AP, David Zalubowski
Rep. Keith Ellison said Wednesday he'll resign his seat in Congress if he's elected chairman of the Democratic National Committee.
"Whoever wins the DNC chair race faces a lot of work, travel, planning and resource raising," Ellison said in a statement. "I will be 'all-in' to meet the challenge."
The liberal Minnesota congressman, an early favorite in the race to head the party, has faced vocal resistance from prominent Democrats, who have questioned his comments about Israel, his defense of Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan and his commitment to the Democratic Party.
Protest organizers and their attorneys say the National Park Service is quashing dissent by blocking access to public space for those who want to demonstrate during President-elect Donald Trump's inauguration.
Donald Trump, who was elected the 45th president of the United States after a raucous and unprecedented campaign, is Time's 2016 Person of the Year.
The magazine announced its pick on NBC's "Today" Wednesday morning.
The Manhattan real estate mogul went from fiery underdog to win the White House over Democrat Hillary Clinton. Trump won 306 electoral votes, easily enough to make him president when the electors meet on Dec. 19. Clinton won the popular vote.
"It's a great honor, it means a lot," Trump said in a phone interview on "Today." "Especially me growing up, reading Time magazine, it's a very important magazine. I've been lucky enough to be on the cover many times this year and last year."
AP, Pablo Martinez Monsivais
Repealing President Barack Obama's health care law without a replacement risks making nearly 30 million people uninsured, according to a study released Wednesday.
Separately, a professional group representing benefit advisers warned congressional leaders of the risk of "significant market disruption" that could cause millions of Americans to lose their health insurance
NBC Bay Area
The Oakland warehouse fire recovery efforts have been completed, officials said on Wednesday, with the death toll of people killed inside during a dance party Friday night holding at 36. Meanwhile, investigators continue to work on determining what caused the fire at the so-called Ghost Ship warehouse, which had been illegally converted into living spaces and was hosting a dance party when the blaze ignited.
Officials indicated a refrigerator or appliance was a potential source of the fire, but it was too early to say for sure.
San Diego Police Department
The body of a San Diego woman, a Navy wife, was pulled from the water near Liberty Station two months ago, two years after she was reported missing, investigators confirmed Wednesday. Elizabeth Sullivan, 31 and a mother of two, was last seen near her home in Liberty Station on the night of October 13, 2014. A text message sent that same day was the last contact anyone had from her. Sullivan was reportedly spotted near the soccer fields at Liberty Station just two days after her disappearance was reported. A private investigator told NBC 7 San Diego on Tuesday that Sullivan’s body had been found.
President-elect Donald Trump picked Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt Thursday to lead the Environmental Protection Agency.
Pruitt, a 48-year-old Republican, has been a reliable booster of the fossil fuel industry and an outspoken critic of what he derides as the EPA's "activist agenda."
“I am deeply grateful and honored to serve as President-elect Trump’s EPA Administrator,” Pruitt said in a written statement. “The American people are tired of seeing billions of dollars drained from our economy due to unnecessary EPA regulations, and I intend to run this agency in a way that fosters both responsible protection of the environment and freedom for American businesses.”
State police say holiday music was blaring from a Pennsylvania woman's car as she tore up the yard of her ex-boyfriend's home, nearly running the man and his family over. Alan McCutcheon says he was setting up a Christmas light display outside of his Fayette County home when the woman yelled "Merry Christmas" and made several passes through his yard.
A plane belonging to Pakistan's national carrier crashed on Wednesday with 48 people on board, apparently killing all of them, police and an airline spokesman said.
According to senior police officer Khurram Rasheed, the plane crashed in a village near the town of Havelian, located about 75 kilometers (45 miles) northwest of the capital, Islamabad. The small twin-propeller aircraft was travelling from the city of Chitral to Islamabad when it crashed shortly after takeoff.
According to Daniyal Gilani, the spokesman for Pakistan International Airlines, the plane had lost touch with the control tower prior to the crash. He said the plane was carrying 42 passengers, five crew members and a ground engineer.
Getty Images, File
A male student at Stanford University could have been stopped from sexually assaulting at least four female students at the school if staff were able to connect the dots, according to a lawsuit filed by an advocacy group Monday, NBC News reported. The suit identifies the alleged sexual predator as "Mr. X," and says he was eventually found responsible in several instances of sexual assault. But despite being banned from campus, he was awarded bachelor's and master's degrees. The school became the focus of the national campus sexual assault debate earlier this year when a former swimmer was given a six-month sentence for sexually assaulting a woman, and the lawsuit, filed on behalf of one of the accusers, alleges Stanford engaged in systematic negligence. Stanford said in a statement that sexual assault and misconduct are "abhorrent" but suggested it was not able to act because one or more of the victims did not want to pursue formal charges.
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President-elect Donald Trump is adding former wrestling executive Linda McMahon to his Cabinet as leader of the Small Business Administration.
McMahon and her husband, Vince, founded and built World Wrestling Entertainment Inc., now a publicly traded sports entertainment company. She stepped down as the company's chief executive in 2009 and earlier this year launched a joint venture, Women's Leadership LIVE, which promotes opportunities for women in business and public service.
She also poured $100 million of her fortune into two unsuccessful bids for a U.S. Senate seat in Connecticut in 2010 and 2012 and has become an influential Republican donor — including to the Trump campaign.
San Francisco International Airport
This pig can't fly but she can greet people who are about to fly. San Francisco International Airport introduced “Lilou” the therapy pig this week as the newest member of the airport’s Wag Brigade. And, not surprisingly, she's the first airport therapy pig in the United States, airport spokesman Doug Yakel said, adding that he's sure she'll be a "big hit" with travelers.
President-elect Donald Trump has chosen retired Marine Gen. John Kelly, whose last command included oversight of the Guantanamo Bay detention center, to run the Department of Homeland Security, people close to the transition team said Wednesday.
Kelly, a Boston native who joined the Marine Corps in 1970, retired earlier this year, wrapping up a final, three-year post as head of U.S. Southern Command, which spanned some of the more fractious debate over the Obama administration's ultimately failed pledge to close Guantanamo.
Iowa Republican Gov. Terry Branstad has accepted Donald Trump's offer to be named ambassador to China, the president-elect's transition team announced on Wednesday.
Branstad, the longest-serving governor in U.S. history, met with Trump on Monday to discuss the post, NBC News reported. He is a longtime friend of Chinese president Xi Jinping, whom he met during a Chinese delegation trip to Iowa in 1985.
The decision comes just days after Trump broke with decades of diplomatic protocol by speaking directly to the leader of Taiwan, which China still considers as part of its territory.
“Governor Branstad’s decades of experience in public service and long-time relationship with President Xi Jinping and other Chinese leaders make him the ideal choice to serve as America’s ambassador to China,” Trump said in a statement.
Trump was an outspoken critic of China throughout his campaign, frequently accusing the country of manipulating its currency and exploiting trade policy.
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