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    Here's a roundup of news trending across the nation and world today. What to know now  1. Trump communications collected: Rep. Devin Nunes, (R-California), announced Wednesday that private conversations between President Donald Trump and his transition team may have been improperly distributed to spy agencies after they were inadvertently collected as part of an intelligence investigation of other targets. Nunes said he was troubled enough by information provided to him about the communications to go to the White House on Wednesday to inform the president in person. Nunes said the information collected had nothing to do with the investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election. The FBI said Monday it is investigating any possible connection between the Trump campaign and Russian meddling in the election. 2. Health care vote: A vote on a health care bill that is essential in repealing and replacing the Affordable Care Act – Obamacare – is set to take place Thursday in the House. Trump and leaders in the House have lobbied members to vote for the bill, but as of late Wednesday, they had not locked down enough votes for it to pass. The president has warned those who don’t vote for the bill that they could face consequences come re-election. 3. London attack: A man stabbed a London police officer to death Wednesday after he ran down pedestrians on a bridge near Parliament in a terror attack on the British government. Four people, including the attacker, were killed, and at least 40 others injured. British lawmakers sheltered in place in Parliament for hours after the mid-afternoon attack. One woman was pulled alive from the waters of the Thames after she was either knocked off the Westminster Bridge or jumped to avoid the car. The suspect has not been identified. An early morning raid in the London area Thursday netted seven people suspected of being involved with the attack.  4. Wisconsin shootings: A Wisconsin police officer and three others were killed Wednesday in what law enforcement officials said was a domestic violence incident that led to three separate shootings. The shootings took place in a bank, at an attorney’s office and in an apartment complex near Everest, Wisconsin, which is about 90 miles west of Green Bay, Wisconsin.  5. Sweet 16: The NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament continues Thursday as the next round of playoffs gets underway. Sixteen teams – the Sweet 16 – will play over the next two days as we make our way to the Elite Eight, then the Final Four. The championship game is set for April 3.  And one more Nominations for the Daytime Emmy Awards were announce Wednesday. The CBS daytime drama “Young and the Restless” snagged 25 nominations, with ABC’s “General Hospital” and CBS’ “Bold and the Beautiful” getting 23. NBC’s “Days of Our Lives” got 22 nods. In case you missed it
  • Anthony Scaramucci announced to the world in January that he would be leaving Wall Street for the White House to become President Donald Trump's top public liaison. Not long after, Scaramucci was told by Trump's chief of staff that the sale of his hedge fund — a deal that includes a well-known Chinese conglomerate — raised too many ethics issues for him to start work immediately. Scaramucci never left New York. It's a different story for Gary Cohn. The former Goldman Sachs executive, the man who is now Trump's economic adviser reported for duty on Day One and has become a constant White House presence, often at the president's side. All the while, Cohn has held a multimillion-dollar stake in a Chinese bank, which he's now selling. White House officials say Scaramucci's transaction is far more complex than Cohn's holdings, arguing that's why it gave them pause. But others point to the two cases as an example of Trump's uneven approach to handling ethics concerns. The White House on Wednesday acknowledged it did not secure an ethics pledge from ousted national security adviser Michael Flynn, who served for two weeks after Trump signed an executive order mandating that officials agree to a five-year lobbying ban and lifetime prohibition on foreign lobbying. White House officials offered no explanation for why Flynn didn't sign the documents. 'At least so far, the ethical standards that are being applied to high-level officials coming in are quite incoherent and seemingly haphazard,' said Meredith McGehee, a chief at the government reform group Issue One who has worked on federal ethics laws and policies for decades. With so many well-off business executives coming into the administration, the Trump team could minimize conflict-of-interest questions by being more consistent and transparent, she said. 'Instead, they seem like they are leading with their chin,' she added. White House spokesman Sean Spicer said the Trump team 'has been very committed to making sure that we institute high standards here and that we're held to them.' Business intersections with China are particularly nettlesome, given many Chinese companies' ties to the country's Communist Party. Adding another layer of complexity is Trump's frequent vow to take a tougher stance on China's trade and currency practices, which could affect Chinese companies' ability to sell their goods and services in the U.S. But while Scaramucci raised red flags in the White House, others — including Trump's son-in-law and the president himself — have Chinese business ties that do not seem to have drawn as much internal hand-wringing. Cohn is in the process of selling his stock in the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China as he works with the Office of Government Ethics to clear out potential conflicts of interest, according to a White House official who requested anonymity to discuss the personnel matter. The New York Times reported last week that Cohn's ICBC stock was the largest in his portfolio, valued at about $16 million. White House officials originally said that the ethics office flagged Scaramucci's deal to sell his stake in SkyBridge Capital to a buyer group that included a subsidiary of Chinese conglomerate HNA Group as the reason he shouldn't start government work right away. However, the office issued a statement to Bloomberg News saying it 'had no involvement whatsoever' in the decision not to let Scaramucci start work. Trump's family has its own business ties to China. Like Trump, Kushner — who is a senior adviser to the president — followed his father into New York real estate. The 36-year-old sold numerous assets to a family trust and said he has completely stepped away from his businesses and is following all conflicts of interest rules. Kushner Companies, now led by his relatives, has been negotiating with the Chinese Anbang Insurance Group to provide what could be hundreds of millions of dollars in equity for redevelopment of a Manhattan office building. 'Kushner Companies is in advanced, ongoing discussions around 666 5th Avenue,' a company spokesman said, declining to discuss Anbang specifically. A person with direct knowledge of the talks confirmed the Anbang negotiations to The Associated Press, although the person requested anonymity to discuss the private deal. Jared Kushner sold his stake in that building to the trust as part of his agreement with the Office of Government Ethics, but his family stands to benefit from the deal. A senior White House official who requested anonymity to discuss a personnel matter said Kushner would recuse himself from any government business to which Anbang Insurance Group is a party. Yet Kushner took a more cautious approach on a business issue that didn't involve China. When news surfaced last month that Miami Marlins owner Jeffrey Loria was considering selling the baseball team to the Kushner family and was on deck to become Trump's ambassador to France, the Kushners called off the deal entirely. The Kushners said in a statement at the time that they were pulling the plug on the potential deal because 'we do not want this unrelated transaction to complicate' Loria's potential ambassadorship. The senior White House official said that although Jared Kushner had nothing to do with the Marlins negotiation his family wanted to avoid even the appearance of impropriety. The president himself hasn't drawn a bright line when it comes to ethics. Although he handed daily management of his businesses to his two adult sons and a senior Trump Organization official, he placed his assets in a revocable trust that he can take control of at any time. And while the Trump Organization pledged not to enter new foreign deals, it hasn't stopped selling its domestic properties to foreign buyers. New York City real estate transaction records show that last month a Chinese businesswoman paid almost $16 million for a condominium in one of Trump's properties. Meanwhile, the sale of Scaramucci's hedge fund is expected to go through this spring. He declined to comment on his plan, but he's said publicly that he expects to eventually join the White House.
  • Before signing up with Donald Trump, former campaign manager Paul Manafort secretly worked for a Russian billionaire with a plan to 'greatly benefit the Putin Government,' The Associated Press has learned. The White House attempted to brush the report aside Wednesday, but it quickly raised fresh alarms in Congress about Russian links to Trump associates. Manafort proposed in a confidential strategy plan as early as June 2005 that he would influence politics, business dealings and news coverage inside the United States, Europe and former Soviet republics to benefit President Vladimir Putin's government, even as U.S.-Russia relations under Republican President George W. Bush grew worse. Manafort pitched the plans to aluminum magnate Oleg Deripaska, a close Putin ally with whom Manafort eventually signed a $10 million annual contract beginning in 2006, according to interviews with several people familiar with payments to Manafort and business records obtained by the AP. Manafort and Deripaska maintained a business relationship until at least 2009, according to one person familiar with the work. 'We are now of the belief that this model can greatly benefit the Putin Government if employed at the correct levels with the appropriate commitment to success,' Manafort wrote in the 2005 memo to Deripaska. The effort, Manafort wrote, 'will be offering a great service that can re-focus, both internally and externally, the policies of the Putin government.' White House spokesman Sean Spicer said Wednesday that President Trump had not been aware of Manafort's work on behalf of Deripaska. 'To suggest that the president knew who his clients were from 10 years ago is a bit insane,' Spicer said. He noted the AP's reporting 'has started to catch a lot of buzz' but said Manafort's work occurred long before he became Trump's campaign chairman. 'I don't know what he got paid to do,' Spicer said, adding, 'There's no suggestion he did anything improper.' Manafort's plans were laid out in detailed documents obtained by the AP that included strategy memoranda and records showing international wire transfers for millions of dollars. How much work Manafort performed under the contract was unclear. The work appears to contradict assertions by the Trump administration and Manafort himself that he never worked for Russian interests. Manafort confirmed again Wednesday in a statement that he had worked for Deripaska but denied his work had been pro-Russian in nature. He added, 'I look forward to meeting with those conducting serious investigations of these issues.' An official representative of Deripaska said simply in a statement Wednesday: 'There was an agreement between Mr. Deripaska and Mr. Manafort to provide investment consulting services related to business interests of Mr Deripaska which now is a subject to legal claims.' The disclosures come as Trump campaign advisers are the subject of an FBI probe and two congressional investigations, and they appear to guarantee that Manafort will be sought as a key witness in upcoming hearings. Investigators are reviewing whether the Trump campaign and its associates coordinated with Moscow to meddle in the 2016 campaign. Manafort has dismissed the investigations as politically motivated and misguided. The documents obtained by AP show Manafort's ties to Russia were closer than previously revealed. Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., called the disclosures 'serious stuff' and more evidence that an independent congressional committee should investigate the Trump administration. 'Other shoes will drop,' he said. Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, a frequent Trump critic, said of Manafort: 'Clearly, if he's getting millions of dollars from a billionaire close to Putin, to basically undermine democratic movements, that's something I'd want to know about. I doubt if Trump knew about it.' Democrats on the House intelligence committee said the new revelations will feature in their investigations. The disclosure 'undermines the groundless assertions that the administration has been making that there are no ties between President Trump and Russia. This is not a drip, drip, drip,' said Rep. Jackie Speier of California. 'This is now dam-breaking with water flushing out with all kinds of entanglements.' Deripaska became one of Russia's wealthiest men under Putin, buying assets abroad in ways widely perceived to benefit the Kremlin's interests. U.S. diplomatic cables from 2006 described him as 'among the 2-3 oligarchs Putin turns to on a regular basis' and 'a more-or-less permanent fixture on Putin's trips abroad.' In response to questions about Manafort's consulting firm, a spokesman for Deripaska in 2008 — at least three years after they began working together — said Deripaska had never hired the firm. Another Deripaska spokesman in Moscow last week declined to answer AP's questions. Manafort worked as Trump's unpaid campaign chairman last year from March until August, a period that included the Republican National Convention that nominated Trump in July. Trump asked Manafort to resign after AP revealed that he had orchestrated a covert Washington lobbying operation until 2014 on behalf of Ukraine's ruling pro-Russian political party. The newly obtained business records link Manafort more directly to Putin's interests in the region. According to those records and people with direct knowledge of Manafort's work for Deripaska, Manafort made plans to open an office in Moscow, and at least some of his work in Ukraine was directed by Deripaska, not local political interests there. The Moscow office never opened. Manafort has been a leading focus of the U.S. intelligence investigation of Trump's associates and Russia, according to a U.S. official. The person spoke on condition of anonymity because details of the investigation are confidential. Meanwhile, federal criminal prosecutors became interested in Manafort's activities years ago as part of a broad investigation to recover stolen Ukraine assets after the ouster of pro-Russian President Viktor Yanukovych there in early 2014. No U.S. criminal charges have ever been filed in the case. FBI Director James Comey, in confirming to Congress the federal intelligence investigation this week, declined to say whether Manafort was a target. Manafort's name was mentioned 28 times during the hearing of the House intelligence committee, mostly about his work in Ukraine. No one mentioned Deripaska. On Monday, Spicer had said Manafort 'played a very limited role for a very limited amount of time' in the presidential campaign, even though he was Trump's campaign chairman. Spicer on Wednesday said further that Manafort was hired to oversee the campaign's delegate operation. 'To be clear, he got the job done on the delegates,' Spicer said. Manafort and his associates remain in Trump's orbit. Manafort told a colleague this year that he continues to speak with Trump by telephone. Manafort's former business partner in eastern Europe, Rick Gates, has been seen inside the White House on a number of occasions, helped plan Trump's inauguration and now runs a nonprofit organization, America First Policies, to back the White House agenda. Gates, whose name does not appear in the documents, told the AP that he joined Manafort's firm in 2006 and was aware Manafort had a relationship with Deripaska but was not aware of the work described in the memos. Gates said his work was focused on domestic U.S. lobbying and political consulting in Ukraine at the time. He said he stopped working for Manafort's firm in March 2016 when he joined Trump's presidential campaign. Manafort told Deripaska in 2005 that he was pushing policies as part of his work in Ukraine 'at the highest levels of the U.S. government — the White House, Capitol Hill and the State Department,' according to the documents. He also said he had hired a 'leading international law firm with close ties to President Bush to support our client's interests,' but he did not identify the firm. Manafort also said he was employing unidentified legal experts for the effort at leading universities and think tanks, including Duke University, New York University and the Center for Strategic and International Studies. Manafort did not disclose details about the lobbying work to the Justice Department during the period the contract was in place. Under the Foreign Agents Registration Act, people who lobby in the U.S. on behalf of foreign political leaders or political parties must provide detailed reports about their actions to the department. Willfully failing to register is a felony and can result in up to five years in prison and a fine of up to $250,000, though the government rarely files criminal charges. 'I don't know if he violated the Foreign Agent Registration Act,' Sen. Graham said, 'but it's something I think we all need to know more about.' Deripaska owns Basic Element Co., which employs 200,000 people worldwide in the agriculture, aviation, construction, energy, financial services, insurance and manufacturing industries, and he runs one of the world's largest aluminum companies. Forbes estimated his net worth at $5.2 billion. How much Deripaska paid Manafort in total is not clear, but people familiar with the relationship said money transfers to Manafort amounted to tens of millions of dollars and continued through at least 2009. They spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss the secret payments publicly. In strategy memos, Manafort proposed that Deripaska and Putin would benefit from lobbying Western governments, especially the U.S., to allow oligarchs to keep possession of formerly state-owned assets in Ukraine. He proposed building 'long term relationships' with Western journalists and a variety of measures to improve recruitment, communications and financial planning by pro-Russian parties in the region. Manafort proposed extending his existing work in eastern Europe to Uzbekistan, Tajikistan and Georgia, where he pledged to bolster the legitimacy of governments friendly to Putin and undercut anti-Russian figures through political campaigns, nonprofit front groups and media operations. For the $10 million annual contract, Manafort did not use his public-facing consulting firm, Davis Manafort. Instead, he used a company, LOAV Ltd., that he had registered in Delaware in 1992. He listed LOAV as having the same address as his lobbying and consulting firms in Alexandria, Virginia. In other records, LOAV's address was listed as Manafort's home, also in Alexandria. Manafort sold the home in July 2015 for $1.4 million. He now owns an apartment in Trump Tower in New York, as well as other properties in Florida and New York. One strategy memo to Deripaska was written by Manafort and Rick Davis, his business partner at the time. In written responses to the AP, Davis said he did not know that his firm had proposed a plan to covertly promote the interests of the Russian government. Davis said he believes Manafort used his name without his permission on the strategy memo. 'My name was on every piece of stationery used by the company and in every memo prior to 2006. It does not mean I had anything to do with the memo described,' Davis said. He took a leave of absence from the firm in late 2006 to work on Sen. McCain's 2008 presidential campaign. Manafort's work with Deripaska continued for years, though they had a falling out laid bare in 2014 in a Cayman Islands bankruptcy court. The billionaire gave Manafort nearly $19 million to invest in a Ukrainian TV company called Black Sea Cable, according to legal filings by Deripaska's representatives. It said that after taking the money, Manafort and his associates stopped responding to Deripaska's queries about how the funds had been used. Early in the 2016 presidential campaign, Deripaska's representatives openly accused Manafort of fraud and pledged to recover the money from him. After Trump earned the nomination, Deripaska's representatives said they would no longer discuss the case. ___ Associated Press writers Jack Gillum, Eric Tucker, Julie Pace, Ted Bridis, Stephen Braun, Julie Bykowicz and Monika Mathur contributed to this report in Washington; Nataliya Vasilyeva contributed from Moscow and Kiev, Ukraine; and Jake Pearson contributed from New York. ___ Submit reporting tips to The Associated Press: https://www.ap.org/tips
  • The Supreme Court suggested Tuesday that it is sympathetic to Microsoft Corp. in a dispute with disgruntled owners of the Xbox 360 video-game system who sued saying the console has a design defect that scratches game discs. The justices heard arguments Tuesday in a case that involves the Xbox 360 owners' attempts to get class action status for their lawsuit, which was filed several years ago in the state of Washington, where Microsoft is headquartered. Xbox 360 owners were initially denied class action status in the lawsuit. Several justices seemed sympathetic to Microsoft's argument that the Xbox 360 owners shouldn't be permitted to use a procedural maneuver to force an appeals court to weigh in after the appeals court declined to do so. Microsoft has sold millions of Xbox 360 consoles since they were introduced in 2005. It says only 0.4 percent of owners report disk scratching and that in many cases damage is the result of consumer misuse. The company says consumers were warned both in the instruction manual and on a sticker affixed to the console not to move it while a disc was inside. When a handful of Xbox 360 owners sued, a federal judge initially said the lawsuit couldn't proceed as a class action, and an appeals court declined to consider an appeal of that decision. The Xbox 360 owners then asked the judge to dismiss their case, a procedural move designed to get the appeals court to weigh in, which it did. Microsoft says that shouldn't be allowed to happen. Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg told the attorney for the Xbox 360 owners, Peter Stris, that 'rule makers went through a lot of work' to come up with the rule governing appeals in class action cases and suggested he was making an end run around it. And Justice Stephen Breyer suggested the 'simplicity' of ruling for Microsoft seemed preferable, asking Stris if there was 'anything terrible that would happen' if the justices ruled against his clients. Arguing for Microsoft, lawyer Jeffrey Fisher told the court that ruling for the Xbox 360 owners would 'upend' the 'carefully considered' rule governing an appeal of a class action determination. Business groups including the U.S. Chamber of Commerce have urged the court to side with Microsoft. In briefs to the court they say a ruling for the Xbox 360 owners gives those who file questionable class action lawsuits another chance to pursue class action status if they fail to get it at an early stage of the litigation. Businesses say that would make defending against class action lawsuits more expensive and push businesses to settle claims. ___ Follow Jessica Gresko on Twitter at http://twitter.com/jessicagresko. Her work can be found at http://bigstory.ap.org/content/jessica-gresko.
  • The Daily Caller says The Blaze TV, the conservative media company behind Tomi Lahren’s show “Tomi,” has suspended her show for “at least one week, starting Monday,” according to their sources. Lahren created a minor storm of controversy after the contentious commentator revealed that she was pro-choice. In an interview on “The View,” Lahren insisted that it’s not ideologically sound to believe in limited government while advocating for government-mandated abortion restrictions. In the same interview, she called out conservatives who opposed government intrusion while maintaining intrusive laws on abortion as “hypocrites.” Coupled with her famously aggressive rhetoric that’s gotten her in trouble with coworkers before, Lahren’s comments may have been the last straw for her at the media company. The Daily Caller reports that though her contract runs through September, she may depart the company before then.
  • Fox News Channel has pulled legal analyst Andrew Napolitano from the air after disavowing his on-air claim that British intelligence officials had helped former President Barack Obama spy on Donald Trump. A person with knowledge of the situation who spoke on condition of anonymity because it was a personnel matter said Napolitano has been benched and won't be appearing on the air in the near future. Fox had no immediate comment Monday. Napolitano's report last week on 'Fox & Friends,' saying he had three intelligence sources who said Obama went 'outside the chain of command' to watch Trump, provoked an international incident. Britain dismissed the report as 'nonsense' after White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer quoted it in a briefing, part of the administration's continued defense of Trump's unproven contention that Obama had wiretapped him at Trump Tower during the 2016 presidential campaign. FBI Director James Comey, testifying before Congress on Monday, became the latest official to state that no evidence has been found to support Trump's charge. The president, when asked about the incident, said that 'all we did was quote a certain very talented legal mind who was the one responsible for saying that on television. I didn't make an opinion on it. You shouldn't be talking to me. You should be talking to Fox.' Fox's Shepard Smith, on the air Friday afternoon, quickly stepped the network away from Napolitano's claim. 'Fox News knows of no evidence of any kind that the now-president of the United States was surveilled at any time, in any way,' Smith said. Napolitano is a senior judicial analyst who has worked at Fox News Channel since 1998, and frequently comments on the Fox Business Network. He was a New Jersey Superior Court judge from 1987 to 1995. Napolitano's removal from the air was first reported in the Los Angeles Times.
  • Washington's day of high-stakes political drama on Monday played out much differently depending on where motivated television viewers decided to get their news. CNN, Fox News Channel and MSNBC all followed FBI Director James Comey's testimony before a congressional committee Monday morning live. For a while, so did ABC and NBC, cutting in to normal daytime programming. Given how coverage of President Donald Trump has been a ratings magnet, that wasn't surprising. Comey, in his testimony, said the FBI is investigating possible coordination between Russia and Trump associates during last year's election. The director also said he'd found no evidence to support Trump's claim that former President Barack Obama had ordered a wiretap of Trump Tower. Shortly before 1 p.m., the networks diverged. Fox News wrapped up its coverage of the hearing, which lasted until 3:20 p.m. and was shown nearly in its entirety on CNN and MSNBC. Instead of showing the hearing, Fox spent considerable time airing people talking about the hearing, starting with its commentary show, 'Outnumbered.' There was an emphasis on discussion about whether any real evidence of collusion had emerged, and Republican concerns about leaks to reporters. 'If you're a Republican or Democrat, you have reason to distrust (Comey),' said Fox panelist Meghan McCain. 'I don't see that it moves the needle either way for the American public.' On Fox, there was little evidence that the hearing was continuing. The network carried White House press secretary Sean Spicer's early afternoon briefing. So did CNN, adding a silent box on its screen showing the hearing; it eventually cut away from Spicer to show the hearing again. MSNBC began carrying Spicer, but immediately shifted away when a break at the congressional hearing ended. Following Spicer's briefing, CNN's Dana Bash was particularly biting in assessing his performance. Spicer, she said, is 'trying to defend the indefensible and explain the inexplicable,' she said. 'Today it was on steroids.
  • President Donald Trump is about to become a grandfather for a ninth time. Trump's son Eric announced on Twitter Monday that he and his wife Lara are expecting their first child. The baby boy is due in September. Eric Trump, who lives in New York, wrote 'it's been an amazing year' and said that he and his wife were 'blessed' by the pregnancy. The president retweeted his son's post on Monday, adding, 'Congratulations Eric & Lara. Very proud and happy for the two of you!' Eric, 33, and his brother Don Jr. are now running the Trump Organization after the president said he cut ties with his business to take office. The two brothers and their sister Ivanka are from Trump's first marriage to Ivana Trump. Don Jr. has five kids while Ivanka has three. Tiffany Trump, whose mother is Marla Maples, Trump's second wife, is unmarried and has no children.
  • It’s tough out there for a Republican actor, according to Tim Allen. The actor and comedian appeared on the “Jimmy Kimmel Live!” on Friday night and made some remarks that probably won’t sit well with most of liberal Hollywood. “You gotta be real careful around here, you know. You’ll get beat up if you don’t believe what everybody believes,” he told Kimmel. “This is like ’30s Germany,” he said. “I don’t know what happened. If you’re not part of the group: ‘You know what we believe is right.’ I go, ‘Well, I might have a problem with that.'” >> Watch the segment here (Viewer discretion advised) Allen was invited to the Veterans Ball in Washington, D.C., and also attended the inauguration of President Donald Trump. He joked that the parade following the inauguration was not what he anticipated. “It looks like a Cadillac parade. It was just rows of Cadillacs. And my kids were like, ‘Is this a parade?'” he said. “There was no marching bands.” >> Read more trending news Allen also said he has some concerns about government surveillance. “One day I was thinking, if the government drove down the street in a gray sedan with a camera on it, you would be rioting and going to Washington,” he started. “But it’s white with emojis with Google on it, you are waving at it. They are taking pictures of your house!” (H/T Fox News)
  • Days before a pivotal vote, House Speaker Paul Ryan said Sunday he will seek changes to a GOP health care bill to provide more help to older people. The new willingness to compromise was a bid for more support from moderate Republicans, who expressed continuing unease about the plan to replace Barack Obama's health law unless significant changes were made. Ryan insisted that he felt 'very good' about the bill's prospects but acknowledged that House leadership was 'making fine-tuning improvements to the bill to reflect people's concerns.' A House vote was scheduled for Thursday. 'We believe we should have even more assistance. And that's one of the things we're looking at for that person in their 50s and 60s because they experience higher health care costs,' the Wisconsin Republican said. Under the GOP plan, older people who are not yet eligible for Medicare stand to be the biggest losers. It would shrink the tax credits they use to help buy insurance and it would increase their premiums because the bill allows insurers to charge more as people age and become more susceptible to health problems. A Congressional Budget Office analysis last week said a 64-year-old with income of $26,500 would pay $1,700 out of pocket for insurance under the Affordable Care Act, compared with $14,600 under the GOP plan. It estimated that 24 million people of all ages would lose coverage over 10 years. On Sunday, Ryan said he believed the CBO analysis was not accurate because Obamacare wouldn't be able to last 10 years. But he allowed the additional assistance was one of several House revisions to be discussed in advance of Thursday's vote, along with possible changes to help low-income people more with tax credits and require able-bodied Medicaid recipients to meet work requirements. 'We think that we should be offering even more assistance than what the bill currently does,' he said. Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price also said legislative revisions were possible. 'If it needs more beefing up ... for folks who are low income, between 50 and 64 years of age, that's something that we've talked about, something that we've entertained, and that may happen throughout the process,' he said. Their comments came as President Donald Trump and House leaders seek to win support from GOP skeptics as prospects for the bill remain wobbly. Last week, Trump agreed to add fresh Medicaid curbs to appease some conservatives. But moderate Republicans are balking over the CBO's findings that millions more people would lack coverage even while premiums in many cases could rise. In a Facebook post Saturday night, Rep. Brian Fitzpatrick, R-Pa., said he couldn't vote for the bill, stressing a need 'to take our time and to get this right.' He joins GOP Rep. John Katko, from a closely divided district in upstate New York, who cited inadequate insurance access and cost controls. In the Senate, where Republicans hold a narrow 52-48 majority, prospects for the GOP bill also were uncertain as both moderates and conservatives criticized it. Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine, said she would not vote for the measure without additional changes to provide more aid to older Americans. She also wants an improved proposal that would cover more Americans and offer better Medicaid benefits than the current GOP plan. She joins at least four other GOP senators in opposing the bill after conservative Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas said Sunday he wouldn't vote for it as is. Sens. Dean Heller of Nevada, Mike Lee of Utah and Rand Paul of Kentucky are also opposed. 'I cannot vote for any bill that keeps premiums rising,' Cruz said. Rep. Steve Scalise, the Louisiana Republican who serves as majority whip, sent out a message late Sunday to encourage House Republicans to support the health care measure. 'These next few days could define us for years to come,' he said. 'The American Health Care Act needs to pass the House of Representatives so the American people can be rescued from Obamacare.' He encouraged fellow Republicans pushing for support from House colleagues to 'remind members that attacks from the Left are nothing new, and rarely accurate.' He told them: 'This is our moment to make history.' Separately, Ryan said he also expected the House to make changes to Trump's proposed budget, which calls for a boost to military spending but big-time cuts in domestic programs. Trump's plan, for instance, would cut $5.8 billion from the National Institutes of Health, an 18 percent drop for the $32 billion agency that funds much of the nation's research into what causes different diseases and what it will take to treat them. Ryan said Congress was proud to have passed the Cures Act last year, which calls for additional NIH money for 'breakthrough discoveries on cancer and other diseases,' so he expects the proposed NIH cut to be revised. 'I would say, this is the very, very beginning of the budget process,' he said. 'We are encouraged that we're seeing an increase in defense because we think our military has been hollowed out. But I will say that NIH is something that's particularly popular in Congress. ... So, that is something that I think in Congress you'll see probably some changes.' Ryan spoke on 'Fox News Sunday,' Price appeared on ABC's 'This Week,' Collins was on NBC's 'Meet the Press' and Cruz spoke on CBS' 'Face the Nation.' ___ Follow Hope Yen on Twitter at https://twitter.com/hopeyen1

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  • A Florida woman who admitted to throwing a 5-month-old into his playpen while babysitting him is facing a murder charge after the baby died from his injuries.  >> Read more trending stories Police were called to a home on Davis Road on March 7 after getting reports of a baby that was not breathing. Barbara Kendrick, 65, admitted to police that she threw the baby, Cooper Dubovik, into his playpen. Cooper was taken to the hospital with life-threatening injuries. Doctors determined the child had internal injuries that resulted from some type of trauma, the Jacksonville Sheriff's Office said. He died of his injuries on March 8. 5 month old Cooper Dubovik passed away, the woman baby sitting him has been charged with Murder. @ActionNewsJax— Bridgette Matter (@bridgetteANjax) March 9, 2017 Kendrick told police that Cooper had been fussy because he had a fever and was teething. She said she had been watching the boy for about two months. She was initially charged with aggravated child abuse but her charges were upgraded to murder after Cooper died.
  • Police say 5-month-old Cooper Dubovik of Jacksonville, Florida, died after his baby sitter, Barbara Kendrick, admitted to throwing him into his playpen. Cooper's mother, Teal Garvin, opened up to ActionNewsJax.com. >> Watch the news report here “To not be able to hold him, and to not be able to see his smile, it’s just so hard, it’s so incredibly hard,' she said. On March 7, police were called out to a home on Davis Road. Baby Cooper had stopped breathing. Police say 65-year-old Kendrick admitted she threw the 5-month-old into his playpen. Kendrick told officers she had been watching Cooper about two months. >> Previously on ActionNewsJax.com: Baby sitter charged with murder after 5-month-old boy dies in Jacksonville Cooper's mother said she never imagined Kendrick would hurt her only child. “To wait 16 minutes while you watch him gasp for air trying to stay alive, you chose to kill him,' Garvin said. 'I can’t forgive that.” >> Read more trending news Reports said Cooper was taken to the hospital with life-threatening injuries. He had a skull fracture and no brain activity. The next day, he died. Now, his parents are fighting for justice “I just can’t even begin to explain how hard it is,' Garvin said. Kendrick’s next court appearance is scheduled for Wednesday. To help Cooper’s family, you can donate to their GoFundMe page here.
  • Here's a roundup of news trending across the nation and world today. What to know now  1. Trump communications collected: Rep. Devin Nunes, (R-California), announced Wednesday that private conversations between President Donald Trump and his transition team may have been improperly distributed to spy agencies after they were inadvertently collected as part of an intelligence investigation of other targets. Nunes said he was troubled enough by information provided to him about the communications to go to the White House on Wednesday to inform the president in person. Nunes said the information collected had nothing to do with the investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election. The FBI said Monday it is investigating any possible connection between the Trump campaign and Russian meddling in the election. 2. Health care vote: A vote on a health care bill that is essential in repealing and replacing the Affordable Care Act – Obamacare – is set to take place Thursday in the House. Trump and leaders in the House have lobbied members to vote for the bill, but as of late Wednesday, they had not locked down enough votes for it to pass. The president has warned those who don’t vote for the bill that they could face consequences come re-election. 3. London attack: A man stabbed a London police officer to death Wednesday after he ran down pedestrians on a bridge near Parliament in a terror attack on the British government. Four people, including the attacker, were killed, and at least 40 others injured. British lawmakers sheltered in place in Parliament for hours after the mid-afternoon attack. One woman was pulled alive from the waters of the Thames after she was either knocked off the Westminster Bridge or jumped to avoid the car. The suspect has not been identified. An early morning raid in the London area Thursday netted seven people suspected of being involved with the attack.  4. Wisconsin shootings: A Wisconsin police officer and three others were killed Wednesday in what law enforcement officials said was a domestic violence incident that led to three separate shootings. The shootings took place in a bank, at an attorney’s office and in an apartment complex near Everest, Wisconsin, which is about 90 miles west of Green Bay, Wisconsin.  5. Sweet 16: The NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament continues Thursday as the next round of playoffs gets underway. Sixteen teams – the Sweet 16 – will play over the next two days as we make our way to the Elite Eight, then the Final Four. The championship game is set for April 3.  And one more Nominations for the Daytime Emmy Awards were announce Wednesday. The CBS daytime drama “Young and the Restless” snagged 25 nominations, with ABC’s “General Hospital” and CBS’ “Bold and the Beautiful” getting 23. NBC’s “Days of Our Lives” got 22 nods. In case you missed it
  • At least 15 structures are “lost” as the result of a fast-moving wildfire in Bryceville. Nassau County Emergency Management says the official emergency shelter set up for evacuees is the Bryceville Baptist Church at 7732 US Hwy 301. The American Red Cross is cooperating with that shelter. At a briefing early Thursday, officials said 150 people have been affected because of evacuations.   The Florida Highway Patrol says two other shelters have been established- one at Gray Gables Church, 54031 Church Road and one at Callahan First Baptist Church, 45090 Green Avenue. Shifting winds drove the fire, which the Florida Forest Service for the District says is more than 400 acres around CR 119, CR 121, and Countryside Acres. As of 5am Thursday, the fire was reported as 50% contained. The evacuations will remain in effect until the fire is completely contained. The Florida Forest Service Jacksonville says the fire started with someone burning paperback books, and that it is illegal to burn household garbage in Florida.  Our partner Action News Jax reports the landowner will be held responsible. Nassau County Firefighters, the Florida Forest Service, and Jacksonville Fire and Rescue are all working the scene. Facilities have been taking in animals from anyone who had to evacuate. All Paws Boarding at 8356 US Hwy 301 is sheltering dogs and cats. You’re asked to bring a crate and vaccination history if you can. The Walker Quarter Horse Farm at 14452 Normandy Blvd is taking in horses for free, but request owners bring feed, hay, and supplies.
  • A Florida woman’s mouth allegedly got her in trouble with the law three times in one day. According to the Pensacola News Journal, 23-year-old Angela Christine Millikin of Gulf Breeze is accused of biting her uncle during an altercation Tuesday. >> Read more Floridoh! stories When deputies from the Santa Rosa Sheriff’s Office responded to a call of a woman leaving the scene of an attack, they reportedly arrived to find Millikin, who matched the description given in the report. Millikin told deputies that she was Pakistani royalty and that her name was Duchess “Christine Pharoah,” according to the News Journal. Deputies escorted Millikin back to the scene of the attack, where her uncle explained that she had hit him in the face and bit his hand with enough force to break the skin after he refused to give her his phone, deputies said. >> Read more trending news As she was being taken into custody, Millikin spat on an arresting deputy and struck him in the face, according to a report obtained by the News Journal. She faces several charges, including battery, battery on law enforcement and fraud. Read more at the Pensacola News Journal.

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