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Narrow passage...Congressional staffers protest...Newton sore, grateful

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WASHINGTON (AP) — In a squeaker, the Republican-controlled House has approved a $1.1 trillion bill to fund most of the government through the end of September. Lawmakers were up against a midnight deadline. The 219-206 vote cleared the way for a final approval in the Senate. Passage came after last-minute appeals by administration leaders including the president. Some Democrats fought the measure because it eases banking regulations enacted after the 2008 financial crisis.

WASHINGTON (AP) — The nationwide string of protests against the police killing of unarmed black men has spread to Capitol Hill. Scores of minority congressional staffers, Capitol employees and a few members of Congress gathered for a protest on the House steps. They silently raised their arms in the "don't shoot" gesture used to protest the death of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri. Senate Chaplain Barry Black prayed for forgiveness of those who have failed to lift their voices for "those who couldn't speak or breathe for themselves."

WASHINGTON (AP) — Cheaper gas and an improving job market are helping get the holiday shopping season off to a promising start. The government says retail sales rose by a seasonally-adjusted seven-tenths of one percent last month. This, even though some preliminary indicators suggested that the Thanksgiving and Black Friday weekend was a disappointing one for retailers.

HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) — A Pennsylvania appeals court has reversed the sale of a widow's home that was triggered by a tax bill for $6.30. The court ruled that the auction sale of the $280, 000 house near Aliquippa wasn't valid because a required installment plan wasn't offered after the initial tax bill grew with interests and other costs.

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) — Cam Newton says he must be on somebody's fantasy football league team -- and he thinks that "somebody" is "the man upstairs." Newton says he feels lucky to be alive, after the two-car accident this week that left him with two fractures in his lower back. The quarterback for the NFL's Carolina Panthers was back at the team's facility today, a day after being released from the hospital. He won't be playing on Sunday, and his status will be re-evaluated next week.

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