Drew Angerer/Getty Images, File
The tax overhaul of 2017 amounts to a high-stakes gamble by Republicans in Congress: That slashing taxes for corporations and wealthy individuals will accelerate growth and assure greater prosperity for Americans for years to come.
The risks are considerable.
A wide range of economists and nonpartisan analysts have warned that the bill will likely escalate federal debt, intensify pressure to cut spending on social programs and further widen America's troubling income inequality.
AP Photo/Andrew Harnik, File
Special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation into Russian contacts with President Donald Trump's campaign has gained access to thousands of emails sent and received by Trump officials before the start of his administration, according to several people familiar with Trump's transition organization.
But the investigators did not directly request the records from Trump's still-existing transition group, Trump for America, and instead obtained them from the General Services Administration, a separate federal agency that stored the material, according to those familiar with the Trump transition organization.
The tens of thousands of emails in question pertain to 13 senior Trump transition officials.
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MSNBC host Chris Matthews was accused of inappropriate jokes and comments about a female employee in 1999 and the woman was paid separation compensation, a spokesperson for the cable network confirmed Saturday.
"In 1999 this matter was thoroughly reviewed and dealt with. At that time Matthews received a formal reprimand," the MSNBC spokesperson said in an email to NBC News Saturday.
The Daily Caller, citing two sources familiar with the situation, first reported the news of the payment which it said was made by Matthews to settle with what it said was an assistant producer on his show "Hardball with Chris Matthews" in 1999.
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For two months now, as accusations of sexual misconduct have piled up against Harvey Weinstein, the disgraced mogul has responded over and over again: "Any allegations of nonconsensual sex are unequivocally denied."
Consent is a concept central to law on sexual assault, and will likely be an issue in potential legal cases against Weinstein, who is under investigation by police in four cities, and others accused in the current so-called "reckoning."
But the definition is a matter of intense debate: Is it a definite "yes," or the mere absence of "no"? Can it be revoked? Do power dynamics come into play? And legally, the definition varies state by state.
Amanda Plasencia/NBC 6
Henriette Siebenberg, an 85-year-old Holocaust survivor, is a thrill-seeking grandmother who proves that age is just a number and fear –even of heights– is an illusion.
To celebrate her grandson Schmuel Eisenmann's 18th birthday, Siebenberg joined him for a daring jump out of an airplane.
"I turned to my grandma and said, 'Can you come with me,' and she said, 'Why not?'" Eisenmann said. "Going with my grandma – it meant so much to me because she’s one of the most positive people I’ve ever met in my life. A lot of that has to do with the fact that she was in the Holocaust.”
The Senate and House have an agreement upon new tax legislation. AP Reporter Stephen Ohlemacher looks at some of the key takeaways.
Courtesy: Elizabath Ngo
A dying man's wish to see the new "Star Wars" movie came true, thanks to local fire departments and medics.
Ron Villemaire has stage four colon cancer and is in hospice care in Bedford, New Hampshire, his daughter, Elizabeth Ngo, said Friday. He's a huge "Star Wars" fan, but can't get to a theater and sit in a seat.
After a public plea from Ngo, the Bedford and New Boston fire departments made it happen Saturday. They took him by ambulance to a theater and transferred him to a hospital bed, allowing him to see the film comfortably. Medics were on hand while he watched "Star Wars: The Last Jedi."
NASA via AP
A recycled SpaceX capsule is back at the International Space Station, just in time for Christmas.
NASA astronauts used the space station's big robot arm to grab the Dragon capsule out of orbit Sunday. It's the second visit for this particular supply ship, which made a delivery for NASA back in 2015 as well, and only the second time a Dragon has had a repeat performance 250 miles up.
"It's a great day to see Dragon back at ISS again," Mission Control radioed.
When it comes to Christmas decorations, one Alpine, California, resident's philosophy is simple: The more the merrier.
Fifteen years ago, Rhonda Lamar began collecting holiday decorations. Her seasonal stockpile grows more extensive each year, from festive figurines, garlands and trimmings to her prized possessions: 23 Christmas trees.
Lamar now sets up nearly two dozen Christmas trees throughout her home, all of them inspired by different themes, from gingerbread to apple pie.
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After years of playing what internet service providers have likened to "regulatory ping-pong" with net neutrality rules, the game is still far from finished, NBC News reported.
The attorneys general of New York and Washington state have already announced they plan to sue. However, it's likely that Congress may hold the key to ending the expensive and time-consuming back-and-forth over net neutrality.
"That is the only way you are going to have sustainable net neutrality," Roslyn Layton, a visiting scholar at the American Enterprise Institute, told NBC News.
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The Trump administration reportedly banned staff of the nation's top health protection agency from using seven words or phrases in budget-related documents. But federal health officials on Saturday pushed back on the report as members of the science community publicly denounced the idea of such a directive, NBC News reported.
Policy analysts with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention were told during a meeting Thursday that they couldn't use the words "vulnerable," "entitlement," "diversity," "transgender," "fetus," "evidence-based" and "science-based," The Washington Post reported Friday.
The meeting was led by Alison Kelly, a senior leader in the agency's Office of Financial Services, The Post reported. She gave no reason for the ban, according to an anonymous analyst who spoke with the newspaper.
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A calendar quirk this year and Amazon's seven-days-a-week delivery capability are building pressure on retailers to deliver.
With Christmas on a Monday, most retailers have one less day to get packages delivered on time. Some are pushing up their deadlines for standard delivery or free shipping. And after promoting the convenience of buying online with store pickup, retailers are also trying to satisfy lots of customers coming in to collect their orders.
It's especially important for retailers to hit the mark after some missteps earlier in the season, and because online leader Amazon has the advantage of delivering on Sundays.
AP Photo/Rick Bowmer
Maame Biney became the first black woman to qualify for a U.S. Olympic speedskating team with a pair of victories in the 500 meters.
The 17-year-old native of Ghana cruised to victory in the first 500 final at the short track trials on Saturday, beating Olympians Lana Gehring, Jessica Kooreman and Katherine Reutter-Adamek.
A couple turned their misfortune into a renewal of their love after discovering a valuable possession while sifting through the rubble left behind by a rapid-moving wildfire in North County.
Vaughn and Barrie Grant spent Saturday with a group of volunteers sifting through what little remained of their Bonsall home after it was torn to the ground by the Lilac Fire while they were out of town.
It was not what they hoped they'd be doing the month of their 50th wedding anniversary.
Despite the sheer size and society-spanning impact of the $1.5 trillion tax overhaul, the quickest and most potent political victory that Republicans would savor by pushing the bill through Congress next week may be what it averts: another big GOP legislative crash in the age of Trump.
Even if Republicans are correct that tax cuts for business and the wealthy bolster the economy, it can take time for obvious results to show. And even with millions of families likely to enjoy lower taxes, many won't feel much until they file their 2018 tax returns in early 2019. That's well after the November 2018 elections that may be a coin flip for control of Congress, and recent races suggest those contests may be heavily influenced by President Donald Trump's unpopularity.