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Booker on DeVos: 'I'm not saying anything'

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WASHINGTON -- Sen. Cory Booker, D-N.J., wasn't saying whether he would support the confirmation of Betsy DeVos, despite having worked with her on education issues in the past.

At an event to discuss criminal justice reform at Google's Washington office on Thursday, Booker voiced his concerns about President-elect Donald Trump's selection of Sen...Read more

Another Miami Zika virus transmission zone lifted by governor

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MIAMI -- Florida Gov. Rick Scott has lifted the zone of active Zika transmission covering one square mile of Miami's Little River neighborhood.

Scott made the announcement Friday morning in Little River at St. Mary Cathedral School.

"Today is a good news day," he said as he opened the news conference.

The Little River zone was declared an ...Read more

Kobach was a source of Trump's unfounded voter fraud allegation, Conway says

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- Donald Trump's campaign manager said Friday that a source of the Republican's unfounded allegation that millions voted illegally in the 2016 presidential election is Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach.

Kellyanne Conway, the Trump-Pence campaign manager who has continued to help the president-elect during the transition, ...Read more

Michigan AG moves to halt presidential recount

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LANSING, Mich. -- Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette wants the Michigan Supreme Court to halt a presidential recount in Michigan before it begins.

In a court action filed Friday, Schuette echoes arguments made for President-elect Donald Trump, arguing Green Party candidate Jill Stein, who received just over 1 percent of the vote in ...Read more

Albert R. Hunt: Trump will bring his press war to White House

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One of the biggest conflicts in Washington next year will be the one between the mainstream media and the most anti-press president since at least Richard Nixon.

The relations between presidents and the press always are adversarial (each has different objectives) and symbiotic (each side needs the other).

Donald Trump not only has shown ...Read more

Mall of America welcomes its first black Santa

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MINNEAPOLIS -- Dozens of Santas cycle through Twin Cities shopping centers each year, spreading joy to children who entrust them with their holiday wish lists. What has been missing from that experience, some parents say, was a Kriss Kringle who represented a wider swath of believers.

This week, for the first time in the Mall of America's 24-...Read more

Senate Democrats' hopes for populist alliance with Trump fizzle

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WASHINGTON -- For U.S. Senate progressives like Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren, the possibility of working with a populist Donald Trump on at least a few liberal goals was nice while it lasted.

Now they're attacking the Republican president-elect's nomination of Goldman Sachs executive Steven Mnuchin for Treasury secretary. They're ...Read more

Patty Murray, other Senate Dems prepare to fight Trump's nominees

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U.S. Sen. Patty Murray is sounding an alarm over how the Cabinet picks of President-elect Donald Trump could roll back health-care laws, restrict abortion and even privatize Medicare.

But Murray and other Senate Democrats may not be able to do much to obstruct Trump nominees -- in part because of a change to filibuster rules Democrats ...Read more

Warren supports former rival Brown for top VA post

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WASHINGTON -- Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren said Thursday she would endorse former political rival Scott Brown for Veteran Affairs secretary, surprising many who knew the pair as bitter campaign rivals.

In an interview with Boston public radio station WGBH, Warren told reporters she believed Brown was the right man for the job.

"If Scott...Read more

US economy creates 178,000 jobs in November; jobless rate drops to 4.6 percent

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WASHINGTON -- The U.S. economy produced another solid month of labor market growth, adding 178,000 net new jobs in November while the unemployment rate fell to a nine-year low, the Labor Department said Friday.

The latest jobs report virtually assures that Federal Reserve officials will raise a key interest rate this month.

The unemployment ...Read more

Q&A with Jaime Harrison, who could be the DNC's Plan B

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WASHINGTON -- Members of the Democratic National Committee will meet in Denver this weekend for the first time since Election Day. They'll certainly talk about what went wrong in 2016, but they'll also begin the process of finding a new committee chairman.

Rep. Keith Ellison has generated the most buzz so far, but Ellison's part-time ...Read more

Michael Schuman: Trump's badgering of companies has dangerous precedent

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Factory workers should be cheering. Donald Trump, actually living up to a campaign promise, has been badgering corporate America to keep manufacturing jobs at home.

On Thursday, Trump announced that Carrier Corp. will maintain about 1,000 jobs in Indiana rather than shift them to Mexico. He has prodded Apple Inc. to build plants at home rather ...Read more

China makes move on Latin America as Trump steps back from trade deals

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WASHINGTON -- Now that Donald Trump is preparing to take charge and has said he'll withdraw from U.S. trade agreements, China is signaling that it plans to capitalize on the worries of Latin American leaders.

The Chinese government issued an 11-page policy paper on the "new era" of Chinese-Latin American relations following a South American ...Read more

Merkel's riskiest election holds pitfalls from Trump to Bavaria

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BERLIN -- Germany's last chancellor to make it to four terms, Helmut Kohl, presided over the fall of the Berlin Wall, a moment of triumph for liberal democracy in Europe. Angela Merkel, whose path to power opened up with German reunification, is seeking to match his feat in a world where barriers are going back up and political longevity looks ...Read more

Here are 4 government programs Trump's team wants to privatize

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WASHINGTON -- Donald Trump was not the kind of presidential candidate who lays out the finer details of his policies on the campaign trail.

Now, as the president-elect assembles his government, the people he is choosing to run it provide a clearer picture of the policies his administration will pursue. Among them are a lot of plans to privatize...Read more

Presidential recount kicks off in Wisconsin

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MILWAUKEE -- An army of county clerks and election workers across Wisconsin began the 13-day race Thursday to recount nearly 3 million presidential ballots in the nation's first statewide presidential recount since 2004.

President-elect Donald Trump defeated Democrat Hillary Clinton by some 22,000 votes in Wisconsin and most experts say the ...Read more

Officer was killed sacrificing self to save partner, shooter's wife, witness says

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TACOMA, Wash. -- A woman who witnessed Wednesday's shooting of Tacoma police Officer Reginald "Jake" Gutierrez said he sacrificed himself to save his partner and the wife of the man who opened fire.

Kristi Croskey said Gutierrez repeatedly yelled, "Get out! Get out!" to his partner and the woman as shots were fired from an upstairs landing at ...Read more

Obama to block Chinese takeover of German company on national security grounds, sources say

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LONDON -- U.S. President Barack Obama is poised to block a Chinese company from buying Germany's Aixtron SE, people familiar with the matter said, which would mark only the third time in more than a quarter century that the White House has rejected an investment by an overseas buyer as a national security risk.

The president is expected Friday ...Read more

Trump taps retired Gen. 'Mad Dog' Mattis as defense secretary

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WASHINGTON -- President-elect Donald Trump will nominate retired Marine Gen. James Mattis, who led operations across the Middle East, to be secretary of defense.

Mattis, 66, served in the U.S. Marine Corps for more than four decades. Originally from Pullman, Wash., he enlisted in 1969 and went on to serve in Kuwait, Afghanistan and Iraq. He ...Read more

GOP's delayed-repeal Obamacare strategy faces major obstacles

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WASHINGTON -- Republicans are coalescing around a plan to quickly pass next year a delayed repeal of Obamacare to give them two or three years to craft an alternative.

But that plan, designed to create a "cliff" that according to lawmakers and aides would push Congress to get its act together, comes with significant perils.

"We're going to ...Read more