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Information about children that cannot be collected unless a parent first gives permission now includes the location data that a cellphone generates, as well as photos, videos, and audio files containing a human image or voice, according to the rules announced Wednesday. Data known as "persistent identifiers" that allow a person to be tracked over time and across various websites are also considered personal data and covered by the rules, the agency said.

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Obama: He and Boehner 'pretty close' to a deal

WASHINGTON (AP) â¿¿ Optimistic despite a tightening deadline, President Barack Obama said Wednesday he and House Speaker John Boehner are "pretty close" to a grand fiscal deal to avoid a first-of-the-year shock to the economy, but that congressional Republicans "keep on finding ways to say no as opposed to finding ways to say yes."

Obama cast a resolution to the "fiscal cliff" as a matter of political will. He said in the aftermath of the massacre of school children in Connecticut, the nation deserves a compromise by its political leaders.

Obama spoke to reporters at the White House after announcing an administration-wide response to Friday's shooting at an elementary school in Newtown that killed 20 first-graders and six adults.

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US seeks 'balanced' trade relationship with China

WASHINGTON (AP) â¿¿ The U.S. is seeking a more balanced trade relationship with China at talks Wednesday that could set the tone for cooperation after political transitions in the world's two largest economies.

The annual joint commission on commerce and trade meeting comes weeks after President Barack Obama's re-election and the elevation of new leaders of China's ruling Communist Party.

Few concrete outcomes are expected, but Washington will be looking for signs of the economic policy direction under new Chinese leader Xi Jinping. The U.S. wants China to stimulate domestic demand and become less reliant on export growth and allow more market access for American companies.

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