A look at the news you need to know today. Read more in our full morning briefing: http://nyti.ms/1k4LBR1
  1. Putin meets the press
    With his customary swagger and salty language, the Russian president held his year-end news conference in Moscow — and threw in a glowing assessment of Donald J. Trump. http://nyti.ms/1lTc9GH
  2. Small but significant Fed rise
    The Federal Reserve signaled its confidence in the U.S. economy by raising short-term interest rates, which had been near zero for seven years. Here's more on what that means for you: http://nyti.ms/1QPf7XD
  3. Policing across the U.S.
    Chicago’s mayor, Rahm Emanuel, is to meet today with federal investigators examining his city’s police department. An officer there was indicted by a grand jury on Wednesday over the shooting of a black teenager in 2014, The Chicago Tribune reported. And Ferguson, Mo., is near a deal to overhaul its police force, which would head off a Justice Department lawsuit alleging years of unconstitutional law enforcement.
  4. Visas under scrutiny
    Tashfeen Malik, one of the suspects in the San Bernardino, Calif., shooting, passed background checks required to move to the U.S. The State Department will hold a news briefing on the screening process for the K-1 visa, which Ms. Malik had received.
  5. May the Force be with you
    “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” will be released in North America early Friday, but it’s already in theaters in some countries. http://nyti.ms/1k4M4Cv