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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

Sonia Rykiel, Designer Known As The 'Queen Of Knitwear,' Dies

The famously redheaded Rykiel embodied the intellectual chic and feminism of Paris in the late 1960s. With vibrant stripes or simple black, her clothes hugged a woman's body.
NPR

Food World Rallies For Quake-Hit Amatrice, Home Of Famous Pasta Dish

In Italy and the U.S., restaurants are pledging to use sales of Amatrice's signature dish, spaghetti all' amatriciana, to raise funds for the Italian town devastated by Wednesday's earthquake.
NPR

Clinton: Trump Is 'Taking Hate Groups Mainstream'

"From the start, Donald Trump has built his campaign on prejudice and paranoia," Clinton is expected to say today in Reno.
NPR

Tesla Clears Antitrust Hurdle In $2.6 Billion Deal For SolarCity

The Federal Trade Commission signed off on Tesla's plan to buy the solar panel installer. CEO Elon Musk is SolarCity's chairman and its largest shareholder.

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