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Suspect in car attack faces new charge: first-degree murder
CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (AP) - The man accused of driving into a crowd protesting a white nationalist rally in Charlottesville faces a new charge of first-degree murder after a court hearing Thursday in which prosecutors presented surveillance video and other evidence against him. Prosecutors announced at the start of a preliminary hearing for James Alex Fields that they were seeking to upgrade the second-degree murder charge he previously faced in the Aug. 12 collision in Charlottesville that left 32-year-old Heather Heyer dead and dozens injured. The judge agreed to that and ruled there is probable cause for all charges against Fields, including nine lesser felony counts, to proceed.


Dustin Hoffman accused of new incidents of sexual misconduct
LOS ANGELES (AP) - More women are accusing Dustin Hoffman of sexual misconduct, including an incident in which a playwright says the actor exposed himself to her in a New York hotel room when she was 16-years-old. Playwright Cori Thomas described the 1980 incident in a story published Thursday by the trade outlet Variety. She confirmed the story in an email to The Associated Press. Thomas was a classmate of Hoffman's daughter when she says she met the actor, who invited her to his hotel room to wait for her mother after a dinner with the teenagers. Thomas says after Hoffman's daughter left, the actor took a shower and came out wearing only a towel, which she told Variety he dropped, exposing herself to him.


Rubio threat on child tax credit puts bump in GOP tax path
WASHINGTON (AP) - Republican Marco Rubio's potential defection over a tax credit for low-income parents put a speed bump into GOP leaders' drive to push their big tax package through the Senate, but it's a complication that's likely to be resolved. The Florida senator declared Thursday that he'll vote against the $1.5 trillion bill unless House and Senate negotiators expand the tax credit that low-income Americans can claim for their children. That puts the Republicans' razor-thin margin in the Senate closer to the edge. The GOP leaders are straining to muscle the bill through Congress next week, handing President Donald Trump his first major legislative victory by Christmas.


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Poll: Most believe Trump trying to obstruct Russia probe
WASHINGTON (AP) - Most Americans think Donald Trump did something illegal or at least unethical regarding ties between his presidential campaign and Russia - and they think he's trying to obstruct the investigation looking into those possible connections. The deeply divided country is more concerned about health care and the economy than any collusion with the Kremlin, according to a new poll by The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research. But the survey also shows that Americans are unhappy with the way Trump is dealing with the investigations led by Congress and special counsel Robert Mueller. Most people believe Trump is trying to obstruct the investigations, which have resulted in charges against four of his campaign advisers and increasingly appear focused on the president's inner circle.


Workplace romance under spotlight after sex scandals
NEW YORK (AP) - The minefield that co-workers and companies navigate when it comes to love at work has gotten even more complex following the recent flood of sexual misconduct allegations roiling Hollywood, politics and the media. Office relationships that might have flown under the radar - particularly those between boss and subordinate - are getting a new look. And even those who might be looking to ask a co-worker on a date are thinking twice. "People need to think hard before they enter into a workplace romance," said Pennell Locey, a human resources expert at consulting firm Keystone Associates, who knows how complicated love can get in the workplace: She married a co-worker.


AP FACT CHECK: Trump's iffy numbers on regulation
WASHINGTON (AP) - President Donald Trump and his administration are ignoring one side of the ledger when they claim big savings from the federal regulations they've been able to roll back over most of this year. Here's a look at some of Trump's statements about regulations and the economy Thursday and how they compare with the facts: TRUMP: "Instead of adding costs, as so many others have done, and other countries, frankly, are doing in many cases, and it's hurting them, for the first time in decades, we achieved regulatory savings." THE FACTS: There's incomplete accounting behind that claim. Trump and his administration are adding up savings from the regulations that have been withdrawn through September and omitting the economic benefit that those rules provided.


House Speaker Paul Ryan denies reports he may leave Congress
WASHINGTON (AP) - House Speaker Paul Ryan is denying reports that he plans to leave Congress after the Republicans' treasured tax bill is approved. Politico and The Huffington Post published stories speculating that Ryan would make this two-year Congress his last or even resign after lawmakers approve the $1.5 trillion tax bill, which could happen next week. Ryan took the job hesitantly in 2015 after John Boehner, R-Ohio, abruptly stepped aside as speaker under pressure from party conservatives, who remain a formidable and rebellious force. "I'm not, no," said Ryan, R-Wis., when a reporter asked him Thursday if he'd be quitting shortly.


FCC votes along party lines to end 'net neutrality'
The Federal Communications Commission repealed the Obama-era "net neutrality" rules Thursday, giving internet service providers like Verizon, Comcast and AT&T a free hand to slow or block websites and apps as they see fit or charge more for faster speeds. In a straight party-line vote of 3-2, the Republican-controlled FCC junked the longtime principle that said all web traffic must be treated equally. The move represents a radical departure from more than a decade of federal oversight. The big telecommunications companies had lobbied hard to overturn the rules, contending they are heavy-handed and discourage investment in broadband networks. "What is the FCC doing today?" asked FCC chairman Ajit Pai, a Republican.


White House to push merit-based immigration in new campaign
WASHINGTON (AP) - The White House is embarking on a major campaign to turn public opinion against the nation's largely family-based immigration system ahead of an all-out push next year to move toward a more merit-based structure. The administration was laying the groundwork for such a drive even before an Islamic State-inspired extremist who was born in Bangladesh tried to blow himself up in Midtown Manhattan on Monday. It is assembling data to bolster the argument that the current legal immigration system is not only ill-conceived, but dangerous and damaging to U.S. workers. "We believe that data drives policy, and this data will help drive votes for comprehensive immigration reform in Congress," said White House spokesman Hogan Gidley.


Firefighter dies, thousands more take on California blaze
SANTA BARBARA, Calif. (AP) - One of the thousands of firefighters battling a series of wildfires across Southern California has died, but authorities gave no hint of how. San Diego-based Cory Iverson was assigned to the blaze northwest of Los Angeles, which has become the fourth largest in California history. Iverson, 32, was an engineer with a state fire engine strike team. He died Thursday. Dozens of police and fire vehicles escorted a hearse carrying Iverson's flag-draped body to the county medical examiner's office in Ventura. Iverson had been with the state since 2009 and is survived by his pregnant wife and a 2-year-old daughter, said Fire Chief Ken Pimlott of the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection.