In the spirit of the holiday season, President Barack Obama's tax-cut deal with Republicans is becoming a Christmas tree tinseled with gifts for lobbyists and lawmakers. But that hardly stopped the squabbling on Friday, with Bill Clinton even back at the White House pleading the president's case. While Republicans sat back quietly, mostly pleased, Democrats and other liberals were going at each other ever so publicly. As Clinton lectured on Obama's behalf, Vermont independent Bernie Sanders castigated the agreement for the TV cameras in the mostly empty Senate chamber.
NEW YORK (AP) — The chairman of the Senate subcommittee overseeing aviation said Friday he would recommend holding congressional hearings on aircraft registration after The Associated Press reported the Federal Aviation Administration was missing data on one-third of U.S. planes. "We need to find out why, and how it can be brought back to have a registry that has credibility," said North Dakota Sen. Byron Dorgan, a Democrat.
TEHRAN, Iran (AP) — An Iranian woman sentenced to death by stoning for adultery confessed to helping a man kill her husband and re-enacted the alleged crime in an interview broadcast Friday by Iranian state television — an apparent effort by the government to deflect international criticism over the case. It was the fourth time Sakineh Mohammedi Ashtiani has been shown on TV as Tehran has faced an international outcry over the announcement that she would be stoned to death, the latest source of friction between Iran and the West.
MEXICO CITY (AP) — The eccentric leader of the brutal La Familia drug cartel was killed in a shootout during two days of fighting between federal police and gunmen that terrified civilians across a western Mexican state, the government said Friday. The death of Nazario Moreno Gonzalez — nicknamed "The Craziest One" — is a major blow to a drug cartel that rose to national prominence four years ago by rolling severed heads into a nightclub and declaring that its mission was to protect Michoacan state from rival gangs and petty criminals.
SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — Elizabeth Smart waited more than eight years for the word she heard Friday. "Guilty," the court clerk said, after a federal jury deliberated five hours to convict street preacher Brian David Mitchell of snatching Smart from her bed, at knifepoint in the dead of night, and forcing sex on her while he held her captive for nine months.
CANCUN, Mexico (AP) — Nearly 200 environment ministers and other delegates moved late Friday toward wrapping up an annual U.N. climate conference with a package of decisions on modest steps, including a fund to help poorer nations cope with global warming. In a late-night open session, country after country endorsed the latest compromise texts to emerge from two-week-long talks that went virtually nonstop since Thursday, describing them as key to restoring momentum and trust in the U.N. climate negotiations.
JUNEAU, Alaska (AP) — A judge on Friday ruled against Republican Joe Miller's lawsuit challenging how Alaska counted write-in votes for rival Lisa Murkowski in their Senate race, delivering a crushing blow to the tea party-backed candidate's longshot legal fight. Judge William Carey's ruling all but ends Miller's hopes of getting relief in state court. Miller can appeal to the state Supreme Court, and his spokesman said he was mulling the option, but Carey cited past decisions by the high court in his ruling.
LOS ANGELES (AP) — A federal agency reversed itself Friday and said lead-laced Wizard of Oz and superhero drinking glasses are, in fact, for adults — not children's products subject to a previously announced recall. The stunning about-face came after the Consumer Product Safety Commission said last month the glasses were children's products and thus subject to strict federal lead limits.
NEW YORK (AP) — Declassified CIA files reveal that U.S. intelligence officials went to great lengths to protect a Ukrainian fascist leader and suspected Nazi collaborator from prosecution after World War II and set him up in a New York office to wage covert war against the Soviet Union, according to a new report to Congress. Mykola Lebed led an underground movement to undermine the Kremlin and conduct guerrilla operations for the CIA during the Cold War, says the report, prepared by two scholars under the supervision of the National Archives. It was given to Congress on Thursday and posted online.
OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) — Dwyane Wade had 34 points, nine rebounds and seven assists, LeBron James added 25 points, nine assists and seven rebounds and the Miami Heat won their season-best seventh straight game with a 106-84 victory over the cold-shooting Golden State Warriors on Friday night. Miami also established a franchise best with seven consecutive wins by double digits, topping the six in a row by double figures in February 1999.