly and derek bowling who will be out there enjoying the celebration. i will try to keep that rain from kimberly's beautiful hairdo but the forecast -- a lot of hair don't want to get wet. >> i will keep the hair away from the hairdos for eric and kimberly, rest of the cities look good, phoenix can see a few showers later on looking good.
baltimore and milwaukee and bubba bubba could see some rain in minneapolis and seattle but not too bad. i don't see any places on the map that are really cold and we don't have a big winter storm or anything in the big cities including new york city. >> you are a good sport. you don't like to do that but a preview. >> i will refine. >> thank you, janice dean the weather machine, we love it. john: that wet confetti not good. investigators trying to learn what caused a russian military jet carrying 92 people to crash into the sea just after takeoff. our next guest is take as divers recover one of the black boxes plus congress making big plans to revamp our tax system. how it would affect workers at every income level and your bottom line.
commercial pilot and popular of jetwine.com. that plane is the russian version of the 727, right? three engines all in the rear. but how unusual is it for three engines to just fail at the same time? >> 3 engines to go out at the same time within 60, 82nd after takeoff is incredibly unusual. that means it is probably going to turn out to be something like the fuel, something that would have affected all three engines at the same time. john: they are suggesting russian media that this was not terrorism. can you rule that out? >> don't know how they could possibly do that. it is too early but we do know the airplane was not very high in the air. maybe 1000 feet. at 1000 feet when something happens you don't have a lot of time and they were out over the
water and they didn't have a silly event. >> potentially could have happened the same way if the pilots had been able to pull off the kind of miracle on the hudson landing that he pulled off if they could have done that on the black sea. why do you suppose that wasn't apparently possible? >> one thing i haven't been able to verify is whether this happened daylight or in the dark. in the daylight at that altitude, it is hard any way. the silly event on the hudson was a one in 1 million but if it was dark or -- it would have been virtually impossible to know where the water was in order to pull up in time. >> it has been a bad week for russian aviation. there have been a couple fatal crashes in russia involving russian-made planes and now something called the superjet
which has been grounded by a mexican airline because they found cracks in the fuselage. overall how would you assess the state of aviation there? >> if you look at the main airline, years ago people didn't want to fly because they were flying airplanes like this 154 that crashed about it is an airline, has upgraded, pretty much all an airbus fleet these days, modern except for this, a relatively new regional jet built-in russia. we are going to have to do some investigating as far as these cracks go because there are other airlines flying these airplanes. john: i was happy to find i was on board a boeing 737 years ago. >> note my astonishment that you flying. >> it was some time ago. what about the lessons for
american aviation? we read about us airlines trying to cut costs, to keep expenses very low so they can keep fares low. are there parallels between what the russians are experiencing and what some american companies are doing? >> in the us we have an exemplary safety record especially the last few years where we have been seeing most of the accidents around the world happening in areas where the technology is not as good. look at that accident in colombia last month. certainly it comes down to crew training, technology, how well the airplanes are maintained and we do a great job in the us. >> we absolutely do, don't want that point to be lost on our
viewers, robert mark from jetline.com, thank you. >> new washington post op-ed claimed the incoming republican administration will hurt millions of low income americans which are next guest say democrats may the ones threatening the middle-class. dealing with another cyberattack after the twitter account gets hacked and the hackers thought it would be fun to start a rumor about a superstar's death. is that nice? more next.
>> look like hackers have cracked the code to sony's twitter account spreading fake news britney spears had died. her publicist quickly set the record straight. spears tweet did it at the pictures of herself for further proof. how did this happen? why sony? >> i wish i knew but considering what sony spent on cybersecurity after the embarrassing hacked by north korea a year ago we can assume someone there is probably in trouble. this time it was sony music, not sony pictures that got hacked but the result is the same. yesterday at 8:00 am the
official sony music site said britney spears had died. rest in peace followed by a frown face teary tied emoji and hashtag rip britney. a moment later, britney spears is dead by accident, we will tell you more soon. that prompted her manager to immediately tell reporters britney is alive and well in the superstar herself tweet did it at the out some photos 19 hours ago showing she is indeed alive and well but the damage was done, sony had paid out $8 million for the data breach, compromising information on their employees and they spend a lot of money trying to fix their servers, not well enough. john: north korea comes to mind as a possible actor. who is to blame for this? do we know? >> i don't know if they are still mad about this but there is a collective of hackers called our mind, a very
effective group that had the internet accounts of the cofounder of wikipedia, the creator of pokémon, ceo of google, not maliciously, may say but to prove an account is vulnerable and they sell their services, the sony account has been hacked apparently by our mind, later sony indeed confirmed in a statement that it had been compromised and apologize to britney and her fans which don't believe everything you read and hear, you can still go see britney live in las vegas. john: young men everywhere rejoicing. thank you. melissa: a headline in an opinion piece reading, quote, the safety net is about to be tested. the op-ed reads in part four americans face the gravest threat to the federal safety net in decades as president-elect donald trump takes office
accompanied by a republican controlled congress was the risk to essential benefits for tens of millions include losing coverage. threats to the fundamental structure of the health insurance program and further reduction of already squeezed funding. and a critique of the gop plan. here is former democratic consultant for the clinton campaign, and a political science professor in new york, thanks to both of you for joining us. let's assume the affordable care act is not replaced by anything, no one is saying what will happen. >> we need an alternative to the affordable care act if it is taken apart or done with and ensure people have affordable insurance which is diminishing every day but more importantly the constant talk about removing the safety net is likely to hurt
the people who voted for donald trump who are -- need health insurance, >> is there talk about removing the safety net, and over the past eight years we see the gap between rich and poor get larger and larger, immediate income fall, stagnant wages, people have been driven towards this lower end over the past eight years and that is a threat to their income it will be in. >> a month ago americans were asked to go to the polls and you had a choice between a democrat and hillary clinton as a republican and donald trump and people went knowing what they experienced and endured under the last eight years so you talk about the affordable care act, no one is really considering that it is going to be wiped away, donald trump himself that he would retain parts and they will try to, quote, fix it.
i do not leave they are going to be wiping away the social safety net. it won't happen. the very people who voted for donald trump, he is not going to destroy the safety net they need to live but they are going to pool it back a little bit. we need jobs is what we need. >> the essential argument between our we supposed to be focused on addressing the system is already failed, you have people who are in such depths threat straits that they need this sort of aid or are we focused on the idea of jobs, people want to work and earning comments for the family and grow the economy and that is where the attention should be. >> you need the growth of the economy. look at what the rest of the world is doing. the obsession with trade may reverberate and hurt the very people the administration talked about helping and ditto with social services and the social safety net. how do you repair it?
have to come up with a plan but if you listen to rhetoric over the past couple years in the republican senate certainly taking apart obama care is what they call it is the top, not what the replacement might be and that is significantly important. melissa: that is a challenge. easy to look at people and say it is not working when you hear from people who are buying insurance nobody pays for, see their premiums and deductibles rise, at the same time going in and fixing the system is a real challenge. are there signs the republicans have some ideas how to do that? >> it is a real challenge, bill clinton came out before the election and that this needs to be fixed. everybody agrees it needs to be fixed a republican challenge will be showing how they will fix it and what we do know so far is president-elect himself said we won't take away the good parts of the portable care act, we are going to repair it and it is in desperate need of repair. our social safety net is also in desperate need of repair. nobody wants to talk about the
tremendous problems we have in this country with entitlement and that reform is essential for our economy won't wrote to hank's point and desperately -- >> the rich including reform of the tax code is a good start to this number one and number 2, frankly, i want to meet the guy the republicans are prepared to take on the insurance industry and say you made a tremendous amount of money. melissa: if you look at the way donald trump has treated the company since he got in he is not afraid to say that but let me challenge another point, you talk about the fact that the safety net and growth are not mutually -- they are -- about people believe what creates the safety net, a huge tax environment and a lot of regulation, that is where you get the money to fund it and that hurts growth. a lot of people very much disagree with it. >> you have the safety net and regulation and corporations running around and doing crazy things in the recently have regulations that abuse their power is very simple, look at the tax code, wouldn't start to fix this, go to the tax code
1st, look at medicare, and rich people on medicare lose that benefit. >> that is one of donald trump's first things he wants to do is reform the tax code, he wantss to expand deductions to itemize and we see few of those loopholes. is that place to start? >> americans elected a moderate republican, not a conservative by any stretch of the imagination. this is somebody who's experience isn't business so he will be doing exactly what you said, he will be trying. the question is how will the republican congress were? that is the challenge for republicans all along, bringing the coalition -- melissa: is reminds me of the trap we fall into after every election, one party stands up and says we won, we have this mandate and the other party is in the position of throwing tomatoes and the people of their trying to make a change. is that what democrats are relegated to? >> they are not in the senate, you have chuck schumer, incoming
minority leader who is very smart, good compromiser and someone who can get deal done. what happened in the house? you have old-style leadership that needed to be changed, democrats didn't do that, we are throwing tomatoes, more old ideas, donald trump is not a republican the republicans wanted. how he gets people to take a populist look at things instead of the democrat look which is very elitist, who they have been and change the system will be something else. melissa: thanks to both of you, appreciate it. >> congressional republicans vowed they will overhaul the tax system next year. our next guest talks about how that will attack your family and the plan might end up adding to the deficit. beautiful site in this australian park. what caused waterfalls in the desert?
as streams of water were pouring from the mountain tops. melissa: republicans hoping to overhaul the tax system next year. it affects american that every income level in businesses big and small. lawmakers haven't revamped the tax code in 30 years we tao is that possible? house and senate leaders promising new tax package will not add to the budget deficit. the washington post contributor, a cpa who is the owner of the marks group and small business advocate, thanks for joining us. you heard in the last second everyone said it came down to deal with the tax code, like doing your math and eating your broccoli. it is a pain in the neck but essential, 30 years is a long time. >> i remember the last tax overhaul. a little depressed right now.
melissa: individual rates go down. at the end of the year it took three brackets maxing out at 33%, corporate rates go down. >> none of this is decided. we don't know for sure. there is a lot of agreement in dc about this happiness here and advising clients to expect lower taxes next year. you will have lower taxes and i will have lower taxes. the top tax rate individually 39.6%. there is agreement between trump's plan and ryan's plan to bring it down to 33%, this is great news. melissa: it is not a mess because it is true but people talking about the fact some people's taxes go up in the new year as a result of anticipating making more money. you could pay more taxes but net net you will have more money to take home because that is built on the idea that income is growing but also talking about
standard deduction increasing significantly. some people say wait a second, that sounds like we are giving everyone a free holiday but that is about eliminating a lot of loopholes. >> the hope is we get all the tax returns done, the promise being made, as a cpa i don't think i would want that but the standard deduction that we have the option of taking as opposed to itemizing a reductions, 12,600 for a married couple. making it bigger reduces the complexity, you will do your tax returns at the end of the year, piling up the itemized deductions and different things you can do. the standard deductions is one line, makes it easier. the reason they are proposing that is as much as congress and president-elect trump want to simplify the tax code, some things out there, for charities,
the childcare deduction. we simplify simplify simplify, leading these things in. leave that door open opening up the door to more of these things, the more standard deduction the less complex. melissa: immediately the fighting begins over what the deficit looks like and how much more debt we are going to be in. one thing that drives me crazy is when we do this, it is hard 20 survey going forward. how much growth created as a result of lower taxes, static versus dynamic accounting which means are you assuming the economy will grow by so much and going to be the same, that is where the fight comes down to, do we know the truth? >> economists and experts, 10 people in one room say if we make these assumptions it will happen and ten people of the opposite. the house republicans, their tax
plan will increase the deficit over 10 years, $3 trillion. that seems like a lot. donald trump's plan will increase the deficit by ten. enormous numbers particularly the national debt working on $20 trillion. is that a good number or a bad number? is it manageable? some economists say the national debt is like the mortgage. the economy is growing, it is okay to have big numbers if economists disagree. that is the biggest argument in washington. we want only tax deductions, who will pay for it and whose assumptions make more sense? melissa: i like to get to people in the trenches like yourself who deal with taxes and stuff, setting aside the idea it is simpler, less working revenue for you. what is your reaction? >> i don't it will be any less work for me. as human beings we tend to make things more complex to justify our own existence so we will start from one place 30 years
ago. look what happened in the last 30 years. does that mean more and more complex? too many special interests out there will be arguing for their rights, their deductions, credits, never going to have postcard tax returns and i will tell you this much, taxes will go down, whether we believe it will be funded or not we will be paying less taxes and let's hope that contributes to growth. melissa: you brought more money in their pockets. businesses invest, the economy takes off. thank you for your expertise. john: it propelled us into world war ii and we just marked 75 years to the day since the attack on pearl harbor. today the prime minister of japan makes the historic visit to that scene, touring the memorial of the victims with president obama. we are live with that story.
>> let's check out what is ahead on "outnumbered". what do you have? >> is relapse prime minister call the shameful ambush by the us, evidence the obama administration is behind it. what a historic move at the un means for relations with our closest mideast ally and how will things change under president-elect trump. >> president obama says if he could have run for a third term of course he would have beaten mister trump. who is right? we will discuss on twitter. >> hashtag one lucky guy. "outnumbered," top of the hour. john: historic visit by the prime minister of japan as he becomes the first sitting prime minister to join a us president at the pearl harbor memorial on the uss arizona. the two leaders will tour that hunting memorial. live at pearl harbor in hawaii.
>> reporter: always nice to talk to you. important day in terms of the historic relationship between these two allies, a day of reflection and reconciliation as well as they mark the 75th anniversary of the event that propelled the united states into world war ii in the pacific. the uss arizona memorial at pearl harbor where the two leaders will be. the arizona felled by the brutal attack that fateful morning the cost the lives of so many on both sides of the war. it was after all december 7, 1941, as then president roosevelt politically said and so powerfully so, a date which will live in infamy. today marked by sacrifice, heroism and the loss of life. this visit by prime minister abe is the back end of an earlier exchange at hiroshima where president obama marked the end of the war and the lingering effects the first atomic bomb blast that struck that city. for the prime minister this
visit is as much about the past as it is the future between our two countries and that should be a promising future says america's diplomat to japan. >> the alliance is so strong the so much bipartisan support. he will recognize that. >> reporter: this is a day we will not only hear from both leaders but watch them take a tour of the solemn and hallowed ground. we also should point out we will be talking about what this may mean for the future of us/japanese relations including how president trump, president-elect trump but soon to be president trump will view that relationship and security arrangements between our two countries. we will take that on later but back to you. john: how things have changed in 72 years, the blink of an eye in some respects. thanks very much. melissa: in the next hour of "happening now," more backlash over the united nations
anti-israel resolution condemning settlements in the west bank and east jerusalem, the role of the obama white house and the impact it will have on us/israeli relations in the mideast peace process. we will go in-depth. in malls across america fights breaking out the day after christmas in several different states. we are live with the story.
we still have time before new year's eve. >> i look forward to the second hour. see you back here then. "outnumbered" starts right now. sandra: fox news alert. you're looking live at the dow jones industrial average. the u.s. stock market surging to new records. you're looking at 19,954 on the dow. the big number to watch? 20,000. we've never been there before. the dow is up 21 points right now. we'll keep our eye on it because this might be the day it breaks through there. you're looking at multiple record closes for the dow since donald trump was elected president. will the trump rally continue all the way to the end of the year? we shall see. 20,000, we're watching it. another fox news alert for you. tensions mounting as america's strongest ally in the middle east, israel, says it has evidence that the obama administration was behind a u.n. resolution condemning its settlement activity. after prime minister benjamin