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UPDATE - 08:04 PM

Obama: U.S. re-establishing relations with Cuba

President Obama announced the re-establishment of diplomatic relations and an easing in economic and travel restrictions on Cuba Wednesday, declaring an end to America's "outdated approach" to the communist island in a historic shift aimed at ending a half-century of Cold War enmity.

Fund For The Needy

Readers open hearts, set record pace

Brisia Jahana Ivarra Gomez, 11, picks up her "weekend backpack" full of food. The Salvation Army, one of 12 agencies benefiting from The Seattle Times Fund For The Needy, distributes the backpacks for 444 Renton elementary-school kids from low-income households. The fund has received $583,879 since the campaign began Nov. 23.

STEVE RINGMAN/ THE SEATTLE TIMES

Brisia Jahana Ivarra Gomez, 11, picks up her "weekend backpack" full of food. The Salvation Army, one of 12 agencies benefiting from The Seattle Times Fund For The Needy, distributes the backpacks for 444 Renton elementary-school kids from low-income households. The fund has received $583,879 since the campaign began Nov. 23.

Inslee targets top polluters with cap-and-trade plan

The central piece of Gov. Inslee’s proposal is a Carbon Pollution Accountability Act, which would affect the top 130 carbon-emitting facilities and fuel distributors in the state. Those businesses would be required to buy permits for every metric ton of greenhouse gas emissions per year.

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Living the magic of Santa

Dan Kemmis's appearances as Santa run the gamut - malls, hotels, scout troops, motorcycles shows. After eight years, he describes his experience as Santa as an honor. Video by Bettina Hansen and Lauren Frohne

Robotic art reveals beauty beneath toys

Tougher tactics stinging sex buyers

Weekend Backpacks for kids in need

Enter to win!

Enter to win!

Share a photo of your holiday lights display and you may win a $100 Home Depot gift card.

The Fund For The Needy

The Fund For The Needy

100% of donations go directly to nonprofits serving some of the most vulnerable members of our community — children, families and seniors. Learn more

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