HATFIELD, Pa. (AP) — President Barack Obama is urging Congress to pass an extension of tax cuts for middle class families, saying a tax increase would be like a "lump of coal" for Christmas. In a campaign-style event in the Philadelphia suburbs to sell his solution on the "fiscal cliff," Obama said Republicans should extend existing Bush-era tax rates for households earning $250,000 or less, and allow increases to kick in for the wealthy. He says both sides will need to get out of their "comfort zones" to reach an agreement.
WASHINGTON (AP) — The House has approved legislation to offer green cards to foreign students with advanced degrees in science, technology, engineering and mathematics from U.S. colleges. The bill passed on 245-139 vote. It drew fire from Democrats because it would kill a program that helps less-trained people from Africa and elsewhere gain entry to this country. It's unlikely the Senate's Democratic leadership will take up the measure, which the White House opposes.
FOUNTAIN HILLS, Ariz. (AP) — Cindy Hill says she and her husband Mark are "stunned" right now, but it'll be "nice" to be able to take trips with family and not have to work now that they're multimillionaires. The Dearborn, Mo., couple had one of the two winning tickets sold for this week's Powerball jackpot. A local pastor says the Hills have grown children and an adopted daughter. In a statement, lottery officials say the Hills are now considering a second adoption, though Mark does have his eye on at least one thing: a red Camaro.
CASPER, Wyo. (AP) — At least one person has been killed and another wounded in an attack at a community college in central Wyoming. A spokesman for Casper College says police have taken one person into custody. The campus has been locked down and students are being advised to stay where they're at until police give the all clear.
HOMESTEAD, Fla. (AP) — Federal officials have given wildlife agents a rare shoot to kill order as they hunt for a Nile crocodile loose near Miami. Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission officials have spent months trying to catch the young croc. The reptile is only about 3 feet long and not a threat yet, but it could be a danger if it gets bigger. The Nile crocodile can grow to nearly 20 feet and is able to jump higher and run faster than its American cousin. The commission is investigating where the crocodile came from.