Camila Domonoske

After President-elect Donald Trump's pick for secretary of state made strong statements about China's actions in the South China Sea, Chinese officials have responded with muted, measured statements — while state-run media have warned of the potential for conflict and retaliation.

Rex Tillerson, the former Exxon Mobil CEO nominated to lead the U.S. State Department, had a confirmation hearing Wednesday. He told the Senate Foreign Relations Committee that China's actions in the South China Sea were "extremely worrisome" and compared them to Russia's annexation of Crimea.

A Hungarian camerawoman who was caught on film kicking migrants running from police near the border with Serbia was sentenced to three years of probation.

A judge said Petra Laszlo's behavior "ran counter to societal norms" and rejected Laszlo's claim that she acted in self-defense.

The Syrian government says Israel has attacked a military airport west of Damascus, and warns of "repercussions" without promising any specific retaliation.

The Syrian state news agency SANA reports that rockets fired by the Israeli air force caused a fire at the al-Mezzeh airport just after midnight local time on Friday morning. The report did not identify if there were any casualties.

In the closing weeks of 2016, an explosive document was floating around in media and security circles. Reporters tried, and failed, to verify the claims it contained — that Donald Trump colluded with Russia, and the Kremlin held lurid blackmail material as leverage over Trump. Reporting on the document, which was first compiled as opposition research, was rare and carefully vague.

The City of Baltimore and the Justice Department announced Thursday that they have agreed on a court-enforceable consent decree to institute sweeping reforms in Baltimore's police department.

Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte has ordered government agencies to expand access to contraception, especially for poor women. By 2018, he instructs, all poor households in the country should have "zero unmet need for modern family planning."

Duterte's executive order, signed Monday and announced on Wednesday, is the latest development in a long battle over birth control in the majority-Catholic Philippines. It pits the president, who says family planning is critical for reducing poverty, against the country's Supreme Court and Catholic leadership.

A Pew survey of police officers across the U.S. found that most officers believe their jobs have grown more difficult and more dangerous following a series of high-profile deaths of black citizens during encounters with police.

The survey also uncovered sharp disparities between the perceptions of black and white officers — and between officers and the general public — over the state of race relations in America.

President-elect Donald Trump announced Wednesday that he plans to nominate David Shulkin to be his secretary of veterans affairs, a position that requires Senate confirmation.

Shulkin is currently the undersecretary for health at the VA, which means he runs the Veterans Health Administration. He was nominated for that position by President Obama in March 2015 and confirmed by the Senate that June.

China sent its only aircraft carrier into the Taiwan Strait on Wednesday morning, an unusual and provocative move that comes as tensions are high between the mainland and the self-governing island.

NPR's Rob Schmitz reports from Beijing that China says the carrier was returning from weapons drills in the South China Sea, and that its passage through the strait complies with international law. Here's more from Rob:

Clare Hollingworth, the war correspondent who told the world of the outbreak of World War II, has died at 105.

She died Tuesday evening in Hong Kong, according to long-time friend Cathy Hilborn Feng, who says Hollingworth "had a smile before she left us."

Over the weekend and into Monday morning, a powerful storm in Nevada and Northern California resulted in mudslides and flooding, caused more than a thousand people to evacuate their homes, took out power lines and brought down a famous sequoia "tunnel tree."

That storm is over, but residents can't relax yet: Starting on Tuesday, a second potent winter storm is expected to hit the region.

The confirmation hearing for Betsy DeVos, the billionaire philanthropist who is President-elect Donald Trump's choice for secretary of education, has been delayed for almost a week.

DeVos' hearing was scheduled for Wednesday, but late on Monday night, the Senate Committee on Health Education Labor and Pensions announced it had been delayed until Jan. 17, next Tuesday.

On behalf of the U.S. State Department, John Kerry has issued a formal apology for the department's pattern of discrimination against LGBT employees during a period beginning in the 1940s and stretching for decades.

Sen. Ben Cardin, D-Md., had asked the secretary of state for such an apology in late November, calling the historical discrimination "un-American and unacceptable."

A powerful winter storm in California has brought down an ancient tree, carved into a living tunnel more than a century ago.

The "Pioneer Cabin Tree," a sequoia in Calaveras Big Trees State Park, saw horses and cars pass through it over the years. More recently, only hikers were allowed to walk through the massive tree.

Over the weekend, a powerful winter storm slammed into California and Nevada, prompting flooding and mudslides in some regions. The Associated Press reports it might be the biggest storm to hit the region in more than a decade.

Tilikum, possibly the most famous orca in the world, has died, according to SeaWorld Orlando.

He was the subject of the influential documentary Blackfish, and outcry over his story prompted SeaWorld to stop breeding orcas in captivity.

The U.S. added 156,000 jobs last month and hourly wages rose by 10 cents, according to the monthly jobs report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

The unemployment rate was little changed; it ticked up slightly to 4.7 percent, compared to November's 4.6 percent.

Economists had been watching closely to see if the jobs report reflected a rise in wages.

Starting next week, Norway will become the first country to switch off its nationwide FM radio network and convert completely to digital signals.

The change was announced in 2015, and will take months to be fully implemented.

The Norwegian government decided to make the transition in part because digital radio can provide many more channels for the same price — eight times as many, to be precise.

Tucker Carlson will be taking over the 9 p.m. ET time slot on the Fox News Channel, stepping in for departing host Megyn Kelly.

Kelly is leaving Fox News for NBC, where she will host a daytime show and a Sunday evening news show.

The change, as NPR's David Folkenflik notes on Twitter, would seem to make Fox News' prime-time lineup more friendly toward President-elect Donald Trump.

As President Obama's tenure in the White House draws to a close, he's looking back on eight years of work — and ahead toward what he sees as a brighter future for the U.S.

In a letter to the American public, Obama says he's proud that the country is "stronger and more prosperous" than it was eight years ago — and hopeful that the country will build on the progress he sees.

Updated at 4:15 p.m. ET

Four people have been charged with hate crimes for allegedly carrying out an assault, live-streamed online, in which a man was tied up, hit and cut with a knife by several assailants.

Authorities say the victim, who had been reported missing before the attack, has "mental health challenges." He was encountered by police on Tuesday evening and is recovering in the hospital.

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