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Updated at 3:45 p.m. ET

For the third time this year and the fifth time since the financial crisis, the Federal Reserve has increased interest rates another quarter of a point.

This has been tough year for America's west coast vineyards. Wildfires in October in Northern California and this month in Southern California have left acres of wine country scorched and black. While California's 2017 grapes have been safely harvested already, winemakers around the world are wary about a threat that is growing along with the frequency of wildfires: smoke taint.

Updated at 7:29 p.m. ET

In making his "closing argument" for tax legislation expected to get a vote in Congress next week, President Trump announced that the changes would take effect early next year.

Updated at 7:18 p.m. ET

President Trump said thank you Wednesday evening to Omarosa Manigault Newman, the former Apprentice and Celebrity Apprentice contestant turned White House aide, who is stepping down from her post.

"I wish you continued success," Trump posted on Twitter.

The nomination of Brett Talley, the Justice Department official in line for a lifetime judicial appointment, "will not be moving forward," a Trump administration official told NPR on Wednesday.

Talley had been rated "unanimously unqualified" for the post by the American Bar Association this year after an evaluation that questioned his experience. Talley had never argued a case, or even a motion, in federal court, he testified.

Updated at 11:50 a.m. ET

Minnesota Lt. Gov. Tina Smith has been appointed to fill the U.S. Senate seat left vacant by Al Franken's upcoming resignation.

Smith, a Democrat, will serve until January 2019. She also plans to run in a special election next year to serve out the entirety of Franken's term, which ends in 2020, according to a source who spoke to Minnesota Public Radio.

Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas says his people no longer want the U.S. involved in brokering any Israeli-Palestinian peace agreement, after President Trump decided to recognize Jerusalem as Israel's capital last week.

Abbas called Trump's actions a crime and said he'll appeal to the United Nations.

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I always get excited putting together Goats and Soda's list of most-read stories of the year. To me, it reveals a lot about how our audience feels about the world — What did you find surprising? Share-worthy? Illuminating?

You loved the stories that got you woke: how to ethically take selfies while volunteering abroad; how the Western media visually portrays women and girls in the developing world.

Nina Simone, Bon Jovi, The Moody Blues, The Cars and Dire Straits — along with guitar pioneer Sister Rosetta Tharpe, with an award for early influence — have been named as next year's inductees to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland.

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RACHEL MARTIN, BYLINE: Yeah, so one of the themes of Republican Roy Moore's campaign has been that he's never going to stop fighting, right? He's said that time and again. Now he says he is not going to concede.

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Pat DiNizio, a singer and songwriter who made popular rock songs as the leader of The Smithereens, died on Tuesday at age 62, his fellow band members say. No cause of death was provided.

Right Won Over Wrong In Alabama, Perez Says

Dec 13, 2017

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STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Alabama's election result caught even the winner, Democrat Doug Jones, off guard.

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DOUG JONES: I got to tell you...

(CHEERING)

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DAVID GREENE, HOST:

Good morning. I'm David Greene. Not a great time for Philadelphia Eagles fans. You were dominating this season, but now you've lost your quarterback to injury. This may cheer you up. It's your fight song.

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Secretary of State Rex Tillerson is ready to talk about talking to North Korea.

"We're ready to talk anytime North Korea would like to talk. And we're ready to have the first meeting without precondition," he said, in remarks Tuesday at the Atlantic Council, a think tank in Washington, D.C.

A 10-year-old boy at a school in Okinawa was slightly injured when a transport helicopter from a nearby U.S. Marine Corps base lost a window as it flew overhead.

A statement from U.S. Forces, Japan, confirmed that a window from a CH-53E helicopter "fell onto the sports field of Daini Futenma Elementary School outside of Marine Corps Air Station Futenma. The aircraft immediately returned to MCAS Futenma and reported the incident."

The chief executives of 59 private colleges and seven public universities took home more than $1 million in total compensation in 2015, according to an analysis released this week by The Chronicle of Higher Education.

Updated at 10:55 p.m. ET

The fire that has been raging for 10 days in southern California – one of the largest and most destructive in the state's history — is being gradually contained, firefighters say, but there's still a long way to go.

A court in India has sentenced six people to death for the brutal killing of a man belonging the country's Dalit caste, formerly known as "untouchables," after he married a woman of a higher caste. The bride's father was among those convicted for his role in masterminding the attack.

The case stems from a March 2016 attack on 22-year-old Sankar, who was hacked to death by a gang of knife-wielding men outside a shopping mall in Udumalpet, a rural town in India's southern state of Tamil Nadu. His wife, Kausalya, was severely wounded in the assault but survived.

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