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Sen. Susan Collins, the Maine Republican whose vote was pivotal in pushing the GOP tax bill forward last week, thought she had a deal to bolster health care protections in exchange for her support.

But it's now unclear whether her strategy to shore up part of the Affordable Care Act will prevail or that it would produce the results she anticipates.

This week In the Russia investigations: Downshift from strategic war to knife fight, top G-Men on his back foot as lawmakers engage in oversight, Trump Jr. clammed up in Congress.

Now, a knife fight

Not long ago, this saga was about Justice Department special counsel Robert Mueller's surveying the battlefield like a general and with one swift coup — getting Michael Flynn to turn state's evidence — changing the whole strategic picture.

Hello and welcome to another edition of our weekly education news roundup! These are a few of the big stories that got our attention this week.

U.S. readers slip a bit

Fourth-grade students in the Russian Federation and Singapore earned top scores on the PIRLS 2016, an international assessment of reading comprehension given every five years. Perhaps most impressive, more than a quarter of students in both countries are, according to the results, advanced readers.

The allegations of sexual misconduct made against Roy Moore, the Republican candidate for U.S. Senate, may have been surprising and even shocking to those who aren't familiar with politics in Alabama. But the state's political history is littered with episodes mixing sex and power in unseemly ways.

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Updated at 10:34 p.m. ET

Speaking at a campaign rally Friday night in Florida — but about 20 miles from the Alabama state line — President Trump seized upon news that one of GOP Senate nominee Roy Moore's accusers had added to a yearbook inscription which she has offered in support of her allegations that Moore sexually assaulted her when she was a teenager decades ago.

"So did you see what happened today? You know the yearbook?" Trump asked attendees in Pensacola, Fla. "There was a little mistake made."

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We're going to talk now to a writer who has been thinking a lot this week about the Jerusalem he used to know.

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UNIDENTIFIED CROWD: (Chanting in foreign language).

UNIDENTIFIED WOMAN: (Chanting in foreign language).

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Encore: Hiroshima Survivor Remembers

Dec 8, 2017

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It has been quite a week on Capitol Hill, with three members of Congress announcing their resignations over allegations of sexual misconduct. The first came on Tuesday - Democratic Congressman John Conyers.

GOP Congresswoman On Sexual Assault

Dec 8, 2017

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Hope Solo, the goalkeeper who was a key part of winning U.S. teams at the Olympics and World Cup, has announced her candidacy to be the next president of U.S. Soccer.

"What we have lost in America is belief in our system, in our coaches, in our talent pool, and in the governance of US Soccer," Solo wrote in an extensive Facebook post on Thursday. "We now must refocus our goals and come together as a soccer community to bring about the changes we desire."

Health officials are warning that the United States may have an unusually harsh flu season this year.

But they stress that flu seasons are notoriously difficult to predict, and it's far too early to know for sure what may happen.

Party leaders played a pivotal role in forcing the resignations of three members of Congress within three days this week, and their work might not be done yet.

More than two months after a mysterious radioactive cloud was detected over Europe, Russia's nuclear industry went public Friday in an attempt to dispel fears that one of its facilities had released a plume of ruthenium-106.

Russia's state nuclear corporation, ROSATOM, released the findings of a special commission, which concluded that the Mayak nuclear reprocessing plant, near the border with Kazakhstan, could not have been the source of ruthenium-106, a radioactive isotope.

White House deputy national security adviser Dina Powell will resign from her position early next year, the first of what could be several departures expected around the one-year anniversary of President Trump's swearing-in.

Powell has been deeply involved in the Trump administration's Middle East policy and has accompanied him on his trips overseas, sitting in on meetings with world leaders and offering counsel.

In the first century, a doctor called Aretaeus of Cappadocia described the rotting smell of "Egyptian ulcers." Ancient Chinese medical literature mentions a disease called "children-killing carbuncle." In 17th century Spain there were references to an illness known as "the strangler."

Updated December 9 at 11:50 am ET

This year marked major anniversaries for some of the most beloved works of classical music, from George Frideric Handel’s “Water Music” suite, first performed 300 years ago, to the 125th anniversary of “The Nutcracker” suite.

Jerry Parkes stands in a vast field of spiky leaves and peers at a pineapple that is larger than usual. "Wow, look at the size of this fruit!" he exclaims.

"The Defense Department is starting the first agency-wide financial audit in its history," the Pentagon's news service says, announcing that it's undertaking an immense task that has been sought, promised and delayed for years.

Of the tally that is starting this week, chief Pentagon spokesperson Dana W. White said, "It demonstrates our commitment to fiscal responsibility and maximizing the value of every taxpayer dollar that is entrusted to us."

Pope Francis isn't pleased with the words to the Lord's Prayer — specifically, the part about temptation.

In an interview with an Italian TV network, the pontiff said that the current language of the Our Father prayer "is not a good translation."

Updated at 2:35 p.m. ET

At least 14 U.N. peacekeepers were killed when rebels attacked a peacekeeping base in a remote area of the Democratic Republic of the Congo on Thursday. Five Congolese soldiers also died and at least 40 peacekeepers were wounded in the three-hour firefight.

"This is the worst attack on U.N. peacekeepers in the organization's recent history," U.N. Secretary-General António Guterres said in a statement Friday.

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