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This image made from video posted online by militants on Thursday, Dec. 4, 2014, which has been verified and is consistent with other AP reporting, shows Luke Somers, an American photojournalist born in Britain and held hostage by al-Qaida's affiliate in Yemen. The group is threatening to kill Somers, who was kidnapped more than a year ago and has given Washington three days to meet several unspecified demands, a U.S. terrorism monitoring group said Thursday.

U.S. discloses failed attempt to rescue American in Yemen

The United States failed to rescue a U.S. citizen held hostage by al Qaeda's Yemen branch, and the group threatened to kill him in a new video posted on the Internet.

U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder makes a statement about the grand jury decision not to seek an indictment in the Staten Island death of Eric Garner during an arrest in July, in Washington December 3, 2014.

Justice Department finds Cleveland Police use excessive force

The recent shooting of a 12-year-old boy with a toy gun is only one case of excessive force used against civilians in Cleveland according to a Justice Department investigation.

Scores of fast food workers and their supporters calling for a $15 minimum wage fill a McDonalds restaurant in Chelsea, Massachusetts December 4, 2014.

Minimum wage fight hits the streets of 160 U.S. cities

Workers in the fast-food, home care and airline industries are staging protests and strikes to advocate for a $15 minimum wage and other labor rights.

Apple CEO Tim Cook speaks at the WSJD Live conference in Laguna Beach, California October 27, 2014.

Alabama anti-discrimination bill to be named after Apple’s Tim Cook

Apple's Tim Cook is lending his name to legislation to bar discrimination against state employees on the basis of their sexual orientation in his native Alabama.

Same-sex marriage supporters chant outside the Miami-Dade County courthouse following a hearing seeking to strike down the state's de facto ban on gay marriage and order it to recognize same-sex marriage, in Miami, Florida July 2, 2014. Same-sex marriages could begin in Florida in early January after the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit on Wednesday declined to extend a stay issued by a federal judge who struck down the state's ban on gay weddings.

Ruling would permit Florida same-sex marriages in early January

Same-sex marriages could begin in Florida in early January after the appellate court declined to further stay a lower court ruling that overturned the state's ban on gay weddings.

People protest against the Staten Island death of Eric Garner during an arrest in July, at midtown Manhattan in New York December 3, 2014.

Protesters block NY streets after officer cleared in chokehold death

Thousands of demonstrators blocked streets after a grand jury decided not to charge a white police officer for causing the death of an unarmed black man with a chokehold.

FILE - Demonstrators march to protest the death of Eric Garner, Saturday, Aug. 23, 2014, in the Staten Island borough of New York. Amid the fallout from a grand jury's decision in the fatal police shooting of Michael Brown in Missouri, a panel in New York City is quietly nearing its own conclusion about another combustible case involving the death of an unarmed man at the hands of police.

NYC grand jury does not indict police officer in chokehold killing

A New York grand jury will not charge a police officer who killed an unarmed black man with a chokehold while trying to arrest him.

Teacher

U.S. teacher stabbed to death in Abu Dhabi

UAE police seek suspect involved in the stabbing death of an American teacher in an Abu Dhabi shopping mall bathroom.

A woman holds a sign with images of Eric Garner and Michael Brown, among others, as protesters begin to rally in New York, November 24, 2014, after the grand jury reached a decision in the death of 18-year-old Brown in Ferguson, Missouri.

Protests expected as grand jury mulls police choke-hold death

New York officials prepare for protests as a grand jury decides whether to charge police in the death of a black man subjected to a banned choke hold.

(L-R) U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi and Iraqi Foreign Minister Ibrahim al-Jaafari speak during a meeting prior to a round table session with the global coalition to counter the Islamic State militant group at the NATO headquarters in Brussels.

U.S.-led coalition has weakened Islamic State

The U.S.-led coalition has carried out around 1,000 air strikes so far in Iraq and Syria, but the fight against the militants could last years.

U.S. Deputy Secretary of Defense Ashton Carter adjusts his glasses during his meeting with Japanese Senior Vice Defence Minister Shu Watanabe in Tokyo July 20, 2012.

Obama settles on Ashton Carter as Pentagon chief

Administration sources said that Obama has settled on the 60-year-old Ashton Carter as his fourth defense secretary.

U.S. House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) (L) arrives for a House Republican caucus meeting at the U.S. Capitol in Washington December 2, 2014.

John Boehner urged Republicans to avoid spending fight on immigration

Speaker John Boehner urged fellow Republicans to pass a long-term government spending bill next week, avoiding a government shutdown.

Dodge Ram pickup trucks are lined up for sale at Bill DeLuca's dealerships in Haverhill, Mass., Wednesday, Oct. 1, 2014. Chrysler Group says its U.S. sales rose 19 percent in September thanks to strong demand for the new Jeep Cherokee SUV and the Ram pickup.

Chrysler U.S. November auto sales up 20 percent

Auto sales easily beat expectations this November, thanks to a strong Black Friday.

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry (L) meets with NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg at the start of a NATO foreign ministers meeting in Brussels, December 2, 2014.

U.S. to discuss possible new Russia sanctions with allies

John Kerry will talk to European allies about imposing further sanctions on Russia if pro-Moscow separatists do not halt violence.

islamicstate

Military warned of possible ISIS attacks at home

U.S. officials have warned military personnel that Islamic State forces may be planning attacks against them.

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Study: Too many infants still sleep with blankets

Researchers are reiterating warnings about blankets in babies' cribs.

congress

Congress crams unfinished agenda into final days

Lame-duck lawmakers are returning to Washington where they face a stacked agenda and not much time to get it all done.

xmastree

Christmas tree arrives at White House

Two horses pulled the nearly 20-foot fir tree to the front door of the White House.

cybermonday

Shoppers head online for Cyber Monday

The Monday after Thanksgiving has been the biggest online shopping day of the year since 2010.

shopping

Black Friday sales fall on early discounts, online shoppers

Early holiday sales and rising online shopping took a toll as shoppers spent 6.4 percent less than last year.

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Jobless claims signal firmer labor market

Job seekers adjust their paperwork as they wait in line to attend a job fair in New York February 28, 2013.

The number of Americans filing new claims for unemployment benefits unexpectedly fell last week, suggesting the labor market continued to strengthen.