Lauren Hodges

It was just a month ago that a leaked video of Donald Trump boasting about grabbing women's genitals without their consent led House Speaker Paul Ryan to say he would not defend the Republican presidential nominee or campaign with him.

In the closing weeks of the election, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell had all but disappeared from public view, saying at one point last month, "I don't have any observations to make" about the presidential race.

Donald Trump's campaign released his final campaign video on Friday. It began with ominous piano music playing under one of Trump's speeches. As he condemns the "corrupt political establishment," grainy archive footage of his opponent Hillary Clinton and world leaders is mixed with stern, disappointed faces of everyday Americans.

"I'm doing this for the people and the movement," Trump is heard saying to a cheering crowd. "We will take back this country for you and we will make America great again."

The two-minute video is also generous with footage of his crowded rallies.

Donald Trump is continuing his homestretch campaign strategy of trying to stay on message. As the Clinton campaign also tries to focus on issues and policy in the heat of another FBI investigation, Trump rolled out his health care plan for the country. Noticeably, Hillary Clinton was largely absent from his speech Tuesday in Valley Forge, Pa.

Donald Trump's go-to criticism of U.S. military strategy for the Iraqi city of Mosul is that it should have been a sneak attack.

The Claim

FBI Director James Comey's letter to Congress reporting a renewed look into emails that could be related to Hilary Clinton's private server rocked the presidential race on Friday.

The Clinton campaign and supporters have jumped on Comey for making such a dramatic announcement so close to an election. The question being raised now is whether the timing and style of the announcement make it illegal.

For only the third time in 157 years, the bell at London's landmark clock will not toll the hours.

Big Ben resides in Elizabeth Tower at the Houses of Parliament. Starting next year, the bell will go silent for a few months as part of a three-year repair plan.

Former Texas A&M and Cleveland Browns quarterback Johnny Manziel, 23, has been indicted by a Dallas County grand jury on a misdemeanor assault charge.

Manziel's ex-girlfriend Colleen Crowley has accused him of hitting her and rupturing her eardrum in January.

The Dallas Morning News describes what happened:

A gay rights activist and his friend were killed Monday night in Bangladesh's capital, Dhaka, by a group of assailants reportedly armed with machetes and guns.

Their deaths are the latest in "a series of attacks on progressive voices that has deepened anxiety about growing fundamentalism in the tiny Muslim country, which borders India," NPR's Julie McCarthy tells our Newscast unit.

Xulhaz Mannan and a man said to be a close friend were slain by a half-dozen men posing as couriers when they forced their way inside Mannan's apartment, Julie reports.

National Intelligence Director James Clapper said Monday that he is looking at "several options" to make public the number of U.S. citizens caught up in online surveillance of foreign targets by the U.S. government.

The city of Cleveland agreed Monday to pay $6 million to settle a civil rights lawsuit brought by the family of Tamir Rice, the 12-year-old boy who was shot and killed by a police officer on Nov. 22, 2014.

The city did not admit any wrongdoing in the killing of Tamir, who was holding an air pellet gun and walking outside a recreation center when he was shot by Officer Timothy Loehmann.

Attorneys for Rowan County, Ky., clerk Kim Davis have filed an emergency motion with a federal court asking that Davis be immediately released from jail. The motion also reportedly requests that Davis be exempted from issuing marriage licenses.

U.S. District Judge David Bunning found Davis in contempt of court and ordered her jailed Thursday for refusing to issue marriage licenses; Davis has been protesting the legalization of same-sex marriage on religious grounds.

The Associated Press has filed a lawsuit against the DOJ related to a 2007 sting operation in which the FBI created a fake AP news story and an agent impersonated a journalist. The FBI was trying to apprehend a teenage suspect in several bomb threats in Washington state.

Simmons College announced it will close the campus master's degree program in business, the only one of its kind in the nation exclusively for women.

The National Portrait Gallery says it has no plans to heed calls by conservatives and anti-abortion activists to remove a bust of Margaret Sanger from an exhibit on civil rights. Sanger, who died in 1966, was an early supporter and activist for the birth control movement and the founder of Planned Parenthood.

NPR's Pam Fessler tells our Newscast unit that "the demands are part of a larger campaign against Planned Parenthood, after its employees were recorded talking about providing fetal tissue to medical researchers."

A Kentucky county clerk's office denied a marriage license for a same-sex couple on Thursday, despite a federal appeals court ruling the night before that upheld a judge's order compelling her to issue the licenses.

Citing religious objections, Kim Davis of Rowan County has refused to issue any marriage licenses since the Supreme Court's ruling June 26 that legalized same-sex marriage nationwide.

Mothers from around the country gathered in the nation's capital Saturday to protest police brutality in a march from Capitol Hill to the Justice Department.

The Facebook page for the Million Moms March on Washington event is overflowing with posts by mothers who lost their children to violent encounters with law enforcement. Joining them are grieving spouses, siblings and friends of those who died, posting photos, sharing their own experiences and voicing their support.

A U.S. district judge ruled Friday that the U.S. must release photos of American soldiers inflicting abuse on prisoners in Iraq and Afghanistan.

The ruling is a victory for The American Civil Liberties Union, which filed a lawsuit against the government in 2004, seeking the release of the photos. The ACLU claimed the pictures revealed significant human rights violations, specifically at the Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq.

Addressing a crowd at the Clinton Global Initiative University at Miami University in Coral Gables, Fla. on Saturday, former president Bill Clinton discussed the Clinton Foundation's decision to accept donations from foreign governments. The foundation's choice is questioned by critics as a possible conflict of interest, especially since some of the funds came in during Hillary Clinton's tenure as secretary of state, a post she left in 2013.

FBI Director James Comey is scheduled to speak at Georgetown University this morning about recent violent incidents involving police officers in minority communities.

D.C.'s new mayor Muriel E. Bowser surprised advocates for the homeless in the district when she filed an emergency motion late Thursday, hoping to end a mandatory demand to provide all homeless families a private room when temperatures drop below freezing.

In a move to cement their party's fiscal ideology, Republicans used the first vote of the new Congress to change the rules for estimating the economic consequences of major legislation.

Updated at 4:02 p.m. ET

Former Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell was sentenced today to two years in prison for public corruption.

U.S. District Judge James R. Spencer said McDonnell must report to prison on Feb. 9. Spencer said he was moved by the support for the former governor, but "a price must be paid. Unlike Pontius Pilate, I can't wash my hands of it all. A meaningful sentence must be imposed."

Earlier, McDonnell addressed the court, asking that Spencer show him and his wife, Maureen, mercy.

The 114th Congress convenes on Jan. 6 and GOP leaders are preparing their to-do list for the new year, when they will control both chambers. The November elections were a victory for Senate and House Republicans and the change in Congressional leadership will mean a new legislative landscape for President Obama, who entered the White House with a Democratic majority behind him.

First on the list, according to incoming Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, will be the Keystone XL oil pipeline. NPR's Ailsa Chang reported Monday on the tone of that first legislative action.

Arizona hoped an appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court would prevent the state from having to grant driving permits to young undocumented immigrants, also known as "dreamers," who entered the country as children. A federal appeals court ruled in July of this year that Arizona must start issuing the licenses to dreamers, who under Obama administration policy are permitted to remain in the United States.

NPR's Nina Totenberg reported on the Supreme Court's Wednesday decision and the background of the legal dispute:

In what The Associated Press called a "final flurry of accomplishment" Tuesday night, lawmakers were able to push through a bill that extended a package of tax breaks, which had expired at the end of 2013, and confirmed 12 more judicial nominees. NPR's Ailsa Chang reported the confirmations also marked a big accomplishment for the Obama administration.

Leaders on Capitol Hill are at odds regarding a report on CIA methods — including torture — used to extract information in the so-called war on terror.

Chairwoman of the Senate intelligence committee Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., has been fighting for the release of her 480-page executive summary of the report since April of this year, and it finally was scheduled for a reveal this week.

Congress returns for its final session of the year on Monday afternoon, and lawmakers have a big to-do list ahead before they can adjourn for the holidays.

The popular ride-service company Uber is in damage control mode after a senior vice president expressed interest in unveiling details about the private lives of journalists in retaliation for unflattering coverage of Uber's business practices.

Winterlike weather hit the West and Midwest, and it hit hard. Northern areas of Wisconsin saw up to 18 inches of snow, while central Michigan was left shoveling through more than 16 inches. The freeze is expected to hit the East Coast after some unseasonably warm weather there this week.

France and its beloved cuisine come with more than a few cliches: the butter, the frog legs, the snooty chef twirling a curled mustache. To outsiders, it's part of the French identity.

But anyone who regularly cooks French food (or has at least attempted it) knows it's rarely that simple or predictable. Yes, there's butter, but more striking is how much patience it requires. That's what Mimi Thorisson, writer of the popular French cooking blog Manger, says she's learned since making France and its food a part of her daily life.