AP Top News at 2:15 p.m. EST

Associated Press
President Barack Obama holds a meeting with the President's Export Council, Thursday, Dec. 9, 2010, in the Executive Office Building, on the White House campus in Washington. From left are,  Commerce Secretary Gary Locke, Boeing Chairman, President and CEO Jim McNerney, Jr., the president, Xerox CEO Ursula Burns, and White House Senior Adviser Valerie Jarrett. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)
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President Barack Obama said he expects disgruntled Democrats to make changes to the sweeping tax-cut deal he cut with Republican leaders, a pact he predicted will win congressional approval. Democrats have objected to the deal on grounds it is too generous to the rich, especially its provisions cutting estate taxes for the wealthiest Americans. House Democrats voted in a closed-door meeting Thursday not to allow the package to reach the floor for a vote without changes.

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — A federal jury found a rambling street preacher guilty Friday of the 2002 kidnapping of Elizabeth Smart in a case that has tugged at hearts around the nation ever since the Utah teenager was snatched from her bedroom and resurfaced nine months later. Brian David Mitchell could face up to life in prison when he is sentenced on May 25.

OSLO, Norway (AP) — With his Nobel Peace Prize diploma and medal placed in his empty chair, imprisoned Chinese dissident Liu Xiaobo was given a standing ovation at the award ceremony Friday as dignitaries demanded his release. It was the first time in 74 years the prestigious $1.4 million award was not handed over, because Liu is serving an 11-year sentence in China on subversion charges for urging sweeping changes to Beijing's one-party communist political system.

NEW YORK (AP) — The Federal Aviation Administration is missing key information on who owns one-third of the 357,000 private and commercial aircraft in the U.S. — a gap the agency fears could be exploited by terrorists and drug traffickers. The records are in such disarray that the FAA says it is worried that criminals could buy planes without the government's knowledge, or use the registration numbers of other aircraft to evade new computer systems designed to track suspicious flights. It has ordered all aircraft owners to re-register their planes in an effort to clean up its files.

LONDON (AP) — British officials defended the country's security establishment Friday after rampaging student protesters attacked a car carrying the Prince of Wales and Duchess of Cornwall. The chief of the Metropolitan Police pledged to launch a full and detailed investigation into the incident, which saw protesters set upon the heir to the throne's Rolls Royce as it drove through London's busy West End Thursday night. A group of up to 20 protesters, some chanting "off with their heads!" smashed a rear window and splashed white paint on the vehicle. Charles and Camilla were visibly shaken, but unharmed.

CANCUN, Mexico (AP) — Exhausted climate negotiators labored nonstop through the night and into their final day Friday, bargaining intensely over draft accords and seeking small, but essential steps to stem global warming. If successful, the two-week Cancun meeting will create a fund of $100 billion a year for developing countries threatened by altered weather patterns, and give them the technology to leapfrog old petroleum-based economic development in favor of clean energy.

TEHRAN, Iran (AP) — Iran's state TV said it will air new footage Friday in which an Iranian woman sentenced to death by stoning for adultery re-enacts the alleged murder of her husband, the latest state-orchestrated broadcast in a case that has raised an international outcry. The planned broadcast on English-language Press TV is an apparent attempt to deflect international criticism over the adultery sentence by bolstering Iran's claim that Sakineh Mohammedi Ashtiani also was involved in murder. But there has been considerable murkiness over the charge.

SEATTLE (AP) — Diego was a model passenger, sitting quietly with seat belt buckled, never fidgeting. But it was the huge, unblinking eyes that made a Washington state trooper suspicious. The state patrol says troopers were stationed Nov. 29 along an Interstate 405 onramp, pulling over people who were driving in the high occupancy lane with only one person in the car. That's when the odd "passenger" drew one trooper's notice.

NEW YORK (AP) — Michael Jackson spent the last two years of his life plotting his musical comeback. Besides a spectacular, record-breaking concert series planned for London, he was also tapping the hottest producers and biggest names for an album he hoped would help restore the luster to his spectacular yet troubled career. "He wanted to give the world a gift. He didn't want the world to depend on 'Thriller,' or 'Bad' or 'Off the Wall,'" said Theron "Neff-U" Feemster, one of the last producers to work with Jackson. "He wanted to give them something new and fresh, and something they could hold and remember forever."

NAIROBI, Kenya (AP) — Martina Navratilova had to turn back while climbing Africa's highest peak after feeling unwell, the sports charity she was climbing for said Friday. The 54-year-old tennis legend was assisted down Mount Kilimanjaro by porters and driven to the Kilimanjaro Christian Medical Centre for assessment. The 27-person climbing team Navratilova was in has faced heavy snows and mist since beginning the climb up the 19,340-foot (5,895-meter) mountain Monday.

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