A viral video of a North Texas teenager surprising her boyfriend with a car for Christmas has prompted a wave of racist comments, tainting the heartfelt gesture with hate. "Many people were saying I was destroying my lineage," said Madison Duke, who is white. "Every racist comment you could think of, it was there." The 16-year-old has been dating Christian Hunter, 17, for 11 months. Hunter is black.
Minnesota Gov. Mark Dayton appointed Lt. Gov. Tina Smith on Wednesday to fill fellow Democrat Al Franken's Senate seat until a special election in November, setting up his longtime and trusted adviser for a potentially bruising 2018 special election.
Smith was widely seen as Dayton's top choice from the moment Franken announced his resignation last week. But her previous decision not to run for governor had raised questions about her appetite for a closely watched and expensive Senate campaign.
J. Scott Applewhite/AP, File
A former staffer for Sen. Chuck Schumer said a draft of a sexual harassment lawsuit naming the Senate minority leader and purporting that she was the accuser is "completely false." Schumer also described the documents and allegations against him as a "phony" smear.
A central New York family is campaigning for their carefully crafted recreation of the house from "A Christmas Story" to become an official Lego set.
NBC affiliate WSTM-TV in Syracuse reports Jason Middaugh's small family project to recreate the house from the classic holiday film turned into a six-month undertaking. Middaugh says he and his family, who live in Marcellus, scoured the internet to find the 2,000 pieces needed to construct the home.
The Middaugh family included the character Ralphie in a bunny suit, a shipping container with a "fragile" sign and the notorious leg lamp.
AP Photo/Jonathan Bachman
Rarely has a sitting president rallied behind such a scandal-plagued candidate the way Donald Trump did with Alabama Senate candidate Roy Moore. And rarely has that bet appeared to fail so spectacularly.
Moore's projected defeat Tuesday in Alabama — Jones was up two percent with 99 percent of the vote tallied in as stalwart a Republican state as they come — left Trump unusually conciliatory and his political allies shell-shocked. Trump had dug in on his support for Moore after a wave of allegations about the former judge's alleged sexual misconduct with teenagers when he was in his 30s, becoming one of the candidate's most ardent national supporters in the race's closing days.
Now, out of the wreckage of Moore's projected defeat to Democrat Doug Jones, Trump faces mounting questions about the limits of his own political capital.
One of President Donald Trump's nominees for federal judge has been withdrawn, the first failed judicial pick for the Republican president.
White House officials said Wednesday the nomination of Brett Talley, who has never argued a case in court and was rated "unanimously unqualified" by the American Bar Association, was withdrawn. The selection had faced criticism from Sen. Chuck Grassley of Iowa, the Republican chairman of the Judiciary Committee.
A sea otter pup known as "805" has been taken in by the Oregon Zoo after being orphaned off the California coast.
Lindsey Jarrous/NBC 7 San Diego
With red-hot embers raining down on homes and rows of palm trees ablaze, San Diego fire crews set out to protect houses caught in the middle of the Lilac Fire – with one firefighter leaving behind a nice note for a couple whose home was damaged, but saved.
A cancer researcher flying from Texas to New York City told NBC News she was booted off her plane on Friday after breastfeeding her cranky son so he wouldn’t cry on the three-hour flight.
The woman, who asked to only be identified as Dr. Rui for privacy reasons — but who is an accomplished researcher and pianist, according to The Washington Post — said she and her son were forced off the Spirit Airlines plane after she asked flight attendants to give her a little extra time to finish feeding her 2-year-old and transfer him to his seat without waking him up.
“I think they had an issue with either nursing or something,” she said. “I don’t know.”
When President Donald Trump tweeted that Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand had begged him for campaign contributions and would "do anything" for them, the New York Democrat interpreted it as a reference to sex, she said Wednesday on the "Today" show, pushing back against the White House's explanation of the tweet.
And Gillibrand said that the results of Tuesday's Alabama Senate election showed that Trump, whom she called a bully, doesn't share most Americans' values. Democrat Doug Jones was the projected winner of the vote in deeply Republican Alabama over Roy Moore, who received Trump's support despite allegations of sexual misconduct against him.
"I think this was an election about what we feel and our values and what we care about, and I think President Trump is wrong," Gillibrand said in an interview on the "Today" show.
The Federal Reserve is raising its key interest rate for the third time this year and foresees three additional hikes in 2018, a vote of confidence that the U.S. economy remains on solid footing 8½ years after the end of the Great Recession.
The Fed said Wednesday that it's lifting its short-term rate by a modest quarter-point to a still-low range of 1.25 percent to 1.5 percent. It is also continuing to slowly shrink its bond portfolio. Together, the two steps could lead over time to higher loan rates for consumers and businesses and slightly better returns for savers.
Confident congressional Republicans forged an agreement Wednesday on a major overhaul of the nation's tax laws that would provide generous tax cuts for corporations and the wealthiest Americans — Donald Trump among them — and deliver the first major legislative accomplishment to the GOP president.
Middle- and low-income families would get smaller tax cuts, though Trump and GOP leaders have billed the package as a huge benefit for the middle class. The measure would scrap a major tax requirement of Barack Obama's Affordable Care Act, a step toward the ultimate GOP goal of unraveling the law.
Juan Carlos Casado via NASA
Nighttime sky-watchers willing to brave the cold can look forward to a spectacular display of shooting stars Wednesday night.
The Geminid meteor shower, which returns every December, is widely regarded as the most impressive of the year, according to a NASA news release.
"With August's Perseids obscured by bright moonlight, the Geminids will be the best shower this year," said Bill Cooke with NASA's meteoroid environment office. "The thin, waning crescent moon won't spoil the show."
Breaking with years of courting the U.S., Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas called Wednesday for the United Nations to replace Washington as a Mideast mediator and suggested he might not cooperate with the Trump administration's much-anticipated effort to hammer out an Israeli-Palestinian peace deal.
At a summit in Turkey, Arab and Muslim leaders "rejected and condemned" President Donald Trump's recognition of Jerusalem as Israel's capital — the trigger for Abbas' sharp policy pivot — but stopped short of backing his more combative approach toward Washington.
President Donald Trump tweeted that Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand would “do anything” for campaign contributions on Tuesday, Dec. 12. Later in the day, White House press secretary Sarah Sanders said...