GOP Releases Final Tax Bill As Rubio, Corker Boost Path To Christmas Passage

Updated at 6:25 p.m. ET Congressional Republicans released a final draft of their tax bill Friday. With newfound support from two wavering senators, lawmakers appear to be on track to pass the measure and deliver it to President Trump for his signature by Christmas. Votes in the House and Senate are expected next week. "I know everyone's lives will be better off under tax reform," said Rep. Kevin Brady, R-Texas, who played a lead role in crafting the bill as chairman of the House Ways and...

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What's In The Latest GOP Tax Cut Plan?

5 hours ago

Here & Now‘s Jeremy Hobson talks with Michael Regan (@Reganonymous) of Bloomberg News about what’s in the final tax cut plan that Republicans in the House and Senate have negotiated and say they hope to pass next week.

A viral video making the rounds Friday has one of President Trump's judicial nominees in an uncomfortable spotlight.

Matthew Petersen has been nominated for a judgeship on the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, one of the nation's most important federal courts. Petersen is now a member of the Federal Election Commission.

But his trouble began during Wednesday's confirmation hearing before the Senate Judiciary Committee when, among a panel of five nominees, he alone told Sen. John Kennedy, R-La., that he had never tried a case in court.

For the last three years, an advisory panel based at UNC Charlotte has helped guide Duke Energy as the company figures out what to do with coal ash. And, during that time, Duke has also contracted with the university to do scientific research on specific coal ash sites.   

Providing research and advice of this nature requires a degree of collaboration. But, when companies turn to universities for hired expertise, challenges and questions about the relationship can arise. Can such collaboration become too cozy?

President Trump, minutes before heading to speak at the FBI's National Academy, lashed out at the bureau, saying, "It's a shame what's happened with the FBI" and claiming there are "a lot of very angry people that are seeing it."

The Army's Green Berets have gained a reputation over the decades for their toughness and fighting skills. They served with local forces in Vietnam, and in recent years, they've deployed repeatedly to Iraq and Afghanistan. The list of their deployments continues to grow: Niger. Somalia. Yemen. Syria. Philippines.

Now a fight appears to be growing inside the Green Beret community.

In a far-reaching report on child sex abuse in Australia, a government commission is recommending that the country's Catholic Church lift its celibacy requirement for diocesan clergy and be required to report evidence of abuse revealed in confession.

Those are among the 400 recommendations contained in the 17-volume final report of the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sex Abuse, which is wrapping up a five-year investigation – the longest in Australia's history.

The man who police say intentionally rammed his car into a crowd of counterprotesters at a white nationalist rally in Charlottesville, Va., this summer, now faces a first-degree murder charge. A judge upgraded the second-degree murder charge against James Fields Jr. at a preliminary hearing on Thursday.

The 20-year-old Ohio man has been in jail since his arrest on Aug. 12, when police say he accelerated into a group of people, killing Heather Heyer and injuring some three dozen others.

Updated Dec. 15

Immigrants detained at four large centers used by Immigration and Customs Enforcement are subject to inhumane treatment, given insufficient hygiene supplies and medical care, and provided potentially unsafe food, according to a federal report.

Updated Dec. 15 | 3:53 p.m. 

On Friday the University of North Carolina Board of Governors heard from a conservative scholar advocating against 'campus illiberalism,' and also voted to approve a controversial free speech policy.

The New York Times announced today that come January, it will have a new publisher. But the name at the top of the masthead won't be changing much.

The person who will replace Arthur Ochs Sulzberger, Jr. in helming the Gray Lady? His 37-year-old son, Arthur Gregg Sulzberger, known as A.G.

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Arts & Performance

Matt Peiken

In a land of Americana music and art imbued with the mountains, you can forget you’re in Asheville while you’re inside Revolve.

It’s a gallery and performance space in the RAMP Studios, an unmarked industrial building near UNC-Asheville. Revolve is dedicated to contemporary, experimental work -- meaning, it’s 180 degrees from the music and art you’ll generally find along the region’s paths of tourism.

Matt Peiken | BPR

City government, tax and planning commissions and nonprofit board meetings. Those settings naturally conjure ... mystery and romance?

They do if you’re Renee Kumor.

“I’ve been on nonprofit boards for years. I’ve dealt with staff members who’ve embezzled -- that happens constantly,” Kumor said. “The issues of conflict of interest. Just having a crisis of direction on the board, and I just decided those crisis discussions can end in murder, what the heck?”

Tune in as Blue Ridge Public Radio  celebrates this festive time of year. From Thanksgiving through New Year's Day, Holiday Programming is our gift to you. We'll post highlights throughout the season, so be sure to check back often for updates.

Holiday specials are sponsored by: 
The Community Foundation of Western North Carolina