AP Top News at 11:02 p.m. EST
Embattled, Rice bows out of running; Kerry likely
WASHINGTON (AP) — Susan Rice, the embattled U.N. ambassador, abruptly withdrew from consideration to be the next secretary of state on Thursday after a bitter, weekslong standoff with Republican senators who declared they would fight to defeat her nomination. The reluctant announcement makes Massachusetts Sen. John Kerry the likely choice to be the nation’s next top diplomat when Hillary Rodham Clinton departs soon. Rice withdrew when it became clear her political troubles were not going away, and support inside the White House for her potential nomination had been waning in recent days, administration officials said.
Night talks: Obama, Boehner meet on 'fiscal cliff'
WASHINGTON (AP) — Face to face with time running short, President Barack Obama and Republican House Speaker John Boehner negotiated at the White House on Thursday night in what aides called ‘‘frank’’ talks aimed at breaking a stubborn deadlock and steering the nation away from an economy-threatening ‘‘fiscal cliff.’’ There was no sign of movement, as evidence mounted that the White House was moving away from politically difficult cuts like increasing the Medicare eligibility age. But some Republicans, especially in the Senate, advocated yielding to Obama on tax rates on the wealthy but continuing the battle on other fronts.
10 Things to Know for Friday
Your daily look at late-breaking news, upcoming events and stories that will be talked about Friday: 1. RICE WITHDRAWS AS SEC'Y OF STATE CANDIDATE
Russia positions itself for fall of Syrian regime
BEIRUT (AP) — Syria’s most powerful ally and protector, Russia, began positioning itself Thursday for the fall of President Bashar Assad, saying for the first time that rebels might overthrow him and preparing to evacuate thousands of Russian citizens from the country. The head of NATO echoed the Russian assessment, saying the Syrian government is near collapse following a nearly two-year conflict that has killed more than 40,000 people and threatened to ignite the Middle East. Assad appears to be running out of options, with insurgents at the gates of the capital and the country fracturing under the weight of a devastating civil war.
Egypt vote means fateful choice for nation
CAIRO (AP) — Two days before a constitutional referendum it considered boycotting, Egypt’s secular opposition finally launched its ‘‘no’’ campaign Thursday with newspaper and TV ads detailing the argument against the charter drafted by Islamist supporters of President Mohammed Morsi. The Morsi camp has a simpler message: A ‘‘Yes’’ to the constitution is a yes to Islam.
EU scores hat-trick with Greek, bank deals, Nobel
BRUSSELS (AP) — Finally, it has been a good week for Europe. After months of bitter debate, European Union finance ministers finally reached two crucial agreements Thursday: They found a compromise to create a single supervisor for their banks — a major step toward lessening the damage struggling lenders can inflict on government finances — and agreed to give Greece desperately needed bailout funds.
Senate takes step toward banning stalking software
WASHINGTON (AP) — A loophole that permits software companies to sell cyberstalking apps that operate secretly on cellphones could soon be closed by Congress. The software is popular among jealous wives or husbands because it can continuously track the whereabouts of a spouse. The Senate Judiciary Committee approved a bill Thursday that makes it a crime for companies to make and intentionally operate a stalking app. The legislation, sponsored by Sen. Al Franken, D-Minn., also would curb the appeal for such inexpensive and easy-to-use programs by requiring companies to disclose their existence on a target’s phone.
Calif. judge says victims' body can prevent rape
SANTA ANA, Calif. (AP) — A Southern California judge is being publicly admonished for saying a rape victim ‘‘didn’t put up a fight’’ during her assault and that if someone doesn’t want sexual intercourse, the body ‘‘will not permit that to happen.’’ The California Commission on Judicial Performance voted 10-0 to impose a public admonishment Thursday, saying Superior Court Judge Derek Johnson’s comments were inappropriate and a breach of judicial ethics.
Bar code's co-inventor N. Joseph Woodland dies, 91
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — Norman Joseph Woodland, the co-inventor of the bar code that labels nearly every product in stores and has boosted productivity in nearly every sector of commerce worldwide, has died. He was 91. Woodland died Sunday in Edgewater, N.J., from the effects of Alzheimer’s disease and complications of his advanced age, his daughter, Susan Woodland of New York, said Thursday.Continued...