Yellen says improving economy strengthens case for rate hike

WASHINGTON (AP) — Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen told Congress on Thursday that an improving U.S. economy has strengthened the case for raising interest rates. Her comments were seen as boosting the likelihood of a rate hike in December, as the country prepares for President-elect Donald Trump to take office.

  • Written by MARTIN CRUTSINGER, AP Economics Writer

Southern wildfires have threatened communities on edge

TIGER, Ga. (AP) — Thick smoke has settled over a wide area of the southern Appalachians, where dozens of uncontrolled wildfires are burning through decades of leaf litter and people breathe in tiny bits of the forest with every gulp of air.

  • Written by JEFF MARTIN, Associated Press

Colson Whitehead, Rep. John Lewis win National Book Awards

NEW YORK (AP) —€” On a night of nervous laughter and cathartic tears and applause, Colson Whitehead's "The Underground Railroad" won the National Book Award for fiction and Democratic U.S. Rep. John Lewis, of Georgia, shared the prize for young people's literature for a graphic novel about his civil rights activism.

  • Written by HILLEL ITALIE, AP National Writer

Officer charged in shooting that was streamed on Facebook

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — Prosecutors say that when Philando Castile was pulled over in July, he calmly told the officer he had a gun and was licensed to carry it.

  • Written by KYLE POTTER, Associated Press AMY FORLITI, Associated Press