National News

Updated at 4 p.m. ET

An explosion tore through a coal mine in northern Iran on Wednesday, killing at least 21 miners and injuring many more, according to Iranian state media.

Sadeq-Ali Moqaddam, head of the emergency department of Golestan Province, said 21 bodies were recovered from the mine following the explosion, according to Press TV, the English language arm of Iranian state television. He added that about 14 people were believed to still be trapped in the mine.

At six in the morning, trucks line the streets of Dandong. They're filled with heavy machinery, refrigerators, fruit — all waiting to cross a bridge over the Yalu River into North Korea.

The China-Korea Friendship Bridge is a lifeline for North Korean leader Kim Jong Un. Seventy percent of North Korea's trade passes over it, trade that's been a source of tension as the Trump administration tries to persuade China to cut exports to the North.

Updated at 3:15 p.m. ET.

FBI Director James Comey on Wednesday defended his decision to tell Congress in October that he was revisiting the bureau's investigation into Hillary Clinton's emails.

Testifying before the Senate Judiciary Committee, Comey said he believed revisiting the investigation just before the election — knowing it could affect the outcome — would be really bad, but that not to do so would be catastrophic for the agency's independence. In retrospect, he said, he still believes he made the right choice.

Arkansas is scheduled to execute convicted murderer Kenneth William tonight, who has been on death row since 2000.

Williams is set to be the fourth and final inmate executed there this month, after the state initially scheduled eight condemned inmates to die over 11 days — the fastest pace of executions in decades.

Updated at 12:30 p.m. ET

The Republican chairmen of the House and Senate Appropriations committees have endorsed the idea of a short-term spending bill to keep the government open while budget negotiations continue.

The stop-gap spending measure, introduced by House Appropriations Chairman Rodney Frelinghuysen of New Jersey, would put off the deadline to May 5.

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