During a marathon confirmation hearing that is still going on, Sen. Jeff Sessions, Donald Trump’s pick to be attorney general, insisted he would be independent minded and able to stand up to the president, promising to aggressively enforce the nation’s laws — even in areas where he has disagreed, like torture, abortion, gay rights, surveillance and hate crimes.

Sessions, an Alabama Republican, also said the law “absolutely” prohibits waterboarding, and he does not support banning Muslims from the U.S.

Due to comments he made during the “highly contentious” presidential campaign, Sessions vowed to recuse himself from any possible Justice Department investigations into Hillary Clinton if he’s confirmed.

American voters approve 55-39 percent of the job President Barack Obama is doing, his best approval rating in seven years, according to a new Q poll. These same voters disapprove 51-37 percent of the way Trump is handling his job as president-elect.

FBI Director James Comey declined to say whether there was contact between the Trump campaign and the Russian government during the presidential race, or whether the FBI was investigating the issue.

Trump reportedly appointed a leading critic of vaccines, Robert F. Kennedy, Jr., to chair a commission on vaccine safety.

Assemblyman Anthony Brindisi will hold a mock “State of the State” address in his home district tomorrow in hopes of luring Gov. Andrew Cuomo, “who has been ducking Utica for months now,” the Democratic lawmaker’s office wrote in a news release.

Brooklyn prosecutors dropped a felony assault charge against Assemblywoman Diane Richardson, who was accused of beating her pre-teen son with a broomstick, though she still faces up to a year on Rikers Island for the remaining misdemeanor charges.

In his Westchester State of the State speech, Cuomo proposed requiring counties to develop a consolidation plan that would be put to a vote this November. The plan would come from the county’s top executive officer.

The Senate Ethics Committee will now consist of nine members — three apiece from the mainline Democrats, the IDC and the GOP.

Former Sen. Alfonse D’Amato was removed from an airplane and tried to persuade fellow passengers to walk off with him after the flight was delayed for several hours.

“Anyone who knows Senator D’Amato knows he speaks his mind – but in this case he spoke after a long and demanding trip to Florida to visit an ailing friend,” a spokesman for the Long Island Republican said. “Jet Blue has apologized to the Senator for overreacting, and the Senator apologized for speaking his mind at a time when he clearly had left his patience at the gate.”

Actor and activist Mark Ruffalo signed off on an email fundraising appeal for NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio, calling the liberal Democrat a bulwark against Trump’s “radical right-wing agenda.”

U.S. Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell joined U.S. Sens. Charles Schumer, Kristen Gillibrand and Rep. John Katko as well as community and park partners today at a signing ceremony formally establishing the Harriet Tubman National Historical Park, in Auburn, New York as the 414th unit of the National Park System.

Planned Parenthood president Cecile Richards said her organization has seen a huge increase in women seeking Planned Parenthood services — particularly when it comes to IUDs.

Bloomfield Industries, one of the five companies licensed to sell medical marijuana in New York, is being acquired by MedMen, a California-based marijuana management and consulting firm. The change in ownership comes just two days after the Empire State’s medical marijuana program marked its first year.

In the weeks after Roger Ailes was ousted as the chairman of Fox News in July, amid a sexual harassment scandal, company executives secretly struck an agreement with a longtime on-air personality, Juliet Huddy, who had come forward with similar accusations about the network’s top host, Bill O’Reilly.

NYPD Det. Steven McDonald, who became an iconic symbol of courage, faith and forgiveness after getting paralyzed 30 years ago on the job, has died at the age of 59.

The Port Authority agreed to a pay a $400,000 penalty to settle a federal probe of the controversial $1.8 billion it spent to repair New Jersey’s Pulaski Skyway and other state roads.

An $850,000 settlement agreement between the village of Hoosick Falls and two companies blamed for polluting the community’s drinking water supplies would cover more than $400,000 in legal and public relations expenses.

The Syracuse teachers union president says she was suspended after she uncovered a fellow officer’s inappropriate use of a computer during an audit.