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Associated Press
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., smiles during a news conference following two votes on tax cuts during a rare Saturday session of the U.S. Senate on Capitol Hill in Washington Saturday, Dec. 4, 2010.  President Barack Obama said he isn't happy Senate Republicans blocked legislation Saturday that would have extended tax cuts for the middle-class, and that "we need to get this resolved and I'm confident we can do it."(AP Photo/Harry Hamburg)

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Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., smiles during a news conference following two votes on …

President Barack Obama ran into objections from congressional Democrats on Monday to an emerging year-end agreement with Republicans that extends income tax cuts to the wealthy as well as the middle class and grants additional relief to large estates. Other elements of the possible agreement included a cut in workers' Social Security taxes and an extension of unemployment benefits for the long-term jobless.

LONDON (AP) — Julian Assange's lawyer was arranging to deliver the WikiLeaks founder to British police for questioning in a sex-crimes investigation of the man who has angered Washington by spilling thousands of government secrets on the Internet. Lawyer Mark Stephens told reporters in London that the Metropolitan Police had called him to say they had received an arrest warrant from Sweden for Assange. Assange has been staying at an undisclosed location in Britain.

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Supreme Court will consider whether to keep alive the largest job discrimination case in U.S. history, a lawsuit against Wal-Mart that grew from a half-dozen women to a class action that could involve billions of dollars for more than a half million female workers. Wal-Mart is trying to halt the lawsuit, with the backing of many other big companies concerned about rules for class-action cases — those in which people with similar interests increase their leverage by joining in a single claim. Class actions against discount seller Costco and the tobacco industry are among pending claims that the high court's decision might alter.

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — The legal fight over California's gay marriage ban went before a federal appeals court Monday in a hearing that reached a nationwide TV audience anxious for a final decision on whether the measure violates the U.S. Constitution. The hearing before a three-judge panel of the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals also focused on whether supporters of voter-approved Proposition 8 have legal standing to challenge a lower court ruling that the ban was unconstitutional.

WASHINGTON (AP) — Elizabeth Edwards is gravely ill and doctors have told her she only has weeks to live, according to a family friend who is among those who have gathered with Edwards at her North Carolina home. The family issued a statement Monday that said doctors have told her that further treatment for her cancer would be unproductive, and the family friend further described Edwards' condition to The Associated Press.

GENEVA (AP) — Talks between Iran and six world powers recessed Monday with no sign that Tehran was ready to discuss U.N. Security Council calls to curb its nuclear activities that could be harnessed to make weapons, an official at the negotiations said. While the two sides were scheduled to meet in a second session on Tuesday, the description of Monday's meeting by the official gave little reason to presume that Iran would relent and agree to talks specifically addressing the U.N Security Council demands.

CORVALLIS, Ore. (AP) — The plot described by the FBI was horrific: a 19-year-old Somali-born Muslim with a grudge against the West, ready to kill and maim thousands at a busy Portland Christmas tree lighting ceremony. But while the FBI describes Mohamed Osman Mohamud as a would-be terrorist, there were few hints of that hidden life to Mohamud's friends, who knew him as "Mo," a quiet, suburban teen who liked to drink gin and play video games.

BALTIMORE (AP) — This is no ordinary intensive care unit: Every doctor, nurse, friend or loved one must cover their clothes with a bright yellow gown and don purple gloves before entering a patient's room so some scary germs don't hitch a ride in or out. It's part of the University of Maryland Medical Center's crackdown on hospital-spread infections, and Michael Anne Preas patrols the ICU like a cop on the beat to help keep bacteria in check.

EUGENE, Ore. (AP) — An Oregon man has had an Awesome name change. Douglas Allen Smith Jr. says he changed his name to Captain Awesome last month because he was inspired by the nickname of a character on the NBC television show "Chuck" — Dr. Devon "Captain Awesome" Woodcomb.

Auburn quarterback Cam Newton and Oregon running back LaMichael James will meet up in New York before heading to Arizona for next month's national championship game. Newton and James have been announced as finalists for the Heisman Trophy and will be joined by Stanford's Andrew Luck and Kellen Moore of Boise State for Saturday's announcement.

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