AP Top News at 12:36 p.m. EST
(Associated Press Via Acquire Media NewsEdge) Egypt's army moves to restore order after protestsCAIRO (AP) _ The Egyptian army sealed off the presidential palace with barbed wire and armored vehicles Thursday as protesters defied a deadline to vacate the area, pressing forward with demands that Islamist leader Mohammed Morsi rescind decrees giving himself near-absolute power and withdraw a disputed draft constitution. Inside the palace gates, Morsi met with members of his Cabinet and military leaders to discuss the expanding crisis after fierce street battles in an upscale residential suburb of Cairo killed five people and left more than 600 injured in the worst outbreak of violence between the two sides since the Islamist leader's election.
US Sen. DeMint resigns to head conservative groupCOLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) _ Republican U.S. Sen. Jim DeMint, a favorite among tea party activists who has backed challenges to centrist veterans he didn't view as conservative enough, said Thursday he was resigning to take the helm of a conservative think tank. The South Carolina lawmaker said in a statement he was stepping down to become president of the Heritage Foundation. His office said he would take the new job effective Jan. 1.
McAfee denied asylum; expected in BelizeGUATEMALA CITY (AP) _ A lawyer for software company founder John McAfee says he has been denied political asylum in Guatemala, paving the way for his deportation to Belize. Police in Belize, where McAfee is sought for questioning in connection with the killing of a fellow U.S. expatriate, say they expect him to be returned shortly.
Homeless man charged in NY subway rider's deathNEW YORK (AP) _ While New York City straphangers pondered what they would do in a similar nightmare situation, authorities charged a homeless man in the death of a Queens resident pushed in front of an oncoming subway train and killed as onlookers watched. "I would certainly try to do whatever I possibly could," said Denise Martorana, 34, as she waited for the "A" train at Penn Station on Wednesday evening.
Pregnant Kate discharged from London hospitalLONDON (AP) _ The Duchess of Cambridge left a London hospital Thursday after being treated for acute morning sickness related to her pregnancy. Clutching a small bouquet of yellow roses, the former Kate Middleton smiled and posed briefly for a photograph alongside her husband, Prince William, before leaving King Edward VII Hospital. She stepped delicately into a waiting car.
Syria criticizes NATO move on Patriot missilesBEIRUT (AP) _ Syria sharply criticized NATO's move to deploy Patriot missiles along its border with Turkey, calling the decision "provocative," as the West took a major step toward a possible military role in the civil war. After getting Cabinet approval, German Defense Minister Thomas de Maiziere told reporters that two German Patriot batteries with a total of 400 soldiers would be sent to the border area under NATO command for one year, although the deployment could be shortened.
How far over the 'fiscal cliff' could they go WASHINGTON (AP) _ The dealmakers who warn that a year-end plunge off the "fiscal cliff" would be disastrous don't seem to be rushing to stop it. Why aren't they panicking For one thing, the Dec. 31 deadline is more flexible than it sounds. Like all skilled procrastinators, from kids putting off homework to taxpayers who file late, Washington negotiators know they can finagle more time if they need it.
US unemployment aid applications drop to 370KWASHINGTON (AP) _ The number of people seeking U.S. unemployment aid fell sharply last week as a temporary spike caused by Superstorm Sandy has faded. Weekly applications have fallen back to a level consistent with modest hiring. The Labor Department said Thursday that applications dropped 25,000 last week to a seasonally adjusted 370,000.
AP Exclusive: Detained China Nobel wife speaks outBEIJING (AP) _ Stunned that reporters were able to visit her, Liu Xia trembled uncontrollably and cried Thursday as she described how absurd and emotionally draining her confinement under house arrest has been in the two years since her jailed activist husband, Liu Xiaobo, was named a Nobel Peace laureate. In her first interview in 26 months, Liu Xia spoke briefly with journalists from The Associated Press who managed to visit her apartment while the guards who watch it apparently stepped away for lunch. Her voice shook and she was breathless from disbelief at receiving unexpected visitors.
As pot goes proper, a history of weedSEATTLE (AP) _ The grass is no greener. But, finally, it's legal _ at least somewhere in America. It's been a long, strange trip for marijuana. Washington state and Colorado voted to legalize and regulate its recreational use last month. But before that, the plant, renowned since ancient times for its strong fibers, medical use and mind-altering properties, was a staple crop of the colonies, an "assassin of youth," a counterculture emblem and a widely accepted _ if often abused _ medicine.
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