Dec 19, 8:53 AM EST

Obama closing 2014 with year-end news conference

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WASHINGTON (AP) -- President Barack Obama will end his year in Washington with a news conference at which he'll face questions on Cuba, the Sony hacking and how he will work with the Republican Congress.

Obama's dismal year is ending on an upbeat note. He's unveiled a flurry of executive actions on immigration, climate change and the U.S. policy toward Cuba. That's after his party's sweeping losses in the midterm elections.

Still, the president faces big obstacles on Capitol Hill, where Republicans will take over next month. Foreign policy problems also persist in the Middle East and between Russia and Ukraine.

After taking questions from reporters, Obama and his family will depart for their annual holiday in Hawaii. He's due back in Washington in early January.

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