No repeal for 'Obamacare' _ a humiliating defeat for Trump WASHINGTON (AP) - In a humiliating failure, President Donald Trump and GOP leaders pulled their bill to repeal "Obamacare" off the House floor Friday when it became clear it would fail badly - after seven years of nonstop railing against the law. Democrats said Americans can "breathe a sigh of relief." Trump said the current law was imploding "and soon will explode." Thwarted by two factions of fellow Republicans, from the center and far right, House Speaker Paul Ryan said President Barack Obama's health care law, the GOP's No. 1 target in the new Trump administration, will remain in place "for the foreseeable future."
Trump campaign chair offers to talk to House panel on Russia WASHINGTON (AP) - President Donald Trump's former campaign manager, a key figure in investigations into the Trump campaign's ties to Russia, has volunteered to be interviewed by lawmakers as part of an increasingly partisan House probe of the Kremlin's alleged meddling in the 2016 election. The chairman of the House intelligence committee, Rep. Devin Nunes, on Friday announced the prospect of an interview with Paul Manafort, and Nunes cancelled a previously scheduled public hearing in which former Obama administration officials had agreed to testify about the Russia investigation. Manafort also volunteered to be interviewed by the Senate intelligence committee, which is conducting its own investigation.
Trump OKs Keystone pipeline, calling it 'great day' for jobs WASHINGTON (AP) - President Donald Trump greenlighted the long-delayed Keystone XL pipeline on Friday, declaring it a "great day for American jobs" and siding with energy advocates over environmental groups in a heated debate over climate change. The presidential permit comes nearly a decade after Calgary-based TransCanada applied to build the $8 billion pipeline, which will snake from Canada through the United States. Trump's State Department said the project advances U.S. national interests, in a complete reversal of the conclusion President Barack Obama's administration reached less than a year-and-a-half ago. "It's a great day for American jobs and a historic moment for North America and energy independence," Trump said, standing alongside TransCanada's CEO in the Oval Office.
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London attacker cheerful, joking on eve of deadly rampage BIRMINGHAM, England (AP) - Long before his short stints in jail turned into years behind bars, Khalid Masood was known as Adrian Elms, with a reputation for drinking and an unpredictable temper. At least twice he was convicted of violent crimes, well before he stabbed a police officer to death Wednesday in London with a motion that one horrified witness described as "playing a drum on your back with two knives." But as he checked out of his hotel to head toward London for his deadly rampage, the manager said he was struck by his guest's friendly manner. Within hours, Masood drove his rented SUV across the crowded Westminster Bridge, leaving a trail of dead and wounded.
Putin meets Le Pen, denies French election interference MOSCOW (AP) - Russian President Vladimir Putin made his preferences in the French presidential election clear Friday by hosting far-right candidate Marine Le Pen at the Kremlin, but analysts are skeptical about Russia's ability to sway the outcome of the vote. Embracing Le Pen is part of Russia's efforts to reach out to nationalist and anti-globalist forces to build up its influence in the West and help overcome the strains in relations with the U.S. and the European Union. Donald Trump's victory in the U.S. presidential vote has emboldened the Kremlin, even though the ongoing U.S. Congressional scrutiny of his campaign ties with Russia has all but dashed Moscow's hopes for a quick detente.
Plan to dig up President Polk's body _ again _ stirs trouble NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) - President James K. Polk did big things for America, dramatically expanding its borders by annexing Texas and seizing California and the Southwest in a war with Mexico. Achieving undisturbed eternal rest has proved more difficult. In a proposal that has riled some folks in Tennessee, including a very distant relative of the nation's 11th president, some state lawmakers want to move Polk's body to what would be its fourth resting place in the nearly 170 years since he died of cholera. The plan is to exhume Polk's remains and those of his wife, Sarah, from their white-columned tomb on the grounds of the state Capitol in Nashville and take them about 50 miles to his father's home, now known as the James K.
Canada pulls vehicle license plate deemed offensive HALIFAX, Nova Scotia (AP) - A Canadian provincial government has withdrawn a man's eponymous personalized vehicle license plate, saying Lorne Grabher's surname is offensive to women when viewed on his car bumper. Grabher said Friday that he put his last name on the license plate decades ago as a gift for his late father's birthday, and says the province's refusal to renew the plate late last year is unfair. Grabher says the Nova Scotia government is discriminating against his name. Transport Department spokesman Brian Taylor says while the department understands Grabher is a surname with German roots, this context isn't available to the general public who view it.
Arkansas inmates make longshot bid to avoid double execution VARNER, Ark. (AP) - Two Arkansas inmates scheduled for back-to-back lethal injections next month asked the parole board Friday to spare their lives, a longshot bid as the state prepares for an unprecedented four nights of double executions over a 10-day period. While Texas has executed eight people in a month - twice in 1997 - no state in the modern era has executed that many prisoners in 10 days. Stacey Johnson and a lawyer for Ledell Lee asked board members to recommend that Gov. Asa Hutchinson commute their sentences. Such efforts typically fail. The board planned to deliberate Friday afternoon in Little Rock after hearing from relatives of the men's victims, but did not indicate when it would announce its decision.
US Jews wrestle with arrest of Jew in bomb threats case NEW YORK (AP) - Jewish groups had pointed to scores of bomb threats against their communities as the most dramatic example of what they considered a surge in anti-Semitism. Some blamed a far-right emboldened by President Donald Trump. Now, that picture has been complicated by the arrest of an Israeli Jewish hacker who authorities say is responsible for the harassment. Israeli police said the motive behind the threats was unclear. An attorney for the 19-year-old man, who was arrested Thursday, said her client had a "very serious medical condition" that might have affected his behavior. Earlier this month, U.S. law enforcement had arrested a former journalist in St.
Ex-Penn St president guilty of 1 count of child endangerment HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) - Former Penn State president Graham Spanier was convicted Friday of hushing up suspected child sex abuse in 2001 by Jerry Sandusky, whose arrest a decade later blew up into a major scandal for the university and led to the firing of beloved football coach Joe Paterno. Jurors found Spanier guilty of one misdemeanor count of child endangerment over his handling of a complaint against the retired assistant football coach but found him not guilty of conspiracy and a second child endangerment count. Spanier, 68, showed no emotion when the verdict was read after 13 hours of deliberations.