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Police officer, three others killed in Wisconsin shooting: reports

Police officer, three others killed in Wisconsin shooting: reports A police officer and three other people were killed in a string of shootings, including at a bank and a law firm, in central Wisconsin following what police referred to as domestic incident, media reported on Wednesday. A suspect was taken into custody by police at an apartment building in Weston, a community of 15,000 about 90 miles (140 km) west of Green Bay, in the wake of the shootings, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel newspaper reported. The incident began with a "domestic situation," the Journal Sentinel reported, citing a press release from the Rothschild Police Department.


Trump fights for healthcare bill, makes headway with conservatives

Trump fights for healthcare bill, makes headway with conservatives By David Morgan and Susan Cornwell WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. President Donald Trump and House of Representatives leaders pushed on Wednesday for votes for their plan to overhaul Obamacare and said they were making progress in their efforts to win over conservative Republicans who have demanded changes to the legislation. With a vote on the bill possible as soon as Thursday, members of the House Freedom Caucus, a conservative Republican faction, said they had been negotiating alterations to the plan with the White House. Much of the discussion hinged on conservatives' desire to scrap what are labeled "essential health benefits" - services that insurance plans are required to cover under the Affordable Care Act, commonly called Obamacare, such as mental health help.


Top Senate Democrat says repealing essential benefits would need 60 votes

Top Senate Democrat says repealing essential benefits would need 60 votes A spokesman for Senate Democratic leader Charles Schumer said on Wednesday a proposal to add a provision to a Republican healthcare bill repealing essential Obamacare benefits would violate reconciliation rules and thus require 60 votes to pass the chamber. "Repealing the essential health benefits provisions under the Affordable Care Act is a policy change, not budgetary, and thus violates the Byrd Rule," Schumer's spokesman, Matt House, said in a statement.  "It will require 60 votes to repeal these protections, and the votes just aren’t there in the Senate,” the statement said.


Oklahoma tribe approves gay marriage as Native American groups debate issue

Oklahoma tribe approves gay marriage as Native American groups debate issue A Native American tribe in Oklahoma has voted to allow same-sex marriage, joining a small group of prominent tribes changing their law in light of the U.S. Supreme Court's landmark 2015 decision making the practice legal in all states. The same-sex case known as Obergefell v Hodges has rippled through the 567 federally recognized Indian Nations. As sovereign entities, they are not necessarily bound by the Supreme Court decision, leaving many in the precarious position of trying to decide whether to make the hot-button issue part of their traditional law.


Ex-Dean Foods chairman's story in Walters trial comes under fire

Ex-Dean Foods chairman's story in Walters trial comes under fire Lawyer Barry Berke's cross-examination, which began on the fourth day of trial in Manhattan federal court, sought to undermine Davis's testimony on topics including his own admitted history of marital infidelity and soliciting prostitutes. Davis has pleaded guilty to insider trading charges and is cooperating with prosecutors.


Plan for $7.5 billion Kushner family New York tower faces hurdles: report

Plan for $7.5 billion Kushner family New York tower faces hurdles: report The family-owned company that until recently was headed by U.S. President Donald Trump's son-in-law hopes to turn an aging New York office tower into a signature development that could be worth up to $12 billion, a report said on Wednesday. Chinese insurer Anbang Insurance Group is in advanced talks to provide as much as half of $2.5 billion in equity for the planned redevelopment of 666 Fifth Avenue, the Wall Street Journal reported. The overall project for the flagship 39-story building, which is controlled by Kushner Cos, is valued at $7.5 billion.


California State University system votes to raise tuition

California State University system votes to raise tuition Trustees for the 23 California State University campuses on Wednesday voted to increase tuition for the nation's largest four-year public university system by 5 percent despite loud protests from students. The fee hike, the first for the Cal State system since 2011, comes as its leaders lobby Governor Jerry Brown to increase funding that was trimmed as the state racked up deep budget deficits brought on in part by public employee pension obligations. "The university faces a critical juncture where additional revenue is needed if we are to continue the trajectory that has seen campuses reach all-time highs in graduation rates," Steve Relyea, executive vice chancellor and chief financial officer of the CSU, said in a statement announcing the tuition raise.


House caucus leader says looking at essential benefits amendment

House caucus leader says looking at essential benefits amendment WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. Representative Mark Meadows, chairman of the conservative House Freedom Caucus, said on Wednesday he has talked to the White House about adding an amendment to the House Republican healthcare bill that would cut essential health benefits mandated by Obamacare. "The president is talking to us about potential concerns that we've had with regards to Title I and essential health benefits," Meadows told reporters after a caucus meeting. (Reporting by David Morgan; Writing by Eric Beech; Editing by Eric Walsh)


Top Senate Democrat says repealing essential benefits would need 60 votes

Top Senate Democrat says repealing essential benefits would need 60 votes A spokesman for Senate Democratic leader Charles Schumer said on Wednesday a proposal to add a provision to a Republican healthcare bill repealing essential Obamacare benefits would violate reconciliation rules and thus require 60 votes to pass the chamber. "Repealing the essential health benefits provisions under the Affordable Care Act is a policy change, not budgetary, and thus violates the Byrd Rule," Schumer's spokesman, Matt House, said in a statement.  "It will require 60 votes to repeal these protections, and the votes just aren’t there in the Senate,” the statement said.


Immigrant whose daughter appealed to pope requests asylum in U.S.

Immigrant whose daughter appealed to pope requests asylum in U.S. A Mexican immigrant whose daughter appealed to Pope Francis three years ago to stop his deportation from the United States requested asylum at a federal court hearing in Los Angeles on Wednesday. Mario Vargas-Lopez's attorney argued the 45-year-old could be the victim of violence if he is deported to Mexico because of the international attention his case has received. "People in Mexico know who he is, and he might be targeted for ransom and extortion," attorney Alex Galvez said in a phone interview after the hearing.


Trump faces off against Washington Republicans used to saying no

Trump faces off against Washington Republicans used to saying no WASHINGTON — President Trump, while trying to push a health care bill through Congress, is also trying to overcome a Republican political culture that for years has rewarded saying no to political leaders.


White House says it’s ‘insane’ to suggest Trump knew campaign chairman worked on pro-Putin project

White House says it’s ‘insane’ to suggest Trump knew campaign chairman worked on pro-Putin project On Wednesday, White House press secretary Sean Spicer sought to put additional distance between President Trump and his former campaign chairman, Paul Manafort. Yahoo News asked Spicer about an Associated Press report that Manafort crafted a plan to advance Putin’s interests in 2005 for a billionaire client with ties to the Russian president.


Factbox: Political risk outlook calendar for Trump agenda

Factbox: Political risk outlook calendar for Trump agenda (Reuters) - Financial market concerns are rising about the pace of policymaking in Washington under U.S. President Donald Trump and fellow Republicans in Congress, with investors focused on knock-on effects from any setbacks in Trump's Obamacare rollback plan.


Senator Tim Kaine: Nunes intel disclosure a ‘distraction’ from Russia investigation

Senator Tim Kaine: Nunes intel disclosure a ‘distraction’ from Russia investigation Senator Tim Kaine, D-Va., said Wednesday that the announcement by Rep. Devin Nunes, R-Calif., stating that intelligence agencies had swept up incidental communications from the Trump campaign was intended to distract attention from the FBI’s investigation. “I think it’s an attempt to distract from something that clearly makes the administration — and many members of the GOP — very, very nervous: the ongoing investigation that the FBI has acknowledged into contacts between the Trump campaign — and possibly the transition and administration — and the Russian government,” Kaine, who ran as Hillary Clinton’s nominee for vice president against Trump in 2016, told Yahoo Global News Anchor Katie Couric.


White man who wanted to harm blacks arrested in New York stabbing: police

White man who wanted to harm blacks arrested in New York stabbing: police A white man who police said traveled to New York City to harm black people turned himself in with knives in his pocket at a Manhattan police station on Wednesday, a day after authorities say he fatally stabbed a black man on a city sidewalk. James Harris Jackson, 28, told police he left his home in Baltimore on Friday and took the bus to New York "because it is the media capital of the world and he wanted to make a statement," Bill Aubrey, a deputy chief at the New York Police Department, told reporters. On Monday night, Jackson crossed paths with Timothy Caughman, a black man who was rummaging through garbage on a sidewalk in Manhattan's Hell's Kitchen neighborhood, according to police.


GOP Rep. Brooks bashes party’s health care bill ahead of key vote

GOP Rep. Brooks bashes party’s health care bill ahead of key vote The American Health Care Act, embraced by Speaker Paul Ryan, is in danger of losing too many Republican votes to pass during Thursday’s vote in the House. Brooks’s Freedom Caucus, a group of staunchly conservative lawmakers, is opposing the bill in its current form, and there was speculation Wednesday that the vote may be delayed. “The best argument that the proponents of the legislation have right now is that it’s not as bad as Obamacare.


Can you tally up world progress?

Can you tally up world progress? When the cold war ended a quarter century ago, and with it the division of the world into two “camps,” the United Nations decided to start measuring the progress of humanity as a whole. The hope behind such alternative indicators is that an attempt to measure something might help reveal what causes it or could push it along.


Security tightened at UK sites in New York after London attack

Security tightened at UK sites in New York after London attack By Laila Kearney NEW YORK (Reuters) - New York police ramped up security at British sites across the city on Wednesday after an assailant fatally stabbed a policeman outside Britain's parliament and was then shot and killed by police. Heavily armed officers and explosives-detecting dogs were deployed to locations including the British Consulate and the British Mission to the United Nations in Manhattan, senior New York Police Department officials told a news conference. "You'll see a larger presence of the dogs at these locations, as well as (officers) armed with the long guns," said James Waters, the police department's counterterrorism chief.


After ISIS: For Iraqis, reconciliation in Mosul will be challenging, and vital

After ISIS: For Iraqis, reconciliation in Mosul will be challenging, and vital The colonel is a quintessential Iraqi military man: shaved head, bushy black mustache, and very proud of how the Iraqi Army has rebuilt and “proved it is professional” in the fight to oust the Islamic State from Mosul. Like many in Iraq, the colonel is wary that the challenges of reconciliation and winning the peace in Mosul and across the complex ethnic mosaic of Nineveh Province will be harder than winning the war. Recommended: How much do you know about the Islamic State?


Trump fights for support ahead of U.S. healthcare vote

Trump fights for support ahead of U.S. healthcare vote By David Morgan and Susan Cornwell WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. President Donald Trump and Republican congressional leaders appeared on Wednesday to be losing the battle to get enough support in the House of Representatives to pass their Obamacare rollback bill, watched by wary investors in financial markets. The current House Republican plan is scheduled for a floor vote on Thursday, but faces resistance from some conservative Republicans who view it as too similar to Obamacare, and from moderates concerned it will hurt some voters. Mark Meadows, who heads the conservative House Freedom Caucus, said after a White House meeting with Vice President Mike Pence that his group had more than enough members to stop the bill from passing, although he remained hopeful for potential changes to the legislation.


Democrats grill U.S. high court nominee over Trump concerns

Democrats grill U.S. high court nominee over Trump concerns By Lawrence Hurley and Andrew Chung WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Supreme Court nominee Neil Gorsuch said on Wednesday presidents must obey court orders and expressed uncertainty about language in the Constitution barring U.S. government officials from taking payments from a foreign country as Democrats grilled him on issues involving President Donald Trump. Gorsuch, the conservative appeals court judge from Colorado nominated by Trump on Jan. 31 to a lifetime job on the nation's highest court, sparred with Senate Judiciary Committee Democrats on the third day of his confirmation hearing. While his confirmation process looked to be proceeding smoothly, Democrats pressed him on matters swirling around Trump, even asking him about the standards for impeachment.


Billionaire raises questions about Putin critic’s mysterious fall

Billionaire raises questions about Putin critic’s mysterious fall A U.K.-based billionaire is raising pointed questions about the most recent in a series of mysterious accidents, illnesses and muggings to befall critics of Russian President Vladimir Putin: lawyer Nikolai Gorokhov’s fall from a window of his fourth-floor apartment near Moscow earlier this week. “People don’t just go falling out of their apartments,” Bill Browder, the American-born CEO of Hermitage Capital Management, told Yahoo News and Finance Anchor Bianna Golodryga Wednesday. Browder, whose net worth is estimated at around $4 billion, is the grandson of longtime American Communist Party leader Earl Browder, and a former ally turned vocal critic of Putin.


‘Dare to be tender’: One year after attack, Belgian king urges kindness

‘Dare to be tender’: One year after attack, Belgian king urges kindness Brussels on Wednesday marked the first anniversary of suicide bombings that killed 32 people at the airport and subway, with ceremonies timed with the blasts and the dedication of a new memorial. Recommended: How much do you know about Islam and violence? "Above all, let us dare to be tender," he said, at the unveiling of a new monument to all the victims near the headquarters of the European Union in Brussels’ European Quarter.


U.S. House Freedom Caucus chair: Healthcare bill lacks votes to pass

U.S. House Freedom Caucus chair: Healthcare bill lacks votes to pass WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The head of the U.S. House Freedom Caucus on Wednesday said there were still not enough votes to pass the Republican healthcare plan, but that he remained hopeful for potential changes to the bill following a meeting at the White House. U.S. Representative Mark Meadows, who leads the group of conservative lawmakers, said that Vice President Mike Pence discussed "a couple of options" to win votes from caucus members and that he hoped Republicans could reach a consensus on the proposed legislation to rollback Obamacare. ...


House conservatives remain opposed to healthcare plan: caucus chair

House conservatives remain opposed to healthcare plan: caucus chair WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The head of the U.S. House Freedom Caucus said his group of conservative Republican lawmakers remained opposed to Republican leaders' proposed bill to rollback Obamacare, raising doubts about the legislation's future ahead of a planned Thursday vote. "The opposition is still strong. They don't have the votes to pass this tomorrow. We believe that they need to start over," Representative Mark Meadows told reporters after a meeting of his group following earlier talks at the White House. (Reporting by David Morgan; Writing by Susan Heavey; Editing by Lisa Shumaker)


What we know about Trump team Russia links – and why that matters

What we know about Trump team Russia links – and why that matters Paul Manafort was Donald Trump’s campaign manager for months in 2016. Mr. Manafort “played a very limited role for a very limited amount of time,” White House press secretary Sean Spicer said Monday at his daily briefing. Ditto longtime Trump associate Roger Stone and former foreign policy adviser Carter Page.


White House all in before crucial health care vote: 'There is no Plan B'

White House all in before crucial health care vote: 'There is no Plan B' On what could be the eve of a crucial health care vote and with the reported numbers still seemingly unfavorable, the White House remained confident that the American Health Care Act would pass the House on Thursday. “Piece by piece, member by member, we’re getting there, and we’re getting much closer,” White House press secretary Sean Spicer said Wednesday of gathering the votes necessary to repeal Obamacare. The White House team did have some success on Wednesday, flipping Rep. Lou Barletta, R-Pa., to a “yes” vote after assuring him that they supported his proposed amendment, which would deny health care credits to undocumented immigrants.


Puerto Rico governor, bondholders divided on PREPA deal

Puerto Rico governor, bondholders divided on PREPA deal Puerto Rico's governor told U.S. lawmakers on Wednesday the island's struggling power utility, PREPA, could undergo an in-court restructuring process akin to U.S. bankruptcy if a consensual deal with creditors cannot be achieved. Governor Ricardo Rossello said at a U.S. House Natural Resources subcommittee hearing his administration would prefer a consensual deal to bankruptcy, as lawmakers questioned him about delays in completing a $9 billion restructuring at PREPA. The hearing showcased growing discord between Rossello's administration and PREPA's creditors, which seemed to concern the committee in charge of leading Congress' response to Puerto Rico's ongoing crisis.


Former Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort received millions to promote Putin

Former Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort received millions to promote Putin Former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort resigned in August, amid swirling rumors of his connections to foreign governments, including Russia. A new Associated Press investigation uncovered ties between Mr. Manafort and Russian oligarch Oleg Deripaska dating back to 2005. In a confidential strategy plan, Manafort told Mr. Deripaska that he could influence politics, business, and media across the United States, Europe, and former Soviet states for the benefit of Russia.


In unanimous decision, Supreme Court raises bar for special education

In unanimous decision, Supreme Court raises bar for special education On Wednesday, the US Supreme Court unanimously ruled in favor of two parents of an autistic son, finding that his Colorado school district had failed to provide him with a "free and appropriate public education."


U.S. charges New York mob suspects with vendetta arson, robbery

U.S. charges New York mob suspects with vendetta arson, robbery U.S. prosecutors on Wednesday rounded up seven mob suspects on charges of robbery and a vendetta arson in which a reputed Bonanno crime family associate was accused of having a car torched because its driver cut him off at a traffic light. Among the suspects was John J. Gotti, grandson and namesake of New York's infamous "Teflon Don" mob boss.


Oklahoma senator resigns to fight charges of hiring boy prostitute

Oklahoma senator resigns to fight charges of hiring boy prostitute Republican Ralph Shortey, 35, a gun rights advocate who has campaigned as a champion of family values, made his first statement about the charges since police said they found him on March 9 in a suburban Oklahoma City motel with the teenage boy and drugs. Governor Mary Fallin and other Republican leaders in Oklahoma called on Shortey to resign last week after he was charged with three felony counts, including engaging in child prostitution. Shortly after he announced his resignation, his name was removed from an Oklahoma Senate website listing members.


Mayor of Allentown, Penn., implicated in ex-official's guilty plea

Mayor of Allentown, Penn., implicated in ex-official's guilty plea The former top administrator of Allentown, Pennsylvania, pleaded guilty on Wednesday to federal fraud charges, becoming the seventh person convicted in a long-running FBI pay-to-play investigation that includes Mayor Ed Pawlowski. Francis Dougherty, the eastern Pennsylvania city's former managing director, appeared in U.S. District Court in Allentown and pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit fraud, according to court filings. As part of his plea deal, Dougherty admitted to conspiring with Pawlowski, a Democrat, to steer a $3 million street lighting contract to a company whose executives had contributed thousands of dollars to the mayor's political action committee.


Illinois bills seek to legalize, tax marijuana sales to adults

Illinois bills seek to legalize, tax marijuana sales to adults Illinois would legalize marijuana for recreational use by adults and tax it to raise at least $350 million a year for the cash-strapped state under legislation introduced on Wednesday. Two Democratic lawmakers sponsoring the bills said the measures pending before the House and Senate would allow law enforcement to focus on other crimes and enable the state to create a system for regulating and taxing marijuana sales. Adults aged 21 and older would be able to possess, grow, and purchase limited amounts of marijuana, under the legislation.


Calif. class action suit alleges 'unfair competition' with Ivanka Trump brand

Calif. class action suit alleges 'unfair competition' with Ivanka Trump brand A small, San Francisco boutique almost 3,000 miles away from Ivanka Trump’s office in the White House might not seem like a business that would find itself entangled with the first daughter’s multi-million dollar fashion brand. In a class action lawsuit filed in San Francisco Superior Court last week, the 40-year-old, family-owned Modern Appealing Clothing argues that unethical promotion of the Ivanka Trump brand by the current administration has violated the US Constitution and a California statute protecting businesses against unfair competition.


Wisconsin man who threatened to kill Obama loses appeal

Wisconsin man who threatened to kill Obama loses appeal The 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Chicago on Wednesday rejected Brian Dutcher's request that his January 2016 jury conviction be set aside because of a lack of evidence. Dutcher, 56, of Tomah, said he had been unable to carry out his threat, having been armed only with a slingshot, and no one took him seriously. Dutcher had written on Facebook that he planned to attend a July 2, 2015 event in La Crosse, Wisconsin, where Obama was giving a speech, and hoped to "get a clear shot at the pretend president.


Florida nightclub shooting victims sue gunman's employer, widow

Florida nightclub shooting victims sue gunman's employer, widow More than 50 victims and survivors of the June 2016 massacre at a Florida nightclub sued the gunman's employer and widow on Wednesday, blaming them for failing to prevent the deadliest mass shooting in modern U.S. history. The lawsuit filed in the U.S. Southern District of Florida accused the security firm that hired shooter Omar Mateen of ignoring his comments supporting violence prior to the rampage that killed 49 and injured dozens at a gay nightclub in Orlando. The lawsuit accuses Mateen's widow, Noor Salman, of conspiring in the attack by assisting with his purchase of firearms and surveillance of the Pulse nightclub.


U.S. justices reject Gorsuch in win for disabled student

U.S. justices reject Gorsuch in win for disabled student The U.S. Supreme Court on Wednesday rejected legal reasoning used by President Donald Trump's high court nominee Neil Gorsuch in his role as an appellate judge, ruling in favor of an autistic student who said he was denied an adequate education. The 8-0 ruling, authored by conservative Chief Justice John Roberts, was issued at the same time Gorsuch was facing questions during his Senate confirmation hearing about a 2008 case in which he ruled against an autistic child who sought a public education more tailored to his needs. The Supreme Court ruled that public schools must offer disabled students a special educational program sufficiently ambitious to ensure they make progress.


As Gorsuch is testifying, Supreme Court undermines his decision in school disabilities case

As Gorsuch is testifying, Supreme Court undermines his decision in school disabilities case Senate Democrats seized on a Supreme Court ruling handed down Wednesday morning — less than an hour into the third day of the confirmation hearing for nominee Neil Gorsuch — to question the judgment of President Trump’s choice to fill the empty seat on the high court. The unanimous decision in Endrew F. v. Douglas County School District expanded the obligations of public-school districts to provide an adequate education to disabled students under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA). The opinion by Chief Justice John Roberts rejected a standard that Gorsuch had used to decide a similar case in 2008, Thompson School District v. Luke P.


Data didn't change tech's frat-boy culture. Will storytelling?

Data didn't change tech's frat-boy culture. Will storytelling? An engineer at Lever – a recruitment software startup in San Francisco – her role includes reaching out to co-workers about life in the tech industry. Now, firms like Lever are turning to anecdotes and personal exchanges as bases for developing empathy – and building inclusive cultures from the ground up.


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