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The Federal Reserve’s benchmark interest rate, for only the second time since the 2008 financial crisis. The decision, which hikes the rate to a range from 0.5% to 0.75%, signals the Fed’s confidence that the U.S. economy will continue to grow. The Federal Reserve said it expects to raise rates three more times in 2017.


A law legalizing recreational marijuana in Massachusetts, the first state on the Eastern seaboard to do it. A ballot initiative passed on Nov. 8 came into effect on Dec. 15, allowing people age 21 and over to possess, grow and use limited amounts of recreational pot.


Craig Sager, Emmy Award–winning broadcaster for Turner Sports, at age 65. He stood out on the sidelines with his eccentric, brightly colored suits while covering games for more than 40 years.

> John Cloud, an award-winning former senior writer at TIME who specialized in health and social issues, at age 46.

This appears in the December 26, 2016 issue of TIME.

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