A selection of top photos can be found at: http://bit.ly/APTopPhotos.
NEW & DEVELOPING
— Adds RIGHT-TO-WORK-MICHIGAN, MANNING-WIKILEAKS.
— CAMPAIGN 2012-FINAL COST — Final figures are being released throughout the day.
— APPLE-SAMSUNG TRIAL — Developing from 4:30 p.m. hearing.
— NEIGHBORHOOD WATCH-NBC — George Zimmerman sues NBC and reporters, claiming defamation over edited 911 call
— GUATEMALA-MCAFEE — Software firm founder McAfee denied asylum in Guatemala, then hospitalized for chest pains.
— MORMON CHURCH-GAYS — Mormon church encourages compassion for gays; still opposes same-sex relationships.
— WHALE OF A PROBLEM-GLANCE — Why whales wash up on beaches and how they're disposed of.
— PEOPLE-STEPHEN BALDWIN — Prosecutor says actor Stephen Baldwin owes $350K in NY state taxes; Baldwin pleads not guilty.
CAIRO — Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi offers nothing concrete to defuse the country's worst political crisis in nearly two years in a nationally televised speech, refusing to rescind a disputed constitution drafted by his allies or his decrees giving him near absolute powers. A night after thousands of his supporters and opponents fought pitched battles outside his Cairo palace that left at least six dead and nearly 700 injured, Morsi angrily accuses some of the opposition protesters of serving remnants of the old regime. By Hamza Hendawi and Maggie Michael.
AP photos, video.
— EGYPT-OPPOSITION TESTED — Egypt's latest political crisis is posing a difficult test for the mostly secular opposition: Can it maintain its new-found unity and achieve anything beyond bringing large crowds into the streets to protest?
Driving home in the Syrian capital, Lama Issa inches through a maze of security checkpoints, army tanks and blast walls. As rebels make an intensified challenge in President Bashar Assad's seat of power, the once-bustling and safe city is looking more and more like a Baghdad-style fortress. By Zeina Karam.
— SYRIA — As the West worries that Assad will unleash chemical weapons, Germany decides to send Patriot missile batteries and 400 soldiers to a Turkish border area under NATO command. AP photos.
WASHINGTON — Conservative Sen. Jim DeMint stuns the Senate, announcing he will resign his South Carolina seat to head the Heritage Foundation think tank. The GOP incurred devastating losses in the past election, and DeMint faced losing his high profile as a new generation of Senate conservatives like Rand Paul and Mike Lee increasingly takes the lead of the party's hard-charging right flank. By Donna Cassata.
AP photos, video.
— CAMPAIGN 2012-FINAL COST — Casino owner Adelson aided pro-Romney super PAC with $10 million donation, new tally shows.
FISCAL CLIFF-MEDICARE AGE
WASHINGTON — Americans are living longer, and Republicans want to raise the Medicare eligibility age as part of a deal to reduce the government's huge deficits. But what sounds like a prudent sacrifice to address tight budgets could have some surprising consequences, including higher premiums for people on Medicare. By Ricardo Alonso-Zaldivar.
— FISCAL CLIFF — Obama uses a northern Virginia family as a backdrop in his campaign to raise taxes only on the wealthy as Senate Democrats try to give him more authority to continue borrowing money to finance the government.
SEATTLE — People openly lit joints in Seattle under the Space Needle. The city's police department suggested pizza and the "Lord of the Rings" movies to people looking to "get baked." Outsiders might ask: What, exactly, is going on in Washington state? Marijuana became legal under state law Thursday, prompting celebrations from pot activists who say the war on drugs has failed. But questions remain, including what the federal response might be toward a state openly flouting U.S. law. By Gene Johnson.
AP photos, video.
— LEGALIZING MARIJUANA — Pot-smoking celebrations continue as Washington state waits to see if the federal government will step in. All signs point to no.
— POT THROUGH THE YEARS — The grass is no greener. But finally, it's legal — at least somewhere in America. It's been a long, strange trip for marijuana.
— LEGALIZING MARIJUANA-Q&A.
LANSING, Mich. — Republicans rush right-to-work legislation through the Michigan Legislature, drawing raucous protests from hundreds of union supporters, some of whom are pepper-sprayed by police when they tried to storm the Senate chamber. Should the measure become law, it would give the right-to-work movement its strongest foothold yet in the Rust Belt region, where organized labor already has suffered several body blows. By John Flesher and Jeff Karoub.
JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. — The water wars are raging again in America's heartland, where drought-stricken states are pleading for the increasingly scarce water of the Missouri River — to drink from their faucets, irrigate their crops and float the barges that carry billions of dollars of agricultural products to market. The long-running quarrel pits boaters, fishermen and tourism interests against thirsty communities downstream and companies that rely on the Mississippi River to do business. By David A. Lieb.
MEADE, Md. — The former commander of a Marine Corps brig testifies he had the discretion to maintain tight restrictions on an Army private charged in the WikiLeaks case even after a psychiatrist determined the soldier was no longer a suicide risk. Marine officials have faced several days of questioning about their treatment of Pfc. Bradley Manning when he was confined at a base at Quantico, Va., in 2010 and 2011. Testimony has revealed cracks in the brig command about the decisions to keep Manning in maximum custody and on suicide watch, which could improve his chances of getting a lighter sentence. By David Dishneau.
US ATTORNEY RESIGNS
NEW ORLEANS — New Orleans' corruption-busting federal prosecutor abruptly resigns after two top deputies are caught anonymously criticizing judges and politicians and commenting on cases online. U.S. Attorney Jim Letten, a Republican-appointed holdover who had served since 2001, successfully prosecuted crooked judges, killer police officers, bribe-taking school officials and post-Katrina scam artists. He says he did not know what his deputies were up to. By Michael Kunzelman.
PEARL HARBOR REMAINS
HONOLULU — Ray Emory could not accept that more than one quarter of the 2,400 Americans who died at Pearl Harbor were buried, unidentified, in a volcanic crater. And so he set out to restore names to the dead. Emory, a survivor of the attack, doggedly scoured decades-old documents to piece together who was who. He pushed, and sometimes badgered, the government into relabeling more than 300 gravestones with the ship names of the deceased. And he lobbied for forensic scientists to exhume the skeletons of those who might be identified. On Friday, the 71-year anniversary of the attack, the Navy and National Park Service will honor the 91-year-old former sailor for his determination to have Pearl Harbor remembered, and remembered accurately. By Audrey McAvoy.
— GAY MARRIAGE — The law is signed and the marriage licenses have been picked up but the real celebrations come Sunday, the first day gay couples can get married in Washington.
— MISSING COUSINS-IOWA — Official: Evidence indicates bodies in wildlife area are 2 Iowa cousins; autopsies pending.
NEW YORK — Apple CEO Tim Cook says the company will move production next year of one of its existing lines of Mac computers to the U.S. from China. Industry watchers said the announcement is both a cunning public-relations move and a harbinger of more manufacturing jobs moving back to the U.S. as wages rise in China. By Peter Svensson
— APPLE-SAMSUNG TRIAL — Apple, Samsung renew their epic, $1B patent battle over control of smartphone technology.
MORE ON SYRIA
DUBLIN — Diplomatic efforts to end Syria's civil war move forward with Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton joining Russia's foreign minister and a U.N. peace envoy in an extraordinary three-way meeting that suggests Washington and Moscow may finally unite behind a strategy with the Assad regime weakening. In Washington, Defense Secretary Leon Panetta says intelligence raises fears that President Assad is considering using his chemical weapons arsenal — one issue the U.S. and Russia see eye-to-eye on toward preventing. By Bradley Klapper.
AP EXCLUSIVE: CHINA-NOBEL-HOUSE ARREST
BEIJING — The wife of imprisoned Nobel Peace Prize winner Liu Xiaobo says her experience under house arrest for two years is exacting an emotional toll. In her first interview in 26 months, Liu Xia tells The Associated Press she is escorted to visit her husband in prison almost every month and to go shopping once a week. Other than that she is confined to her Beijing apartment. By Isolda Morillo and Alexa Olesen.
AP photos, video.
GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip — Hamas' exiled supreme leader comes to the Gaza Strip for the first time this weekend on a landmark trip to the sliver of land ruled by his Islamic militant movement. The visit signals growing regional acceptance of Hamas and even grudging acquiescence by Israel after an eight-day battle that ended with a cease-fire between the bitter enemies. By Mohammed Daraghmeh and Karin Laub.
RABAT, Morocco — Five days of riots in Tunisia's impoverished interior wounded hundreds and deepened the rift between the two most powerful forces in this North African country: the moderate Islamist ruling party and the main labor union. A threatened general strike next week could endanger the transition to democracy nearly two years after Tunisians ousted a dictator and kicked off the Arab Spring revolutions. By Paul Schemm.
— NKOREA-ROCKET LAUNCH — US general: North Korea's planned rocket launch intended to demonstrate missile capability.
Fun. helped break up the sound of dance and electronic music on Top 40 radio with its edgy pop-rock grooves. Frank Ocean made a bold statement in R&B with an announcement about his sexuality and with his critically revered, multi-genre album, "channel ORANGE." And Mumford & Sons continued to bring its folk-rock swag and style to the Billboard charts with its sophomore album. They all were rewarded Wednesday when The Recording Academy announced the nominees for the 2013 Grammy Awards. By Music Writer Mesfin Fekadu.
AP photos, video.
ALSO GETTING ATTENTION
— CHIEFS PLAYER-SHOOTING-FUNERAL — Slain girlfriend of Chiefs player Belcher remembered as loyal friend who brought joy to others.
— BRITAIN-ROYAL PREGNANCY — The Duchess of Cambridge leaves a London hospital after being treated for acute morning sickness related to her pregnancy.
— DEAD WHALE-HOW TO — A whale carcass rotting near celebrity homes in Malibu raises the question: Who has to get rid of a 40,000-pound smelly mess and how do you do it?
— PRIVATE SPACE-MOON — A team of former NASA executives is launching a private venture looking for countries willing to pay $1.5 billion for a two-person trip to the moon.
— BRITAIN-CHILD SEX ABUSE — British police arrest a prominent publicist in connection with the investigation into child sex abuse spurred by the Jimmy Savile case.
—US-RUSSIA TRADE — The Senate votes to normalize U.S. trade relations with Russia, but in a way that highlights the discord between the two countries over human rights issues.
— CLIMATE TALKS — Tensions build at U.N. climate talks as rich and poor countries face off over money heading into the final scheduled day of the current conference.
— NATIONAL CHRISTMAS TREE — Obama family lights National Christmas Tree in 90th ceremony at the White House.