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List of Potential Host Cities for 2016 DNC Shortened

Keith Spaulding/Thinkstock(WASHINGTON) -- The list of potential host cities for the 2016 Democratic National Convention has been narrowed down to three.Democratic National Committee Chair Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, D-Fla., announced on Monday that Columbus, Ohio, New York and Philadelphia are the remaining contenders.“We are fortunate to have such a diverse and vibrant group of cities interested in hosting this special event and we thank Phoenix and Birmingham for showcasing their special communities," Wasserman Schultz said in a statement. "We look forward to working with Columbus, New York, and Philadelphia as we go forward.”We're getting closer to a final decision on where we'll host @TheDemocrats' 2016 convention! Narrowed it down to Columbus, NYC, and Philly.— D Wasserman Schultz (@DWStweets) November 24, 2014The announcement came after a round of site visits by the DNC’s Technical Advisory Group to five cities.Follow @ABCNewsRadio !function(d,s,id){var js,fjs=d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0];if(!d.getElementById(id)){js=d.createElement(s);;js.src="";fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js,fjs);}}(document,"script","twitter-wjs");Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Obama Announces Hagel's Resignation

ABC News(WASHINGTON) -- President Obama on Monday praised the work of Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel as he announced his resignation, saying Hagel determined “it was an appropriate time for him to complete his service.”As the lone Republican on his national security team and the first enlisted combat veteran to serve in the position, Obama explained that Hagel “has been no ordinary Secretary of Defense.”“He understands our men and women like few others because he stood where they stood, he’s been in the dirt, and he’s been in the mud. And that’s established a special bond,” the president said in the State Dining Room. “He sees himself in them, and they see themselves in him. And their safety, their lives have always been at the center of Chuck’s service.”The president said Hagel had been critical to helping his administration during a “significant period of transition,” as U.S. troops withdraw from Afghanistan and the Defense Department faces a host of budgetary challenges. The president also lauded Hagel’s role in tackling the immediate threat from ISIS and shepherding the administration’s response to the Ebola crisis.“Thanks to Chuck, our military is on a firmer footing, engaged in these missions and looking ahead to the future,” Obama said. On a personal note, the president thanked Hagel for showing how the two parties can come together.Recalling that Hagel traveled with him to Iraq and Afghanistan in 2008, Obama said “it’s pretty rare, at a time when sometimes this town is so politicized, to have a friend who was willing to accompany a nominee from another party, because he understood that whoever ended up being president, what was most important was that we were unified when we confronted the challenges that we see overseas, and that’s the kind of class and integrity that Chuck Hagel’s always represented.”“We come from different parties, but in accepting this position you send a powerful message, especially to folks in this city. And when it comes to our national security and caring for our troops and their families, we are all Americans first,” he added.Hagel will stay on until his successor has been confirmed by the Senate. The president has yet to announce whom that may be, but he did drop Sen. Jack Reed’s name during his remarks, who is believed to be on his short list.In brief remarks following the president, Hagel said it has been the “greatest privilege” of his life to lead the Defense Department.Follow @ABCNewsRadio !function(d,s,id){var js,fjs=d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0];if(!d.getElementById(id)){js=d.createElement(s);;js.src="";fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js,fjs);}}(document,"script","twitter-wjs");Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

McCain Encouraging Lindsey Graham to Consider 2016 Run

Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call(WASHINGTON) -- Sen. John McCain is prodding one of his closest allies in the Senate to consider a run for the White House -- Sen. Lindsey Graham. “I think he is looking at it, and I am strongly encouraging him to take a look at it,” McCain, R-Ariz., told ABC News. “I know of no one who is better versed and more important on national security policy and defense than Lindsey Graham, and I don’t think these challenges to our security are going away.” “He is eminently qualified,” McCain added. In an interview with The Weekly Standard last month, Graham, R-S.C., said he might consider a presidential bid after this year’s midterm elections if other candidates aren’t promoting an aggressive foreign policy agenda. “If I get through my general election, if nobody steps up in the presidential mix, if nobody’s out there talking-- me and McCain have been talking -- I may just jump in to get to make these arguments,” Graham said. On CNN's State of the Union Sunday, Graham said running for president is "the hardest thing one could ever do. You go through personal hell. You have got to raise a ton of money. I'm nowhere near there." McCain, the 2008 Republican presidential nominee, said he expects a “very crowded field” in 2016 that will be compromised of both senators and governors. “I think there's an old saying that if you are a United States senator that unless you are under indictment, or detoxification that you can automatically consider yourself a candidate,” McCain joked. “I think we should let a thousand flowers bloom. I think that the process is wide open right now, and I think not only will members of the Senate be considered, but I think some of our successful Republican governors will also be interested.” While another presidential run isn’t in McCain’s future, the Arizona senator said he will “likely” run for a sixth term in the Senate when he’s up for re-election in 2016. “Most likely I will, and I expect it to be a very tough race as I have every time, and I’m making every preparation,” McCain said. “As one of my Irish friends once said, a fight not joined is a fight not enjoyed.”Follow @ABCNewsRadio !function(d,s,id){var js,fjs=d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0];if(!d.getElementById(id)){js=d.createElement(s);;js.src="";fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js,fjs);}}(document,"script","twitter-wjs");Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel to Step Down

Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel is stepping down, a longtime confidant confirmed Monday to ABC News.Hagel, 68, decided to resign following a series of talks with President Obama, ABC News has learned. Story developing...Follow @ABCNewsRadio !function(d,s,id){var js,fjs=d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0];if(!d.getElementById(id)){js=d.createElement(s);;js.src="";fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js,fjs);}}(document,"script","twitter-wjs");Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Gabby Giffords Completes 11-Mile Bike Race

Photo by Andrew Burton/Getty Images(TUCSON, Ariz.) -- Former Congresswoman Gabby Giffords completed the 11 mile El Tour de Tucson on Sunday on a reclining three-wheeled bicycle.Giffords, who was critically wounded in a 2011 shooting during a public appearance, had been training for the event for six months. The former Representative posted a photo from the event to her Facebook page on Sunday.  (function(d, s, id) { var js, fjs = d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0]; if (d.getElementById(id)) return; js = d.createElement(s); = id; js.src = "//"; fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js, fjs); }(document, 'script', 'facebook-jssdk'));Post by Gabby Giffords.Post by Gabby Giffords.Giffords was an avid cyclist before the 2011 shooting. Her husband, former astronaut Mark Kelly said he wants Giffords to do everything she did before the shooting. Follow @ABCNewsRadio !function(d,s,id){var js,fjs=d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0];if(!d.getElementById(id)){js=d.createElement(s);;js.src="";fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js,fjs);}}(document,"script","twitter-wjs"); Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

President Obama Defends Use of Executive Action on Immigration

The White House(WASHINGTON) -- President Barack Obama defended his decision to use executive authority to enact changes to the U.S. immigration system during an exclusive interview with This Week, challenging Republican Speaker John Boehner to “pass a bill” if he was not satisfied with the president’s unilateral actions.“Congress has a responsibility to deal with these issues and there are some things that I can’t do on my own,” the president told ABC News’ chief anchor George Stephanopoulos during an interview in Las Vegas on Friday. “What I do have is the legal authority to try to make the system better. Given the resource constraints that we have, we have to prioritize.”During a primetime address on Thursday from the White House, the president – expressing frustration over a lack of Congressional action — announced he would be employing executive action to circumvent Congress and offer temporary legal status to approximately five million undocumented immigrants, among other actions.During the interview with Stephanopoulos, the president pushed back against the argument made by some of his detractors that he is taking action that he previously said he did not have the authority to take.“What is absolutely true is that we couldn’t solve the entire problem and still can’t solve the entire problem,” Obama said. “But what we can do is to prioritize felons, criminals, recent arrivals, folks who are coming right at the border and acknowledge that if somebody’s been here for over five years — they may have an American child or a legal permanent resident child — it doesn’t make sense for us to prioritize them when we know that we need more resources.”“If you look, every president – Democrat and Republican – over decades has done the same thing as I mentioned in my remarks,” he added. “George H. W. Bush, about 40 percent of the undocumented persons at the time were provided a similar kind of relief as a consequence of executive action.”When asked about using executive action, the president said his view on the issue has not changed.“If you look – the history is that I have issued fewer executive actions than most of my predecessors, by a longshot,” Obama said. “The difference is the response of Congress, and specifically the response of some of the Republicans. But if you ask historians, take a look at the track records of the modern presidency, I’ve actually been very restrained, and I’ve been very restrained with respect to immigration. I bent over backwards and will continue to do everything I can to get Congress to work because that’s my preference.”Follow @ABCNewsRadio!function(d,s,id){var js,fjs=d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0];if(!d.getElementById(id)){js=d.createElement(s);;js.src="";fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js,fjs);}}(document,"script","twitter-wjs");Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

President Obama: American People Want 'New Car Smell' in 2016 Campaign

ABC News(WASHINGTON) -- President Obama, acknowledging he's taken some political "dings" during his time in the White House, said in an exclusive interview with ABC News that the American people will want that "new car smell" when it comes to the 2016 presidential campaign, suggesting he may not have a prominent role on the campaign trail as the country prepares to select his replacement."I think the American people, you know, they're going to want -- you know, that new car smell. You know, their own -- they want to drive something off the lot that doesn't have as much mileage as me," Obama told ABC News Chief anchor George Stephanopoulos.During the interview conducted in Las Vegas on Friday, Stephanopoulos asked the president how he would navigate a potential White House bid by his former secretary of state, Hillary Clinton.The president, who said he talks regularly with Clinton, called her a friend and seemed prepared for Clinton to differentiate herself politically should she choose to pursue the presidency, which appears likely."She's not going to agree with me on everything. And, you know, one of the benefits of running for president is you can stake out your own positions," Obama said.Earlier in the conversation he'd said he thought she'd make a "formidable candidate" and a "great" president.The president, who said there were "a number" of potential Democratic candidates who would make great presidents, said he would do everything he could to ensure that a member of his own party succeeded him."I am very interested in making sure that I've got a Democratic successor," he said. "So I'm going do everything I can, obviously, to make sure that whoever the nominee is is successful."Follow @ABCNewsRadio!function(d,s,id){var js,fjs=d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0];if(!d.getElementById(id)){js=d.createElement(s);;js.src="";fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js,fjs);}}(document,"script","twitter-wjs");Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Former D.C. Mayor Marion Barry Dies

(NEW YORK) -- Former D.C. Mayor Marion Barry has died at the age of 78. Barry D.C. council spokeswoman LaToya Foster says he died shortly after midnight Sunday at a hospital in Washington.He served 4 terms as mayor of Washington D.C, but his terms were overshadowed by his 1990 arrest after he was caught on videotape smoking crack cocaine.The cause of death has not been released. More details to come.Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Senate Committee to Hold Hearing on Pro Sports League Domestic Violence Policies

Credit: Architect of the Capitol(WASHINGTON) -- Sen. John Rockefeller IV, Chairman of the Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation committee announced on Friday that the committee would hold a hearing regarding addressing domestic violence in professional sports.Rockefeller, D-W. Va., said that the hearing will examine the current policies held by the four major sports leagues -- the National Football League, National Basketball Association, Major League Baseball and National Hockey League. The hearing is expected to focus on how those policies deter violence, promote awareness, provide due process and punish those who commit acts of domestic violence.The hearing, to be held on the afternoon of Dec. 2, will also examine potential future policies.Follow @ABCNewsRadio!function(d,s,id){var js,fjs=d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0];if(!d.getElementById(id)){js=d.createElement(s);;js.src="";fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js,fjs);}}(document,"script","twitter-wjs");Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

President Obama: Don't Use Ferguson as 'An Excuse for Violence'

(LAS VEGAS) -- As a grand jury debates whether or not to indict Ferguson, Missouri, police officer Darren Wilson in the shooting death of Michael Brown, President Barack Obama on Friday — in an exclusive interview with ABC News — urged the residents of the city and all others to “keep protests peaceful.”“Well I think, first and foremost, keep protests peaceful. You know, this is a country that allows everybody to express their views,” Obama told ABC News chief anchor George Stephanopoulos during an interview conducted Friday in Las Vegas. “Allows them to peacefully assemble to protest actions that they think are unjust, but using any event as an excuse for violence is contrary to rule of law and contrary to who we are.”A grand jury in Missouri is in the midst of determining if Wilson — who fatally shot the unarmed teenager on Aug. 9 — should be charged for the incident. It is not known precisely when a decision by the grand jury will be reached, but it’s expected to be announced soon.On Thursday, U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder and Brown’s father asked for calm ahead of the decision. Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon has also declared a state of emergency in preparation, and the FBI is sending approximately 100 of its own to the St. Louis area in anticipation of possible unrest that could mirror the chaos that ensued after Brown was shot earlier this year.More ABC US news | ABC World NewsFollow @ABCNewsRadio !function(d,s,id){var js,fjs=d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0];if(!d.getElementById(id)){js=d.createElement(s);;js.src="";fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js,fjs);}}(document,"script","twitter-wjs");Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio