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Preview: AP Top Headlines At 12:48 p.m. EDT

AP Top Headlines at 4:17 p.m. EST

AP Top Headlines at 4:17 p.m. EST

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Justice official defends Mueller, sees no cause for firing

Wed, 13 Dec 2017 20:48:05 GMT2017-12-13T20:48:05Z

WASHINGTON (AP) -- Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, facing congressional questions about anti-Donald Trump text messages exchanged between two FBI officials assigned to the Russia probe, defended special counsel Robert Mueller on Wednesday and said he had seen no cause to fire him and had not been pressured to do so....

Subway bombing suspect faces charges from his hospital bed

Wed, 13 Dec 2017 21:14:27 GMT2017-12-13T21:14:27Z

NEW YORK (AP) -- A Bangladeshi immigrant accused of setting off a pipe bomb in the New York subway system had his first court appearance on Wednesday via video from the hospital room where he is recovering from burns sustained in the blast....

Elections chief: Recount unlikely to change Alabama vote

Wed, 13 Dec 2017 20:44:38 GMT2017-12-13T20:44:38Z

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) -- Still-uncounted ballots are unlikely to change the outcome of the U.S. Senate race in Alabama enough to spur an automatic recount, the state's election chief said Wednesday....

AP sources: House, Senate leaders reach deal on tax package

Wed, 13 Dec 2017 19:02:04 GMT2017-12-13T19:02:04Z

WASHINGTON (AP) -- House and Senate GOP leaders forged an agreement Wednesday on a sweeping overhaul of the nation's tax laws, paving the way for final votes next week to slash taxes for businesses, give many Americans modest cuts and deliver the first major legislative accomplishment to President Donald Trump....

City forms team to target its most vulnerable homeless

Wed, 13 Dec 2017 20:08:08 GMT2017-12-13T20:08:08Z

EVERETT, Wash. (AP) -- This is the lesson that the working-class city of Everett has learned: It takes a community to rescue the hardcore homeless....

Abbas says UN should replace US as Mideast mediator

Wed, 13 Dec 2017 20:37:20 GMT2017-12-13T20:37:20Z

ISTANBUL (AP) -- Breaking with years of courting the U.S., Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas called Wednesday for the United Nations to replace Washington as a Mideast mediator and suggested he might not cooperate with the Trump administration's much-anticipated effort to hammer out an Israeli-Palestinian peace deal....

Minnesota Lt. Gov. Tina Smith named to fill Franken seat

Wed, 13 Dec 2017 18:27:10 GMT2017-12-13T18:27:10Z

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) -- Minnesota Gov. Mark Dayton appointed Lt. Gov. Tina Smith on Wednesday to fill fellow Democrat Al Franken's Senate seat until a special election in November, setting up his longtime and trusted adviser for a potentially bruising 2018 special election....

Fed rate increase is 3rd this year; foresees 3 more in 2018

Wed, 13 Dec 2017 21:16:45 GMT2017-12-13T21:16:45Z

WASHINGTON (AP) -- The Federal Reserve is raising its key interest rate for the third time this year and foresees three additional hikes in 2018, a vote of confidence that the U.S. economy remains on solid footing 8½ years after the end of the Great Recession....

After big Senate loss, what's next for firebrand Roy Moore?

Wed, 13 Dec 2017 19:58:17 GMT2017-12-13T19:58:17Z

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (AP) -- Roy Moore has now lost more statewide races than he's won in Alabama, including a Senate contest that seemed within reach. So will the Republican former judge now abandon politics and ride off into the sunset?...

Prominent black supporter of Trump set to leave White House

Wed, 13 Dec 2017 14:48:12 GMT2017-12-13T14:48:12Z

WASHINGTON (AP) -- The White House says Omarosa Manigault Newman - one of President Donald Trump's most prominent African-American supporters - plans to leave the administration next month....