National & World News from NPR

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Donald Trump's choice for treasury secretary may be most readily known for the 17 years he spent at Goldman Sachs. But for the last decade, Steve Mnuchin worked in Hollywood financing box office hits like "Avatar" and "X-Men."

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President-elect Donald Trump is delivering on part of a campaign promise to stop in Indiana air conditioning factory from moving to Mexico. The Carrier Company announced last night it's reached a deal with Trump to keep about a thousand jobs in Indianapolis.

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It all started with a report of a mountain lion sighting in a city park. That's when police in Gardner, Kan., decided to install trail cameras — but instead of cougars, the cameras captured scenes of costumed people romping in the park, dressed as gorillas and, in one case, a beer-drinking Santa.

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The federal ethics watchdog isn't the kind of agency that typically airs its positions on Twitter — let alone in a snarky tone, with exclamation points.

But it's been an all-around weird day at the U.S. Office of Government Ethics.

Gavlebocken, we hardly knew ye. Truly.

Every year for Advent, the town of Gavle, Sweden, builds a giant Christmas goat out of straw. And every year, arsonists do their best to bring it down.

This time, despite high-tech cameras and two security guards, the goat didn't even last a full 24 hours.

There's no shortage of speculation about how the incoming Trump administration, whose appointees so far are staunch abortion opponents, might crack down on access to the procedure.

But reproductive rights groups say the big picture is getting lost: Women in large parts of the country already have limited access to abortion, due to hundreds of Republican-backed laws passed by state legislatures over the past half-decade.

An annual study released by the Brazilian government estimates that the rate of deforestation in the Amazon has increased by 29 percent over last year.

That's the second year in a row that deforestation in the Amazon quickened; last year, the pace rose by about 24 percent.

If any image haunts TV news, and perhaps our conscience, it's the seemingly ceaseless river of migrants seeking refuge from war, dictatorship and poverty. These desperate souls inspire pity, fear and election-year arguments about whether to offer them welcome or keep them out.

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Congress has reached a compromise on the Pentagon's effort to claw back millions of dollars in bonuses paid by the California National Guard, agreeing to forgive the debt in cases where soldiers "knew or reasonably should have known" they were ineligible to receive the money.

Tens of thousands of Syrians have fled the rebel-held neighborhoods of eastern Aleppo, as Syrian regime forces make major gains.

Joint replacements. Cardiac care. Chemotherapy.

What do those things have to do with the repeal of the Affordable Care Act?

Well, an often overlooked part of Obamacare is a test kitchen within the Department of Health and Human Services that experiments with new ways for the government to pay for some expensive and frequently used health care services, including those three.

Updated at 5:55 p.m. ET

In eastern Tennessee, deadly wildfires are still burning and authorities say it's still too dangerous for thousands of people to return to their damaged and destroyed homes and businesses.

On Wednesday, authorities in Gatlinburg, Tenn., said the confirmed death toll had grown to seven people, reported The Associated Press. Search and rescue crews from local law enforcement agencies and the National Guard combed through the remains of buildings looking for survivors.

It was in 1974 that William Christenberry found the little red house.

The photographer and painter, a vital chronicler of rural Alabama, came across the building standing alone among the pine trees, deep in the Talladega National Forest. All he had with him was his tiny, no-frills Brownie camera — a long-cherished gift that "Santa brought my sister and me."

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Nancy Pelosi beat back her toughest challenge yet to her leadership of Democrats in the House of Representatives, defeating Ohio Rep. Tim Ryan to secure another term as House minority leader.

The California Democrat got 134 votes to Ryan's 63 in a secret ballot vote on Wednesday. Pelosi had boasted going into the vote that she had support from two-thirds of the caucus, and she received just over that amount.

A police officer in Charlotte, N.C., will not face charges in the shooting death of Keith Lamont Scott.

Scott's death in September unleashed two days of unrest in Charlotte, when protesters took to the streets and in some cases threw objects at police and smashed windows.

R. Andrew Murray, the Mecklenburg County district attorney, said during a news conference Wednesday that he was "entirely convinced" that Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Officer Brentley Vinson "was lawful in using deadly force."

For the first time in eight years, the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries has agreed to cut oil output, ratcheting down production by 1.2 million barrels per day in hopes of stabilizing the global oil market. News of the deal sent oil futures higher Wednesday morning.

With the cut, OPEC's production will drop to 32.5 million barrels a day, effective on Jan. 1, 2017.

In the current issue of the New York Review of Books, David Kaiser and Lee Wasserman, the president and the director of the Rockefeller Family Fund (RFF), respectively, explain why the organization decided to divest its holdings on fossil fuel companies.

Although the divesting decision is broad-ranging, they single out ExxonMobil for its "morally reprehensible conduct."

In a series of tweets Wednesday morning, President-elect Donald Trump tried to tamp down growing concerns that he will not separate his vast global business interests from his role as head of the U.S. government.

Trump is promising to hold a "major news conference" in two weeks to talk about how he's turning his empire over to his children.

The Hassan Sham camp, a sprawling refuge for displaced people east of Mosul, is growing by the day as people flee fighting in the city, which Iraqi forces are trying to wrest from ISIS control.

Among the tents, toilets and food distribution centers, aid workers have set up classrooms in tents. There's a play space where little girls are jumping rope in the chilly sunshine, while hundreds more children sit in class.

They're learning English, Arabic, arithmetic — most for the first time in years.

A nonprofit research group is giving scientists a new way to study the secret lives of human cells.

On Wednesday, the Allen Institute for Cell Science provided access to a collection of living stem cells that have been genetically altered to make internal structures like the nucleus and mitochondria glow.

Severe thunderstorms in the Southeast on Tuesday night and Wednesday morning brought tornadoes, hail and wind damage, killing at least five people, according to the National Weather Service and media reports.

The storms in Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama and Tennessee come during an extreme drought in the region, which has fueled devastating wildfires in Tennessee and other states.

As the storm system was brewing, The Associated Press reported that according to predictions, the rains might help suppress the wildfires but won't be enough to end the drought.

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Good morning. I'm David Greene. An Ohio couple had just gotten married and they were on their way to the reception in downtown Dayton. Short drive, except an accident snarled traffic for two hours. The couple could have cursed the world, but instead...

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