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AP Top Political News at 12:47 a.m. EST

Defense Secretary Carter makes surprise visit to Afghanistan
BAGRAM AIR BASE, Afghanistan (AP) -- U.S. Defense Secretary Ash Carter on Friday made an unannounced visit to Afghanistan to consult with military commanders and deliver a pre-holiday pep talk to U.S. troops....

Trump meets with Ohio State victims, taking on somber duty
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) -- In the midst of his Cabinet deliberations, President-elect Donald Trump flew to Ohio Thursday to meet with victims and families after the latest U.S. outbreak of violence, a somber duty that became all too familiar to his predecessor....

Chief of staff Priebus? Some Trump loyalists still dubious
WASHINGTON (AP) -- When President-elect Donald Trump tapped Reince Priebus as his chief of staff, Republican leaders cheered the prospect of a close ally having a top White House job....

House passes stopgap measure as senators raise objections
WASHINGTON (AP) -- The House on Thursday cleared bills to keep the government running through April and authorize hundreds of water projects, but a Senate fight over benefits for retired coal miners threatened to lead to a government shutdown this weekend....

Right to the end, Trump campaign spent less than Clinton's
WASHINGTON (AP) -- Donald Trump's campaign spent about $94 million in its final push for the White House, according to new fundraising reports filed Thursday....

Harry Reid bids farewell to Senate after 30 years
WASHINGTON (AP) -- Sen. Harry Reid bid farewell to the Senate Thursday after 30 years in the chamber and more than a decade as top Democrat, a remarkable run during which he shepherded key Obama administration legislation including the sweeping health care law....

Gov't proposal envisions phone calls on airline flights
WASHINGTON (AP) -- Airlines could let passengers make in-flight phone calls using Wi-Fi under a proposal from federal regulators....

US official warns of North Korean nuclear capabilities
WASHINGTON (AP) -- North Korea now has the capability to launch a nuclear weapon, a senior U.S. military official said Thursday, adding that while the U.S. believes Pyongyang can mount a warhead on a missile, it's not clear that it can hit a target....

The Latest: McMahon donated $7m to pro-Trump super PACs
NEW YORK (AP) -- The Latest on President-elect Donald Trump (all times EST):...

Carrier factory union chief standing ground against Trump
INDIANAPOLIS (AP) -- A local union president slammed by Donald Trump on Twitter stood his ground Thursday, maintaining the president-elect gave false hope to hundreds of workers by inflating the number of jobs being saved at a Carrier Corp. factory in Indianapolis....