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'Bathroom bill' facing possible repeal ... 29 dead in fireworks disaster ... IS says it was behind truck attack



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RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — North Carolina's legislature is holding a special session today, one that could result in repeal of a 9-month-old law limiting LGBT rights. The law decreed which public restrooms transgender people can use. Republican leaders have said they were willing to consider revoking the law if the city of Charlotte undid its expanded anti-discrimination ordinance. Charlotte agreed, provided the state law is totally repealed by Dec. 31.

TULTEPEC, Mexico (AP) — The death toll stands at 29 after a powerful chain-reaction explosion ripped through a fireworks market on the outskirts of Mexico City. The blast sent up a towering plume of smoke that was lit up by a staccato of bangs and flashes of light. Officials say 72 people are being treated for injuries from Tuesday's explosion, including severe burns, in some cases covering over 90 percent of their bodies.

BERLIN (AP) — The Islamic State group is claiming responsibility for a truck rampage in Berlin that left 12 people dead and 48 injured. German investigators continue searching for whoever carried out the attack on a crowded Christmas market. A Pakistani man was released for lack of evidence. Police in Berlin say they've received more than 500 tips, but it's not clear whether prosecutors have any concrete leads.

GREFILLAH, Jordan (AP) — A witness says that in the latest deadly attack in Jordan, security forces walked into an ambush at a militants' hideout. Tuesday's attack, which killed four policemen, was the most recent in a series of deadly gunbattles in central Karak province. In all, 14 people were killed this week. They were 11 members of the security forces, two civilians and a Canadian tourist. Five gunmen also died.

TOKYO (AP) — Organizers of the Tokyo Olympics estimate the total cost to host the 2020 Games will be between $13 and $15 billion. That's slightly below a promised $17 billion cap. Tokyo's Olympic costs have soared amid Japan's reconstruction from an earthquake and tsunami in 2011. A government panel has warned the eventual total cost could exceed $30 billion — four times the initial estimate — without drastic cuts.

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