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WASHINGTON (AP) — The Federal Reserve is raising interest rates for the first time after seven years of record lows. The central bank is lifting its target for the federal funds rate by a quarter-point to a range of 0.25 percent to 0.5 percent. The interest that banks charge each other has been at a record low between zero and 0.25 percent since December 2008. At the same time, the Fed says it expects "only gradual increases" in rates going forward. Stocks have bounced higher on the news.
WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama plans to meet with families of the victims of this month's mass shooting in San Bernardino, California. The White House says the meeting is set for Friday. Obama is adding the stop in Southern California to a previously scheduled trip to Hawaii for Christmas vacation. Fourteen people were killed and 21 others were injured at a workplace holiday party in San Bernardino by a husband-and-wife team. Federal authorities say the couple had become self-radicalized years before the Dec. 2 attack.
LOS ANGELES (AP) — A school official in Los Angeles says all of the city's schools are safe today. And she says crisis counselors are available if students want to talk. Students returned to classes today after an unexpected day off yesterday -- when the entire district's schools were closed because of an email sent to a school board member. It threatened a large-scale attack.
LAS VEGAS (AP) — A spokeswoman for the Ted Cruz campaign says Cruz didn't reveal anything during last night's debate that wasn't already public. But the head of the Senate Intelligence Committee is asking his staff to look into whether Cruz released classified information during a discussion with fellow Sen. Marco Rubio about the new USA Freedom Act. Cruz said that under the new program, "nearly 100 percent" of phone numbers can be checked for terror ties, compared with "20 percent to 30 percent" under earlier provisions.
SUPERIOR, Ariz. (AP) — An Arizona sheriff says a paramedic was the only survivor of the crash of a medical helicopter that killed two other crew members yesterday evening. The other two on board were the pilot and a nurse. An Air Force helicopter rescued the injured survivor from the crash site in rugged terrain about four hours after the crash in east-central Arizona.