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Ron Fleming is 74 now, but he's spent most of his life trying to recapture what life felt like when he was 21, fighting in Vietnam.

Fleming was a door gunner in the war, hanging out of a helicopter on a strap with a machine gun in his hands. He fought in the Tet Offensive of 1968, sometimes for 40 hours straight, firing 6,000 rounds a minute. But he never gave much thought to catching a bullet himself.

A woman running for Congress as a Democrat in Kansas — a red state — says she will drop out following the revelation of a sexual harassment allegation lodged by a former employee whom she had fired.

Andrea Ramsey, a retired business executive, was one of the Democratic candidates running to challenge Republican Rep. Kevin Yoder in Kansas' 3rd Congressional District.

Ramsey vehemently denied the allegations in a letter posted on her campaign's Facebook page.

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This evening, Republican lawmakers released the final version of tax legislation that's been making its way through Congress for the past several weeks.

The Trump administration has announced plans to withdraw a regulation that would have required organic egg producers to give their hens room to graze outdoors.

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Let's talk more about the Russia investigation we just heard about with our political commentators. This week we have Ana Kasparian, host for The Young Turks Network, here at NPR West, with me. Welcome.

ANA KASPARIAN: Thank you for having me.

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This was a big week for Democrats.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

UNIDENTIFIED MAN: Doug Jones the Democrat, he will be the next United States senator from Alabama. He beats...

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Today we are wrapping up our series of Highly Specific Superlatives. And this entry starts with a scene in a TV show.

(SOUNDBITE OF TV SHOW, "ONE MISSISSIPPI")

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.

Updated at 4:50 p.m. ET

The day after the suicide of Kentucky state Rep. Dan Johnson, his widow announced that she plans to run for his seat.

"Dan is gone but the story of his life is far from over," Rebecca Johnson said in a statement Thursday to multiple news outlets. "These high-tech lynchings based on lies and half-truths can't be allowed to win the day. I've been fighting behind my husband for 30 years and his fight will go on."

Updated at 3:15 p.m. ET

A grand jury tasked with investigating broad issues of hazing at Penn State has issued a blistering report asserting that leaders at the university were well aware of pervasive misbehavior in the Greek system and failed to take action.

Penn State, responding in court, said that the university has "shown an unwavering commitment to promoting safety and accountability" and that alcohol abuse at college is a "national problem," not a university-specific one.

Authorities say a woman on Long Island, N.Y., stole and transferred more than $85,000 to support the Islamic State, using bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies.

Zoobia Shahnaz, 27, is charged with bank fraud, conspiracy to commit money laundering and three counts of money laundering, according to a statement from the Department of Justice. She pleaded not guilty on Thursday in U.S. District Court in Central Islip, N.Y.

Britain's senior-most military officer is warning that an improving Russian navy poses risks to undersea communications and Internet cables, saying any disruption could do "catastrophic" damage to the economy.

Air Chief Marshal Sir Stuart Peach said Britain and NATO need to prioritize protecting communications cables running along the seabed between countries and continents to prevent them being severed.

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U.S. retailers are looking forward to a strong holiday season this year after new numbers show higher than expected sales for November.

The Commerce Department said Thursday that retail and food sales were up 5.8 percent last month over November 2016, according to advance estimates. And, sales were up a seasonally adjusted 0.8 percent from October of this year.

A risky move by one of the defense teams has led to unusual drama in the seemingly-endless pre-trial proceedings of the 9/11 war crimes case.

Defense attorney Walter Ruiz decided to roll the dice and challenge the prosecution to prove that his client, alleged 9/11 money man Mustafa al Hawsawi, should be tried as a war criminal.

It's no secret that we've had a rough fall and winter with natural disasters. Even as we write this, fires burn in Southern California, adding to the previous wildfires in the northern part of the state that burned over 245,000 acres in October.

Hurricanes Irma and Harvey devastated communities across Florida and Texas, while touching communities in Georgia, Alabama, Tennessee, the Carolinas and Louisiana.

Debra Thompson is throwing a block party. She has good weather for it — never a sure thing in Chicago — a warm and sunny autumn afternoon. Music is playing, hot dogs are grilling.

But this party isn't just for fun. Thompson is the volunteer chairwoman of Englewood Village, an organization that connects low-income older adults on the city's South Side with services from nutrition to job assistance to home repair. And this is how she is reaching out to potential new members.

With lawmakers in the House and Senate announcing that they've reached a deal, affordable housing advocates are anxiously waiting to see which version of the bill wins out with regard to housing. They say the House bill has a poison pill in it.

"The effect would be devastating," says Diane Yentel, president of the National Low Income Housing Coalition. "It would mean a loss of around 800,000 affordable rental homes over the next 10 years."

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.

On Friday, nine federal judges in Chicago will continue a rare joint hearing to decide whether discrimination is the reason why U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives agents stage phony drug stash house stings in mostly black neighborhoods in Chicago.

The judges decided to get together instead of hearing 12 cases they were overseeing separately.

One attorney says while he's never seen anything like the judges' panel before, the phony drug stash house sting operation aimed at suspects is not new.

After the storm blew out her windows, Maria Enid Rodriguez lost water, Internet, power and her entire home office. Her company offered her a one-way ticket to be with family in New Britain, Conn. Rodriguez refused. She said that it was a round trip ticket or nothing. She wanted to come back.

"I went to New Britain for 10 days," she said, through her tears. "Not for me. For them. For my daughters. They have to see me, that I was okay."

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.

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