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Republicans square off... Defense secretary visiting Iraq... Motion picture registry

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LAS VEGAS (AP) — Nine Republican presidential candidates took the stage in Las Vegas last night for a debate that focused almost exclusively on foreign policy. Senators Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio tussled over immigration and how to fight the Islamic State. Jeb Bush went hard after billionaire real estate mogul and GOP front-runner Donald Trump.

BAGHDAD (AP) — Defense Secretary Ash Carter is making an unannounced visit to Iraq. He will meet with U.S. military commanders and Iraqi leaders to discuss new ways of destroying the Islamic State group. One topic likely to be discussed is the new U.S. plan to deploy a new special commando force to Iraq.

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Federal Reserve is poised to raise short-term interest rates for the first time in nearly a decade. An announcement is expected when Fed officials wrap up their December meeting today. Asian stock markets are rising strongly in anticipation.

PHOENIX (AP) — Officials say a medical helicopter with three people on board crashed in "rugged terrain" east of Phoenix last night. No word yet on the conditions of those aboard. A search-and-rescue mission is underway.

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Library of Congress has announced the latest movies to be added to the National Film Registry. They include "Top Gun" and "The Shawshank Redemption," as well as "Ghostbusters." Each year, the library picks 25 movies to preserve for their cultural, historic or artistic importance.

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