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  • White House
President Trump talks to opera performers Wednesday in the Forbidden City.
President Trump talks to opera performers Wednesday in the Forbidden City. (Jim Watson / AFP/Getty Images)

President Trump began his first full day in China on Thursday with an elaborate welcome ceremony ahead of a series of talks with Chinese leader Xi Jinping.

Trump's meetings with Xi begin as Chinese police hold three UCLA students accused of shoplifting in a hotel in Hangzhou.

Trump began his day at the Great Hall of the People, an imposing government building that sits by Tiananmen Square. Normally brisk Beijing traffic was halted as the American president's motorcade made its way from the St. Regis Hotel for the short journey. The tourists that normally pack the square were also missing.

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  • White House
  • Congress
  • Taxes
House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Kevin Brady (R-Texas)
House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Kevin Brady (R-Texas) (Michael Reynolds / EPA/Shutterstock)

As they prepare to unveil their own sweeping tax plan, Senate Republicans are revisiting key provisions of the House GOP proposal, including possibly eliminating property tax deductions as well as state income tax deductions, increasing the size of child-care credits, offering more help to small businesses and having corporate tax cuts phase in or expire, according to those familiar with the negotiations.

The final outline of the Senate plan, scheduled to be released Thursday, remained a work in progress, officials cautioned.

"Everything is on the table,” one Republican official who did not want to be identified discussing the talks said Tuesday evening.

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  • White House
  • Congress
  • Taxes

The federal deficit would grow by $1.7 trillion under the House Republican tax plan, according to a nonpartisan analysis released Wednesday, raising fresh concerns for passage because budget rules in the Senate don't allow for so much red ink.

The assessment from the Congressional Budget Office comes as Republicans are muscling the bill for a vote in the House as soon as next week.

House GOP officials had no immediate comment.

(AFP / Getty Images)

The Trump administration announced new rules Wednesday to make it tougher for U.S. businesses to work in Cuba and for Americans to travel to the island.

The restrictions are aimed at finally enacting what Trump in June described as plans to reverse the Obama-era diplomatic opening with the communist-ruled island.

Effective Thursday, businesses will be required to obey a new set of regulations that are "intended to steer economic activity away from the Cuban military, intelligence and security services," a senior White House official said, speaking on condition of anonymity to brief reporters.

It’s the election America just can’t quit.

One year later, much of the country continues to obsess over Trump vs. Clinton, as though still seated on the couch, eyes agoggle, watching the final decisive returns trickle in from Pennsylvania and Wisconsin.

This is not normal.

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Gov.-elect Ralph Northam, right, and Lt. Gov.-elect Justin Fairfax greet supporters at a Democratic election night rally in Fairfax, Va.
Gov.-elect Ralph Northam, right, and Lt. Gov.-elect Justin Fairfax greet supporters at a Democratic election night rally in Fairfax, Va. (Win McNamee / Getty Images)

Democrat Ralph Northam swept to victory in the race for Virginia governor on Tuesday in a night of political retaliation against President Trump that also saw a Democratic gubernatorial win in New Jersey.

Northam’s victory sketched out a path that Democratic strategists hope other candidates can follow in next year’s contest for control of Congress.

He piled up big margins in the suburbs of northern Virginia, the most populous and voter-rich area of the state, where animosity toward the president runs deep. At the same time, Northam, the lieutenant governor, also fared better than many Democrats have in more rural areas, preventing the Republican candidate, Ed Gillespie, from running up the score in the southern and western areas of the state, where Trump trounced Hillary Clinton one year ago.

Democrats staked an early lead Tuesday night in their bid to control the Washington state Senate and establish single-party reign over the West Coast.

Manka Dhingra, a King County prosecutor, pulled ahead 55% to 45% over Republican Jinyoung Englund, a former congressional aide, in initial returns.

Although Democrats claimed victory, final results in Washington's all-mail election will not be known for several days.

  • White House
A North Korean army officer looks out at the Demilitarized Zone.
A North Korean army officer looks out at the Demilitarized Zone. (Wong Maye-E / Associated Press)

President Trump tried to make a dramatic surprise visit to the highly fortified border between North and South Korea on Tuesday, but his helicopter had to turn back because of bad weather, his spokeswoman said.

Trump intended to meet South Korean President Moon Jae-in and stand together at the Demilitarized Zone in a "historic moment" for the presidents of the two nations, White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders told reporters traveling with the president.

But fog prevented Trump's helicopter from making the trip, she said. The president's retinue waited about an hour to make a second attempt, but the fog got worse instead of better.  

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Atty. Gen. Jeff Sessions is sworn in during his confirmation hearing in January.
Atty. Gen. Jeff Sessions is sworn in during his confirmation hearing in January. (Molly Riley / AFP/Getty Images)

Federal prosecutors have decided to drop a case against a woman arrested in the U.S. Capitol after she laughed during the confirmation hearing for Atty. Gen. Jeff Sessions.

Desiree Ali-Fairooz, an activist with the Code Pink organization, was one of three protesters arrested by Capitol Police during the opening statements of Sessions’ January hearing before the Senate Judiciary Committee.  In court filings, prosecutors alleged she let out bursts of laughter after Sen. Richard C. Shelby (R-Ala.) praised Sessions during his opening remarks.

She was convicted of a misdemeanor in District of Columbia court, but a judge threw out the conviction in July and ordered a new trial. After Ali-Fairooz rejected a plea deal, the U.S. attorney's office in Washington continued to press the case. But prosecutors filed a notice dismissing the charges on Monday, a week before the second trial was to begin.

People visit crosses representing the victims killed at a church in Sutherland Springs, Texas. (Larry W. Smith / EPA / Shutterstock)
People visit crosses representing the victims killed at a church in Sutherland Springs, Texas. (Larry W. Smith / EPA / Shutterstock)

In the aftermath of the mass shooting at a church in Sutherland Springs, Texas, the second-ranking Senate Republican said Tuesday that Congress would begin working on legislation to tighten background-check compliances for gun purchases.

The proposal announced by Sen. John Cornyn of Texas, the GOP whip, could become one of the rare times congressional Republicans have responded with legislative action following a shooting that caused mass casualties. Twenty-six people were killed when a gunman opened fire on Sunday church services.

"Obviously if things like this can happen in spite of the law, then we need to look at that and try to fix it as best we can," Cornyn said. "This seems to be an area where there is bipartisan support."