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Manning served tough prison term, commutation would not send wrong signal: Obama

Obama holds his last news conference at the White House in WashingtonPresident Barack Obama said on Wednesday that former military intelligence analyst Chelsea Manning had served a tough prison term and his decision to commute her 35-year sentence to about seven years served would not signal leniency toward leakers of U.S. government secrets. Obama told his final news conference as president that he felt it made sense to commute Manning's sentence because she went to trial and took responsibility for her crime. "I feel very comfortable that justice has been served," Obama said.

The Latest: Obama says Mideast peace 'moment may be passing'

President Barack Obama speaks during his final presidential news conference, Wednesday, Jan. 18, 2017, in the briefing room of the White House in Washington. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)WASHINGTON (AP) ? The Latest on President Barack Obama (all times EST):

Senate panel overwhelmingly approves Trump Pentagon pick

Mattis testifies before a Senate Armed Services Committee hearing on his nomination to serve as defense secretary in WashingtonThe U.S. Senate Armed Services Committee voted overwhelmingly on Wednesday to recommend President-elect Donald Trump's pick for Secretary of Defense, retired Marine General James Mattis. The committee voted 26-1 to back Mattis' nomination when it is received by the full Senate from Trump after he is sworn in as president. As a result, Mattis' nomination will be sent directly to the Senate for a vote without referral to the committee.

The Latest: Experts warn of cyberattacks on infrastructure

From left, Doug Brown, a two-time Stanley Cup winner, Mike Keenan, coach of the 1994 Stanley Cup winning team, Rustam Minnikhanov President of the Russian Republic of Tatarstan, match organiser Scotty Macpherson and coach of the President Nasibullin Lenar pose for a group photo prior to the hockey game just outside the World Economic Forum venue in Davos Switzerland, Wednesday, Jan 18, 2017. The two teams tied 10-10. (AP Photo/Michel Euler)DAVOS, Switzerland (AP) ? The Latest on the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland (all times local):

Obama defends decision to commute Chelsea Manning's sentence

President Barack Obama speaks during his final presidential news conference, Wednesday, Jan. 18, 2017, in the briefing room of the White House in Washington. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)WASHINGTON (AP) ? President Barack Obama firmly defended his decision to cut nearly three decades off convicted leaker Chelsea Manning's prison term Wednesday, arguing in his final White House news conference that the former Army intelligence analyst had served a "tough prison sentence" already.

Obama says justice has been served in Manning case

US President Barack Obama gives his final presidential press conference on January 18, 2017 at the White HousePresident Barack Obama Wednesday defended his decision to commute the sentence of transgender army private Chelsea Manning, who was jailed for 35 years for handing classified US documents to WikiLeaks. Obama was addressing his final presidential news conference a day after he pardoned 64 people and commuted the sentences of 209 others -- including Manning, who will now be released in May -- in one of his last acts in office. "With respect to Chelsea Manning I looked at the particulars in this case the same way I have with the other commutations I have done and pardons I have done and felt in light of all the circumstances that commuting her sentence was entirely appropriate," Obama said.

Obama says good U.S.-Russia relations in world's interest

Obama holds his final news conference at the White House in WashingtonU.S. President Barack Obama said on Wednesday it is in the world's interest for the United States and Russia to have a constructive relationship, but Russia's return to an "adversarial spirit" under President Vladimir Putin made that difficult. "I think that it is in America's interest, in the world's interest, that we have a constructive relationship with Russia," Obama said in a news conference two days before handing over the presidency to Donald Trump.

In break with Trump, EPA pick says climate change isn't hoax

Environmental Protection Agency Administrator-designate, Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt is seen on Capitol Hill in Washington, Wednesday, Jan. 18, 2017, at his confirmation hearing before the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)WASHINGTON (AP) ? Donald Trump's choice to head the Environmental Protection Agency said Wednesday that climate change is real, breaking with both the president-elect and his own past statements.

Monae among performers at Women's March on WashingtonWASHINGTON (AP) ? Janelle Monae, Maxwell and Angelique Kidjo are set to perform at the Women's March on Washington this weekend.
The Latest: George HW Bush in ICU, wife also hospitalized

FILE - In this April 2, 2016, file photo, former President George H. W. Bush waves as he arrives at NRG Stadium before the NCAA Final Four tournament college basketball semifinal game between Villanova and Oklahoma in Houston. Houston-area media are quoting former President George H.W. Bush's chief of staff as saying that Bush has been hospitalized in Houston. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip, File)HOUSTON (AP) ? The Latest on the hospitalization of former President George H.W. Bush (all times local):