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AP sources: Senate GOP health bill would reshape Obama law

June 22, 2017

WASHINGTON (AP) — Senate Republicans would cut Medicaid, end penalties for people not buying insurance and erase a raft of tax increases as part of their long-awaited plan to scuttle President Barack Obama’s health care law, congressional aides and lobbyists say.

After weeks of closed-door meetings that angered Democrats and some Republicans, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell planned to release the proposal Thursday.…

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AAA predicts record heavy travel over July 4th weekend

June 22, 2017

DALLAS (AP) — Americans are expected to put down the TV remote and hit the road in record numbers for the July 4th weekend.

Auto club AAA said Thursday that it expects 44.2 million people will travel at least 50 miles (80 kilometers) from home, a 2.9 percent increase over last year’s record for the holiday.…

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Lawyers: Trump administration may back Texas immigration law

June 20, 2017

SAN ANTONIO (AP) — Attorneys trying to halt a Texas law that would crackdown on “sanctuary cities” say the U.S. Justice Department has asked to weigh in on the case.

Luis Vera is a lawyer with the League of United Latin American Citizens. Vera believes the notice sent Monday to parties in the case including his group signals the administration of President Donald Trump will back the Texas law signed in May by Republican Gov.…

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AP sources: Spicer seeks more strategic role at White House

June 20, 2017

WASHINGTON (AP) — White House press secretary Sean Spicer is seeking to take on a more strategic role that would give him a limited presence in the daily press briefings that have made him a prominent face of the Trump administration.

A senior administration official and three people familiar with the potential changes said Monday that Spicer has discussed taking a more senior communications role at the White House.…

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A look at Syria’s conflict, as mutual enemies close in on IS

June 20, 2017

BEIRUT (AP) — The Islamic State group is in retreat across Syria and Iraq, and the contours of a new conflict among the array of parties battling it are already starting to appear.

The U.S. military shot down a Syrian government warplane on Sunday, saying it had targeted an American-allied Kurdish force that is battling the extremists in their de facto capital, Raqqa.…

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Top court to hear case that could reshape US political map

June 20, 2017

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Supreme Court will take up a momentous fight over parties manipulating electoral districts to gain partisan advantage in a case that could affect the balance of power between Democrats and Republicans across the United States.

At issue is whether Republican lawmakers in Wisconsin drew legislative districts that favored their party and were so out of whack with the state’s political breakdown that they violated the constitutional rights of Democratic voters.…

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Trump attorney says president not under investigation

June 19, 2017

WASHINGTON (AP) — A member of the president’s outside legal team said Sunday that Donald Trump is not under federal investigation, days after Trump appeared to confirm he was with a tweet about being the target of a “witch hunt.”

Appearing on a series of morning news programs, attorney Jay Sekulow repeatedly stressed that “the president has not been and is not under investigation.” He said a Friday tweet from Trump was specifically directed at a story in The Washington Post about the expanding probe into Russia’s election meddling.…

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Gov. Abbott uses veto to block 50 mostly low-profile bills

June 16, 2017

AUSTIN (AP) — Gov. Greg Abbott has vetoed 50 mostly low-profile bills approved by the Legislature, nixing everything from mandating training on sexual abuse prevention for public school students to allowing small counties to accept some mail-in election ballots.

Announced Thursday, the vetoes’ impacts weren’t far-reaching.

Many dealt with obscure or local issues.…

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About 4,000 more US troops to go to Afghanistan

June 16, 2017

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Pentagon will send almost 4,000 additional American forces to Afghanistan, a Trump administration official said Thursday, hoping to break a stalemate in a war that has now passed to a third U.S. commander in chief. The deployment will be the largest of American manpower under Donald Trump’s young presidency.…

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Top House GOP leader shot at congressional baseball practice

June 14, 2017

WASHINGTON (AP) — A top House Republican, Steve Scalise of Louisiana, was shot by a rifle-wielding gunman Wednesday at a congressional baseball practice just outside of Washington. Several other people were also wounded, officials said.

Capitol Police said officers who were part of Scalise’s security detail returned fire and wounded the shooter, who was taken into custody.…

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