AP Top News at 5:50 p.m. EDT

President Barack Obama answers a question during a news conference in the East Room of the White House in Washington, Wednesday, Nov. 3, 2010.  (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak)
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President Barack Obama answers a question during a news conference in the East Room of the White House in Washington, Wednesday, Nov. 3, 2010.

A chastened President Barack Obama signaled a new willingness to yield to Republican demands on tax cuts and jettisoned a key energy priority on Wednesday, less than 24 hours after he and fellow Democrats absorbed election losses so severe he called them a shellacking. But he bluntly swept aside any talk of repeal of his signature health care law — right after the House Speaker-in-waiting, Rep. John Boehner of Ohio, vowed Republicans would do everything they could to wipe the legislation off the books.

DENVER (AP) — Sen. Michael Bennet narrowly defeated tea party Republican Ken Buck on Wednesday, allowing Democrats to hold onto a Senate seat once viewed a prime opportunity for the GOP to make gains. Bennet provided a crucial firewall against further Republican gains in the Senate during midterm elections in which the GOP made a historic surge. Many polls showed that Buck had a small lead heading into the election.

WASHINGTON (AP) — Fervent tea party Republicans are headed to Congress carrying ambitious promises to overhaul taxes, spending and health care, with activists pressuring them to buck their own party if necessary to achieve their goals. "They are not in a mood for compromise," said Tea Party Patriots co-founder Mark Meckler. The activists promised to keep up the pressure on their favored lawmakers to fight a Washington establishment they say is broken and doesn't work for the best interests of the American people. That could make trouble for congressional leaders who need compromise and dealmaking to get any work done.

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Federal Reserve announced a bold plan Wednesday to try to invigorate the economy by buying $600 billion more in Treasury bonds. The Fed said it would buy about $75 billion a month in long-term government bonds through the middle of 2011 to further drive down interest rates on mortgages and other debt. This is in addition to an expected $250 billion to $300 billion in Fed purchases over the same period from reinvesting proceeds from its mortgage portfolio.

MOUNT MERAPI, Indonesia (AP) — Searing gas and molten lava poured from Indonesia's deadly volcano Wednesday in an explosion three times as powerful as last week's devastating blast, chasing people from villages and emergency shelters along its slopes. After more than a week of continual eruptions, and warnings that pressure inside Mount Merapi may still be building, the province warned it was running out of money to help more than 70,000 people forced from their homes.

WASHINGTON (AP) — Sarah Palin's scorecard? More than three dozen of the Republicans she supported won seats in Congress to challenge President Barack Obama and possibly smooth a presidential run by their benefactor. Yet big losses in Delaware and Nevada may have cost the Republican Party crucial seats in the Senate. Palin earned high-wattage allies in early nominating states of Iowa, New Hampshire and South Carolina should she seek the White House in two years. The 2008 Republican vice presidential nominee backed winning candidates from Washington state to Florida, but her political heft went to like-minded conservatives in states that could prove critical to a presidential campaign.

BAGHDAD (AP) — Al-Qaida's front group in Iraq has threatened more attacks on Christians after a siege on a Baghdad church that left 58 people dead, linking the warning to claims that Egypt's Coptic Church is holding women captive for converting to Islam. The Islamic State of Iraq, which has claimed responsibility for Sunday's assault on a Catholic church during Mass in downtown Baghdad, said its deadline for Egypt's Copts to release the women had expired and its fighters would attack Christians wherever they can be reached.

MADRID (AP) — A Romanian Gypsy woman whose 10-year-old daughter just gave birth in Spain says she's delighted to have a new granddaughter and doesn't understand why the birth has shocked anyone — let alone become an international sensation. Spanish authorities have released few details about the case to protect the girl's privacy.

NEW YORK (AP) — Taylor Swift fans have spoken — more than a million times. The country-pop superstar sold more than 1 million copies of her new album "Speak Now" to debut at the top of the Billboard album chart this week. Billboard.com said Wednesday that it's the biggest debut since 50 Cent's "The Massacre" five years ago. "I... Can't... Believe... This... You guys have absolutely lit up my world. Thank you," Swift tweeted Wednesday morning.

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Tens of thousands of baseball fans flocked to downtown Wednesday to toast the San Francisco Giants' World Series championship and see their hometown heroes take a victory lap in a ticker-tape parade reminiscent of the one held when the team moved west from New York 52 years ago. "This is Christmas, New Year's and your first-born all rolled into one," said Steve Williams, 51, an usher at AT&T Park as he gathered with Giants employees at the start of the parade in the financial district. "I'm on cloud nine."