AP Top News at 12:35 p.m. EST

Under pressure, Hagel steps as Pentagon chief
WASHINGTON (AP) - Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel announced Monday he is stepping down, leaving under pressure following a rocky tenure in which he has struggled to break through the White House's insular team of national security advisers. During a White House ceremony, Obama said he and Hagel had determined it was an "appropriate time for him to complete his service."


Uncertainty fuels speculation on Ferguson decision
FERGUSON, Mo. (AP) - The final weekend before the Thanksgiving holiday passed without a grand jury decision on whether to indict a Ferguson police officer, fueling new speculation about the timing as protesters demand he be indicted in the death of Michael Brown. After meeting Friday but apparently not reaching a decision, the grand jury was widely expected to reconvene on Monday to consider possible charges against Darren Wilson, the white suburban St. Louis officer who fatally shot the black 18-year-old after a confrontation in August. There was no official confirmation about when the grand jury would meet again.


Iran nuclear talks to be extended until July
VIENNA (AP) - Facing still significant differences between the U.S. and Iran, negotiators gave up on last-minute efforts to get a nuclear deal by the Monday deadline and extended their talks for another seven months. The move gives both sides breathing space to work out an agreement but may be badly received by domestic sceptics, since it extends more than a decade of diplomatic efforts to curb Iran's nuclear prowess.


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Israeli police say Arab stabs Jew in Jerusalem
JERUSALEM (AP) - Israeli police say an Arab assailant has stabbed a Jewish man in Jerusalem. Police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld says the man was stabbed Monday night outside the old city of Jerusalem and has been taken to hospital in moderate to serious condition. One suspect has been arrested.


GOP hopefuls avoid specifics in response to Obama
WASHINGTON (AP) - The rhetoric is barbed, but Republican presidential hopefuls generally fell in line behind the voices of restraint in the wake of President Barack Obama's order blocking deportation for millions of immigrants in the country unlawfully. Former Sen. Rick Santorum, a tea party favorite in the 2012 race, urged the Republican leadership in Congress to "use any means available to stop this unconstitutional attack on our liberty."


Police: Video of officer shooting boy is 'clear'
CLEVELAND (AP) - Cleveland police say an officer was less than 10 feet away when he fatally shot a 12-year-old boy who had what turned out to be a replica gun. They say the replica that Tamir Rice was carrying near a playground on Saturday was missing an orange safety indicator and appeared indistinguishable from a real firearm.


Buffalo area preps for melt, possible evacuations
BUFFALO, N.Y. (AP) - People in storm-socked areas around Buffalo began returning to work on Monday as fast-melting mounds of snow fed into creeks that were starting to swell. It was not clear how widespread flooding would be almost a week after western New York was pummeled by epic snowfall. Thermometer readings were approaching 60 degrees by midmorning, and some residents of the Buffalo area were out and about in T-shirts riding bicycles while others focused on the tasks at hand.


Mom charged with trying to kill baby left in drain
SYDNEY (AP) - A 30-year-old Australian has been charged with trying to kill her newborn son by abandoning him in a roadside drain for five days before passers-by heard his cries, police said Monday. The week-old baby was in serious but stable condition in Westmead Children's Hospital a day after cyclists found him in a 2.5-meter (8-foot) deep drain beside the M7 Motorway in the Sydney suburb of Quakers Hill, police said in a statement.


Automakers aim to drive away car computer hackers
LOS ANGELES (AP) - Against the team of hackers, the poor car stood no chance. Meticulously overwhelming its computer networks, the hackers showed that - given time - they would be able to pop the trunk and start the windshield wipers, cut the brakes or lock them up, and even kill the engine.


'Today' looks to rebound from tough week
NEW YORK (AP) - It's rarely a good sign when morning television hosts are painfully bantering about whether they are keeping their jobs. That's where Willie Geist and Natalie Morales found themselves during the most difficult week for NBC's "Today" show in two years. At its end, an NBC News executive was fired after two months on the job and the network was tamping down reports of mutinies, firings and transfers at the lucrative morning franchise.