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    The collapse of talks to form a new German government has weakened Chancellor Angela Merkel and left her country, an influential European economic powerhouse, facing months more political instability. What does the uncertainty mean for the rest of the world?___EU REFORMEU Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker proclaimed Tuesday that 'Europe will not pause' with its reform efforts, despite the German political turmoil.But it may have to forge ahead without significant input from European stalwart Germany, since Merkel has indicated she isn't prepared to tackle ambitious eurozone reform ideas floated by French President Emmanuel Macron before she has formed a new government.That's bound to slow things down, Sebastien Maillard, director of France's Jacques Delors Institute think tank, told Europe-1 radio.'Emmanuel Macron cannot alone be the leader of Europe. This crisis in Germany runs counter to his plans,' he said. 'After the French and German elections, we were on an open road toward the European elections. Now there is clearly a delay in the ignition of the Franco-German motor.'___BREXITSome pro-Brexit politicians said Britain should use the opportunity to toughen its stance.Conservative lawmaker Jacob Rees-Mogg told The Times of London that the political instability gives Britain greater leverage. He argued that Germany's troubles 'make it less likely that it would want to risk the damage that could be done to its industry from the U.K. imposing tariffs on its exports.'But others said a weakened Merkel was bad news for Britain, because the German chancellor is one of the most pragmatic, as well as most powerful, EU leaders. The conservative Daily Telegraph newspaper said in an editorial that 'the U.K. had hoped Mrs. Merkel could focus attention on Brexit and help engineer the mutually beneficial agreement' both sides need.In reality, there will probably be little impact.Berlin has consistently deferred to the EU's executive Commission on the negotiations. And Merkel has given no indication that she plans to jump deeply into the Brexit issue.____MILITARY DEPLOYMENTSGermany's military, the Bundeswehr, has about 4,000 troops participating in more than a dozen international missions.The longest-running has been its contribution to the NATO-led peacekeeping force in Kosovo, which started in 1999, and currently involves about 500 German troops. Germany has also played a major role in Afghanistan, where it has more than 1,000 troops. It contributes to numerous UN, NATO and other forces, including the coalition against the Islamic State group, a training mission in Iraq, and to naval missions in the Mediterranean and off the Horn of Africa.German military deployments need parliamentary approval, typically on an annual basis, but enjoy wide support and should not face any changes.On Tuesday, parliament started debating extending some of the deployments, including the Afghanistan mission, for three months as a stopgap measure.Defense Minister Ursula von der Leyen told lawmakers: 'In security policy, terror won't wait for us to get to the point here. Terror requires a determined response by the allies, it requires steadfastness from Germany; and you can count on the Bundeswehr and Germany being reliable.'____UKRAINE AND RUSSIAGermany has been one of the main countries working to implement a peace deal for eastern Ukraine, after partnering with France to broker an agreement with Ukraine and Russia in 2015.At the same time, Merkel has staunchly supported European Union sanctions against Russia over its actions in Ukraine, following the annexation of Crimea three years ago.Merkel's government has been adamant that sanctions cannot be lifted without implementation of the Minsk peace accord.She may now be somewhat weakened in talks with Russian President Vladimir Putin, but also has majority support on that issue so isn't likely to change her stance significantly._____Jill Lawless in London, Angela Charlton in Paris, Geir Moulson in Berlin and Raf Casert in Brussels contributed to this report.
  • House Speaker Charles McCall says he is forming a special investigative committee to look into financial mismanagement at the Oklahoma State Department of Health.The 15-member committee is expected to begin its work next week.The Legislature has the power to investigate governmental misconduct, and House rules authorize committees to subpoena witnesses and compel testimony.State Auditor and Inspector Gary Jones also is conducting an audit on the agency's finances.The agency's new temporary commissioner, Preston Doerflinger, says the department suffered from financial mismanagement for more than five years and needs an immediate infusion of $30 million this year just to make payroll.Doerflinger says health department officials for years improperly borrowed money across funds and spent money on new programs that should have been used to restore previous expenditures.
  • Egypt says archaeologists have discovered three sunken shipwrecks dating back more than 2,000 years to Roman times off the coast of the city of Alexandria.Tuesday's statement from Mostafa Waziri, the head of the Supreme Council of Antiquities, says the discovery was made in collaboration with the European Institute of Underwater Archaeology.Waziri says the archeologists also uncovered a head sculpture carved in crystal and three gold coins dating back to Rome's first emperor, Augustus. Parts of large wooden planks and archaeological remains of pottery vessels were also found, which could have been part of the ships' cargo.The discoveries were made in Alexandria's Abu Qir Bay. Separately from the Roman-era finds, a votive bark of the pharaonic god Osiris was found in the nearby sunken city of Heraklion.
  • As Texas continues to recover during the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey, many are trying to figure out how they will celebrate the holiday season after they’ve lost everything. One woman came up with an idea to help bring a little normalcy for hurricane victims during the next few weeks and help brighten up their temporary homes this Christmas, KBMT reported. >> Read more trending news Meredith Love, with some help from Gretchen Scoggins and schools in Hardin County, Texas, organized a free holiday decoration giveaway. Love and the others collected donations through social media to provide ornaments, trees and garlands to Hurricane Harvey victims this past weekend, KBMT reported. Love posted on her Facebook page that more than 200 people were able to collect something to make their living arrangements a little more homey this Thanksgiving and Christmas.
  • Britain's Treasury chief is likely to ignore demands that the government ease seven years of austerity when he unveils the budget Wednesday, opting instead to keep a tight rein on spending as economic growth slows and the country prepares for the impact of Brexit.Philip Hammond is under pressure to show the country's finances are strong as Britain braces for the shock of leaving the European Union. That leaves him little room for spending increases, even after a year in which the heroism of police and firefighters fueled calls to end the public sector pay cap, teachers marched to demand increased school funding and the National Health Service struggled to treat rising numbers of patients.'Given the major uncertainties facing the economy centered on Brexit, Mr. Hammond is reportedly concerned that investor confidence in the U.K. could be seriously damaged if he abandons the fiscal framework adopted only a year ago,' said Howard Archer, chief economic adviser for the EY Item Club.A year ago, Prime Minister Theresa May's Conservative-led government was touting the fact that Britain had one of the fastest-growing economies in the developed world. But now the economy is slowing, partly as a result of uncertainty linked to Brexit, and that is undermining the growth many hoped would spur tax revenue and fund increased spending.Britain's economy grew at an annual rate of 1.5 percent in the third quarter, compared with the eurozone's 2.5 percent.The gloomy outlook comes as public finances are weakening. Public borrowing jumped to 8 billion pounds in October, above predictions of 7.5 billion, driven by higher borrowing costs. Borrowing is at a similar level to that before the 2007-2008 financial crisis, the House of Commons said in a statement released ahead of the budget.Public sector net debt now totals 87.2 percent of gross domestic product, compared with less than 40 percent in 2007, the Office for National Statistics said Tuesday.At the same time, the Office of Budget Responsibility has warned that it will cut its forecast for productivity over the next five years. That is expected to mean lower tax revenues and make it harder for Hammond to ease austerity and boost public sector pay.A flurry of relatively inexpensive initiatives is likely to attempt to deflect media attention from the somber news. Hammond will promise to spur technological innovation by funding artificial intelligence research, electric car charging points and digital skills.Britain's ongoing housing shortage is also likely to figure large, said Kallum Pickering, senior U.K. Economist at Berenberg.'The housing market is the Achilles' heel of the U.K. economy. The decades-long deficit in annual house building has contributed significantly to the rise in household debt and wealth inequality,' he said, adding that the problem isn't simple to fix. 'We are pessimistic about his chances of providing a long-term solution in light of the political challenges facing the sector.
  • A group of women who worked alongside Al Franken on NBC's 'Saturday Night Live' have signed a statement of support for the Minnesota senator.Last week, broadcaster Leeann Tweeden accused Franken of forcibly kissing her in 2006. Another woman says he placed his hand on her buttocks while posing for a photo in 2010.Thirty-six women signed the SNL statement supporting the Democrat, including performers Jane Curtin and Laraine Newman, and many behind-the-scenes staff.The statement calls Franken's conduct toward Tweeden 'stupid and foolish,' but says the women know Franken as 'a devoted and dedicated family man, a wonderful comedic performer, and an honorable public servant.' It says none of them have experienced improper behavior from Franken.The statement was released Friday, before the second woman's allegations came to light.
  • Americans bought more homes last month, as sales snapped back in hurricane-hit Texas and Florida. Yet the market is still suffering from a dwindling supply of available homes.Sales rose 2 percent in October to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.48 million, the National Association of Realtors said Tuesday. That's the fastest pace since June.Still, sales have slipped 0.9 percent from a year ago. The number of available homes has fallen 10.4 percent from a year earlier to just 1.8 million. That's the lowest for any October since the Realtors began tracking the data in 1999.The tight supply is pushing up prices and thwarting many would-be home buyers. The median home price jumped 5.5 percent in October from a year earlier. And homes were on the market for just 34 days, down from 41 a year ago.The supply crunch is particularly acute among lower-priced homes. Builders are putting up more expensive houses to maximize profits.'Selection is slim across the board, driving up prices, but even more so for those seeking less expensive and entry-level homes,' Svenja Gudell, chief economist at Zillow, said. 'Currently, roughly half of what's available to buy is priced in the upper one-third of home values, leaving scant options for those aging millennials and young families trying to get their foot in the door.'Buyers closed more deals in Houston, Orlando and Jacksonville, Florida, as well as other areas damaged by Hurricanes Harvey and Irma, NAR chief economist Lawrence Yun said. Sales were still recovering in Miami and other areas in south Florida.Steady hiring and still-low mortgage rates are boosting demand, spurring healthy traffic at open houses, Yun said.Yet many Americans are reluctant to sell their houses with so few alternatives available, which perpetuates the cycle of low inventory. Home builders will have to step up construction to relieve the supply crunch, economists say.Home construction jumped nearly 14 percent last month as building activity recovered from the hurricanes. But construction rose just 2.4 percent from a year ago. That's not nearly enough to offset the decline in existing homes for sale.The number of homes for sale has fallen more than 200,000 in the past year. Yet homebuilders started work on just 75,000 single-family homes last month.With the unemployment rate at a 17-year low, builders complain that they can't find enough workers to start more projects. Many also say that zoning rules in some cities limit the amount of available land.
  • The Latest on sexual harassment allegations against Rep. John Conyers (all times local):10:20 a.m.Longtime Michigan Rep. John Conyers has told The Associated Press that he hasn't settled any sexual harassment complaints with any staff members.Conyers, who answered the door at his Detroit home Tuesday morning, says he knows nothing about any claims of inappropriate touching and learned of the story just hours earlier.Referring to allegations of sexual harassment and assault being made against politicians and others, the veteran lawmaker says he's 'been looking at these things with amazement.'BuzzFeed reports that Conyers' office paid the woman over $27,000 to settle the complaint under a confidentiality agreement. BuzzFeed also published affidavits from former staff members who said they had witnessed Conyers touching female staffers inappropriately or requesting sexual favors.___9:55 a.m.House Speaker Paul Ryan says it's 'deeply troubling' that 88-year-old Rep. John Conyers reportedly settled a complaint in 2015 with a female aide who claimed she was fired after spurning his sexual advances.Ryan says the House is changing its procedures for handling charges of harassment and discrimination, which have been called too weak and cumbersome.The Wisconsin Republican says House employees 'deserve and are entitled to a workplace without harassment or discrimination.'The speaker's statement didn't mention Conyers' name. Ryan spokeswoman AshLee Strong confirmed it was directed at the Michigan Democrat.Conyers entered the House in 1965 and is currently its longest-serving member. He's top Democrat on the House Judiciary Committee.The Buzzfeed News report said Conyers paid the woman $27,000 to settle the complaint with a confidentiality agreement.___3 a.m.A news website Is reporting that Michigan Rep. John Conyers settled a complaint in 2015 from a woman who alleged she was fired from his Washington staff because she rejected his sexual advances.BuzzFeed reports that Conyers' office paid the woman over $27,000 to settle the complaint under a confidentiality agreement. BuzzFeed also published affidavits from former staff members who said they had witnessed Conyers touching female staffers inappropriately or requesting sexual favors.BuzzFeed says it received the documents from right-wing activist Mike Cernovich, but independently confirmed their authenticity.The 88-year-old Conyers is the top Democrat on the House Judiciary Committee and the longest-serving current member of the House. Calls to Conyers and his office seeking comment were not immediately returned Monday night.
  • Despite his relationship with Jennifer Lopez, there’s one person who isn’t impressed with Alex Rodriguez — Esther Wojcicki, the mother of his ex-girlfriend, Anne Wojcicki. “I liked A-Rod, he was a very nice man. He came from a Hispanic family. We liked them, they were very sweet. He seemed to be genuinely in love with Anne. But I right away figured out this was a mismatch. He had no academic background,” Esther Wojcicki told the New York Times in a profile about her daughter. “We couldn’t have an intellectual conversation about anything. His main interest in life was something that none of us had ever focused on, which was baseball.” >> Read more trending news Anne Wojcicki is the founder of billion-dollar DNA testing company 23andMe and the ex-wife of Google co-founder, Sergey Brin. “Entertainment Tonight” reported she dated the former Yankee for nearly a year before breaking up in late 2016. The elder Wojcicki — who is also mother to YouTube CEO, Susan Wojcicki — was critical of her youngest daughter’s boyfriend. Like any protective mother, she wasn’t a fan of A-Rod’s bad habits. It seems her pet peeve was his over-indulging in sports television. “His main interest in life was something that none of us had ever focused on, which was baseball,” she said. “He could park himself in front of a TV and watch baseball for 10 hours a day. He wasn’t even sure he wanted to go on the yacht with Anne because the TV might not be working.” Esther Wojcicki came just shy of calling the baseball player a “dumb jock.” Related: Jennifer Lopez and Alex Rodriguez detail their relationship in Vanity Fair profile According to Anne Wojcicki, when they began dating, she barely knew a thing about baseball, and eventually, vastly different lifestyles, Rodriguez’s life in New York and Anne Wojcicki’s life in Silicon Valley, pulled the pair apart.  “Alex is a really sweet guy. He’s a smart guy. He’s a good person. Alex lives in this world of cash-flow businesses, and Silicon Valley lives in this world of the potential of the future. So it was actually kind of a really fun conversation,” Anne Wojcicki said. “Alex was really into car dealerships, and I was like, ‘We’re all about self-driving cars. Nobody’s going to buy a car. You want to buy a car dealership? I’m going to short your car dealership.’” Anne Wojcicki also said that Rodriguez’s superstardom made day-to-day life a challenge. “We couldn’t go anywhere with him. If we went to Target to look for clothes for the kids, all of a sudden we’d be looking around and people would be saying, ‘We just want a selfie with A-Rod,’” she said. “He can’t walk across Central Park. He has to take a cab. That will work better with J-Lo because she’s like, ‘Take a picture of me anytime.’” As far as Mom’s opinion on Jennifer Lopez? “I wish J-Lo all the luck in the world,” she said. She’s not looking to step into another high-profile relationship anytime soon, either. “I’d really love to date someone who’s really simple and not famous. My life is already pretty complicated,” Anne Wojcicki told the Times. The exes seem to be doing just fine apart. Rodriguez recently landed the cover of “Vanity Fair” with his new love and is “living the dream.” As for Anne Wojcicki, she’s completely changing the genetic game, turning around the luck of her unlikely startup.
  • One pilot died and another was injured Monday when an Air Force T-38 Talon crashed in Del Rio, Texas, according to officials. >> Read more trending news The T-38 crashed around 4 p.m. about 14 miles northwest of Laughlin Air Force Base, where the jet was assigned, base officials said. Authorities did not immediately identify the pilots, citing the need to notify their families. According to Air Force officials, “the T-38 is the training aircraft used to teach student pilots the basics of flying.” >> Related: Veteran laid to rest with military honors thanks to kindness of strangers The circumstances surrounding the crash were not immediately clear. Base officials said a board of officers will investigate the crash. “Our biggest priority at this time is caring for the family and friends of our Airmen,” Col. Michelle Pryor, 47th Flying Training Wing vice commander, said in a news release. “We are a close-knit family, and when a tragedy like this occurs every member of the U.S. Armed Forces feels it. Our people take top priority, and we are committed to ensuring their safety and security.
  • A photo circulating on social media appears to show a Memphis Police Department officer . >> Watch the news report here The photo was posted on Saturday, and several viewers sent it to WHBQ. >> See the photo here Memphis police acknowledged the photo and issued the following statement: >> Read more trending news 'The officer in question has been identified, and an administrative investigation is underway. This behavior will not be tolerated, and I can assure you that corrective actions will be taken,' said Director Michael Rallings. 'This type of behavior does not represent the hardworking men and women of the Memphis Police Department.
  • Former Tulsa police officer Shannon Kepler was sentenced this week to 15 years in prison after a manslaughter conviction in the shooting death of Jeremy Lake, but like every aspect of the case, determining how long he may actually serve in prison is complicated. For starters his attorney, Richard O’Carroll, has already said they will appeal the conviction. There’s also the looming case of Patrick Dwayne Murphy, whose 1999 murder conviction was overturned by the U.S. 10th Circuit Court of Appeals because it occurred in “Indian country,” and Lake’s death also occurred on what is - according to that ruling - part of a Creek Nation reservation which was never officially disestablished by the federal government. Since Kepler’s been on the roles of the Creek Nation since 1983, the pending appeal in the Murphy case could potentially land his case in federal court, obviating anything the state court did.
  • Some people just never get tired of trying to prove the Moon landing was a hoax. This time, it's a video that was uploaded to YouTube and has gotten around a million views. Newsweek reports the uploader, looking at an old photo from the Apollo 17 mission, claims to have spotted a person not wearing a spacesuit in the reflection of the helmet visor of an Astronaut walking on the moon. But some commenters say it looks just like another astronaut to them. And some point out that these days, just about anyone with simple software can convincingly alter a photo. You can look at the photo in question here.
  • A led to a Butler County couple suing their police department for a wrongful drug bust. >> Read more trending newsAudrey and Edward Cramer talked about that incident on Thursday as they announced the lawsuit. The Cramers said it all started when their insurance agent came to their Buffalo Township home for a property damage claim and took pictures of hibiscus plants. The agent thought they were marijuana and gave the pictures to police. Audrey Cramer could not hold back the tears as she described how three Buffalo Township police officers pulled her out of her home on Oct. 5 wearing only her underwear. 'I was not treated as though I was a human being. I was just something they were going to push aside,' she said. “I asked them again if I could put pants on and he told me no and I had to stand out on the porch.' The Cramers say that police thought they were growing marijuana in the backyard of their Garden Way home. When officers got a search warrant and went to their house, the Cramers say their home was ransacked and they were handcuffed and forced to sit in a police car for four hours. 'Sometimes I think they look for a crime where it doesn't exist in order to justify their existence,' Edward Cramer said. Edward Cramer says he tried to explain that the plants were hibiscus flowers. The couple's attorney, Al Lindsay, filed a lawsuit today on their behalf. 'I cannot understand the frame of reference that was on these police officers’ minds, what were they thinking,” Lindsay said. The Cramers say they never got an apology. Audrey says she has severe emotional trauma. 'I don't sleep at night,” she said. “And you don't leave me at the house by myself.' Channel 11 reached out to the Buffalo Township police and the township manager but they have yet to respond.
  • After four long trials, former Tulsa police officer Shannon Kepler learned his sentence Monday. Kepler was convicted of fatally shooting his daughter's boyfriend, 19-year-old Jeremey Lake, in 2014. Carl Morse, Lake’s father, spoke during Shannon Kepler's sentencing hearing. Morse said he woke up Monday wanting to 'to rip the head off' of Kepler, but later said it would do him no good to carry that hate and that it wouldn't bring back his son. A judge later sentenced Kepler to 15 years in prison.