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WASHINGTON (AP) Streets in downtown Washington are closing for the annual National Christmas Tree Lighting. The ceremony on the Ellipse, south of the White House, begins at 5 o'clock this afternoon. Streets will be closed a half hour earlier.

WASHINGTON (AP) The D.C. Council has given preliminary approval to budget cuts that include furloughs for city employees but no new tax hikes for residents. The council approved the cuts in order to close a $188 million gap in the current year's budget.

WASHINGTON (AP) Mayor-elect Vincent Gray has named Allen Lew to be the next city administrator. Lew has led the multibillion dollar school-modernization construction campaign under Mayor Adrian Fenty.

WASHINGTON (AP) Wal-Mart is unveiling urban store designs slated for four Washington sites during small, neighborhood meetings. A spokesman for Wal-Mart says the company is designing smaller, grocery-oriented stores to fit the city's needs.

(Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

NPR

Credibility Concerns Overshadow Release Of Gay Talese's New Book

NPR's Kelly McEvers speaks with Paul Farhi of the Washington Post about Gay Talese's new book, The Voyeur's Hotel. The credibility of the book, which follows a self-proclaimed sex researcher who bought a hotel to spy on his guests through ventilator windows, has been called into question after Farhi uncovered problems with Talese's story.
NPR

Amid Craft Brewery Boom, Some Worry About A Bubble — But Most Just Fear Foam

Fueled by customers' unquenchable thirst for the next great flavor note, the craft beer industry has exploded like a poorly fermented bottle of home brew.
NPR

White House Documents Number Of Civilians Killed In U.S. Drone Strikes

The Obama administration issued a long awaited report Friday, documenting the number on civilians who have been accidentally killed by U.S. drone strikes. Human rights activists welcome the administration's newfound transparency, though some question whether the report goes far enough.
NPR

Tesla 'Autopilot' Crash Raises Concerns About Self-Driving Cars

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is investigating a fatal crash involving a Tesla car using the "autopilot" feature. NPR's Robert Siegel talks to Alex Davies of Wired about the crash and what it means for self-driving car technology.

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