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Updated at 12:44 a.m. ET

Democrat Doug Jones has won the Alabama Senate special election, a victory that was a stunning upset in a deeply red state that voted overwhelmingly for President Trump. The president, who had backed Republican Roy Moore despite multiple accusations of sexual misconduct and assault, congratulated Jones on Twitter.

Secretary of State Rex Tillerson says the U.S. would negotiate with North Korea without demanding that the country first agree to nuclear disarmament. This marks a significant change in a approach for Tillerson, who has spent much of this year working on the pressure campaign to cut off financial resources for the North Korean nuclear program.

Updated at 7:55 p.m. ET

Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said Tuesday the U.S. would be willing to enter negotiations with North Korea without requiring that it agree beforehand to give up its nuclear weapons program. The willingness to engage in talks without that understanding is a significant change in the U.S. approach.

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Updated at 5:49 p.m. ET

The anti-corruption organization Transparency International says Americans are expressing greater concern this year about wrongdoing within the U.S. government, and especially within the White House.

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With a single 8 a.m. tweet, a classic Trumpian feud has erupted between the president of the United States and the junior senator from his home state, a high-profile female Democrat who called his tweet "a sexist smear."

Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, D-N.Y., was attending a bipartisan Senate prayer meeting Tuesday morning when she got a phone call. President Trump had tweeted about her.

This appears to have been a response to Gillibrand's call on Monday for Trump to resign.

The latest viral video to capture young Africans' social media pages has a striking lack of epic fails or baby animals. It's literally just Ghana's president Nana Akufo-Addo in a joint press conference in Accra with French president Emmanuel Macron, who was making the last stop of his first Africa tour on November 30.

New CDC Director Questioned About Financial Conflicts

Dec 12, 2017
David Tulis / AP Photo/File

A U.S. Senator is criticizing the director of Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for an apparent financial conflict of interest that the senator says may prevent the director from doing her job.

Dr. Brenda Fitzgerald became director of the Atlanta-based CDC in July, and was required to sell a range of stocks she owned, including beer and soda companies, the tobacco company Philip Morris International, and a number of health care companies such as vaccine manufacturers and health-care companies.

Official Atlanta Mayoral Runoff Results Retain Thin Margin

Dec 12, 2017
John Bazemore / AP Photo

The vote tallies for the runoff election in the Atlanta mayoral race are official, but with a razor-thin margin remaining, the trailing candidate said Monday that she plans to ask for a recount.

Election officials in Fulton and DeKalb counties, which both include parts of Atlanta, certified their votes, which still have Keisha Lance Bottoms winning the race.

Bottoms' lead grew from 759 votes in unofficial tallies released last week to 832 votes in the certified results. That still amounts to less than 1 percent of the votes.

Updated at 5:22 p.m. ET Dec. 14

How do Native Americans experience discrimination in daily life?

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Updated at 9:40 p.m. ET

San Francisco's Mayor Ed Lee, most recently known for embracing the "sanctuary city" label, has died at age 65. Lee was not known to be ill; he reportedly died at a San Francisco hospital in the early hours of Tuesday morning.

Member station KQED cites a statement from the mayor's office, saying he died at Zuckerberg San Francisco General Hospital:

Election Day is finally here in Alabama's U.S. Senate race.

It's a beautiful morning in Pittsburgh, but Ariel Haughton is stressed out. She's worried her young children's health insurance coverage will soon lapse.

"So, we're like a low-middle-class family, right?" she says. "I'm studying. My husband's working, and our insurance right now is 12 percent of our income — just for my husband and I. And it's not very good insurance either."

The policy that covers the couple requires high fees to even see a doctor, and it has a high deductible for further treatment.

Alabamians head to the polls Tuesday to vote for their next U.S. senator. For some, it will be the third time this year they've cast a ballot to determine who will assume the seat recently occupied by current Attorney General Jeff Sessions for two decades.

The circuitous path to get to this point has been nothing short of extraordinary.

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It's Election Day in Alabama.

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And with our colleague Rachel Martin, who's reporting from Birmingham today. Rachel, good morning. I hope the coffee is strong and plentiful there in Alabama for you.

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Open enrollment on the federal health law's marketplace — HealthCare.gov — ends Friday, and most people who want a plan for next year need to meet the deadline.

But some consumers who miss the cutoff could be surprised to learn they have the opportunity to enroll later.

"While a lot of people will be eligible ... I am still worried that a lot of consumers won't know it," says Shelby Gonzales, a senior policy analyst at the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities.

The life expectancy of Native Americans in some states is 20 years shorter than the national average.

There are many reasons why.

French President Emmanuel Macron, in a not-so-subtle jab at President Trump, has awarded long-term research grants to 18 climate scientists — 13 of them U.S.-based researchers — to relocate to France and pursue their work with the blessing of a government that doesn't cast doubt on the threat of climate change.

Updated at 10:30 p.m. ET

Following a federal court ruling, the Pentagon has confirmed it will allow openly transgender individuals to enlist in the military beginning Jan. 1. The Trump administration had resisted that deadline in court, seeking to have its ban on new transgender troops reinstated — but on Monday, Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly upheld an earlier decision to temporarily block President Trump's ban.

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