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Tuesday, Dec 11, 2018
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AP Top News at 11:56 p.m. EST

MADISON, Wis. (AP) — A bipartisan group of political figures appealed to Gov. Scott Walker to avoid staining his legacy and behaving like a sore loser by signing legislation that would weaken the powers of the Democrat who defeated him. Rather than notching another partisan victory in his final weeks in office, they said, Walker should think bigger. Think of your recently deceased father, they pleaded. Think of former President George H.W. Bush. Think of Christ. "You can have a long, successful career ahead," longtime Republican and major GOP donor Sheldon Lubar wrote to Walker in a deeply personal email. "Don't stain it by this personal, poor-loser action.SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — To hear a beaming Donald Trump at his June summit with Kim Jong Un in Singapore, the solution to North Korea's headlong pursuit of nuclear weapons, a foreign policy nightmare that has flummoxed U.S. leaders since the early 1990s, was at hand. Since the remarkable claims made during the first-ever meeting of leaders from the archrival nations, however, there have been recriminations, simmering bad blood — and very little progress. In other words, just what skeptics in Seoul and Washington have come to expect from North Korean nuclear diplomacy. So even as Trump says he's keen on another summit, possibly early next year, continuing sanctions and pressure from Washington are met with anger and foot-dragging from Pyongyang, which has bluntly stated that an "improvement of relations and sanctions are incompatible." One of the problems is a matter of wording.NEW YORK (AP) — Police are investigating a phoned bomb threat at a building housing CNN's offices in Manhattan. Police said the threat was received at the Time Warner building at 25 Columbus Circle Thursday night. CNN said several fire alarm bells signaling an evacuation rang inside its newsroom shortly after 10:30 p.m. In a tweet, CNN's Brian Stelter said the office had been evacuated and that CNN was airing taped programming. In October, the building was partially evacuated after a suspicious package containing a crude pipe bomb was delivered to the company.HELENA, Mont. (AP) — An investigation into whether political operatives in North Carolina illegally collected and possibly stole absentee ballots in a still-undecided congressional race has drawn attention to a widespread but little-known political tool called ballot harvesting. It's a practice long used by special-interest groups and both major political parties that is viewed either as a voter service that boosts turnout or a nefarious activity that subjects voters to intimidation and makes elections vulnerable to fraud. The groups rely on data showing which voters requested absentee ballots but have not turned them in. They then go door-to-door and offer to collect and turn in those ballots for the voters — often dozens or hundreds at a time.RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — The Democrat trailing in a North Carolina congressional race withdrew his concession Thursday as state election officials investigated allegations of absentee ballot fraud. Dan McCready's reversal came as a top leader at the state's Republican Party said it would support a new election in the unresolved 9th Congressional District race if an investigation shows that wrongdoing swayed its outcome. Unofficial totals have Republican Mark Harris leading McCready by 905 votes. But the state elections board refused to certify the results last week because of allegations of "irregularities and concerted fraudulent activities" involving mail-in ballots in the district.PHOENIX (AP) — Federal prosecutors on Thursday said they will not seek a third trial for a Border Patrol agent who has been acquitted twice after fatally shooting a Mexican teenager across a border fence. A filing in court shows prosecutors say they will no longer pursue the case against Lonnie Swartz, the agent who killed 16-year-old Jose Antonio Elena Rodriguez in October 2012. "Agent Swartz is relieved and looking forward to moving on with his life without the threat of criminal prosecution hanging over his head," his attorney, Sean Chapman, said in an email to The Associated Press. In April, Swartz was acquitted of second-degree murder, but a jury deadlocked on manslaughter charges.WASHINGTON (AP) — The Environmental Protection Agency acted again Thursday to ease rules on the sagging U.S. coal industry, this time scaling back what would have been a tough control on climate-changing emissions from any new coal plants. The latest Trump administration targeting of legacy Obama administration efforts to slow climate change comes in the wake of multiplying warnings from the agency's scientists and others about the accelerating pace of global warming. In a ceremony Thursday at the agency, acting EPA administrator Andrew Wheeler signed a proposal to dismantle a 2015 rule that any new coal power plants include cutting-edge techniques to capture the carbon dioxide from their smokestacks.WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump is expected to announce he will nominate State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert to be the next U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, officials familiar with the plans said Thursday. Two administration officials confirmed Trump's plans. A Republican congressional aide said the president was expected to announce his decision by tweet on Friday morning. The officials were not authorized to speak publicly before Trump's announcement. Trump has previously said Nauert was under serious consideration to replace Nikki Haley, who announced in October that she would step down at the end of this year. If Nauert is confirmed by the Senate, she would be a leading administration voice on Trump's foreign policy.

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